AuthorTopic: 3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)  (Read 7139 times)

Offline xhunterko

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3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)

on: June 11, 2010, 02:57:18 am
So, before I started to do pixel art I dabbled into 3d work a little bit. I never really practiced it because I found the programs either to difficult to learn or a lack of good tutorials. So I said I can draw why not try pixel art? Or I thought I could draw at least. However, during my short trip in 3d I came across a number of forums and galleries and came across a reccuring claim. The thing was, that someone who couldn't draw worth crap (with pictures to prove it) could however, create a fully "working" coffee pot, ship, plane, car, or what have you in 3d and it look excellent. I always dismissed the claims that a 3d artist could do have excellent 3d modeling work and not excell in 2d in any form. Because clearly in order to work with 3d, you have to understand art to begin with, or at least I think.

So I'm asking you guys. Is it even possible that someone could be better in 3d art then they are working with any 2d art form? I mean, don't the same principles apply? Or were those 3d modelers just pulling people's legs?

Offline gennoveus

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Re: 3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)

Reply #1 on: June 11, 2010, 04:01:24 am
Isn't art just as much about visualising an image in your head, and understanding it's shape in 3D, as it is about the actual drawing?

Although making 3D models and painting an oil painting probably require completely different sets of skills to actually get the art from your brain to the page [screen], everything that goes on in your mind (concept, understanding shapes, colours, etc) is probably quite similar.

So IMO there might be a fair bit of overlap.

Offline Mathias

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Re: 3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)

Reply #2 on: June 11, 2010, 05:48:02 am
One big difference is that with 3D the machine does so much more work for you than if you're drawing in 2D by hand.

Offline zeid

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Re: 3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)

Reply #3 on: June 11, 2010, 06:35:13 am
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The thing was, that someone who couldn't draw worth crap (with pictures to prove it) could however, create a fully "working" coffee pot, ship, plane, car, or what have you in 3d and it look excellent.
This is actually true, you can make things that look good in 3d without much art background, however what you can get away with is limited.  The fact that all of those can be constructed in a very technical fashion is why people can do it without any drawing ability.

Here is a conversation I had with a programmer friend of mine;
me - "That optimus prime model looks great."
him - "Yeah I made it in 3ds Max."
me - "Well if you like 3d you should give zbrush a go."
him - "Oh I tried it, I hated it. It was way too..."
me - "Organic."
him - "Exactly."

Because he didn't have a big art background he didn't appreciate zbrush, a much more organic and artist friendly (in my opinion) graphics program.  Where as 3ds max and maya have a very technical feel to the way you make the geometry.  You typically create image planes of the different perspectives of an object and then move individual vertices around to match up.

All that said, this has it's limitations.  You will eventually need a level of artistic understanding higher then this to achieve a better quality of work.  For instance, without colour theory how will you make interesting or creative textures.  Without an understanding of anatomy, you will strugle to put together a humanoid creature.  What about finer details of a creature.  But the big one is, they wont be able to create something from scratch.  They always need a reference image/possibly many and they can't make their own.

It's kind of like the difference between tracing and drawing from scratch.  People can become really good at tracing, but it doesn't mean they have artistic ability.
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Offline Argyle

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Re: 3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)

Reply #4 on: June 11, 2010, 02:21:11 pm
3D can have a lot more to do with math and geometry to make things successfully, at least basic things anyway, than it would be for somebody without a mind that can render form in a 2D environment to actually look like what it should look like based on its 3D shape. You know a mug is a hollow cylinder with a cap on the bottom and a handle.  If you can use some simple tools to make that in 3D then add a simple color and lightsource to it, it will look great - Hey, I recognize that to be a mug, good job!  But doing so in 2D, if you're not trying to make a flat looking piece, you would have to know how to present that object to have a mocked up depth by way of shading, shadow, etc, without the use of that Z axis.  This is just a very basic example, but it can be applied to different things.

One can have a good understanding of things in a 3-dimensional sense and not be an artist.  They could mimic something they see on their desk and eventually create a 3D model of it exactly just by measuring it and re-creating one piece at a time, but if they went and tried to draw it on a page, they'd be at a loss if they tried to make it look nearly as nice looking without the automated processes the 3D program would do for them, such as adding lighting, shading, reflection, perspective, etc etc etc. These are things you much teach your brain how to recognize and recreate in a 2D sense while drawing.

