Why bother with 3D? What does "The Dream" look like for you?

I was wondering this myself and thought it would make an interesting discussion and would also help people define their goals and see whether we are moving towards them and building up our skills for it or if we’re just messing about and doing whatever while we daydream (ain’t nothing wrong with that, as long as one is aware of it happening)

So the question I ask myself and encourage you to ask yourselves too is: Why bother with 3D? Why are we learning 3D? What’s the endgame and how much of what you do in 3D moves you towards that goal?

For myself,
while I’m intrigued by the possibilities of it all and while I love sculpting I realize that I don’t really care to work on it, making sculpts and models, vfx or all the rest of it. I enjoy doing those things because they are fun but I don’t care for them to be a job, I don’t want to be a sculptor, modeller, animator or any of it. I cannot see myself working on the above 8-10 hours a day for 5-7 days a week, just to get someone else’s vision out there. No thank you, I don’t care how much you pay, I got my own visions and they are far more interesting than your money or the models you want me to make for you.

What I’ve always wanted to do was create stories and worlds, this is what ideally I would like to get paid for, for being an “ideas guy”.
So my ideal job would be a Creative/Art Director or something along those lines.
I don’t get the same level of excitement out of making something, like I get out of “coming up” with something.

I have lots of ideas, I’m too lazy to execute them all by myself, coming up with a vision is far more engaging for me than actually working on the particular models etc etc of that vision.
That I’d like to leave up to people who love doing that as much as I love coming up with ideas for big long term projects.

So am I moving towards that ideal goal through what I do in 3D and in general? Nope! Not at all.
So why do I do what I do in 3D? It’s fun, obviously, but other than that and the dopamine hit of making something and seeing it through and people saying “oh it’s nice” there isn’t much else to it.

The only reason I’m in this is so I can get a decent understanding of it all, and potentially make prototypes For me the big excitement lies in coming up with ideas and not so much on the technical stuff of how to do it efficiently.

So I need to be focusing more on the managerial aspect, team leadership skills and expressing concepts and ideas to others in a clear way, and less on the best technique to animate a character or how to code a certain function in a game engine etc. I don’t want to specialize on these things but I want to understand them well enough so I know what to ask of people and what will work best for whatever project.

What about you? Why 3D? What are you aiming towards and are you truly working towards that or just go from tutorial to tutorial, from course to course, from one personal project to the next?
Is it just a fun activity to creatively pass the time or are you building up to something?
Be honest with yourselves.

I feel we live in an age where focusing on a goal is one of the hardest things to do, due to all the distractions, information and potentials we are constantly bombarded and exposed to. I might be mistaken but I think it was easier a few generations back to focus on one thing and pursue it without (not as many) distractions.

I’d love to hear your personal goals and I’d love it if we could support and hold each other accountable on our personal journeys.

Remember, this is a community, the point of it is to help each other grow to our fullest potential, it’s not just a place to learn 3D, Blendermania is much more than that!

I am currently not sure about my goal because I am a 15-year-old boy but I really have fun doing all this like 3d art and also in VFX.

I make many stories too and dream of converting those mind stories into a 3d or real world.

There’s a whole life left to think about my goals, so I will practice and make new hobbies and passions and think about a job when the time comes.

Absolutely have as much fun and enjoyment as you can.

Have fun with it, eventually you’ll get a better grasp of whether you want to do something with it professionally or just as a hobby. There’s no pressure to it, but the sooner you define your goals the sooner you can start working towards them, but first you need to practice your particular talents just for the enjoyment of it, just like you do!

I guess this is more centered towards people in their adulthood, but your input is valuable as well, we need to be reminded that we can just do things for the fun of it, with no particular endgame in mind.
But for those who have an endgame in mind, I think it’s useful to discuss it with other creatives :slight_smile:

For me, it’s pretty much threefold of some simple answers that do have some more complex meanings:

  1. I am an artist. I simply must create. The act of creating in itself is a reason to do 3D. There’s a lot you can do with it and it opens a lot of doors for me on how to express myself artistically. I have been drawing since I was born and I have in that time made characters and stories in my head I simply must get out there. If I can make my 2D sketch work into 3D characters, they’ll seem more real and rigging them up for future pictures will mean more exposure of these characters in less time. It’ll also help for poses for future drawings, as well. But the point is, it’s a means to create, and create things is something I simply can’t NOT do. Whether it’s to achieve a goal, get a job, or just make something that won’t even get seen by other people, the act of “making” something is in itself enjoyable.

