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The 3D Thread


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On 28/02/2021 at 00:05, yakumo said:

 

Still new to 3D but so low poly model in 3DS Max then I then unwrapped with the UVs imported into Photoshop to paint and texture?. Looks great by the way, its something I like to do myself but are you a professional?. Possible to see the model and the textures please?

Sure thing. He's using 3 main textures for the body, head and eyes (I did an alternate evil eye texture too), box modelled/unwrapped in Max (the diaper is actually a separate mesh too) then the exported UV's were painted in Photoshop.

I also painted some quite basic black/white surface textures to convert into normal maps which add a little extra detail (but are probably horrendously wasteful). I have been doing this professionally for about 15 years (10 years self employed) but to be honest I do suffer a bit from not really excelling particularly in any discipline, I am sure my working methods are quite dated and do miss having a quality team/lead around to keep me learning.

model.thumb.png.fad5077e4e88315c92ee0751bf038c21.pngtextures.thumb.png.bf5c6880fe1680fbd1315229a3fcad82.png

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4 hours ago, Ran said:

Sure thing. He's using 3 main textures for the body, head and eyes (I did an alternate evil eye texture too), box modelled/unwrapped in Max (the diaper is actually a separate mesh too) then the exported UV's were painted in Photoshop.

I also painted some quite basic black/white surface textures to convert into normal maps which add a little extra detail (but are probably horrendously wasteful). I have been doing this professionally for about 15 years (10 years self employed) but to be honest I do suffer a bit from not really excelling particularly in any discipline, I am sure my working methods are quite dated and do miss having a quality team/lead around to keep me learning.

model.thumb.png.fad5077e4e88315c92ee0751bf038c21.pngtextures.thumb.png.bf5c6880fe1680fbd1315229a3fcad82.png

Thanks for the detailed explanation and pictures:), think it looks great and its the sort of thing I want to do really. The only thing I really dislike probably because I'm new to 3D is Uving, for some reason I find it more complicated than it should be. I really just want to model and then texture but didn't know UVing is an important step in the process. Again thanks for the reply, looking forward to seeing more of you're work.

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20 minutes ago, yakumo said:

Thanks for the detailed explanation and pictures:), think it looks great and its the sort of thing I want to do really. The only thing I really dislike probably because I'm new to 3D is Uving, for some reason I find it more complicated than it should be. I really just want to model and then texture but didn't know UVing is an important step in the process. Again thanks for the reply, looking forward to seeing more of you're work.

Well keep it up and be assured that you are not alone. I am not keen on the UV/texturing part of the process myself and seek to circumvent/make it simpler for myself whenever possible. There are certainly some great tools about now that make it less of a chore than it used to be (pelt mapping and the peel functions in 3D max are a godsend) I have little knowledge of the same aspects of Maya or Blender but they've no doubt got their own equivalents and shortcuts.

It will become more second nature the more you do it to the point where you'll be fully comfortable (but no less bored doing it if it's not your favourite bit!)

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  • 2 weeks later...
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A few years ago we did some enamel badges for a client, and one of the things we had a problem with was adequately conveying to them what the finished article would look like. We ended up doing some faux metallic shading using blends in Illustrator, which looked OK but the client was still worried how they'd turn out (as I was, as we'd never produced any before).

 

I decided to try and give it a go in Blender over the weekend, and I think the results are OK.

 

badge_green.thumb.png.c293b5a1d8b68814dc11aef17ca258ec.pngbadge_blue.thumb.png.5ee73fe60e7986c30fe6e98af02158f3.pngbadge_orange.thumb.png.8ccec7e0353a8c3b7e374d0462813b59.pngbadge_red.thumb.png.fb987816204ed00211d9ca5813e1d85e.png

 

I exported the Illustrator file as SVG as I think that's the only way to get it into Blender. It comes in microscopically small (so small that you think it's not actually worked), so needs scaling up massively.

 

I went down a few dead ends trying to convert the curves to meshes. Blender makes an absolute dog's dinner of the conversion, so I tried manually meshing them to quads, but gave up after doing one object (the letter 'P') as it looked like it was going to take me the rest of my natural life to do them all. In the end I just left them as curves and adjusted the extrusion and bevel values.

