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elviscg

Is drawing ability required to 3D model?

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Hi,

I'm brand new here. I'm learning modeling in Blender. I'm just curious if drawing ability is required to become a good 3D artist? And if so is there any help with that (books, etc) you could point me to. How did you get started?

I'm not exactly a young buck, I'm 32, so I'm a little late in the game to be starting, I know, but games are a passion and the art in them are fascinating to me.. my goal is to make environment assets for games in engines like Unreal which I'm currently using.

Thank you!

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Technically, no, you don't have to be very good at drawing to be a good 3D artist, as the process is more akin to sculpting.

However, the ability to look at the third dimensional world around you and translate that to create a believable image on a two dimensional surface (i.e. draw good) can really help out while doing 3D, from creating concept art for yourself and others, to learning about shape language, to hand painting textures, and more. Might be worth trying out on occasion, while working on 3D as your main skill set.

I started out in kindergarten, coloring outside the lines with wax crayons. I doodled in all of my notebooks throughout my school years, and received a lot of positive feedback, so I stuck with it.
I saw some real improvement when I started copying some of my favorite comic covers, found on an image repository, back when the internet was young. :P
Then saw another jump in skill when I started drawing things around me, and studied perspective.

There are tons of resources out there these days - from video tutorials on YouTube, Gnomon or Gumroad, to online articles, to forums with members willing to give critique, even books at the local library if you want to go old school.

It's true that you have a lot of catching up to do if you want to master the skills, but people much older than you have done exactly that, it's all about dedication.

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About the age...irrelevant.  People are older than you either still doing or just starting with doing...its all good.

About modelling without drawing...I think it can be done just fine.  I'm not that much of an artist(though I probably would be much better if I dedicated myself to it) but I can do 3d modelling much better than I can draw.  The only issue I run across is that it is much easier to model from references, and since I can't draw my references either come from somewhere else, or they just look really bad(think basic outlines if that, no real shading).  So my self-drawn references end up being just "reminders" for what I had in my head at the time.

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Thanks for your replies I appreciate it! I picked up a couple books, "drawing for utter beginners" and "perspective made easy". Might get "drawing on the right side of the Brain" too.

So I guess drawing is a bonus in terms of the modeling, but really helps in terms of being able to author your own original concept art to create things that you can't find real life references for? Would that be accurate?

Does drawing benefit for texturing and materials? Which I have no idea where to even get started there.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer me.

Edited by elviscg

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As the others pointed out, drawing isn't needed.

With that said most professional 3D artist can draw and do other art forms. it's inevitable. The principles that allow you to make 3D models, learning solid shape and forms, also allow you to understand how to draw. You just have to practice a bit.

When starting out you can focus on 3D first, then when you find it hard to learn things move into 2D or animation.

Character artist also have a great need for fashion design, it also improves your UV mapping; as making clothes is the reverse of UV mapping.(to think my grandmother was making 3D models before I was.)

Digital painting is also used a lot during texturing.

2 hours ago, elviscg said:

Does drawing benefit for texturing and materials? Which I have no idea where to even get started there.

Yes as you can fill in missing details. The references you collect will never be 100%, so being able to create stuff from nothing is important.

Not a book but way more useful:

http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/Polycount

http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/TexturingTutorials

Polycount is a community of experts and hobbyist. You will also see that they have forums for 2D because like I said, most 3D modelers move into 2D over time. 

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18 minutes ago, Scouting Ninja said:

As the others pointed out, drawing isn't needed.

With that said most professional 3D artist can draw and do other art forms. it's inevitable. The principles that allow you to make 3D models, learning solid shape and forms, also allow you to understand how to draw. You just have to practice a bit.

When starting out you can focus on 3D first, then when you find it hard to learn things move into 2D or animation.

Character artist also have a great need for fashion design, it also improves your UV mapping; as making clothes is the reverse of UV mapping.(to think my grandmother was making 3D models before I was.)

Digital painting is also used a lot during texturing.

Yes as you can fill in missing details. The references you collect will never be 100%, so being able to create stuff from nothing is important.

Not a book but way more useful:

http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/Polycount

http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/TexturingTutorials

Polycount is a community of experts and hobbyist. You will also see that they have forums for 2D because like I said, most 3D modelers move into 2D over time. 

Thanks for the reply. What do you mean they move in to 2D? Like what?

So I shouldn't worry about learning to draw right away? It's all overwhelming so I'm kind of confused right now on what I should be doing to progress.

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If 3d is your interest, I don't think you HAVE to worry about drawing right away.  That being said, it wouldn't hurt anything if you did get into drawing.  And yes, it could indeed help with making concepts much better, allowing yourself to better get ideas from your head onto paper, instead of doing bad concepts(like I do) and relying on your memory of your original idea.

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3 hours ago, elviscg said:

Thanks for the reply. What do you mean they move in to 2D? Like what?

When you start you have a clear path, there is a lot to learn and lots of tutorials and books on it. Then you hit a wall, you can make anything but for some reason it's not as good as the best 3D artist.

It's at this point where you start to learn art, what makes good art. Learning this means studying and often doing traditional art forms. The good news is at this point you have developed a "Artist eye" that allows you to break objects into forms and solid shapes; you use the same skill in any visual art.

 

What is meant with you need to know how to draw a object to be able to model it, means that the same knowledge that allows people to draw is what you need to model.

4 hours ago, elviscg said:

So I shouldn't worry about learning to draw right away?

I wouldn't advice it. I was already a professional 3D modeler, environment artist, before I learned 2D. That said I couldn't make realistic humans before I could draw a face.

If your just starting, you should focus on 3D.

It was learning how to draw both sides of the face that thought me the trick for modeling a face. Tip, turn the reference upside down because your mind will no longer think of it as a face; allowing you to see the shapes and forms.

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45 minutes ago, Scouting Ninja said:

When you start you have a clear path, there is a lot to learn and lots of tutorials and books on it. Then you hit a wall, you can make anything but for some reason it's not as good as the best 3D artist.

That kinda depressed me lol.. that if I get good at 3D I'll realize it's still not that good 

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51 minutes ago, Scouting Ninja said:

When you start you have a clear path, there is a lot to learn and lots of tutorials and books on it. Then you hit a wall, you can make anything but for some reason it's not as good as the best 3D artist.

It's at this point where you start to learn art, what makes good art. Learning this means studying and often doing traditional art forms. The good news is at this point you have developed a "Artist eye" that allows you to break objects into forms and solid shapes; you use the same skill in any visual art.

 

What is meant with you need to know how to draw a object to be able to model it, means that the same knowledge that allows people to draw is what you need to model.

I wouldn't advice it. I was already a professional 3D modeler, environment artist, before I learned 2D. That said I couldn't make realistic humans before I could draw a face.

If your just starting, you should focus on 3D.

It was learning how to draw both sides of the face that thought me the trick for modeling a face. Tip, turn the reference upside down because your mind will no longer think of it as a face; allowing you to see the shapes and forms.

If you could've told your beginner self any advice when you started learning 3D without drawing ability, knowing what you know now,  what would it have been?

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