For years I’ve been intrigued with 3D Modeling, yet simultaneously intimidated at the thought of learning it. Classes in college taught me a few basic, yet niche things in Autodesk’s 3DsMax. I really didn’t retain much of what I was taught, because I was lacking a true understanding of core 3D Modeling concepts. Element 3D for Adobe After Effects has been my go-to for making basic animations in 3D, but I always hit a proverbial wall when I need custom models. Something clicked within me recently: it’s about time I properly learn how to 3D model. After a week’s time, I created my first 3D model and render using Blender, which is free open-source 3D modeling software.
Realizing the Possibilities
I owe my thanks and newfound passion for 3D modeling to Andrew Price, known online as BlenderGuru. He has an excellent beginner’s tutorial that walks through the base techniques of modeling in 3D. As shown in my completed render, the tutorial series shows you how to create a donut and coffee mug.
After completing the series, I looked into everything that 3D modeling could apply to in future projects. I’m a visual effects and motion graphics artist at heart, and I’m blown away with the new possibilities available to me. Not only can I learn to create motion graphics with custom 3D models, but the prospects for visual effects are endless! Going through the list of things Blender is capable of would take too much time, so here’s a basic overview of features listed on their website.
If you’ve read my introductory post, then you know I’m a sucker for learning. I’ll be creating blog posts documenting my venture into the 3D modeling world, among many other things. If I come across anything related to 3D modeling that’s been helpful to me, rest assured that I’ll share my findings!
Three Dimensional Goals
As with any new thing I dive into, I set up goals and milestones to measure my progression. I’d like to have a good understanding of efficient modeling, animating, and visual effect compositing. How do I plan on doing this? I’ll make a list of some specific things I want to have created:
- Create an accurate replica of a modern Cellphone in 3D
- Recreate an interior room using reference photos (Architecture)
- Create a 3D Planet (Showing atmosphere and organics)
- Animate / produce a modern cellphone commercial
- Develop particle simulations / interactions with 3D objects
- Create opening titles for short films / movies
Visual Effect Compositing
- Simulate particles that interact with live footage objects
- Motion Track custom 3D objects into live footage / blend accordingly
- Create custom 3D Sky / Matte Paintings for live footage
My thoughts with each milestone is that each one should teach me different venues of thinking when it comes to 3D. If there’s anything I’ve learned about self-teaching, is that it’s important to not lock yourself into one or two ways of doing things. This list is my visual representation of how each major category can be separated into more diverse paths of learning.
Wrap-Up and Start-Up
I’ve not been this excited to learn something new in a very long time. 3D modeling really does help me see the world differently, and I’ve been finding a new appreciation for all of the small details our world contains. If you’re new to 3D modeling or already have a strong understanding of it, thanks for following my journey! Please feel free to comment below about your experiences, tips, and tricks. Let’s learn something cool together!