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May 25, 2013
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My Tools

Journal Entry: Sat May 25, 2013, 9:30 AM
Even though I write it in 99% of my deviation descriptions, about three times a week I get comments, notes or emails asking what tools I use to create my work. Maybe this will help, but if people aren't reading the descriptions, it's difficult to believe they'll read this either.  I hope this answers your questions as it's pretty detailed.

For Most 3D modelling:
I use 3D Studio MAX from Autodesk. - www.autodesk.com/products/auto…  I've been using 3D Studio since rel.2 running on DOS. long before it was "Maxxed". It's my go-to 3D application for modelling and rendering.

For complex, detailed and accurate mechanical modelling:
I'll use (usually in combination) AutoCad and Inventor from Autodesk. www.autodesk.com/products/auto…  and  www.autodesk.com/products/auto…,  AutoCad is a great layout tool and you can do 3D solid modeling in it as well. I'll often do my layouts in Acad then bring those into Inventor. Inventor is a very powerful parametric 3D solids and surfaces modeler. It makes adding design features like cutouts, fillets, chamfers and more a simple affair. It's also easy to make dimension driven changes to parts within an assembly. Move a hole in a part and it will update the part that mates with it, so the holes line up. Cool huh.

For Most 3D rendering:
I use 3D Studio Max with the Vray render plug-in - www.chaosgroup.com/en/2/vray.h…  It is a much loved tool for realistic material creation, lighting and rendering. It uses lots of settings and can be tricky to learn and optimize. I find it give me great lighting, DOF, reflections and can be used to create very, very complex materials.  It's what I use for really all of my 3D rendering.

For Most 2D raster work:
Photoshop - www.adobe.com/products/photosh…  The de-facto standard. CS6 (soon to be CS7 in June). I've used it since PS2.0 running on Mac and available in grey-scale only.

For Most 2D vector work:
CorelDRAW X5 - www.corel.com/corel/ - Why not Adobe Illustrator? I have AI and use it occasionally. I prefer CorelDRAW. It does things that Illustrator just doesn't - or that it makes very awkward.  Where I can "fly" in CorelDRAW, I have to figure out a new workflow in AI to do the same thing. They play well together and can import and export compatible files, so there's no real drawback to not basing my work in AI.

Other tools:
I sometimes use Sketchbook Pro - www.autodesk.com/products/sket… and I'm getting to like it more and more. I'll also play around with VRED - www.pi-vr.de/en/products/vredt… for rendering. I've not found the flexibility I like from it. Plus, if I have to go back into MAX to make a geometry change, I might as well stay there and render. I'll sometimes use lightroom for image processing - but rarely.

So that's it - there's my quiver of arrows.

-Russ

  • Mood: Joy
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:iconaluminumiris:
AluminumIris Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Having taken the time to read everything you have written as well as all of the OMFG you're so Fucking awesome's  I just want to know where would you start if you had to start over again with what is available today? Forgive my ignorance but in doing the math. What I want to do with my mind compels me to ask. 

I could easily spend a great sum of money to have work done once, and whenI need work done again pay it again. Or I can take that same amount and invest in tools and instruction and be able to get a return on my investment as my mind compels me. As it sits I can draw a little but not nearly as detailed as my mind sees. And the way I see it is like dumping time in effort into a Honda civic when you could put the same time and effort but end up with a Mercedes CLK AMG black series.I gave up my civic a long time ago.
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:iconzjoriz:
zJoriz Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013
Thanks for the explanations :)

I'm taught in 3dsmax as well, but I don't own a copy. I do have Blender, which seems like a very powerful tool -- provided you know where the hell to begin, which I don't. Have you tried it?

You can't really use Poser for modelling, but I did find that texturing is quite easy. Render tools aren't anything special as far as I can see but again, easy to use. I've yet to try Daz Studio and Hexagon, both of which are free...

Haven't used Coreldraw since its DOS incarnation (what was it called again?)
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:iconryden-belgira:
ryden-belgira Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i agree with you on coreldraw. my friends thought i used illustrator on my car vectors, and they're surprised when i tell them i use coreldraw. people underestimate coreldraw
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:iconaram287:
aram287 Featured By Owner May 29, 2013
How long does it typically take you to model a car? for example how long did it take to do the new ferrari concept?
How much time do you typically spend on textures, lighting and render setup?

Also what are your render times for images like the ferrari ones?
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:iconin-my-viewfinder:
in-my-viewfinder Featured By Owner May 26, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh my god the temptation to ask.
But no you will find people wont bother to look any further than what is immediately on their screen. Reading is a bit 20th century when you consider many will just go to a youtube tutorial rather than read the manual
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:iconwannabemustangjockey:
I use AI for vectors and yeah, it's a little clunky in some areas. Granted I'm still using CS3. Can you give some examples of scenarios where CorelDraw works better? I'm curious.

For 3D modeling I was taught on Maya and unfortunately most of what I learned about it in college didn't stick. Maya drove me crazy with its numerous layers of menus and strange keyboard and mouse shortcuts/commands, especially for animating. When I picked it up again cold recently, the software mostly just confused me and I didn't get too far before I suspended the project and lost interest. Is 3D Studio Max easier to use than Maya? And when you model do you use nurbs or polys? Nurbs seem to produce much smoother surfaces but I could never make sense of them enough to utilize them.
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:icondangeruss:
dangeruss Featured By Owner May 25, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Circular Arrays - specified duplicate spacing, repeated commands, copying properties all seem way easier in Corel.

I've not much experience in Maya - I'll say for a fact that Max's poly modelling tools kick Maya's ass. Easier? They're both complex, but I think the workflow is much easier in MAX. I think Max has better native rendering tools and easier materials creation.

I use poly modeling. NURBS do my head in.
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:iconlouiseugeniojr:
LouisEugenioJR Featured By Owner May 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the heads up.
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:iconerror07:
Error07 Featured By Owner May 25, 2013  Student Digital Artist
thanks a lot!
for quite some time i was like" dafuq is dat guy doing to create so many accurate models + awsome renders in such short times?!" .
ill try some of this out when i find the time =)
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