Hello everyone! Sometimes in tutorials, I will forget to mention something but later realize it was maybe worth mentioning. In most cases, I do not have scripted content for videos, so I thought I could put out a written article now and then, addressing certain points that I might have missed.

Here are few tips I wanted to share about improving your modeling.

Just final note, please apologize for my writing as I´m not native English speaker so most likely there are mistakes here and there.

Hope you find it useful.

Inspiration

Speaking from my personal experience, I spend a lot of time on Artstation and Pinterest searching for artwork related to discipline that interests me. To be more specific, hard surface design combined with organic forms. Just surfing and gathering all that material, can be a great driving force to start and just create something.

In the beginning that might be a problem if you think “but on what should I start working on?”. What you can do in that case, just start something. Anything. Even small work might trigger an idea for something bigger. Even if not, you still can learn from scraped work.

References

Now, this part is very closely connected to the inspiration part.  When starting a new project, try to gather as many references as you can. For example, if you would like to design a car, find as many examples of different car models from various angles. Then filter those images out to a brand which would fit the most to something you originally imagined. Various angles will help to see details you usually would not notice.

Practice

Seems obvious but if you start your workday with small 20-30 minute practice model, you could release that stress of the need to create something. We all have that moment where we feel stuck or blocked in what to do next.

As soon as you open c4d (or any other 3D tool) just start pushing points and polygons and you’ll be more open to working on your actual project after 20 minutes.
What I do in this case, I focus on creating a library of pieces I most commonly use or would need. So basically this 20 minutes is reserved for practice but also creating something I might use.

Hotkeys

If you are only a beginner this part might be a pain, I know. Learning to use hotkeys can be a big time saver in your future workflow. All that time you spend right clicking and searching for an operation to execute actually could be spent on a creative process. At this point you are distracted by “ok right click – extrude… hm its here somewhere. Ah, there it is!” Where instead you could have all fluid workflow, by focusing on design part only, and having your full focus there.

But this is something that comes over time so no need to get frustrated. You could start small, like remembering hotkeys for Move(E), Scale(T) and Rotation(R), then maybe Loop selection(U-L) and Extrude (M-T).

After that, you are free to expand your hotkey memory key by key, to a point where you probably want to assign custom keys as you notice how faster your workflow is becoming.

Scripts

Scripts are another time saver. There are more than a few scripts out there that can automate your workflow and save more than a few clicks. The ones I would recommend are Points to circle and HB Modeling Bundle (this one is not free.)

Linear workflow

I was not sure how I would name this part but I hope I can explain. What I mean by linear workflow is building your models gradually. Start very simple. Basic primitives can get you far enough on the basic block out, just to get the idea out.

Afterwards, you can set all objects editable and while keeping low poly count, reshape that idea even more.  Making heavy mesh with a lot of detail at an early stage might compromise the balance of the model, and bring more work in the long run. Better to play longer with low poly shapes in the early stage, then spending time reshaping heavy mesh later.

As an example of this workflow, you can check Creating 3D Shank from Destiny tutorial.

Save often

This one I highly recommend. Create save files as soon as you made some progress on your model. In my case, I try to do save files every 20-30 minutes if I’m happy with the progress. That way if I’m not happy, let’s say certain details in the late stage of the model are off, I can always load a piece from one of my early saves and start from fresh from there.

Taking breaks

Also very important part of each workflow is knowing when to take a break. There are few benefits to this. You might feel you ´re running out of ideas and be making your model or sculpt worse over time. Usually then would be a good time to make a small break. When you return, you might have a fresh approach to what you did so far and bring something new to the design.

That´s it for now guys, until next time!

-Mario

1 Comment

  1. I really like your tutorial,Unfortunately, my English ability is not particularly good, and sometimes only through your operation and then to re-operate it again, sometimes it may take several times to understand. thank you for your sharing. English is not good, it can only be translated by Google, I hope nothing wrong.

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