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Hello everyone names Kevin here. I'm going to make this as short as possible to get what I need fast. I finally decided to drop game programming for design. But have no idea where to start... I really want to get into 2D and 3D design for Levels/Characters/Worlds... I want to learn it all in the design world which I know is a lot but maybe you all can point me in the right direction to start... I don't want to start with mods for games like UT3 and HL2. I have Photoshop CS3 so if you all can also tell me other tools I should use please let me know. Also tutorials to get me started on those tools would help very much. I was thinking about getting a copy of 3D Studio Max if anyone could tell me that it's the best to go with. Thanks everyone and I will be here for responses all night!

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Original post by xHaVoK87
I finally decided to drop game programming for design.
I really want to get into 2D and 3D design for Levels/Characters/Worlds... I have Photoshop CS3 ... I was thinking about getting a copy of 3D Studio Max...
I don't think design is the word you're looking for. The main tool of a game designer is Microsoft Office ;P
A game artist on the other hand would use Photoshop and 3DS Max.

Max is fairly standard, but you might want to check out Maya (or Blender if you want a free alternative). Max and Maya are pretty comparable to each other, usually it's just personal preference that decides which one a company will use. Some companies even use both.

ZBrush/Mudbox seems to be another of these dualities, they're both similar so it's usually just personal preference that decides which one someone chooses.

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Original post by Hodgman
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Original post by xHaVoK87
I finally decided to drop game programming for design.
I really want to get into 2D and 3D design for Levels/Characters/Worlds... I have Photoshop CS3 ... I was thinking about getting a copy of 3D Studio Max...
I don't think design is the word you're looking for. The main tool of a game designer is Microsoft Office ;P
A game artist on the other hand would use Photoshop and 3DS Max.

Max is fairly standard, but you might want to check out Maya (or Blender if you want a free alternative). Max and Maya are pretty comparable to each other, usually it's just personal preference that decides which one a company will use. Some companies even use both.

ZBrush/Mudbox seems to be another of these dualities, they're both similar so it's usually just personal preference that decides which one someone chooses.


Haha sorry about that. Thank you for the reply and fast one at that. Ok well yeah I want to become a Game Artist. I will stick with Photoshop and 3D Studio Max but what is the difference between 3DSM and Maya? Also where is a good place to start to learn how to use Photoshop and some Termanologies (which I think I spelt wrong!) for artists. Like for example what is a "Pixle" etc... (Which I do know what it is LOL). Also what are some other good tools to use besides Photoshop when creating art? Like what are those tools developers use that they write on and it transfers to their computer actually drawing the art? Thank you for answering all these questions for me!

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Original post by xHaVoK87
yeah I want to become a Game Artist. ... what is a "Pixle"

How old are you? If you're still in school, start taking some art classes. Your teachers can explain what pixels are (and you can look the word up now that you know how it's spelled).

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Original post by Tom Sloper
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Original post by xHaVoK87
yeah I want to become a Game Artist. ... what is a "Pixle"

How old are you? If you're still in school, start taking some art classes. Your teachers can explain what pixels are (and you can look the word up now that you know how it's spelled).


I'm actually 20 years of age and if you seen how terrible my Keyboard is you would pretty much go crazy! I type fast to so I do make mistakes. I knew how to spell "Pixel", just didn't key on time. Well anyways back on subject. Have any more useful tips Mr. Sloper?

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I would suggest that you get yourself a copy of Blender to start with, seeing as it's free, rather than spending good money on something like 3DS Max or Maya. I say this just in case you use it for a few weeks and realise it's not as much fun as you thought it would be. With blender you've really got nothing to lose. I wouldn't know because I haven't used anything other than Blender, but I've read before that Blender is generally considered to have a fairly steep learning curve, but you can't go wrong with some of the excellent tutorials on youtube. I seem to remember a lengthy series of tutorials by a guy called super3boy being really good. Simple enough that you'll understand it, but moving along quickly enough that you don't get bored or frustrated.

cheers,
metal

EDIT: for finding tutorials on ANYTHING you can't go wrong with a google search for 'beginners tutorial <insert subject here>'. Without the quotes that is.
That should cover everything from learning a programming language to learning how to... well yeah pretty much anything really.

