Bauke Post (baukepost)

17 replies · posted

Setting a goal and learning fast

Hey guys,


I'm currently working on my modeling skills and I am really inspired by Andrew Price's advice to set a clearly defined goal and have a consequence if you fail. Things I have always wanted to be able to make are cars and stormtrooper helmets, because of their complexity and overall challenge. 

However, I'm not sure how to approach this challenge. How much time should I give myself, keeping in mind that I can work 2 hours a day? How do I set a clearly defined goal? I would already be able to model a car or helmet, but how can I see objectively if I succeeded, should I get 10 likes in the gallery for example? Finally, do you have any good suggestions on what my consequence should be? I am currently in high school, so I'm thinking of giving 50 euros to someone/something I don't like or someting in that direction.


I am looking forward to hearing your advice!

  • The time you have written this post you could’ve watched a tutorial and learn something.

    If you can model a phone horn and a PA box ... you can model a car too. Get it done and show us the results.

    • Thank you for your positive reply! Unfortunately, my parents don't want me to use Blender before 6:00 pm, because I spent too much time on it lately :(. However, I think I will just give it a try after the mesh modeling bootcamp (which I should be able to finish within a week, since I'm already working on project 5). It may be an even better way to learn, because I get straight into the stuff I find really difficult. 


      PS: What do you think is a good goal to strive for, in terms of my modeling?

  • :-O

    I’m impressed, most people are weeping like a willow when I talk to them like this. You must be a person with a strong personality.

    The fact that you are blendering is expressing your desire to create. Isn’t creation, a divine goal to strive for ? Without people like you, we all would still live in caves.

    Why don't you follow your heart and learn how to model a car. This site also offers a course how to model a SF helmet.


  • Hello Bauke Post. (Spreek je Nederlands?)
    Here are some of my personal suggestions and possible answers to your questions.

    Q1. THINGS I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE ABLE TO MAKE ARE CARS AND STORMTROOPER HELMETS, BECAUSE OF THEIR COMPLEXITY AND OVERALL CHALLENGE. 
    Any skill is like a muscle, which only become stronger when you train it bottom-up in real-life,
    not by imaging yourself being strong in your head without doing the hard work necessary for it.
     Practice makes perfect en repetition is the mother of skills (c) Anthony Robbins

    My tip: Simply start at the absolute Blender basics and get that stuff 100% right until you can dream it an it is embedded into your DNA. Take small steps and do not! proceed until you have fully understand each and ever single step, or you will have to come back to it in the future:

    Blender Foundation - First Steps playlist:
    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kes2qmijy7w

    CGCookie Blender - refreshed "Mesh-modeling basics course"
    - https://cgcookie.com/course/mesh-modeling-bootcamp


    Then pick the resonating Blender courses which match your current project needs:
    Either here on the CGCOOKIE website:
    - https://cgcookie.com/categories/3d/courses

    or somewhere else on the Internet, since there is a ton of good tutorials out there:
    - https://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=search_videos&search_query=blender+tutorials&



    Q2: HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD I GIVE MYSELF, KEEPING IN MIND THAT I CAN WORK 2 HOURS A DAY?
    The famous Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn also started small, so learn to set your mental focus on a small step you want to achieve that day (inside the 2 hours), and nothing else. That is how you build confidence in you own (blender) ability ans skills. Only move forward to the next step, when IT FEELS RIGHT to do so, not because you are forcing yourself mentally for the wrong reasons.

    Q3: HOW DO I SET A CLEARLY DEFINED GOAL?
    "All mandatory hard work and no playtime, will quickly ware your enthousiasm out".
    Just pick any small thing you like to blend right now and grow from there. Allow yourself to simple "play around with Blender", until you start to pick up/feel that Blender vibe.. then you feel to increase your learning speed.

    Start with very small things which seem to be very easy for your skill-set right now.
    Slowly take on bigger and more complex projects. This helps building confidence in your own (growing) skill-set and will give you the opportunity to learn and experience just how much time it really takes to complete a simple (or complex) Blender tasks in the future.


    Q4: I WOULD ALREADY BE ABLE TO MODEL A CAR OR HELMET, BUT HOW CAN I SEE OBJECTIVELY IF I SUCCEEDED, SHOULD I GET 10 LIKES IN THE GALLERY FOR EXAMPLE?
    Do not let the (stupid) "likes" from somebody be your internal motivation. This is CGCOOKIE, not FaceBook or Instragram. Follow your own Heart, go in small steps and show it off in your own personal gallery. This is all about your own personal Blender development process, which will takes its own time and speed.. the natural way... (and not the speed that your head wants it to go on right now).

