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How do I become an employable character 3d artist in the shortest amount of time possible? If you were to prepare a 3d noob's regime, how would you plan it?

My current plan is to learn basics in Blender and then check out ZBrush/Substance Designer once I've created some characters and props from scratch in Blender.

I've got my Artstation/Sketchfab accounts set up and ready to go.
I come from a background of film and music. My plan is to make "trippy" 3D visuals to play alongside my music and with 3D side of things, I was looking at applying to some news stations. Theyr'e always looking for people that know 3D, graphic design, and C4D/Maya/Avid/AE/Premiere.

So because of my music, it's pushing me to find a job related to 3D. Look, I know you want to be a certain something but sometimes life works out in different ways. And if you want to do it in the shortest time possible, why not work for something media related in the meantime. It won't push you or become what you want but it'll be a push for networking and connections which is always great.
>How do I become an employable character 3d artist in the shortest amount of time possible?
By purchasing industry leading standard software like Maya®!
Don't waste your precious time and resources on non- industry standard software. You will get nowhere.
you are late to the party
open the unity store or turbosquid and write down the model/model pack that you intended to do. if it exists then find something else.
But what do the character artists at studios do? Are they Turbosquid Artists?
This is the most genuine reply you'll get probably.
First of all a character artist is something specific so will answer for that alone.

-Learn the basics of 2D art, proportions and do figure drawing for fun.
-Use Mudbox instead of zBrush/ Substance Painter
-Sculpt various things daily, however small or cartoony get something near completion each day.
-Don't worry about retopology nor texturing for a while until you've gained confidence in your sculpting skills.
-Keep up the practice and learning various forms and you'll get gud in months easily.

The rest once your foundation is set you can manage easily, learning to Retop-UV-Texture at the same time is best.

GL, I bet you wont follow through anyway.
>I've got my Artstation/Sketchfab accounts set up and ready to go.

Good, you got the hard part done first.
Why Mudbox instead of ZBrush/Substance Design?

I draw already, shit's gonna be cash.

>learning to Retop-UV-Texture
Any good tutorial for these? Otherwise I'm just gonna search the net. All three are instrumental to completing a character, right?

Is character design all sculpting? What about learning proper subsurf/boolean modeling in general?

character artists at studious are not making passive income
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i think you should invest in kneepads
im sorry
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A Character artist is a specialist, You don't need to worry about SubD shit, You'll be sculpting everything and retopologizing.

You use Mudbox because you can sculpt and texture/ bake maps etc in it.
So instead of you learning zBrush which can be tricky if you're not retarded and Substance which is its own entity you learn 1 software that matches both for the most part.

Mudbox has voxels now which closes the previous gap to zBrush.

You learn to Retop-UV-Texture at the end with good reason, why ask for tutorials now.

Your focus should be on sculpting.

You're starting form a fortunate position already being a 2D artist and not knowing any of these software, This saves you time and effort.
Okay. But when I see all these cool characters on Artstation I often see them in different poses. Why is that? Are they manually sculpted in different poses? No rigging or whatever it's called?
Correct, As a 2D artist this shouldn't be foreign to you.
There are sculpting tools to temporarily rig bits to move them.

I've given you good advice mate, feel free to fk up if you like.

P.S: "all these cool characters on Artstation"
You're NGMI if you get caught up in the end result of others, You're learning the fundamentals of what every single one of them knows and it isn't pretty.
Seeing how the soup is made vs enjoying the end result is its own issue.
Thanks dude
Doing character design is the crown discipline of 3D.
Don't expect seriously to get a job with that.
You'll have to beat the best of the best and there is no chance in hell you'll come out as winner, especially not as an absolute beginner.
Do something useful with your time and learn a job you'll have chances to actually do and not getting suicidal with 30 since you are poor, jobless and wasted your life.
Saying you should learn Mudbox instead of Zbrush/Painter is like saying instead of learning how to use a fork and a spoon, you should use a spork.

I'm not saying it's impossible to get good results out of Mudbox (some people still try), but Zbrush is far more common in the industry and has much more up-to-date documentation and tutorials.
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OP here. If I finish this head and plop it on a body with clothes, is it time for the Retop-UV-Texture thing then?

By the way, is it okay to do the eyes as I did them if you want them to move or should you add a couple of balls and do some magic in ZBrush for that? Or do such things come later? Same with the mouth. What if I want to open it? Don't I need to make some kind of cut for it?

Also, if I want to have clothes on this guy, do I generally just sculpt the clothes on top of him? Thanks

Watch Frank Tzeng and copy him.

The problem is that at your current skill you are two years away assuming you are going to 16 hours a day for 7 days a week with no rest.

Character art is brutal. I'm not saying you cannot make it, but you cannot make it.


That horrible advice.

2D basic and figure drawing won't help that much if he is struggling sculpting.

Mudbox is garbage. Everyone uses Zbrush + Substance Painter

He needs to do long anatomy studies, not quick things everyday

Sculpting isn't that important if he cannot do the whole pipeline.

Character art is about 20% sculpting.

There a thread on polycount about this. A lot of character art is retopology, UV unwrapping and texturing.

