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Building 3D models can be a time-consuming process.

To jumpstart the creation process we’ve compiled a list of free blender models and character rigs. These are all free but for the models found in Sketchfab and Turbosquid, you will be required to log-in first before downloading anything.

While most of these assets are made by and for Blender, the models can also be used in other 3D applications too. These can be exported as FBX or OBJ formats which can still be used even if you don’t work in Blender.

Also before downloading anything be sure to check the licenses on each model. Not all of them allow commercial use which can lead to copyright issues. In general if you’re using models for personal use you’re probably good but it’s always smart to double check!

Free Models Lumberjack Darius

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League of Legends’ Darius is given a makeover as a lumberjack reminiscent of Logan in his time in the Canadian forests.

This model comes with a low poly mesh count with a single 2k texture set. And just like the original Darius in League of Legends, he sports a massive axe.

A default T-pose is not provided but you can learn a lot on how to create an appealing character despite the model and texture constraints.

Because the model is a contest entry you can find the author’s work in progress in this thread. Zbrush was used for creating the high poly design, Blender for retopology, UV unwrapping, and rigging. Then lastly 3D Coat and Photoshop for painting.

 
Vivi Ornitier

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You may remember Vivi as the small charming magician from Final Fantasy IX who also happens to be a playable character.

Apart from his emissive texture, the model also comes with different textures for every major part such as its coat, legs, and hands, all while providing high detail definition of every aspect.

 
Reptile Mage

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This reptile mage is also a caster type. Unlike Vivi, this model is built on a low poly count mesh with a hand-painted texture.

In more ways than one, the design is reminiscent of a Pokemon that mated with an Argonian Mage in Elder Scrolls.

Its head is larger in proportion to the rest of its body adding an adorable appeal. It sports a number of magical items including a pair of boots, a staff, and a cape.

 
Lowpoly McCree

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McCree is a stylized low-poly model taken from McCree, the Damage hero in Overwatch.

The model is neither skinned nor weighted with a pose in an almost neutral state.

However its limbs can be adjusted to create a T-pose. The character also sports several props such as a gun, a wad of cash, and a cigarette.

 
Knight Artorias

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Inspired by the Dark Souls boss Astorias the Abysswalker, this model comes with a complete PBR texture from the base color to roughness maps.

The model stays true to its inspiration with ornamental metal armor and a cloth mask that extends into a cape. All of this is complemented with a massive sword for fighting baddies.

 
Alice

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Based on Lost Saga’s Alice who’s also based on the fictional character of the same name in Alice in Wonderland, don’t let her sweet looks fool you.

She’s loaded with heavy artillery, specifically a Gatling gun with a bow.

With its action pose intact this is 3D print-ready. However you may need to perform retopology as the mesh is dense by default.

 
Wolf with Animation

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A quadruped model that is both weighted and animated, this wolf is a 16-frame quadruped with a variety of animation cycles that loop seamlessly.

If you want to use the model without the animation you can simply reset to bind pose or disable the skinning entirely.

You may also turn off the wolf’s mane since it is skinned separately.

You can also do it the other way around. If you already have a quadruped model you can bind it to the existing joint chain and use the quadruped cycle.

 
Drunk Troll Tavern

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This stylized environment piece easily blends in a mobile game platform because of its low poly count.

While the interior is not modeled, the exterior makes up for it. It presents a proper silhouette that can clearly be viewed from various distances and vantage points.

The entrance has a parked carriage and a signboard that shows several written announcements. There is a bar on the top floor that features beer barrels and bottles of liquor with stables below at the rear end of the tavern that add a nice overall touch.

Also the tavern shows a mix of materials and fixtures including metal details, cloth banners, windows, ropes, bottles, and aging wood.

With a little bit of texturing you can make use of an environment that can act as a venue to numerous stories.

 
Baba Yaga’s Hut

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Baba Yaga’s Hut is set up as a location that’s VR and film friendly.

This stylized piece is well-dressed with various focal points starting with a witch and a boiling cauldron. Not far behind is a hostage trapped in a cage.

On the river we see several rescuers including a priest holding a cross and knight preparing for an attack.

The scene is surrounded by a cloudy mist, adding to its mysterious ambiance. Despite not being a part of the action the interior is also populated with several items such as potions, candles, and a broomstick.

There’s also the nice touch of another witch apprentice and an accomplice bat flying around.

 
Barrels

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One of the staples of environment prop designs are barrels.

A scene looks more organic with a pile of barrels in a corner giving the sense of a recent occupancy. With this free download you’ll have several barrel types ranging from a standard storage barrel to a beer barrel.

The models come with PBR textures that are ready for Unity and Unreal Engine. The author also conveniently provides several exchange formats such as FBX and OBJ extensions.

 
Hologram Console

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This model comes with the complete PBR textures which is a nice benefit.

What makes this model unique is its emissive texture which is a must for any futuristic or post-apocalyptic setting.

After the proper set-up you’ll see the screen lighting up the whole scene. You can take this further and animate the texture like the model in the Advance Tiling for Environment demonstration.

This model can also serve as a good base for a modular asset that can populate a space ship command center or docking control bay.

 
Runestones

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To be upfront, this model does not have a well-organized hierarchy. You may need to clean up certain aspects if you want to modify the asset.

But needless to say the scenery looks good based on the Blizzard style of glowing features and details.

With a night scene the model shows off its magic with its emissive texture. Also through this model you’ll get a glimpse on how to create basic but appealing foliage.

 
Goblin Warrior

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This goblin warrior is close to a AAA character with such attention to detail.

The author made several interesting design choices to add to the menacing nature of the goblin: nails instead of thread line the side sole of its footwear, and a shield that looks as if it was torn straight from a door.

The main leather material complements all the other elements of the design including the belt straps, armor, bandages and even on the model’s footwear.

A threatening look is achieved through a mischievous expression, piercing ears, and emissive textures.

You’ll also get a nondescript treasure box that the goblin is protecting. The model is sculpted in Zbrush, polished in Blender and painted in Substance Painter.

 
Old Tower

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So this whole model is meticulously hand-painted and you can tell.

The effort can be seen in the blending of various props. The scene is given detail through a variety of props such as sand, rocks, cacti, barrels, fence, trees, and of course, the tower.

 
Gladiator Model

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By far, this model is the most detailed on the list.

The model is highly realistic with the proper muscle groups for both arms and legs, as well as its torso—all displayed in its full glory.

The realism also extends to his props: a detailed helmet featuring ornaments and chips, an intricate design on the shield, a flail with a spiked morning star, all the way down to a caligae or Roman leather sandals.

While the model is made in Zbrush, the download also offers several formats such as OBJ and FBX files which you can readily import to Blender.

However you might need to decimate it first as the original model has 19 million points in its highest subdivision.

The site also offers several free models such as a teeth model and a helpful guide on how to retopo a Marvelous Designer model.

 
Dusty Old Bookshelf

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Here’s a cool model divided into many objects: the bookshelf itself and the books.

You can use this to populate an abandoned room, or you can just use the books and put them into an existing shelf or on top of a cabinet.

These models are shipped with PBR textures which adds the dusty and realistic look.

 
Fruit Baskets

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A fruit basket is another prop that gives life to any environment scene, especially a market place.

The download contains various foodstuffs such as grapes, oranges, tomatoes, pears, and cheese.

As this is a low poly model it will not hold well for close-up shots but the model serves as a decent grey box blocking on your scene.

 
The Great Sword

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This stylized model makes a great weapon or even prop in any game.

It features chipped edges that suggests it has been through a lot. The cryptic glowing runes engraved in the center suggests the sword is of magical descent too.

You can treat it as a rare or hero item like the Excalibur where only the righteous can wield it.

 
Pokémon GO!

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With this download you get the three main Pokemon from the Gen 1 games: Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander.

It may not be an action piece but it can be a cute figure piece of them huddled together.

Charmander has an additional texture accent with a glowing tale which is great for newbies in the 3D space to study.

 
Low-Poly Car

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This low-poly car ships with a simple texture.

The car comes with a platform too and the model is also segregated in a hierarchy so you can easily move the body and wheels around.

 
Cityscape

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In this model you’ll find several buildings that can populate a city.

For caution’s sake the creator didn’t consider any zoning. However you can still use parts of the model to block your own scene.

The asset also does not have any textures. Maybe this is a good asset to use for brushing up on your painting skills. There are several variations in this asset from a singular home to four-story buildings.

 
Cartoon Land

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Cartoon Land is a low poly environment based on a rural setting.

It comes with basic textures with different variations of land topology.

As for the models themselves, you’ll get trees, grass, a ranch, and a house, among other items.

If you want to complete the set you can even design your own assets to match the scene.

 
Free Rigs Vincent

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Vincent is a professional rig made by the Blender Foundation.

The character has an appealing design that can easily blend in a Pixar animated film.

It comes with the necessary bells and whistles for you to animate the character from the IK and FK switch to the expressive facial rig.

To maximize features you’d need to download the BlenRig add-on.

Fortunately, like Blender, BlenRig is free. As the rig has dozens of parameters you may find it hard to navigate in the viewport.

But you can turn off several parameters such as the muscle system for faster playback and simply turn them back on when rendering.

 
Proog

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Like Vincent, Proog is a rig made by the Blender Foundation.

As such you can expect that it made use of the latest tools Blender can offer at the time of the model’s creation. Even though Proog has been created for the previous version, he has been updated to work with the Cycles renderer for a more detailed look.

Proog also has hair material you can play around with and study. You can check on how to use Proog’s various rig features by reading more on the download page.

 
Ballie

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Ballie is good beginner rig to study body mechanics.

You don’t have to deal with the complexity of a facial rig but you can still provide emotion and personality through its shape and movements.

Basically, Ballie is half-bodied rig with only a pelvis and legs.

On the plug side Ballie is already animated once you open the rig. As such you can dive right in and immediately see what the rig can offer your projects.

 
Grey Alien

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With its shiny eyes and extra-terrestrial skin, this model’s design will remind you of any recent alien film.

You can animate this model as it is already rigged and ready to go. Although you may need to add custom controls to fit to your taste.

The model also comes a gradient texture with gradient tapers giving it a subtle focus toward the body.

