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What's the best way to get into 3d modeling?

OpticsOptics0 Posts: 0Member
edited December 2013 in General Discussion #1
Hello everyone!

I do a lot of work in after effects, so the only experience with 3D that I have is using the "element 3D" plugin, which is cool and all but I would love to learn how to model. I just don't know where to start! I think it'd be fun to make a 3D animated short film someday, though.

Hope to hear from you guys!
Post edited by Optics on


  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1803860 Posts: 10,805Member
    I'd suggest trying something free, like Blender. Plus, not only is Blender free, but it has a lot of tutorials available for it.
  • spacefighterspacefighter2 Posts: 0Member
    evil genius is right about blender being excellent but to start with i'd try some sketchup(also a free program) work. sketchup is a pure modeller with poor rendering and no animation capacity but great for the modelling, this will let you get a feel for 3d modelling and the key concepts of manipulating 3d stuff on a 2d screen. 3d animated videos, howvere short, are excellent projects to work on. good luck.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1803860 Posts: 10,805Member
    Yeah, SketchUp, Wings 3D, anything free. That's basically what I was suggesting, but Blender was the first one that popped into my mind. I wish there had been free options when I was starting out. ;)
  • Chris2005Chris2005675 Posts: 3,096Member
    I'd say go with Blender, because it's free and just as powerful, with some of the stuff I've seen over the years...

    My first 3D dabbling was with Inivis' AC3D... does that bring back memories, not as robust as Blender, but it was quite a program for someone in their mid-teens. :D lol.
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  • TralfazTralfaz411 Posts: 846Member
    I first started out using Anim8or, a free 3D modeling and animation package. It isn't as full featured as Blender, but it is very easy to learn and use. It is great for learning the basics and then move on to something more advanced. It looks like development stopped on Anim8or quite a while ago, but it is still a stable and very competent program.
  • CoolhandCoolhand241 Mountain LairPosts: 1,273Member
    I started with Imagine 2.0 (erm, look it up) but if only I had Blender (and a ghz PC 20 years ago,) it really is excellent. While its probably more bewildering, there's not much sense in starting with something 'simple' because its pretty simple to do basic stuff in any package, just more buttons and menus you won't understand yet.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1803860 Posts: 10,805Member
    I still suggest Blender. If you can tackle that beast early on, you should be fine. It's when you try to switch to it after a decade or more of doing CGI that you go, "What is this?" Plus, as I said, LOTS of tutorials. Also, it can be ran on any computer running any operating system.
  • spacefighterspacefighter2 Posts: 0Member
    i for one have to switch mental modes when doing things in blender or sketchup. some stuff is same but other features totally different across the programs. after a while of working on something in one(i use sketchup for modelling, blender for finishing, rendering, animating) and then using the other you sort of try to use shortcut keys(loads in blender, it is more or less based on them) from the wrong program, quite funny actually. the sooner you start some 3d modelling the easier you'll find it, get to know the basic concepts then try something harder for each subsequent project you work on.
  • OpticsOptics0 Posts: 0Member
    Thanks for the ideas guys! I didn't know there was a free 3D program out there. I'm going to download Blender and try some tutorials. :)
  • spacefighterspacefighter2 Posts: 0Member
    Optics wrote: »
    Thanks for the ideas guys! I didn't know there was a free 3D program out there. I'm going to download Blender and try some tutorials. :)
    there are several free3d programs not just the ones we mentioned, blender will be tricky to learn, especially if you're brand new to 3d, fortunately there are loads of online tutorials. including my own(basic one) in the link in my signature
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1803860 Posts: 10,805Member
    I disagree that Blender will be tricky to learn being new to 3D. In my humble opinion, that's the best time to learn Blender. It's much better to crack that nut when you're first starting out and don't know squat about 3D modeling. I gave it a serious go after 10 years of using other software and I just don't like how it does things. If I'd started on it back in the beginning, I think I could have learned it and would probably still be using it today. It was shareware back then, but I'd never heard of it.
  • sorceress21sorceress21269 Posts: 577Member
    As an expert Sketchup user I would tell you to stay clear of Sketchup and go with Blender..primarily because Blender has far more in common with professional grade software which will make an easier transition for you if you outgrow freeware. Sketchup is very underrated by many but it takes a LOT of patience and a LOT of plugins to create good looking high poly models. You have to use a lot of workarounds to run multi-object models with a poly count over 1 million to have anywhere near a steady workflow. And though a beginner modeler won't be making meshes nearly that detailed some day you will want to.

    You will also find that though there are a few plugins that will aid you, texturing in Sketchup is pure bollux! And for animation you can't rig really and the only decent free render engine to go with Sketchup, Kerkythea, is hard to learn and even harder to master..I've been using it for nearly a decade and I still gt pretty frustrated.

    Except for render engines that have direct SU support plugins Sketchup is also not import or export friendly. Even if you pay for the pro version you will get frustrated dealing with that aspect.

    Though Blender is more complex is has none of Sketchup's weaknesses. If you master Blender it would be well worth it. That is something I have been meaning to do but it's so much easier for me to model in Sketchup. But SU is growing more and more frustrating for me as I want to start producing professional looking results and start animating. That's a tall order when it comes to SU.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]11 Posts: 4,002Member
    My suggestion is 3D Buzz is an amazing resource for your learning
  • ViperViper1675 Posts: 716Administrator
    Also worth noting is that some of the DAZ stuff can be very helpful for free or for very little money. Hexagon 2.5 was free up until a few weeks ago, but it's still only 20 bucks now. Couple that with LuxRender which is a physically accurate renderer and free and you get a very complete set of tools. So you'd use Hexagon for modelling and texturing and LuxRender for rendering. DAZ also have Carrara, which is a little bit more expensive, but is a feature complete program for about 200 bucks. Anyway, just a couple more options :)
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1803860 Posts: 10,805Member
    AC3D is another reasonable option. 14 day trial for free and the personal license is only $90. By CGI standards, that isn't much. Plus, it's also Windows, Mac and Linux compatible.
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