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Renzatic
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Really liked the small room example, it seemed easy enough to follow, but the little knowledge I had with Blender seems to have vanished and Im back to aimlessly hitting keys and missing common features Im used to in other programs and are probably all hidden inside Blender's crazy layout... Gonna have to go through all the basics again before I can come back with my completed exercise. ;)

 

Yeah, I wish I could provide hotkeys much like I did in the PS tutorials. But I had to be stubborn and mix everything up, so I'm leaving the stark noobs at a disadvantage. I've just got the hotkeys labeled underneath the topic headers, then refer to it as "activate the tool" or something similar within the tutorial itself.

 

But on a good note, if you like the room example, you'll probably like what I'm doing with the rest of the tutorial. Every tool I cover, I go in and explain the functions and uses of it, then return to that room to use that tool to add in more detail. Hopefully, it'll be a good working example, and you'll get acclamated to it that much easier.

 

Also, it's gonna be really damn long. I'm only now done with 3 of the 6 tools I intend on covering (though I'm not opposed to adding more on request), and I'm already at 52 screenshots. The final product is gonna be a helluva thing.

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that was indeed a good read, rib. thanks for that.

@renz, sounds good!!! the first tut with loop cut/slide is very good content. i used it to create multiple rings around my stalagmite cylinder in the first stages of the project designing the highpoly, and its a very useful tool in general. can't wait to see the new tricks you have up your sleeve.

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@renz, sounds good!!! the first tut with loop cut/slide is very good content. i used it to create multiple rings around my stalagmite cylinder in the first stages of the project designing the highpoly, and its a very useful tool in general. can't wait to see the new tricks you have up your sleeve.

 

If you did that stalagmite, you pretty much know about 90% of what I do. I'm covering the basics of the basics here. :P

 

But for a little preview of where I'm at thus far, here's a shot of the room after I've covered loop cuts, the knife topology tool, and inset faces, and I'll use previously covered tools to add in more detail. Beforehand, I go through cutting and moving around all kinds of crazy stuff before I head back to the room. Like inset faces on a sphere and a cylinder to illustrate exactly what it does. The knife tool on a plane. Etc. Etc. I'm trying to go as indepth as I can on it.

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Very nice... I really like the true details on the floor, the narrow gothic windows and steps on the wall.

 

And dont worry about me, Im just to lazy to go through all the basics again, hopefully I'll have time while you writte more of your tutorial. If you are indeed taking requests, one little thing that could be nice are cornices and such details, either from extruded lines or modeling - the corners and intersections could pose problems, aswell as texturing them. You can actually create some nice cornices with patches inside Dark Radiant, but I never tried anything like that in a subdivision modeler - only in a nurbs modeler.

 

EDIT: Something like this - but just an example, shouldnt be anything nearly as intricate:

 

CLRjt.jpg

Edited by RPGista
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Cornices and stuff like that? It's so much easier than you think. It's so easy, in fact, that I made this in 15 minutes...

 

Fwoosh

 

I'll give you a really quick and dirty tutorial on how to make those ceiling mouldings right fast. It has to be really quick and dirty because I'm running on 4 hours of sleep, and 11 hours of really hard work. It's a small miracle I can even type right not. I'm so lazy, in fact, I'm not even gonna crop the images. :P

 

The simple secret of it isn't to think of it as layers and bumps, and what's on top of what, and what to extrude, and bevel, and oh man how do I make that 90 degree turn without messing everything up? That's the hard way. Instead, just think of it by it's profile.

 

Okay, make a plane and rotate it 90 degrees so it's standing up on it's side.

 

Like so...

 

Grab the bottommost edge, and pull it up so you have a small rectangle.

 

Again, like so...

 

Now, make two loop slices along the edges. Make sure they're both about equal distance from the left and right.

 

And yet again, like so...

 

Next up, grab your new middle bottom edge, and extrude it downwards a goodly bit. This will be the inward curving section of your moulding. Run three or four loop slices longways across it once you're done.

 

See what I'm doing? Now. grab each edge one at a time, and use your scale tool (single axis, in ths case, the Y manipulator handle) to push them inwards. Shape it so you have a gentle inverse bell curve.

 

And even more yet again, like so...