 
Penguin Nikko

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Nikko doesn’t really have a complete facial rig.

However if you want to try to animate penguins like in the film Madagascar this rig is a good start.

It may have a somewhat flawed deformation but it will be good enough for many body dynamics exercises. The rig also features IK legs and arms.

 
Funny Robot

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What makes this model stand out from a typical robot is its rear turbine.

This means you can animate flying body mechanics fast. It’s just a bit tricky to work with at the beginning as the model is already in a position rather than in a neutral pose.

However once you get around the model it functions like any other rig.

 
Sara Tween Girl

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Sara is a teen girl model. She has a weighted skin and ships with several textures, pretty standard stuff.

You can use her in anime projects with her pigtails and slightly larger eyes which are just adorable. She comes with a school girl attire, eyelashes, and a hair ribbon accessory.

 
Low Poly Character
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You might have well-shot footage or a photorealistic CGI render to start a new project. But ultimately what sells a scene is solid compositing where all the visual elements come together as if they’re one cohesive composition.

In terms of compositing software, Adobe After Effects is OK and Black Magic Design Fusion is catching up. But Foundry’s Nuke still remains the standard.

If you watch any blockbuster film with heavy visual effects, chances are you will see Nuke at work in one form or another.

For those starting out Nuke can be tough to learn and really pricey. The base version costs as much as $5000.

Fortunately Foundry offers a non-commercial version which you are free to work with and it’s perfect to learning.

To jumpstart your compositing journey we’ve compiled the best beginner tutorials that show what Nuke offers from simple green-screen keying to a complicated 3D camera projection and so much more. So let’s dive in!

Free Tutorials Nuke In Production (Multipart)

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In this tutorial you’ll learn about the fundamentals of Nuke’s workflow and user interface.

You’ll learn about the menus, node graph, viewer pane, and attribute panels. This video also explains why you need Nuke to composite heavy visual effects compared to just using Photoshop.

Along the way you’ll learn several hotkeys such as pressing S to bring up the project settings or pressing R to bring up the read node. In addition you can press Tab at any point to bring up the node commander to search for various nodes.

Practice lessons teach you several nodes such as merge and viewer nodes, among a few others.

This video might feel dry as it is technical and you will not be compositing quite yet. However this will serve as a solid blueprint on how Nuke works.

 
Basic Compositing in Nuke Studio

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So this time you’ll be performing a basic green screen keying and finally dive into your first Nuke project.

Unlike in After Effects where you might need a separate plug-in, Nuke has powerful built-in nodes to perform the job. In particular, you’ll be using the keylight node.

The workflow is simple. You’ll need to color pick a shade of green on the image and this will serve as a screen matte where you will perform clean-up such as rotoscope animation.

You’ll be using the tracker node to determine the camera’s movement in 3D space and with the help of the merge, color correction, and light wrap nodes, you’ll be able to composite a character as if he is on a snowy mountain. The end result is just fantastic.

 
Using 3D Projection

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It’s no surprise that if you want to build a 3D scene you’ll need dedicated 3D software such as Maya or Cinema4D.

However production time and budget do not necessarily allow for that. And that’s why many 3D artists opt to create a 3D scene in Nuke from a single image plane.

For this tutorial you’ll mainly be using a projection node along with several planes. While Nuke is not technically 3D software, it has a 3D viewer where you can easily place 3D cards.

You’ll be using the time-warp node to slow down footage which is very useful. And you’ll perform image adjustments such as luma key and color correction to blend background and FX elements.

Finally you’ll be adding particles from an ash footage using cards. While the technique has limitations, the output is more than enough for high quality production value on limited time.

 
3D Compositing

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In this tutorial you learn how to track a moving camera for compositing.

The data will be used on a 2D element as if it was in a 3D space. The atmospheric and smoke footage are from the Action VFX collection.

With the help of the reliable simple 3D card you can easily create depth through adding foreground, midground, and background elements.

You’ll also be using several unconventional uses for common nodes such as the merge node to control an asset’s opacity.

 
Nuke Basics: Merge

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Apart from the read node, if you work in Nuke you’ll be working with the merge node in every single project.

In its essence, the merge node is the basic form of compositing where you can place an image on top of the another.

While the node is relatively simple you can do more if you utilize other settings.

And that’s where this tutorial can help. Here you’ll learn the different merge operations, union masking and bounding box options, among others valuable for compositing.

To follow along the author also provides the project files which you can download for free.

 
Remove Tattoos in Nuke

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The title says it all but here you’ll learn how to remove tattoos in moving footage.

You’ll be using Photoshop to create a clean base which is a great way to start.

You’ll then use Nuke’s powerful planar tracker with the corner pin data where the tattoo exists. This allows you to retrieve the tattoo’s position and replace it with the clean base (something you may need to practice a lot to get right).

There are endless applications with this technique such as removing pimples or scars on an actor, so this is a tutorial you should practice over and over till it makes sense.

 
Asteroids in Nuke

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As you might know by now, Nuke is not a 3D program but it fits into a 3D workflow.

In this case you’ll be creating an asteroid belt scene with the use of the 3D cards.

As the point of view will be limited, the author runs through necessary planning on how to approach the shot as such camera movement and asteroid positions.

By the end of the session you’ll be able to use several instance workflows to populate your scene. You’ll also learn how to add atmospheric effects and color corrections to add depth to your composition.

 
Sky Replacement & Track Mattes

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One of the common compositing workflows is sky replacement.

In most cases you don’t have a choice what the cloud will be like when you’re shouting outdoors.

But let’s say you’re shooting a dramatic final scene but the clouds are gloomy that day. Fortunately Nuke offers a solution where you can replace that disappointing sky with a colorful set-up.

So here you’ll learn tried and proven workflows for sky replacement such as blowing out the sky’s exposure to create a matte. You’ll also be using the blur node to soften the effect.

With the help of the merge and premultiply node you’ll be able to blend your art-directed sky to your scene with ease.

 
Multipass Compositing

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Multi-pass compositing comes into play with CGI renders. These passes have many forms such as diffuse, specular, and ambient occlusions.

With these elements the compositor can adjust the final look in a matter of seconds without rendering the whole image(which can take hours).

So if you follow along here you’ll learn the basics of multi-pass compositing: shuffle node.

You’ll also be using the grade node to emphasize specular highlights. This leads to creating depth of field which allows a great deal of flexibility such as performing rack focus.

Finally you’ll create an atmospheric fog using the Z-depth pass which is a handy technique to practice. You can grab the project files here if you want to follow along.

 
Green Screen Keying

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Keying is rather complicated and can stack several nodes upon nodes – but with practice it gets far less complicated, especially over time.

In this tutorial you’ll learn fast and accurate keying using the IBK(Image Based Keyer). It mainly takes two images: the main footage with the green screen and then only green screen footage.

It has become a standard for static and stable shots such as those lit in the studio.

The instructor also shows common pitfalls working with the IBK node such as not chanigng the keyer color from the default blue to green.

 
Intro to Tracking and Rotopaint

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In this tutorial you’ll learn how to use Nuke’s Tracker and Rotopaint nodes.

You’ll learn to avoid common errors that trick beginners such as choosing an improper area to track. You’ll also learn that the tracker doesn’t only retrieve position data but also rotation and scale data.

This means you need to consider various settings such as perspective shift or using an edge detection filter for more accurate recognition.

You’ll also pick up points on how roto paint will help add and remove a portion of any footage. It functions like the clone stamp in Photoshop. You can use the techniques here for the tutorial project to replace an image on a billboard.

Be sure to check out the source files with the footage and the 2D elements to follow along.

 
Day to Night Conversion

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Day to night footage conversion is a bit tricky. Ideally you want to be practical and shoot night scenes in the evening.

But there is always an anomaly such as having the location booked only for specific hours. In this tutorial you’ll learn how to tackle such a task and do it right.

As usual, you’ll create a garbage matte that will serve to mask the daytime sky and replace it with the nighttime sky.

Through this lesson you’ll learn that getting a day time look is not as easy as bringing the brightness down. You’ll need a roto node and to isolate light sources and windows to create your own light source. Finally at the end you’ll create a light beam to sell the night scene.

 
Migrating From AE To Nuke

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After Effects is geared to both visual effects and motion graphics. It also has a low barrier of entry with its affordable pricing.

So why not use After Effects instead of Nuke?

The difference becomes apparent in heavy visual effects shots where you have hundreds of live action and CGI clips to composite. Without a doubt, such a task will choke After Effects but Nuke can just keep chugging along.

This demo shows how to use Nuke with existing knowledge of After Effects, a very handy teaching tool for anyone with AE experience.

You’ll learn the significant differences between a layer and node workflow. You’ll also learn what panels are similar and in both programs.

Ultimately if you have an AE background and want to move into Nuke, this is the place to start.

 
3D Environments with Camera Projections

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Moving into cameras you should check out this video tut for tips on camera projects to create a 3D scene from a 2D image.

As a caveat, you need a high-resolution image to create this effect. You’ll be using mainly the 3D object, camera, projection, scene and scanline renderer nodes.

To start you’ll use a grid texture to get the proper perspective to block out the walls, ceiling, and floor. The instructor also reassures that it’s normal to have a lot of guesswork here, especially if you don’t have exact measurements written down.

 
Compositing Aerial Explosions

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In this tutorial you’ll work on a plane chase scene where the bad guys are closing in.

You’ll present this scenario with explosions trailing behind the plane. As the plane is CGI you’ll prepare various render passes with the shuffle node.

By default, this will mess up the alpha and you’ll solve it with a really valuable trick.

Interestingly, while the plane is in CGI, the explosions you’ll be using come from 2D element footage.

This means you’ll be using 3D cards and place them properly within the scene along with all animation. You’ll finish the composition by adding interactive lighting with clouds and ultimately blending everything together.

 
Force Field Tutorial

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Got a fantasy character or a sci-fi idea where a forcefield might come in handy? Well then this tutorial is for you.

The whole effect is made within Nuke with no CGI passes used. This means you can readily use such techniques on your projects.

First you’ll prep the footage by adding a blue tint through color creation. You’ll use the shuffle copy node to crush some channels to create a mask.

With the lens distortion and noise node you create the bulk of the force field look. You’ll then track the footage and add some lens flare for a finishing touch.

 
VFX Car Fire

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One of the cost-savings for performing visual effects rather than practical effects is creating fire.

Not only will you save your team from a logistical nightmare, but you’ll also keep your crew safe.

So this super fun tutorial lets you set a car on fire. Not in real life, but still pretty cool!

The author discusses the importance of using references before starting the project too. The artist should have a clear idea of what shape to use and the behavior of the fire.

This will guide your decisions on what type of flames to place when compositing.

You’ll start with the fire and proceed with adding smoke and detailed effects.

Like in a usual compositing workflow, here you’ll create several mattes from backgrounds to tires using the roto node. You’ll feather out the edges to blend footages seamlessly. You’ll also learn how to add fires onto tricky areas such as under shadows by warping and retiming the footage.

This is a tricky video but worth the effort if you can get through it. Also be sure to check out the project files that you can download and work with.

Premium Tutorials Fundamentals Course

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Aimed at total beginners, this fundamentals course will get you up and running with Nuke in no time.

Most of the techniques discussed have been tackled in free tutorials above, but what makes this course essential is its project files.

You’ll get to perform compositing alongside a professional rather than just watching how someone else works.

This course will also serve as a refresher for seasoned veterans as it tackles every topic comprehensively. The version used is slightly old but the concept still applies as Nuke has matured a lot by now.

 
Green Screen Keying

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There are mainly two ways to create a matte for compositing footage over another: painstaking rotoscope and green screen keying.

In most cases you’ll use two. However, as much as possible, you’ll create most of the matte through green screen keying as rotoscope work is labor intensive.

In this course you’ll learn how to analyze green/blue screen footage and perform effective and efficient keying in Nuke.

You’ll discover several keying workflows and learn their respective advantages and disadvantages. You’ll also solve case-specific problems such as dealing with motion blur and transparency. By far, this is the #1 keying video series on Nuke covering more detail than anything else.

 
Intermediate Rendering

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Unlike rendering CGI elements, Nuke rendering does not take as much time since it doesn’t necessarily compute all rays for every pixel.

The problem is not rendering times, but making elements fit and blend together while rendering.

In this massive video series you’ll learn professional rendering workflows for color management, look-up tables, and color spaces, among other techniques from pro Nuke users.

The task is tedious but it is a must for creative professionals. So if you’re interested in the film or game industry at all, this series is worth looking into. Especially if you already have a beginner’s understanding of Nuke and want to push it further.

 
Deep Compositing Project Workflow

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Deep compositing made its appearance about a decade ago and is still relevant to complicated visual effects today.

Its application can be found on films like Planet of the Apes, Life of Pi and Pacific Rim. In essence, a deep image is still 2D footage but with 3D data.

This allows a compositor to insert shots at depth rather than creating individual mattes for every intersection.

However there’s a catch: a deep pass can be 10 times as heavy as a regular pass. But from this course you’ll learn how to optimize such data and use a deep image in a practical setting whether it’s for movies, television, or games.

 
Stereoscopic Compositing and Conversion

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Despite working in a 3D workspace, whether live action or CGI, you’ll still be viewing a film on a flat 2D surface.

To replicate depth, well that’s where stereoscopic compositing comes in.

Fortunately Nuke comes with an off-the-shelf toolkit to perform tasks with 3D stereoscopic rendering.

You’ll start this course learning how stereoscopy works and how it affects our perspective. This base theory will help you prepare and modify footage in a more realistic way.

You’ll also study various topics such as converge and depth maps. By the end of the entire series you’ll be ready to supervise a stereoscopic project with ease.

 
Nuke for After Effects Users

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Due to its nodal workflow, Nuke might be harder to understand compared to layer based software such as After Effects.

We did cover a free tutorial on this subject but if you want to do 3D/VFX work as a career then you know premium courses are well worth the money...

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Drawing in your sketchbook is fun, relaxing, and did I mention fun?

It’s always crucial to study the fundamentals and practice your drawing skills like proportions, perspective, value, and composition.

Sometimes though, you just wanna draw. And it’s easy to get into a sketchbook rut where you want to draw but you’re fresh out of ideas(it’s the worst!)

So here are over 120 ideas for those days when you’re looking around like “What the heck do I draw?”

1. Shoes

Dig some shoes out of your closet and set up a little still life, or draw the ones on your feet (or someone else’s feet!)

 
2. Cats & dogs

If you have a furry helper at home, draw them!

If you don’t then just do a quick image search on Google or Pinterest to find a fuzzy friend to draw.

 
Artwork created by @milkkoyo 3. Your smartphone

Come on, you always have this on you. Pull it out, lay it down, and start drawing.

 
4. Cup of coffee

Drawing is a great activity to couple with your morning coffee.

Whether it’s black coffee in an old mug or a fancy latte, this is one you should definitely try.

 
5. Houseplants

Do you have any houseplants around?

Draw their portrait and make ‘em look pretty.

If not, hop on Google to find a picture of a plant you’d love to have in your house.

 
6. A fun pattern

Start drawing swirls, dots, stripes, zigzags, or whatever you want to create a fun pattern.

Google “zentangling” to get inspiration. (Bonus: This is super relaxing and meditative.)

 
7. A globe

A globe on a stand is great practice for practicing proportions and symmetry.

You might even improve your geography skills at the same time!

 
Artwork created by @smashedfox 8. Pencils

Pretty much all artists have a collection of these laying around so make them pull double duty!

Dump out your pencils and start sketching.

 
9. Clothes

Draw that pile of clothes on your floor (pretty sure you have one).

Or draw clothes on hangers, that’s fun.

For an added challenge try drawing clothes on a person or mannequin, but ONLY the clothes.

 
10. Bananas & apples

Set up a little still life with some fruit from your kitchen. Then enjoy a healthy snack when you’re done.

 
Artwork created by @sketchingsabrinasinging 11. Kitchen utensils

While you’re in the kitchen: grab some silverware or cooking utensils, dump them on the table, and draw them where they fall.

 
12. Couch

You probably sit on your couch all the time. But have you ever really looked at it?

Get some practice at drawing soft material and gain a new appreciation for your favorite piece of furniture.

 
13. Headphones

Sketching knots and wires can be tons of fun!

Draw your headphones arranged neatly or in a tangled mess. Although come on, they’re a mess and you know it.

 
Artwork created by @salome_ink_and_art 14. Your feet

With or without shoes, feet are an important part of figure drawing.

Put your sketchbook in your lap, look down, and start drawing. Try with bare feet, socks, whatever.

 
15. Your hands

Now these are always available!

Pose one hand and draw it with the other, or try drawing your dominant hand with your non-dominant one. Or just look up some references and practice drawing hands that way.

Come to think of it, yeah that 2nd option’s gonna be way easier.

 
16. Books

Books are surprisingly versatile subjects for artists.

Draw them stacked, open, sprawled on the floor, resting on a shelf, in a box or with a fox.

 
17. Trees and bushes

If you need a break outside find a shady spot and draw any trees or foliage you see.

You can also do this from a window or just draw from a photograph if the weather isn’t ideal.

 
18. Pillows

If you want practice time but just don’t want to get out of bed, well here’s your solution.

Practice drawing cloth, folds, and soft material without having to leave your comforter’s warmth.

 
19. Superheroes

Flip open a comic book and copy your favorite illustrations.

Draw a photorealistic rendering of your favorite Marvel characters, or invent your own superhero in your own style.

 
20. School desks

Waiting for a class to begin? Bored with the class you’re in?

Pass the time by drawing some desks. Just don’t get caught!

 
21. Balloons

Balloons are great practice in shapes, lighting, and shading smooth textures.

Find a photograph or use this as an excuse to buy yourself some balloons.

 
22. Lightbulb

Draw a real one on its own or in a light fixture, or draw a cartoony light bulb to spark your inspiration.

 
Artwork created by @tetra005 23. TV

Don’t just watch TV; draw it!

Sketch your fancy flat screen or go for an old-fashioned set with rabbit ears.

 
24. Cartoon characters

Draw your favorite cartoon or comic book characters, or make up some of your own.

This one should be yabba dabba delightful.

 
25. Yarn ball

Yarn is a crazy texture. You’ll get a lot of practice here with lines and form.

Pro-tip: Don’t combine this with the “draw a cat” prompt. For obvious reasons.

 
26. Charger

If you’re craving more after drawing your smartphone, draw the charger!

If you feel really wild draw them both together.

 
27. Mouse & keyboard

Here’s a fun exercise in linework, shading, and perspective.

Challenge yourself to draw your mouse and keyboard, not just any random mouse and keyboard. Notice what makes it unique.

 
28. Glasses

Pose your sunglasses or regular glasses and start drawing.

You can have a lot of fun drawing clear or tinted plastic. Or some Where’s Waldo spectacles.

 
Artwork created by @azeemkhawaja1969 29. Your bed

Try this for a crash course in drawing fabric folds.

But really this is more challenging than it sounds, especially if you don’t make your bed!

 
30. Staircase

Here’s an amazing exercise in line and perspective work.

Draw stairs from different angles to play with different perspectives. Also try to get the depth just right: it’s tricky but extremely valuable for all artists.

 
31. The trash

You’d be surprised how many interesting shapes you can find in the garbage.

Draw a dumpster or your kitchen garbage can, or even trash on the street. Then take a nice big inhale to get those “juices” flowing… or just throw it away. Litter ain’t cool.

 
32. Jewelry

Go through your jewelry box or draw a piece of jewelry on someone else.

See if you can capture the texture and sparkle.

 
33. Your idea of Heaven (or Hell)

Get creative here!

Make this a whole scene or a series of smaller doodles that encapsulate your idea of heaven or hell.

Or for you married folks maybe it’s better to imagine dinner at the in-laws house. Every night, forever.

 
34. A silly face

Let loosey and get goosey. Go for realistic portraits, cartoon expressions, or something in between.

It’s all fair game when the end goal is to be a goofball.

 
Artwork created by @my.graphite.stylus 35. Paper towels

They seem mundane and utilitarian, but even the most humble objects make great drawing practice.

You’d be surprised how interesting paper towels can be when you try to draw them. Sounds like sarcasm but worth a try right?