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Original post by xHaVoK87
what is the difference between 3DSM and Maya?
I'll leave that up to someone else to answer ;) in the meantime there's google
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Also where is a good place to start to learn how to use Photoshop and some Termanologies (which I think I spelt wrong!) for artists.

The photoshop Help menu and Photoshop online are a good place to start ;)
3DS max also comes with lots of tutorials.
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what are those tools developers artists use that they write on and it transfers to their computer actually drawing the art?
That's a graphics tablet, or these days you can even get a tablet PC.

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Original post by Hodgman
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Original post by xHaVoK87
what is the difference between 3DSM and Maya?
I'll leave that up to someone else to answer ;) in the meantime there's google
Quote:
Also where is a good place to start to learn how to use Photoshop and some Termanologies (which I think I spelt wrong!) for artists.

The photoshop Help menu and Photoshop online are a good place to start ;)
3DS max also comes with lots of tutorials.
Quote:
what are those tools developers artists use that they write on and it transfers to their computer actually drawing the art?
That's a graphics tablet, or these days you can even get a tablet PC.


Ahhh thank you so much. I will take a look into all this you provided me. But for whoever answers the first question what would suit better for a casual/pro gamer using May or 3DSM?

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Just making sure because you seem to have not acknowledged it at all, did you see my post?
If you did see it but you're just not interested in Blender... fair enough I guess, each to their own and all that :)

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Original post by metalmidget
I would suggest that you get yourself a copy of Blender to start with, seeing as it's free, rather than spending good money on something like 3DS Max or Maya. I say this just in case you use it for a few weeks and realise it's not as much fun as you thought it would be. With blender you've really got nothing to lose. I wouldn't know because I haven't used anything other than Blender, but I've read before that Blender is generally considered to have a fairly steep learning curve, but you can't go wrong with some of the excellent tutorials on youtube. I seem to remember a lengthy series of tutorials by a guy called super3boy being really good. Simple enough that you'll understand it, but moving along quickly enough that you don't get bored or frustrated.

cheers,
metal

EDIT: for finding tutorials on ANYTHING you can't go wrong with a google search for 'beginners tutorial <insert subject here>'. Without the quotes that is.
That should cover everything from learning a programming language to learning how to... well yeah pretty much anything really.


Thank you so much... I didn't even know you posted sorry about that. Yeah I will check into it. But as far as getting a all-in-one program would that be best to get 3DSM? With Blender can you do Level Design? I could have sworn that was a modeling program?

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Original post by Hodgman
3DSM is modelling program and so are Blender and Maya.

Some companies use modelling programs to build levels, but that doesn't make 3DSM a level editor ;)


Ahhh really...? See I'm learning something new... so most level editors are just used from modeling programs?! But exactly how does that work? I don't understand how to design aspect of creating a game gets connected to the programming aspect... Like I know the programmer has to have the design to piece the game together and all but in details I don't understand how it works. I started doing C# XNA Programming but honestly it's really confusing to me...

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That is a good point. Most modeling tools do not make good level design tools. Most engines/games have custom level building tools.

I used QuArk quite a lot to build test levels.


Modelling tools are better for character design IMHO

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Like I said earlier I've never used anything other than Blender, plus my blender knowledge is at best very basic, but as far as I'm aware (from when I was researching the sort of things you're researching now), there's very little that 3DSM and Maya can do that Blender can't. And those few things are really advanced stuff that you won't find yourself doing in the near future.
Just like the endless stream of "what programming language is best for X?" threads, in the end it will really come down to personal taste. Unfortunately modelling programs aren't as easy to sample as programming languages are, but maybe you can find free trials of 3DSM or Maya that only have a few hours of use before they expire. If you can, that would give you some good insight into what's best for you.

metal

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Original post by ernow
That is a good point. Most modeling tools do not make good level design tools. Most engines/games have custom level building tools.

I used QuArk quite a lot to build test levels.


Modelling tools are better for character design IMHO


Ahhh understood. Now is there a difference in making levels for like multiplayer compared to a huge chapter 1 level on story mode? Both types of levels would be recommended for a Level Design Tool correct? Also what exactly is a Game Engine? Like can someone please explain to me exactly how one works and what all comes with one?