  2. Long-term dreams: Making a movie and/or video game. Not necessarily a full-length motion picture, but making videos of characters of mine is something I want to make for others to see. My head pictures things not just in still images, but completely in motion. My brain is like an internal movie camera. Being able to make something for someone else to see from the angles my mind’s eye sees them, I pray it may help other people to understand me better if they can literally see what my brain does with these kinds of things. And maybe seeing my characters in action, people might even become fans of my creations. Overall, I think I just want to be liked. Myself and the things/characters I’ve made and have become attached to. Something I used to have on a very close level, but… not so much anymore. I hope even just a portion might be regained through my audience.

  3. Therapy. Honestly, I need it for my own mental health. I work in a factory job, making cars. But it’s an assembly line, so you do one thing repetitively. There’s always another car, another car, another car, working hours upon hours and I never feel like I’m really… accomplishing anything. Years of that has really worn me down in my outlook on my own life. To create is to see something go from start to finish. Seeing a model, an animation, an idea being brought forth, I can see a finished picture or short movie and say, “I made that”. That’s something I just don’t get anywhere else.

Honestly, I’m just a lonely soul who wants to matter to someone. Me, my creations, my existing. I hope to make larger productions, but it’s not a do-or-die kind of goal. I love creating, I just hope that others will love it when I create.

I was drawn to 3D cause of the broad possibility’s it has. You can learn art, drawing, anatomy, sculpting, composition, lighting (photography), storytelling, animation, etc… I think it’s interesting because of this. It’s is not ‘just’ 3D, but so much more. Growing in this part helped me grow in other ways too (in my career as graphic designer/animator). My dream is to be able to fully express my creativity in the broadest possible way’s. First techniques then creation. And then… dream some more!

I love that you shared this Alex.

As for me, my current goal is to learn as much as I reasonably can about the many different aspects of a 3D pipeline so I can make an educated decision on which field I’d like to become more specialized in. What drives me in 3D is connecting the imagination to reality, and as of right now I really dig the way VFX does that. Now, I still have tons to learn, so that’s still to be decided. I get what you mean about wanting to execute your own ideas rather than someone else’s. For me, I’m just happy to create that bridge from the imagination to reality. My ideas are all scattered anyways lol, so it’s best if I leave it to someone else.

When I was in school I did Art and thoroughly enjoyed it. A fellow student and I were the top students in our class yet we both failed our 5th form Art. This had a huge impact on me and I stopped doing anything Artistic…switched to playing more games!

Somewhere along the way I did created a logo for a competition once where I must have almost won as it was displayed in background of the local newspapers article as they presented the prize to the professional artist!!!

My interest in 3D came about through my interest in games. I have always been a gamer since the Arcades (galaga, pacman etc), Consoles (atari, xbox, playstation), computer (sprectrum48k, comodor64, PC) etc…

My first attempted 3D environments was with Doom, Quake but really got into it with Call of Duty and the Radiant editor. It was fun running around in an environment I created but never fully finished anything as I never quite mastered portalling (it streamlines the performance of a level).

I new of MAYA & 3DXMAX but they were so expensive (they still are). With the release of COD:MW2 they stopped supporting mapping and dedicated servers so started looking at other games that support mapping.

I found games like Americas Army proving grounds which provided map editor but assets were already created which introduced me to the Unreal Engine. Then Epic Games released UDK (unreal development kit). To create environments I found you had to create meshes if you wanted to do it properly.

This is what brought me to Blender. As you know, Blender can do so much more than just meshes.

So to cut to the chase:

1 - I want to get good at Hard Surface Modelling

2 - I want to get good at sculpting and animating

3 - I want to create a game someday

4 - I want to create a decent animated short film someday

5 - Goal is to somehow create passive income from creating assets or similar

6 - I want to get to that point where I create all my own content and don’t need to rely on tutorials to fill in the missing gaps.

Big issue I have is lack of time. With Family, Work, Sports, Fitness & Games slows my Blender progression.

HOP is my 1 hour guaranteed modelling per week. Each week I try to learn and retain 1 new thing. For the most part, I think that is working.

Like Darth said, I’m really happy you posted this Alex. I loved reading everyone’s responses.

I was never really into art like drawing, painting etc. when I was younger but I did love cartoons, video games, and creative challenges like puzzles or K’Nex toys. I feel like all of those had a hand in my art development even though it was kinda indirect.

For a good chuck of my adult life, I kinda was just going through the motions. Didn’t have drive apart from be active in church, do a good job at work, and travel occasionally. Then, I got married and my wonderful wife started to believe in me when I suggested different things I’d like to try. It was like slowly I began to come alive instead of going through the motions. Because of her encouragement, I tried out for the Blue Man Group, I made a working board game prototype, and I had the courage to try 3D modeling with Blender (mainly because it was free and I wanted to be an animator). I had some experience with Solidworks because of my major in college and access to it at my job. Because of that, 3D modeling felt way more comfortable than trying to be a 2D animator.

All of that to say, at the moment my main goal is to make animations and 3D art/videos full time. I wasn’t sure how to accomplish it so I just started a video channel and I’ll keep trying until something sticks. This community has been monumental in my development and I can say for certain that I wouldn’t be as far as I am without it. The challenges (both weekly and monthly) have pushed me to try new things, research new methods, and keep trying. Submitting my first weekly challenge art (abstract challenge) was so nerve wracking and don’t even get me started on how much I dreaded my performance on the first HOP! Alex’s Udemy animation course was also pivotal. I haven’t finished it yet but it has taught me so much already.

Am I moving myself towards that goal? I believe I am. I’m not making any money at the moment with my 3D art and I definitely have a ways to go before I’m good enough to freelance well enough to support my family. But, with my new channel, I have an even greater incentive to keep trying and learning new things. To quit my current job, be my own boss, and get paid to make 3D models, animations, videos, etc. is the end goal. I want to polish my animation challenge submission to be a higher quality teaser trailer or just turn it into a one off animation on its own. Lot’s of ideas, so little time lol.

If you stuck with me long enough to read to this point, you have my undying gratitude! You all are amazing and I’m so happy I’ve found Blendermania3D!

I read it all. I can confirm Blendermania3D is you last words ?

What’s your utoob channel?

I mentioned it in chat to Alex today but start listening to ‘Art Cafe’. There are some great discussions around Freelance, drawing, 3D, working for yourself etc…I have listened to Andrew Price, Ian Herbert and a couple of others. They long, 1 - 2.5 hours but so worth it.

This is a really good matter to discuss and a good thread to read, need more like this. Anyway, onto the topic. A forewarning though, this is a giant wall of text.

* Why bother with 3D? Why learning 3D?

Much like the others, my main basic drive is the desire to create something, to materialize those that confined within my minds, to summon them into the ‘real’ world. My journey into Blender started when I was trying to get serious into writing a scifi story/novel (I remember telling about that here but can’t find the post). It’s just a hobby, btw. At some point I was thinking of incorporating some images so it will be something like illustrated novels, and then looking for ways to get it done. Was searching 2D program, that led me to discover GIMP and Inkscape.

Then it appeared to me that it would be easier if I can have a 3D things of the objects so it can be viewed from multiple angles for various shots. As my background is in engineering, I tried making a spaceship object using AutoCAD. Nothing remarkable though due to my horrible lack of art skills, so just jamming in some shapes until it looks good, not knowing about details distribution etc. Encountered some limitations especially when I tried to model organic things like creatures, human etc. so searched for another 3D programs then, until I finally found Blender (it was version 2.4 or 2.5 at that time).

Got too distracted into modeling and playing in 3D then, and slowly neglected the novel idea. Still love writing stories though, even if I’m now more into 3D world. Made DeviantArt account after I have learned Blender for a bit, and started discovering friends and artists that help shaped my skills, also my knowledge about art itself. At first I was trying on some things that Blender can offer, especially when I saw tutorials on how to do some cool things or tricks, ranging from modeling, rendering and animation.