 
36. Notebook

Open, closed, spiral bound, try all the possibilities.

Play with different angles to practice perspective and maybe try drawing one of your other sketchbooks.

 
37. Bar of soap

Really get into the texture here.

Maybe add some soap bubbles and puddles for fun.

 
Artwork created by @artistic_caroline 38. Shampoo

After you draw soap, get out a shampoo bottle and throw that into the mix.

Or squirt some on the counter just for the fun of drawing a shiny blob of stuff. I don’t know, it’s your sketchbook.

 
39. A skull

Skulls are super spooky and super fun to draw.

Also they’re genuinely good practice for portrait work and for studying anatomy in general.

If you have one hanging around, arrange it in a still life or draw it on its own. Or just find a photo of a weird animal skull to draw.

 
40. Skyscrapers

Draw these on blank or grid paper, or draw them wiggly on purpose!

Put your own spin on this and play with line and perspective work.

 
41. Game controllers

This is extra fun if you have a collection of different video game consoles.

Practice drawing proportions and how light reflects off different plastic materials. Tons of variety here with the shape of joysticks and buttons.

 
Artwork created by @usha_artwork 42. Gnomes

Because why not?

If you happen to have a gnome laying around, perfect! If not, Google image search has you covered.

Also I’ve heard you might check somewhere over your garden wall.

 
Artwork created by @latte_paint 43. Candy & junk food

If the fruit prompt didn’t do it for you, try this sweet alternative.

Draw the actual food or the package it comes in. Or both. Either way, you learn something!

 
44. Water bottle

Sketch your bottle, and don’t forget the shadows.

This is a great prompt for lighting practice and working around shapes.

And then, you know, drink some water. All this drawing can make you thirsty.

 
45. Birds

Draw birds you see in your neighborhood and flying around the local park.

Or do an image search for the most exotic bird you can find. This is one of the best prompts to go from easy to hard with so much to pick from.

 
Artwork created by @janecabreraillustration 46. Christmas stuff

Draw lights, Christmas trees, presents, stockings, candy canes, fruit cake, your shih-tzu in his little Christmas sweater…anything goes!

 
47. Halloween stuff

Another holiday with even more weird stuff.

Skulls, bones, black cats, pumpkins, spiderwebs…the list goes on and on.

Draw your decor, your Halloween candy, anything you can find that’s Halloween-y.

 
Artwork created by @shauni_phns 48. Bathroom faucet

Utilitarian things like this are great for drawing practice.

Especially because you don’t look at them often so you have to pay attention to draw them correctly.

 
49. Bicycle

Bicycle, tricycle, unicycle, tandem, find any kind of bike you want and put pencil to paper.

 
50. Skateboard

Doodle around your own skateboard or a picture of one.

Really pay attention to knicks, scratches, and bumps that make that particular skateboard unique. Also I bet it’s got some sick deck art.

 
51. Monsters

Draw a portrait of your favorite movie monster or invent your own.

Cartoony or scary, the style is totally up to you. Might I recommend starting with Mike Wazowski and working from there?

 
52. A Chair

For an extra challenge, include shadows with as much realism as possible.

Draw a bare-bones kitchen chair or a plush armchair.

 
Artwork created by @rays.art.worx 53. Isometric art

If you need a break from drawing true perspective, give this a try. It’s a fun challenge and not something that most artists bother to practice.

 
54. Quick poses

Practice your figure skills by limiting yourself to ten, thirty, or sixty second gesture drawings.

This process is covered in detail in Proko’s figure course along with all of his free figure drawing videos.

And if you don’t have a bunch of references saved locally you can always use one of these websites to auto-generate poses. This way you just focus on the drawings and really nailing those gestures.

 
55. Dice

Drawing plain cubes is great practice for shapes. But it gets kinda boring.

Here’s a fun spin on the classic “draw a cube” exercise.

 
Artwork created by @davidknape 56. Monopoly pieces

While you’re digging dice out of your board games, try drawing Monopoly pieces too.

There’s a wide variety of subjects here so draw them together or one at a time.

Just don’t be too upset when you realize your old Monopoly game has all the classic pieces you miss.

 
57. Deck of cards

Before you leave the game cupboard, find a deck of cards.

Draw individual cards, the neatly stacked deck, or play a little 52 pickup and sketch the results.

 
58. Coins

After you draw some easy subjects take a break on the couch.

While you’re there go through the cushions to find some coins.

Try drawing super detailed pictures of individual coins, or dump them and draw them together.

 
59. Hair styles

This is another great one if you’re bored on your train commute, in a waiting room, or during a class.

Or if you wanna practice some weird hairdo from the 1930s you saw online.

 
Artwork created by @sininenmieli_art 60. The sun & moon

Whether you’re into realism or more stylized drawings, this is a fun idea for all skill levels.

Try drawing different phases of the moon for an even better challenge.

 
61. A bridge

You can draw anything from the Golden Gate Bridge to a simple footbridge in the woods.

Or even better: imagine your own.

 
Artwork created by @thousandkindsofart 62. Fish

Pull up a chair in front of your fish tank or Google pictures of the craziest fish on planet earth.

If you haven’t seen a blobfish before you might wanna look into that.

 
63. Airplanes

Mechanical things like airplanes are awesome for learning proportions and getting control of your lines.

Try drawing a single seater as well as huge commercial airplanes, or anything else inbetween.

 
Artwork created by @alicethe22nd 64. Horses

Horses have fascinated artists for millenia.

They’re also insanely hard to draw and require a ton of practice.

Find a field of horses to draw from, or find pictures of different breeds. Catch them running, grazing, jumping, rearing up. The possibilities are endless.

 
Artwork created by @massaro.kim 65. Company logos

This is especially great if you’re into graphic design so you can see how sketching logos works.

Try copying your favorite logos or invent some of your own.

 
66. Silly hats

Hit up Google for this one, unless you’re a crazy hat connoisseur.

Granted if that’s you, hats off to you! (Sorry that was so bad)

 
67. Famous statues

The Statue of Liberty, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Little Mermaid…

Google famous statues or statues that exist today. Maybe some others from history. Lots of marble to turn into graphite.

 
68. Wallet

When was the last time you really examined your wallet as an object?

Now’s your chance. Try drawing it open and closed, with money or (as we all know) without money.

 
69. Gym equipment

Draw weight machines, dumbbells, jump ropes, even the pool.

You can find so many interesting shapes and subjects in a gym and the machines are really complex which is great for practicing concept art ideas.

 
70. Table fan

If you’re sweating on a hot day, distract yourself by drawing your table fan.

Just make sure to sit where it won’t blow your pages around.

 
71. Old photos

Google or dig out some old photos and copy them realistically or in your own style.

This one prompt can keep you busy for quite a while and leave you smiling as you dig through old memories.

 
72. Toys

If you still have any childhood toys or if you have kids, well, draw some toys!

It’s also a good excuse to hit up a toy store at 2 in the afternoon.

 
73. Celebrity faces

Portrait practice is so important!

And what’s more fun to draw than celebrity portraits?

Try drawing your favorite celebrities in famous roles or at red carpet events.

 
74. Guitars

If you have a guitar, draw its outline and practice the details.

Pay special attention to frets or little details that make it special.

 
Artwork created by @art.is_the.weapon_ 75. A nice car

Draw your dream car and draw yourself driving it.

Or draw a clunker and slap a ticket under the wipers. That’ll show whoever owns that fictitious pile of junk!

 
76. The human torso

Practice drawing the torso and spend a lot of time here. Anatomy is huge and torsos have so much musculature to practice.

Try male and female, different body types, with and without clothing.

 
77. Soda cans

Pay attention to logos here and other things like bar codes or nutrition information labels.

Crunch a few cans if you want a more variety.

 
78. Scissors

For a deceptively simple prompt, draw scissors from different angles. Open and closed.

 
79. Staplers

While you’re rifling around for the scissors grab a stapler too.

If you want to get really crazy, open it and scatter a few staples around for an office-themed still life. Just don’t touch Milton’s Swingline.

 
Artwork created by @leee_ayla 80. Emojis

Copy some of your favorite emojis or design a few you wish existed.

This can be really fun because you can get pretty crazy with the artistic style.

 
81. Farm animals

So many to pick from here so I guess just draw your favorite!

Cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, rabbits, goats, get out there and smell that farm air.

 
82. Nature

This can be anything from vast landscapes like mountains or beaches, to the tiniest leaf or mushroom...

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Virtuvian Fine Art Studio is a Chicagoland indie art school that operates both in real life and online. For the latter, they offer five programs designed to cover all aspects of realist drawing from basic rendering to advanced facial anatomy.

This review of Drawing Basics follows their drawing 101 course that starts at the very beginning.

“Does this mean they’ll teach me how to attach a piece of paper to a drawing board,” you ask? Yes.

“How to hold a pencil?” Oh yeah.

“Draw a single line?” Absolutely.

The course is taught by co-founder David Jamieson, a New York Academy of Art MFA and former professor whose work has shown up in a litany of art mags and Prince Charles’s private collection.

This course is best described as “definitive.”

“We assume no prior knowledge in drawing.”

It provides 22 hours of content over 60 videos, each of which comes with an included article. Some of them quite long.

This might be about the simplest aspects of drawing but Jamieson covers them in astounding detail, down to the best light temperatures for your workspace.

His approach might test your patience at times, but that’s the point. And you’ll see it’s invaluable: the amount of information in this course is massive and it’s info that you’d otherwise have to get piecemeal together from dozens of live classes, websites, and videos over years.


I know this because I watched the entire thing. I didn’t have time to cover details on every single module but let’s start this review with a liveblog of the first four modules:

Module 1 – Introduction

The first video already contains one of my favorite quotes about studying art:

“Too frequently, students encounter the sheer difficulty of learning to draw while attempting something inappropriately advanced, and then prematurely decide that they simply can’t draw.”

This advice by itself might be worth the cost.

Next up is an article on drawing tools.

There’s no video attached, but none needed to cover the subject. It goes over the eternal debates of graphite versus charcoal, wood pencils versus lead holders, and what paper types are good for what functions. All this along with providing a full list of recommended supplies for the course.


As other materials go, the course uses a standardized set of worksheets all of which are downloadable and printable.