    If you want "to be fully objective", stay only true to yourself, you own morals and inner values. Your project is finished when YOU FEEL that is it right FOR YOU (and you simply do not care anymore what other people think about it). Remember it is all about your personal Blender development which should not be hindered in any way by anyone('s judgment on your own unique work).
     

    Q5: FINALLY, DO YOU HAVE ANY GOOD SUGGESTIONS ON WHAT MY CONSEQUENCE SHOULD BE?
    Nope.. like I wrote already above.. This is all about your personal Blender development. I am not going to make your decisions for you, neither am I going to judge you in any way possible. I can only stimulate and/or assist you with tips, tutorials and suggestions which enable you to maximize your own potential. You need to find a way to learn to figure this out yourself.


    Q6: I AM CURRENTLY IN HIGH SCHOOL, SO I'M THINKING OF GIVING 50 EUROS TO SOMEONE/SOMETHING I DON'T LIKE OR SOMETHING IN THAT DIRECTION.
    If you got the money and are willing to spend it, read the book reviews first before purchasing anything online..

    Having said this, everything I've learned so far in the Blender filed (beside a 2 month payed subscription on CGCookie just to get started in a "Blender flow" for force myself through the very basics) was found online and is totally free.

    Once you know:
    - How to use Google (or any other search engine) to the max
    - Who to follow doing Blender on Twitter
    - Where the "big blender artists" hang out and show their work
    How the Internet Blender landscape looks like (start reading here, Kent's article)
    -> - https://cgcookie.com/articles/getting-started-with-blender

    You (too) will be able to download TONS of free Blender related e-books, articles on Blender, more then you are able to digest in the next 5,10 years ;-)

    If you have any questions, you can also PM me on this forum.

    p.s.
    If you want , you can take a look at my first (big) blender project over here:
    - WIP thread on FsDeveloper.com - the full story behind my YF16 project
    - My Photoalbums on Flickr - which show of my personal mistakes and hurdles too

  • Hallo Bauke, Als je een Hollander bent heb ik nog meer goed nieuws voor je:

    Vanochtend (Vrijdag 23-03-2018, 11:xx ) is er een 100% Nederlands-talige Blender-chatroom geopend
    door Sybren Stuvel (https://twitter.com/sastuvel) van de nederlandse Blender organisatie in Amsterdam.

    Hiervoor moet je eerst een gratis Blender-ID aanmaken. Dat kan hier:
    - https://www.blender.org/id/login

    Daarna kun je hier inloggen en al je Blender vragen stellen (gewoon in het hollands)
    - https://blender.chat/home


    Veel plezier in the chatroom.

  • Wow!  I'm surprised at how many of those I'm actually doing already!  Right now I'm working on hard-surface modeling, and when I have "mastered" it I'm going to move on to study mechanical rigging.  After I'm done with that, I'll "master"  the following subjects, in that order:

    Sculpting

    Animation Nodes

    Shading

    Texturing

    Organic Rigging

    Animation

    Scripting

    Then I'll go over that list again.  And again.  Hopefully by then I'll be good enough to make tutorials, which is something I've always wanted to do.

  • I just want to reinforce what Ronald said while addressing Q4, and that is that I would avoid correlating a number of likes with success unless your goal is exposure rather than improvement.

    During my time on the internet over the years I've witnessed many occasions of artists that produce what I would consider to be of mediocre quality work hit high numbers as far as followers and likes and such go, while many very talented artists can find themselves left behind.
    This happens on many platforms.
    Quality alone is not enough to bring people to your work, engaging with communities is more effective and you don't always need to be a particularly good artist to get them to engage with your work.

    I'd consider judging the quality of your work in another way. If you don't want the responsibility of deciding if you have succeeded or not for yourself, then maybe find someone or a group of friend or family members that you feel you could trust to give you honest feedback. If they can offer feedback that is constructive then that's even better.

    I'm aware of Andrew Price's advice about setting yourself a consequence, but I don't think I completely agree with it. You already seem highly motivated and you also currently have restrictions imposed on the time you have for practising by your parents, so failure to meet a target may not always be your fault. Andrew's advice seemed more geared towards subsiding laziness or procrastination and you don't sound like you need that.
    Also, sometimes you're already have consequences that you may not realise. For example, if you pay for a citizen subscription here but don't get involved much then you're already pretty much throwing money away.

    Without really thinking about it, I set myself a goal here to outweigh the consequence by deciding that I should aim for a specific number of XP each month to make sure that I'm getting some value for my money. Maybe some months I'll have learning goals that are less clear, but having an XP goal will keep me motivated to keep on top of my learning. Even if I find myself going over things that I might already know, Aristotle apparently said

    “it is frequent repetition that produces a natural tendency”

  • I forgot compositing.  And lighting.  And...

