Scared of taking off the training wheels (insecure)

Question Modeling

Hello everybody :)

I have a issue right now that I would like to share where i have been working on a lot of the beginner courses here at CGcookie. I have been stuck on the Blender Basics Bootcamp for a little over half a month. I have been doing the Face course, the revolver and the cookie logo. And excuse my lack of use of professional language but I have learned how to do proper lines, etc. (something topology) and I have improved a lot since the first time i ran through these courses. But I have a issue, when i am about to start the Husky course which is a non guidance course where you need to do everything on your own, I kinda freeze up, I get insecure and I forget how i do stuff (Yes i was horrible at school tests) The best way i can describe it is that you are riding a bike with training wheels and even though those training wheels might not even touch the ground a lot of the times the psycology of knowing they are there gives you the confidence of riding the bike. that's where i am right now. I want to take them off, and I want to get better without them. But i keep going back to doing the Revolver and improving parts i was not happy with prior. and the face etc. And I know right now quantity is better then quality for the sake of experience. But when i am staring at that Cube object at the start screen in Blender and I am about to start on my own, suddenly i forget every lesson i have learned (which tends to reappear as soon as i go back to doing "safer" things. I would like some advice or tips to get over this :D

  • soooo relatable
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  • Martin Bergwerf replied

    HI Christian ZZeretaas ,

    I think there is nothing wrong with sticking with fully guided tutorials for a bit longer, until you feel ready to remove the training wheels (and that moment will come!). Then you can go back to the Husky (that one is definitely not easy, so don't worry) or maybe even do the whole Bootcamp again as a sort of refresher (you'll be amazed how easily it goes the second time!).

    Some people (like myself) take longer before they dare to let go of those wheels and some discard them almost immediately. Everybody learns at their own pace.

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  • Omar Domenech replied

    Yep we've all been there, taking the training wheels off is scary, so you should be scared, nothing weird so far. I think the most important things is to not be afraid to fail. You are scared that when taking the training wheels off, you will fall down and hurt yourself. The trick is to not be afraid of falling down, it's just a scratch, once you survive it you'll be like oh? Was this it? I thought it would kill me, I just got dirt on my clothes and I don't even do the laundry, so yeah let's go baby!

    In other words, yes, you will make a mess out of the husky exercise, you will get frustrated, nothing weird with that again. Engage the exercise just as an experiment that you know you will fail at it the first time, there's no pressure to succeed. Fall off the bike, it's ok, you already know it doesn't kill or hurt. But here's the important part, you fall down the bike, you see it's not a big deal and you get back up again, you try the husky exercise again. We've all had to try it seven times before we reach a point we're a bit happy to be able to submit it to the teacher's review. 

    Grit is the key word. So go ahead, start the Husky, just lay a vertex down, then fail, make a mess, fail yet again, it'll be a finite number of fails if you get back at it again and again, I can assure you of that.

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  • Kent Trammell replied

    So glad you posted this thread, Christian. I don't see it discussed as much as I KNOW folks fight this same battle.

    One thing you don't mention is what you aspire to create. Maybe I should assumed that you day-dream about building space craft, or fantasy characters, or environments since those daydreams are what drives an artist. But if that's not something driving you, it's a big problem and should be easy to fix.

    ZZeretaas What are your creative aspirations with Blender?

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  • comn replied

    I did the same thing with that husky. I got to it and I was like - nope, not ready. 

    Best thing to do when you’re ready to move on from training wheels but not quite ready to take them off is to find an intermediate step.

    Find a different project where the instructor does show how it’s done, but instead of following along - turn off the video and try it yourself first. Then you can check your work.

    Instead of a test, it becomes homework with a chance to check your work and redo it. 

