Study recommendations to breach into 3D World

I gave this title because I didn’t want this to be a topic focused on me, in fact it’s a request for help. maybe, it could involve other members on the forum, given the topic, perhaps already dealt with, but I would like to deepen, I will explain:

A few weeks ago I enrolled in an Italian school of digital arts, specialized in the production of videogames, animation, VFX, etc.

I never imagined in my life attending the Game 3D Graphics course at Event Horizon School of Digital Art, affiliated with Event Horizon Studios and a partner of 34BigThings, this course train full-fledged 3D artists.

I don’t want to say why I made this choice even though I had no background in 3D. I’m still undecided whether to follow the path as a 3D artist in the videogame field or go for anything else you can do with the knowledge/skills acquired (architecture / design, animation, VR, advertising, other fields that I would like to discover…).

My problem is that before I know what is Modeling/Sculpting, UV mapping, Rigging, Animating, etc. I have zero background and knowledge of what 3D is, I only knew how to use a little of GIMP, but despite everything I like how it’s going with other students.

Now, the course takes form the practical/methodological point of view and the theory is missing a little bit; I have to face the terminology as if it were a new language. Anyone with a good heart can recommend a book that explains what you need to know to understand what I’m doing in Blender with cubes and meshes and Photoshop with texture tails?

3 Likes

That sounds awesome, good for you, maybe we get to read about a game you’ve worked on some day? :slight_smile: I play almost entirely indie games now.

Just imho, your message topic might get more attention if it just said “Devs’ recommendations on Blender, Photoshop books?” Something more to your question’s point like that. :slight_smile:

3 Likes

I’m not good at do catchy titles :rofl:
Me too i’m more and more interested to indie games ultimately, and i’m loosing interest into mainstream AAA titles, but i feel a bit downgraded towards the today’s gaming panorama, and for this reason i’m planning to buy a new console but don’t know which one between Nintendo Switch or put aside for PS5, (may be i’ve to consider PlayStation First?), just little OT.

I would like to know how it’s produced and how works 3D in videogames as a whole, those things about Direct X and OpenGL or anything else that I can’t say at the moment because I don’t know them.
So far our teachers, who are also professionals, have taught us to model in Blender (one step at a time avoiding “short roads”) and do UV Mapping, which apparently is a very important step. But they didn’t focus much on why we do e.g. a certain thing in Blender, maybe it’s still too early to understand (?)
However, this is one of the results of 8 lessons of 4 hours each:

2 Likes

Wow, that’s pretty good for just 32 hours of experience!

How deep do you want to get into the nitty gritty of 3D rendering?
Let me know, and I can recommend you some technical talks to watch, and maybe some essays to read.

Obviously they range all the way from optimising hardware render queues, into how OpenGL et al translate instructions, through batching drawcalls, all up in shader compilation, to who knows what, there’s so much stuff.

2 Likes

That’s very kind of you, i much appreciate this :blush:. Unfortunately, i feel so inexperienced now that I can’t even ask the right/smart questions, at least at this stage of the course. If i can’t figure out myself i’ll definitely PM you, @9.0

Uhm… i already have a question, can someone please give me some advice on what there’s to know about Game Jams? Our teachers warned us that everything we students do this month is to be ready for our first Game Jam in January 2020 and they strongly recommended us to go there.

Hey there Ugo!

I can imagine it being a bit daunting delving into the videogames industry as a 3d artist student, there’s so much to learn and master in every aspect of the field!

In the start I think it’s all about taking one step at a time, trying to learn as you go along and eventually I think you’ll find yourself at a place where things will be more clear as you get a better understanding of the process itself. It will take time, that’s only a natural part of it because there’s just so much to learn and one of the best ways to get a better understanding is getting familiar with the tools you’re working with and for that I can highly recommend watching and doing some blender tutorials on youtube during your spare time, to just keep making new stuff with it and to ask people questions for things that are confusing to you. So I think you’re doing great already!

When it comes to game jams, it’s an event where you team up with other people and create new games within a very short time span, usually within a theme that is revealed not too long before it starts. It’s a great way to get people together, make new friends, be creative and to simulate the pressure of a deadline in actual development!

@NoodleBoots was recently featured on our blog from a game jam she attended and I’m sure she has a few good pointers to think about!

2 Likes

Hey man, that looks really promising if you managed to model that stuff from just 32 hours of experience, keep going!
For all things 3D, besides attending lessons in school of course, the best reccomendation i can give is it look for good tutorials online, there’s is a endless supply of “Learning the basics of Maya/3DS Max/Modo/Blender/zBrush/etc” out there, and a lot of it is extremely well explaned! Post your stuff online, like yo udid here, and ask your peers fod feedback is also a must :slight_smile:
That’s was a huge part of me learning 3D way back since the school I attended wasn’t that good at teaching people stuff during lessons, and the whole video game academics field weren’t as established then as it is now!

Keep grinding, never give up, I always told myself if you’re not giving 101% on learning all this, someone else out there definitely will, so keep at it!

3 Likes

Hey Ugo! I’m a designer here at Arrowhead. Like most skills, knowing how to make a game (efficiently/well) comes down to practicing. Game Jams are awesome for this, and they’re even better for showing you a “full development cycle” of a game.

In a Jam you very quickly take something from an idea into a final product that, may not be perfect, but isn’t really expected to be. If you’d like a head start or even a better understanding of what it’ll be like, I’d really recommend trying to make a simple game from start to finish on your own in a weekend in Unity or Unreal. You can base a lot of this on tutorials to begin with, just to understand how the game and art and everything interconnect. e.g. How to get a 3D model you made from blender into a game that you can run. You could try taking your spaceship and making a top down shooter (there are millions of tutorials on how to make these on Youtube).

Game Jams are also perfect for getting used to working with a team and gives you an opportunity to play to your strengths, support others and also try something you’ve not tried before if you want to. Want to try out being a designer? Tell your team you’d like to give scripting or programming some mechanics a go, try to nail that game feel, add those little camera shakes and effects, make the movement of the characters feel good, build a level with art assets or maybe do some writing if you’d like to be a narrative designer. If someone else wants to try 3D or is struggling with things you’ve done before, you could show them some tips you’ve picked up too!

Your course sounds really fun! I didn’t really know what sort of design I wanted to do when I was learning in school, but trying out the different roles in game jams and at home really helped me find the job I clicked with the best.

Hope this helps! Wishing you all the best on your game dev journey. Good luck, have fun!