Creatively speaking, I feel frustrated sometimes because I can't or don't know how to do the techniques I want to do in a 3D program. When I was in school, it usually was a procedure that had been covered rather quickly in class. Or, since we had a students in our classes that had a wide-range of experiences with 3D (some were total newbies while others had been working with it on their own at home for some time prior to attending school) it was sometimes assumed by my instructors that we already knew how to do something. So, if you didn't ask the question, you missed out.
Unfortunately, half the time you didn't know what questions to ask.
Part of this frustration is because I feel so comfortable with my other creative skills - drawing, painting and illustrating, and my digital work with Photoshop and Illustrator and other similar programs I've been working with for years. Funny though, I was just thinking today, how much my drawing skills are improving again. How much better I've gotten (once again) with being able to take the vision in my head and putting it on paper. Or just starting out with some kind of nibble of an idea and developing it as I go, whether for work or my own personal projects, and liking the results I get. How much more I like my home studio Wacom tablet since I have to use one every day at work.
It's all a matter of practice and familiarity. Practice, practice, practice. And the patience to see it through.
So, this week, I'm getting back in gear at last with my 3D projects. Project number 1 is to model and texture a Wyvern. After looking through my modeling books, I figured I'd do something I've always wanted to do: model a dinosaur. Just like everyone else. heh. Well, not exactly. A wyvern is more like a dragon, but not really. Anyways, I've been remembering this one scene from the old Jonny Quest episode about a creature, Turu, that turned out to be some sort of Pteranodon. Made me think about how I could do something like that, but different. I decided to use a tutorial for modeling a Pterodactyl that's in one of my books that is non-software specific. Makes it easier to understand the overall 3D technique rather than having to rely on a specific 3D program.
For this project and the next, I'm planning on working with Max software. I have Max 5 already installed, but before I finished school I bought the Max 6 upgrade so I may go ahead and get that one on my machine. It was supposed to have an improved render capability as well as some other additional features. I need to be sure though before I install it that all the plug-ins I have will still work. If not, then I'll hold off. I like the plug-ins. :)
Here's the book I'll be working from. I'll post my sketches and turnarounds of the wyvern that I plan to model in the next couple of days. Similar enough to the dinosaur tutorial so I can follow that along, but more the kind of stuff that I like to do and won't mind having in my portfolio.
My 2nd 3D project is more of a botany or environment project. I'll be using a tutorial on space plants to help me model and texture a living tree-house that I sketched in my last quarter of school (Spring 2004) before I graduated. When I first started this sketch, I chose to pull an element from one of my favorite projects from the artist, Don Barnett...the little bit of house as seen in the upper right of my sketch. I've been a long time admirer of his artwork. He's created stuff for games and cd packaging among other commercial and personal projects. I came across his website when I first starting getting into web development and Flash years ago. As you can see in my sketch, his little house doesn't quite fit the rest of the scene now, but that's actually good. Cause that means I can delete it and finish the concept with my own bit of a...birdhouse. Yeah, that's what it is. A GUARD bird house. heh.
I still really like the palette he used....hmm.