“I don’t see why I can’t, so I will” this is exactly the type of mindset or self-confidence that every individual should have because a person that is armed with a can-do attitude and a determined heart to chase down his dreams is the type of man that most probably changes the world or at the least makes a difference. The world of art or any art-related field requires passion, sometimes talent, resilience, creativity and the will to hone your artistic skill in order to be better, in order to be great. All the renowned great artists of the past were all deeply passionate and remained committed to their art by giving it their all. Take Vincent Van Gogh for instance, the guy literally gave his ear for his passion towards his art, but you should definitely keep your ear and sacrifice your resources instead and you might just achieve your dream.
This is definitely not one of those motivational write-ups that a lot of us don’t like, on the contrary, all of this talk is meant to assist you to prepare your mind and help inform you about the basic, human requirements one might need to succeed in the highly competitive and creative world of 3D modeling.
So before we delve into the more technical stuff, we, of course, have to ask and answer the question, what is 3D modeling? 3D modeling is a technique in computer graphic design that entails the 3D representation of objects or surfaces by altering or manipulating shapes and vertices. Most people looking to go into 3D modeling were probably inspired to do so because they enjoy watching animated movies and cartoons, and so they decided to someday play a role in creating characters or virtual worlds and other people to enjoy and be inspired by.
Professional Fields for 3D Artists
There are various fields in which 3D modeling have not just found usefulness but have become absolutely important. So lets us look at a few fields or professions that this technology is applied.
Although there is still a place for skilled hand-drawn architectural plans, 3D modeling has absolutely revolutionized this profession in more ways than none. These days simply being good at drawing architectural plans does not just cut it because it is becoming more and more competitive, and just like for any area of life in which competition is stiff, learning some new tricks and acquiring extra knowledge should help a professional stand out from another professional. Because the 3D technique is relatively new, an architect who puts in the time and resources to acquire this knowledge should have an edge over the others. With 3D modeling, architects are able to convey concepts and ideas to clients in a fun and detailed way that could help them not just communicate their vision better but also give their client an almost exact idea of what their building or structures are going to look like. Because with 3D modeling doesn’t only help to design objects but also render virtual environments, an architect is able to show to his client not just how the building would look like but also how it will fit into a given landscape or environment. Also, when the clients see the architects plan and see what the complete project would turn out he is able to give input and better specify what they would like done because this way it is way easier for them to understand because this is less technical as a blueprint or a 2D drawing.
3D also makes it easier to alter or change anything by simply doing it in the computer and directly seeing how the adjustments could either better or adversely affect the project, these adjustments can be made with relative ease and can be made as many times as possible. Owing to the availability of various very efficient 3D software out there which have the capacity to accept a lot of data and applying this data to the work, 3D modeling makes the work faster and obviously these improve the delivery time of a job. This is why freelance architects and architectural firms or companies are adopting this technology and utilizing it to stay a step or two ahead of their competition. Of course, also using 3D provides a great opportunity for architects to wow their clients especially as now they aren’t only just able to show them a 3D rendering of the project on the computer but with the 3D printing are able to provide the clients with something physical they can actually not just see but feel.
It is not hard to imagine how 3D modeling has helped to improve the field of engineering even though you are not an engineer. In civil engineering, 3D modeling has made it easier for an engineer or contractor to better understand how a project will turn out because by using some of the very sophisticated 3D modeling software they are able to design the structures they are working on. Furthermore, they can use these 3D models to analyze the workability and integrity of the structure by using them together with simulation software.
In mechanical engineering, 3D modeling can help in the designing of auto parts, machines or even tools. Not only that, compared to working with 2D sketches 3D models are easier to understand and interpret. This is because the designed object can be looked at from all angles and sides. Also, with 3D modeling engineers can easily determine how the various parts of equipment, device or machine can be put together, disassembled or even improved upon. Just like with architecture, 3D modeling makes it easier for engineers to pitch their ideas and also help a client or an audience better understand their designs, even though it is a new idea or design that has never been seen before. This technology has helped to make work easier in general, improved efficiency and also made it cheaper to accomplish.
Archaeology is a very exciting field that has been made even more exciting by the 3D modeling technology. With 3D modeling, whole images or even animations of an extinct animal can be produced just from some data and scanning of fossils. Also, 3D renderings can be made of an entire ancient civilization which can be used to present or explain an archaeological finding to an audience. 3D modeling can be used by museums to enhance the learning experience for visitors coming to the museum. Also, we see television channels using this technology to better educate their viewers on a given event or research finding that ordinarily could only be expressed with words or 2D drawings or illustrations.
3D modeling is beginning to find application in medicine because it can be used to teach medical students about anatomy and even physiology. Using this technology medical may no more need to learn about the various organs and muscles in the body by working with cadavers, they can simply learn about them through 3D models on a screen or even physically printed model. This surely sounds like the future as these could make it easier and cheaper to teach, especially with the availability of 3D printers that can be sued as that can be used to print out 3D models of the organs so that they can be studied.
Also, 3D modeling can be used in plastics surgery to show the possible outcome of a procedure, this helps the doctor to show the patient precisely how they would look like after a procedure or it can even help the client make up their minds on whether the procedure would give them the desired results they need. This helps reduce margin the margin for errors and help ensure that a clients mind is put at relative ease that they are making the right decision to try to improve a certain part of their body.