 

I think the only problem with them is that they look a bit too perfect, as a consequence of leaving the curves as curves. If you look at an actual enamel badge, the metal bits are scratched and don't have perfectly straight edges, and the enamel bits sort of curve upwards slightly to meet the metal edges (due to surface tension, I think). I might come back to it at some point to try and get it looking right, but I think it's OK as far as providing a client proof is concerned.

 

Rendering was done in Cycles; lighting is just an environment map.

 

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Something I'm working on at the moment made using substance designer. It's a bit mad, I'm only using two geometry objects here (a cylinder and half dome) along with some height pushing to give the illusion it's something more complex. Looks ok from certain angles but appears broken from others so it wouldn't make much sense in production but it's a fun little experiment.

 

image.png.5279289fb61245436052bc5e52408679.png

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been faffing around with trying to get my enamel badges looking a bit more realistic, starting with the enamel itself. I tried using Blender's sculpting capability to get the right surface shape, but couldn't get it looking anywhere near what I wanted it to, and after a few other dead ends, hit up on the idea of using a cloth sim, which I think has turned out quite well. I converted each individual coloured area into a suitably high poly quad mesh, using a free trial of Exoside Quad Remesher, then pinned vertices where I wanted the paint to adhere to the metal. I then applied a cloth sim using the 'rubber' preset, let it run for twenty frames or so, then applied the result to the mesh. I think it gives the right 'surface tension' to the paint, and after doing some minor smoothing with the sculpt tool, I'm quite happy with the result. 

 

Next step, trying to get the metal looking more 'imperfect'.

 

badge_05.png.a0faf034c918f384cc5a13b2c3f3dea2.png

 

badge_06.png.acf5bb5f366592919f32ba0f7f9d6a04.png

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Signed distance field is a mathematical operation that calculates the distance from a sample point (like the camera) to an object. I’m guessing it’s used for depth of field in this rendering engine. Path tracing is calculating all of the different lighting reflections that will land on a single point in order to create natural global illumination where more than one light can be used to illuminate the same surface.

 

So yeah it’s a rendering engine for taking your 3D models and rendering flat images of them with depth of field effects and natural lighting. I think.

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  • 1 month later...

After years of using the most cack-handed workflow you've ever seen to animate other people's models in Blender, I've gone back to square one to actually learn how to use it properly. Step 1 is modelling and shading - this is the old 1960s toy dalek.

 

marx8raw.thumb.jpg.ed980b3d00c0ed82bb48f00da568fa5e.jpg

 

Step 2: Donut

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Apologies if this question gets asked a lot, but my daughter has finished her arts degree and has now decided she wants to get into 3D art with a view to a career. Am I mad to encourage her? She's a big gamer and is a very good character designer, so I sort of thought that would be a good avenue to explore.

 

What's the best approach for her? She's been playing around with Blender and YouTube tutorials, is that the right starting point? Or is she better off trying to find an official diploma type course in something like Maya? Does the application even matter?

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Blender's as good as anything for learning the basics of modelling/sculpting/whatever, and as of 2.8 it's actually almost user friendly. There are some functional differences  between apps but the general skills are pretty transferable, and studios will take a shit hot sculptor over someone who can name every hotkey any day.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Back on my bullshit - another 1960s dalek. I think his skirt might need work - it looks like it's pinching here and there where I've cut the circles out of it.

 

wip_red.thumb.jpg.3aa1b151166ae15b10465f92bdf2376d.jpg

 

And I did the donut tutorial. Right to the end. 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 26/07/2021 at 14:43, Frankie Lee said:

Apologies if this question gets asked a lot, but my daughter has finished her arts degree and has now decided she wants to get into 3D art with a view to a career. Am I mad to encourage her? She's a big gamer and is a very good character designer, so I sort of thought that would be a good avenue to explore.

 

What's the best approach for her? She's been playing around with Blender and YouTube tutorials, is that the right starting point? Or is she better off trying to find an official diploma type course in something like Maya? Does the application even matter?


Blender is a great place to start. The skills in 3D applications are extremely transferable and Blender is free. Better than that, Blender is free, and she will own all the things she makes. She’ll be able to learn all the 3D design skills she needs. I moved from using 3DSMax to Blender and it took me about three weeks to be working just as fast and effectively as I had been before. 

