What's your problem, man?

You heard me. I want to know what your problem is.

What problem are you currently facing when it comes to CG art/animation/blender. I don’t mean technical issues, but more the things that are holding you back from being the artist you want to become. Are you having trouble getting sculpts to look right? Topology not too good? Your animations look too stiff? Do your drawings look bad? Composition lousy? Can’t think of ideas? What is it?

My second question is; What are you doing to overcome that problem? Do you have a plan? Or are you just kind of hoping it resolves itself over time?

my current problems that I’m struggling with is self doubt in my artistic ability, the second is that I don’t have the time to work on art as much as I would like. The third is that I have a tendency to not plan as well as I should. I have these big grand visions of what I would like to accomplish, but when it comes to working on them, I find that things are taking much longer than I thought, and then I have to go to work, or sleep for 6 hours, Or something else that brings me away from the project. (The bright side of this is that I stay excited to work on stuff!) then the stuff I do make doesn’t look as good as it did in my head. I see all the amazing stuff other people make, and I compare myself to that, and see how I’m not there yet. That coupled with my limited time to work brings frustration.

What I’m doing to work on this is to wake up at 5:00am every day and work for about 4 to 5 hours (ideally, but life calls) until I have to go to work, and about 8 hours on my days off. Still trying to break bad habits related to procrastination, and online distractions. Its a slow process, but I think that if I just keep pushing I will find ways to be more efficient with my time, and I will start feeling more confident about my work.

So yeah, I want to know what your problem is, and what you are doing to fix it. I just realized that most of the threads on here are about the technical side of things, and it might be good to talk about something a little more fundamental. You can have the best tools in the world, and the most clear documentation/tutorials, however none of that does any good unless we can figure out the things that are holding us back artistically, and what we can do about them.

Organization and planning. I constantly shoot myself in the foot with poorly organized scene structure, chaotic layers, and completely unnamed assets. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve scrolled through material.001 material.002…material.145 trying to find that specific blackened steel material(tiny thumbnails only help so much).

So I try to remind myself that taking the time to set up and keep things organized saves a lot of time in the long run. It’s a constant struggle, but I’m gradually getting better.

I stare at my work way too much I think. That’s a good thing, and a bad thing at the same time. On the good side, I pay pretty close attention to every inch of my picture to make sure there is nothing funky going on, but on the bad side, I tend to change things too much, and not stay on the path of the original plan/goal. There’s that, and also the fact that my PC is pile, but that’s a technical issue. I’m trying to step away from it a bit more, and not try to be perfect…nothing’s ever perfect anyway. It’s funny SterlingRoth just mentioned naming stuff in the Properties, I am guilty of that as well. When I have a complicated scene, and I also need to step back, as I mentioned(or if I find myself just blankly staring at the monitor), I’ll just start naming the objects in my scene to take my mind off of the picture for a minute. :slight_smile:

Sadly, my main problem is the lack of a functioning time machine.

…and that insistent desire for a life more than 2 feet from an LCD screen.

Too large scope and complexity of a project in comparison to the free time you can dedicate to it and the level of motivation for it can be an immense wall to climb to complete such a project, as enthousiasm for something only stay for a time after which the motivation drops a very lot when there’s nothing motivating coming in.

I actually started a thread like this on another site due to virtually the same issues you’ve brought up here. At the time I did it out of frustration for a place to actually work free of interruption (kids for the most part). So I set out to build a “shop” in the back yard. Now that I have that finished I find that I have the same distractions and lack of time that I had before the new space.

In short I think that you’re on the right track to trying to build up positive habits and keeping an eye on your time. The bottom line is how you structure your time and how disciplined you are or become. Turns out that it wasn’t the “stuff” or “tools” that I thought was the problem. The problem was and is… me. So, keep working on you as efficiently as you can and as important as it can be to compare ourselves to others, I wouldn’t spend much time doing that. I fell into that trap and I found that it tends to be counter productive at some point. Everyone is different there, but to me it became a hindrance and at that point your flow or your artistry becomes something else. So the more time you spend on your work, the more I think you will grow.

Keep at it! Your work shows great promise and with the things you’re focusing on I don’t see how you can’t succeed!

Two problems I usually have, but now address, are a lack of knowledge and taking others word for gospel.

