3D Modeling Practice

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Old 12 December 2012   #1
3D Modeling Practice

Hey there guys! I am an aspiring Arts and Technology student at the University of Texas at Dallas. I have recently decided to dedicate myself to 3D modeling and was wondering how you guys prefer to practice. I was looking at either following tutorials or creating my own models from my own designs. Which of the two methods of practice have any of you learned from the most?
 
Old 12 December 2012   #2
Both methods will work. Practise is the key, and more practise. Video tutorials are great and forums like this provide valuable interaction with others, and help when you run into problems.

I find I learn more practicing at home in my own time because there are less distractions. I suppose that's true of most studies.
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Old 12 December 2012   #3
When I was actively learning, I used to switch these methods. Start with a small project of your own, then do a tutorial that's similar. Small bites first, than start doing bigger things, while your skill and speed improves.

I started with a oil barrel for instance and then looked up a tutorial with a simple object, then modeling more and more complex structures.
 
Old 12 December 2012   #4
Following tutorials will teach you how to use the tools, but it won't do much in order to improve the aesthetic and problem solving skills that make for a skilled modeler. Tutorials are great when you're just starting out, but after a certain point, it's a waste of your time to follow them.

That's not to say you shouldn't keep reading and watching tutorials; their are always new tricks and techniques to learn. But slavishly copying everything the tutorial writer did is a waste of time for anyone above a beginner level.
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Old 12 December 2012   #5
choose method that suitable for yourself.
 
Old 12 December 2012   #6
Try making some models from plans of specific th9ings with reference. Specific cars etc so you can measure the accuracy of the model. Tutorials are great for learning tricks but problems solving is another skill you need. Doing your own stuff is fun but I think I learn more when I have a specific goal in mind.
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Old 12 December 2012   #7
Originally Posted by Meloncov: Following tutorials will teach you how to use the tools, but it won't do much in order to improve the aesthetic and problem solving skills that make for a skilled modeler. Tutorials are great when you're just starting out, but after a certain point, it's a waste of your time to follow them.


I agree with this. Tutorials are a great way to learn the tools and a few fundamental techniques, but they are of limited value after a while, especially step-by-step ones. Once you have a grasp on your toolset, it's best to then switch to setting up some mini projects for yourself, like creating 3D versions of photos and things like that.
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Old 12 December 2012   #8
The initial question is much too vague. To speak generally, yes, tutorials can be helpful at first but there are plenty of bad tutorials out there. About the only general advice one can really give is to understand how to capture and setup quality orthographic references, slavishly attempt to capture every detail in your references, and be open and responsive to critiques of your work. I've found it's that last one, btw, which people seem to struggle with the most.

Now beyond the general, there are very specific things you need to learn and understand depending on what kind of modeling you wish to do. For instance, there are far different topology issues between organic and hard edged models, especially if those organics must deform as in characters. Then you have the constraints of modeling for games.

Anyway, if you're a student then the first people you should be talking to are your instructors.
 
Old 12 December 2012   #9
This is what I would do: Follow tutorials to learn the software, but start your own project as soon as possible. Model what you personally would enjoy modeling the most, and start simple. Don't model something if you have no interest in it. Then while you're working, if you feel you're lacking in some area, ask for help online or find a tutorial about it.
 
Old 12 December 2012   #10
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