08-29-2012 02:03 AM
I do a lot of shopping in SL. A LOT of shopping. Now that mesh capabilities is getting better and better in SL, I want everything mesh practically. I love it! Now I try to buy as many things in mesh as possible. I just started learning how to create mesh objects in Blender, starting off more geometric and making houses (thank goodness for Youtube!), but that is only the very very tip of the iceburg. I see creators making the most incredible mesh objects in SL and I am baffled as to how they learned how to create them. Of course, I sign up for classes with Builder's Brewery, Caledon University and the such, but I seem to need more training. I want to know what the best resources were for them to learn how to create mesh. Are most of these creators animators by trade, having gone to college specifically for 3D modeling/animation? Did it take them years to get it down? What advice would they give to aspiring 3D modelers with no background in 3D modeling?
08-29-2012 03:38 AM
As I read your tittle I went "No sh*t XD"
Yes, mesh is NOT easy to learn. It took me about 2 months to learn basic modeling and modifiers and I'm STILL picking up new tricks every day.
I don't come from any animation or modeling background, I'm actually a student of Finance. I've always loved video games and that's what got me interested in knowing more about how they're made. Basically, I just learned mesh for fun because I wanted to and I already made stuff for SL that I'm selling in my shop, so I'm living proff that anyone can learn this. It's NOT easy, but doable. And it takes time. And a lot of trial and error.
Youtube is your firend if you're looking for tutorials! I won't garantee you'll find everything you need there, as sometimes I had to ask for specific tutorials here on the forums for an object I simply didn't know how to model.
First thing is choosing a program to work with. Blender is free and a lot of people use it. I think the other two most used programs are Maya and 3DS Max, but they're both not free. Also, there are other programs people combine for speific details, for example, ZBrush. It's all a matter of choice and knowing what's best for each program.
If you're using blender, I suggest you start the basics with Machinimatrix videos. Check out their website and explore around. Once you get some modeling principles down, my suggestion is checking out how the modifiers work, because they can save you a lot of time and effort.
Other than that, it's really a matter of working on a project and trying to get over the bums that come along the way.
I wish you good luck!
08-29-2012 05:11 AM
Like Spinell, I have no background in 3d. I have spent countless hours watching tutorials, read articles and practicing, but still feel I don't manage to produce the quality I would like to. So, yeah, it's hard! But keeping at it will improve your skills and the results. One of my go-to places, aside of youtube, for tips and tutorials is http://www.blendercookie.com/
08-29-2012 10:38 AM
Same as the other guys I studied Media Studies which teaches photography and videography .. some web deisgn.
But everything in Second Life, texturing, scripting and now 3D modelling I've learnt myself. When it came to learning Blender I hate hate HATED it first time I tried making sculpts back in the day... I still cannot get my head around sculpts too much baking and UV texture crap.
Mesh is actually easy to produce into Second Life than sculpted prims I would say anyway but it took about a year of me going on and off Blender following tutorials which all have different versions of Blender you have etc.
Then I just knuckled down and learnt mesh. To be honest making mesh structures is very VERY easy in Google Sketch-Up.
I only use Blender when making clothing or objects with detail and more twists and turns. Blender is more or a sculpting application and Google Sketch-up is like Second Life in way with the way it builds except has a useful tool with SL should think about adapting to and that is you can highlight part of a shape you make and delete it.
08-29-2012 11:44 AM
3D modeling is not as complex as it is voluminous... There is just so much to learn… So, my suggestion is to avoid getting bogged down in details and cover as many aspects of modeling as possible. Then as you choose to make things, get into the details related to your project.
Modeling for each world or game has its restrictions and limits. You will find lots of generic modeling tutorials around. CG Cookie is a great source for good to great generic educational tutorials. The best stuff is not free. But, it is cheap. Also, some of the purchase-to-view stuff becomes free after a time. I tend to purchase a month’s access every now and then. I download the lessons so I can go back and review them later.
YouTube tutorials range from great to good to awful to horrible to you can’t believe they put that on YouTube. So, you have to dig through lots of crap. Once you find a good video note the author and follow their work.
For projects bound for Second Life and OpenSim you need to get more specific. SL does not support everything available in 3D modeling. One of the things not supported is a full materials system. We may have something we can play with in that regard by the end of this year.
