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Author Topic: Where to learn making 3d images  (Read 6868 times)

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« on: November 25, 2008, 16:30 »
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Hi everybody...

I'm watching some of your 3d images and am very impressed about your work.

What I wonder is where did you learn all those things you use in your renders? forums, books, tutorials?

what do you recommend to a beginner? how did you start?
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 16:32 by miskolin »


« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2008, 16:38 »
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I'm a relative beginner with 3D, and I'm using the open source application Blender. It has an active community, with growing documentation and tutorials. There are some very good video tutorials on Blenderunderground. Also a few excellent books have appeared recently.

« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2008, 16:49 »
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I don't know if you're talking about me :) , but I spent 9 years working for Disney Animation as a CG modeler.  Learned from the Maya manuals.  Very useful stuff.

« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2008, 16:59 »
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I don't know if you're talking about me :) , but I spent 9 years working for Disney Animation as a CG modeler.  Learned from the Maya manuals.  Very useful stuff.

You are definitely one of them... I totally admire your work (not only 3d but also photography). Anyway... I guess those 9 years would I be able to catch in something like.... 90 years? I believe that must have been an adventure working for Disney huh?

I think that already was discussed but what would be the best application to learn in terms of input (how though is it to learn) vs. output (how good quality you get). I hope you understand what i mean.

vonkara

« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2008, 17:42 »
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The last time I tried 3D I have made a beautiful black house isolated on black. Seriously there's too many options in those softwares to learn this by myself. But one day I will get it

« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2008, 18:08 »
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I started "seriously" with 3D about two year ago and the most important piece of advice I can give you is to spend some time to carefully choose your 3D package and then stick with it: 3D softwares are quite complex to use and very complex to master and if you try to use too many different softwares, you will just spend most of your time learning them instead of learning 3D.

Cinema 4D is an excellent and well known package I would recommend.

Oh, and don't spend too much time with Poser characters if you want to produce microstock images: we are still a few years away from photorealism ;)

I think that trying to produce simple microstock 3D renders (which are not rejected) is a good way to learn 3D basics as you can get very simple 3D scenes which sell very well. One of my best seller this year so far is a 3D render of an isolated milk box  ;D


« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 18:14 by araminta »

AVAVA

« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2008, 18:13 »
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That is fascinating stuff SJ,

 May I ask why you chose to turn to photography when CGI is such an up and coming profession. I would love to have your 9 years experience under my hat. Do you have any of your CGI work we could see, I love that stuff. Thanks for the post.

Best,
AVAVA

« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2008, 19:24 »
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Good CG is too much work, imo, to be able to output a variety of saleable stuff, except for the very generic stick guy on white series.

Working at Disney was great!  It's the kind of thing you don't appreciate until you're not doing it anymore.  Lilo and Stitch?  A classic, but it sure doesn't seem like it when you're trying to get it done.

Spent 4 weeks or so, on one scene in Brother Bear.  Whew!

« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2008, 19:39 »
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I learned some of it at the college, we had computer graphics lectures that included some work in Maya and then programming in openGL. The rest I learned on my own but didn't have the time to continue learning since I had other things to do. I'm just starting to get back to it.

There are many tutorials and books on the web. Those should be enough for the basic stuff. Then the only limitation is the time invested and your imagination.

AVAVA

« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2008, 20:09 »
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 Hey SJ.

 Thanks for the feedback. I have a friend that incorporates it into his RM still images with people. Really cool stuff but very spacific market and he says he can barely stay ahead of the tech. curve. He doesn't produce many images a month because he says it is so labor intensive but I will say his sales are way better than mine. Thannks for the input. I would never have the patience, 4 weeks on one scene. You must have nightmares of Brother Bear in your sleep during production with that much focus. Can you bring yourself to watch those films you worked on.

Best,
AVAVA

helix7

« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2008, 00:01 »
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...May I ask why you chose to turn to photography when CGI is such an up and coming profession...

It's a very tough business. As Sean mentions, it's a lot of long hours, the work is tough, and it does have a tendency to leave you a bit unsatisfied, especially when you're in the middle of a project.

Studying 3D was enough for me, and I didn't take it much further than college except for a few short term gigs. My niche was more in graphic design, and I'm much happier with that sort of work. 

Looking through my portfolio you won't find a single 3D image, because I have to agree that it's just way too time consuming to be profitable. A few people have made it work with some popular character series, but generally speaking CG images require too much of a time investment.


AVAVA

« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2008, 00:11 »
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Hi Helix,

 Do you see it getting easier and easier like photoshop and digital imaging has been or do you expect it to be a slow gradual curve. I know that companies that make products are turning to it more and more because it is so much cheaper than making a mock up before production starts. The auto industry is a good example. I even had a client ten years ago that made very small medical valves that I lost to an agency way back then for their ability to create these parts in the computer better than I could shooting on 4x5.

Thx,
AVAVA

« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2008, 00:56 »
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I earned a degree in computer animation from the Art Institute of Seattle.. I loved the cool stuff you can do, but Like Sean and Helix said it is so labor intensive.. The industry is very tight and difficult to break into and once your in it is long hours and tight deadlines constantly.. I would say that 3d for microstock is limited, as it is so much work to make a good 3d model from scratch, that you have to really keep what you do simple and that keeps your options a little limited because the returns might not justify the time spent.. I guess if you plan it out and do stuff that doesn't involve a lot of 3d details and "fake it" with textures then it might work for you..

