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2D and 3D Techniques

Lesson 1 in Intro to 3D Concept Design

Lesson Information

Deciding which dimension to work in is a tough choice. To start things off, Jama will walk you through the advantages and disadvantages of using 2D vs. 3D, and the power of combining them together. We will then do a tour of 3D-Coat, including the tools and workflow Jama uses to create concept sketches.


1. Starting from silhouttes, create a futuristic cityscape. Try using different shapes from study to build a nice variety creating your own unique shapes.

2. Take those unique shapes and paint height maps

3. Render and texture your setup in Keyshot


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Well, finally my first attempt. I noticed how much I should iinvestigate about what works for better high maps and that maybe is better to build everything in the correct size out of Keyshot, instead of changing crazily the size of the buildings directly in Keyshot as I did, because then the textures will turn out too out of proportion (I tried to fix that with photos and overpainting).

I'm happy for a first attempt, but I know I need to improve my focal point and some other issues. And I hope next designs using this technique turn out more unique and better developed.

C&C very welcome! :)

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Scaling of windows is kinda hard. My advice would be to have different textures for different height buildings. Or even just the same texture but on a different material in keyshot so you can scale the texture differently for different buildings or sets of buildings. Then you can keep a realistic scale of windows.

Your homework did turn out great though!

3D Coat is Awesome! Thanks, Jama!
Some messing about. Learning what works for height maps, what doesn't so much. What textures nicely in keyshot.

Finding it fun but I really want to push a more distinct design language.
Something that is a unique architecture. I might even try something medieval/fantasy despite being more of a Scifi guy.
I want to do a couple more before moving on.

Guys, your work is so inspiring! If anyone has any tips for me that would be great!

The drivers sometimes forget I'm using 3D coat and my pen buttons change. I just click on 3d coat in wacom tablet properties and it seems to work again. That's with a 24HD. The Companion doesn't seem to have these issues though.

Hi! I'm new with the course, and with 3d Coat. I've always been very shit at beginning with new programs despite I love it, and at technical stuff, so I was really happy to discover this way of sculpting for 2d.

But I have a problem! I'm attaching my own height maps and silhouettes, but as usual, problem began when I meet the technical stuff. I'm struggling just to extrude the height maps, because as you can see, the result is always kind of spiky. I know I must be doing something very simple wrong, buy I don't know why. I tried different sizes, contrasts, depths, smoothing, and with Jama's height maps, but even his maps turned out spiky.

I hate technical problems... Any helping hand giving me a clue? Thanks beforehand!

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Lesson Plan