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Computer Generated Images Combining 3D models with photos, or crafting fully synthetic images using CGI or fractals

Newbie: 3D Software/Tutorials/Magazines/Books

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Old 11-25-2007, 12:08 AM
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fac73 fac73 is offline
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Cool Newbie: 3D Software/Tutorials/Magazines/Books

I need some direction.

I love photography and the things I can do with Photoshop, but I need to move with the times and I think it's about time I learn about 3D software.

Here come the questions...
1) What software can you recommend for a newbie? 3ds max, cinema 4d, lightwave 3d, maya or zbrush? (Money is not an issue since most packages have a trial period which will allow me to get an idea of how the software works.)
2) Which sites do you recommend for tutorials?
3) what magazines can I pick up at a local book store to get me started?
4) Any books worth my money and time?

I've searched through the forums and websites, but there is nothing CLEAR for a newbie as to which software is best to start with.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-25-2007, 10:55 PM
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plugsnpixels plugsnpixels is offline
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Smile Re: Newbie: 3D Software/Tutorials/Magazines/Books

fac73, I hear you! 3D is indeed the way forward and a natural progression from 2D.

I am making some progress toward learning 3D. To date I have mainly done photorealistic terrains using Terragen (there's a free version available), Vue, MojoWorld, Bryce and Carrara.

I don't know which OS platform you use, but as a Mac user I would start the foray into actual 3D modeling with Cheetah3D (it's inexpensive and seems easy to use). The free cross-platform Blender seems powerful but also sports a steeper learning curve and (in some peoples' opinions I have read) a maddening GUI.

See this page for more info on these and other 3D apps (I am presently working with Strata's apps and hope to post pages for them soon) and the various 3D-related forums linked here (bottom of page). Issue 4 of my free ezine features these terrain apps used in conjunction with Photoshop plug-ins.
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Old 11-26-2007, 01:36 AM
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Rhasval Rhasval is offline
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Location: Madrid, Europe
Posts: 48
Re: Newbie: 3D Software/Tutorials/Magazines/Books

Hi Fac73, welcome I am also quite newbie here.
There are many 3D software that you can use. It all depends on what you are going to create, landscapes (Terragen, Vue), buildings(3D max, Sketchup), people (Poser), Flash 3D(Swift 3D), etc. There is a program fairly easy to use and it is a good choice to start. Besides it is very compatible with Photoshop CS3, it is a google´s program call Sketchup.
Here is free version of the program and many videos and pdfs tutorials.
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Old 11-27-2007, 05:14 AM
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creeduk creeduk is offline
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Re: Newbie: 3D Software/Tutorials/Magazines/Books

Personally I love 3D Studio because I am used it more than most of the other applications. That being said on some of the newer versions there have been interface changes and commands moved so that kind of defeats the familiarity benefit sometimes. One thing I always found a big plus was the amount of support in form of tutorials and on-line assistance that can be found not to mention ton's of existing models.

Another great package that has really matured and is cheaper and very well supported is Lightwave by Newtek also they have developed a plugin/module to work with PS CS3 Extended.

To start really cheap there are tools like Blender a free open source 3D Application.
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Old 11-27-2007, 01:23 PM
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pixel_monkey pixel_monkey is offline
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Re: Newbie: 3D Software/Tutorials/Magazines/Books

I'll recommend you pick up either Maya or Max. It's not just because they're the standard apps used by the big name studios; in addiction, they also have the most supports and resources available for their users. Zbrush is a great program if you're into organic modeling and it integrates very nicely with Maya.
I'm not sure about other apps, but Maya has a full-feature watermarked personal learning edition available for download that doesn't expire.

Here are some great 3D sites:

The following site doesn't have tutorials, but it's the best site to see some of the best CG works in the industry.

Sybex publishes some great CG books, especially their Mastering Maya series. A couple of great CG mags you can pick at your local bookstore are Animation Magazine and 3D world.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:05 AM
simon162 simon162 is offline
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Re: Newbie: 3D Software/Tutorials/Magazines/Books

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With the technologies available to scan, organize, and manage digital media archives, your institution can make valuable items, now available in digital form, available to library users, researchers, or anyone.
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