As time passed, different than most artists that I see mostly attracted to animation, I feel the modeling part itself looked as the most alluring one to me, and now mostly hooked into it rather than the other features. From that moment, I was aiming on specialize on 3D modeling, especially hard surface. I thought it was easy at first, but the more I learn about it, the more I realize that I still know nothing or at least only very very very little about it. However, that only intrigued me more and was searching for more resources in learning about topology etc. from many sources and not only limited to Blender related ones. I have a better understanding now compared to the past, but even then I still have much to learn.

* What’s the endgame and how much of what you do in 3D moves you towards that goal?

As some may have seen on Hour of Power #40, successfully making and selling 3D models is my goal. My current sources of income mainly comes from doing projects and writing books related to engineering, but eventually I would like to have the 3D store becomes the main backbone. I am open to other possibilities as well, but this will mostly be the main objective. Btw, my first ‘assignment’ where I can utilized my 3D skills actually came helping making artworks for a tabletop game (you can read it here: https://www.blendermania3d.com/forums/topic/artworks-for-redline-game/) which can be deemed as freelancing I guess.

As mentioned earlier, I have now been learning more aspects about modeling, like topology, highpoly to lowpoly workflow, uv mapping and texturing, etc. I have also shared some free models as a practice of applying the knowledge. Uploading models to Sketchfab is now one of my favourite things as its 3D viewer let me see them real-time online so I can test especially if the textures setting works well (which is also part of learning in itself). Been start selling the paid ones also as means to test the water, and praticing marketing, which I can proudly say I’m still reeeally bad at. Making good products doesn’t automatically equals good sales.

All in all, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows all the way, but still, must and will plow through. Having worked in like three different local offices/companies (not art related) has also helped me realized that I may not a perfect fit on working for others, and therefore aim to have or be my own ‘one man small company’, so to say. I’d be outright lying if I say I don’t want any money, though however, even if I later have been successfull, I would aim to still continue creating 3D models/assets, as I just loved doing that.

I am still on a long journey myself, and am mostly just an amateur hobbyist, but I’d like to share a little piece of advice to those who just started. Try to ‘taste’ some that Blender can offer, or some other art related fields (sketching, sculpting, VFX, etc.), or maybe even try 2D drawing, and in time hopefully at least one (or more) feature(s) would eventually resonate with you the most, so it is okay to feel confused at first, as like all things, it takes time. Also, aim at quality first, then follow with quantity/speed, don’t put the cart before the horse. There’s no point in gaining lightning speed if you don’t have control or knowledge over what you are doing.

Lastly, for those who survived in scaling this humongous wall of text, here is a Congressional Potato of Honor as a token of my deepest gratitude and apology… ?

Thanks to Alex for the opening up this opportunity to have restrospection of our goals and sharing it on the forum. I can see you’re really good at stirring up something, lol. Blender is a great program, and BlenderMania3D is a great community with great atmosphere that I don’t get on other websites. I’m happy to have learned 3D, found Blender, and of course met this awesome community!

I love these guys keep them coming! I’m making sure to reply to each one personally but until then I just wanted to say that I love reading through what you’ve written and I love how Blendermania has been a pivotal point for all of us!

This makes much more sense now as you always seem to have a good backstory for some of your projects. Being “a writer” makes sense and adds much to your themes.

Question: when do I get my 3D printed potato? :wink:

Reading through everyones journey is enjoyable and all have a different yet at the same time similar back storys.

Like with Ab, I forgot about those days of making things with Lego. I remember having this huge tub of lego and making an epic spaceship that used almost all the pieces. At the time was almost as big as me - fun times! Oh to have as much spare time we had as kids.

As I mentioned, I used todo alot of Art. My son took art the last couple of years. Seeing him improve and grow got me interested in drawing again. So as well as Blender, I am attempted to get back into drawing.

This also reminds me, sometime last year the inlaws were visiting. My fatherinlaw is a painter and does these cool outdoor paintings on old hand saws. We were discussing art and what we did; my wife said I should get my old art folder - so I reluctantly did. Quite interestingly, I haven’t looked at my work in years and was abit like, ‘oh wow, didn’t know I did that’. Some looked good but most look terrible to me. But everyone thought they looked amazing and recon I should get them framed or put in a book (there is no way I am doing that).

