May 25, 2022, by Danny McGrath
Hard Surfaces Aren’t Hard: Sci-Fi Sculpting in Modeler
3D Artist Danny McGrath breaks down his Sci-Fi Helmet Project
My name is Danny McGrath. I’m a self-taught 3D artist from Ireland, living in beautiful Spain. I’m currently working in the 3D printing industry as a digital sculptor creating miniatures and collectibles.
I’ve been addicted to 3D for around 20 years now. My friend was doing a 3ds Max course and he had a student copy at home. Once I saw that first sphere floating in an infinite 3D world, I was hooked. I’ve always been fascinated with computer graphics, though. I was a child of the 80s so we grew up as the first generation to evolve alongside the machines, so to speak. My best friend’s father worked for Texas Instruments and it was on the TI-99 that I created my first ever computer graphics. The computer had 1k ram. Haha! But my friend was a programming prodigy at 10 years old and we made several games together. Later I would go on to C64, and then my first experience of 3D was a program called ‘3D Construction Kit’ on the Atari ST. It was more like vector 3D, but it was mind-blowing at the time, to have this at home.
I’ve been truly impressed with the power and potential, considering everything I’ve created so far has been with basic primitives. The devs have done a wonderful job designing the workhorse primitives’ system and this allows for a terrific variety of form creation, despite the seemingly limited toolbox.
Also, Modeler has a very cleverly designed instance/array/nesting/symmetry system that opens the workflow up to endless creative possibilities. Everything just works so efficiently. It’s amazing to think that it’s still in beta.
Minimal Learning Curve for Modeler
Modeler is an extremely easy program to learn. You can pick it up in an afternoon. The VR controls lend themselves so well to this, and I think it’s a testament to the dev design that they created such a powerful modeling program and compacted it into very limited control inputs. There is also a desktop version (it’s a seamless desktop/VR hybrid program), but I personally work exclusively in VR.
So yes, I would say to just get in there and have fun. The public beta is open and free to try. Whether you’re a 3D DCC veteran or just starting out in 3D, give 3D Modeler a try. I’m sure it will either change a lot of existing workflows for people or give those new to 3D a chance to create without the worry of learning a very complex and intimidating traditional DCC tool. Happy voxeling!!
I’d just like to give a huge show of admiration to the Substance team. Fantastic work on Modeler, and the beta has been so enjoyable.