Use a Reference!

Today I’m talking modelling, specifically, getting it started. It may seem obvious, but the most important thing when you start to model is to KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO MAKE. I always do this, I have an idea in my head of something I want to make. I start modelling, then completely lose focus on what it’s supposed to look like and end up with an incomplete mess of a mesh.


Having some concept art to look at will make your life a LOT easier. This allows you to draw out the idea and figure out what works and what doesn’t. After wards, you can keep referring to it as you go along to keep your self on track.

I’ll be using one of my works in progress as examples as we go along.

Here’s my concept drawing:


As you can see, It doesn’t have to be a work of art. Just sketch something out so you can have a general idea of what your end result should look like. Preferably, have a digital copy you can color it in a paint program like Photoshop or Clip Studio. This will be helpful when you’re texturing, so you can try out different color schemes before actually making the textures.


When making the rough model, it’s useful to have orthographic images that you load into whatever program you’re using. This will help you keep things proportional and save you a lot of trial and error.

I went ahead and just downloaded a general anatomical character sheet of a man and cut it up to put on image planes.


Put the images on panes, and in an orthographic view, position them so they’re lined up, but out of the way. I use 3Ds Max for the majority of my models.

Then model away, keeping the model lined up with the images.

But remember that you’re just using these image planes as guides. Don’t worry to much about making your model 1:1 with the reference.

There, you now have your basic model, and from then on, you can work on refining and detailing. Using reference’s keeps you moving without having to readjust NEARLY as much as if you were just freely working.

Here is the final result of my BASIC model:



After that, continue looking at your CONCEPT ART as reference to help guide you as you make the details and other aspects of the model. As I said, my model is a work in progress, but here are a few images to help you get an idea of it.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


I hope this helps you guys in your future projects, as this has been invaluable advice for me and my projects.

And remember: “The computer fucking hates you. SAVE OFTEN”


“What is My Purpose?”

c3d863afc31938e4f1982937a72e4469--rick-and-morty-quotes-funny-rick-and-morty – Rick and Morty. Season 1 Ep. 9

Never before has a tiny robot been so damn relatable, and finding your purpose in Animation can be both difficult and humbling. But, contrary to being a robot programmed for one thing only, we are humans. We can adapt, improve, and find our own path.

Organic modelling is what I love doing, and im better at it than other subsets of the field. So I feel like I have found a true purpose for myself. But it wasn’t always this way for me. When I first started, animation was just some hobby, and I had no clue what I actually wanted to do with it, or if I wanted to pursue a career in it at all. But, as I progressed through the program, I had the chance to learn about all the different fields in animation. I found what my strong suits were, where I was weak, what I HATED (*glares at rigging*), and what I thoroughly loved working on. That’s when I found my purpose.

It may seem obvious, but if you’re having trouble finding your way in the field of animation, trying to balance your strengths and your enjoyment is the best way.

“I love animating and am the BEST at it!”

WELL AREN’T YOU JUST CAPTAIN SPECIAL!? Just kidding, that’s amazing and you should be proud. You’re already ahead of the curve, stick to your path.

“But what if I SUCK at what I like doing?”

This is tough and humbling, but if you’re pursuing a career in this, (like any job, really), you have to focus on what you’re best at. You just can’t expect anyone to hire you based on what you LIKE doing. People want to see your strengths. There is a silver lining to this though, getting hired, even if it’s not your prefered field, is HUGE. Animation is a very competitive field, so take the wins you can get. While in the industry, use your spare time to improve your skills in the job you enjoy. Ask questions to those who work in it, take tutorials, practice practice PRACTICE. Maybe one day, you’ll be able to move over to that job.

Whatever you love doing, stick to it, improve, pursue it. Just be prepared to make some temporary sacrifices when it comes to a job hunt. Stick to your strengths, but never drop what you love doing. Find your purpose, and don’t settle for passing butter.