Drawing and drawing well are two very different things.

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  05 May 2005
Drawing and drawing well are two very different things.

Just yesterday, someone asked me for advice and critique, and something came up in our conversation that I thought was interesting.

It seems that many of the aspiring artists don't realize something very important. The person I was talking to was under the impression that if you draw, then that automatically makes your 3D better. What I had to point out to him was that merely drawing and being able to draw well are two very different things. Drawing alone won't help you; stick figures are drawings too. You must be able to draw WELL in order to have that traditional skill benefit your 3D.

And how well is well enough to see significant improvement in your 3D? Basically, when your drawings aren't plagued by overwheldming number of obvious mistakes in proportions, perspective, anatomy, foreshortening, clothing folds..etc. If you can draw without glaring mistakes, then you're on your way. After that, you go to the next step and inject life and enerygy and expressiveness in your drawing--but that's at the most advanced level of drawing, and takes many years to get there.

Anyway, I thought I'd point this out, since I think he's not the only one who has misguided notions about drawing and 3D.

I'm not good at drawing at all, and it's something that every artist works on for his entire artistic life. But even though I don't draw very well, what I had was enough to benefit my 3D learning greatly. My first 3d model was a realistic human head--and that's not typically something one can do when first learning how to model, unless you have traditional drawing skills. With drawing skills, you can skip ahead to advanced modelling almost right off the bat, without having to practice all the basic simple stuff first.

Last edited by Lunatique : 05 May 2005 at 10:02 AM.
  05 May 2005
I think there is one point that you should highlight. That is that you can be excellent at 3D and not a good drawer at all. Being able to draw merely helps you. There are also many types of drawing and many types of 3D styles. One drawing style may assist one 3D style but not another. You may be a great cartoonist, but that necesserily may not help you model an anatomically accurate human. I think it's just one of those things that can be discussed until the cows come home. Hence the 'Do I need to be able to draw to do 3D?' threads.
  05 May 2005
I hear and read from a lot of people that they are all the same game. In that you have an idea and use a tool. I think doing 3d has made me a better 2d'er and then back again. in 3d you can put the vertices in exactly how you want them without ruining a piece of paper, at the same time you get a far better understanding of how you thought form and light interacted. But I think it always comes down to getting a firm grip on basics, if drawing helps you experiment or develop skills for shading and or volumetric stuff, then it helps I think. But I find it a weird thing, when you draw you leave out some things because of no need for them and accentuate others. But in 3d you tend to want to stretch the capacity of the system and overdetail everything. They're two different pickles, and any training getting you to an answer probably helps, understanding the various aspects to a good image is what it's all about. Photography is probably an equally good method. But I don't really know though.
modelling practice #1
  05 May 2005
I completely agree, when I first learned 3d I had enough knowledge in figure drawing to start withe the advanced stuff...

However there is a big difference between sketching with a pencil and sketching with colour, which I know I stated an abvious point. which brings me to this point:

are sketchers more impatient in 3d modelling than painters?

I think so... The two questions(the thread question and this) are relative.

if you are a good drawer are you a patient 3d artist?

this can also be argued to what good means. and if good means translating emotions better or translating the reality better.

I don't think there is a happy medium, since if you persue one objective you lose track of the other. Also, does that mean that timeless art(which was mentioned in a previous thread) achieves the happy medium.
Quote: Originally Posted by urg
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  05 May 2005
One of the main reasons why I thik good draghtsmen have a tendency to become better 3d artists than the rest of the people is because for every 3d model that a modeler makes, an illustrator/painter can draw 15 pages (just a random number) in a sketchbook. When drawing, there are no image planes to solve your proportion issues, so the eye has to learn that by practice. On the other hand, someone who can draw with good proportion and design, can easily take that and learn to model in 3d (but usually guys who can do this are seldomly interested in doing 3d work, because they enjoy the 2d design process more, although there are exceptions). Same thing goes with sculpture. People who can draw well usually can just jump right into sculpture with better chances of success than soomeone who can't draw (so much so, that many sculpture academies teach you drawing before jumping into sculpting).

I don't think that you need to draw at all to be a 3d artist, though. But to be the best
possible 3d artist, drawing is a must.

cha0t1c1- "and if good means translating emotions better or translating the reality better."

