Launching Into Computer Graphics

1 minute read

Motivation

Since I took a gap year, I decided that one of my main goals during my gap year would be finding out where my passion lies. I know that I enjoy coding and have declared a major in Computer Science. But I don’t know the subfield of CS that I’d like to specialize in. For the past few weeks, I have been obsessed with short clips of Despicable Me series on YouTube. I think I have watched all the movies like twice or three times, but I still watch the same videos again and again because I just love Minions so much. Then, I started thinking, maybe I might want to do Computer Graphics. Who knows? But I’m a total noob when it comes to the areas like Computer Graphics.

So where should I start? You know, when we try to start something completely new, we often don’t even know where to start. We don’t even know how much we don’t know! Then, I found this video on Youtube: Beginners Guide to Learning 3D Computer Graphics. This post will be the summary of what’s introduced in the video and what I’ve learned from it (mostly just transcription).

1. Where should I start?

Fields:

  • Animated Movies
  • VR
  • Architectural Visualization (“Archivis”)
  • VFX
  • Gaming
  • 3D Printing

Regardless of what field you want to specialize in, a basic understanding of 3D is necessary for all of these. And what you learn in one field can often be transferred to another.

1.1. Learn the Basics of 3D

A.k.a. 3 building blocks of 3D:

  1. Modelling
  2. Texturing
  3. Lighting

2. What software should I use?

  • Cinema 4D
  • 3ds Max
  • Maya
  • Zbrush
  • Houdini
  • Lightwave
  • Blender

There’s not really an industry standard. Studios today typically use a range of different software for different things. Some studios like Pixar use their own in-house software that isn’t even available to the public (interesting!).

But the good news is that if a studio likes your work, it doesn’t matter what software you use. Art is their number one priority.

Priorities for choosing software:

  1. Inexpensive
  2. Functional
  3. Easy to learn

→ Recommended to start with Blender

Reasons:

  1. Blender is the only one (among the options in the list) which is 100% free.
  2. Many great features: Open Movies
  3. Community

Conclusion

Learn Blender.

Thanks for reading! I’ll come back with another post.

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