We are also limited by the evolution of SL. We can’t get a new avatar because it would break a huge amount of existing content. Legacy compatibility issues come up in a number of places. We have to work around them. So, we need specific tutorials for SL at some point.
I collect information and learn modeling and I also learn modeling for SL. From time to time I put what I’ve learned into tutorials. See an example here: Second Life Mesh Clothes Blender 2.6 Setup 2012 Tutorial.
Other SL users are doing the same. Gaia Clary is making Avastar as a tool to simplify the process of modeling for SL using Blender. Fortunately for me, Gaia is also working with Blender developers to get Blender to work better with SL. Most important to the SL community is Gaia’s video tutorials that are SL specific. Check those out on Machinimatrix.org. You’ll need to poke around to find the free stuff and tutorials on creation not using Avastar and Primstar. If you want an easier learning curve, try out Avastar.
Ashasekayi has a collection of tutorials on Youtube that are SL specific.
There is some slow down in SL tutorials because of the mesh clothing size problems. Some are waiting on the release of the Mesh Deformer or possible alternate processes for getting clothes to conform to our shape. Once the Deformer is released, the tutorials will need to change. I plan to rewrite my tutorial to handle getting started with Blender and SL. But, we likely won’t see any new news on the Deformer until late September.
Both Blender and SL are changing quickly. Blender is moving toward Cycles as a much easier way to texture and render models. Once Cycles develops to the point we can bake textures, normal and specular maps all the Blender Tutorials will need to change.
Once the Materials System becomes available in SL all the tutorials for SL will need to change.
These changes make lots of work for those making tutorials. It can take me 1 or 2 eight to twelve hour days per page of tutorial, about 1,000 words, to prepare, illustrate, and test a tutorial. It is a lot of work. If I am staring a big change in the face, I’ll wait to redo the tutorial. I suspect many others are doing the same.
Building for SL is a moving target. Be prepared to see things changing.
08-29-2012 02:51 PM
Thanks for all of the advice guys!
@Lukeh - I believe Google Sketch-up is super easy too but when I upload my objects into SL, it's all broken apart. I cannot figure out how to fix it.
@Nalates - I've actually watched many of Ashasekayi and they are very helpful too.
08-29-2012 05:52 PM
Add me to the list of the "self-taught" via all the sources listed on this post. I think becoming obsessed with the idea of mastering the skill is a bonus. I know it seems as if many folks who are making really great stuff in mesh must seem to have some special advantage over those who are beginners and struggling with it. However, you'd really be surprised how many folks just jumped in and started watching Youtube, Vimeo and Blender Cookie, etc. along with following the Mesh forum to get tips.
Prior to joining SL in '07 I had no idea 3d art existed. I've taught myself to use Poser for making animations, Photoshop for textures and clothing and Blender for Sculpties and later mesh. As I understood a bit more I added Lightwave, Modo and Zbrush to my arsenal. I never stop trying to improve and I watch at least one free tutorial every day. There are no shortcuts.
08-30-2012 01:29 AM - edited 08-30-2012 01:34 AM
Nacy Nightfire wrote:
There are no shortcuts.
Aaaaaaw, so I can stop looking for that "make things look great" button?!
In all seriousness, that is what it comes down to, no shortcuts, just do it, do it again and do it some more.... I'm using 3ds Max for over 10 years now (not fulltime so I won't consider myself an expert at all) and I still learn new things regularly.
I am also pretty much self taught and have been very stubborn about using tutorials in the past. That's a very bad habit, pretty much every time I do use a tutorial, basic as it might be, I can't help to think: "Why didn't I know that before?".
I had no experience at all in real time rendering environments prior to joining SL and it really started when mesh came out last year. That's when one notices having a solid base in 3d building really helps, even in a new environment. So I'd advise what Chosen Few always advises: forget about SL for a moment and start with the basics. Just get yourself familiar with the program and its basic functions and tools. When you're able to make something nice, look how you can use that for SL.
08-30-2012 02:41 AM
Nacy Nightfire wrote:
There are no shortcuts.
I believe you got it on the nail. IMHO it can't be expressed better! And i am very tempted to use that statement as a slogan May i do that ?
08-31-2012 12:22 AM
Absolutely Gaia. I'd be honored. I owe you a tremendous debt for the superb educational resourse you provide in SL that I've personally benefitted from and can't recommend enough.