How did you first get interested in 3D?


Well, can you remember what first sparked your interest in 3D/CGI?

Mine was kind of by accident when I was about 14. The school had started some adult evening courses in MAX and Maya and I think ZBrush, and some CAD courses also. At the time, I was getting into a lot of trouble in school and out in the streets at night, mostly from getting into fights. I’ve been doing Boxing and Karate since I was 5 so was no stranger to giving and taking punches, but my Dad was worried about it. So when I expressed an interest in MAX, I think he seen it as a way to keep me off the streets for a couple of evenings a week. The MAX course was really for over 18’s but my Dad was able to pull a few strings, shell out the money and get me in. He later got me the educational version of MAX and bought me a fast computer and laptop, and subscribed me to online tutorials. he uses Photoshop for his Press photography and he taught me how to use it.
And you know what? His plan worked. I got to enjoy it all and would come home early and do a bit of modelling or Photoshop. I’m not saying I’m much good at it, but I do enjoy it immensely and I spend an hour or two playing and learning almost every night. Owning a full version of ZBrush has helped me progress with that too. The methodical nature of how we need to learn most 3D software has helped with my previous temper issues, and that’s a good thing. My interest in 3D is purely for my own pleasure rather than a desire to work in any 3D field, I want to be a Chef when I finish school.

That’s my story, which turned out to be a bit longer than I had intended. What’s yours?


I got a Mac for learning Photoshop and desktop publishing and eventually tried 3D apps - some that were comically bad (Infini-D 3D) and some that were great for what they did (Pixar Typestry) and then moved onto form-Z and eventually got a PC for Maya. Then Maya came to Mac and I moved back to OS X for my 3D. Until the last 5 years, 3D was a sideline project while I art directed magazines, so it worked out well.


Seeing Jim Blinn’s CG animations in the 1970s.

I win. :scream:


In secondary school our teacher gave us assignments to place furnitures/trees in an imaginary house plan. That made me want to become an architect and lead me to 3D Studio R4 (and later MAX+Vray)


I saw Jurassic Park and toy story that I started in high school working on computer animation.


Back in high school, I BSed my way into an independent study on animation, which meant I got to spend most of the semester goofing off, before splicing together a showreel of my favorite game cinematics and effects shots from films.


Chris Roberts’ Wing Commander 2 intro cinematic (the game was released in '91, iirc) had a few animated 3D elements along with the usual 2D graphics. Socks were blown off, the path was set.


I come from a creative family and was always drawing and painting as a kid, so when we got our first family computer in 1985, I learned how to use a graphics app called Telepaint on it. A few years later, while playing a Sierra game called Conquests of the Longbow, I decided I wanted to work in computer graphics as a career when I grew up, as I was so blown away by the quality of the graphics in the game. Fast forward a few years to 1993, I saw Jurassic Park and knew that I wanted to work in visual effects specifically.

It was pretty tricky to get my footing in 3D as I grew up on the arse end of Africa where courses teaching 3D were pretty thin on the ground, but I found a graphic design course which included a short module in 3ds Max (version 2.5 at the time) and the rest is history.


I am self taught in 3d, wanted to be a Disney traditional animator. We had 3ds r3 and r4 in school and Max 1 when I finished. I fibbed a bit to get my first job, didn’t know the software(lighwave) but bought a book and taught myself the basics. Think it was lightwave 4. Used Maya pretty much after that, and have dabbled in most other softwares just out of curiousity.

Edit: I guess what got me interested was employment in something that was interesting to me. Animation.


I think at various points in my life there were things that would poke at me to get into CG.

  1. Jurassic Park
  2. The Final Fantasy CG cut scenes
  3. bits and pieces like the T-1000 in Terminator 2

But I was always intimidated by it… Didn’t think I would have the capacity to understand it. That was until I saw all these STAR WARS Fan Films. THAT was the day my view of it changed.

Ordinary folks being able to make lightsabers, AT-AT walkers, and blaster bolts finally convinced me it probably wasn’t so impossible after all.


My brother showed me the trailer of final fantasy x-2 which shows the main character dancing. Then i started playing FFX that ultimately got my attention into 3D.


That’s actually me too, saw the Star Wars fanfilms and people had lightsabers and TIE fighters in their videos and decided if other people could do that type of thing then I could too.


I wanted to learn to create video games after playing WoW, so I started to learn unity, and needed a tool to create assets, so I started to learn blender, been working with it for a year now and still learning :slight_smile: .


Watching TRON in the theaters when I was 10 years old got me interested in computers in general. Then as a freshman in college in 1990 at the University of Arizona, Silicon Graphics had a big truck visit campus and you would walk through it and see live demos of their computers running the water simulation of the alien from The Abyss.


I saw Pixar’s “Luxo Jr” short on display at a technology exhibition, many many years ago, and I thought to myself “Wow this is cool!”

Here’s the short for anyone who hasn’t seen it:



It’s a fairly recent one, but Davy Jones from pirates 2 sealed the deal. Before that, it was a strong up movies ranging from the star wars prequels to War of the Worlds.

The event that set me on vfx specifically, was in middle school. I created a commercial with a friend for our marketing class. Essentially we dueled over this shiny new bracelet using lightsabers. To achieve the effect, we exported digital film strips of each shot to photoshop elements, where we proceeded to roto each frame individually… I LOVED IT!


As a wee lad, my interests were initially what we now call ‘practical effects’ - set building and model making etc. However, one day I got a simplistic raytrace program on the cover of ST Format magazine ( An old Atari ST publication ) and started to explore. Then the first version of Poser was given away on a magazine, then Bryce, etc. I joined a forum - 3dWorld, then met some grand fellows and found myself investing in ‘grown up’ software.

I had some doors opened for me that would of given me a chance to make it a career. My partner at the time was very supportive and encouraged me. But alas, the career I already had - and still do - pays very well. Too well. I couldn’t chance it. So CG stuff is a hobby for me now and I like it that way.


I saw a magazine called 3D Artist and it had the coolest ads and crazy articles. I kept seeing ads for a 3D Studio Max R2 and became fascinated with it. I couldnt afford it so I bought RayDream 3D at CompUsa for $99 and Poser R2 for $99. It was so hard to figure out what to do with it, but it inspired me enough to go into Mechanical Design and now I work in Solidworks every day.


Terminator 2, Blade Runner, The Abyss, Akira, GiTS, The Lawnmower Man, LoTR, The Matrix, were the movies that made me interested in the areaa of CG/post-production/animation. Game cinematics from Blur, Square, etc. were also very influential since i noticed i was starting to care more about the cinematics than about some of the games themselves. And talking about games, classics like Doom, Quake, Half Life, Command and Conquer or even Ultima Online were also an inspiration to pursue a career in CG


I’m a Jurassic Park fan so that’s where my initial thoughts about CG came from :slight_smile: Then when I was about 10 I was playing on FS2004 a lot and I wanted to try modelling some aircraft myself, so I downloaded Gmax, opened it, and promptly closed it again after being terrified by the interface. A little while later I tried out Blender 2.49 and the same thing happened :wink: A few months later I tried out Blender 2.5 beta, liked the interface and started learning from there.

And last year after trying out many CG disciplines I settled on compositing, and I’m now working towards that :smiley: