So, you want to try your hand at 3D art?
Creating 3D art requires a particular set of skills that need patience and effort to develop. However, if you’re willing to go through the process, you’ll enjoy the stunning results. Your hard work can pay off in the form of stunning 3D wall art, 3D art pictures or even something grand like 3D sidewalk art.
Most people who start learning how to make 3D art have some background in sketching and drawing. But if you don’t, that’s OK. Even if you don’t have formal training in art, you can still do great work in 3D.
What is 3D Art?
By definition, 3D art refers to the creation of three-dimensional forms of two-dimensional art. This type of art often includes designs of buildings, clothes and humans. It is a broad field of art with a variety of subject areas, so there are many ways to define 3D art.
One of the most basic ways to define 3D art is to say that it is the art of creating 3D images. These images are drawn or made with different 3D modeling styles. Some artists use 3D modeling software to create their art.
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What are the Different Types of 3D Art?
As mentioned above, 3D art is a broad subject. Anything can be 3D: art pictures, paper art and more. If you want to be a 3D artist, familiarize yourself with the overviews of the following subjects:
- Animation. This is the process of making your 3D art move. Animation is divided into different types. A common type of animation is keyframe animation, which involves the manipulation of objects on a frame-by-frame basis, which is a similar technique used on cartoons. Another animation method includes placing objects on splines. You can also import motion capture drawings and put them on a character rig.
- Modeling. This is the art of creating a 3D mesh, which leads to a teacup, alien or whichever you like. How you achieve the finishing model depends on the model you use.
- Texturing. Texture artists refine models. Without texture art, you’re just dealing with solid colors. One of the most common ways to add texture to a model is to unwrap the mesh (aka flattening it out) and paint over it.
- Rendering. This is typically the final step in any 3D project, and it’s the most important part, too. Most beginners often overlook this step since they are too focused on working on their models and animating them. Rendering pays attention to lighting choices, camera placement, transparency, and reflection.
How to Make 3D Art for the First Time
If the techniques above sound too technical, worry not! There are still simple ways to get into the art of 3D without worrying about difficult methods. Here are some ways you can experiment with dimensions and 3D.
Get Your Glue Gun
Glue guns are one of the easiest and most affordable ways to experiment with 3D. Look for lightweight items you don’t mind gluing together. Lay them on a plastic card or sheet, and go crazy with the forms you want to build. You can either rest items against each other or balance things.
Glue guns are also helpful in preserving the composites you create. Create illusions that defy gravity with your handy dandy glue gun!
If you want to give your work a more finished look, use acrylic or spray paints. Paint disguises the imperfections in your work.
Play With Clay
Remember when you used to play with clay as a kid? The same childhood joy can get your creative juices flowing when it comes to 3D art.
You don’t need a kiln or wheel to get the clay going. All you need are your hands and some clay. Instead of drawing into the clay, why not make new forms? Create art the size of your fist or, if you’re feeling more imaginative, something taller than you.
One of the easiest 3D clay art pieces you can make is a small dish. Just roll the ball flat and pull the clay upwards to make a bowl shape.
To create different marks and textures in the clay, use household objects. Keys, a butter knife, the mesh used for your fruits — the sky’s the limit! If you want to bond some clay bits together, scratch lines into both surfaces with a clay tool or a blunt knife, then use a slip (a loose “glue” created from clay and water).
Draw In Wire
Wire drawing is another simple form of 3D art. To start, get some wire and wedge it into air-dry clay. Get creative with the shapes that you make. Move the wire outwards and upwards from the base. You can also combine copper electrical wire with aluminum wire to add texture and color.
Combine sharp angles and curves or create abstract patterns and recognizable shapes when you draw in wire. Also, don’t forget to wear gloves to avoid the occasional jabs and pokes from the wire. If you’re working with long sections of wire, goggles can also help.
Useful Traits to Help You Learn 3D Art
If you want to advance to more complex levels of 3D art, skills aren’t enough. Personal traits can help you perfect this expression of art. You’ll need to practice the following traits:
- Patience. Many beginners compare themselves to established 3D artists, which shouldn’t be the case. Established artists have had years of experience. So, comparing yourself to them is fruitless. Instead, be patient with yourself and go at your own pace. It can only take minutes to learn 3D art, but it can take a lifetime to master it.
- Eye for detail. Attention to detail is another important quality of 3D artists. It helps to also be self-sufficient and resourceful.
- Hard-working. Unlike 2D art, 3D art is more than just picking up a pen and paper and getting results. Set aside time to learn the disciplines of 3D art: modeling, texturing, animation and rendering.
- Openness to criticism. It pays to have other artists review your work. They can highlight areas for improvement and offer advice if you’re trying some new techniques.
3D art is a craft that requires plenty of practice. However, it’s not difficult to start it. All you need is some determination, creativity and patience for the learning curves.