Most people like to have character artist who can also do hair and rigging.

I personally can do hair and that the only reason I have a job. There a really good cgma course on hair.

I sculpt about 10% of my day, with 90% being other stuff.

If all a person can do is sculpt we will just reject him. Only really leads could get away with just sculpting.
Thanks for the reply mate.

You mean like grind Gumroad anatomy stuff (Tzeng & others)?

Yeah I ended up going with ZBrush.

That's a really good point. I want to learn the process of doing a complete colored & posed (rigged?) character from scratch anyway so I'm fine. Animation and stuff would be fun as a hobby.

So basically sculpt-retopo-UV-texture is the thing that I need to get comfy with? I'll do it
OP here again. Supposing that you had to do one character a week starting with a sculpt made over a character sheet (?), what would your workflow be like?

I'm thinking of maybe trying something like that to get a routine going. Before that, I'm going to have to do one or two test characters with the help of tutorials.

Can I create "complete" characters with Zbrush and Substance Painter? Would you say that something else is absolutely needed? Guess I'll find out once I've done the tutorials + test works but still.

I won't be bumping the thread anymore unless there's discussion going
Oh and yeah, is the hair course the one by Lithvall?
zbrush has a ton of good tuts on youtube you can follow along with to get the technical stuff down, especially michael pavlovichs playlist on the pixologic channel

if you really want to be a solid character artist you need to hammer out some things until you are around an 8/10 proficiency at them

1:anatomy. this is big, probably the biggest. do study sculpts of real people. look up proper anatomy breakdowns and practice off of those, sculpt from reference always until you get really adept. rafeal grasetti is another great artist who does some good anatomy tuts.

2: materials. how do you sculpt metal? how do you sculpt canvas cloth for a backpack? how do you sculpt laquered leather? do studies and learn how to sculpt all sorts of different materials, using both raw sculpting, alphas, use marvelous designer for clothes if you can learn it. achieve as close to realism as possible before starting to stylize. style comes after.

3: learn maya or max. i know it sounds like shilling, and everyone wants to be a blender warrior at some point, but it just isnt realistic when seeking your first or second real jobs. a studio hiring on a JR artist isn't going to accommodate those kinds of eccentricities in their pipelines most of the time. also, maya has awesome really great tools for doing retopo and UVs now, lightyears ahead of where they were 5 years ago.

4: go back to step 1. seriously, don't stop doing studies and practice models. technique is much more important than technical knowledge of the software for a character artist. if you have good technique but are a little rusty on some software features, that's ok, but if you know the software inside and out but lack the sculpting technique, you wont make it in the door.
Thanks man. I found that 45 part series on Pixologic. Will try it.

Would you start with that one Grassetti anatomy tutorial or the Pavlovich playlist if you were a total ZBrush noob? Grassetti's seems more brief, but what do I know.
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i would probably start with pavlovich if you dont want to pay. i think the grassetti one costs $$

also, look into pic related. i picked it up, and it has an excellent anatomy foldout on the inside cover pages which show the entire musculature of male and female in orthographgic color coded, as well as having some great breakdowns targetted towards specifically 3d sculpting
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>Use Mudbox

That's how I know you're a real fucking stoner.
How can this be seemingly impossible to find online? There's plenty of requests for it on CGP since at least two years ago.

see these criteria? get those... the end.
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I spent most of today fighting the interface but now I'm following Grassetti's tutorial. I'll do it until the end and then I'll do more of them with my own anatomy refs. Will be fun once I can start putting clothes on them.

Might check it out. How does it compare to Zarins' book if you also have that one?
why do you underage niggers from /v/ always flock here with that stupid fucking question like there's a magic secret to making a ton of money
>become an employable character 3d artist
Funny joke.
Focus one one specific field and improve in that : character design, game character art, cinematic characters, creature, etc. Don't try to do everything

Learn the basics of art: form, composition, anatomy, color theory, framing, etc.

Make a list of programs you will need to know and learn to operate them: a modeling software(maya, modo, 3ds etc), a sculpting software(zbrush, mudbox), texturing software(Substance painte, Mari, etc), clothes creation(marvelous designer, clo3d), etc

Stay the fuck away from the blender community. You can use it to model if you like it but the community is cancer and you will get bad habits and mindsets from them

Realize that practice without knowledge will lead you nowhere fast. Sculpting in essence is easy, you will get used to it quickly. But making realistic models just from practicing will take many years. You want to study in depth(I mean really study) anatomy until you get a strong foundation and use practice mostly to cement knowledge or to increase your working speed.

A short amount of time is at least a couple of years so don't set unrealistic goals for yourself. And that is if you're talented and put a lot of time into your studies. Most people get employed after about 3-4 years
Cheers and good luck!
I'm kind of new. What is wrong with the blender community? Can't be as bad as the dota community?
They're fairly narrow-minded, to put it simply. While it is true that Blender can _technically_ do everything a typical 3d workflow requires, it's really not the best at everything. But the average Blender community will fight you to the death saying that it is. You can see it happen on /3/ quite often, some retarded software argument post will pop up and an overly-arrogant but poorly informed blendlet will make some inane comment about how Blender "can do this!" when in actuality said function is pretty standard across all other suites.
Of course, if you stick to Blender and just Blender, the community is more than welcoming and helpful. It's only when you start to make comments about Blender's downfalls compared to other programs will they get all riled up and ridiculously defensive.
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When you want to step your game up (you should be fairly familiar with Zbrush at this point and have a few (bad) sculpts under your belt), go pirate the two anatomy courses from Scott Eaton.