 

Next up, two more loop slices, then extrude down that new edge.

 

...you know...

 

Then do it again!

 

...yeah...

 

Lastly, run a loop cut straight down the middle, then take the bottom center vert and pull it down to make a spike.

 

...yup...

 

Then add two more loops to the left and right of that, then select both new bottommost verts at the same time, and pull them down until you have a nice curve.

 

picture

 

If you want, you can play with the verts a bit to smoothen out your curve. Just remember to always select parallel vertices, so you keep your curve even on both sides.

 

And there you go. Your future moulding profile.

 

Now, do a loop select on any one of the outside edges, so you select the bounding of the entire mesh...

 

Like this....

 

...and extrude it out!

 

Vwoosh.

 

You can go ahead and delete the topmost edges and the geometry that makes up your old profile at this point...

 

The final results.

 

Yeah, I could've done better on the shape, but for a rush job, it's not too terrible.

 

If you really want to get fancy, I could go on about how to make a 90 degree turn (basically rotate your edge until it's at a nice angle, then scale up to get it back into shape),

 

(forums are messing up, so here's the direct link)

 

Like this...

 

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3018396/Moulding_Tut/Moulding_14.jpg

 

or using loop slices and edge bevels as constraint points so you can do some subsurfing to smooth it out

 

I'll be touching this subject way, WAY later.

 

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3018396/Moulding_Tut/Moulding_15.jpg

 

Anyway, I'm gonna vegetate for a couple of hours then hit the hay. Hopefully, I'll have the tools tutorial done by this weekend sometime[/url]

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This was awesome, following this small tutorial gave me tons of ideas as to how organize the little I know and get a small example ready (in Hexagon so far, just yesterday started Blender basics), here's what i got:

 

RXar9.jpg

 

It is very interesting to know how to do things manually, because you really have to use all the basic tools to get it done. I did use sweep however to get the perfect 45º angles intersection, just because Im a rigour freak, and still have troubles just doing things by hand in 3D. ;) I used the same profile you described (half of it) and scaled a bit to create that botton molding. Modeling the moldings using your steps was really fun and very detailed, huge thanks for the effort, hope you finally got that rest!

 

 

I used cornices in several buildings inside my map, made with patches, since they were common practice for centuries and they are a very convenient way of adding details and "volume" to the wall planes.

 

BXqrz.jpg

 

BDQbd.jpg

 

GMWl5.jpg

 

 

 

This will be handy for sure, thanks for all the tips so far, in the meantime, I'll go back to Blender. ;)

 

PS: Nice onomatopoeias hehe

Edited by RPGista
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]This will be handy for sure, thanks for all the tips so far, in the meantime, I'll go back to Blender. ;)

 

Man...with shots like that, I don't know why you need my help. That's some good stuff. :D

 

But in case you still do, here's the newest update to the big ass Blender Newbie Extravaganza tutorial. No, it's not done yet. As you can tell by clicking that link, it's a long damn tutorial. I'm already thinking about adding extrudes in between Loop Cut And Slide & Loop Selection, and the Knife Topology Tool headers. I talk about extrudes constantly throughout the tutorial, but I don't once cover them. I need to remedy that pretty quick-like.

 

More is coming soon.

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Good stuff. Starting to head into stuff that I haven't used yet. Also, if its going to be mega-long, you might divide the tutorial into pages, separating the major concepts? The A-Z is like 7 pages or something.

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Yeah, I'm kinda starting to wish I did. If the final product ends up being too long, I might go ahead and do just that. I'm gonna finish it up as is first, though. See how it all turns out before I decide to make any huge sweeping changes.

 

Anyway, this isn't so much an update to the tutorial as it is me pimping off my personalized theme. Yeah, I know. I need to get in gear here. You're all waiting with bated breath for me and all. But, you know, I gotta take a break from all that writing. And what better way to take a break from a long winded tutorial than to do various small tweaks to the interface of the program I'm writing tutorial for? I mean comeon! It's so relaxing!

 

Anyway, here's a shot of the current state of the theme. One of things I liked most about Modo was the color scheme. It's easy on the eyes, looks cool, and the brighter colors overlaid on the darker backdrop makes finding UI elements about as easy as pie. All it takes is a casual glance, and there you go. You've found what you're looking for. All because it's a nice orange color. I figured trying to mimic it in Blender would help slide me to it that much easier. Plus going through all the thousands upon thousands of color settings familiarized me with the UI pretty damn quicklike.