Replicas of the model sphere, cylinder, and cone that Jamieson draws from are also available from their store for $60. But he stresses that you can use any objects in those shapes as long as they’re not distractingly colored or textured.

Module 2 – Line

From here we move onto how to draw a line.

A straight line freehand with confidence, specifically. Something most beginners struggle with.

We’ll need a handle on this technique before anything else because when dealing with straight lines you only have to worry about angle and length, compared to the infinite nuance of curves.

First we go over the most efficient pencil grips for bold and quick strokes. Next is an angle judgment exercise involving printing a page of blank clock faces and drawing diametrical lines across them at various “times,” to get you thinking of angles in numerical terms.


He finally moves onto the frankly brilliant technique of using a connect-the-dots method to draw curves, starting with a series of points, drawing straight lines between them, then drawing the curve around the lines.

In the process he goes into the mechanics of curves in a way that will prove fascinating to any technical drawing nerds, explaining the differences between neutral and uneven (or “trajectory”) curves and finally Béziers—which for the first time I’ve personally seen, he actually explains in a way that makes sense.

Notable tips:

  • Lead with your eyes instead of staring at your hands as you draw.
  • Gripping your pencil underhanded, towards the back end, facilitates smooth and straight lines.
  • Put a lot of practice into drawing angles so that you can draw them accurately from sight or imagination. This will help you out a lot as you practice many subjects.
  • Block in your drawing using only straight lines instead of curves. (Blocking in, FYI, is reducing a complex object to the simplest possible shape before drawing the full object in around it.)
Module 3 – Shape

It’s triangle time! This module starts, of course, with the simplest polygon.

This is where I have to mention the first thing I’d consider a flaw: Both drawing modules so far have had whole videos of him doing long and repetitive exercises in full and offering only sporadic commentary in the style of a livestream.

It’s most glaring in this module “On Drawing Triangles” where he devotes an hour and a half to a real-time demonstration of him… well, drawing triangles.

Some of the comments are helpful, so I can’t recommend skipping it. But some of these redundancies could’ve been cut to make the watch time shorter and the overall amount of content less daunting.

The exercise itself—spanning two parallel lines with triangles of different angles and types—is incredibly helpful and crucial to understanding the next section, but I don’t think 20-minute stretches of silent drawing were needed to hammer that home.

Added note: Later on in the course, and again in the website’s About Me, it’s explained that this process is fully intentional to show how long and difficult these exercises are even for the pros.

No matter how long you’ve been drawing, it’s normal to have difficulties and to have to redo stuff. But I chose not to delete that paragraph in order to address a thought you might have yourself while watching it. Just know you’re not alone, and it’s worth pushing through.

From here we move onto irregular polygons, a drawing exercise similar to the last, just with more construction lines and the introduction of triangulation: the process of breaking down complex polygons into triangles to more accurately measure their interior distances and angles.

The final step is curved shapes which combines everything we’ve learned so far.

First you apply all the things learned about polygon drawing, then plot the curves around them using the methods outlined in module 2.


Notable tips:

  • Work from general to specific, big shapes to small shapes. (You’ve probably heard this one)
  • “Knocking back” is the practice of lightly brushing a large eraser over construction lines in order to lighten them before the final drawing.
  • “Lining in” is what follows: drawing a single, crisp final line over your rough construction lines.
  • Continually do this as you draw to avoid confusion as to where the actual line is supposed to be.
  • When drawing complex shapes(like a piece of fruit or the human head) from sight, start by identifying the outermost points of the shape and drawing a polygon around them. And then go in and start working on the curves.
Module 4 – Value

In this section we move to light and shadow, marking the beginning of what Jamieson calls the second stage of the course.

I have to stop here to commend him on what is now my favorite analogy for tones:

“Value for artists is like pitch for musicians,” he says. “Different values in our drawing are like keys on a keyboard or strings on a guitar. Each one must be precisely calibrated relative to the others in the image, or our visual music will be out of tune.”

As for contrasting values within the same drawing: “Different notes can be played together in chords, and will each have a unique sound.” He continues this metaphor throughout the module, using it as a foundation for explaining several other concepts related to value range.

This goes on for a bit until the next section on an almost universally overlooked subject of value compression—condensing the infinite range of values we see in real life into the relative few that come as grades in chalk and graphite… Or as he calls them, “literally dirt on paper.”

Diving deeper, he goes into the even more esoteric field of value notation by introducing the Munsell system—the hue-value-saturation system you might recognize from color pickers in any image editing software.


Using this he’s showing what portion of the total value scale each traditional medium can cover. Turns out it’s not as much as you’d think. Especially for graphite.

This is followed by a dive into the physical properties of each medium and different paper textures, an overview of tortillons and blending brushes, then an hour-long exercise in drawing value charts.

Finally this module concludes on the crucial note of contrast and value relationships within a drawing.

All value is relative, he concludes, and the intervals between values are more crucial to capturing likeness than the absolute values. “There’s no such thing as light or dark. There is only lighter than or darker than.”

Notable tips:

  • On a scale of 0(absolute black) to 10(absolute white), normal graphite is at darkest a 3.
  • On a molecular level charcoal and graphite do not mix, making a smooth transition between them in a drawing harder. For the darkest blacks, he suggests using a pigmented graphite pencil like the Kimberly 9XXB, which can reach roughly a 2.
  • Try drawing on medium gray paper using chalk pencils for the highlights.
  • “Listen to your pencils.” Each grade is designed to produce a certain value at medium pressure. If you can’t get the value you want, change the pencil instead of the pressure. If you find yourself grinding it into the page to get a darker value, or barely brushing the surface to get a lighter one, you’re using the wrong grade.
  • Unfortunately grades aren’t standardized between manufacturers so you’ll just have to learn what each one means for each pencil set.
  • Don’t try to create dark values in one stroke. Instead, make multiple passes.
  • Keep your pencils as sharp as possible for maximum control. Re-sharpen them up to every ten minutes. (Or if you don’t want to burn through your pencils that fast invest in a lead holder and pointer.)

I’ll keep the detailed play-by-play to four modules to avoid both hammering the point home excessively and giving away all their secrets.

The next five modules are just combining the former knowledge in different ways, such as blending values and rendering the shapes and light properties of all of the major solids.

A Full Course Overview

The massive runtime in this course is daunting when you’re staring it down.

But getting through each video gets easier once you get into the flow.

Going in, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to finish the entire thing. But once I got past the first couple modules I found myself interested enough to even stop to do some of the exercises.

Due to time limitations I wasn’t able to do all of them, and I rushed through them on a tablet…

Pretend this is in pencil

…But even in that truncated form the techniques I picked up from them taught me a lot.

At some point I’d like to return to this with unlimited time and a full set of pencils to do them all on paper.

I learned more than I thought would be possible to know about the physical properties of graphite, too.

Did you know the shine it takes on when you layer it on too thick is called burnishing?

I didn’t, and I’m a religious watcher of art tutorials. I should have learned it much earlier.

This course not only defines it, it goes into detail on how to avoid it where so many just accept it as an inherent property of graphite.

And as someone who prefers dark lines that scan well I’d never seen the appeal of any pencil harder than an H grade.

However Jamieson makes such frequent and expert use of the 4-7H pencils and lays out exactly how important they are for smooth transitions, that I might have to buy some.

Technical Aspects

All videos are hosted on Vimeo which AV geeks will know is encoded at a higher bitrate than other hosts to provide sharper images at lower resolutions. And it has the very useful side effect of letting you watch them at up to 2x speed.

The tutorials proceed at a leisurely pace so it’s still perfectly intelligible at that speed, in case you need a refresher or are not able to draw along with a particular section but would still like an overview of it.

Most videos are in 720p with the option to downgrade to 360p.

Now 1080p is available but only for select videos. People with 4k monitors might find this limiting, but the quality of the videos themselves makes up for any technical shortcomings.

They’re perfectly filmed—sharp and clear enough to capture even faint 4H pencil lines. Also fully in-focus and color-neutral to avoid giving you any wrong impressions about each drawing’s value.

Sound quality is… fine. It was recorded in a drawing studio, not a sound studio, and quiet stretches are interrupted by traffic and occasional construction noise. But it’s nothing that should disturb the average watcher too much.

You won’t get TV-quality audio but that’s also not what you’re here for.

Regarding the articles: some are one-paragraph side notes, some are transcriptions of the video, some are totally unique content, and a few modules are an article by themselves.

But one thing that truly separates this course from other professional drawing tutorials is that there’s an active comment section and Jamieson personally responds to every question.

Well, there are no date stamps to tell how old they are if he’s still keeping up with them, but there’s still gold down there in those comments.

A lot of those itching questions everyone has about drawing but are rarely sufficiently answered, I found addressed in the comments. (Q: How much of your hand should make contact with the paper? A: Ideally, the back of your pinky and ring, but not the rest of it.)


In Short…

“Ultimately, you could think of patience as being the goal of this entire course. If you come away … with the patience required to develop things slowly, to give them their due consideration and time, that alone is a huge asset”

—David Jamieson Module 5.4

Anyone can learn to draw on their own. This is true.

But self-taught artists often miss the specific lessons and advice that are part of structured art courses but aren’t easily found in a ten-minute YouTube tutorial.

Courses like this redress that problem. I’d heard of all these techniques and exercises before, but it had never occurred that you should take this much time and effort to do them. And there are countless details Jamieson provided that had never even crossed my radar.

If you’re self-motivated enough to see them through to the end, these exercises can be the perfect middle ground for someone who wants a structured approach to beginning their art career but doesn’t have an atelier in your town.

Not to mention you can rewind as many times as you need.

You might balk at the $200 price tag, but any studio art course will cost more than that and probably offer much less than 22 hours of drawing time.


Personally I wouldn’t use this as my only drawing education. If you have the money and are passionate enough about learning to use it then this makes an excellent one-time purchase to use as a supplement alongside classes or another course of study like Proko’s figure course.

And no matter how many tips I mentioned here, I’ve barely scratched the surface of the amount of information he drops in these courses.

I don’t have the experience of watching this from a complete novice’s standpoint but I’m confident in saying that this course alone could teach you the building blocks of producing traditional pencil art on a professional level.