    I don’t know which projects would be best for that. I know the orb retopology course helped me. Also this website:

    There is a sharp learning curve between starting to understand topology and making your own topology decisions, and best I can figure no one really knows how to climb up it other than making a lot of stuff and seeing what happens. Source: been trying to climb up there for months 😅

    Edit: I would also suggest, as an intermediate step, doing the logo, face and revolver again but without watching the instructions

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  • Christian Helgesen(Zeretaas) replied

    Well that is the first thing that comes to my mind when reading that question. And it goes back to playing World of Warcraft back in 2007 (i was like 12) and i looked at the cinematic for the burning crusade and every single expansion since. I have wanted to make cinematics like blizzard managed to do it (obviously at the time it was extremely niche compared to now) and I get completely nerdy over game cinematics and characters in them, I am a huge fan of pixar and the art style of Overwatch. (so that's probably somewhere i aspire to go toward) and then I love roleplaying in GTA especially. I am not that good of a actor, so i helped my friends create their characters and their motives, weaknesses etc. I see myself as a creative person but never had the opportunity to express that side of me (except in the roleplaying). and I have a wild imaginating, which is hard to tame so i am looking to tame that with Blender and I love giving characters life and personality as well as relatable weaknesses so people can feel something within each character. So yeah I do daydream a lot (maybe too much) about being able to create characters in blender with personality and graphics close to that overwatch style. :) I aspire to be able to create my daydreams into characters in Blender and get to know their personalities and maybe share them eventually through small shorts. :)

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  • Kent Trammell replied

    ZZeretaas Excellent, you're in good company with those daydreams! Such aspirations were always an effective guide for me as I learned.

    But perhaps I misread your original problem as "now that I'm better with the tools, I'm not sure what to make". If it's not a lack of aspiration / direction then it's likely a matter of practice. If you don't feel comfortable or confident in the process, practice is the only thing that will develop those things.

    Comn is spitting wisdom. Heed their advice!

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  • Paul Caggegi replied

    Hi Christian! Thankyou for posting this. It highlights that weird period between learning a skill, and applying a skill. It is not often highlighted, and it makes for TERRIBLE viewing, but that period is where you fall down alot. Nothing seems to work. You feel useless, like you've wasted your time. We need to rethink this time, and make it less a period of frustration, but one when you experiment, try your own things, trouble-shoot, and when in doubt, go back to things you have already learned and do them again.

    The boring, non-glamorous truth is that a large part of any job is trouble-shooting, problem-solving, and the ability to pivot. You only get there by having a good mix of learned skills and adaptability. Take heart in knowing we have ALL been there. This is the training montage period, where you improve incrementally, but when you begin to build that muscle memory, that becomes the basis for new skills.

    My advice is this: be kind to yourself. Be patient. Give yourself permission to suck at something, or say "ok that render is terrible". I would suggest sharing your failures as often as your successes, as they can yield some surprising feedback from peers who might be able to spot areas where you might want to focus and improve. Know that taking criticism and taking suggestions on board is also a skill that must be learned alongside creating.

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  • Christian Helgesen(Zeretaas) replied
    Thanks everybody for very good feedback. :) Doing this post has probably been my biggest decision as of late and it took a lot of pressure off my own expectations. And I now understand that I just need to continue to work until I can do the face and / or the revolver without help and assistance. Then I will go check out other courses and do them until I can do them blind as well. The biggest change after making this post is that rather then loading up Blender and loading all my expectations with them, now I look forward to waking up and start blender and have less expectations and learn!
    This post has made me go from "I am not good enough, I am not learning fast enough" to almost looking forward to the process. And I will work on applying my skills and what I learn in the courses and allow myself to fail and rather then giving up we must try again. So thanks a lot for all the comments and nice motivation :)
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  • thehomme replied

    I've not done a lot of courses but Pothead is great intermediate step as it's guided but there's plenty of scope to go 'off piste' and add/adapt your own version of the model and this then means the UVs and unwrapping is different and the texture painting is pretty much completely down to your own taste and available time/effort. To be honest I think it's complex enough that it's nearly impossible to follow exactly but not so open that you don't know where to start. For me once I've completed this, I'll be taking a lighting/composting course before taking on my own project modelling and texturing a robot. 

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