Offline PypeBros

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Re: 3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)

Reply #5 on: June 11, 2010, 02:42:00 pm
I gave 3D a try a while ago, with a geometric modeler (a front-end to povray. Yeah, that really was a while ago). It could compensate a few things such as my lack of understanding of hue shift, be more consistent than myself at shading, it'd do perspective right, etc. It wouldn't compensate my lack of anatomy knowledge, a poor understand of body masses and forces. It might be closer to sculpture than drawing, but i'm not a sculptor, so I cannot properly tell.

Now, I haven't even got the the point where you start calling 3D an art. Details, subtleties that make a scene interesting... I personnally find them harder to handle with a 3D modeler than with a pencil. And I certainly haven't mastered 2D either.

I guess I'd say "if you can be good at clay without being a good drawer, then you can be good at 3D without being good at 2D", but something tells me at the root of both, there is a kind of "X-Ray gaze" that need to be acquired, that make you see a scene in such a way that makes you think "aha, now that is how I could render that"... Then you'll struggle to have your hand achieving what your mind has conceived.

Offline Jakten

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Re: 3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)

Reply #6 on: June 11, 2010, 05:27:46 pm
I took a 3D modeling course in college. There were people in my class who couldn't draw worth beans and could model extremely well. Most of them modeled cars but there were people who modeled characters really well. It's strange.

Offline PypeBros

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Re: 3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)

Reply #7 on: June 11, 2010, 05:54:43 pm
I took a 3D modeling course in college. There were people in my class who couldn't draw worth beans and could model extremely well. Most of them modeled cars but there were people who modeled characters really well. It's strange.
not so much. It's like the difference between playing e.g. the Piano, and composing music with a SoundTracker. You may have the artistic fiber, the musical perception, but lack the dexterity to do anything decent on the piano. Or lack the patience to acquire the skill to do so.

Offline zez

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Re: 3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)

Reply #8 on: June 13, 2010, 02:25:01 am
Heh, reading this I actually had kind of a similar metaphor come to mind, only vaguely backwards.
2d is like improvisation on an instrument. You need to know how to portray exactly the feeling you want, and your hands need to know exactly where to go to make it happen. 3d on the other hand, is like playing a song. You dont need to have a clue of why something works, or feels the way it does to play it, you do however, need to have the mechanical skills down, or it will sound awful, and well that is true of improvisation, sense the improvisation has no pre-existing structure, your ability to convey the meaning is far more important then technical proficiency you use.
I have taken a number of solo's at shows where I botched notes, or played slightly offbeat, and the crowd still ate it up. If I did the same thing with say, the chord progression, people would probably up and leave, or start throwing beer bottles at me.

Offline Lizzrd

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Re: 3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)

Reply #9 on: June 13, 2010, 11:48:30 pm
With 2d you have to do the drawing-to-mind thing yourself, whilst in 3d the z axis does this.
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Offline JJ Naas

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Re: 3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)

Reply #10 on: June 14, 2010, 04:18:31 pm
I studied 3ds Max for a year as well.. I've forgotten a lot though, since I haven't needed the skill and I haven't practised either.

Any fool can create a photorealistic car, aeroplane or scenery after having learnt the program, but doing something else than photorealism is what's tricky. Creating something like Zelda Windwaker or Okami (a coherent, heavily stylised look for the entire game world) without any drawing skills would be quite impossible.

Offline Jon

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Re: 3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)

Reply #11 on: June 18, 2010, 09:30:31 pm
It seems like many people here have not tried doing anything complex with 3D. As someone who has been drawing AND working with 3D for a while now, I have disagree with some of the comments here. The main purpose of 3D is at least some kind of realism, and though it gets rid of some challenges, it adds others. With 3D, you don't have to deal with shading, perspective, and certain other simple things like drawing circles. However, instead of merely drawing sillouettes of something, you need to replicate it perfectly. This adds several layers of complexity. If you are visualizing something in your mind, you must sketch it out first. A good 3D artist sketches his/her designs from multiple angles before making them. On top of this, texturing the object can be another chore. 3D requires different skills, but in my opinion, they are just as difficult to perfect and require just as much creativity as 2D does.

Offline Dusty

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Re: 3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)

Reply #12 on: June 18, 2010, 09:35:07 pm
It seems like many people here have not tried doing anything complex with 3D.
That's a bit of a rude assumption just because you disagree with the other opinions.