As earlier pointed out, most people who want to be 3D modeling professional probably want to do so because of its application in the production of animated movies and even regular movies in Hollywood. This is partly because 3D modelers or animators make a lot from this line of work and also get other benefits that come with being part of the making of these types of movies. 3D modeling has been used in the production of so many movies including; The Transformers, Iron Man, The Avengers, the more recent Star Wars movies, and so many more award-winning movies, as a matter of fact, almost every Sci-Fi movies or movies with special effects have utilized this technology in their production. They are also used in the production of cartoons and animated movies which have seen significant improvement from the way they used to look like; this improvement has made the viewing experience more enjoyable and worthwhile for moviegoers.
Needless to say, 3D modeling has also revolutionized the gaming industry, because with this technology video game creators are able to make more realistic, addictive and engaging video games. These days, gamers are able to immerse themselves in their gaming experience and enjoy more interactive characters and environments while gaming.
In more recent times, one cannot discuss 3D modeling without at least mentioning 3D printing. 3D printing is a revolutionary technology that makes it possible to make or manufacture objects from a simple digital file. 3D printing is also called Additive Manufacturing because it creates objects through an additive process, which seems the gradual build-up of various layers of the manufacturing material until the object is completely made. The digital file which is used for a 3D printing job is gotten from 3D modeling or an image or digital file gotten from using a 3D scanner. A 3D scanner makes it possible to create a digital copy of objects and therefore this makes it a very important tool for 3D modeling as well as 3D printing.
As already pointed out above, 3D printing has a lot of applications in different fields and professions because it can be used in the creation of prototypes. 3D printing can be used in the manufacturing or production process, in the manufacturing of tools, auto parts, and other end-user products. As a matter of fact, recently there were concerns that 3D printing can further worsen the problem of Gun control in America. People were concerned that person can simply download the digital model of any gun and simply using their desktop 3D printer they can make unregistered firearms that are virtually undetectable by metal detectors. There is so many other fascinating and groundbreaking feats that are being achieved by digital printing and this could only get more advances in the future, which means that 3D printing is here to stay and is already changing our world as we know it. 3D printing is also made possible by a computer program called slicing software; this computer program allows the digital file or image to literally be sliced into horizontal layers, layers which make it easy and possible to build up the object layer by layer.
Steps to Take Towards Becoming a 3D Professional
Knowing and Valuing the Basics: If you strip away all the technicalities and technologies that are involved in 3D Printing, the skeletal structure is basically art, and just like all art forms, it is advisable for an artist to learn the basics and learn what creating that type of art is all about. The first step to becoming a pro-3D modeler would be to build your creative and imaginative abilities; this could be the difference between two 3D modeling artists and will definitely be reflected in their work. Also, if learning how to sketch or draw is definitely a good basic skill to have even though you intend to become a 3D artist, because having knowledge about 2D art means that you know about artistic elements like perspective, ratio, composition, texture and so on, knowing about these basic concepts should help you become a better 3D artist.
Learn How to Use 3D Modeling Software
This is a no brainer because you obviously cannot be a 3D modeler without learning how to use the software used for 3D designs and modeling. There is a lot of available 3D modeling software out there used in different professions and that are ranging in price and application, so you can’t learn them all, but surely you should learn those related to the area of 3D modeling you would like to go in to. Here are a few of this software;
Blenderis a software that is very popular and good for beginners mainly because it is free, although it is quite complicated for them. This software despite being free contains a lot of tools that make it extremely useful to a lot of 3D artists and modelers.
- Maya: Maya is a very popular software used by movie makers and animators; as a matter of fact it was used in the production of movies like; Avatar, Finding Nemo and many other top grossing movies. Asides from being mainly used as a computer animation software, Maya has a lot of other functionalities.
- ZBrush: This is in no doubt a very popular digital sculpting tool that is used also in the creation of animated characters and creatures. This software is used by movie studios, video game creators and even toy producing companies. ZBrush has a lot of features and tools that make it very fun and effective to use.
- TinkerCAD: TinkerCAD is computer-aided design software that is also a beginners’ best friend because it is relatively easier to learn compared to other programs. This program can be used to create 2D shapes and objects then convert them into 3D models. TinkerCAD, as already stated is good for beginners, so after mastering understanding it, you should probably move on to more advanced software which have a wider range of functions and application.
- Sculptris: As the name implies, Sculptris is digital sculpting software that is used for 3D printing and the creation of statues or inanimate objects. Sculptris is free but still is very useful.
- Cinema 4D: Cinema 4D is another software that finds application in the movie industry and that is as powerful as it is popular. It is used in the creation of animated characters and motion graphics.
- Getting Formal Education: As an aspiring 3D modeler, it would be a good idea for you to get formal training and obtaining a four-year college degree in 3D modeling or any 3D design related field, by doing this whether you intend to work as a freelancer or a 3D design firm you could earn a whole lot more. Also by getting a formal education, you can acquire additional knowledge in a specified field that could help you understand the area of 3D modeling you intend to specialize in.
- What other Ways Could Learn 3D Modeling?
Asides from getting a formal education, you could learn 3D modeling by taking some online classes or courses that could teach you basic or advanced knowledge depending on the packages they offer and what you can afford. Although is best to take classes, you can in some ways DIY (Do it yourself), you can read online articles and books on the topic or get your hands on any or some of the available 3D modeling software; you can then play around with them and learn how to use their tools and functionality. Also, there are a lot of tutorial videos available on YouTube that could help you discover how to use the various tools and equipment used by 3D modelers.
- So whether you are an architect, or an engineer or you would like to go into the manufacturing of a product or you intend to someday contribute to the creation of cinematic magic, whatever your reasons are for wanting to be a 3D modeler you can definitely be a pro at it, again this isn’t a motivational piece it just a piece stating the obvious and showing you just how you can achieve that.