    You get the point.  I want to learn everything.

  • crew

    I'll also echo what has been mentioned in here already which is repetition and practicing over and over. I don't think you should have a "consequence". I understand the concept of providing your own deadlines and giving yourself a consequence to achieve something, but I'd also like to show the other side of it which is to think of the reward for doing what you want.Instead of fearing the backlash of not following through you should look forward to the "carrot at the end of a stick". The reward for grinding through this and continually working on your skills until you've created something that you alone really enjoy is more than enough. Doing things through negative reinforcement isn't as great as doing something because you're genuinely excited about becoming better.

    Lately I've been coming back to the idea of small incremental changes daily to improve in all areas of life and I think it'll be helpful for you as well. I recommend reading this article from James Clear The 1 Percent Rule: Why a Few People Get Most of the Rewards . This will also help to solve your "I only have this much time to work on this". You don't need to make huge changes or massive leaps daily, just improve 1% daily and over time you'll see massive changes through compounding of your progress. 

    As far as goals go, the best way to determine clearly defined goals is if you can track it. Can you track "becoming better at modeling" versus "I will model one thing a day"? Hopefully that helps you out a bit. Good luck!

    • To reiterate what Jonathan says about consequence, that is only one form of motivation. It also doesn't need to be financial either. Maybe you want to model something specific for a friend's birthday which gives you a time frame and the consequence is not having it done in time for that.

  • So, for figuring out goals, you have the big ideas in mind, and that's a place to start.  You need to break that down further.  For example, you want to be a better modeler.  That's pretty broad, isn't it?  Narrow it down more.  "I want to model a Stormtrooper helmet."  Good, but maybe too broad still.  "I want to model the eyepiece of a Stormtrooper helmet."  Now that is an easy, small task to focus on.  You could probably knock that out in a night.  Maybe you choose to model the upper half next.  And the next feature.  And the next.  Before you know it, you've completed the bigger goal of modeling the helmet.  Find another goal.  Maybe a lightsaber?  Maybe a Stormtrooper gun?  Maybe Stormtrooper armor?  The possibilities are yours at that point.  Keep focusing on the smaller goals, and with consistent practice, you'll be a better modeler.

    Personally, how I keep track of my goals is I have a weekly list of things I want to accomplish, each day to do something.  Each day has a completion ratio of things I finished to total items on the list.  Essentially what I'm doing is grading myself each day, and at the end of the week, I get an average of what I've done for the week.  Then each week is averaged into a grand total grade.  It keeps me very honest with myself and gives me a more tangible idea of how I'm doing with my goals.  I start a new one each year; new year, new goals.  It's working very well for me, so give it a spin if you think it will help you.


  • I previously mentioned that I wanted to learn modeling, sculpting, etc. in that order.  Is that a good order to learn them in?  If so, why?  If not, what is a good order to learn them in, and why?

    • I would say starting out with an understanding of modeling helps get you used to navigating Blender first by using selection tools and moving stuff around. Including getting used to some various modifiers. With that foundation you can quickly block out your main mesh before going into sculpting with stuff like the subsurf or the skin modifier attachment. All of that prep works goes a long way to saving you time sculpting when you have the basic shape. However, to do that you sort of need to know how to push meshes around.

      Likewise if you want to do anything with the mesh you sort of want to retopologize it and doing that well can be more easily understood with a basis in modeling to help get an idea of the usage of the modifiers, selection tools, and simply how to place down vertices in a way to retopologize anyway.

      At least trying to go through retopologizing felt much easier after doing through a few models in edge modeling type.

    • Like Erik said, knowing how to model comes in handy for retopologizing. If you blocked it out using modeling before sculpting it can also serve as a reference to go back to for how you want the topology to flow. You did make a duplicate for sculpting on, right?

  • Go the direction that most interests you because that is what you will be most motivated to work on. Modelling is really the core of everything, but from there you can branch out in a lot of different directions that aren't as intertwined or dependent on each other aside from maybe rigging and animation. The flows are a great place to start and give a suggestion of what to learn and in what order which can be overwhelming in the beginning to figure out on your own but there is no reason you need to stick to them.

    For me I wasn't really interested in materials and lighting until I started sharing my work with friends and wanted to present it better so I took a break from the path I was on to get some basics of that under my belt. Going back to the 7 habits, switching things up can help give yourself a rest to digest the topic you were on and let it sink in for a bit before coming back to it. Also remember his final habit of create what you love and if halfway through a course you decide you want to focus in on painting UV textures there is nothing wrong with that.