 

Okay, when I said I was it was relaxing, I was lying. It was pretty goddamn tedious, and it took me well over a month of tweaking to get it to the point you're looking at now.

 

If you're interested in using it, grab the .xml file here, and drop it into C:\Users\*you*\AppData\Roaming\Blender Foundation\Blender\2.63\scripts\presets\interface_theme. Then hop into Blender, go to file\user preferences, the themes tab, and select BlenModo 0.5 from the dropdown box. YEAH! IT REALLY IS AS SIMPLE AS THAT OLOL!

 

Anyway, more tutorial coming soon. I swur.

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Damn, I thought that was a pic of Modo for a second, nice work! Now if only we could have some of the same interface.... :(

 

I've read through the entire tutorial so far, incredibly detailed and funny, easy to read - just like a basics tutorial should be IMO. Awesome work. Its just unfortunate Im not having the kind of time to really sit down and catch up with Blender, thats why I started using some of the same concepts and exercises on Hexagon which is now freeware and I found to be pretty confortable to just model, even though its limited for anything else. Like I said, it was pretty nice having the example and the explanations to put some of the knowledge I had together - and believe me, even if I have a little bit of experience in modeling itself (very little), I'll need all the help I can get as far as anything else goes, texturing, optimizations or design choices, putting it in the mod...

 

So far Im really liking the voulmetric work, bumps, and how to get them there in an economic way. Cant wait for more!

Edited by RPGista
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Well RP, I'm hoping it's still just as easy for you to read now that I've added in...

 

-Extrudes

-Bridge Tool

-Edge Bevels

 

And vertex welds are coming soon, which'll mark the end of the tutorial. This one will be pretty short and sweet. I could get it done in an hour or so at most...but...damn, I'm tired of typing tonight. :P

 

Just about everything you do in Blender will be some variation of the tools listed here. Unless I've forgotten something rather important, I think I've got the basics pretty well covered.

 

Anyway, I'll respond to you more directly once I'm less sick of sitting in front of my computer. As usual, suggestions and outright criticisms are more than welcome. If any of you are confused on anything, tell me and I'll try my best to fix it.

 

Enjoy. :D

 

edit: just read the entry on edge bevels, and to me at least, it's kinda obvious I was running out of patience by that point. I might consider going a little more detailed with it.

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Looks good, as usual, but there actually kind of are hotkeys for the bridge and bevel tools. Just hit W and look them up in the specials menu.

 

If I knew what I bound my specials menu to. I went slaphappy crazy rebinding my hotkeys long before I started learning my way around Blender, and I've lost a couple of common keys during the ensuing melee.

 

But on a good note...

 

IT IS DONE!.

 

Vertex merges are now in. With that done, I think I've done a decent job of covering the basic tools (I hope).

 

Next up: UVing & U Part 1. This one will be pretty easy, since I'll only be covering a rectangular room without any defining features. It's more a getting used to the concept sorta tutorial, and doesn't go anywhere near neck deep into the wondrous world of UVs. I'll get more and more complex the farther in I go, eventually ending up with 3 or 4 tuts on the subject.

 

Then...making a room and getting it into TDM.

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If I knew what I bound my specials menu to. I went slaphappy crazy rebinding my hotkeys long before I started learning my way around Blender, and I've lost a couple of common keys during the ensuing melee.

You really should look that hot-key up as it's very useful.

 

Vertex merges are now in. With that done, I think I've done a decent job of covering the basic tools (I hope).

Looks good yet again but there is room for improvements:

  1. You can access the merge tool via the specials menu (W) too or the default tool-bar (T).
  2. You can much easier remove excess geometry by hitting delete (X) and choosing Delete Edge Loops (only works if you've got clean topology like this already, without triangles and ngons everywhere).
  3. If possible you should try to stay away from long triangles as these results in worse performance (the GPU has to render sub-pixels that'll never be seen) so if possible one should try to fix them. You have a couple long triangles that could be fixed by selecting the edges and hitting up the Edge Specials (CTRL+E) and selecting Rotate Edge CW or CCW. Of course it won't matter on this model as it is very lowpoly but it's still good practice.

