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3D Kick-Off!

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  • 3D Kick-Off!

    Since I bear partial responsibility for suggesting the creation of this sub-forum, it's fitting punishment for me to lead off with the first post.

    Editor's Note to Bob: If you agree, could you add a second section for 3D Modeling, since 3D printing and modeling are as separate as skimmers and submarines, oil and water, and the like? If a 3D modeling section is created, please move this post there.

    With that said, I spent four hours today writing a course outline for a Hard Surface (as opposed to organic) 3D modeling course. It walks an absolute beginner through setting up the software, showing the user interface, introduces basic modeling tools and techniques, and follows up with a tutorial to create your very-own, 637-class Sturgeon 3D model suitable for 3D printing. I'll supply a link to a free, thirty-day, full-featured trial version.) It's a cradle-to-grave, soup-to-nuts, sort of tutorial.

    All you need is desire, some mental elbow grease, and access to a 3D printer.

    The modeling tutorial is designed to be application-agnostic as much as possible, so if you're more comfortable with some other 3D modeling program --like Blender, but have trouble getting started on a project, (not a CAD program, that's different) you should be able to adapt the lessons for your own use.

    Because it's a 30-day software trial, I have to have all the lessons completed before presenting them to allow everyone who takes up the challenge to get submerged in the software, build the submarine model and get the result converted to a printer or CAD-friendly STL format without having to rush.

    The ultimate goal is to learn something new and have fun! I'll provide a link to the (free) slicer I use daily, show you how to set it up, and get it printed.

    Having taught in-person 3D modeling, trying to write a course to teach the subject remotely requires a completely different methodology of instruction. For it to be effective, the instructor has to be able to adopt the mindset of a beginner, anticipate what questions will be asked, and provide enough of the "whys?" to tie the loose ends up and actually teach something useful.

    When I first bought this software, I opened up several online video tutorials that just plain didn't work. Whomever made them assumed I knew what I was doing, despite them being labeled as "beginner" tutorials. I quickly gave up in frustration and sulked for a week. After that, I considered taking an equal amount of cash that I had spent on the software and lighting it on fire, because quitting basically equated to the same thing.

    I sweated blood, persistently kept at it like a bad case of herpes, (unknowingly making loads of mistakes) and created something useful. Based on my demo, my boss approved a several thousand-dollar, six-day class in Florida. My biggest take-away from that experience was how much more I needed to learn if I wanted to be an animator. (3D modeling is just one skill set of the animation process.)

    While in Orlando, I took a tour of a formal 3D training school teaching the same software at Universal Studios and was really impressed with the staff and facility.

    In large part due to my Navy-honed talent for BS-ing, I got approved to fly out from CA. two days before the Fall class convened for six months of formal training. --The ultimate goal being to fill a company need for high-level animation for big-buck proposals.

    I had been interested in this particular software since it came out ten years before, so it was a win-win for all involved. At the time, I was living in a hotel for several years, commuting to CA from Seattle three weeks a month. It was an excellent way to stave off boredom as I learned as much as my brain could absorb using a small laptop screen. (I have two 32" monitors in front of me now to ward off blindness.) I probably spent ten hours a day at work, and six more working in the hotel room. I still do this pretty much on a daily basis at work and home, though not as intensely.

    That's my 3D story. Follow along and you can create yours, and maybe discover a relaxing new outlet.

    Be patient as I get the lessons written, reviewed, and polished. If I do a decent job, the extra effort expended will pay off in less frustration and more productivity for anyone wanting to try this out.


  • #2
    Excellent! I did force myself to learn enough to get my Columbia designed and printed but I could use a lot more help and I feel like I only scratched the surface. This is going to be good. Thank you for taking the time to do this.