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Wood Carving Tips and Techniques

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Old 12-08-2007, 07:01 PM
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Question Design Software

I'm not sure if this post belongs here, so feel free to relocate it if it doesn't. Has anyone used 3-D modeling software to draw up their designs? My piece is going to be 3-D (as opposed to a relief, I guess) and it would be helpful to be able to 'see' all sides of it before I start. Does anyone have experience using Google Sketchup or Rhino? I've played around with Sketchup but I wonder, if I scanned in a drawing, it could render it in 3-D for me.
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Old 02-22-2008, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: Design Software

Hello! Rhino will be good for 3D modeling. I have Maya, which is way more than a 3D modeler, and is quite expensive - but if you happen to have some other use for it, it's probably the best. For your own purposes, you could also use Maya PLE. It renders only small pictures (if I remember correctly) and there's a text over the picture, but as you wouldn't be using the pictures for commercial purposes anyway, this should be OK. You can download it for free (unless Autodesk has changed their policy).

There's also another, quite inexpensive 3D modeler, called Silo. Visit the 3D forums (CGTalk seems to be the best) and check out the possibilities!

Otherwise, 3D modeling is a time consuming way to learn sculpture. I suggest you attend a drawing class (unless you have already). I studied drawing for years - I'm new at carving - and already enjoy the benefits. Easy to convert ideas from 2D to 3D and back, after drawing a lot.

No software will convert a drawing into a 3D model by itself. You'll have to build the model yourself with the software. Drawings are useful with it if you scan them, but you use them for reference only. It will take some time to learn the basics of the software, but once you get them down, you'll have the time of your life. For reference: I spent around 1,5-2 years to learn how to do modeling, rigging, and some animation in Maya. In that time, I made a comic book of 52 pages. I guess if you wanted to learn modeling only, it would take a couple of months.

I suppose if you want to carve and sculpt, it's quicker to do just that and forget software. On the other hand: everything you learn is beneficial. Who knows what else you will do with 3D software if you study it.

Last edited by hruukki; 02-23-2008 at 07:07 AM.
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