You can start on the path to representing any subject with the fundamentals from what you’d learn here. The rest will just be developing your eye and learning the process of actually drawing.

Have a look at the main course page to see what else is covered and learn more about the teaching process.

And in case you ever find yourself with five days to kill in Oak Park, Illinois you might watch their site for in-person workshops.

Check Out The Course

The post Review: Vitruvian Studio Drawing Basics Online Course appeared first on Concept Art Empire.

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Unity 3D is an excellent choice for anyone getting into game development.

It’s perfect for both hobbyists and professionals, and boasts a range of tools that are used even in AAA studios.

And whether you’re an experienced programmer or a complete beginner, you can learn to make video games just by following these tutorials and making time to practice.

There’s so much cool stuff in these tutorials too. For example, using the 3D editor you can quickly build your own worlds complete with realistic physics. Adding scripts is also a breeze in Unity.

This post includes both free and premium tutorials so you can decide which path is best(likely a mix of both).

Some of these tutorials are almost rites of passage—for instance the Roll-A-Ball Game—while others are more specific to certain tasks.

So dive in and get started! With this many tutorials you should be able to create any game you can think of.

 
Free Tutorials

Unity 3D has been around for a while, so you can bet there’s a blog post or video guide about almost everything.

But if you aren’t sure where to start as an absolute beginner, well the best place to start is usually the basics.

That means learning the editor and the basic tools you’ll need to master in the world’s most popular game engine.

How to Make a Video Game in Unity

Check Out This Tutorial

Brackeys is one of the most popular Unity instructors on YouTube.

His videos often hit millions of views pretty fast, much like this one. In this quick introduction you’ll learn how to use the tools provide with Unity to build a simple endless-runner style game.

Don’t’ be fooled by the shoot length of this video. There’s a lot packed in here.

Brackeys walks you step by step through the entire process of building a simple Unity game which is hugely valuable to newcomers.

By the end you’ll have something you can be proud of as well as a better understanding of what it’s like to make a game in Unity 3D.

 
Make Games Without Code

Check Out This Tutorial

One of the best things about Unity is the large number of resources available on the Unity Asset Store, including free packages with game assets provided by the Unity Team.

In this tutorial sponsored by Unity, Brackeys will introduce the Unity 3D Game Kit.

After a brief demonstration of what the 3D Game Kit includes, Brackeys shows you how to use the assets provided in the example to create your own scenes without having to write a single line of code.

 
Making Terrains

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Picture in your mind lush forests with mossy trees and boulders that lead into a desert oasis.

Creating such a world is possible in Unity, and it begins with making terrain.

Unity’s terrain editor provides everything you need to create your own 3D worlds. In this beginner’s guide to the terrain editor by YouTuber Sykoo, you’ll get a step-by-step demonstration of the tools and processes you need to practice.

Once you learn the basics you’ll be able to create your own mountains and forests in Unity complete with textures and 3D objects.

Taking a stroll through your own 3D world is a joy unique to game development.

 
Character Controller with Animations

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Unity ships with a powerful set of Animation tools and they’re worth learning.

Users can import animations from other programs, or create their own right in the Unity editor.

With the Unity Animator, game developers can create flowcharts for their animated objects and characters. In this tutorial by Single Sapling Games you’ll learn how to use an animated model and take advantage of Unity’s features to make animating easier than ever.

Typically, game developers receive animated models from an artist fully rigged for animation.

There are many types of animated rigs and Unity gives you plenty of options for working with them. But be sure to experiment on your own to fully explore everything Unity offers for animated effects.

 
Shooting with Raycasts

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Raycasts are a popular tool in game development because they’re a lightweight and efficient way of gathering information about the game world.

In this free tutorial you learn how to make a first-person shooter using raycasts.

Using this technique you can create a working gun for your game in only a few minutes.

Brackeys adds polish to his gun in the form of a muzzle flash and bullet impact effect. At the end of this video you’ll learn a neat method for creating an automatic gun weapon too.

 
Scripting Basics in 1 Hour

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At some point you’ll need to write some scripts if you want to take full advantage of the Unity game engine.

This video by Raja from Charger Games takes you through the basics of scripting in Unity.

It is an hour-long introductory tutorial but well worth it. Here you’ll learn how to create scripts and use them to move objects in the game world. Raja includes detailed explanations of the process every step of the way.

This video moves slowly so beginners can take their time and understand the topics discussed. By the end you should know how to use functions and variables to create simple behaviors. But this is just the beginning of scripting so be sure to push further ahead on your own.

 
Roll-a-Ball Game

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This tutorial by Adam from the Unity Team is an excellent starting place for beginners.

I’ve often pointed students to this tutorial because it covers all the basics of creating a simple game.

Adam covers the entire process of creating a third-person style game complete with player movement and objectives. For example, you’ll learn to move an object in 3D space and how to handle collisions.

As a bonus: players can pick up collectibles in the level too.

This gives the player an objective to accomplish while exploring your virtual world.

 
Lighting in Unity

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The Unity game engine has a lightning system that can be confusing to those just getting started.

But thanks to tutorial by Brackeys you can learn to use Unity’s built-in lightning system to get amazingly realistic scenes.

Small note: Unity’s default lightning doesn’t look that great.

So you need to understand how 3D lighting works if you want to get the most out of Unity. Brackeys covers everything you need to know to make your scenes pop off the screen.

With this video you’ll gain some fundamental knowledge of lights & shadows, and learn the difference between baked and real-time lightning.

 
Physics Objects

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There’s a lot you can do in Unity without having to write a line a code.

Using the built-in physics engine it’s possible to give agency to your objects from within the Unity editor.

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to use Colliders, Rigidbodies, and Physics Materials to make a ball bounce forever.

These are tools you’ll use again and again as you build games in Unity.

Use these tools to quickly add collision and movement to your Objects.

 
Unity NavMesh

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Pathfinding is one of the most powerful tools in a game developer’s toolbox.

We can use it to add behavior to our game worlds that make them feel more lifelike.

Pathfinding can also be used to create more interesting challenges for players. With Unity, you can achieve a powerful navigation with just a few clicks of your mouse.

The NavMesh makes it easy to generate paths based on physical objects in your game. In this video by Brackeys you’ll learn how to use the NavMesh to navigate through an obstacle course.

 
Blender Character To Unity

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3D artist and game designer Darrin Lile shows you the ropes of Unity’s Animator tool.

With Animator, Unity developers have a built-in state machine that makes it easier to manage animations.

With just a few lines of code you’ll be able move characters in any way you desire. The finite-state machine will handle the animations based on player input.

Don’t miss Darrin Lile’s character animation tutorial to learn how he created the assets used in this video. Surprisingly they were not created in another pricey program but instead created with Blender, a popular open source 3D design program that plays well with Unity.

 
Unity Rigidbody Collision Detection Modes

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This video offers a deep dive into Unity’s collision detection.

With advanced knowledge of Unity’s physics engine, it’s easier to create the exact behaviors you want.

Note it’s important to use the right tool for the job here. The same is true in Unity.

All information presented in this video will help you achieve more complex and specific behaviors in your games.

 
Start Menu

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Almost all games have some type of User Interface.

Brackeys teaches you the ins and outs of game UI in this Unity tutorial. Use it to a build a sleek start menu for your next project.

Brackeys includes all the essentials here. You start with a basic setup and then create a submenu complete with a slider and back button.

Unity ships with flexible User Interface tools so you don’t need to create everything from scratch. There’s a lot you can do with Unity’s UI so be sure to explore the tools further.

 
Virtual Joystick

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It’s not always mentioned but Unity is a great choice for mobile game developers.

With its cross-platform support you can deploy your project to many OS’ and get them running natively on all mobile platforms.

N3K EN is a game developer community that makes videos for their fans. In this tutorial they show you how to make a virtual joystick for a mobile device.

Turn your phone into a controller and take your Android(or iOS) game to the next level with Unity’s easy to implement touch functions.

 
Rotate an Object

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Learning how to script behaviors is integral to creating amazing games with Unity.

Those new to coding may be surprised to learn it only takes a few lines of code to move something in Unity. Rotating an object is a common action, along with moving background objects.

In this video by Katus Production you learn how to rotate a game object using the Transform component.

You can also use the Transform component to move and scale game objects. It would be a good idea to experiment on your own using the Unity documentation.

 
Camera Script

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In this brief video by Jayanam you’ll learn how to make a camera orbit your player. This is simple to do in Unity but does require practice to memorize.

Third-person games often need to rotate the camera to get a better view as the player moves. This video shows how to get this feature using the mouse input to control the amount of camera rotation desired.

Jayanam is one of my favorite YouTube instructors for these topics.

His videos are always concise with lots of excellent examples. Check out the previous video in this series to learn how to make the camera-follow script used in this demonstration.

 
Third Person Camera & Movement Controller

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Once you learn Unity, you’ll be surprised how quickly you can create game prototypes.

For example: in this video by Stephan Barr you’ll see how to create a custom player controller in under 8 minutes!

Because Unity handles collisions and physics, we can focus on control and movement. Pushing the player around a map may not seem like much but it’s the foundation for most games.

Once you have a solid player controller you can start adding content and features to your game. Before long you’ll have something worth sharing or at least worth calling a portfolio project.

 
Grappling Hook

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Some games like to take a simple mechanic and explore it in a variety of situations. Hit games like Braid, Portal, and Super Meat Boy come to mind.

One popular mechanic is the grappling hook. MegaBlast Games shows you how to add a grappling hook to your project in this detailed tutorial.

Use it in a variety of situations to create new levels for your player to explore.

This tutorial could be expanded in several ways too. For instance, you could add a swinging feature or add distance upgrades to your grappling hook.

 
Game Interactions

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Brackeys is back, this time with an advanced coding tutorial on making interactable objects for your games.

This video is part of a larger series on making an RPG in Unity, but the concepts covered here apply to almost any game.

Brackeys does an excellent job of explaining derived classes and virtual methods. His hands-on approach will help you grasp these concepts quickly.

And it should be obvious that practicing new concepts is a great way to become efficient in them. Once you’ve tackled the tutorial, try applying this knowledge to your own projects and expand on these lessons.

 
How To Create a Timer

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In this video by N3K EN you’ll learn how to add a simple timer to your game. Lots of games make use of time in some way, like racing and fighting games with time limits or survival games for their day-and-night cycles.

