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How to Use 3D Software in 2D Illustration and Concept Art

Using 3D Modeling to Block Out Your Digital Paintings

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A lot of beginning artists that are interested in in digital concept art or illustration don't quite realize the extent of the tools they have at their disposal. When you're starting out, you see the greatest artists in your field and wonder how on earth they're pulling off such hyper-realistic paintings and drawings. The more you learn, the more you begin to realize that there are a lot of tools that can make your life easier and improve your work as long as your fundamentals are sound.

We've put together a brief discussion on how an illustrator or concept artist can use 3d modeling software to quickly and accurately block out their 2D artwork:

1. 2D or 3D--Why not both?

In the early days of computer graphics, you had concept artists and illustrators doing per-production work, and modelers, texture painters, and technical directors working on the 3D side. Most of the time you picked a specialty and ran with it. If you were a generalist,

In those days 3D was technical and time consuming.

2. How to use 3D as an Underpainting:

By analyzing great artwork you begin to form an idea of what works and what doesn't. It's one of the easiest (and most enjoyable) ways to learn some of the basic tenets of composition, lighting, and design, and it also happens to be a pretty great way to unwind at the end of a hard day! No, looking at pretty pictures isn't going to teach you the technical side of CG, but it will help you make the most of your tools and software. There's no substitute for good, solid practice, but these artists' portfolios can be an incredible source for inspiration, reference, and motivation. Believe it or not, the Winter season will have come and gone before you know it. We like to stay ahead of the game, so we've gone ahead and updated the 3D movie release schedule with the article for Spring of next year. March and April have become an interesting time at the box office, and this year all the major titles are 3D.

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