My Quest to Teach myself to 3D Model. Part 1(?)

When I say teaching myself, I mean I'm not using any tutorials. Now, you might think that's insane and I'm stupid for even trying that, but I have 2 reasons for that. First, I want to challenge myself in my free time because I've got nothing better to do, and secondly, every other time I've tried to 3d model I haven't even gotten a box done because every tutorial I found, I got to a point in it where the thing I was being told to do just would not work, and I didn't know why and it led to me just getting frustrated and giving up almost instantly.

But around a week ago, I decided to give it a go again, no tutorials, just trial and error and looking around 3dsmax and seeing what things do. Now in 1 week, I don't really have much to show for it obviously. But I did get a lot further than I did while using tutorials.

The first model I made was a simple sign. That's it. Here were the results of my first model.

Yup. That's a sign alright.(Some of the texture was stolen from Wind Waker) There are many, many things wrong with it, but hey. I just started a week ago without tutorials!

So next I wanted to make something I could import into Skyrim and actually use with my character. So it was either armor or a weapon, and fuck making armor. So I went with a shield, and I went with a shield from a game I love which has very simple models, OoT. So I went on to attempt to create the Deku Shield. So I tried and tried to figure out what to do, and resisted going to youtube to figure it out, and eventually came up with this.

Now after that, the last model I decided to make(which I started and finished today) was another shield because shields seem simple enough. I'll probably try something a bit more complex later. I went with the Mirror Shield this time, it was a pain in the ass for me and took pretty much all day. All day and not much to show for it :P. My results. I may end up trying to put this one into Skyrim as well. I don't know.

So that's it for now. I'm going to continue trying. But so far going with no tutorials has been pretty good for me.

18 Comments
19 Comments
Posted by CL60

When I say teaching myself, I mean I'm not using any tutorials. Now, you might think that's insane and I'm stupid for even trying that, but I have 2 reasons for that. First, I want to challenge myself in my free time because I've got nothing better to do, and secondly, every other time I've tried to 3d model I haven't even gotten a box done because every tutorial I found, I got to a point in it where the thing I was being told to do just would not work, and I didn't know why and it led to me just getting frustrated and giving up almost instantly.

But around a week ago, I decided to give it a go again, no tutorials, just trial and error and looking around 3dsmax and seeing what things do. Now in 1 week, I don't really have much to show for it obviously. But I did get a lot further than I did while using tutorials.

The first model I made was a simple sign. That's it. Here were the results of my first model.

Yup. That's a sign alright.(Some of the texture was stolen from Wind Waker) There are many, many things wrong with it, but hey. I just started a week ago without tutorials!

So next I wanted to make something I could import into Skyrim and actually use with my character. So it was either armor or a weapon, and fuck making armor. So I went with a shield, and I went with a shield from a game I love which has very simple models, OoT. So I went on to attempt to create the Deku Shield. So I tried and tried to figure out what to do, and resisted going to youtube to figure it out, and eventually came up with this.

Now after that, the last model I decided to make(which I started and finished today) was another shield because shields seem simple enough. I'll probably try something a bit more complex later. I went with the Mirror Shield this time, it was a pain in the ass for me and took pretty much all day. All day and not much to show for it :P. My results. I may end up trying to put this one into Skyrim as well. I don't know.

So that's it for now. I'm going to continue trying. But so far going with no tutorials has been pretty good for me.

Posted by Galiant

If you're into Star Wars, I had a blast just trying to design cool lightsaber hilts. I wish I hadn't lost the original files though...

Keep at it!

Edited by doobie

i've been using max on and off for a few years now.

some stuff i've done

Posted by CL60

@Galiant said:

If you're into Star Wars, I had a blast just trying to design cool lightsaber hilts. I wish I hadn't lost the original files though... Keep at it!

Maybe I'll try.

Edited by xyzygy

The Center for Arts and Technology in Halifax has a program for 3D Game Animation. If you're seriously interested, check it out. It's an extremely intensive program. I was in it for a year until I decided it's not what I want to do. The field involves a lot of sleepless nights and a lot of pressure for deadlines.

Posted by Corvak

@xyzygy: My sister went there o.o Wierd clicking on a random link, only to hear someone talking about the place I live!

3D modeling is part of my trade (as a CAD designer) but generally we do less detailed, more mundane things like conceptual plans for construction, heh. 3DS Max is something I always wanted to try and teach myself (We've basically got licenses for it at work, as part of an autodesk/adobe suite, but don't really use it.)

