Making 3D Models and Art

Exploring the World of 3D Model Making and Rendering

If you’re a digital artist on a budget, wanting to get more from your software and models, keep reading. I use Blender (free) and DAZ Studio (free) as my tools, alongside GIMP and Inkscape (yes, both free). When starting out I also used Hexagon ($20, often less) and know of many 3D vendors who wouldn’t be without it. Since going pro, I have added other paid-for/subscription software, but never underestimate what you can do legitimately at no-cost or low-cost.

While I enjoy creating content, I’m still a buyer too and know how great it is to get a bargain. While my focus is now on making models, if you want to see historic sale data and get a feel for discounts and sale events on a major 3D marketplace, the older posts will be an interesting read.

Snuggle Up! Making 3D Clothes Part 1

Pullovers (close-up) created in 3D by Indigo JansonWhat’s this? My trio of 3D characters must be feeling the cold — they’ve put on their pullovers!

And who, you might ask, created those pullovers for them? Yes indeed, you are looking at my first clothing creations for Daz Studio.

Oh, these garments aren’t perfect. I also had a whole lot of hand-holding in their creation, via an excellent video tutorial by John aka ‘Fugazi’. What I’m excited about is what they represent for me.

You know the saying, of course, about “give a man a fish” (the same is surely true of women and children). Sure, I could buy one of the lovely outfits from the store, and I would do so very willingly were money no object. I’d be tempted to buy them … Continue reading

Strike a Pose! Posing 3D Characters

Having Fun with Poses in Daz StudioObsession. It can be a good thing. Honest.

Of course, other people don’t always understand our obsessions. I write this knowing that mine might seem a little odd. Nonetheless, I am obsessed with creating poses.

If you were thinking things were quiet with my 3D people, it’s just that I haven’t been sharing all I’ve been working on. Not everything I create will end up here and there’s no hard and fast rule as to what I share and what I don’t. If you have a blog I suspect it’s the same for you. You pick and choose, rather than put it all out there. Instinct plays a part in what you post.

Having worked on a project that demanded I focus on many aspects at once, I was … Continue reading

Do YOU Know Your Own Talents?

3D Art WIP by Indigo JansonMost of the people I come in contact with online have creative talents. They frequently impress and inspire me. They are also modest about their abilities, which is no bad thing. I’m not drawn to braggers, can’t bear to be around the self-obsessed who want to talk only about how amazing they are.

In contrast, some of my favourite bloggers are sparing with words and have the gift of saying just enough and no more, their images telling the rest of the story. I admit I like to write, to explore ideas from all angles. Could that be seen as self-obsessed? For me it comes down not to how much is written so much as whether a blog is about sharing rather than boasting. (Besides which, in my own case, no … Continue reading

Digital Photoshoot: Creating 3D Portraits

Hair in my Eyes by Indigo JansonOld Post Alert! Yes, I was still very much a beginner when I wrote this post, as I am sure you can tell from my results. I didn’t have much to work with back then either.

For a more recent look at 3d portraits, take a look at my 2014 How to Pose series.

If you are still curious enough to read it, the 2013 post continues below. Talk about a trip down memory lane! It has reminded me how much I liked my first custom characters. I must dig them out…


The past few days I’ve gathered the models in a bare studio to work on lighting and rendering. In many ways, this is little different … Continue reading

Work, Play, Learn

Vase Models by Indigo JansonIf you’ve been thinking I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole into my 3D world, well, there could be some truth in that. I’ve not spent as much time as I’d have liked on it though. Other things, too, have demanded my attention this week.

Finding the balance between different tasks can be difficult when you are self-employed. As a salaried employee, you go to work certain days and have times when you know you will be home. For most people there’s a clear division between job and leisure.

As most of you know, that line vanishes when self-employed. In the early days, if you are not actively working, you are not earning.

You have more time at home, but less time to play.

On the other hand, doing creative work … Continue reading

Week 3 in 3D: From Ballet to Tabby

I thought I’d share some of my favourite images from this week. I was working mostly with Valentina and Dan (my custom-made dancers, starting from a Genesis base and Elite skins) but also did some cat shots with my new 3D pet.

At the Barre (week 3) by Indigo Janson

Here you can see the dancers at the barre. I was looking for interesting angles and liked the view from above.

The parquet floor is beautiful but looks huge. It’s more suited to a ballroom. At some point I’ll experiment with other floors. I do like the lighting in this one and the way the shadows add definition to Dan.

Pas de Deux (week 3) by Indigo Janson Continue reading

Getting Started with 3D Art Software

Making 3D Art by Indigo JansonWhen you’ve been doing something for a year or two, it’s easy to forget how confusing you once found it. For that reason, you might think it would be better if newer users wrote ‘getting started’ guides. At least then there would be no assumed knowledge or missed steps.

The problem with that, of course, is that us raw beginners are stumbling around in the dark. Occasionally we trip over the right solution, but we don’t always understand why, or know the most efficient way of reaching it.

3 weeks from scratch and I am still at that ‘stumbling around in the dark’ stage. Fortunately, experienced artists are generous in their knowledge-sharing, so if you are willing to collect pieces of the puzzle from here, there and everywhere you can … Continue reading

We’re in the Studio

Dancers at Barre (close) by Indigo JansonDon’t mistake the quiet around here for laziness. Oh no. The soulful pose the other day by Valentina and Dan was nothing but a snatched moment while waiting for a place at the barre. These two are here to work!

I’ve been working too. I created my first item from scratch: a ballet barre. It’s no feat of engineering, but it was needed and it does the job.

Following this, I felt the walls and floor of what I was calling my dance studio weren’t deserving of the name without a mirror. Now, a mirror is not an easy thing to create, and no I didn’t have any handy mirrored surfaces behind the scenes. I hate to say it but we’re back to physics and such … Continue reading

Meet My Models

Couple Portrait by Indigo JansonHow cool is this? I have my own models just waiting to pose for me any time I ask!

Let me introduce you. Meet Valentina and Dan, a couple of young dancers who are keen to make their 3D debut. If all goes well, we’ll be seeing a lot more of this pair of models in the weeks to come.

If you are wondering whether this adorable duo was made or bought, well it’s partly one and partly the other. I would love to create a model from scratch but if you are going for realism it makes sense to work with professional skin textures. They are created by taking high definition photos of real life models and then stitching them together in a body ‘map’ that can wrap round a … Continue reading

A Week in 3D

Week 1 Render by Indigo JansonI downloaded my 3D software a week ago today and want to report back on my progress so far. It has been a week of cramming my head with brain-aching information, combined with trial-and-error experimentation. I have been frequently lost, just as frequently frustrated, but also filled with excitement about what these software tools can produce.

I remembered though that many of you will be as much in the dark about this stuff as I was just over a week ago. So here’s a quick bit of background to 3D modelling (or ‘modeling’ in US English).

What is 3D?

OK, what we’re talking about is working with digital 3D models. Obviously, your monitor’s screen is a 2D plane. However, you can move around the figure or scene in 3 directions, viewing … Continue reading