Offline QuaziGNRLnose

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Re: 3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)

Reply #13 on: June 18, 2010, 10:33:40 pm
3D work, does NOT use the same skills, at least not for object composition. everyone is born with perception of 3D shapes, geometry, lighting etc. its evolved into us, thats why someone terrible at drawing can still look at an amazing painting, and appreciate its greatness, even though they completely lack the skills to do something similar. People can feel reality, 3D work bring everything you make into reality, since it does all the perspective correction, lighting etc. you can be artistic with use of those of course, but again were not talking about that right now. when you do 2D, its a whole different story, just look at drawing, 90% of people cant draw well, but if you draw well everyone sees it. drawing requires skills that allow you to visualize edges on a finished, or partially finished 3d object within your mind and from a certain angle. you need to lay those edges down through action of the wrist, thinking about pressure etc. making a beautiful drawing takes a lot more than appreciating 3d geometry, shading it takes even more. shading you need to visualize volumes, light sources, and line all this up with your lines. again you need to understand artistically use of tone etc, highlights, heavy shadow all this stuff.

in 3d work, what you do is make a shape, and build upon that,it doesn't require the same kind of layered thinking, and you work adaptively, since the renderer does all the PERFECT lighting and form work of your object, you can actually tell whats wrong with it and fix it in a very perception friendly way, which accommodates to humans senses of 3D allowing you to just do whats natural. 3D is more technical in that you need to have spatial awareness of position, rotation etc. but again its all a natural part of human thinking, and thats why non artists can still be very good at it. being artistic IN 3D, requires a different subset of artistic abilities, which also cater to the 2D artists skills, like percieving forms, colour, lighting etc. an artist will know "THIS IS GONNA LOOK NICE" etc. making original stylistic work, that a non-artist just doesnt have enough of a creative background to do.

thats my thinking on the subject at least.
Originally posted by Jeff

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Offline Jon

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Re: 3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)

Reply #14 on: June 19, 2010, 12:06:22 am
Dusty: I was replying to the comment before mine, as a well as a few others that talked about the ease of photorealism. 3D pictures may take months to fully finish, just like a painting.

QuziGNRLnose: Maybe for things you are drawing from reference, but I think that things that are not concretely in your mind can be very tough to do in 3D. It is nearly impossible to go right into a 3D image with just an idea in your head, you need to really flesh it out before. Most people think in 2D, so picturing your own ideas that you have never seen in real life into a 3D environment can be surprisingly difficult. On top of this, you cannot just "draw" in 3D. Even in sculpting programs, making the shape you want, that will look great from the angle you want, is much more complex than a matter of simply putting down the lines.

So, overall, I think the comparison between 3D and 2D is more like sculpturing and painting than art and not art. And you never hear anyone saying that sculpturing is easier than painting.

Offline ErekT

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Re: 3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)

Reply #15 on: June 19, 2010, 02:07:31 am
Quote
in 3d work, what you do is make a shape, and build upon that,it doesn't require the same kind of layered thinking, and you work adaptively, since the renderer does all the PERFECT lighting and form work of your object, you can actually tell whats wrong with it and fix it in a very perception friendly way, which accommodates to humans senses of 3D allowing you to just do whats natural. 3D is more technical in that you need to have spatial awareness of position, rotation etc. but again its all a natural part of human thinking, and thats why non artists can still be very good at it.

Err.. not to sound rude or anything but that's a gross simplification. You make it sound as if all there is to this 3D stuff is to create some shape just like that and then tweak render settings until everything looks swell. Okay, if the shape a 3D artist is going for is a sphere as opposed to say, a 10000 polygon humanoid creature then sure, no sweat. He'll just click 'create sphere' in the menu then navigate to the render settings and click render. Boom! Done. But get him to create something like a futuristic city street with people walking around and see how nice it turns out if said person only knows how to handle the 3D software and has no artistic sense whatsoever. Or do you think the computer's going to sort all that out for him? And no, the computer won't do any "perfect" lighting for him either, at least not in any realistic sense of the word, because the computer is an idiot. It has no understanding of how lighting works in the real world, all it has to go by is a set of algorithms to calculate whatever light setup the artist feeds it. And if the artist is clueless too well then the render will look like crap. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that 3D is a pretty far shot from being some easy way out for the artistically-challenged.