Posted by CL60

@Corvak said:

@xyzygy: My sister went there o.o Wierd clicking on a random link, only to hear someone talking about the place I live!

3D modeling is part of my trade (as a CAD designer) but generally we do less detailed, more mundane things like conceptual plans for construction, heh. 3DS Max is something I always wanted to try and teach myself (We've basically got licenses for it at work, as part of an autodesk/adobe suite, but don't really use it.)

A lot of people on this site live here for some reason.

Posted by SeriouslyNow
@CL60 said:

@Galiant said:

If you're into Star Wars, I had a blast just trying to design cool lightsaber hilts. I wish I hadn't lost the original files though... Keep at it!

Maybe I'll try.

It's a good idea really.  It will teach a thing or two about lathing, lofting, intersecting polys and materials.  You know what you expect a lightsaber hilt to look like so start from there.
Posted by Brackynews

Dat mesh!

Keep it up. I've always enjoyed rendering, from overnight raytracers to fractals, Bryce to DAZ and Poser; but much as with modding I like to assemble and tweak existing pieces, not build them from scratch.

Posted by MordeaniisChaos
A pretty old thing I was doing in blender designing a PC gaming den.
Posted by iam3green

awesome work. i've wanted to learn that kind of stuff also. i don't have 3D max.

Posted by tourgen

pretty cool stuff, keep going at it.

Posted by nyv

I've been on/off on all sorts of 3D programs in past 5 or so years. Just two weeks ago I swtiched to Blender (mostly to be all legal) and I am so far pleasently surprised. For a free program it is great.

The hardest part is always keeping at it, fiddling around with it at least a couple of hours a few days a week. While the 3ds max is great and industry standard I've really fell in love with the internal logic of Blender. While it was a pain in the ass memorizing all the keystrokes to be even able to work with it, it paid off and I'm more able to create a proper model now in Blender, than I ever was in 3D max. And I've ought to spent at least 3 or 4 times as much time in 3ds max.

What I'm saying is, that if you were to get to wander off your quest of 3d modeling, consider using Blender, instead of a much more robust, intimidating and professional 3ds max. That might just keep you more on track and you might start enjoying it, just as I have.

Posted by boylie

I'm a 3d artist at a game studio in Toronto that uses 3dsMax and ZBrush for work (and for pleasure). 2 things:

1) Awesome work for someone that doesn't use any sort of training!

2) For god's sake, use some training! Why stumble around for hours in the dark if someone has the answer and can help you save time? I can only imagine how quickly you'd go from "pretty good for a new guy that isn't reading tutorials" to "legitimately amazing" if you just looked up information now and then! Seriously, you're doing yourself a disservice in my opinion, if you actually wanna get into 3d

Anyway, good luck dude. 3D is hard, and has a bazillion facets to it, but you're off to a good start. Keep it up!

Posted by Robster

Hey, absolutely great work to start off with, what is the resolution of the textures you are using currently.

I agree with use tutorials, or at least have them running in the background if they're videos, you may pick one or two things up that may be uber useful

Posted by CL60

@boylie said:

I'm a 3d artist at a game studio in Toronto that uses 3dsMax and ZBrush for work (and for pleasure). 2 things:

1) Awesome work for someone that doesn't use any sort of training!

2) For god's sake, use some training! Why stumble around for hours in the dark if someone has the answer and can help you save time? I can only imagine how quickly you'd go from "pretty good for a new guy that isn't reading tutorials" to "legitimately amazing" if you just looked up information now and then! Seriously, you're doing yourself a disservice in my opinion, if you actually wanna get into 3d

Anyway, good luck dude. 3D is hard, and has a bazillion facets to it, but you're off to a good start. Keep it up!

Yeah. I'll probably start using tutorials eventually, but for now I'm feeling good just fiddling with things on my own in my free time. I'm sure when I get more comfortable at it and start using tutorials I'll become a lot better.

Posted by Robster

@CL60 said:

Yeah. I'll probably start using tutorials eventually, but for now I'm feeling good just fiddling with things on my own in my free time. I'm sure when I get more comfortable at it and start using tutorials I'll become a lot better.

I must admit now I'm modelling stuff for my own entertainment more than anything, my progress has started to increase a lot more. I like your outlook, don't get too bogged down.

oh , also, don't delete any of your work, that's a mistake that I've made in the past.

Posted by Universalize

do you guys use drawing tablets like the wacom brand, or is that pointless when it comes to 3d modelling?

Posted by Xpgamer7

I love what you've done. I did VERY basic design in some programs. I'm interested to see how you do and what you learn.