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Would learning 3d on the side be useful to improving your 2d skills as well? Controlled lighting, understanding forms.
Yes, it should.
It's worth imo. There are many artists that paint over 3D models in 2D pieces.
There's universal art knowledge like form, anatomy, composition etc. but doing 3D isn't going to make you better at drawing/painting in any way since you're achieving your end result in an entirely different way, the difficulties between the two mediums are entirely different and very few things transfer. At best, you might learn faster since you've memorized anatomy, machinery, architecture or whatever it was you spent your time modeling. You'll have a better idea of what you're drawing, but won't be any better at the actual act of drawing unless you're practicing drawing. This should be a no-brainer, honestly.
Personal opinion: If you want to be involved in both, you should use 2D in your 3D process (drawing reference planes, concepts, environment paintovers) and vice-versa. Drawing/digital art is way faster than modeling or even speed-sculpting a whole thing so it's good to incorporate that skill, and if you're an environment artist you can paint over greyboxed environments/stuff you intend to texture to try out looks/use as reference which is particularly convenient since it could take days for a whole scene to come together in 3D compared to like 1-2 hours speedpainting it.
I draw anyway, I just figured it would be great because you can make your 2d concepts in 3d and study where you went wrong, how the lighting should be, seeing how something would look in a certain perspective. Being able to do this seems extremely useful.
3D is 2D
Depends. Usually the two are completely different in terms of skillsets, but many should be transferable (albeit it's easier to do 2D into 3D than vice versa).

You can use 3D for reference though, if you're trying to achieve a pose or certain angle that'd be hard to do otherwise.
File: planes.jpg (13 KB, 324x193)
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I do 2d and study the andrew loomis books. The books sugguest using "planes"
The polygons (drawn with pencil) are used to render light and color in 2d paintings.
Not sure my post helps but if you google search planes and andrew loomis...it might interest you.
2d is for plebs

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