 

Hope that helps.

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You really should look that hot-key up as it's very useful.

 

Looking for it now. The biggest problem with finding any hotkey in Blender is that it doesn't list them specifically. They're all just "call menu" in the input box. I have to go through each one and figure out what does what.

 

Actually, you might be able to help me out on that, or at least narrow it down. Do you know if it's under 3D View (global), object mode, or what? If it helps, I'm editing off the Maya hotkey preset. As for the rest...

 

1.You can access the merge tool via the specials menu (W) too or the default tool-bar (T).

 

I'm thinking about adding a specific where-is-it-all-at subsection at the top of the tutorial for quick reference. Once I figure out where my specials menu is, I'll add that in.

 

You can much easier remove excess geometry by hitting delete (X) and choosing Delete Edge Loops (only works if you've got clean topology like this already, without triangles and ngons everywhere).

 

What's weird is my option to remove edge loops and perform other nondestructive deletes disappeared from my delete menu when I jumped from the 2.62 bmesh beta to 2.63. I've still got X set to my delete menu key, but they're just...not there anymore.

 

But since limited dissolves are pretty much the equivalent to what I do in Modo, I wasn't too sussed about it. At the end of the day, they're doing about the same thing (though like all the new Bmesh additions, it's still a little flaky on occasion).

 

If possible you should try to stay away from long triangles as these results in worse performance (the GPU has to render sub-pixels that'll never be seen) so if possible one should try to fix them. You have a couple long triangles that could be fixed by selecting the edges and hitting up the Edge Specials (CTRL+E) and selecting Rotate Edge CW or CCW. Of course it won't matter on this model as it is very lowpoly but it's still good practice.

 

That I did not know. I'll keep it in mind when I do the room tutorial (which is where I'll be covering the things we talked about in our little PM session).

 

...though now I've got another specials menu I need to track down. GAWWW.

 

Hope that helps.

 

It does. Thanks. Also means I've got a ton more work that needs doing. :P

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Ninja Edit: I'm just going to go ahead and offer up my keymap for anyone who wants it. From what I've seen, I should have about 99% of all actions you'll need to perform in Blender mapped to a specific hotkey. If anything important is left out (Nosslak, hoping you'll give this a once over), tell me, and I'll add it in.

 

You can grab it here. Install it by going to File/User Preferences, and Import Key Configuration.

 

Camera Controls

 

Rotate -Alt+LMB

Pan -Alt+Shift+LMB

Smooth Zoom -Alt+Ctrl+LMB

Zoom -Mouse Wheel

 

Manipulators

 

Translate Manipulator -W

Free Translate -Shift+W

Rotate Manipulator -E

Free Rotate -Shift+E

Scale Manipulator -R

Free Scale -Shift+R

 

UV Editor

 

Stitch/Align Menu -S

Snaps Menu – Shift+S

UV Element Menu –Ctrl+Space

Unwrap -U

Translate -W

Rotate -E

Scale -R

Place 3D Cursor -Middle Mouse Button

Pan -Alt+Left Mouse Button

Zoom –Ctrl+Alt+LMB

(De)Select All – Space

Marquee Select –Hold & Drag LMB

 

Cut Tools

 

Loop Slice -Alt+C

Knife -C

 

3D View

 

Edge Bevel -B (to do)

Inset Faces (to do) -Shift+B

Merge Menu -S

Snaps Menu –Shift+S

Element Menu -Ctrl+Spacebar

Specials Menu -D

Toggle Wireframe –F

Circle Select –G

Extrude Menu -Z

Search Menu -M

Loop Select -Alt+RMB

Marquee Select –Hold & Drag LMB

Lasso Select –Hold & Drag RMB

Toggle Quad View -Numpad 0

(De)Select All -Spacebar

 

 

It's a weird but comfortable mix of Blender and Modo (which means it's also sorta like Max and Maya in some ways). I can jump between the two programs with only a little bit of initial confusion, which is exactly why I set out to do this.

 

And I definitely want some feedback on this, because I want to make sure nothing is left by the wayside.

