Been using this vr headset a bunch lately,  and I continue to be blown away by what a useful tool it is. I’ll be upfront in saying I dislike 3d modeling. Just never came natural to me like it did for other folks. My first full time job was doing level art for video games in the early 2000’s, and boy did I struggle with it. Eventually, I gained a general working knowledge of it but modeling was just never my thing.

when zbrush came out, it was this amazing new black magic way to 3d model, and try as I might I just could never really get the hang of it. I’m not going to trash it…it’s an amazing program and it completely revolutionized the art of 3d modeling. It’s not z-brush its me! Don’t think I ever put the time in to get hooked.

But this vr thing? It’s got me hooked. Its such a fast, intuitive way to sculpt things.  Perfect for creatives who aren’t looking to build a game ready model but more just push and pull shapes around to quickly explore an idea in 3d. The models are usually pretty rough from a technical standpoint, but if you’re going to use it for reference or just paint on top of it anyway, ugly models work fine.

I’ll do these little abstract environment mock ups to explore different lighting/atmosphere set ups that can be used later on in more elaborate efforts

Goin’ for that weathered old statue thing

I find myself using it more and more on jobs. A while back I had to draw a bunch of centipedes in different poses for work. They were eventually to be properly 3D modeled and posed in these different positions. Due to a centipede’s shape and leg configuration I found it was actually more effective to just “sketch” them in 3D so I could make sure the pose worked from all angles, and it worked out nicely.

That gig was a great example of when it makes sense to use vr, because there were animals I just drew like this moth for instance, because it was faster and I could get him to emote better in 2d.

A few weeks ago I had to do some illustrations with lots of spaceships in them. Like, dozens of ships. I did the art math and deduced it was fastest for me to block them in, give them a rough paint job, and even add lights in and stuff in vr and then export them into 3ds max to light and render. I spent on average maybe about an hour per ship, and at the end I had a little armada of 3d models I could move and place however needed. It was a fun way to do it, and and client was happy with where it ended up. Everybody wins!

Can’t show any of that work, but it got me wanting to elaborate on that pipeline more. Did this little scene past couple nights to try to push a little further and dial it in a bit more. This is rough and mostly just kit bashed from random parts, but from start to hitting render on this was probably about 3-4 hours total. It’s pretty exciting to be able to get here this quickly, and I can definitely see using this approach in the future.

and a quick little animation

If you’ve been hesitant to mess with 3D, this is offers a low barrier of entry. It’s an incredibly cool tool that I can almost guarantee you will find uses for.

PLUS you look super cool when you’re working like this!