If you can comunicate the reality better, you will automatically comunicate the emotion. Emotion is not something that can be painted, because it isn't a specific value or hue and it doesn't have a specific shape or form. "That's why it is so hard to draw "fear" or "pain" when playing Pictionary " But if you draw accurately the proportions, angles, and shadow shapes of the face of someone who is in fear or in pain, then you will comunicate that emotion.
  05 May 2005
I lightly disagree...Look at the painting "Scream".

in order to translate real emotion into a piece you need to exaggerate, because so many other senses are blocked when only looking at a visual translation...that's why an ugly person would look beautiful in a painting when translated correctly, due to the amazement of detail. yet a frightened person will have slight disproportionality in order to translate fear in a full spectrum visually...
Quote: Originally Posted by urg
Didn't I tell you? I'm rowing over to save money. Wish me luck!

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  05 May 2005
I might have a different view on this. Drawing is a skill enhanced by practice and practice and practice. By itself it is not a quality of a talented mind. What makes an artist a good painter is the sense of design. Design sense is a mental quality, and this is where talent resides.

Ultimately, a good designer (painter, sculptor, architectural, photographer, etc..) if given the opportunity to cross dicipline borders, she/he will excel, but with limitation to the medium and type of training.

In essence, you could have great drawing skills, great coloring techniques, yet when it comes to putting things together, you would fall short. This is where drawing and drawing well get differentiated.

Nice topic !

Last edited by ashakarc : 05 May 2005 at 05:47 PM.
  05 May 2005
Very, very interesting topics, I agree with most of it; each things in life as various degree in it, and we need to know how to make the difference between them.

As some of you are talking about 2D skills serving 3D skills, i think it may even transpose itself on 2D in almost the same way.

As someone can do awesome linearts but be a aweful painter and vice-versa. But i believe the one doing good lineart could have an advantage over the painter in painting simply because s/he have a better understanding of the forms and would knowhow to separate them. A painter could have a bit more difficulty to do so when sketching, if too used to work in colors and forms rather than in lines.

And once again, one or the other can help 3D skills too. And being good at one thing does not makes us good in everything that can be closely related or not to the thing we are good at.

It may all be a matter of mediums, which can help each others but which we cannot all master at once. But knowing the others, or at least how they work, their base, definatly helps to improve.

If you take 2 cooks, one specialized in desserts and the other that is more of a general one touching various meals, which would improve better when taught a new recipe? The one specialized in one thing that may not really know specific things used in that other type of cooking, or the other one that tried and knows some things in just about every type of cooking? To me, obviously the ''general'' one would have an advantage. Okay, really ridiculous and crappy examples and i know cooking doesn't exactly works like that, but still, i guess it conveys the idea anyway.
  05 May 2005
This might be a mute question with the advent of Zbrush and Claytools, with the possiblity that normal mapping will become a requirement in the game industry.

Basically, Zbrush and Claytools are drawing tools, not 3D tools.

If you don't have traditional drawing skills, you'll probably be left behind anyway.
  05 May 2005
I disagree!
You need the same basic hand-eye coordination. But essentiaally there are major differences. It's more prone to scuplture and wood carving techniques. It's very much different from drawing on a 2d plane. In Zbrush you can turn your model and work like ina package like Maya, which has artisan. Zspheres are a very much 3d technique also. Yes it will become more hands on and therefore more accesible, but no it will never be like drawing.
modelling practice #1
  05 May 2005
Interesting thread.

About ten years ago when I first went off to Art School having got top grades in Art at school I thought I was an awesome draughtsman. Only now do I realise how much I still have to learn. I'm currently taking part in as many of the Daily Sketches as possible to get some practice.

A sense of anatomy and composition can defnitely help with creating a 3d image. When learning how to draw you're not only learning to put down what you see onto paper but are learning how to actually look at things in the first place. When you can directly reference proportions against an image in a 3d program a knowledge of anatomy isn't quite as important but being able to tell when something looks wrong is something that is improved with life drawing.

