I’m Just Not That ... Artistic

I have all these great ideas for some short videos to share but I’m just not that … artistic. I can’t even explain my ideas to anyone in words let alone with a picture. I just want to make some (not so) basic moveable creatures in blender that I can easily overlay on some HD video.

I’m good at computers, filming, mechanics, robotics, electronics, physics, exc. I just can’t get my ideas on paper let alone on a screen. If I had the resources, it might be easier for me to make a creature with animatronics instead of using blender.

Can anyone recommend a set of super simple tutorials or possibly some simple software to make 3D (2D could work too I guess) creatures. The OS’s I run are ubuntu, Windows XP, and Windows 7.

If you are considering Blender, I recommend focusing on simple object creation, camera works and lighting, armature setup, than simple animation. Than Blender is doable.

Keep focused though, because, actually as a function goes in Blender, they are quite limited and discrete. It’s just that, the way the software interface is laid out, you see 6 deferent modes, within each mode you see 6 tabs, and within the tabs 12 buttons to choose from! And the necessary buttons that you need to be activated will be all over the place! You can get lost fast!

With any software people are doing this and that, bending backwards to achieve certain effects. And when you start to integrated different effects, it can get complicated.

Learning to model and animate something is a difficult task requiring a lot of patients and practice. Talent is helpful but not required. Hard work will get you a zillion more miles then being “artistic”. Like learning any other subject well you must start from the very simple and work your way up to complex shapes. Keep it super simple to start. Learn things like the user interface, rotation, scaling, pivot point using primitives. Then try a simple shape like an apple or some simple toy. You could then learn to add a material and maybe lighting. You just need some time to learn. Then after a while of practice it will be much easier to put simple shapes together to form more and more complex things. And then you will be able to realize your ideas. I hope you stick with it. Your list of things you can do speaks of someone with intelligence and an ability to learn well.

Thanks, I will definitely keep Blender but is there something else out there to start with, perhaps in 2D

If you prefer 2D then you might try this free app http://www.creatoon.com/
However, you will still need some way to generate the images for your sprites, whether it be pen and paper, or 3D renderings. So, if you feel you are lacking in talent or skill, you could enroll in art college, or, take this advice: Work with what you have. Every artistic voice is unique, and there is nothing right or wrong. Naive art has just as much potential as anything, and if you don’t believe me, look at south park for goodness sake.

Inkscape is a really fun program. It’s pretty easy to learn and you can make all sorts of stuff from Icons to advertisments and even cartoons. It’s open source you can find it here:


Another fun one if you have a tablet is Alchemy. It really brings out creativity.


If you like doodling you will love Harmony. its a procedural sketching program. Try Chrome it’s cool


I would say 2D and 3D go hand in hand- your 3D skills are only as good as your 2D skills. Draw a lot, good old pencil on paper, and check out http://www.blendercookie.com/ it’s a great tutorial site. Again, drawing is really the best start. Don’t rely on a tool to make you an artist. Paper is cheap!

Who needs paper, just need something to make a mark on.

I’ve seen so many chicken scratches for character generation be put up on grid systems so they can be set to reference, mainly front and side. From there some people can make wonders. Where talent comes from? You just got to find out. Keep working from there.

Funny, I feel the same way. I’m just not that artistic! I can actually formulate stuff in my head and if I see something I know whether or not I like it. Nice to find someone who feels the same way!

I’m the same too, I have all these sweet ideas in my head that I just can’t figure out how to create. But I find that just sketching out on paper the image in your head a few times (even if it’s really bad like mine is) helps a lot.

Plus a scanner and the " View > Background Image " and your sketches go a long way :wink:

I started some years ago going over the very basics of artistic drawing. I still suck at it, traditionally speaking. That is to say, if you sid me in front of a subject and say “draw it”. I’ll still have some difficulty. And though I have successfully sold many pieces of my artwork that I have either painted or created in the computer, I could not honestly say I could compete as a professional artist. So I don’t.

I consider myself a filmmaker first. It is simply that I realized if I was to realize my ideas in 3D I was going to have to go back over the basics starting from sketching a perfect circle and that kind of thing. Learning perspective and so on.

Then over the years I simply forced myself to go through an entire book or two on human anatomy and duplicate the sketches on my own, that along with studying the basic proportions of the human form has gone a long way to making be a better conceptual designer for my own characters and objects in 3D.

So there are two subjects that go hand in hand here. Traditional art - which has its own set of rules and techniques. And then 3D art which is split in two two subjects. The subject of learning the software as a tool and the subject of learning to use this tool as a form of artistic expression.

There is no easy path to any of this. You have to make a career-level decision I believe. Like learning a new language. It will take time - in years - to perfect.

There is no simple easy way to it. Other than what has been mentioned which is to simply take one small step at a time and begin learning.

I believe that the human hand is the most direct and natural instrument of expression for ideas that originate in the imagination of an artist. If you can realize things in a sketch form you’ll go a long way to bringing them into a reality in 3D.

For me it is a combination of the two. I am not good enough of an artist to realize certain concepts fully in a sketch. But I can do enough - usually in a profile - to get the idea into the computer where I can extrapolate the rest.

Thanks for the responses everyone, it really helps.