So trip down memory lane can be interesting. Now when I draw, its like ARRRGGGHHH, strokes going wrong…stupid pen.

With the learning journey. This thread has got me thinking, why have I not taught myself Blender. Getting a course seems to be a way of fast tracking your knowledge but this only occurs if you actually complete a course.

I work in IT. Half the challenge in IT is turning up to solve a problem for a piece of software/hardware/network configuration that you may or may not have ever dealt with before. I guess the difference is I already have base knowledge and apply that base knowledge to diagnose and find a solution.

For specific scenarios I have to read whitepapers on how to setup a particular IT infrastructure or software configuration (example: setup Microsoft Azure/Office365 to manage iPads through there MDM in a school environment). With IT, there is always something new to learn and that’s what makes it interesting.

So with Blender, we are still all learning those basic’s to then allow us to create our own work.

With the challenges, when you win something (the win is nice but) its the validation that hey, I must be doing something right as it appeals to other people and not just myself!

Lately I have been listening to a youtube channel Podcasts - Art Cafe. Even in these discussions, these industry artists who do amazing work even still feel that there work isn’t good. In comparison to ours, they are AMAZING! These are artists who work on concept art for movies and games!

Everyone here at has done projects that you think wow. I always like what Arc and Po do. Gral and his pencils/light shade fan. 3DC with engine parts. Ketre with flowery themes. AlexK with sculpt central. Drifting with lowpoly…the list goes on and on.

I too enjoy being apart of this community. As Po said, it has a friendlier vibe to other sites.

Nah, just a writer wannabe, lol. Speaking about potato, I remember having an idea for it…

Doing for the love of doing it (whatever it is) will certainly go a long way to help you heal and go back to your roots. Like you mention you’ve been doing this kind of stuff since you were a child, I firmly believe we are the most original and authentic when we are children and slowly but certainly we become corrupted in every sense of the word the older we grow.
So as long as you do it for the fun of doing it, I believe it will help you reconnect with that authentic you as it already probably has to an extent.

You gotta be more “out there” with your art though, I remember you having these awesome sprites that you don’t share with anyone, or wanting someone to ask you about your project before sharing it… That’s not something the authentic and original you would do is it?
As a child I’m sure you were all too eager to share your creations with others and you had no concept of criticism or negative feedback. I’d say return to that, be happy you made it and happy to share it, you don’t need to bother your brain with anything other than this simple fact.

Art forms of all kind, but especially drawing/painting (3d or not) and dancing are the most primal and honest ways of expressing and sharing your mind with others, so in that regard you’re doing great and it’s awesome seeing some of the contents of that beautiful human mind!

Thank you for sharing this Drift, I’m sure it applies to most of us in some way shape or form!

I can totally understand the curiosity and interest/excitement that arises from learning something new, a very basic human quality, the need to learn, expand, grow, understand better.

How do you manage all that though? For me, perhaps I’m more scatterbrained than the average person, it seems like a constant struggle to focus on one thing I want to understand better when there are thousands of things I want to understand better.

So how do you manage your time and acquiring this knowledge? Do you have a schedule of say for example “this month it’s all about learning vfx, next month lighting etc.” or something else?

I’ve always been a shy person. Overly cautious around people and socially inept. It’s led to some bad experiences and I’ve been afraid of just being annoying. I’ve had plenty of moments where trying to show people anything leads to no response or just an obligatory “cool” and then never touch on it again. That and wanting to be polite, I don’t want to talk someone’s ear off if they’re not even interested. That’s why I tend to wait until I know people are wanting more before I give it… because most times, they’re not. I’ve only been in public school through second-grade (home-schooled after that) and that was enough to teach me that about other kids. I didn’t really have friends, growing up. Still don’t. Not in physical close-proximity, anyway. I have some online friends and you guys have been treating me well. This is one of the few communities I like checking on every day.

