3D Modeling: Self-taught vs. courses?

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  08 August 2013
3D Modeling: Self-taught vs. courses?

Iím a self-taught 2D digital artist looking to learn 3D modeling using either 3DSMax or Maya, especially for gaming rather than film/animation. Iíll be looking into online courses, not schools. I currently have ZERO experience in 3D.

My first question is, if any of you have experience in the matter, where time and complexity is concerned: would paid courses actually be any more informative, practical and FASTER (learning-wise) than whatís available freely? While I believe anyone can teach themselves something, I canít help but feel 3D Ė especially for games, is pretty complex and I do not want to get stuck on trying to learn basics for months. If courses mean itíll cut my learning time in half, for example, then itís an advantage.

Second question: any suggestions or advice?

Thanks in advance
  08 August 2013
It's pretty hard to say, really, because there's so much stuff out there, both free and paid, that it's almost impossible to give a proper opinion since nobody has gone through absolutely all of that stuff and therefore given a balanced perspective.

Having said that, the biggest difference between doing a course and learning from free tutorials is that in the case of a course, you have an instructor guiding you and giving you feedback, and this certainly does focus your learning more. Whether or not that actually speeds up your learning probably comes down to the kind of person you are, how you respond to feedback (if at all) and how you absorb information.
  08 August 2013
I have done a bit of both, initially I was self taught just from picking up books like the 3ds max bible and tinkering away with the software. Now I am attending AAU and seeing the other method of learning while I hone my skills further. Ultimately it will depend on you as an individual, if you have the drive and personal push to teach yourself and explore by all means go for it though if this was the case I would think you would already be. I have enjoyed using a school because of the structure and environment, having daily to weekly tasks that are reviewed and critiqued by peers and my instructor has been fantastic for me.

For now I would suggest you pick up a book or watch some videos since many are free online or a decent book covering Max or Maya costs less than $50. You can get a free trial of either program and just tinker away to see what you think, if it is interesting and you learn it easily that way just keep at it. If you find yourself frustrated or slow to progress look to forums or consider schools, workshops and other means to help. Each person learns differently so just hone your path to what meets your needs best.
  08 August 2013
You should follow along on some course/video/tutorial things minimally...a car...and a humanoid should cover it, just to make sure that you aren't doing something absolutely bass-ackward.

My first shot at 3d modeling was in a program called Designcad...and I spent a week on a human-like thing that I was carving from a block using a trim-boolean-like tool...so funny.
  10 October 2013
Thumbs up

I wanted to thank everyone for taking the time answering my post. After reading your suggestions, researching a bitÖetc. I decided to settle for a basic approach at first. Downloaded the Maya student version and with it the learning files and am tinkering with it every day. Itís looking a lot more simple than what I expected. Iím going to give myself lessons and use online resourcesÖ hopefully Iíll reach a comfortable understanding on my own and if I wish to evolve past it then definitely will be signing up to some online courses.

Thanks again
  10 October 2013
Since you are already considering paying actual money, I would give digital-tutors a go. Their tutorials are great and have really helped me fill in the gaps in my education. They have entire programs that start you at the very beginning as if you had never touched the program before. I highly recommend it, especially for maya.
  10 October 2013
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