 

She can create assets and then start working on an artstation portfolio. If she gets good she could even sell the assets she makes on Turbosquid or something similar. Having a portfolio is the most important thing, but finding ways to get yourself seen is hard work. It’s a career that it’s possible to get into, but it’s hard work, unpredictable and requires a lot of moving around and doesn’t have a lot of job stability. 

 

On 27/07/2021 at 13:34, Exidor said:

Blender's as good as anything for learning the basics of modelling/sculpting/whatever, and as of 2.8 it's actually almost user friendly. There are some functional differences  between apps but the general skills are pretty transferable, and studios will take a shit hot sculptor over someone who can name every hotkey any day.


Having used a fair bit of Blender, 3DS and Maya I don’t think Blender is any less user friendly than any other 3D application. In fact in a lot of ways, it’s much nicer to use. 

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I'm laid up at home after a knee op a week ago.  It turns out that if I'm not doing something creative I start to go a bit crazy.  Normally my "creative" stuff comes from making YouTube content, putting drones together and coding.  I haven't been able to do any of that as I need to sit at a desk and my knee just doesn't want to bend to accommodate that right now.  The laptop isn't powerful enough to run the stuff I need to for coding, but Blender is pretty lightweight (at least until you render something).  So I have started going through the donut tutorial stuff.  3D is something I've occasionally tried to do but always fallen flat, but I've enjoyed the tutorials so far.  There's a lot to take in, but I do have actual things I'd like to do with it.  I developed a sim for flying quads with very primitive models and I'd like to be able to at least have a go at spucing that up.

 

Anyway, donut so far.  We're up to sprinkles - next (I presume) is the bread texturing

 

donut-sprinkles.thumb.jpg.237ebd9b116b2d7994ccbd84f3214515.jpg 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Of interest is anyone else frustrated how difficult 3D is, so many things you need to learn besides modelling from Retopo, UV, Baking, to lighting etc. Feeling burnt out recently from trying to learn. Tried many things which ended up in complete failure, and I had to scrap them because brute forcing wasn't going to cut it. Be interested to hear other people's experiences.

 

End Rant.

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Yeah, which is basically why I quit. The myriad approaches to every project meant I was paralysed by indecision and I found trying to make my way in the dark far too stressful. Often I would get halfway through something before realising an entirely different way would've been much simpler/quicker. But in retrospect I was being far too hard on myself, I was completely new and still learning. Things were so much easier when somebody more experienced simply told me what to do. Otherwise there was always the niggling doubt that I was completely fucking things up and weeks of my work were about to get binned.

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3 hours ago, Number 28 said:

Yeah, which is basically why I quit. The myriad approaches to every project meant I was paralysed by indecision and I found trying to make my way in the dark far too stressful. Often I would get halfway through something before realising an entirely different way would've been much simpler/quicker. But in retrospect I was being far too hard on myself, I was completely new and still learning. Things were so much easier when somebody more experienced simply told me what to do. Otherwise there was always the niggling doubt that I was completely fucking things up and weeks of my work were about to get binned.

Yeah wish you stuck with it, some of the stuff you had on you're portfolio was really good. But everything just takes time to get good, which is why I'm probably frustrated trying to rush things and getting results. But agree there's so many things you have juggle in 3D that my brain melts at times on what I should be doing, as doing something one way may lead to catastrophic failure later on when texturing, or rigging. 

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On 11/09/2021 at 00:24, yakumo said:

Of interest is anyone else frustrated how difficult 3D is, so many things you need to learn besides modelling from Retopo, UV, Baking, to lighting etc. Feeling burnt out recently from trying to learn. Tried many things which ended up in complete failure, and I had to scrap them because brute forcing wasn't going to cut it. Be interested to hear other people's experiences.

 

End Rant.

 

I think getting a basic understanding of each part of the process is enough, then just concentrate on the aspects that most appeal to you.

I dabbled with 3D for many years now and really enjoy it, and it has paid of on enough occasions to of been worth my time. 

You absolutely have to be willing to put in some time with it and always be willing to learn / adapt though as it's evolving all the time - which I love!

I definitely questioned if it was worth the time on a few occasions. I remember getting into rigging and animating characters with Maya and often hitting brick walls...so I made the decision that just wasn't something worth my time and effort.

 

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