Digital Modeling

There are a lot to talk about down the road, but in the meantime, I want to showcase one of Xuan’s models. Visit the other post for some background.

Modeling what you see is what I called “Observational Modeling.” I call it such because I happen to do 2d and I see a correlation. Drawing what you see is “Observational Drawing.” From this, it’s not hard to see that there’s also Observational Sculpting. The key word is “observational.”

There are many ways to approach observational modeling. It’s mostly done in ZBrush sculpting (for characters/figures), and if in traditional software such as Blender, it’s done with the help of mirror and basic rig setup. But in Wings3D, it forces you to think creatively, and in this example, Xuan thought outside the box to accomplish this piece.

Xuan’s Observational Modeling

When Xuan sent me these shots and said that it’s done in Wings3D, and that what I’m seeing is only 95% completed, I had a hard time believing it. If it was ZBrush or sculpting then I can understand, but 100% Wings3D? No bones, no mirror, no blueprint, and just that toy as a reference? I was speechless. My first thought was “3D scan” but I can reassure you that it’s none of that. Of course, anything is possible if you put your mind to it, but if you’re going to do observational modeling (modeling what you see) of this level and details when it comes to figure/character, then there got to be a trick. And yes, there is. Xuan will share that later on.

How do you think he did it? I’ll show more shots once I have access to the 3d file.

Xuan is a self-taught artist, specialized in 3d modeling.

Wings3D on Mac

I have used Wings3D before, on Windows. It’s a great software if all you’re into is 3d modeling. I don’t know how people manage to model hard surface (talking about complicated stuff) in it, but for character / creature modeling it was a joy when I first used it.

Currently I’m on macOS, but am planning to switch to Linux later on for Blender and Krita. In the meantime, I want to revisit Wings3D to see how things have improved but Wings3D doesn’t play nice on macOS (navigating the viewport with mouse) for some reasons

An extremely detailed model done in Wings3D

Here’s another model by Xuan to show that anything can be modeled in Wings3D if you set your mind to it. This one is 99% Wings3D, and it’s extremely detailed. I wish I can show you more angles and closeup but my computer can’t handle it in the viewport (too laggy). A few wires were modeled in Blender using curves to speed up this project.

What this goes to show is that the right tool does speed up the process. Anything that is curvy such as wires and so on, are best modeled using curves, and it’s what they’re made for.

It’s not the Software

This was modeled 100% in Wings3D by an artist I know. This is one of his fan-art piece modeled straight out of a blueprint model sheet you can find online. Having seen some of his works, I would say he’s a Wings3D master. Blender has a lot of tools to speed up your modeling process, and as we all know, in Wings3D, things are done manually. What this goes to show is that it’s not really the software, but the artist.

Do you need 2d skill to be good at 3d?

You might be asking this question if you’re interested in 3d, but are starting out late (age-wise). The short answer is no. You do not need to take life drawing lessons, nor do you have to read tons of books on anatomy or figure drawing! What you need is a good pair of eyes, and this can be trained through “Observational Drawing.” Here are two examples from an artist that I know. If you ask him to draw you a character from imagination, he wouldn’t be able to do it. Line of Action, Contrapposto, Gestalt, Notan etc…? He has no clue. Give him a reference, and he can bring it to life in 3d.

All these were modelled in Wings3D. You’ll see more and learn from him later on once his website is up.