Hello. It’s good to see you at painless 3d. This is a space that I set up to teach my graphic designer friends 3d skills. This website used Gsculpt, a powerful 3D Modeler to teach basic 3d techniques. If you already understand 3D, you should check out GSculpt anyway. Go here for a quick tour on Gsculpt basics. On the other hand, if you have always wanted to learn 3D… read on.
3dimensional graphics are a huge asset in your design pipeline and it’s amazing how many designers ignore this key skill. Often the perception is that only animators, illustrators and product designers ever use 3d, and in the rare instance that designers do need 3d, they hire a freelancer. Outsourcing your 3d work is fine, but it’s also good to learn to think in 3d. It add’s a whole new dimension (*heh*) to your work.
A lot of people give up on 3d after a stab at some complex software like 3dsmax, houdini, Maya or XSI. The truth is that these really are complex software and very few people in the industry actually know the software end to end. People in the 3d industry are typically specialists. Some model, some light, others texture, animate or render. For absolute beginners, esp graphic designers these software can be intimidating and cumbersome, and you’re right in thinking that.
LOOK AGAIN. 3D IS A TECHNIQUE, NOT A SINGLE TOOL
The trick to 3d is to understand precisely the effect that you are going for and create exactly that. No more no less. Unlike 3d artists in the animation industry, print artists rarely need more than a point of view and a single frame. Complicating the project anymore than that is a waste of time and energy.
Also look at 3d as not a particular software, but as a SET of tools. That is first you figure out a way to build the model, while also thinking about lighting, texturing or rendering it. This is important because the work-flow of each phase in creating 3d art is very different and requires considerably more planning than 2d work-flows.
This website breaks down all the components that you need to create effective 3d images for your design concepts as props or as the concept itself. We will be using specialized tools to achieve different results. You have to remember that the software itself does not matter, just the technical concepts do. And these are applicable across most 3d software, so you may want to pay close attention to terminology though I’ll try and keep it as simple as I can.
I hope you enjoy these lessons, and that these skills end up in your design pipeline someday… and if these tuts ever actually help you build something, please send me a copy so I can put it up here.
So… um, Enjoy.
P.S: All the software used here is Open-source. 3d software are expensive, and even PLE (Personal Learning Editions) can be unviable to designers who are scratching the surface of 3d requirements. Open-source software are a robust and sometimes even far more attractive alternative and most important, they’re free. In fact if you are an independent designer open-source is really all that you need. Even the vector illustrations used to explain the concepts on this site were created using Inkscape, an open source vector illustration software. To see some of the software that you will learn go here.
- Lots of love and a loud shoutout to all those developers out there who make open source graphics computing a reality. You really do set designers free.
- Thanks to Geoffrey French, The creator of Gsculpt
- Thanks to WordPress – the host of this blog, another opensource blogging platform. WordPress is the best.
- Thanks to Imageshack.us for hosting my images
I am George Supreeth, a designer based out of Bangalore, India. I’m not a hardcore 3d artist, but I love 3d passionately enough to follow new technologies, tools and processes in this domain. I set this site up so my lazy ass graphic designer friends can pick up new skills. I work for Ixmod, a sensible design firm.