Here you’ll learn how to keep track of the time and use in the update function.

By storing the current time as a variable it’s possible to use it for a variety of features.

This tutorial also shows you how to use an external trigger to stop the timer. You could also add triggers that shorten or lengthen the current time to create a time bonus mechanic.

 
The Built-In IK System

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Game developer Sharp Accent teaches you everything you need to know about Unity’s IK system.

Using Inverse Kinematics is the key to achieving smooth, believable animations.

With Unity’s animation tools you can create your own animations right in the editor too. All you need is a rigged model.

IK bones will keep the player’s joints pointed in realistic directions, among many other similar behaviors. As they move the knees will stay pointed forward no matter what. This makes moving a character more like moving a puppet.

Inverse Kinematics is an advanced topic but it’s something you’ll need to learn if you want to make solid 3D animations with transitions and realism.

 
Let’s Make an RPG Game in Unity

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This in-depth series by Unity expert Sykoo covering the basics of an RPG in Unity.

You’ll start will player movement before learning about creating and attacking enemies.

This series covers a lot of ground. By the end you’ll have an animated character that interacts with the game world as well as a working inventory system.

Also check out Sykoo’s other videos to learn more about creating games in Unity. After you’ve learned some new features you can come back and expand your RPG.

 
Create An FPS Survival Game

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This epic series by Awesome Tuts has everything you need to create your own FPS survival game with Unity 3D.

Over the course of eight hours you’ll learn how to create a fully interactable game complete with animations, weapons, enemies, and special effects.

This tutorial is broken up into parts so that you can learn at your own pace.

You can also get the free assets used in the video directly from the Awesome Tuts website. It includes some great models along with other freebies for your own projects.

 
Premium Courses

Level up your game designs with these premium lessons from professional 3D artists.

Unity 3D is a massive program with a ton of features. A good instructor can be the difference between learning properly or learning… not so properly.

With premium courses you can learn from industry insiders who deliver focused lessons and teach subjects faster, clearer, and with more structure to guide you along the learning path.

Complete C# Unity Developer 3D

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This is the perfect place to start for those looking to learn Unity and C#.

In this course you learn the principles of coding in C# by practicing it through game development.

The long-awaited sequel to the original Complete Unity Developer course, this update includes all new projects that take advantage of the latest Unity features.

Start off with a terminal simulator and learn the basics of coding in Unity. This course isn’t just about learning game development either. It offers a heavy emphasis on learning C#.

These skills can easily transfer to .NET or other languages so it’s a great place to start if you’re serious about game design as a career.

And since it’s from Udemy you can get this for a really great price. You’ll quickly reach a skill level to be proud of and you’ll also learn skills that will make you a better programmer.

 
RPG Core Combat Creator

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In this other Udemy course you’ll tackle the basics of creating an RPG game.

Role Playing Games can be surprisingly complex, but this series teaches step-by-step how to build an RPG with best practices in Unity.

Some basic understanding is needed to get through this course, specifically a light background with Unity and C#.

You’ll be dealing with AI pathfinding, particle systems, co-routines, and other advanced topics.

 
Game Asset Production Pipeline

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So here’s a really interesting video series created by game designer and 3D artist Joshua Kinney, specifically focused on the asset production pipeline.

Here you’ll learn how to make high-poly art assets for Unity 3D.

Using 3ds Max,

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For those looking to learn game development there’s no better place to start than Unity. It’s the game engine of choice for indie developers and a popular tool among major studios.

Whether you’re making a sidescroller or a top-down shooter, there are huge benefits in starting with 2D work since it’s so much simpler. And with websites like opengameart.org you can find plenty of 2D assets to use in your projects.

Unity 3D doesn’t have a dedicated 2D engine like GameMaker or Godot, but it’s perfectly capable of handling all your 2D needs.

Unity’s physics engine ships with rigidbodies and collision components designed specifically for 2D games, meaning you can get 2D behavior right out of the box.

So let’s dive into these tutorials and start learning!

 
Free Tutorials

One of the best things about Unity is the large community it has attracted over the years.

Lots of talented artists and game designers have shared their expertise with the engine in the form of online tutorials. With these tutorials you can learn game development free of charge.

The best part of these tutorials is that many of them are in real-time. This makes it not only easier to follow along, but you also get a real sense of how long it takes to make a game.

Intro to Unity

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This brief introduction to Unity by Daniel Wood is everything you need to get started with the game engine. He’ll walk you through downloading and installing Unity to get you moving from square one.

Unity comes with everything necessary for making games and it can be intimidating when you first open the program.

After installing Unity, Wood will walk you through the complex GUI.

Before you can start making games you need to know what you’re looking at. Once you learn, for instance, the difference between the hierarchy and the scene view, you can safely move onto practicing your own 2D projects.

 
2D Movement

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If you’re just starting out with Unity then you’re probably itching to make your dream game. Maybe it’s a 2D platformer like Sonic the Hedgehog or even the ultimate Metroidvania.

Unfortunately before you can run around the screen collecting golden rings, you’ll need to build a player controller.

Building a good character controller can be a challenge even for seasoned developers.

Lucky for you this tutorial by expert game instructor Brackeys will show you how to get a 2D character up and running in a matter of minutes.

Using Brackeys’ character controller will allow you to get started quickly so that you can focus on building the rest of your game. Later after you’ve spent more time in Unity you can try making your own character controller.

 
Tilemaps

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Tilemaps are a great tool for making 2D levels. There are a lot of benefits to using Tilemaps which is why they’re still a popular choice for 2D developers.

Games like Mario and Pokemon used Tilemaps to save space on their limited hardware.

Modern games like Stardew Valley and Spelunky use Tilemaps to make level design more modular.

Unity has several tools that make using Tilemaps easy. To create your own, all you’ll need is an image containing the tiles you want to use.

Unity can slice the file into individual tiles and add collision for you.

 
Make a 2D Platformer (Basics)

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Here’s another guide from Brackeys that covers the basics of making a 2D platformer complete with a working player and a scrolling background.

You’ll learn a lot of techniques in this video. There’s a lot more involved with making even a very simple game like the original Super Mario Bros.

Brackeys will teach you how to handle parallax scrolling and tiling so that your levels have depth and emersion.

He’ll also cover character movement and animation so that you can traverse your 2D world.

 
Full RPG Tutorial

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2D RPG’s have remained popular over the years for a variety of reasons. Thanks to the explosion of indie developers we’ve seen new games released that both harken back to and expand this genre.

With Unity you can make your own 2D RPG. This video series by gamesplusjames will teach the basics of creating a top-down, action RPG.

You’ll learn how to build 2D worlds with sprites and add a character controller to make your player move and attack.

By the end you’ll know enough to make your own simple RPG game.

 
How To Make Sprite Sheets

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One of my favorites parts of game development is seeing animated characters come to life in the game world. And with Unity it’s easy to animate 2D characters.

But how do we get frames for our animations?

That’s where Sprite Sheets come in. Arranging the frames of an animation on a single image will make it far easier to animate.

Making a Sprite Sheet in Photoshop is a somewhat tricky procedure. You’ll need to create a new image with the necessary dimensions depending on the size of your sprite and then manually lay out the frames. That’s where this video comes in to help.

Once you’re done you’ll have a file that’s easy for Unity to slice and turn into animations that you can call from script. With some practice you can quickly build pixel art games without a struggle.

 
Rig & Animate 2D Characters

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Last year Unity introduced new animation features. Now game developers can rig their 2D sprites right inside the Unity editor!

Rigging your 2D characters will make animating them much easier and faster than drawing each frame by hand.

Using the Sprite Editor in Unity, sponsored instructor Sykoo will show you how to rig a 2D character and animate it. You can use this process to animate anything you want.

Once you’ve created your animations using the bones of your rig, you can use Unity’s Animator tool to control the transitions between your various animations.

 
2D Melee Combat

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In this Unity tutorial by Blackthronprod you’ll learn a good method for adding melee combat to your game.

With just a few scripts you can design your character to slash enemies with a weapon.

By the end of this video you’ll have a working attack and enemy health.

Blackthronprod shows you how to easily add particle effects when the enemy is hit to create visual feedback. This technique will work for almost any weapon you can think of. With some simple tweaks you can quickly create a spear or a dagger for your player to use, or really anything you want.

After you’ve created the scripts Blackthronprod will teach you how to customize the hit box, damage, range, and attack speed from inside the Unity editor.

 
2D Shooting

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In this tutorial from Brackeys you’ll get an in-depth look at shooting bullets in Unity.

You’ll learn the differences between two types of shooting: prefabs and raycasting. Each has its own strength and weakness so it’s up to you to decide how to use them.

Using a character that looks suspiciously like Samus from the Metroid series, Brackeys walks you through firing bullets using prefabs before moving onto raycasts.

By the end you’ll have a thorough understanding of each method.

 
2D Cameras

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A good camera system can make or break your game.

With the introduction of Cinemachine Unity now provides many cameras for you.

Using the Unity 2D camera will provide you with a virtual camera that can be set to target the player object. With Cinemachine you can very easily create a perfect 2D game camera.

Brackeys will show you how to adjust the settings to get a wide range of behaviors including smoothing and a look-head feature.

Having a solid camera will instantly improve your game no questions asked.

 
Make a Health Bar

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In this basic tutorial from Code Monkey you’ll learn how to create a health bar using sprites and a simple script.

This technique will work for any game that you want to add a health bar onto.

With Unity it’s possible to create extensive UI systems with menus and stats or anything else you could want.

Starting with the basics, you’ll see how easy it is to add a graphic to your heads-up-display, or HUD for short.

Next you’ll create a new C# script that controls the size of the graphic.

For a bonus effect Code Monkey will show you how to make the health bar flash when it’s nearly depleted.

 
Creating UI in Unity

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Every game includes some example of a user interface. Whether it’s the start menu, pause screen, or a health bar, UI is a substantial part of game development.

And thankfully Unity comes with a powerful set of tools for creating UI elements for every one of your games.

This video by Blackthronprod will cover everything you need to know about UIs in Unity.

Using the UI Canvas, Unity developers can easily adapt their elements to different displays, making it easy to port their games to different devices.

