How do you get better at modeling?

I’m currently at my father’s house for the remainder of my stay in the Richmond area for Thanksgiving weekend, and I’m planning to get back to Blender once I return home. I didn’t have the chance to do that thanks to leaving my laptop in the vehicle of the lady I live with by accident, but I want to get back to that. I like Blender, but I want to get better at modeling. I’ve been trying to work on low-poly character modeling tutorials, but it gets frustrating when I have to go seek help on different sites about issues I encountered from the process. Are low-poly tutorials essential? And should I improve my drawing skills so I can get better at that as well? I like drawing canines, but I want to get better at drawing other things so I can improve my skills. Any advice?

Keep on going. Every step counts. Don’t just listen to strangers, think about what their context is. If someone gives you a special advice an don’t know your context then this is … mostly not good… or simple perchance… The advices in drawing often does help in modelling… If you don’t know how to model something then think about teh real world and production… how is this build in real life… and for floral or living creatures: you don’t have to make a Phd. but thinking about bones, muscles, fat and skin helps also (or roots an leaves).

  • But i don’t have time !

Who said you have to do it in 24h a day and 7d a week ?? But when you just do 5min on weekends…

  • But my computer is crap!

Some people to super art with paper and pencil…

  • But…

There are no tries… Just do…

(Don’t just look at Tut’s with: learning to … in xy minutes, I learnt a lot while looking at questions here and even started answering when i thought i got solutions, getting likes and got solution tags )

i3 8GB just internal graphic and having fun…

So happy blending…

When I was young, I took guitar lessons. After a couple years I realized that I sucked at it, and I stopped.

On the other hand… in 2014 I discovered Blender. And I haven’t stopped.

It’s not simply that I love doing it… I CAN’T STOP DOING IT !

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Don’t be afraid of doing mistakes and start over.
Get out of your comfort zone if you have any. Get in your discomfort zones if you have some.
For exemple, i don’t like castles and never tried to model any since i started blender, but i had to do two of them for my work, and i think though it was the most frustrating projects, they also were the ones i learnt the most from.
Start small. Starting by modeling a Lamborghinni is really appealing, but you may face a wall that may discourage you. (this is my two cents)
Discover vanilla Blender first (with the official addons such as Looptools) before starting with a special workflow such as Hardops and stuff. Understanding the software design is key to fix issues you may get (with or without addons).
Maybe start modeling a skateboard ? You may learn to use Subdiv, mirror and screw modifier with this, also UV mapping, as it’s not a really complex object, but still has a few specificities such as the wheels and the trucks.

What does “vanilla” mean in relation to computer programs?

Without third party addons. At least the biggest one that would totally occult the way Blender works. Don’t get me wrong, there is no bad using them, i just think that it’s better to know how to do without them in the first time.

Are third-party addons ones you have to buy and download from a Blender site yourself?

Not necessarly one you buy, there are great free addons (for exemple Textools (though that one is probably one you could get from start ^^)). But in the idea yes, addons that are not shipped with Blender itself.

I meant “not” from a Blender site. Sorry.

What is your goal? I noticed that you asked if low-poly tutorials are essential. Do you want to create low poly models or would you prefer highly detailed models? Do you want create hard surface models, or organic models? What about environmental art? Understand your primary goal and then focus on that. In future you can learn the other things.

Concept art and 3D modelling are different skills and it is not a good idea to try and learn both at the same time. You may find yourself frustrated that you can’t come up with cool designs and then you may start procrastinating. While starting off I would recommend modelling things that either exist or already have concept art rather than trying to work from your imagination. This will allow you to focus on your modelling skills. As you gain more experience you can start to add your own twist to the design.

Start off with simple objects. You can churn through them quickly and you won’t feel bogged down in the complexities of large models. Also you will learn quite a lot going through small models.

When you feel more confident Try to take on more complex objects because there are stuff you can only learn by doing those.

Tutorials can help but you shouldn’t overly rely on them.

Sometimes you have to hit your head a few times and then sleep on it to find a solution.
Also don’t be afraid to start over, starting over will often give better results and you will get better due to repetition.

Every now and again you will have these little breakthroughs or realizations, write them down.

One thing I find helpful is viewing vids that speak on the basic principles of modeling beyond a specific software. Here are some links to videos that deal with such:

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Model/texture everyday objects that are around you in your house. Do this until they look great. I mean really great (physically as accurate as possible to where you can do a cycles render and be looking at a replica of what is in front of you). Being able to hold in your hands, rotate and observe, measure all over, and even look at with a magnifying glass for surface details, while modeling and PBR texturing said objects is certainly some of the best self-training one can do in 3D.

Some suggestions for your first models: A fork, a hammer, a screwdriver… Then kick things up a notch with progressively more complex objects like a tv remote, a backpack, etc… Then when you are ready: really challenging things like a cordless drill… Do this and you simply can’t go wrong kiddo. Good luck!

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It’s an old adage that is still good today:
Practice.
Practice.
Practice.

There is no substitute.
When you tire of practicing go out and observe the world. Build things in your head. This, too, is practice. As you look at a face or a body or a tool, break it down into a polygonal grid of how you would build it. This is where the, “I can’t stop!” comes from because it stays in your mind so hard.
Then, get back to blender and build something you just saw. Practice.

What are some other good simple object models for me to work with? I already find it quite easy to model silverware, cups, glasses, and plates.

A fork is easy. I wonder how you model a hammer with different parts, though.

Look around you. Model the room and it’s contents.
Place them where they are supposed to be in your scene.
Light it, render it.
Move to another room.

How do I model a pencil, especially colored ones?

As Uncommongrafx has mentioned you can start off with the things in your house.
A remote control, plug, tools, bed.
You can find items with difficult surfaces around your house such as a games console controller, mouse, or a Helmet, If you want to push yourself.

One more advise. References are your friends, our imaginations are not that great. With Items around the house, you own them, you can pick them up and really study them. Lets say you wanted to model an axe, you may not have one so you will need to find references. You will want images from all angles.

As an example here are the references i am using for something i am working on

As you can see i have images from all angles, differing poses and variations.

Well, if that’s the case…why not step it up a gear by trying too model something with a bit moar complexity say an item of apparel eg: a pair of shoes/sneakers, jacket or trousers etc.

And there’s resources aplenty to tap into via the Net, when things get slightly tricky.