The advertising industry has drastically changed and lets us thank technology for the opportunities it blessed us with and the endless ways to showcase our vision and make a living out of it. In the photography industry, there has been a drastic shift from images created via a camera to CGI. They both incur their respective cost for duly needed production but they both have their advantages and often CGI overruling the former and here I am here to help you to how to achieve that success faster and more understanding manner.
As a product and fashion photographer, I eventually saw potential in 3D photography which gives high-end imagery output with minimal setup (physical absence of equipment, camera, studio, lights and product models). It is important to state a lot of my understanding of composition and lighting is from my fine art and commercial background and hence I was limited to struggles with the modelling and material at most. I started my journey with Blender back in January 2021 and in the past few months, I have had a blast. It is engaging, addictive and often frustrating in the due course of aspiring the possibilities which we see over other social media channels and we are so tempted to create the same. Too many aspects and too many tutorials available online both paid and open-sourced especially over Youtube which you find daunting.
I had this particular issue of how to figure a step by step plan to understand the basics, for me to build it over for more realistic results. I thought to share the secret to learn blender faster so that you don't have to struggle the way I did. The mentioned links are absolutely free and have not been sponsored in any manner. So let's get started!
In case you are not aware what exactly is Blender?
BLENDER: Blender is the free and open-source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modelling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, video editing and 2D animation pipeline. (A word from the site itself)
The following steps are in the manner of beginner to intermediate, I am not covering advanced tutorials but stay tuned for future articles.
STEP 1: Beginner (Little or no experience with Blender)
Blender Guru a name been taken with no second thought is a fantastic way to start your journey with the software. The very infamous doughnuts and coffee tutorial will push your engine start and take you through various aspects of Modelling, Sculpting, Material, Shading, Lighting, Basic animation and Rendering. Given said that as like myself you may also face issues understanding many aspects of why things are been done but hang on and go through the process for your brain to register at least the aspects needed even if it has not gained the clarity it needs at first.
You may find the tutorials pretty long and often jarring and it will absolutely represent the graph of understanding or learning a new skill which is quite slow, unclear and hazy in the initial days but it is important to even mug it up for the foundation to lay down.
STEP 2: Beginner (should be aware of the basics of Blender)
Creating a model is one of the most important aspects of any 3D design and often people find it a horror including myself to understand the most used tools for modelling and material, to add I had a tough time grabbing an understanding of the procedural material everyone talked about.
CG Cookie is one of the best places to look for various tips and tricks to fast track your workflow. They do offer a paid subscription plan and it is worth the money but in case you are not yet ready to invest, it is totally fine as they often post videos on weekly basis.
As explained in the 20/80 rule book, creating a model is not about using every tool available instead these 11 sets covers the maximum and let you unleash your creative beast inside.
5 Most used modelling tools
An object is a combination of its core shape, structure and material. It can be expensive to buy third party presets but in case you are like me who wishes to own the rights, 6 Most used nodes to create any material is the perfect way to get you introduced in the world of procedural material.
Pro tip: It may sound a little off for the first time but it is best to memorize and it will make sense as you try to work by yourself in your coming projects.
STEP 3: Intermediate (Should be well versed with Blender basics)
Every thought the explosions and seamless splashes created in commercials and movies, all thanks to Mantaflow. The possibilities with the Blender are endless and with every update, they are empowering aspiring and professional artists to create the dream they always dreamt of. The Mantaflow system in Blender is quite commendable and helps you add an element and step up your game. The difficulty being the ability of your system to do the needed. It is one of the graphic-heavy parts of the software. I will not deny that I am still trying to harness my understanding around it.
Crossmind studio: It is one of the best platforms over youtube available to learn every aspect of the software and if you ask me why it is been placed at the 3rd position is due to the difficulty around understanding the language. I mean no disrespect but the choice of words do make it a little tricky to grab the information and steps involved leading me to replay the parts multiple times.
The mantaflow is an ongoing series over the channel and they also do provide paid subscriptions for you to decide your next step.
Mantaflow: Liquid and Gas
Pro Tip: A graphic card is an advantage in case you are creating a complex design. It does take full power of your CPU and often you will observe a difference in performance when letting the application run solo (you need to shut down any other graphic intensive application or browser).
I am still looking for a best-suited light and render tutorial to share it all with you here which I will mention in my next article, kindly stay tuned.
There are various platforms available online to work with but as mentioned I would like to keep the process Free! as like the software itself for the artistic process to flow with no fear in mind.
The complications will arise as you will advance along the way and it is indeed satisfying to see the process and self grow. As a visual artist, I am not just limited to art heavy expensive art direction which is often not a possibility with every client but I dream to dream Big! and I am so excited to see what you do with the same. Creating 3D images is not just restricted to commercial assignments but the possibilities range from stop motions, looping videos, cameos, transition animation and more. Selling off your artwork is again can be a part of your livelihood.
Beauty lies in your hand and how you plan to give it the shape it deserved.
TO NOTE: All the above links provided are been owned by the respective artist and I hold no responsibility or ownership for the same.
Hii, I am an advertising photographer and a product stylist presently based out of Mumbai, India. In the past decade of my career where I transitioned from being a fine art student to a full-time photographer and eventually got opportunities to showcase my styling skills helped me learn a very important aspect of life, Keep oneself Updated! I am a self-taught visual artist and I love the process of visualizing and producing. If you are looking for the same, feel free to connect and looking forward to hearing from you soon.