7 replies · posted

What "deep seated" advice helped you throughout your 3d modeling journey? And how do you keep going?

Hi everyone!  The last question I asked got so much good feedback, I just wanted to ask another  question: What tips and advice helped you throughout your 3d modeling journey?

Anything counts. I've just been in this terrible rut recently and need some advice: How do you pull through in your 3d modelling journey when everything is..really bad."You cant even look at it out of shame" bad. And its been Really bad for a really long time. At least it feels like it.

And you keep feeling like its.. "destined" to be this way.  Like some kind of fairy tale curse of the ugly art. 

I love 3d modelling and want to succeed in it, but whenever I start a project it feels like mediocre  is the highest i'll ever be compared to practically..Everyone else. So, anything really. I  think I just really need to hear something. I hope this doesn't come off creepy or anything. I've just been feeling  really depressed about this.

So, what keeps you going in the amidst of  the mediocrity  stage that feels like forever? any tips? any advice? anything practically anybody said that really stuck with you to keep moving? I'd love to hear it.

Thank you for reading . :)

  • start posting this really bad work in this forum and get critiques...

    this will do 2 things...

    1. it will let you see your work through the audiences eyes (and you may be surprised to find they like things about it)...

    2. it will give someone the opportunity to see what is "right/wrong" and help you to "fix it"...

    it is a very good tool to break you out of the "depression" you have expressed...

    last thing to remember you are not competing with anyone, just trying to do the best you can...

    hope this helps...


    • We are all human, and we all have problems. Every day we get stress that hits much harder than we think. Sure, some would say that everything can be tolerated, but you really can't. That's what I thought, but I regretted it. After fatal events in my life, I strongly decided to take an interest in best online therapy apps. After a little surfing, I immediately determined what kind of online psychotherapy I needed. Here I found the answers to the questions what is psychotherapy and how to choose a therapist. Now all that keeps me going is to correspond with my therapist twice a week)

  • 1. "I start a project it feels like mediocre  is the highest i'll ever be compared to practically..Everyone else."

    Going through this objectively, I'm pretty sure you're 90% better than all the Chinese slave wage earners or people in horrendous situations in third world countries who don't even have a chance at art.  

    Then we compare people in other fields such as dentistry, oil rigs, sewage cleaning, jobs that matter, etc. etc.  and I'm pretty sure THEY ALL SUCK AT ART TOO (just by ignoring the path outright).  That's alot of people you already beat in terms of pure skill.

    That might be a little extreme, so compared to everyone trying to do art:

    Have you looked at every single person starting out in a game arts degree in college?

    Have you looked at every single person trying to make it on their own?

    Have you seen professionals when they first started out?

    Have you compared yourself with art from top "professionals" back in ancient times with  hieroglyphyics and cave drawings?

    Well chances are, most of 'em suck just like you.

    BIG REMINDER: SPLASH PAGE HEADERS ON ART WEBSITES IS NOT EVERYBODY ELSE.   They're a miniscule population compared to everybody in the world, and even everybody in the world who's ever tried to get good at art.

    2. "You cant even look at it out of shame" bad. And its been Really bad for a really long time. At least it feels like it."

    Why wouldn't your art be bad for a long time?

    Here's an excerpt from Amy Henning interview about working at Naughty Dog (source here)

    "There's people who never go home and see their families. They have children who are growing up without seeing them," she said. "I didn't have my own kids. I chose my career in lots of ways, and I could be single-minded like that. When I was making sacrifices, did it affect my family? Yes, but it was primarily affecting me and I could make that choice. But when I look at other people... I mean, my health really declined, and I had to take care of myself, because it was, like, bad. And there were people who, y'know, collapsed, or had to go and check themselves in somewhere when one of these games were done. Or they got divorced. That's not okay, any of that. None of this is worth that."

    Have you even sacrificed half as much?  Why would you expect your artwork to be as good if not? I mean if after after five years working 80 hours a day and never seeing your kids, and then getting a divorce, you're still not good at what you do, then yeah, I'm pretty sure everybody will agree you've earned the right to get depressed. But until that point, don't be ashamed about your art quality, be ashamed of the effort you're not putting in.  

    Also I'm not stating any opinions on overbearing work ethics in game companies, just wanted to state that you probably don't work as hard as these people yet, and your output quality reflects that.

    3.  Be actually happy with your skill level where you are now.  If you aren't happy now, you never will be.  Even at a high level, you will always feel there's some art technique that you're missing.   Loving your art from a depressed standpoint has nothing to do with the actual skill side, and more of a mental block as you hear famous artists all the time, my art sucks compared to this situation or that person etc. etc. etc.  To avoid that at least for me, just be happy where you are in your skillset, that you were even given the chance by luck to be born where you were in the time that you were to learn the skills you wanted where the path has been paved by people over centuries much more talented than you, but were never given the chance to learn as much as you could now with the ease that you do.  Not saying be complacent, or never improve, just be happy that you could even produce what you could TODAY even if it's objectively bad, cuz it's better than NOTHING AT ALL.