Very interesting point Noserider. The borders between 2d and 3d cg definitely seem to be blurring.
  05 May 2005
i used to think that drawing and painting is going to help me learn 3d much easier but now i realized that drawing and painting actually doesn't help your 3d thaat much.

i know a lot of people who are better than me in 3d who are not good at drawing though i definatly didn't give 3d enough chance because i tried to start learning by modelling heads and it was kinda hard and what i noticed is that i had hard time modelling because i didn't have a good sense of space and 3d. doing something from different angles is totally different from drawing on a flat surface and giving it illusion of depth.

i was never into sculpting or doing something 3d traditionaly, i was always more into dawing and painting and what i'm trying to say is that traditional sculpting will help you in 3d modelling while drawing and painting is the part that will help you when it comes to texturing.

I didn't have hard time texturing because it was just like drawing and painting. i'm only worried about the flat surface. but modelling is something totally different it's more like building objects in space and doesn't really have much to do with drawing. If someone used to play with legos, build stuff or do sculptures when they were kids that will help them to have good sense of 3d and that expalins why some people are good at modelling withought being good at drawing.

so drawing and painting won't help ur modelling much but will def. help ur texturing
Master & Servant 2d challenge

Last edited by StealthPharaoh : 05 May 2005 at 05:42 AM.
  05 May 2005
I find The Scream terribly caricaturesque...when i think 'scream' it is not that mood, nor those colors which come to my mind. Modernism has burned that picture out so many times...

The emotional part of a drawing is an extra. When discussing drawing technique we stick to lines, shadows & light, texture, composition, etc. Not theme; emotions are part of theme/concept/idea (however you may call it). Emotions are not particular to drawing only, therefore it is not an element for which to judge drawing by. There is emotion in painting, music, acting (DUH? of course), etc. Good emotion projection doesn't make a drawing automatically good- it makes the experience nicer though.

As for the ones who disagree...there is a reason why in most artschools, if not all, every student is required to take Drawing classes before they start focusing on the rest. So shhhhh!

I heard The scream was stolen recently and rumour to be destroyed...

  05 May 2005
I'd just like to point out that good dawing skills do not come from hand-eye coordination. If you can write, you have the required amount of coordination to make you a good draughtsmen. Drawing is more to do with perception and understanding how to apply what you see, verses what you know.
  05 May 2005
The great drawing instructor Kimon Nicolades (author of "the Natual Way to Draw" and instructor at the Art Students League) stated the following in his introduction to "the Natual Way to Draw":

"There is only one right way to learn to draw and that is a perfectly natural way. It has nothing to do with artifice or technique. It has nothing to do with aesthetics or conception. It has only to do with the act of correct observation, and by that I mean a physical contact with all sorts of objects through all the senses. If a student misses this step and does not practice it for at least his first five years, he has wasted most of his time and must necessarily go back and begin all over again"

I think his emphasis on "physical contact with all sorts of objects through all the senses" is bang on. His notion of drawing is one which very much embraces the "real world" in all of its physicality.

In the first chapter of "the Natual Way to Draw" he has a reproduction of a sculpture created by a person blind from birth - the caption reads "you need not rely on the eyes alone". Making ourselves "physically aware" is very important.
As an example:
a) imagine a figure in a pose (for now, one you can imagine yourself doing).
b) draw the pose
c) take the pose yourself - don't even look at yourself in a mirror.
d) hold the pose until it hurts! - 3-5 minutes? and focus your attention on where it hurts
e) draw the pose again - but emphasize with darker lines of varying degree, where it hurt, where it hurt less, where the pain eased off, when you were holding the pose.
f) compare the two drawings

Chances are pretty good that the second drawing will be much better than the first one - (it will have much more feeling in it) - you will have relied on more than your sense of sight to create it. (if you were to do this for an hour each day - lets say 5-10 poses, it wouldn't be long before you noticed a big difference in your drawing)

Virtually every important instructional book/course on drawing emphasizes the importance of "weight" in a drawing - there are other important topics (study of gesture, movement, light, anatomical issues), but "weight" very near the top of the list. It is at the core of the tension in our bodies - it is the manifestation of our continual resistance to the force of gravity.

IMO success in making a credible (realist) model, or drawing is based on the same thing - understanding the underlying properties of the object that we seek to (re)create. All good art is embodied with empathy - and while empathy exists on many levels, one of the most basic levels of empathy is understanding how our bodies relate to our surroundings - understanding our own physicality.

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Last edited by gordonm : 05 May 2005 at 04:25 AM.
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