How to Learn 3D Art: Tips and Tutorials

At Daz 3D, we think it’s important to do the things that really matter to you. If you’ve been contemplating becoming a 3D artist but don’t know how to create 3D art, we encourage you to get started now. Why not? Creating 3D art is an excellent way to spend your time, because it teaches you so many skills you’ll continue to use throughout your life or career. 

How to Learn 3D: Video Tutorials

Daz offers some excellent video tutorials for beginners who are just learning how to create 3D art. Go through them one by one and you’ll end up with a solid base for getting started on making your own unique 3D characters and environments.


By following along with these expert video tutorials, you’re sure to get started on the right foot and begin to realize what you’re capable of creating. 

5 Tips for Artists, From Daz Team Members 

Our team of Daz 3D artists has some tips to help you flourish in your new venture.

1. Come up With a Backstory

Before you get started making a scene, Ty (Daz 3D COO) says you should come up with a backstory which answers the following questions:

  • Where are you?
  • What brought you to this new place?
  • Who lives here?
  • What do they do?

2. Be Deliberate

Kristen (Daz 3D Marketing Manager) says, “Don’t be afraid to be nit-picky… Choices on posing your models, texture, lighting, and especially camera placement can change the scene completely!”

3. Think Beyond

Thinking of how you can use your 3D content to make your story come to life is what Stephanie (Daz 3D VP of Marketing) suggests. What are some details you can add to your characters that further their intent? How can you make the story move along without getting bogged down? Keep these questions in mind as you tell your story.

4. Take a Break

“If you feel like you’re starting to lose your way or hit a creative roadblock, take a moment to clear your head (or a half hour). Then come back and start again,” says Lefty (Daz Graphic Designer).

5. Save Your Work

Rob (Daz Creative Manager) urges, “Save your work—constantly!! Rendering and making 3D art strains your CPU, so getting in the habit of constantly saving will ensure you don’t lose your work.”


The 14 Key Stages of the Overall 3D Art Workflow

Want to know how to learn 3D art at a professional level? Once you understand your software, have acquired some models, and know your storyline, it’s time to work your way through the key stages of the overall 3D art workflow (using the ones relevant to your project):

    1. Start with a Concept: Figure out what you want to make and in what style. 
    2. Make a Model: Digitally model your object using polygonal modeling and/or sculpting. 
    3. Choose Textures: Define the colors and materials on your object. 
    4. Add Shading: Tell the 3D application what materials your objects are made out of. Try different numbers in your shading tool until you can mimic real-life light:
      1. Refraction
      2. Reflection
      3. Diffusion
      4. Scattering 
    5. Create the Rig and Skin: Build a skeleton inside the model and make sure all parts are deforming properly when you wrap a surface around the skeleton. 
    6. Animate It: Bring the model to life with scripting (programming), simulation (mimicking), and effects (getting the result you want). 
    7. Control Cloth Effects: Provide realistic clothing that reacts to gravity, wind, movement, and other physical effects. 
    8. Define Rigid Bodies: Use physics to show how forces react to each other in scenarios involving hitting, falling, shattering, and others. 
    9. Deal with Hair and Fur: Make hair and fur behave realistically based on physical forces. 
    10. Simulate Smoke, Fire, Water, and Particles: Make your “fluids” move in a naturalistic way. 
    11. Make a Crowd: Generate a large group using simulation. 
    12. Mimic Muscles: Mimic the look of expanding and contracting muscles based on actual movement. 
    13. Set up Lighting: Set the tone and mood using color, brightness, and shadow sharpness. Lights to consider are:
      1. Spotlights
      2. Area Lights
      3. Point (Omni) Lights
      4. Directional Lights 
    14. Render the Project: Combine everything into a final animation in your computer.


    A Word of Encouragement

    At Daz 3D, we love making 3D art. We hope that since you now know the basics of how to learn 3D art, you’ll practice and find out that you love it too. 


    Want to know what else we love? It’s sharing free 3D art. Check out our 3D model shop and Freebies

    other useful video tutorials

  • I agree! I first started out with Daz to make covers for the books that I write. I soon began to understand the power of Daz. Like reading (or writing) a book, it can be escapism, which is a wonderfull form of entertainment, release, and destressing, but most of all beautiful art. So, now, I render all day long while writing in between!

  • Joanna Ward says:

    Daz Studio has opened up so many aspects of my creativity. Since I’m at home all day now, I’ve taken my learning to a new level. Like Dean, I write and create renders all day. Daz gave me the tools to fully visualize my characters and scenes, while also providing free modeling software with Hexagon to indulge my modeling ideas. It’s never too late to learn 3D art. Most all of us have time to do it now.

  • Danny Bright says:

    The fact that this amazing program is totally free should make anyone download it. There is no other art program that I know of that is this easy to pick and and get started with. Looking for a cool, fun second income? Well, jump in and learn a little each day and the possibilities will jump out at you. I am a professional writer and I use Daz Studio to make the covers for all of my books. It saves me lots of money and the fun and creativity that I get to experience is very satisfying. Don’t miss out! Get involved with Daz today and decorate the walls of your home with not some obscure artists work, but your own!

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