There is no sculpting in the comprehensive anatomy course, so do the courses alongside each other if you're itching to sculpt right away.

The man is a god and is better than anyone else operating today.

I feel OP should be pumping out character every week before he touches deep anatomy studies.


Do a character every week, try to increase capacity and go through the whole process each week.

40 hours, 10 hours in zbrush, 10 hours to make low poly, 10 hours of texturing, 10 hours of polish.

Do this every week, you will have at the end of a year been through the process 52 times.

Spend three months to pump out three triple A quality character a month.

Then, you will get a job.

Also, note where you are slow and make sure you can do it better next time.

For example, I have a really good hotkey for maya. I have hotkeys in substance painter.

Retopology is really quick now, have topology set up I really like and I can kitbash topology.

Even in texturing have basic set up of materials.

Even started to look at quicker ways of doing hair through substance designers.

Anyway, good luck and go on polycount instead of this crab bucket of board.
I disagree that he needs to pump out stuff for a year before doing some deeper anatomy study.

Taking a month and powering through a decent anatomy course relatively early in his learning, sets him up with good foundations for the rest of his work while preventing him from falling into traps and developing bad habits to an extent.

I'm not suggesting he do a perfect ecorche sculpt before continuing (and that's why I feel Eaton's course is better than something like Kingslein's stuff). No one's going to come out of one of those courses with perfectly accurate sculpts anyway - it's the sculpts he does after that, that really allow him to take what he's learned and make it second nature.
OP here.

If doing the 1 sculpt a week thing, I guess it'd be good to do a mix of OCs and likeness sculpts of popular characters, with varying degrees of realism? That said, I've heard claims that you should try and go for a certain look to start out with.

Anybody here know of a video that shows the creation of a complete animatable character from the sculpting stage to the retopo, texturing and rigging? Because if I sculpt a guy in ZBrush, I'm still not sure what to do after that. Import into Blender/Maya/whatever and retopo, I guess? And then comes this arcane thing called "texturing"? etc etc, guess I'm just fucking dense. I've bought Substance Painter and I'm looking at Marvelous Designer (is this application worth learning as a noob? It seems kind of hyped but I'm too bad to understand why and I don't know the learning curve).
Oh and I'm also looking at Unreal Engine but I don't really get where it fits in here.
ok,so what software are you using? my workflow is something like

1: sculpt- using dynamesh, sculpt out a model and get it going the way i want, dont go crazy on like surface pores or scales, just the shapes.

2: decimate and export- in the plugins menu is decimate master. use that to get the model down to a reasonable size (usually sub 200k poly) and then export as obj

3: retopo- i prefer maya, but blender can also work. i import the obj in to maya, then "make live" the mesh, and use the modeling toolkit (mostly quad draw, insert loop, and cut) to make a retopo clean mesh. there are tons of videos on this, and these keywords should get you what you are looking for: maya, retopo, modeling toolkit. also make sure to do your UV's at this stage, search UV unwrapping for tutorials on how to do this

4: after that, export retopo'd model back into zbrush, and start adding subdivision levels and sculpting fine details. this is when you can do pores and shit.

5: after that you can take it to substance or another texturing software (i still sometimes use quixel or just plain photoshop depending on the model, but substance is the standard now).

"texturing" is just painting your model, along with the normal maps and if you are taking it into unreal engine some other maps might be used like metalness maps or cavity maps or specular maps, but you can often get away with just color and normal to start (specular maps are very common though). look up unreal engine character import, and unreal engine character material and texture.

basically after you get your character modeled and textured, you bring the model into unreal, create a material, apply the characters texture maps to the material, then apply the material to the character model.

there are other steps in between, like rigging and animation, which are more complicated and have their own tutorials.
This guy has good end to end pipeline tutorials. 10 bucks for 1mo subscription.
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1. Nobody gets a job as a character artist, unless you're already a senior modeler or a fucking superman

2. Substance designer will help you with nothing related to character art

3. Blender makes all employers throw up as soon as they see it on your demo reel. ´Get a student version(or pirate) of Maya.

Literally go to school, Gnomon, Think Tank or whatever. Get actual tutoring for 1-2 years.
>Mudbox is garbage. Everyone uses Zbrush + Substance Painter

first of all, Mudbox is brilliant, so is zbrush. they are good for different things

second, I would definately use Mari for Character art.
I have never heard of a character artist in the industry doing Rigging....

Rigging a character is it's own specialst role, and character artists shouldn't waste their time on it
That is the most disgusting anatomy I've seen. You will never make it
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1. Somewhat false
2. Absolutely false
3. Correct

Get actual tutoring for 1-2 years is great advice.

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