Do you think a bad drawer can be good at 3d?

I am cheap at drawing. I can draw human bodies, armors, some perspective, some animals, etc… and i can stylize almost everything but I am very normal, most average than normal.

I find people new to 3d who have not studied a lot of traditional art. I know that drawing skills helps a lot, but I see novel 3d artists doing it surprisingly good. Most than good for not having studied traditional art.

That is a good thing, because then average drawers like me can have a hope.

What do you think? Traditional artists tell me 3d is not the proper method to learn, but I see in game art a lot of new artists who are modelling very well with near to no prior expertise in the matter.

I think 3d is an art in it self, and yes it can help to develop artistically.


I don’t know how to draw… at all! a 3 year old draws stick figures better than I do :stuck_out_tongue:
but it has nothing to do with modeling. However, I do think that it affects the sculpts that you make! but that’s just my opinion…

There are people who draw starkly better than I do. And I can create cartoons in blender worthy of film quality.
I, am not the worst 2D cartoonist of course, but to do photorealism is a flop.
I have had no proper experience with 2D too. Just an imaginative brain, a #2 pencil, and some printing or lined paper. No art degrees, classes, or anything. Just years of trial and error in both 3D and 2D fields.

Not one medium needs the other. But having an understanding of the other medium can speed up the learning process and can increase skill too.

knowing how to draw has no impact on modelling at all, its like asking if you need to know math to pass your english exam.
having knowledge of anatomy is more useful if you are interested in characters and if you have some experience in sculpting that can be translated to 3D modelling. but unless you plan on drawing your own textures then knowing how to draw is not really necessary.

You gotta practice if you wanna be good at anything. Doesn’t matter what.

In my opinion you don’t need to be good at 2D to be good at 3D. Depending on the subject, 3D can in fact be easier because you have many assisting tools, almost infinite tweakability, and the fact that the program translates your models in the 3D world in the correct way for you, without the need to know in depth how perspective exactly works. Not to mention that for 3D modeling there are many more “how to” tutorials which make the learning process easier.

However, things like quickly prototyping new designs, etc, are accomplished much faster in 2D, provided one has the skills for it.

As a beginner, I found easier to “jump in” 3D modeling than 2D (drawing).
With 3D one can obtain good results early, while for 2D much, much practice is needed before being able to draw/paint something presentable.

Hand drawing is a good skill for modeling if you have a scanner and want to use your hand drawings as references for modeling.

But the two are different skill sets and independent of one another.

3d modeling I guess could be considered a type of art, and how experienced you are with colors, lighting and compsition in general will likely affect your 3D works as well as your 2D works, however I think it will often depend on what you want to do.
If you want to model machine parts for a client based off of schematic I don’t think not having artistic abilities will hinder you at all, but at the some time if you are asked to design and render a sci-fi space scene to use as a loading screen for a new video game, your art skills in general (not necessarily drawing alone) in my opinion will definitely come into play.

I also think artistic ability can be learned though, if you can’t draw and you would really like to, maybe look online for some good drawing tutorials, maybe stuff on composition, colors etc.

I don’t believe that 2D drawing skills are all that important in using 3D modeling software. There are many premade 2D drawing aids that non professional artists can use to make 2D objects into 3D equivelents.

To answer your question: Nope.

It’s not the drawing, it’s the mind-to-medium coordination. Be it drawing, shaping clay, or making snow-persons, if what you see in your head ends up in the medium, you don’t necessarily need to be good at drawing.

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Yes, and that’s an old and tired question.

I suck at drawing, but I have seen a lot of “anatomy” and I do well. Just look for my posts.

2d drawing is not necessary to learn or make 3d models but its important to always have a visual sketch of your goal on paper (or whatever) so you dont lose focus and end up with a ‘random’ model. This will help you increase productivity.

Not only can I not draw, I usually find that I don’t need to.

I’m usually creating visualizations of mechanisms of some kind. So, I know the dimensions and scale of what I’m going to depict. I therefore construct an arrangement of geometric shapes of proper rough size and dimensions on a ground-plane with a checkerboard set to usually 5 square feet.

The result is always going to be an animation of 2-4 minutes’ length so the important thing for me is to quickly block out the action and determine possible camera setups. I can do these things in this way, and the lens settngs, rigs, moves and so-forth can actually be determined such that they can be linked-to. You can’t do these things with a hand drawing.

The human imagination is the most powerful tool that you’ve got at your disposal. If you can quickly set things up so that “the decision that now needs to be made” can be made, even though the machine is a cube and the gun is a cylinder, then … “the wet-ware between any two pairs of ears” can blow away a digital computer every time. A drawing can’t do that, but a cheap-yet-accurate previz can.

My main concern is to figure out how I want the entire piece to go … quickly. In particular, how much of what I could crank-out, do I actually need. Of everything that I could model in-detail, how much effort do I actually need to pour into it? (Hollywood never builds “the rest of” a western town: only the part that you could see. Before the set-builders go to work, they already know exactly what that will and won’t be.)

