A chat with Vinicius Noyama de Lara

Starting our journey into 3D modeling can be overwhelming, and we all have a lot of questions on our minds.

Where do we start?
Which software is the best? Which tutorials should we follow?

With so much information out there, it can be difficult to choose or evaluate which path to take. That’s why I would like to start a series where we chat directly with artists who recently have been through this journey.
I´m hoping we could hear their story, how they got into the 3D world, what inspired them, and what kept them motivated.

I believe we all would like to know how to overcome initial obstacles and what helps the most in achieving our goals in a short amount of time.

For that reason I’m really excited to introduce you to Vinicius Noyama de Lara!
Vinicius is a talented artist who has recently completed the Maya Masterclass training with exceptional results.

What’s even more impressive is that he did it in a short amount of time, with consistent quality.
I asked him if he’d be willing to give us a quick summary of what he thinks helped him achieve such great results, and he was kind enough to share his thoughts and process.

Vinicius final submissions from Maya Masterclass Training
Lets start at the beginning. What inspired you to start with 3D modeling?

Since I was a kid, I’ve loved playing video games. I used to spend all day playing SNES. I still vividly remember when my parents got me a Nintendo 64 on my birthday – the graphics just blew me away! I know these days it’s nothing very exciting, but back then, it was revolutionary!

It was in all the stores and everywhere, and those memories have stuck with me.
Games have evolved a lot since then, and my passion for video games has never waned.

I still play these days! I’ve been carrying those good memories in the back of my head for quite a long time. I began to ask myself, “How would it be to work with the things that I love so much?”

I wasn’t sure if I could make it, but I decided to take my first step. That’s essentially how I ended up diving into 3D modeling.

What would you describe as your biggest struggle in the very beginning or as a beginner 3D modeler?

I have a bit of a background in clay sculpting, and I was accustomed to using my hands, moving around to check the model, sculpture, or object from multiple angles.

So, getting the hang of navigating 3D space was a real challenge when I started. I often wished I could reach into the monitor to adjust things with my hands. It’s funny to think about that now, but I’m glad those days are behind me!

Is there anything that you would do differently if you´re starting today?

If I were embarking on this journey today, my advice would be to prioritize the fundamentals. Rather than getting preoccupied with shortcuts and addons from the get-go, focus on establishing a strong foundation.

Mastering the basics lays the groundwork for a smoother learning experience, allowing subsequent aspects to fall into place seamlessly. Starting the other way around can unnecessarily complicate matters, particularly in the initial stages of learning.

I think many would be interested in hearing, what was your biggest challenge so far in reaching your current skill level? Or is there any particular challenge during your 3D modeling training that was difficult to overcome?

My most significant challenge was topology. In the past, I didn’t understand it very well, so I found myself unable to create the shapes I wanted. I spent hours solving triangles and dealing with wrinkles all over my meshes, which was very frustrating.

I came across the Elementza Topology and Maya Masterclass courses and took the time to practice and learn. Nowadays, I genuinely feel more content and confident about my modeling skills.

Do you have any specific learning plans or strategies to help you stay focused?

Absolutely! My go-to strategy for staying focused is breaking down larger projects into bite-sized tasks. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of a complete project, I shift my focus to smaller, more manageable goals. It not only makes the project more approachable but also gives me a sense of reward as I tick off those tasks.

And if I ever find it challenging to stay focused for an extended period or get started on a task, I turn to the Pomodoro Technique. This technique involves breaking work into manageable intervals, typically 25 minutes, with short breaks in between. It helps create a sense of urgency and prevents burnout. I find it incredibly effective for maintaining productivity and keeping my focus sharp.

What would you say helped you stay on track of learning and not give up early on projects?

The key to staying on track and not giving up early on projects for me is discipline. While the initial excitement is full of dreams and colors, problems inevitably arise during the process.

Showing up every day and tackling each issue head-on has been crucial to overcoming challenges and seeing projects through to completion.

Seeing how fast you progressed in short amount of time, what learning routine helped you the most?

For my learning routine I usually:

• Set Clear Goals: Define specific, measurable, and achievable goals for your 3D modeling skills. This could include creating an object with good topology, mastering a particular software, or completing specific projects.

• Daily Practice: Dedicate a consistent amount of time each day to practice 3D modeling. This regular practice helps reinforce skills and build muscle memory.

• Project-Based Learning: Engage in course/real-world projects to apply theoretical knowledge. This hands-on approach accelerates learning and provides a practical understanding of 3D modeling principles.

• Focused Learning Sessions: Break down your learning into focused sessions. For example, dedicate one session to modeling, another to texturing, and another to rendering. This allows you to delve deeply into specific aspects of 3D modeling.

• Consistent Feedback: Seek feedback regularly from experienced 3D modelers or online communities. Constructive criticism helps you identify areas for improvement and refine your skills. I’ve received invaluable feedback from Mario and Elementza’s community. And I can’t stress enough how much is important receiving feedback.

• Problem-Solving Approach: Develop a problem-solving mindset. When faced with challenges, approach them as opportunities to learn and improve. Overcoming obstacles contributes significantly to skill development.

Finally, what would you recommend to anyone just starting out with 3D modeling as the ideal approach to maximize the time and the results?

When you’re starting out in 3D modeling, embrace a proactive approach. Instead of getting bogged down by overthinking, take the plunge.

When you encounter challenges or aspects that don’t sit well with you, delve into the ‘why’ behind it and work on finding solutions.

Even if it’s just taking a shot at things, staying committed and keeping up that consistent effort will pay off big time in the long haul.