 I use 3d studio max mostly, and also mess with Maya from time to time.. Both very Great programs and the industries best.. 

« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2008, 02:10 »
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well thank you for all the posts that you wrote since my last visit.

time vs. effect was also one of my dilemma about starting 3d rendering, but as already mentioned if you do simple stuff it could be worth it.

I see some of you here have serious exprerience on this field :) well i guess i'll slowly try to learn some basics and then decide wether it is worth for me or not... one year i think could already tell me something. and besides that i don't have plan to make any animations...

« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 09:46 by miskolin »

« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2008, 05:23 »
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Can you bring yourself to watch those films you worked on.

Oh sure, I love to see the stuff I worked on.  If you watch Lilo and Stitch, when Stitch goes into hyperspace in front of the huge police ship, you can see my initials on the front of the ship in the swirly texture pattern.  I tried to spell my son's name in Brother Bear, out of falling fish, but the efx department ended up covering them with water splashes.

« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2008, 08:12 »
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Start with Blender which is free. You can then see if 3D is something you think you would enjoy doing. Some people just can't get past the mental idea of working in 3 planes. You might also explore www.daz3d.com/. Daz program is free, but they try and suck you in to buying their content. Daz is cheezy, and in my opinion does not give great output., but good for a little learning. By looking at these, you can get your feet wet a little without any $ investment. Another option for exploration is True Space at http://www.caligari.com/

You can then explore paid program options armed with at least some knowledge. Cinema 4d is very popular with those entering 3D and has a reasonable price point. One of the biggest mistakes by those wanting to try 3D is to sink money into a program they have no knowledge of, then becoming very frustrated with the learning curve.

Good luck. 3d is very enjoyable, but takes some dedication.

« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 08:15 by stormchaser »

hali

« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2008, 09:17 »
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oh thx for starting this thread, i am also curious about this technique.
i also remembered an old mention (snurder, some of you may remember )
sayig how it take take to process the work, sometimes overnight.
so i suppose it can be time-consuming, huh?

what is the minimum computer equipment you need, though? i guess a fast computer is critical for this , wouldn' it?

« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2008, 09:45 »
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well i already tried some appz before in trial version and a friend of mine owes a 3ds max so i also tried it there... 3d space has never been a problem for me... but as you start exploring it can be too much one could handle at the first visit in application.

@hali: yeah those applications do require quite a lot of computer power... making 3d with my older computer would never be an option while it hardly worked with photoshop opened :)

But i found a great deal off ebay last month and now own a core2quad processor @2.4GHz each with 8G of ram (of course on 64bit windows)...

another question: i heard of mental ray... is this in 3ds max only or can you find it in other appz too? what is the point of it... rendering more realistically as some standard renderer?
« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 09:48 by miskolin »

« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2008, 09:52 »
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For basic modeling and scenes, the amount of memory depends on how bloated your program is. Something rudimentary like Blender will run on just about anything. Fluffier programs like True Space will run more efficiently on a machine with a bump up in memory. It all depends on the architecture of the program and how well the programmers did their job. A bump up in memory is recommended. But some programs will run on 2GB just fine for basic projects.

The memory needs really come into play on Renders, when you generate the final image from your models with textures and lighting applied. In one program that I use, a very basic render may take only a few minutes, but on the final "fine render", where there are many subdivisions to a fine tuned mesh, complex textures like glass or metal and reflections, lighting and shadows, along with rendering techniques like radiosity, inclusion of alpha channels, a final render of something like 8000x6000 pixels could indeed take several hours or overnight.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 09:55 by stormchaser »

CofkoCof

« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2008, 10:07 »
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@hali: yeah those applications do require quite a lot of computer power... making 3d with my older computer would never be an option while it hardly worked with photoshop opened :)

But i found a great deal off ebay last month and now own a core2quad processor @2.4GHz each with 8G of ram (of course on 64bit windows)...

another question: i heard of mental ray... is this in 3ds max only or can you find it in other appz too? what is the point of it... rendering more realistically as some standard renderer?
I have a dual core @ 2.2 GHz with 2G ram and most of my renders have to be done in tiles since mental ray runs out of ram if I try to do it in one piece.

Yeah mental ray makes the renders more realistic. It has functions such as final gather, global illumination, caustics that can simulate real world lighting. Mental ray works with Maya also, not sure about other packages. But you have many other renderers around, like V-ray in 3ds max, renderman in maya,....

AVAVA

« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2008, 10:15 »
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SJ,

 WOW! That is so cool. It must be really fun to see your stuff up on the big screen.

Bet,
AVAVA

helix7

« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2008, 10:32 »
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Hi Helix,

Do you see it getting easier and easier like photoshop and digital imaging has been or do you expect it to be a slow gradual curve...

The software has made significant leaps in much the same fashion that the Adobe products have. When I was in college it was Maya 2.5, Photoshop 5.5, Illustrator 8. Looking at the latest versions of those packages, it's a night and day difference. However in none of them has it gotten to the point where anyone can just pick up the software and make professional-quality images. In 3D the progress does tend to take a bit longer, but mostly because the learning curve is a bit more advanced. I'd say it's a more gradual curve, and while we are certainly on our way to seeing a much more accessible 3D software package, I don't think we are there just yet.



 

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