One year ago yours truly wrote this article about taking the first tentative steps into the fun and crazy world of creating 3DX, so now seems like the perfect time to revisit things. Challenges have been met and lessons have been learned, but things keep getting better!
Victoria 4 Is A Bimbo And Michael 4 Is A Dumbass!
Reach for something near where you are right now (a beverage, your phone whatever is close by) and pick it up. See how easy that was? See how your shoulder, upper arm, forearm and hand all co-ordinated with each other to reach their destination? That’s because you have a brain but unfortunately for 3DX artists the human figures we use like Victoria and Micheal do not! When you want them to reach for something for the most part you’ll have to think for them, that means you figuring out how each of their bodyparts moves in relation to one another. This is simple on one level, but if you want your characters to look natural in your images (and not like robots) then there’s a lot of subtle little movements and details you’ll need to work on. This takes time but the great pay-off is you’ll images will look damn good, and damn sexy too!
Get A Thick Skin (Because Haters Gonna Hate)
So you think you got a bit of skill now and can render some pretty decent images and you’re proudly displaying your images on a forum (such as this one), this is going well! People are watching and complimenting, maybe one or 2 of your favourite 3DX artist are fans, how awesome is that? Then one day you post your latest masterpiece and sit back waiting for praise to be lavished upon you…but nothing happens. Maybe it’s worse than that and you get 10 comments saying “this sucks, change everything”
You might find this upsetting (I did), even rage inducing but it’s probably best to look at criticism and see if there’s anything that can be learned from it. Maybe others have seen something you didn’t notice and only have your best interests in mind, or they’re just annoyed because you changed something that they were a fan of and are just venting. Either way learning to deal with criticism is an essential skill you’ll need, it’s probably best to just take on board any of it that’s useful and disregard the rest. And hey, if 10 people like it and 2 people hate it that’s still 80% approval!
You Gotta Be You!
I’ve asked several amateur and professional 3DX artists and they all say the same thing:
“You have to make what you like making”
Ultimately the only person who has to be pleased with what you make is you. Think about it, if you’re making something you personally don’t like solely because you think that’s what people want to see it’s not going to be a lot of fun for you is it? Moreover, chances are your dislike of what you make will shine through meaning the people you made it for won’t like it either!
No great artist in 3DX or any other artistic medium got to where they are now by blindly copying everyone else. They followed their own path and their own passions, desires and ideas. It’s this individualism and not following the crowd that made them great. Just make want you want to make, your audience will find you!
DAZ And Poser Are Just The Beginning.
Want to make your images and animations look like the 3DX pros but can’t make it happen in DAZ and Poser and are wondering why? The simple answer is that those programs are usually just one of many programs those guys (and gals) are using! Want to make V4’s body look super sexy even when posed in some awkward shape? You’re gonna need something like Pixologic’s Zbrush to fix all her little problem areas, and you’ll be able to do it with one sweep of a mouse!
Are you an admirer of the kind of “money shots” you’ve seen in the works of Umemaro, 3DZen, Vizivius and miro and want to do that yourself? Look into Realflow from Next Limit. There are others like Maya and Cinema4D that have their uses and none of these programs are exactly cheap, but using them will give you the kind of limitless artistic power you want. And you won’t need a Degree in 3D software to use them as the internet is full of easy to follow tutorials!
Ready To Quit? Never!
If everything you’ve just read has left you with a negative impression about either starting 3DX or continuing your own beginners journey, forget about those thoughts right now! Do things get more complex as your artistic ideas grow? Yes. Are there unexpected setbacks and disappointments that you might suffer along the way? Sure. But those aspects pale into insignificance when you consider not only what you’ve got, but also what you’ve gained and can potentially gain in the future.
Look back at what you made when you first started and compare them to what you can make now. I’ll bet you’re thinking something like “I thought that looked good? wtf was I thinking!” or perhaps “I can’t believe I thought that was hot”. Now think about what you’ll be capable of making in the future and how much better and sexier that will be than what you love making right now! Thats’ something worth having isn’t it? I certainly think so!