Wednesday, March 13, 2013

S6SIM - Getting Started

German version: here.
This is for beginners.

You learn, when you have a goal and try to reach it. To define this goal, was and is often the hardest part for me. If you feel the same, just read a bit more, I'll try to help. You'll need a dice and a chocolate.

You want to get started with graphics but you have no idea how. While you think about it, a new Steam offer is availiable and you devide to play a bit. Or watch TV. Or you think that you totally need the "3D Studio Maya 4D Awesome Edition" before you can get started. Or you could do something, but you have no idea what.

First: Don't forget that you don't need this technical stuff to be a good artist. A good painter will create stunning art by just using Pen & Paper. But the Tools can help. Catchword: Undo.

Mostly the 3D workflows are the same (gluing polygons together and paint on them later). That's why the most programs are pretty similar. So just choose one and get started. Changing to another tool won't take you too long. Just start and like a avalanche you'll start sliding down a mountain of knowledge and reach the valley with a head full of new awesome stuff.

To help you get started i created the

Simons 6 Sided Impulse Method

I'll use the short "S6SIM" from now on.

Grab a dice (6-Sided, don't use a D20 please) and the chocolate. There are no excuses! No way back. Even if you currently don't have broad band Internet. Scratch something into the table with your finger nail. I don't care. If you don't stop reading now, you have to go the whole way. If not, a puppy will die somewhere.

#1 Eat one piece of chocolate. Roll the dice. This will be your tool (click for download).
1. Blender (free, small (40 MB). No 3DSMax/Maya? Use this!)
2. 3Ds Max
3. Maya
4. zBrush (use Scuptris or Blender if you don't have zBRush)
5. Photoshop/Gimp (free, if you don't have Photohop, use this)
6. Pen & Paper
#2 Eat the next piece. Roll the dice. This will be the characteristic of your creation.
1. Huge
2. Sweet
3. Fat
4. Brilliant
5. Mean
6. Old
#3 Eat again. Roll! This will be the time frame your thing will be set in.
1. Stone Age
2. Medieval
3. 60s
4. Now
5. Near Future
6. Future
#4 Eat. Roll. This is the style.
1. Comic
2. European
3. African
4. Greek
5. Asian
6. Alien
#5 You know what you have to do. That's what you have to do.
1. Princess
2. Thief
3. Mansion
4. Alarm Clock
5. Birch
6. Killer-Drone
#6 Chocolate. Dice! As soon as you have something to show, you'll go to this forum and show your progress to the world. Or if you have questions. But use the forum search function & Google  before! During you wait for the answer, don't relax. Work and try to find out the solution by your own.
1. Polycount
2. Game Artisans
3. cgTalk
4. cgHub
5. Digital Art Forum (German)
6. Concept Art
I rolled the dice and had to create a mean, african alarm clock set in the 60s. So, what now?

Step 1: Search for references
I open Google and look for pictures of alarm clocks. Then the African style. The 60s next. All this comes into one folder. I don't care if you soften out the rules a bit now. The important thing is, to do something. The S6SIM is for getting started, not to hold someone back. These are my results:

I already learned something about clocks, African style and so on.

Step 2: Paint
Now i start painting. If i try to paint the final image immediately, I'll get depressed. I paint a lot small scribbles, collect ideas, try something out. A lot ideas and questions will *plopp* into your mind during this process. The most sketches will not look that good, but that's not important. After a while you can try to combine the best ideas into one sketch. This is my sheet:

Step 3: Phototop
I bent the rules and decided to clean out my paintings in Photohop. I built a little 3D scene first with a Max Biped Figure to get the initial perspective right. The result is a bit...Japanese? Anyway, at least i got something done.

"But Simon, this is only 2D. What's up with the 3D workflow?"

Even if you do a  3D model, you have to do this pre-work. Using references and sketches will help you very much when you work in a 3D program.

You can reach every goal, but you have to define one. I hope i could help you to get started. Feel free to share you result in the comment section.

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