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The Best 3D Tutorials of 2012 - Part II

Our Favorite CG Training from the Second Half of the Year

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Well we're almost all the way through 2012, and that means it's time for list season!

There have been some absolutely fantastic tutorials out this year, and I can honestly say my art has improved tremendously because of a lot of them. We already did an article covering our favorite training from the first half of the year, so here are are the ones to watch from that point on:

1. Freebies


As I'm sure you well know, there's always a wealth of free content out there for beginners, and anyone who doesn't feel ready to plunk down $20 (or more) a month for a training subscription to one of the premium sites. We've also noticed a pretty significant surge in high-quality content over at YouTube, which is especially awesome because it's free for the user and the artist that produces the training has the ability to monetize through advertising.

Let's take a look at some of the free stuff:

  • World Machine - Cryengine/UDK Workflow - Amir Abdaoui - I'm going to cheat a little bit with this one because it isn't actually new to the second half of 2012, but I only recently discovered it and the content is absolutely tremendous. If you're interested in becoming an environment artist and have been looking for a decent workflow for producing large-scale outdoor maps in either UDK or Cryengine, this is exactly the tutorial you've been waiting for. There are over three hours of content in this series alone, and a lot of great stuff over at Amir's YouTube channel.
  • Photo Based Sculpting in Mudbox - Eat3D - Eat3D Recently released a free 20 minute workflow demonstration on using photographic stamps for quick and effective sculpting in Mudbox. It's a pretty unique approach, and even though I'm not a Mudbox user I was able to carry some of the information with me into other packages. Also covers xNormal and nDo2.

2. Premium Content


And here are some of the best new options from some of our favorite premium sites. I've said it a million times, and I know these sites can get expensive, but the content here is always worth the expense, as long as you know what you want to learn and have the discipline to follow through on your intentions. The nice thing about the subscription based sites is that you can always cancel after a month.

  • Texture Baking with ZBrush, xNormal, and nDo2 - 3D Motive - I worked though this offering from 3D motive a few months ago, hoping to streamline and improve my knowledge of normal mapping workflows for a UDK project. The information that pertains to xNormal is pretty standard stuff that can be found just about anywhere, but the nDo2 workflow was all new to me. Impressive stuff!

  • UDK Material Series - Parts 2 and 3 - 3D Motive - Without any reservations, I can say that 3DMotive's UDK material series is the best training of its kind, anywhere on the web. Over the course of the three separate parts (labelled beginner, intermediate, and advanced) you'll learn everything you need to know about the UDK material editor from basic metal and glass all the way up to water, animated lava, and an amazingly cool vector based snow/ice material. If you work in UDK, this is must see, no question about it.

  • UDK Material Series - Parts 2 and 3 - 3D Motive - Without any reservations, I can say that 3DMotive's UDK material series is the best training of its kind, anywhere on the web. Over the course of the three separate parts (labelled beginner, intermediate, and advanced) you'll learn everything you need to know about the UDK material editor from basic metal and glass all the way up to water, animated lava, and an amazingly cool vector based snow/ice material. If you work in UDK, this is must see, no question about it.

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