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Old 07-01-2011, 12:57 PM   #1
Vortexx
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Hi guys,

Thanks for making this forum available, I'm from South Africa and the backup and support we have here for 3D art is none existing to say the least. Hope I can get some creative and motivating critic from this community.

I have started self training on mostly 3ds Max(on hold now) and Maya(Actively using/learning) for 3D modeling, and hoping to in the future move to rigging, texture and animation. I'm currently making use of Lynda tutorials(e-learning).

After I read through a couple of your forum post, I realise maybe I'm using the wrong packages.

I would like some guidance into which packages I should use for what aspect I'm currently busy with(Modeling). I read up on Mud box and Softimage and both of them also seems good for modeling and adding materials/texture to the characters, and there is Zbrush as well, should I make use of these packages for modeling and detailing?

The proses(stages) I would like to end up with is drawing the character in plane view(2D-This I can go), produce and 3D model for "still" purposes but move it into different posses this includes texture adding(This I would like to master before I move on) and then finally be able to make a 5-10min animation, this includes rigging and animation.

I would pref to stick to max 2 packages as it takes a lot of time learning a 3D packages, and if possible stick to only one.

I have started with human modeling but was thinking maybe i should stick to basic shapes to get the hang of it. If anyone could give me some guidance as where to start I would appreciate it.

Thanks for the input and hope the year goes well for everyone.

Vortexx
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:33 PM   #2
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Hi Vortexx,

Welcome to Simply Maya. I think you'll be able to get a lot of good feedback on this forum, many friendly and helpful people around For the application you're using don't worry too much about which one to go with initially, there's tons of 3d apps and they all work in a similar manner. Maya and 3ds are some of the best and most widely used by studios because they're solid overall well functioning apps, also finding good training materials is easy. Every app will have plus and minuses and I think you might have picked up on a few minuses that get mentioned on forums sometimes.

The thing is that once you know one app well its easy to transfer this knowledge over to another one within a few weeks, it comes down to personal preference and some apps might support a workflow you prefer with time. My advice would be to get one app under control so if you've started with Maya stick with Maya, get the basic knowledge of all fields and once you have that specialize in the field you prefer. At that point you can start looking at specifics of other apps, if you know Maya well you'll be able to use whichever one you prefer it would only take you a few weeks to transfer this knowledge from one to the other, if you'd go off to work for a studio in the future you'd have to learn their apps and lots of them use proprietary software so when they take on new staff they get trained to work with their apps. In some cases you might be better off targeting a specific industry by learning a specific app to compete better but this would still be later down the road.

So get the hang of Maya, if modeling is the field you'd end up interested you can add zbrush as you're sculpting app but wait with this until you know how to model in Maya, it will make life much easier. As well Modo is an up and coming app in this field. If you want to work in the industry I'd also give you the advice to look into other fields like lighting, rigging and animation, because pretty much every one starts off with modeling there is an abundance of modelers so you have to be really good to find work as the competition is fierce setting the bar quite high for who gets employed and who doesn't.

Best of luck and I wish you a good year as well
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:24 PM   #3
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Hey Vortexx

I would go with what Nilla has said. 3d software isnt the easiest thing in the world to learn as we all know. Choose one for now as already recommended to you and learn what is of interest ie: modelling.

Modelling is always a good place to start as you can get instant results - good or bad. from there you can move into texturing then rendering and so on. then once you have a grasp of things then choose an area or two to specialise in. Its all about progression, so get some stuff posted on the forums, get some feedback and move forward, its the quickest and easiest way to improve.

software like Zbrush and mudbox are there to add to packages like maya, to help compliment them by adding that extra bit of detail to your models and so on. Again that stuff will come in time....

lastly I will say, that its not all easy going, but you have come to a fantastic forum where anyone will help you ease the pain LOL. Anyway enjoy......

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Old 09-01-2011, 11:52 PM   #4
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Also some of the tutorials on this site might help you along the way, I think the best way to learn modeling would be to start simple with less detailed things like objects and interior scenes. If you have a look in the free section there's a few tutorials that might come in handy to get some practical techniques down, like the glass jug, intro to game texturing, dynamic object placement and the interior scene
http://simplymaya.com/autodesk-maya-...d=23&sub_cat=0

Also we just added free friday tutorials where we'll add new tutorials for streaming every week, they're quite nifty little things
http://simplymaya.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=61

For complete modeling projects in Maya we have more video training than any other site, they're not free but most of them cover modeling, UV layout and texturing. A few of them also cover the complete production pipeline with lighting, rigging and animation. For character modeling you're best off to start with less detailed things like low poly and cartoon characters and then move onto more detailed things. You can find the modeling library here
http://simplymaya.com/autodesk-maya-...id=1&sub_cat=0
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:19 AM   #5
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Hi guys/girl,

Thanks for the feedback.

