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br34k

3D Model Design

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Hey, I am a high school student looking to go to college for 3D modeling and animation with maya and 3dsmax. I need to know a few things before i look further into it. I was wondering if any physical drawing with pen/pencil will be needed. For instance if i was going ot make a model of a character that would be in a game would i have to draw the model of the character on graph paper and then model it in maya or 3dsmax. Another thing what do major game developing companys use most maya or 3dsmax. Thanks, br34k [edited by - br34k on February 29, 2004 8:35:59 PM]

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You will definately need to have strong drawing skills to get a job. Most, if not all, 3D models begin as a 2D character sheet.

As for which software, it varies from company to company, and is a fairly even split. But not too long ago, it would have been a Max only market, and Maya has caught up quick. But 3dmax and maya are quite similar once you get past the interfaces, so if you have a strong understanding on the basic principals of 3D moving from application to application is just a matter of learning the UI.

And who knows, by the time you get out of college there might be a completely new software package dominating the market.

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Hiya,

I''m in a 3D animation school currently (about to graduate, actually). So, allow me to enlighten.

Skilled hand-drawing is not needed, however it''s certainly a huge asset if you''re able. One of the best practices for modeling a character is to draw a front and side view of them, scan the images, and then import them into your program, placed in the corresponding front and side orthographic views. Trust me, that it makes things much easier when you have a physical reference to work from within the program.

Also, 3D isn''t a good way to "sketch" out ideas. It''s very time consuming, as it takes a while until your creation really takes form. I''d advise you always plan your ideas on paper.

If you don''t have drawing skills ... practice. You may never become great, but you don''t need to be. Just get to a level where you can serve yourself well. It''s beneficial.

... As for which program is most used. I can''t say with absolute certainty, but I believe 3DSMAX still takes the lead, however, Maya is very quickly growing in popularity. By the time you graduate, Maya may very well be in the lead.

-Veo

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Thanks for the input. My drawing skills are absolutely horrible so I might have to go to the route of level design. From what i understand there isn''t as much drawing in level design as in 3D modeling.

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Oh, and I forgot to ask... is there also a lot of math involved with the modeling. From the look of screenshots and messing around with blender3d it looks as if there might be simple geometry involved.

br34k

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quote:
Original post by br34k
Oh, and I forgot to ask... is there also a lot of math involved with the modeling. From the look of screenshots and messing around with blender3d it looks as if there might be simple geometry involved.

br34k


There isn''t a lot of math in 3D modeling. Maybe some simple addition and subtraction for getting proportions. You do need to understand how to work in a projected 3D workspace.

Don''t be discouraged from 3D modeling because you can''t draw. There are other complimentary skills that 3d modeler can have that are beneficial, such as painting (textures) and animating.

Being only a 3d modeler limits your opportunities as you will be competing against others in the feild who have multitalents.

Leaning to draw/sketch isn''t hard. It just takes a bit of patience and persistance if you don''t have a natural flair for it. www.polykarbon.com has some good free tutorials on character drawing.

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Very little math, in my short experience.

In animation, if you want to make sure that you set a keyframe at certain intervals (footsteps, for instance), that''s just simple addition for even spacing.

For modeling, it''s good to know your angles. You could tweak something until it looks right, but for some things like modeling a building, you may want a precise 45 degree angle in the X axis.

Also in animation...if you''re working at 24 fps (frames per second), how many frames is it going to take to fill a 10 second time slot? Simple multiplication there.

There''s other little things, but all very standard and simple.

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Thanks veo and others for all your help. I''m going to start drawing because this is something i''ve been wanting to do for awhile.

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I''ve found that artists are more appreciated if they have at least two skills. These can be something like:

Lighting and Texture Painting
Modeling and Concept Art
Rigging and Animating
Level Design and Sound Production

or whatever. If you focus on, say, Modeling and Animation, then you''ll be valuable even if you can''t draw. Most big teams have full-time concept people anyway. I guess what I''m trying to say is that the broader you are (while still being good in each area) the easier you''ll find work.

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