D5 3 D

3D Modeling, Sculpting, Painting, Shading, and Rendering #

This chapter will be using various programs, not all of which are free. I’ll do my best to recommend things that are open source if I can, otherwise I’ll try to keep the cost down as much as possible. You definitely can do everything in this chapter for free, just be aware that without some of the paid tools it may be substantially harder.

Before we get started, let’s look at some examples of cool art made using 3D modeling and Blender:

I chose these examples because I think they show off how wide ranging the idea of 3D modeling can be. You can do everything from make a stylized 3D piece of art like the example from @beastpunks to full blown animated shorts to crazy physics modeled art with realistic lighting. The sky is truly the limit.

Unfortunately, the limitless options are also a bit of a curse as there is a lot to learn. Blender, the 3D modeling and animation tool that all of these examples used and that we’ll be using as well, is basically a crazy amalgamation of software in one at this point. You can use it to sculpt 3D models, texture them, rig them, animate them, shade them with a node-based shader, paint in 2D vector layers and animate those, edit video, composite video and your animation, render those animations with various rendering engines, do motion capture, simulate physics… and more.

That is to say, this software is incredibly dense. It’s going to be overwhelming and scary. Just, take a deep breath and start slow.

To simulate the universe, you must first make a Donut.

Seriously, watch this Make-A-Donut series (24 videos, ~6hours). I’m going to assume you have for everything past this point.


  • 3D Game Shaders For Beginners (GitHub)

  • Intro to the core ideas assume covered by the donut video. Need to watch though and see what’s missed

    • Start a bit technical, with vertices/Meshes
    • Go into basic blender
    • … blockout
    • … Sculpt
    • … Rig
    • … Nodes (Shading & Geometry)
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z-fighting

    Need to compare https://quixel.com/mixer and https://armorpaint.org as substance painter is wayyy to expensive.

    … probably Armor Paint is it runs on Linux. It’s not free, but it’s open source (so you can be a cheap bastard) and it’s only €16 (at time of writing) one-time compared to Substance Painter at $20/mo, so not at all reasonable for just learning. It may be massively better, but, uh, fuck that.

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