Thinking in 3D

Since I’m new here, it would be polite to say hello to people, so as promised in the first half of the sentence - hello.

Intro: I’ve been drawing as a hobby for a while now, had some experience in 3d modeling as well (been making maps way back for Serious Sam 2nd encounter, if someone can relate).
Since I have extra time to spare, recently decided to get deeper into drawing. To be more precise - I want to understand drawing and the things I draw, hence why it goes hand to hand with 3d modeling and I decided to get involved in blender as well.

The problem: After walking the road for a while in pursuit of my goal, and thinking that I am improving, it turned out I am not. To my regret, I kept resorting to drawing/modeling using associations (In other words: guessing how it should look instead of how knowing really is. Or lets say I have front/side/back view of an object. I can assemble it in 3d software but can’t draw it, since my brain still doesn’t comprehend it in 3d space and keeps clinging to associations). And that is rather upseting.

Obvious solution: Practise some more.

So, the reason I am here is to ask if someone knows a shortcut or good starting point in form of good book or an online tutorial that helps with the understanding of the subject (object in 3d space), since I am clearly lacking something.

Ok, I would try setting up 3 views,
Front , right, and perspective.

Work mostly in perspective, and use camera fly mode alot and get the hang of it.
If you are moving a object or vert, you can hit x, y, z keys,
So you can work on 2d planes in 3d space.

Try grabbing one face in edit mode, do extrude and then scale, with .5 you just make a loop, with scale 0, you can split 1 face into 4 triangles.

Imagine everything as wireframe.

Hi Billy.

If you are struggling with drawing/modelling what you see then I would recommend a copy of Betty Edward’s Drawing on the right side of the brain. Its along the lines of not thinking about what it is you are drawing but simply identifying the lines, shadows and light that is in front of you. For example, one exercise in the book is to draw an illustration upside down so you stop thinking about the “man in a suit, sitting on a chair in his living room” and instead focus on what is really infront of you: curves, shapes and shading.

Another good exercise is to consider the “other space” in black and white siluettes. Say you have a black siluette of a womans head - you’ll follow the contours of the black shape. But what about the contours of the white space that surround the black siluette? Are you focusing too much on the black siluette and not enough on the white siluette? The trick is to “switch off” from the logical side of your brain and simply accept the coloured light information that your eyes are recieving…

I hope that helps and encourage you to enjoy the journey of learning rather than find it an uphill struggle. Dont expect too much of yourself.

Hiya Billy, I am probably the most noob person in Blender ever to have plotted a vertex, but there’s one thing I am expert at, and that’s illustration and thinking in 3D to draw things. I can emphatically declare that there’s a little program that helped me transition into more serious modelling in blender and 3DSmax etc, and that is Sketch-up. If ever there was a 3D program with training wheels to help get the hang of how the items should look behave in 3D space. And it has similar rotational UI holding the middle mouse button. I use it for really simple squarish things, but it taught me how to plan items in 3D a bit better. Anyway that’s my 2 cents worth, cheers matey!

Take a life drawing class. Books, videos and free online classes can’t/won’t give you feedback on what you’ve drawn.

Thanks for all the advice, plenty of things to try out / think about.

~ B Jones

In my opinion, The three standouts are all working on ways to make it easier to design 3D objects from snorkels to skyscrapers share them with others for feedback, and then print them out on 3D printers.