    4.  You only go through your art journey once.  Early in your art career, you'll enjoy some very rapid gains in improvement if you're dedicated enough, but this gets more sparse as you level up more.  Enjoy your bad art while you can.

    Hope you find some useful advice.

  • I would definitely say the first thing to do is start posting your work!

    Show us your work because 1) it will help you get the feedback you need to improve and stop feeling like your work is mediocre, and 2) you may be surprised to find your work isn't as bad as you think.

    I remember I was so scared to post my work online because I felt mediocre, but I was pleasantly surprised by the responses and encouragement I got, and I think this helped me improve faster than on my own.

    I still feel like my work is mediocre at times, but I think all artists feel that way! The important thing was that I got eyes on my work other than my own, because you can only count on yourself so much until you need outside opinion to move forward. (And CG Cookie is one of the best places for feedback I've come across in all honesty.)

    The other thing is, yes, it's important to always keep comparing yourself to the competition out there -- and I'm not talking about the 'gods', those guys are on a level that most artists will never achieve. That was my mistake. Look at the average artists employed at companies/studios that you admire, see what their skill level is, and come back and compare your work along the way. Now, on the other hand, I know it can be extremely discouraging to look at their works. It's a bit of a double-edged sword in a way.

    So the point is this: It's important to keep in perspective where your skill level is at, but don't let it drag you down. Remind yourself of the level of skill you need to achieve, but don't obsessively worry about it. I often get demotivated when I look at my work then look at amazing works on places like ArtStation or ZB Central or etc. So I don't. Because I already know the level I need to achieve, and I just need to try to make my next work better than my previous one until I reach that level of skill. I'll compare now and then, and be happy with the progress I've made as I look back on my previous pieces. And on days when I feel good about my work and progress, those same pieces that demotivated me are suddenly extremely inspiring and encouraging. :)

    Finally, remember that your art journey is one of constant improvement and learning. The moment you stop learning, you stop improving, so keep going. You may take a step back now and then, but you'll take 3 steps forward the next time.

    I feel like I repeated myself a bit in that second point, but I hope you get the idea haha! Most importantly, I hope you got a bit of encouragement out of it. Don't be scared to show us your work or to ask any question; start a polybook (if you haven't), and get posting!


  • crew

    Unfortunately it's going to feel like that for quite a while. It reminds me of this comic and subsequent video from Ira Glass: 



    I always loved what he says as anyone who wants to improve at anything will inevitably struggle through this feeling of not improving or feeling as though you may never get better. As Ira says, you need to put in the work and create a large volume of whatever it is you want to get good at. If it's modeling, then model one new thing a day. Don't focus on the results or end product, focus on getting into the habit of doing it daily. You'd be surprised how far you'd get after a few months. 

    Also as cliche as it sounds, don't compare yourself to others. You have no idea how long it took them to get to that point, and even if you did know why would it matter? Compete against yourself. Challenge yourself to build something every day and really get into it. Have a passion for what you do and have a high standard for yourself. Yes it'll be tough, but you need to put in the work and eventually you'll get where you want. 

    Appreciate the small victories. People like to pat themselves on the back only when some massive endeavor has been achieved instead of giving yourself praise once in a while for smaller things. Learned some new modeling technique, great, feel good about it and notice you're making progress. There will be days where it doesn't seem like you're getting better, maybe even weeks. Stick with it, if you keep going eventually it'll give. Any obstacles you have will eventually be broken down if you keep pushing through. 

    • I remember that comic Jonathan, or at least I remember seeing something very similar. It had quite an effect on me when I realized that's why I wasn't happy with my work, and it pushed, and still pushes, me to keep going.

      It's nice to have seen it again, a nice reminder and another pat on the back to keep going :)

  • Some great advice here already. I felt the same way about my 3d life, until I posted my work on the  gallery and joined the backhoe collaboration last year and my work improved enormously because suddenly I wasn't the judge someone else was and being given feedback good or bad helps us improve. Try not to judge yourself, you will always be over critical of your own work, we all are.

    If you don't get the opinion of others you will always think its not good enough. What I have learnt on my 3d journey is to do my best, share it and get tips and try again.

    The best 3Dmodellers and artists in general will tell you that there work is never finished, you just need to get to a point to share it. If you keep looking at it you will always find faults. Remember others will only look at your piece for a few seconds maybe a minute or two and move on, they probably won't notice what you do after starring at it for hours. 

    And have fun with it 

    and one more thing.....

     🍪Eat cookies and carry on🍪