Lack of knowledge is usually helped by allocating about 30 minutes every day to learning and practicing what I have trouble with. Recently it was a fading knowledge of the C language, so almost everyday for the last two months I have been going through an old book on the subject and bugger me, I found that I have come a long way in programming over the years but also I had the error of not learning a language thoroughly enough in the first place. In a nutshell, if something is bothering you then deal with it.

Listening to others is good, of course, but its also good to think for yourself. Choice of 3D package is a great example! “Maya is NOT the industry standard!”, “Lightwave is dead” and “Blender is shit and no studios are using it”. On all three occasions I have thought the complete opposite and was right, but sadly on only one of those did I go with my gut instinct. Autodesk has killed XSI and now killing off Max so they can focus on Maya, Lightwave continued to be used on both TV series, Films and Games, and there was actually some studios using Blender - and it was rather good! I’m not always right(who is?), but usually I am rewarded more often by doing my own homework than by simply taking the advice of others.

Absolutely! This goes hand in glove with looking at other works. It’s ok to look and get ideas, but do yourself a favor at some point and forget about what Joe Blow is doing and focus on what you want to do!

So true my friend and a very good point you make. One of the follies of pursuing art is focusing too much on the craft and overlooking the importance of expression, telling a story etc. One can quite easily build up a collection of work just by drawing on their own experiences - not just trying to produce what is cool and popular at the time. If the only comment you get on your work is “The ear is too large and the lighting is poor” and none regarding the subject matter…something is wrong. Either the person criticizing your work is too fixated on technique or you have too little to say to your audience.

Amen! :):):):slight_smile:

Seriously - it’s lack of time. I’m a father of four, full-time developer, happily married (which takes time), and have friends that keep me sane (by actively helping me take time off work). I know what I want to do, how to get it done, and the time I need to do it… but there is only so many hours in the day and not enough of them if I want the happy family & (minimal as it is) social life I have right now.

So I chip away at the tasks, safe in the knowledge that someone else will only release the same thing I’m working on should I make significant progress first :stuck_out_tongue:

One of the problems is that Blender wont run in this older laptop I have at work. It has only 2Gb memory from which Win7 is eating almost everything. When I go to Preferences the program exits. I could really update my home computer as well, but it’s so tedious to open your PC and start to tweak in a new video card and more memory. I always end up buying a new PC and it’s already a cheap one with less resources than newest software requires.

2Gb is not a lot, but I ran blender on a laptop with ubuntu on it for years. Now I have a sparkly new Dell XPS 13 Dev Edition with 8Gb of memory and 500Gb SSD…

Edit: word of advice. If you manage to get your work to buy you one (as I did), get a small external mouse for on the road, as the RMB on the touchpad is super buggy.

Time and ability. Unfortunately, my job in no way involves 3D graphics so the only way I can work on it is in my free time but I have a family that occupies most of that.

Add in all the organizational challenges and bad planning that other people mentioned…

Still, every now and then I can pump out something that other people like.

My problem is me. Im being overly self-critical perfectionist so I often shoot down my motivation before that polygon mess actually starts to look good. Its a problem I have been fighting for some time now. I must beat the perfectionist out of myself and just finish things even if that one last vertex is not in the perfect spot.

stupidly splitting my already limited free time between 3D and 2D meaning progress in both is slowed down. I think some time down the road I will commit and give one up so that I can get to the level I want.

Man, some great points in here! Seems like there may be some need for Adderall! Lol! (I am not condoning the illegal use of this drug, just sayin’) :slight_smile:

there’s so much I want to learn but really really hard to get the money to go to school for it. Learning via the internets can only get you so far.

You know, I’ve actually been thinking about that a lot. There seems to be a lot of fads when it comes to subject matter, and styles. Or even there is some kind of pressure to do a particular thing. What if I don’t want to do that thing, and I want to do my own thing in a different way?

I feel you. I really want to get good at 2D, yet I also want to get really good at 3D Its hard to find a balance. (I’ve been neglecting 2d as of late)

I do that too. I’ll spend hours making a simple object, because I want the geometry perfect, when in actuality it doesn’t even matter. I’m trying to break that habit.

Internet has all you need. As a guy who`s about finish university if I could go back in time I would much rather spend my money and time on books, online courses and subscription for sites like CGCookie. While the networking there was worthwhile, the actual knowledge was bearbones, most of the stuff I had to figure out myself by trial and error.

EDIT: Keep going foward - keep learning, keep watching tutorials, model every day, study the basics of the trade like color theory, composition, lighting, topology. Internet has it all for a fraction of what university costs and a lot of it`s free.