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I'll look through this at some point for sure, but atm I'm absolutely wacko-obsessed with wading through Zbrush, this software kicks so much ass. Particularly the independence from crap like that render panel in blender, and features like zspheres, projection master, and the entire subdivision system. I dunno if I'm going to give up on Blender entirely, but my first experience definitely left a bad taste in my mouth relative to my latest experiences with sculptris, zbrush, and xnormal. I will say that the navigation, transformation, and masking hotkeys in zbrush are driving me fucking bonkers, though.

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I'll look through this at some point for sure, but atm I'm absolutely wacko-obsessed with wading through Zbrush, this software kicks so much ass. Particularly the independence from crap like that render panel in blender, and features like zspheres, projection master, and the entire subdivision system. I dunno if I'm going to give up on Blender entirely, but my first experience definitely left a bad taste in my mouth relative to my latest experiences with sculptris, zbrush, and xnormal. I will say that the navigation, transformation, and masking hotkeys in zbrush are driving me fucking bonkers, though.

 

I haven't even started playing with Blenders sculpting bits yet, but I probably won't be going too far out on a limb by saying that Zbrush probably beats the everliving hell out of it. Zspheres, Projection Master, shadowbox sculpting (which I haven't really played with much yet), it can do some amazing stuff in such an amazingly easy way.

 

Though I don't suggest you ditch Blender entirely. You'll soon discover that some things are much easier to do in a traditional subdivision modeller than they are in Zbrush. Like with your stalactite (or is it a stalagmite?), it's better to mock up your basic shape in Blender, get your topology looking good, then take it into Zbrush for the subdividing and high detail sculpting.

 

Plus Blender has Bsurfaces, which is pretty damn impressive in and of itself. I wouldn't quite give up on it just yet.

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Wow that's a tour de force dude. Thanks!

 

I was trying to learn ZBrush a while ago but yeah, it's hard to know how to even get started when they give you a ball and you want to make like a chair lol. So that's probably a good idea to get the basic structure in a standard modeling program first (for me Lightwave) and import it in from there.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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I was trying to learn ZBrush a while ago but yeah, it's hard to know how to even get started when they give you a ball and you want to make like a chair lol. So that's probably a good idea to get the basic structure in a standard modeling program first (for me Lightwave) and import it in from there.

 

I have 'acquired' some very, very excellent educational material on Zbrush, starting right at basic interface navigation.

 

Really, I think zspheres are so easy and amazing it really negates the need for starting a mesh in something like Blender. Just thinking about starting that stalagmite as a circular plane and extruding and edge creasing all the way up manually to the top again with proportional editing in Blender just seems... laughably unnecessary work.

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It all comes down to what you're intending on making. If you're planning on mostly doing organic sculpts, like statues, busts, people, cave details, ect, then yeah, you'll barely if ever have to touch Blender. All you have to do is start out with a primitive, subdivide, sculpt, then use the decimation master to get your low poly object out.

 

But what about architectural work and whatnot? It's just as time consuming, if not moreso, to make hard surface objects in Zbrush as it is in Blender. I've watched a few videos where a guy makes a building in Zbrush, and really, some of the stuff he did was more about showing it could be done in Zbrush, rather than demonstrating it being the best place for it. What took him 5 minutes of masking, mirroring, mushing, using weird rotate sculpt tools, and poking and prodding there could easily be done in 30 seconds in a traditional modeller. You'll ultimately find that some things that are frustrating to do in Zbrush are relatively easy to do in Blender.

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Ninja Edit: I'm just going to go ahead and offer up my keymap for anyone who wants it. From what I've seen, I should have about 99% of all actions you'll need to perform in Blender mapped to a specific hotkey. If anything important is left out (Nosslak, hoping you'll give this a once over), tell me, and I'll add it in.

 

And I definitely want some feedback on this, because I want to make sure nothing is left by the wayside.

You might want to mention/change the key for the Make Normals Consistent function. This is a function that you'll need to call essentially every time that you extrude a shape from a single vertex row (e.g a cylinder from a circle). You might also want to mention all the specials menus (CTRL+V(ertex), CTRL+(E)dge, CTRL+F(ace)), but other than these I think you've covered most of the tools I use.

