April 14th, 2016
Starting Modeling: From Choosing Software To Uploading And Selling
You are never too old to start something new. Specifically, you are not too old to become a successful and respected 3D modeler. Whether forging hot new low-polygon models for the hungry VR market or making 3D printing models for the most futuristic of manufacturing processes, it‘s all possible if you just apply yourself. And, as this article reveals, it‘s totally free. Just cut down on your daily Facebook time, and you too can model your way to fame and glory. CGTrader is very much interested in new and growing talent and our community will always be ready to help. But you need to take the first step yourself!
First, you need to grab a piece of accessible 3D modeling software. Both 3D modelers and 3D printing modelers swear by Blender as the best totally-free option. There are options that are easier and more basic – TinkerCad, 123Design, 3DTin – but if you start with Blender, you will immediately start a learning process that can take you to wherever you want to go. A preferable option to first learning a basic program, then moving to a professional one. Blender is an open source piece of software that has been going since 1995, and the latest version was released not even a month ago. It combines rendering, rigging, UV unwrapping and many other tools you‘ll learn to use, eventually. It even pulls double duty as a game engine, too. Blender 3D also has a lot of plug-ins, some of which make the life of 3D printing modelers easier.
The students among you can apply for a 3-year (read: enough time to learn the ropes and how to model ropes) student license of 3Ds Max. It has an even longer history than Blender 3D and possesses many of the same capabilities. This is a AAA piece of modeling soft, a favorite of game designers everywhere, and it provides a professional suit of tools that aren’t too hard to master. Fittingly, there are a lot of tutorials on the internet on how to use 3Ds Max. It could not have gotten that big by being an inaccessible mess, you know!
Once you have chosen your piece of software, you will need learning materials to guide your hand (and mouse cursor). You are extremely lucky here, because making tutorials is basically the second most favorite hobby of 3D modelers. You can go the semi-professional route and apply for free 30-day Lynda.com trial, which will give you both the access to their material and a nice deadline to motivate you studies. For more Blender-centric tutorials, you can always go to Blender.org or Blenderguru. For 3ds Max, 3dtotal.com has nearly a thousand tutorials ready for your consumption. Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself with our recommendations: even simple Google searches will return hundreds of video tutorials on all subjects of 3D modeling. Those who are aiming to model for 3D printing should watch some tutorials that deal with exporting models for printing. Your creations need to be specially prepared for 3D printing and it requires some specific additional work. You can’t just chuck any model into a printer! Well, can you always try, but the results might surprise you.
Of course, to work hard and keep working hard, you will need some inspiration. Don’t worry, even professional modelers – and especially professional modelers – like looking at pretty pictures of model renderings! Websites like CGSociety, Polycount, 3Dtotal are where the experts go to show off their creations and to see what the others have done. Artstation, DeviantArt – there are innumerable websites simply jam-packed with inspirational material. More often than not, those same websites also boast forums and tutorials, which is extremely beneficial for you.
If you need more tangible motivation. you can turn to CGTrader, one of the leading online stock model markets out there. Just upload your model here, set the price to "free" and watch the feedback roll in. Likes, downloads, comments - that is extremely helpful for people deadset on selling a model, providing both motivation and guidelines for improvement. Work on it, and later on you can upload a model with a price tag attached. Besides, due to the unique royalties’ system used by CGTrader, the more you partake in various community actions (like rating and commenting on other models), the bigger cut of the profits you’ll get! Low-poly, 3D-print ready or even CG, all models are welcome!
And so are you. 3D modeling has a huge community of highly creative people who are nevertheless ready to accept new members into their ranks. You now possess the information that you need to choose the best piece of software for your work, to find inspiration and to get financially-based motivation. Go and show the world your worth!
Tell us what you think!