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ramdacc

Where to go to learn 3D modeling...complete beginner

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The title pretty much sums it up. I am looking for a book or books, tutorials, videos, anything I can get ahold of that teaches 3D modeling to the complete beginner. I prefer physical books to having to chase down several small tutiroals all over the net from multiple different authors. Can any of you recommend a book like that in particular? I'll be using Blender and do not have access to 3DSMAX, Maya, Lightwave, etc.

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Blender is confusing, so I wish you luck with that.  But they have an official set of tutorials you should check out, you can find info about them on blender's website and wiki.  Books are specific to the software, so a book wouldn't do you any good unless it was specifically for blender, and one which wasn't too many versions old.  Honestly books are not the way to learn computer-relates subjects any more; no one wants to print or sell them because they go out of date so fast.  Youtube is the main place to find instructional videos other than the official blender ones.

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Just to stress a point that sunandshadow touched on ... when trying to learn Blender from an online tutorial make sure the tutorial you are following specifically targets the version of Blender you have installed

(or that the two versions are equivalent UI-wise, which is a hard thing to figure out. Basically the executive summary on Blender versions is that if you have Blender with a version >= 2.5, don't bother with any reference material targeting versions earlier than 2.5). Edited by jwezorek

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[quote name='sunandshadow' timestamp='1357164466' post='5016863']
Blender is confusing, so I wish you luck with that.
[/quote]

In my experience, Blender isn't more confusing (or easy) than any other 3D modeling app. I started out with Blender, and Maya still is a closed book to me. Think the same applies vice versa for a Maya guy :-) I'd say Blender is perfectly okay.

 

You might wanna take a look at the Blender e-Store. They got a bunch of training DVDs there, but as jwezorek pointed out, make sure it's targeted at Blender 2.5 or a later release. I never picked up a book on Blender, so I am of little help there, sorry.

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  For the past year or so, both Autodesk Maya and Maxon CINEMA 4D have been offering "student" versions for free. I don't have a link, but I see this mentioned all the time in my son's minecraft forums, where there are a number kids making YouTube videos with Maya or C4D.

  As someone who is proficient in both of those programs, I will state flatly that there are no good books for learning CINEMA 4D. For years, I have been buying books in English and German in an effort to learn the program, and none of them are particularly good. (If anyone wants to recommend one, I will buy it and read it.)

  On the other hand, I was able to learn Maya within a month or two using a combination of YouTube videos and the two most popular books on Autodesk Maya on Amazon. (I forget the names...) It's not that Maya is so much easier than C4D, it's just that the teaching is done by professional educators, not 3D artists who fancy themselves teachers. It seems that Autodesk is involved directly in their training...

  I would also add that you can buy a lot of 3D models for cheap on the web nowadays. That way, you only have to know how to make modifications to existing models, which is much easier than doing the modeling yourself.

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Hi there!

 

One thing I would suggest is to start simple. Don't think about creating a high-poly, cinematic-quality character model right out of the gate. I've seen folks get frustrated and give up because the idea they have in their head doesn't just spill out on to the screen with a couple of clicks of the mouse. It takes practice; lots of practice.

 

Instead, start with something simple like a crate. You can start that with a cube, unwrap it, create the texture, and see how it lays out on your model. From there, add detail to your crate. Add individual boards, then go back to unwrapping it and see what you can do with it. By adding to your base model, you won't create a game ready asset, but you'll learn how to create more detail in a model using the geometry you're given

 

As you learn more and more about basic geometry in the software, you can start thinking of larger, more complex objects. Take a car for instance. You have the body, frame, engine, drive line, interior, suspenssion, wheels, tires, lights, fuel tank, etc. If you create all of the parts needed to make a recognizable car, you'll notice that they all can be made by starting with simple objects, sub-dividing, moving vertex and boom! you've got yourself a shock! Everying is made up of basic shapes when you really look at them.

 

I'd say getting acquainted with the software is a good thing, but whats more important is learning how to break objects down into their base shapes. It'll help make the process easier, in my opinion, for a beginner.

 

Eventually, you'll move on to patch modelling, which will give you more dynamic and organic shapes, but it isn't for everyone. I know a guy that is a decent enough artist, but takes him months and months just to make a basic character model and it usually comes out way too high of poly, looking pretty "off" or "broken" and bad geometry all over the place.

 

Hope that gave you something to work with. Sorry I don't really know of any good books for 3D modelling; like many have suggested here, I learned from getting my hands dirty and watching a couple tutorials online.

 

Good luck and keep your head up!

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