EDIT:
Ouch, aren't I just a bag full o' fun? Sorry about the somewhat grumpy reply, didn't intend for it to come out quite like that  :blind:
« Last Edit: June 19, 2010, 03:09:16 am by ErekT »

Offline Stab

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Re: 3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)

Reply #16 on: June 19, 2010, 05:01:00 am
3d and 2d are completely different skillsets.

3d, you don't have to worry about very many things (shading, lighting, etc) in the same MANNER as you do in 2d, but you still do have to think of these things. Most 3d programs aren't exactly like life; simply because something is the same SHAPE as an apple does not mean it's gonna look like an apple... even if you texture it well. Your line flow, what shader (or shaders) you use, how your UVs are arranged, whether you used nurbs, polys, tris... etc etc etc. The resolution is theoretically infinite, and 3d -can- be used to come damn close to "reality", but it is a different bag of tricks than traditional drawing.

So how are they related? Why do so many people say you should learn to draw before you learn anything else?

Understanding.

The reason (this is my opinion, take it with a grain of salt) so many educational facilities and helpful people tell you to learn to draw traditionally (and from life!) first is because nothing is done for you, and in order to prosper and grow, you MUST develop an understanding of exactly what you're doing.

And in order to understand, you must observe.

And it's awfully friggin' hard to observe (especially observe with the hope to understand) in a format that requires you to think about and figure out exactly how to acheive what you want to acheive.

Drawing is an amazing format to make quick observations, and you don't have to ctrl-shift-s or alt-v or switch to the polygons panel and rotate the perspective camera 120 degrees in order to indicate whatever your observation was.


Observe to understand.

Understand to draw.

Draw to model (in 3d).


Also, many 3d students I've known have also been forced to take sculpture as well, so they can gain a better understanding of 3d as a physical form and how physics acts on different materials / objects.

I have said enough.

Offline QuaziGNRLnose

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Re: 3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)

Reply #17 on: June 19, 2010, 06:23:57 pm
if you look at what i said, im not bashing talented 3d work, im just saying its easier to get there than it would be comparatively to 2D, because alot of the skills people start out with in life can be applied.
ive done 3D and i know that to make GOOD lighting, you need to know what you're doing, but i find modeling in 3D to be much easier than drawing something similarly good.

When i draw i have a semi-complete idea in my head, and it adapts as i go, same goes for when ive worked in 3D, i just adaptively worked, and i didn't have to stress about things like the angle and perspective i was working at, cause those were readily changeable, i didn't even have to worry about getting my shading to match my forms, cause the computer DOES make a good approximation of real world lighting.

when your working 2D an ugly angle and perspective will stick, no matter how good your forms may be, simply because 2D isnt 3D. and yes you might argue its a gross simplification of lighting, but really, doing lighting in 2D is the same thing artistically, and your relying on your vision much more than you would be adjusting lights/renderers in 3D, once you commit in 2D its a done deal for the most part, without completely redoing anything nothing can be changed apart from little things.
Originally posted by Jeff

I AM A GIANT DONUT MANATEE

Offline QuaziGNRLnose

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Re: 3d vs 2d Myth (or is it?)

Reply #18 on: June 19, 2010, 06:27:57 pm
if you look at what i said, im not bashing talented 3d work, im just saying its easier to get there than it would be comparatively to 2D, because alot of the skills people start out with in life can be applied.
ive done 3D and i know that to make GOOD lighting, you need to know what you're doing, but i find modeling in 3D to be much easier than drawing something similarly good.

When i draw i have a semi-complete idea in my head, and it adapts as i go, same goes for when ive worked in 3D, i just adaptively worked, and i didn't have to stress about things like the angle and perspective i was working at, cause those were readily changeable, i didn't even have to worry about getting my shading to match my forms, cause the computer DOES make a good approximation of real world lighting.

i dont know why you say that you need a vision of the 3d object in your head for 3d but not for 2d, if you ever actually draw anything from a view apart from a cardinal angle, you need an EXTREMELY good sense of the objects shape, or else what your thinking will be completely different from what your drawing, you even need to account for foreshortening and light direction IN YOUR HEAD.

when your working 2D an ugly angle and perspective will stick, no matter how good your forms may be, simply because 2D isnt 3D. and yes you might argue its a gross simplification of lighting, but really, doing lighting in 2D is the same thing artistically, and your relying on your vision much more than you would be adjusting lights/renderers in 3D, once you commit in 2D its a done deal for the most part, without completely redoing anything nothing can be changed apart from little things.
Originally posted by Jeff

I AM A GIANT DONUT MANATEE