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Original post by metalmidget
Like I said earlier I've never used anything other than Blender, plus my blender knowledge is at best very basic, but as far as I'm aware (from when I was researching the sort of things you're researching now), there's very little that 3DSM and Maya can do that Blender can't. And those few things are really advanced stuff that you won't find yourself doing in the near future.
Just like the endless stream of "what programming language is best for X?" threads, in the end it will really come down to personal taste. Unfortunately modelling programs aren't as easy to sample as programming languages are, but maybe you can find free trials of 3DSM or Maya that only have a few hours of use before they expire. If you can, that would give you some good insight into what's best for you.

metal


Downloaded Blender so I can check it out. Thanks for the info about it. Also did you ever happen to find that tutorials you mentioned by that one guy?

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Original post by xHaVoK87
Ahhh understood. Now is there a difference in making levels for like multiplayer compared to a huge chapter 1 level on story mode? Both types of levels would be recommended for a Level Design Tool correct? Also what exactly is a Game Engine? Like can someone please explain to me exactly how one works and what all comes with one?


There is generally a difference in the approach to creating indoor or outdoor levels.. For example a small indoor level like many deathmatch FPS levels might be most easily created by joining hollow boxes (rooms) in a modelling tool and sculpting them out further to create the shapes of the rooms. A large outdoor level might be more easily produced by creating a basic terrain (maybe in a modelling tool, maybe a specialised tool) and then "decorating" it with smaller objects (trees, rocks etc.) that have been made individually in a modelling program.

Some games might provide level designers with a tool which allows them to raise and lower terrain, load and place pre-created (modelled) assets, specify their properties (fixed, destroyable..) and then save the scene to their customised level format, which remembers what all of these assets are so the level can be easily re-opened and edited (check out the new CryEngine level editor on Youtube). Others might create a single model with all of the desks, chairs etc. fixed in place.


A game engine is a pre-programmed framework for making games. It will usually deal with loading and rendering a scene from its own formats, or common industry formats. It might include physics - the ability for a programmer using the engine to load a model and have it react to the environment according to physics in only a line or two of code. An engine can be very basic, handling only the loading, positioning and texturing of objects. Or it could include advanced AI, networking etc. as standard.

This engine is then edited or extended to include features specific to a certain game. A programmer could, for example, use the basic physics provided by the engine to add the ability for the player to throw objects or enemies.

A level editing program might be a part of the tools provided with the engine or might not, depending on the engine in question. It is equally often built "on top" of the engine. The engine might not provide level loading at all, and require the programmer to figure out how to get the level geometry "into the engine" manually.

The advantage of using an engine without all of these features taken care of, is that it allows greater control and customisation for each game made using the engine. A more fully-featured engine can speed up development of a game, but may produce more generic seeming games without effectively taking apart and rebuilding the engine to some degree for each game.

An engine might be geared towards producing FPS games, with multiplayer code optimized for fast-paced, real-time action, ragdoll physics etc.; it might, on the other hand, have no such genre-specific features.

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Original post by xHaVoK87
I don't want to start with mods for games like UT3 and HL2.

Why not? This is one of the best routes to go because you can learn the production pipeline a real company uses AND you can work on a piece at a time, without having to put nearly as much time and effort to get things just initially up and running. The faster you're able to see what you're doing in game the more motivated you're going to be (because you see your rewards quicker).[/quote]

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Max vs Maya

Purely preferential. Most artists just start learning on one so they stick with it or they go over to a new company where they need to switch because a crap ton of tools have been developed to work with a given app.

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Blender

I really wouldn't recommend Blender, honestly. Sure it works out for indie development, but no real studios use it. XSI Mod Tool is free as well and some studios (like Lionhead, Valve, and Pandemic) actually use XSI.

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Level development

Some studios use 3d packages to do their level development in and others use custom level editors specifically for level development. It varies.

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Original post by xHaVoK87
Downloaded Blender so I can check it out. Thanks for the info about it. Also did you ever happen to find that tutorials you mentioned by that one guy?


Here's Super3boy's First Blender Tutorial. You should be able to follow the links through to the next ones. I think he's up to about 27 tutorials so far. If you can't find a certain number you might have to go to his profile and "view all videos" or whatever it says.

cheers,
metal

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