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Creating 3D

An introduction to the 3D computer graphics pipeline. We take a walk through the various steps of 3D production, including pre-production, modeling, texturing, lighting, animation, rendering, and visual effects compositing.

The Best 3D Tutorials of 2012 - Part II
We

15 Free ZBrush Tutorials to Help You Level Up
A selection of 15 free ZBrush tutorials from around the web to help you take your digital sculpting skills to the next level.

Diamant Modeling Tools v1.0 - Software Review
We take a look at Rich Diamant's fantastic UV mapping and brush based modeling plugin for Autodesk Maya.

Essential Texturing Resources for 3D Artists
A list of tips, tricks, texture libraries, software suggestions, and tutorials to help you successfully conquer the dark art of texturing your 3D models.

Maya Tutorial Series - Modeling a Greek Column

Finishing a 3D Render – Passes, Compositing, and Touch Ups
Your raw render should never be your finished image! In this article we take a look at all the ways you can use post processing to bring your finished work to an entirely new level of polish and realism.

Finishing a 3D Render – Color Grading, Bloom, and Lens Effects
Your raw render should never be your finished image! In this article we take a look at all the ways you can use post processing to bring your finished work to an entirely new level of polish and realism.

15 Indispensable ZBrush Resources
Fifteen resources to help you make the most of your sculpting experience--from brushes to materials, to alpha sets, these free downloads will help you streamline your workflow and step up your sculpting.

Maya Tutorial Series - Detailing the Greek Column

50 More Concept Art/CG Portfolios to Inspire and Motivate
A collection of fifty additional galleries and portfolio sites from some of the best artists working in 3D computer graphics, entertainment design, concept art, game development, and animation.

Maya Tutorial Series - Basic Render Settings

The Ten Principles of 3D Printing by Hod Lipson & Melba Kurman
Hod Lipson & Melba Kurman discuss how and why 3D printing will change the world, in an excellent overview excerpted from their recent book "Fabricated: the New World of 3D Printing."

Maya Tutorial Series - Unrwapping the Greek Column (UV Mapping)

Getting Started in 3D Modeling and Animation
The wide world of 3d computer graphics has dozens of different outlets, so jumping into the learning process haphazardly can ultimately lead to uncertainty and frustration. Follow our three quick steps and you'll have a better idea of where you'd like to go with 3D and how to get there.

First Look – Quixel dDo Texturing Framework
We take a look at Quixel's brand new dDo plugin for Photoshop, and examine how it can help streamline your game-art texturing workflow.

Getting Started in 3D: Know Your Resources
The third entry in our Getting Started in 3D series, we discuss what to do once you know what direction you'd like to take in 3D and have decided on which software you'll be using. Knowing what types of resources are available to a budding 3D artist will help tremendously in making the learning process as smooth as possible.

7 Common Modeling Techniques for Film and Games
An introductory overview of six common techniques employed by 3D modelers in today's computer graphics industry.

How to Sculpt Great Looking Wood in ZBrush
We discuss some surefire techniques for sculpting great looking wood textures in Zbrush. Take your environment art to the next level!

Polygonal 3D Modeling - Common Box and Edge Modeling Workflows
A concise walk-through of common polygonal modeling workflows for box and edge modeling.

Creating Effecient 3D Illustrations - Part 1
Take your 3D scenes to the next level with this in depth discussion on how to efficiently tackle a fully realized CG illustration.

Creating Effecient 3D Illustrations - Part 2
And here's the second part of our in depth discussion on how to efficiently tackle a fully realized CG illustration.

Maya Training Series - Keyboard Shortcut Cheat-sheet
A reference sheet with some of the most commonly used keyboard shortcuts in Autodesk Maya. Perfect for Maya beginners.

How to Sculpt Wood in ZBrush - Part 2
The second part of our discussion on wood sculpting techniques in ZBrush. In this section we discuss surface grain, detailing techniques, and begin looking at the high-to-low XNormal baking workflow.

How to Make Really Bad CG
We go through some key steps in creating the absolute worst CG

What is Rigging?
Before a 3D model can be animated, it must be passed to a character technical director (TD) for a process called rigging. When rigging a model, the mesh is bound to a digital "skeleton" made up of joints and control handles which allow it to be posed and manipulated by animators.

Five Great YouTube Channels for 3D Artists and Game Developers
Here are five (plus a bonus) amazing YouTube channels for aspiring concept artists, 3d modelers, and game developers.

