2D Art for a 3D Modeller.

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Old 08 August 2013   #1
2D Art for a 3D Modeller.

Hi everyone! I've just finished my Computer Science degree in 3D Modelling and I'm unsure which direction I should take in terms of progression.

I'd consider myself as competent when modelling accurately in 3D and somewhere between beginner and competent with texturing. But what now?

There so many things I need to improve on it hurts my head. High/low modelling, sculpting, pipeline work, lighting photo-real/stylised texturing and so much more.

These are things I can learn using tutorials/books/practice but what I'm really lacking in is traditional art skills. I'm alright with a pencil and and I practice everyday but I don't really know "what" to practice anymore. I've been working with gestures and I think I'm getting ok, but is this what I should be doing?

I want to learn the 2D side to help with my 3D work, but Im not sure if this should be my priority or if I should be modelling everyday instead - 3D asset modelling is what I want to do.

My head's so full of zBrush/Maya/Modo/Poly's/Sub-D/Layout/Composition/Lighting/Texturing/Form I think it's going to explode

Thank you,

James
 
Old 08 August 2013   #2
What exactly is your ultimate goal as an artist? You'd have to know exactly what you want in order to tailor your study/practice strategy to it.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #3
I want to be an environment artist. As for the 3D and Technical side I'm getting better. I've learned a lot of the process and programs. What I think I'm really weak on is the conceptualization of props and environments, perhaps not in my mind but on paper. I know this isn't necessarily a key part of an environment artist's work, but it's something I want to improve on to help me gain an advantage.

The problem is whether or not I should. I understand that composition, lighting and perspective is vital to any competent environment artist. But would this be enough? I'm not sure whether to spend my time investing in the more traditional side or just keep trying to bring my modelling times down.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #4
The most critical thing visual artists need to master is the foundation knowledge (composition, perspective, values/lighting, color theory, anatomy/figure, etc). In your case, since you want to focus on environments, you don't need to worry about anatomy/figure.

As for the best way to learn the foundation, you should read this: http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthr...f=166&t=1028244

When you say you have trouble with conceptualizing props and environments, do you mean the physical act of depicting what you see in your head, or the actual design itself?

Assuming you have mastered the foundation, you'll have to also put a lot of effort into building your visual library. You have to research and analyze a lot of references and assimilate as much as possible. Study architectural styles and time periods. Study how public spaces are designed and the logic behind them. Study specialized environments such as underwater sewage systems, science labs, military compounds, mediaeval armories, etc. Study geography and weather and how they affect environments. Study how structures look when destroyed or eroded (and what exactly causes the erosion). Documentaries like this is extremely helpful for environment artists: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XDbcMND7fY

And of course, study the environment designs that's already been done in video games and movies and familiarize yourself with the evolution of stylistic trends.

Exploring real world environments and take quality photo references/videos is also very helpful too. All projects have the art teams do that in the beginning of the project.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #5
Thank you so much for your time Lunatique.

For the moment all I have are books and tutorials to help with these foundations and I feel comfortable in some aspects. My only problem with these (composition, colour theory etc.) is knowing how to practice, retain and develop.

Yes, I feel like I have the idea here, and drawing from reference poses absolutely no issues. Loose sketching and thumbnails are fine too, but I want to be able to take an idea, and original idea, and help it grow. I feel like I have been developing my technical side and seriously neglecting my creative. I see all the details I want to add in my head, but getting them out is like extracting blood from a stone.

The studying side is something I already do, but what is the most efficient way to absorb? To draw, paint, sculpt and model?

I don't think I'll every truly master the foundations, I'm a novice at best. Hopefully I'll be able to take one of your classes. Are there any more, nearer winter of afterwards, that will be coming up soon?

Thank you again.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #6
It sounds like the workshop will answer all of your questions and much more. In fact, you can say that the workshop was designed specifically for people like you, who have many unanswered questions and feeling lost, and all the information out there only confuse and overwhelm you because you don't know which ones to trust and what is the most effective method for learning and improving.

The next workshop will be the first week of October. I usually try to teach the workshops continuously throughout the year, and even if I take breaks, it's usually only a week or two, and at most a month (if something big is happening in my life and I have to take the time to deal with it). So you can pretty much predict when the next workshop would be just by looking at the ending date of the currently one--it'll likely be within a week or two after the ending of the previous workshop.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #7
I'll definitely sign up. I know it will help me regardless of where I go in the near future.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #8
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