Yannis Sayeh

Does a 3d modeler need a concept art ?

Hi i'm a 25 years old man who wish to become a 3d modeler !
I've started blender from... 2 months now and i wish to improve my skills, that's why i came here.

My objective is to be able to create beautiful creatures and landscape assets to put them into a game engine (Unreal Engine4).

 But... Does i need a 2d concept art for each things i wish to model?
I'm not a very good illustrator and i think it can be a huge wall for me if it's obligatory to create something.

Just to finish: I'm french so sorry for my bad english ^^'.

Thanks for the answers anyway :)

  • Hi, I started modelling recently also. I'm horrible at drawing. However I found plenty of reference images using google to work from when modelling. Let the reference image help you with those basic shapes then go from there. Its helped me very much with my 3D modelling.

    From a fellow newbie modellers perspective. I'd start by thinking of what shape you want your creature. Having a familiar shape formed from real world animals will people identify with your creature. Many animals have unique body parts which could help you with a general shape. Combine those different features into one creature. Then you can add your own artistic variations to those shapes.

  • Hello and welcome! Great question.

    I believe you definitely need to have a handle on concept art to successfully do 3D! You may be able to slide by without skills in 2D, but any amount of drawing ability will help you stand above the crowd. Even though 3D and 2D require some different skills, they are actually very similar. A 2D artist needs an understanding of shape and volume in order to represent surfaces accurately on paper.

    If you learn 2D illustration, it will be easier to translate your ideas into a 3D modeling program. It's very difficult to stay on task without some sort of blueprint! You may not stay focused on the "feeling" you want your final model to have, especially if you are new to modeling. You don't have to be amazing at drawing to make a blueprint, either! You just need to draw in the basic shapes, as v001 mentioned above. That way, when you make your model, it will be much easier to know what kind of shapes to make.

    I came into 3D modeling as an experienced 2D illustrator. I actually just started learning Blender, but I found it pretty easy to get the shapes and feelings that I like, simply because I have been drawing for so long. The hardest part for me is the technical stuff - all the buttons and settings I have to learn from scratch. I think it's hard to use 3D programs for any beginner, so it will get in the way of your art and distract you. It's much easier and faster to sketch up an idea in 2D. You can decide what parts you like about your drawing, and then translate it to 3D later on.

    Feel free to ask for advice anytime! People on this forum are always happy to help. :)

  • That is interesting question, and the answer is not straight forward. If we are talking about an idea that you have in your head that you want to translate to become a 3d object in a game or a scene, you do not need to draw it it out. you can blockout your shapes in 3d as fast as you can draw. or if you are using sculpt tools in blender/3dcoat/zbrush you can skip the drawing part and just sketch in 3d, advantage on this is that you get the mass of things straight away and can see potential problems that you might not see in a drawing.

    now, if i do get idea i need to remember later and i'm not readyly at compute i do sketch stuff in to paper just so that i don't forget.

    if you are doing stuff for yourself, there isn't really right or wrong way.

    if you are doing concept work for a studio, it depends their art director pretty much what they want, some want inital sketches in 2d some prefer rough blockouts of the models  in 3d renders (nothing fancy just the silhoutte).

    all that said, i'm learning to draw just because i want to and can use that skill to bring more to my whole skillset. the more you can do, 

    and when you got time. check out this video from

    FZD School of Design


    happy blending. :)

  • I think Kaj's answer is similar to my way of thinking. I'm not confident enough anymore in my 2D skills, so I use 2D concepts from other artists or I make a very rough sketch for myself, or I simply start in 3D with an idea!

    That being said, I used to do 2D stuff before I fell into 3D, so to a degree I think my 2D skills have helped me a little bit. It doesn't hurt to have some drawings skills in the end, even if just to allow you to make a rough sketch of your ideas :)

    In studios, hmm... it depends, I think a lot of the time you'll be working from 2D concepts provided by the concept artists. At least that's what I've seen from job descriptions :) So while it helps to have drawing skills, they are by no means mandatory to be a good 3D artist.

    Looking forward to see what you'll be making! 8D