What is Concept Sculpting?
Concept sculptors forgo traditional 2D design tools like Photoshop and Painter, and and instead work directly in a digital sculpting application like ZBrush or Mudbox. Here are some reasons to add concept sculpting to your character design toolkit

A List of 3D Forums & Communities
Showing your work is a crucial part of the artistic process. Here's a brief list that highlights some of best CG forums & communities on the web.

3D Contest List - Prominent CG Competitions
In addition to forums and community sites, there are a number of other options for showing your 3D artwork. We

50 Incredible Concept Art/CG Portfolios to Inspire and Motivate
Links to 50 incredible galleries and portfolio sites from some of the best artists working in 3D computer graphics, entertainment design, concept art, game development, and animation.

3D Lighting Techniques - Lighting a 3D Scene
An introduction to the six types of lights in Maya and 3ds Max.

3D Magazines, Workshops, Conferences, and Collaboration
One final list of options for showing your 3D artwork, from magazines, to workshops to modding.

Overcoming an Artist's Block - Maintaining Productivity During the Block
Suggestions for 3D artists on how to maintain productivity during a creative block.

Overcoming an Artist's Block - How to Reignite Your Creativity
Suggestions for 3D artists on how to reignite creativity during an artist's block, and where find inspiration for 3D modeling/animation.

Maya Training Series: Introduction
Part one in our step by step training series for Autodesk Maya. Oriented toward beginners, we'll walk through the Maya interface and introduce the basics of modeling, texturing, animation, and rendering.

Maya Lesson 1.1: Introducing the User Interface
Part one in our step by step training series for Autodesk Maya. Aimed at beginners, we'll walk through the Maya interface and introduce the basics of modeling, texturing, animation, and rendering.

Revolving Curves In Maya - Modeling a Champagne Flute
Learn how to use Maya's "revolve curve" tool by creating a three piece tea set. This is a beginner level Maya tutorial.

5 Tips For Stylized Renders
Stylized modeling and animation is hard. Because stylized renders often have simplified forms and materials, your image has to stand on the merit of concept, design, and execution rather than intricate detail. Here are some tips to help you create "stylized realism" like Pixar or Dreamworks:

Surfacing 101 - Texture Mapping
In this three-part series, we explore the third segment of the computer graphics pipeline—surfacing. Shading and texture artists are responsible for developing the surface detail for a 3D model. This includes color maps, textures, bump or normal mapping, and developing a realistic surface shader to determine how the model will react with light.

Surfacing 101 - Shading Networks and Surface Materials
Shaders, or surface materials, are instrumental in giving a 3D model it's visual appearance. A shader is a programmed set of instructions, which tells a 3D render engine like Mental Ray how a 3D model should interact with light.

How to Render Glass in Maya and Mental Ray – Shader Recipe Series
We present a surefire way to create a physically accurate glass material using the Mia_material_x shader in Mental Ray for Maya.

8 Incredible 3D Tutorials
A guide to the best 3D training so far in 2011, including tutorials from Digital Tutors, Eat 3D, Gnomon Workshop, and a few freebies.

Which 3D Software?
Wondering which 3D software to purchase? This is an overview of the different types of 3D software available, and recommendations for choosing the 3D software suite that's right for you. We'll go through full 3D packages, digital sculpting tools, game engines, and free applications.

Maya Lesson 1.2: Project Management
We'll discuss project and file management in Autodesk Maya. Topics include creating a new project, folder structure, and naming conventions.

Maya Lesson 1.3: Object Creation
Object creation in Autodesk Maya 2011 - Creating primitive polygon shapes.

What is Rendering?
What is rendering exactly? The final step in the 3D computer graphics pipeline, rendering is the process by which a 3D scene is translated into a final 2D image. Read more about the techniques and software used to render a 3D character or scene.

List of 3D Software - Full 3D Suites
A list of all the major 3D software applications in use by today's top production studios. The list is organized into categories according to the strengths of each piece of software.

Anatomy of a 3D Model
An introduction to 3D models, with a breakdown of the major components of a 3D Model. We'll cover the main types of 3D models, and provide an explanation of faces, edges, vertices, and shading networks.

Preparing a Model for 3D Printing
A five step look at the process required to properly prepare a digital model for the 3D printing process. We look at some tricks and techniques that will enable you to print your 3d models as easily and cheaply as possible.

Best Books for 3D Animators
A list of 10 incredible books for 3D animators, with a nice mix between traditional animation theory and practical CG knowledge.