Miss_Nova, as for the market in South Africa, related to work, everything is mostly freelance and to my knowledge there are only 2 companies that can do CG, consisting of about 10 people in total. I am aiming for freelancing and ass a hobby only.

What I did not know is that I should only specialize in certain aspect of the program. I thought one could do from modeling through to animation. So I have to decide between, modeling, detailing, lighting, texture , rigging, animation or at least only two aspects.

Jay, thanks for the motivation, I will definitely start posting some of my work,just basic modeling in Maya. I using a lot of e-learning and will have a look whats on this site as well.

Appreciate all the feedback and looking forward getting to know everyone through their work.

Just out of curiosity what do you guys specialise in ?

Last edited by Vortexx : 10-01-2011 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:57 PM   #6
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Sounds like a pretty tiny market in South Africa VortexxBut yeah like Jay said start by getting yourself an overview of all fields of the program and then move onto specializing in one or two fields. It makes life easier to have a book on the side of tutorials as well I think, Introducing Maya from Sybex will give you a good general overview.

The best way to go would be to learn some basic modeling, followed by some UV layout and texturing, then get some basic lighting skills in place. When you have this you can move onto dynamics, rigging and animation - these fields are a bit more complicated so it's a good idea to learn the other fields before moving on to this makes life easier if you understand geometry.

I do lighting and shading myself, I'm not very good in any other field in Maya beyond the basics. This is why you specialize, it takes many years to get really good in just one field, so when you see great work posted up on forums there's a lot of time gone into it. And there's always more to learn for most of us So keep your head up, be critical of your own work, and remember that Maya takes time and patience and you'll be fine.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:18 PM   #7
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Myself am a Senior Modeler currently working at Windmill Lane VFX in Dublin, I also do a little bit of texture work too when Im not supervising, building and checking models lol , plus I help out here when I can......

cheers
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:54 PM   #8
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Guys appreciate the replies and thanks for all the feedback and encourage me! I will start posting my work that I have done the past few weeks.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:11 PM   #9
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Hey about the number of animation companies, from what i know there are quite a number of them try this website it posts links to several companies
animationsa.org

so you can actually make a living and when it comes to free lancing almost all advertising agencies have an animator/vfx artist working for them

Last edited by murambi : 12-01-2011 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 18-01-2011, 08:02 PM   #10
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Just on the side note. I realise that most packages have fully modeled woman/men, not detailed but can be used to start a char. What I would like to do is basically use that and and details, gear, clothes etc , what package should I learn? Mudbox or Zbrush ?

I wanna make my focus area, rigging and animation.
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Old 18-01-2011, 10:08 PM   #11
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Well neither Mudbox or Zbrush does much of rigging and animation (though I think z is moving into that area). Are you asking which would be better to import back into maya for animation? They're both good programs from what I hear (though Mudbox gets on my nerves sometimes, but that's probably user-error). Maybe try a demo of each, and see what assets are included and how you like the workflow.
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Old 19-01-2011, 11:54 AM   #12
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What I would like to do is just have a package I could use to quickly add clothing detail fast. I do not want to spend to much time in Maya modeling just rigging and animation.

So Zbrush or mudbox for basic sculpting. Do you know a good website that explains the work flow of each?
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Old 19-01-2011, 05:52 PM   #13
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So Zbrush or mudbox for basic sculpting. Do you know a good website that explains the work flow of each?
simplymaya.com

there is a tutorial by kurt botulier for cloth
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Old 19-01-2011, 11:02 PM   #14
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You can build clothes in Zbrush but it might be easier, especially when first starting out, to model the clothes in Maya. That way you have a simple workflow to model them as you would your character. Or you can opt for a cloth sim in Maya. Plus a lot of nice detail can be put into a model in Maya, especially basic wrinkles and folds.

Obviously you can achieve clothes in Zbrush with a lot more detail but the process of getting them back into Maya, so they can be easily rigged, animated and rendered, might be a bit too much of an undertaking for someone just starting out. As it would involve creating a base in ZB, then detailing and extracting/retopologising the mesh, UV Mapping, Normal map/ Bump map generation and setting that all up in Maya.

Zbrush is a brilliant modeling tool (best out there if you ask me) but if your main focus is rigging and animating, it seems like an unnecessary step in your early pipeline.
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Old 20-01-2011, 06:24 PM   #15
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Mayaniac, thanks for you reply. I will mainly focus in Maya for now till I get the hang of it in hopefully 2-3 years :-)
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