A Guide to 3D Modeling Basics
3D models are breathtaking, are they not? Bringing them to life in three-dimensional space requires more than just passion and a little bit of skill. 3D artists, designers, or educators, require the right 3D modeling program, on top of the previously mentioned qualities.
In this post, we will discuss what do you need to consider when choosing a 3D modeling program, as well as touch upon system requirements, and it up with some modeling tips. Read on to start your 3D modeling journey!
Choosing the best 3D modeling program
Over the years, dozens of 3D modeling software programs have spread on the web. Sadly, only a few of them are ideal for a beginner such as you. That is why we are here. To help you choose.
Consider these qualities in a 3D modeling program if you’re a beginner:
Accessibility should be your first priority when choosing a 3D modeling software. That is why we are suggesting that you should consider a browser-based software. First of all, such software does not require installation, so you can access it on any device with a connection to the internet. In addition to that, it doesn't need a huge chunk of your storage space.
In the first few days of using new software, you will do a lot of exploring, which is why browser-based software is a perfect choice for beginners. SelfCAD, for example, is a browser-based application that you can easily sign-in and explore.
Provides easy-to-follow, comprehensive tutorials
Many successful 3D designers were self-taught. However, they wouldn’t have grown without the support of tutorials and training. That is why you should choose a 3D modeling program that provides easy-to-follow tutorials covering various elements of 3D Modeling, either in written or video forms.
Regardless of the medium, those tutorials should be accessible for free. They should teach you the essentials of 3D modeling and share some of the tips on how to use their platform.
Having this feature is important because many parents and teachers are looking for resources for online learning. The software's tutorials should be intuitive and easy to understand, especially for beginners. This way, educators can easily share and teach their students online.
SelfCAD is one of the software that focuses on providing educational content for 3D modeling and computer graphics. On top of the video tutorials available on Youtube, they opened up a forum where they share their best educational articles, where users can ask any questions about the software as well.
Features a good set of free tools
It is understandable that you might want to explore as many tools and options as possible. However, as a beginner, it is more practical to start slow and build up from there. Any software should provide you with essential tools, either in its basic version or at least in a free trial version.
So, make sure to choose software that provides you with free tools like drawing and sculpting. When you find one, practice those functions as much as you can. After that, you can move on to creating and transforming simple 3D shapes before advancing to creating complex designs.
Ability to collaborate with others
You can easily learn 3D modeling by yourself, but feedback is crucial to developing your skill, especially if you are just starting out. Therefore, it would be a good idea to find a software that allows you to collaborate with other artists and designers.
That is why you should commit to software that allows you to share your work with other designers without issues. Community feedback is crucial, so don’t venture into this journey alone!
System requirements for 3D modeling
Should you use a laptop, a PC, or a tablet? Let’s face it there are many factors that will affect your choice in this regard. You may want the best machine, but those aren’t the most practical, reasonable ways to go. However, choosing an option that won’t break the bank or keep you wanting more doesn’t have to be complicated. You just have to keep an open mind and think through all the options.
Here, we’ll give you an overview that might help you decide:
Since you’re still a beginner in 3D modeling and printing, you can do well with a budget-friendly and cost-effective PC build. It should have an SSD that will store files and software. Still, you should be aware of your software and its weight on your PC, as using it to design and print might be CPU-intensive.
The good thing about using a PC for your workstation, though, is that it is modular. You can upgrade its components anytime, should you decide to move on to a more demanding software.
A laptop won’t necessarily fall short in performance, but it comes with compromises such as noise and price. But if you don’t mind the racket, a laptop for 3d modeling is still a viable option. But still, when compared to PCs, you will find more options in choosing a laptop, especially if you’re concerned about your budget.
And about using a tablet for designing? The good thing about using a tablet for 3D modeling is the hands-on feeling when designing and the extreme portability. With high-performing tablets like iPads, the only thing you will worry about is choosing the right 3d modeling software. So, you can do your work anywhere, regardless of the complexity of the design.
Tips on 3D modeling
As a beginner, you have the freedom to make as many mistakes as possible. Still, it wouldn’t hurt for you to follow these tips when you start practicing:
Aim to familiarize yourself with the UI of the program first. You don’t have to know how everything works, just familiarize yourself with the basic processes, and you will eventually get a grasp of how the platform works.
Check out the available tutorials. It doesn't matter if you watch them in your own time or when working with the software. Diversifying tutorials from various users, regardless if they are for beginners or experts, is a great idea as well. They might give you insights which the in-app tutorials may lack or could not explain thoroughly.
Start with the basic geometrical 3d shapes such as box, cylinder, sphere, etc. All of the great, intricate 3D models start with those shapes, so the more you practice designing those simple but crucial objects, the faster you can transition into executing complex models. Remember, start slow and add details as you go.
3D modeling is not as hard to learn as it used to be. Now everyone can start because of the abundance of free software and tutorials available online. The true challenge comes in growing your skills and making good use of them in the designing process. Good luck!
Enjoy powerful modeling, rendering, and 3D printing tools without the steep learning curve.
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