What is Subsurface Scattering?
We take a look at a common material phenomenon known in the CG community as subsurface scattering, and explore how it can be applied to your images to make them more lifelike.

Best Online 3D Training Subscriptions & CG Tutorial Sites
Ten incredible sources for online training in 3D computer graphics. These are the absolute best places to go for self-paced instruction in 3d modeling, animation, visual effects, and game development.

Going Indie in 3D Computer Graphics:
We discuss the merits of pursuing an independent short animation or game development project, and why we think the stars are aligning for indie developers.

Five Reasons You Need to Learn ZBrush (Now!)
ZBrush is on the absolute cutting edge of innovation in the computer graphics industry. Here are five reasons why now is a better time than ever before to learn Pixologic's game-changing software.

20 Mindblowing CG Studio Showreels - 2012 & 2013
Here are twenty incredible studio showreels that showcase some of the most impressive CG work from 2012 and 2013.

List of Texturing, Surfacing, and UV Map Generation Software
A comprehensive list of software for texturing, baking normal maps, and laying out UVs for your 3D models.

3D Recap April 2013 - The Month's Top CG Artwork and Industry News
A summary of some of the CG industry's top news stories and visuals from March 2013.

Modular Character Design for 3D Computer Animation, Illustration, and Games
We explore the concept of modularity in game development and see how we can apply it to character design.

How to Use 3D Software in 2D Illustration and Concept Art
We take a look at some of the ways that 3D software can be combined with 2D illustration tools like Photoshop and Corel Painter to create unique, well-executed digital paintings.

How to Learn Digital Figure Sculpture in Zbrush or Mudbox
If you're interested in becoming a character artist, at some point you'll probably ask the question—what's the best way to learn anatomy? Here are five tips for the 3D artist.

8 Tips to Increase the Photo-Realism in Your Renders
A list of eight techniques that will improve your 3D renders and help you achieve a higher level of photo-realism.

Do I Need To Know How To Draw For 3D Modeling?
We explore whether or not it's time effective to focus on your 2D drawing and painting skills when your ultimate goal is a career in 3D computer graphics.

3D Recap March 2012
A summary of some of the CG industry's top news stories and visuals from March 2012—in case you missed anything.

New Software - nDo2 First Impressions
Recently had a go with the trial version of NDO2, Quixel's flagship normal mapping utility. Here are my thoughts and first impressions.

6 Quick Tips for Interesting CG Lighting
Good lighting can make or break a render. Here are five easy tips to ensure that your 3D images always have great lighting.

Maya Lesson 1.4: Object Manipulation
An overview of Maya's object manipulation tools—translate, scale, and rotate.

Maya Lesson 1.5: Selection & Duplication
Accessing Maya's different selection modes.

Maya Lesson 2.2 - The Extrude Tool

3D Tutorial Roundup - Best of 2012 (So Far)
A collection of some of the best 3d modeling, animation, and game development tutorials (both free and paid) from 2012 so far.

5 Common Pitfalls of Beginning Modelers
In this article we explore a small handful of issues that beginners to 3D modeling often struggle with, and offer suggestions for avoiding the traps.

5 Techniques to Speed up Your Modeling in Maya
Here are five incredibly useful tools that will speed up your modeling workflow in Autodesk Maya.

How to Use Maya's Lattice Tool
A brief introduction to the lattice tool in Autodesk Maya. How to use it and how it can improve your modeling.

Creating Plants and Trees in Maya & Mental Ray
A two part discussion on how to create foliage using paint effects in Maya.

3D Basics - Getting Started in 3D
We take an in depth look at some of the basics of 3D computer graphics, including 3D modeling, stereoscopic 3D, and 3D printing.

Best Books for 3D Modelers
A list of some of the best books on the market for someone looking to improve their 3D modeling, digital sculpting, or rendering skills. Six "best in class" resources that will improve your 3D characters, environments, and renders significantly.

Maya Lesson 2.1: Introducing Maya's Modeling Tools

Maya Lesson 2.3: Combining Objects and Filling Holes

Maya Lesson 2.4 - Scene Organization

How to Learn Digital Figure Sculpture in Zbrush or Mudbox
If you're interested in becoming a character artist, at some point you'll probably ask the question—what's the best way to learn anatomy? We tackle that question head on in this two part series.

Rendering Paint Effects Trees, Plants, and Grass in Mental Ray
A brief tutorial that explains how to render paint effects plants in Mental Ray.

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