When you’re working with real-sized objects, real cameras, real moves … and the “preview” render capability … you can actually get very close to a “final cut” for what you want the movie to be, and to make a lot of decisions about it, before you do anything time-consuming or expensive.

So, really, I don’t miss my lack of drawing skills much. They wouldn’t do me much good if I had them.

I can’t draw very well either. I think my only limitation that I have with it is that I have to try to find some concept art off the internet. Often, I am unsuccessful. I then need to hope that when I model, my proportions come out the way that I want them to

As others have said, no.

It might help in some situations, and for creating your own 3d characters, then I would think it would be very helpful.

Study art in general - meaning the traditional forms would be a benefit; essential comes down to personal choice.

You dont need to be great at drawing to make art.

Ridley Scott created a fully story board for Alien describing every single scene. I know because I happen to own the DVD and has the whole storyboard inside.

Its drawing is definetly not good but still its enough to describe the movie and sell it to investor. And of course Alien has been a huge sucess.

I do believe however that if you are great in 3d its really hard to be awful in 2d. You wont be as good but there is definetly overlap between the two in terms of skills required.

I do think learning to draw is a good things to do, drawing is way faster than creating 3d art , you can fire up ideas in mere minutes and see what works and what does not for you so by the time you decided to make something you already have a very clear idea how to make it and how it will look like. But of course you can go straight to 3d too. Its completely up to you.

Also being able to do both , makes a better resume for potential clients :wink: It may not make you a pro 2d artist but it will show that you are flexible and more than capable with creating art even if you decide to do 3d solely.

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The most important thing is proportions. When you have the proportions right then you have no problem. Then you just fill the gaps with polygons.
But when you don’t have the proportions right, specially with characters… well it sucks.
Any good drawing person is good drawing because they know proportions. You can see them before beginning to draw, they draw horizontal and vertical lines trying to define the proportions of the character. Then and only then, when the proportions are already drawn, will begin to draw the shapes.

I was in the same boat, so i talked to an animator friend about it. He set me straight. (Man did he set me straight…)

The answer to “should i learn to draw if the computer’s going to e.g. calculate the perspective for me” is a resounding yes. Drawing is like any other skill - work at it and you can get better.

Why? Drawing volumes on paper using lines/contours or shading activates two mental processes:

  • it gives you experience in flattening volumes to shapes - no matter what medium you’re working in, the audience will always see your work flattened against a picture plane (or two picture planes in the case of normal stereoscopic vision), so it’s important to understand how 3D volumes resolve to 2D shapes through practice. You’ll only understand it by doing it.
  • it gives you experience in evoking volumes from shapes - no matter what medium you’re working in, the audience will always unconsciously extrapolate your shapes into volumes once they perceive them. Volumes are flattened into shapes and colours by the physics of vision but then extrapolated back into volumes by the perceptual processes in the mind. It’s just as important to know how to manipulate peoples’ perception to create the sense of volumes. Again, you’ll only understand this by doing it.

You’re a visual artist (say it with me!) and that entails a certain skillset you can work at through different media, whether those media are flat or voluminous. The difference between sculpting and drawing, media-specific technique aside, is the difference between forming volumes to create shapes and forming shapes to evoke volumes respectively. But it’s all still volumes and shapes in the end. That’s what your mind needs to be trained to understand through practice.

If you’re doing any animation, gesture drawing is an absolute must because it lets you get a sense of the energy of a person. Bodies form shapes in your eyes as they perform actions (talking on the phone, stretching, etc) and these shapes are how we figure out what people are doing.

How to do it? Learn some art fundamentals (Gnomon’s good - their animal anatomy and gesture drawing DVDs are nifty and less than two hours apiece; you can easily knock the training over in a couple of evenings then spend months putting it into practice). Keep a sketchbook and a pen on you wherever you go. Draw everything. Mix up practice and theory and let one strengthen the other. Try to figure things out as you go.

If there are people who are able to pick up modelling without any prior experience, those people are freaks and outliers sent by the Universe to confuse and frustrate you. Ignore them, put the time in training your brain with practical experience and you’ll be a better artist in whatever media you choose to work in. :slight_smile:


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I came across this article while surfing the web some time ago and thought of sharing it here. I hope it helps!

"All of the bad 3D portfolios out there can be summed up with one sentence: Lack of understanding of the foundations (composition, perspective, lighting/values/forms, color theory, anatomy/figure).

You can learn the foundations without drawing and painting, but the reason why people say drawing and painting helps so much is because 2D art forces you to learn the foundations, while 3D art does not. In 2D art, if you didn’t master the foundations, then you couldn’t do anything that’s halfway decent. But in 3D, because the way assets are generated, you can produce something “finished” looking, even if the foundation elements are absolutely horrid. 3D allows people to put a lot of “polish on turd,” while 2D does not allow this."

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