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10 top 3D modeling tips

By Poz Watson

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Date Added: 7th February 2014

Some of the world's most exciting 3D artists share their top tricks and pro tips to help you master modeling and become an all-round better artist

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There are no shortcuts when it comes to becoming a great 3D artist. It takes talent, determination and hundreds and hundreds of hours of hard graft. Not only do you need the same artistic chops as a sculptor or a painter, but you need to know the software pretty much inside out too. But all that's not to say that you can't learn from other people, and the insights and tricks and yes, even shortcuts, that they've discovered through their hours of hard graft. We rounded up some of the best artists in the business, to let you in on their best modeling secrets.

"To model use the fewest tools you can” Luca Nemolato

Tip 1: Helping hands

"Tools like the Select N Edge feature in Maya's Bonus Tools (and similar operations on many modeling packages) can quickly create complex surfaces such as cloth folds on dense meshes, baskets or similar objects, or a complex set of wires. Best of all, if you keep a tube shape you can unfold its UVs with a couple of clicks.” Carlos Ortega Elizalde

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Use shortcuts when you can, remembering that you can always tweak and edit them to suit

Tip 2:Deform for detail

"You can create complex objects very quickly using deformers and selections. By making a tileable surface it is only a matter of adding a couple of bend deformers to get a complex-looking but attractive object.” Carlos Ortega Elizalde

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Tileable surfaces are a great way to get details into your work

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Carlos Ortega Elizalde is a big fan of the Select N Edge feature to bring detail into your models © Carlos Ortega Elizalde

Tip 3: Keep it simple

"To model use the fewest tools you can. I usually use just the Standard brush, Clay brush, Clay Tubes brush, Move brush and DamStandard brush. I build my forms and structure with the Clay Tubes and I cut into the clay with the DamStandard brush to define the shapes.” Luca Nemolato

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Modeling can be complicated enough, without overcomplicating it using tools you don't need

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Beast is a personal piece which Luca Nemolato sculpted in ZBrush © Luca Nemolato

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
(ID: 250385, pid: 0) Indunil on Sat, 08 February 2014 3:32am
Great articles and lot of inspiring people all together, But I think there is a problem with the ordering of the information. You should revise the layout of the article.
(ID: 364085, pid: 967210) McFly (Forums) on Fri, 07 February 2014 12:43pm
Cool stuff. There are some issues with images though.Tip 8 Do obsess about topology> Why an image with silhouettes?Tip 9: Strike a pose> a locker room?
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