What is a Modeler's Role
Projects that require 3D modeling come in all forms and sizes, and can require a team made up of just one or dozens of artist. Working closely and understanding the needs of the team elevates the quality of the project (texturing, lighting, modeling, animating).
Production Pipeline Example:
Stages: pre production, production, and post - production
The stages are distributed among several different departments, depending on the project.
Some of the common departments for animation.
Different studios have different pipelines, but they all have one thing in common, a pipeline does exist.
Although every project will go through all three stages of the production process, not every project that you create 3D models for, will require every component.
To give you an idea of where a 3D modeler fits into a project, lets use a common pipline for an animated short.
Stage 1: Post production
This is the stage of preparing all the elements involved in a production.
And is the foundation / blueprint of the entire project, visual look , story and overall planning.
Any shortcuts taken at this stage can affect the project's success or failure.
After the initial concepts are approved. Writers develop the story in the form of a script or screenplay. Story is of the utmost importance.
WIP 9/6/14 , more to come next week end 9/13/14
The information I will provide will come from,
My extensive traditional library of books, my digital collection of DVDs and online courses as well as the 10 years of personal study and practice.
Where inserts of information have been taken from other artist I will
make an effort to always mention this artist. But just to make sure they are given full credit for their information I will mention them now as well.
Some of my favorite authors are George Maestri, Chris Maraffi, Ryan Kittleson, Adam Crespi, William Vaughan, and Scott Spencer.
There are actually quite a few others but these are the ones I reference the most.
I would also like to give thanks to the following online sites:
1. Digital Tutors http://www.digitaltutors.com/
2. 3DBuzz http://www.3dbuzz.com/
3. Lynda.com http://www.lynda.com/
What Is Digital Modeling ?
Digital modeling refers to the process of creating a mathematical representation
of a three-dimensional shape of an object.
The result of this creation is what the industry calls a 3D model or 3D mesh.
Most often 3D models start out as 2D concept drawings.
In the simplest of terms, digital modeling is 3D modeling.
Once limited to careers in the science and entertainment markets, digital
modelers have more opportunities now than ever before. The demand for
high-quality 3D graphics and animation is on the rise, and according to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the job market for 3D artists is expected to
grow at a rate of 12 percent through 2018 (www.bls.gov).
You see 3D graphics literally everywhere these days, and at their core are
digital models. Digital modelers work in television and feature films, game
design, medical illustration and animation, print graphics, product and architectural
visualization, and many other markets that make up this growing
To be successful in this field, you need to become a problem solver with good
observation skills and a desire to create things. You never stop learning in
this field. You face new challenges with every new project, many of which
require innovative solutions that you must discover on your own. If you get
to a point where you stop seeing these challenges as lessons that help build
your ever-growing skill set, it’s probably a sign that you’ve lost your passion
for the medium.
Remember that talent is only one very small part of the equation and counts
for nothing if it isn’t backed up by perseverance, determination, resilience,
and practice. If you want to be good at anything, learn as much as you can
and work at it every day until you’ve mastered it.
What you need.
Software: Leading 3D software
• 3ds Max: www.autodesk.com/3ds-Max
• LightWave 3D: www.lightwave3d.com
• Maya: www.autodesk.com/Maya
• Modo: www.luxology.com
• Silo: www.nevercenter.com
• XSI: www.autodesk.com/Softimage
• ZBrush: www.pixologic.com
Most 3D modeling applications come in versions for both Mac and Windows,
so whatever type of system you prefer, you should have no problem as a digital
modeler. If you are buying a computer, make sure that its specifications are up
to the requirements of the software you want to run. Don’t feel like you have
to run out and get the latest and greatest monster machine, as many may suggest.
You might be surprised at how a modest system configuration can be all
you need to work comfortably. That said, the more powerful the system, the
more you can throw at it.
Random access memory (RAM) is where the data set you are currently working
with resides in your computer. This data can be in the form of images or
3D point data, such as models. The more RAM you have, the more data you
can simultaneously access without having to wait for the system to load it
from the hard disk. Loading from the hard disk is slow.
CPU Speed and Number of Cores
With today’s multi-core CPUs, computer processor speed is becoming less
and less important. The more cores you have, the better off you are, so CPU
speed is to be considered in relation to how many cores your computer has.
Simply put, speed and number of cores are the main features that make rendering
and data processing faster.
Graphics Card and GPU
A decent graphics card is an important factor for digital modelers, because
it’s responsible for displaying your data onscreen. Because most applications
use OpenGL (Open Graphics Library)—the industry-standard Application
Programming Interface (API) for writing applications that produce 2D and
3D computer graphics—a strong graphics card allows you to view your digital
models as smoothly as possible.
The more geometry or hi-res (high-resolution) textures, the harder your
graphics card has to work. Having a good graphics card definitely increases
productivity as projects become more complex. NVIDIA is a graphics card
industry leader and has the most stable platform for the CG industry.
Another factor to consider is Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) technology.
The industry is starting to make a shift towards GPU-based rendering, essentially
harnessing the power of the graphics card, which often is 50–100 times
more powerful than a CPU for performing certain tasks. When choosing a
graphics card, it’s best to consider the amount of GPU cores it has; the more,
If you’re unsure of what type of system is best for you, visit one of the many
online community forums—for example, CGSociety (www.cgsociety.org),
3DTotal (www.3dtotal.com), or Foundation 3D (www.foundation3d.com)--
talk to artists who use these systems, research what’s available, and most
importantly, know your options.
Something I have strong opinions about when discussing workstations is the
need for a dual monitor setup. I believe dual monitors are a must for any digital
artist and can’t imagine accomplishing my work using just one monitor.
A digital modeler working with just one monitor is like a draftsman working
on an end table instead of a large drafting table. Having two monitors gives
you more than just a comfortable workspace—it affords you the room needed
to display multiple applications at the same time, as well as the ability to display
your reference material on one screen while you work on the other.