I guess you could say I’m not used to people who may be by default interested in what I do. I’m so used to having to wait for my opportunity, or wait until I have something completed enough to make it worth someone else’s time to mention. I’ve had so many experiences of people NOT caring that I think I’ve pretty well completely forgotten what it’s like to be able to share freely without just getting shut down or ignored.

Thanks for the encouragement. I never really thought about it that way. It’ll be tough to override my anxiety, but I’ll try to be more open with you guys this year.

I hear you loud and clear, I don’t particularly share much either and I understand completely the “I’d rather not talk someone’s ear off if they aren’t even interested” but you know what, screw them man, if they cannot get excited about you being excited then they are way too self centered.
You don’t let your excitement, your calm, your happiness, your feeling of achievement, you don’t let these things hang on the whims of others or depended on their way of living and thinking.

You do you, be excited, allow it to overtake you, if no one is willing to share that excitement with you then share it with your self, or the community here. But I believe, looking at my own self and my own circles, that it’s best to be excited by yourself like a crazy person, than suppressing these emotions for the sake of “not being a bother”…
If you being excited about your accomplishments is a bother to others, then you don’t need those people around you.

Having said that, it’s worth keeping in mind that if you don’t allow your excitement, happiness, or whatever it is, to fill you, to be 100% and you suppress it by thinking you might annoy someone, that someone will be, on an unconscious/subconscious level, picking up that something is “off” about your excitement, so they might be holding back their own feelings because they sense that you’re holding back yours.
Does that make sense to you? I’m recommending you allow yourself to be as excited as you can get about something and you allow others to be annoyed, or unimpressed, or non-reactive, or equally excited, or whatever they be.

Separate what you do and feel from what other would prefer you do and feel. And in many cases it’s worth remembering that what we think others prefer and expect from us, is only in our thoughts and past stories and isn’t actually the case. That you can see for yourself with some people who will be more accepting and receiving when you open up more, than you initially expected them to be.

Doesn’t require much effort, it requires less effort, less effort to contain and suppress and “hold yourself together”, just let go, be excited, or whatever it is, be with it, rock with it, instead of holding back, unleash!


(Sorry I accidentally hit the forum reply instead of reply to comment)

It’s very interesting how creative people have this need to create and challenge themselves with seemingly and sometimes literally impossible tasks, just to get a kick out of it, just because we have this drive in us to make something out of “nothing” to birth some order out of chaos.

It’s very interesting how so many people have this drive but just one bad memory of failing a class like you mention, or not getting the reaction we expected, can be enough to put that drive on hold, as we make a direct link between that inner drive and the feedback we get from the external world.

I’m really happy you snapped out of it and decided to keep that drive going despite past negative memories! If only more people would snap out of it…

Reading through what you’ve written and remembering past discussions, time seems like a big issue that’s holding you back from progressing further in your goals.
From where I’m standing, I can see two entirely useless things that can be cut back if not cut entirely that will give you more time. Sports and Games.

Other than what pleasure you get from them and the occasional inspiration that might come from games, I don’t see how they propel you forward or why they need to be two of the reasons you don’t have enough time to pursue your goals.

So just cut back, say you give 8 hours per week on your video games and another 8 hours per week on sports. Just cutting back 1 hour from each would give you 2 extra hours per week to work on your goals. Cutting them off entirely would give you 16 hours a week to further your skills and goals.
And we’ve all seen what one can do with just One Hour of Power right? Imagine what one can do with 16! **

I know you don’t need me saying that, you’ve already considered it. But it’s about adopting a behavior that will further your growth, not considering and negotiating within our skulls, on how and when. It’s about doing first and then thought follows suit.

I’m absolutely certain you will take the action you need to further your goals!

**Just examples on the numbers, don’t know how much time you spend gaming and watching sports, but since you mention them they must take away some considerable time from your growth and goals.

A-bless is to have that special someone lovingly nudging you forward, that really is a blessing!

I’m keeping my reply to you short Adam because like I said in another comment I’m very happy seeing your journey and progress! I love that you started your channel doing your thing, it’s like watching siblings go out and achieve things, it’s awesome!

It seems to me that you are in a very nice place where you have the support from your circle and you have the mindset to keep you going, you got a recipe for success my friend and it’s a matter of time before you get where you picture yourself!