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Getting started (few questions)

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Just wondering is it worth learning to draw by pencil if im looking to do game art? Does everyone use a mouse for their pictures or some funky gadgets? What would be a good program to start learning with? i read alot about all the different programs but i won''t be able to reach their max capability for a fair while so im really looking for something i can learn with.

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Yes. Pencil, and pens. And paint brush, and charcol, and...

Seriously, the more your broaden your art talent, the better an artist you will be. I took a break from doing 3D artwork for about a year and simply concentrated on working on my coloring -- by doing low-color pixel artwork on the computer, with a mouse. When I came back to doing 3D, I found that my understanding of colors and balance had grown, and this knowledge was immediately applicable to my 3D art.

Lately I''ve been taking up airbrushing in real life, in order to learn to better control strokes and lines on paper and on the digital screen.

Once you are ready to do digital art, I''d get something simple, like Graphics Gale or maybe the PSP demo, and see what you could come up with. You don''t NEED a graphics tablet to create beautiful artwork, but it certainly will speed the process up. But it won''t automagically make you a better artist.

- 2D/Pixel Artist - 3D Artist - Game Programmer - Ulfr Fenris
[[ Gaping Wolf Software ]] [[ GameGenesis Forums ]]

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I''d say it''s worth practicing hand-drawn art skills. Even if you intend to only do game art, being able to do quick concept sketches can be a lot faster than concept models so you can show people what you''re vision is sooner (for example, if you''re working on a game, other group members will want to see what you intend for something before you spend a couple of weeks modeling it to perfection just to have them tell you it''s not what they want).

Further, it depends on what direction you''re going. 2-D and cel-shaded art beyond making textures will require hand-drawing skills (or a really good hand with a mouse). And in 3-D, concept art isn''t only a way to share your vision quickly, but it also gives you a reference point to work from as you construct a model.

For programs to learn with, again, it depends on how many dimensions.

2-D: I''d recommend Photoshop. It is a bit pricy though so you could try Paint Shop Pro or even The GIMP.

3-D: Lots of options here. I''d go with Milkshape for now. It''s cheap but high-quality shareware. Plus, it teaches you to work with the restraint of low-poly models, which is important for games which need high performance. Other options include Blender, Anim8or, GMAX and Maya Personal Learning Edition. All of these are completely free. GMAX is a watered-down version of 3D Studio Max intended for game models and Maya PLE is a neutered version of Maya that watermarks your renderings.

Hope that helps some.


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