 

I'll look through this at some point for sure, but atm I'm absolutely wacko-obsessed with wading through Zbrush, this software kicks so much ass. Particularly the independence from crap like that render panel in blender, and features like zspheres, projection master, and the entire subdivision system. I dunno if I'm going to give up on Blender entirely, but my first experience definitely left a bad taste in my mouth relative to my latest experiences with sculptris, zbrush, and xnormal. I will say that the navigation, transformation, and masking hotkeys in zbrush are driving me fucking bonkers, though.

What's wrong with Blenders render panel? I think it straight-forward and easy to use. Otherwise I'm with Ren and Demagogue in thinking that you should probably make a nice base-mesh before you sculpt. You'll also need a software for modeling (I don't trust automatic optimization) and unwrapping the lowpoly,as well as a software for previewing the textures (but Doom 3 or Marmoset Toolbag are probably better than Blender in that respect).

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Thanks a lot Renzatic, this is looking fantastic, Im learning already, even though most of my tests are going on on other software, still battling my way into Blender. I'm thinking about using your configuration, Modo is not reeeally the most confortable modeler for me, but Im still more used to it by now then Blender's defaults. Thanks for that too by the way. Thing is, I intend on using modelers mainly for building world geometry/architecture, it has to be something useful for my own professional gain otherwise I simply cant invest the time anymore, thats why I keep jumping from one modeler to the other, they are just useless for any kind of serious duty architectural work (not to be confused with architectural visualization, which is basicly importing the finished CAD model and adding furniture, lights, textures, etc, for rendering). The only one that gets close to being useful is Modo, which has decent snapping abilities (not even close to the ridiculously easy Sketchup, Bonzai 3d or Rhinoceros), and seems to have a nice renderer, but like others it is commercial and you kind of have reserves in commiting to them, because even though I can use it for "educational" purposes, I cant really expect to work in a place that has that particular program.

 

Seems Im in a bad place, because all confortable, easy to use modelers dont seem to be up to par anymore (Wings, Hexagon), the ones I do know how to use are parametric/nurbs modelers which are not meant for game modeling, and then there are the big boys (Modo, Blender, 3D Studio) which are really a chore to learn... Anyway, sorry for the rant, just have to persevere I guess.

Edited by RPGista
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Meh? Heavy duty architectural work is what these programs are built around.

 

One thing you'll come to understand the more you play with these modellers is that there's a specific (excuse my corniness) ebb and flow to it, and a rhyme and reason for everything you do. It's figuring out this...flow...that's the hardest part of modelling. How to control your topology so it's all smooth, clean, and easy to expand upon. How to use your tools in conjunction with your other tools so they all play well together. Where, how, when to do what. Learning the interface and the base function of your tools is probably only 10% of the entire process. The rest is all technique. Technique being the part everyone struggles with the most. I know I did.

 

But if you stick with it, there will you start understanding (excuse my corniness again) the ebb and flow of it. The rhyme and reason. Once that happens, you realize these modellers aren't nearly as obtuse as you originally thought, and you start firing through things you were struggling with months ago in a matter of minutes.

 

This is exactly what happened to me. Hell, I'll give you a couple of examples from my experiences.

 

I made this back when I first sat down and decided to start getting serious with modelling about 3-4 years ago. I think the end result you're looking at there took me about 5 do-overs, and HOURS of what felt like tedious, mindnumbing work before I got to what you see there. I thought "hell, if it took me that long to make a window, it'd take me FOREVER to do an entire room, let alone a whole building! This is impossible".

 

Contrast to a few months back. I was lurking through Nosslak's project thread, and came across a picture of this ugly ass steampunk lamp he posted. I thought it looked cool, so I made it. I bet it took me a combine total of two hours, maybe two and a half, to do it from start to finish. These days, I could probably do that window up above in less than 15 minutes.

 

It'll be about the same way with you. Lots of gnashing of teeth, wailing, and shaking your fist at the sky at first. I got so frustrated by it all, I ended up dropping it for a good 2-3 years. But stick with it, and it becomes easier and easier and easier, til the point comes you barely even have to think about it anymore. From there on, it's less about constant struggle, more about learning how to do all this cool, awesome stuff.

 

edit: Header's done for part two! I should have the easy section done by tonight!

 

UV_Header.jpg

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