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  1. #1
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    How much 3D should a 2Dartist learn?

    I'm working on a bachelor's in Media Arts and Animation. The school has a 2D or 3D track, meaning you get to take classes geared towards 2D towards the end of your schooling. My issue is that I would prefer to spend the bulk of my time working with 2D... but am not sure how developed my 3D should be -- am I shooting myself in the foot if I don't become a decent modeller? I have about 2.something years left, and know if I spend the bulk of my time working on my 2D, I'll have some very nice backgrounds/concept art/animations come graduation. I can definitely make this happen. However, I'm wondering if I severely limit my marketability if I don't even myself out and find myself stressing over this far too often.

    Need some comments if you don't mind. Thank you.


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  3. #2
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    well, judging from my experience it's a good thing to know both. But that's because I live in Finland where game studios rarely hire full-time concept designers. The guys who do concept design here usually do also modeling or at least texturing. I'm a very fortunate to be working as a concept designer alone.

    Nevertheless I think it's a huge help to know some 3d in terms of studio pipeline since I for example do simple boxmodels of a complex urban environment to show to the AD for a review before starting the painting phase. It's a hell of a lot quicker to change the angle or composition of a 3d model than, let's say a drawing.

    I don't know if that helps but that's how I see it.

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  4. #3
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    How hard is it to live strictly off working as a concept artist and 2D animator? Anyone doing it? Perhaps comics as well?

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by renaissancekid View Post
    How hard is it to live strictly off working as a concept artist and 2D animator? Anyone doing it? Perhaps comics as well?
    It's certainly possible, and many people here do it, but it is a more competitive market.

  6. #5
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    dont think you're just gonna "pick up" a little 3d and become good enough to get a job without putting some serious effort into it.


    A plus to concept artists knowing how to model in 3d is to do be able to make a 3d mockup of something, paint over it, then pass the 3d model and the paint to the 3d artist and he'll already have a base 3d model to work off of so he'll know he got the proportions just right.

  7. #6
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    Well you should be able to do the most important thing that no one wants to do thats Uving. If you can UV,texture and concept like a beast than i think you'll be fine. If needed most companies will teach you to model if you are willing to learn(if you have the above skills). Don't worry about doing characters do simple prop models if you want to focus on modeling more. Hope that helps.
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  8. #7
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    Okay. What if you're really good with perspective and lighting and can map out the entire '3dimensional happening' in plan/elevation view and then tell the modeller where to place the camera relative to the 3dimensionality and what lens/angle of view to use to reproduce the exact same perspective on the field of view in the 3D shot? What if you could also tell them exactly where to place all the lights to produce the same lighting you used? Would that be good? Would it be useful to demonstrate how you could do this in your portfolio? Would the companies think you were cheating and were just doing it all in 3D first and then tracing it? I'm not -- I'd be able to do this by the time I graduated (doing really well with perspective/lighting).. but I'm wondering if they'd think you were a cheat right from the get go and pass you up.

    Additionally, what if you're really good with understanding where to place a viewpoint amongst 3dimensional spatial relationships and would be able to quickly adjust to the director's demands and draw the new shot with ease? Would you need to still model and trace for the 3D modeller?

    Also, what if you could give them rough XYZ points for all the 3dimensionality in space within an established numerical grid system relative to your concept sketches, even for hilly and mountainous topography? I've spent a lot of time with perspective and kind of just want to forego having to learn 3D (I know some rough box method and other basic techniques somewhat, but am more primed for traditional sculpture (in terms of my '3D' capabilities), which I love). UVmapping and texturing doesn't sound bad though.
    Last edited by renaissancekid; December 28th, 2007 at 12:04 AM.

  9. #8
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    Im kinda going down the same path, just mostly self-taught. The nice thing about 3D, is it has a great learning curve. IMHO people usually can become great at 3D quicker than 2D, and without the prerequisites of knowing how to draw well (though it really really helps to know how draw). Theres lots of free programs, just download one and get to work. In about a year of learning the basics really well, you should have enough skill to get you hired.

    You need basic modeling (box/spline method for games), UV texturing (diffuse,specular,bump,normal,emmisive/glow, and other shaders), how to paint 2D textures (easy enough if youre good at digital painting), and some basics of animation. Download the learning versions of the two major modeling packages 3dsmax and maya. learn as much as you can about each. Grab a game that you can mod (I prefer half life 2) and get used to working with the game development software that comes with it. Ive heard from the president of Epic games that having renders of your stuff in actual game engines is preferred over just normal rendering in 3d software.

    All in all, you should be well rounded. If you go to interview at a game company you will get questioned on some of these things. Learn as much 2D and 3D as you can, and if you get the job then *sometimes* they will work with you so you'll be where they need you knowledge/skill wise. But I wouldn't take the chance, just learn as much as you can between now and when you think your first round of resumes will be sent out.

    If you have the time and would like to hear from the heads of game companies, theres the International Game Development Association, they may have some meetings a college near you where theyll have the main people from local companies have a Q&A.
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  10. #9
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    If i were to go back about 2 years and start over. I would deffinetly concentrate on art fundamentals applied to traditional arts. Sculpting will help a lot especially now, and the discipline you learn when drawing and painting an illustration can be applied to 3D. The only thing that will be daunting at first is learning the applications themselves.

    But, once you get into it and get over the hump of learning a program it's smooth sailing after there. 3D applications are just another tool, and don't be worried about which one to choose to start out in. Experiment with the free versions offered, and just choose one that you are more interested in after studying up on each one. Once you choose one just stick with it and go full force. Once you learn all the concepts of 3D and the ins and outs you will be able to transfer to any other app much quicker. The only obstacles are either different interfaces or one program may do something different compared to the other but all the basics are still applied. You may even find yourself working between more than one app because one will do something better compared to another. Learning 3D is fun, so dont be intimidated by it. have fun and experiment.

    The benefits can also be seen in concept art. It can be used for matte painting, or reference/underlays for a quick setup of perspective.
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  11. #10
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    Thank you

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