 
Touch Controls

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One of the best things about Unity is the robust cross-platform support.

In many ways Unity is perfect for mobile development and adding touch controls to your game is a simple process.

This video by Brackeys will get you started making your own mobile games.

He uses iOS but if you’re working with Android the process is similar.

You’ll learn how to connect your device to Unity for real-time testing before adding touch controls and UI elements to your app.

By the end you’ll know how to add a joystick to your mobile game and use it to control a character.

 
Working with Effectors

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Effectors offer a powerful way to add complex physics and other behaviors to your game without having to write any code.

Adding an Effector to a game object will change the way it behaves in the game world.

Effectors are a very useful technique that can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

For example, the Buoyancy Effector can be used to add realistic floating effects to your game.

And with the Platform Effector you can create a one-way platform in seconds.

There’s a lot more you can do with Effectors too. Experimenting with new tools is part of the fun of game development, so be sure to play with what you’ve learned.

 
Full Animation Tutorial

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This video will walk you through the entire process of animating a 2D character in Unity.

You’ll learn all about setting up and controlling sprite sheet animation which is crucial for 2D work.

First you’ll see how to create individual animations like running or jumping. Next you’ll move onto Unity’s Animator tool to create a finite-state machine to control the flow of your animations.

To complete the tutorial you’ll see how to call the animator from script and trigger animations based on player input.

By the end you’ll know exactly how to make your own 2D animated characters with confidence.

 
Pixel Art Lighting

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Looking into 2D lighting can be dizzying. But with tis guide you’ll learn about creating advanced lighting effects in Unity fast.

Using free art from the asset store you’ll learn how to build a night scene complete with streetlights and windows.

And Unity’s lighting system it’s possible to have pixel art interact with the light source. This can be used to create a variety of effects including a day and night cycle.

 
2D Drop Shadows

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This ten-minute video by GucioDevs teaches a neat technique for creating a drop shadow that’s great for top-down 2D games.

Using a custom script, GucioDevs creates a copy of a sprite but darkened and below the original image.

Making it offset creates the illusion of a light source above the screen. Pretty cool!

If you want people to play your game you’ll need it to stand out. Simple effects like this can go a long way towards making your game fun and unique.

 
Simple Scene Setup

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Here Code Monkey offers some tips and tricks for setting up your 2D scene.

Unity is, at its core, a 3D game engine. While developing 2D games in Unity is encouraged, there’s some things you can do to make working in 2D easier.

After setting up the scene and camera, Code Monkey walks you through importing the utilities package which contains many useful helper tools.

You’ll use one, TextPopMouse, to add text at the mouse position during runtime. Use it to get some quick visual feedback while you’re developing your game.

 
Pong Game in 20 Minutes

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Remaking Pong is almost a rite of passage for game developers. It’s a great place to start with learning any game engine, including Unity.

In this tutorial Tanay Singhal will teach you how to setup the scene to recreate the classic Atari game Pong.

In less than 20 minutes you’ll learn how to move the ball and paddle as well as create a win condition.

It’s easy to expand this simple demo into a larger game as well. Try adding other features and effects to make your Pong game more unique.

 
Getting Started With 2D Game Kits

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This freebie comes directly from the Unity team as guest host Aurore Dimopoulos explores the 2D Game Kit provided by Unity Technologies.

With the 2D Game Kit users can make games without having to write a single line of code.

The kit includes a working demo of a 2D game as well as reusable assets that beginners can use to construct their own games.

Complete with art, sound, and premade behaviors, the 2D Game Kit assets are a great way to learn level design and familiarize yourself with the Unity editor.

 
Premium Courses

With these premium courses you’re able to learn Unity a bit faster and with far more detail than the free stuff on YouTube. These also give you a chance to learn from some of the best instructors in the business.

They say good habits make good work.

With the following courses you’ll be building a strong foundation of habits that will help you quickly progress in your Unity game design practice.

Complete C# Unity 2D Developer

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This course on Unity Development is everything you need to get started with C# and Unity.

You’ll learn C# and scripting while making video games in a fun and engaging environment.

Available on Udemy, this course focuses on building a strong foundation for game design and game development. You’ll learn by creating playable games that would be good enough to include in a portfolio.

You’ll start with the basics of coding in C# before moving on to making your own Brick Breaker clone. As you progress you’ll eventually learn how to make a 2D platformer using Unity’s Tilemap tool.

 
Complete Unity 2D & AI for Games

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So here’s a very detailed 2D Unity course designed to take you from beginner to advanced as quickly as possible.

Funded by a wildly successful Kickstarter, this course teaches crucial concepts for coding in C# as they relate to game designers.

After learning about Unity and creating a simple 2D game you’ll move onto building your own path-finding algorithm. Know as A* (pronounced “A star”), this path-finding algorithm is widely used within the games industry.

You’ll get access to all the source files needed for the projects as well as some instructions on using Photoshop for game development.

 
Exploring the 2D Features in Unity

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Here’s a lengthy and detailed series that focuses on the basics of 2D development in Unity.

This is specifically for beginners looking to get their feet wet with Unity’s 2D features.

You’ll first cover the basics of setting up a 2D project before Unity guru Joshua Kinney shows off Unity’s sprite tools in great detail.

Near the end Kinney will reveal the secrets of animating with the Unity game engine to help all aspiring game designers add life to their work.

 
Character Control Fundamentals

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Creating a player character is essential to almost every video game.

Unfortunately it’s also one of the most difficult things to do. Even senior developers can spend weeks getting the player to feel just right.

Beginners often find a pre-made controller they can use because they just want to make games as quickly as possible.

At some point, however, you’re going to need to write your own.

This course by animator Brian Sinasac teaches everything you need to know about creating a 2D character in Unity.

By the end of this series you’ll understand how to build a 2D character controller and have the skills necessary to start your own side-scroller game.

 
Creating a 2D Animated Character

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Looking to learn to rig and animate 2D characters from inside the Unity editor? Then this is the video series for you.

In this Pluralsight course, game design tutor Shane Wheldan teaches the fundamentals of using bones to animate characters in Unity.

He covers everything from Z-order to Inverse Kinematics in these lectures.

Using Unity, Spriter, and Photoshop, you’ll learn everything you need to make your own 2D video game characters just like the pros.

 
Character Interactions

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You might be having a blast running around your game world, but unless there’s something to interact with, it gets boring quick.

Interactions between game objects..

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GameMaker Studio is a powerful 2D engine developed by YoYo Games. With its drag-and-drop interface and a host of features, GameMaker simply makes game development easy.

Hit titles like Hotline Miami and Hyper Light Drifter have helped popularize GameMaker. It’s now supported by a sizable community of 2D game developers with new devs joining all the time.

With cross-platform support this program can deploy to every major platform, saving developers time by giving them access to several markets simultaneously. It also has its own scripting language—Game Maker Language—that can be used to create almost anything.

To get started learning this incredible program we have this list of tutorials on GameMaker so you can dive right into creating your dream game as soon as possible.

We’ve provided a variety of tutorials that cover several game genres so there’s guaranteed to be something in here for everyone.

Your First Game

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This tutorial created from the folks at GameMaker studios will walk you through the basics for a top-down action game.

You’ll start with player movement and work your way into more advanced topics.

You’ll learn how to navigate the GameMaker interface and add your own scripts. With only a few lines of code, you’ll be able to move your character around the screen with only a keyboard.

Using a system of Events and Actions, GameMaker makes it easy to program advanced logic too.

 
Complete Platformer Tutorial

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Shaun Spalding covers everything you need to get started making your own platformer in GameMaker Studio 2.

In this series Shaun makes use of the newest methods that get beginners up to speed quickly. Aimed at beginners and intermediate users alike, this series will have you leaping over pipes and jumping on Goombas in no time.

You start by setting up your game environment and then move on to player movement. You’ll learn how to create gravity and collisions in fewer than 40 lines of code.

 
2D Hack-n-Slash

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Here’s a handy learning tool from HeartBeast that teaches beginners how to make a 2D Hack-n-Slash game in GameMaker Studio 2.

You’ll learn everything from how to animate characters to coding in GameMaker.

With step-by-step instructions you’ll learn the basics of GameMaker while working toward a playable game that you can use in your portfolio.

Over the course of this series you’ll learn many techniques that are applicable to almost any game style too.

And if you like this tutorial check out the instructor’s full pixel art course from Udemy.

 
Make An RPG in GameMaker

Check Out This Tutorial

Here we have another video from HeartBeast (AKA Benjamin) who covers the basics of building a Role Playing Game.

This is aimed at total beginners who are itching to build their very own classic RPG.

Using retro RPGs like Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger as a guide, Benjamin will show you how to use tiles to build a room and add collision events.

Next you’ll work on movement and getting your character to respond to input. As you progress through the series you’ll learn how to add custom behaviors and animations via GML.

 
Melee Attacks

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This two-part guide by Shaun Spalding takes an in-depth look at melee combat in GameMaker.

The example used is a 2D platformer, but these techniques will work for any game.

Part 1 covers a state-machine to create a basic attack. In part 2 you’ll learn about making combo-chains and linking multiple attacks.

This is a code-heavy tutorial that focuses on the concepts behind creating a melee system. By the end you’ll have a strong understanding of using hit boxes for melee combat along with scripting for your own games.

 
Shaders: The Basics

Check Out This Tutorial

Shaders are one of the most powerful and versatile tools in a game developer’s toolbox.

They can be used to create a range of effects and are present in most games.

It’s true that shaders are an advanced topic, but the rewards for using them are well worth the trouble of learning how.

In this video HeartBeast will guide you through shaders in GameMaker. He’ll show you how to use the shader editor to add some incredible visual effects to your games.

This tutorial starts with some simple demonstrations and concludes with making a custom greyscale shader in GameMaker.

 
Water Shader & Physics

Check Out This Tutorial

Most game engines provide some type of physics engine and Game Maker is no exception.

Using physics it’s possible to create a variety of realistic animations and mechanics for your games.

This video, also from Shaun Spalding, concentrates on creating bodies of water for a 2D platformer. Using his own game PokeyPoke as a reference, Shaun will teach you how to implement a complex water effect.

Just note that in the introduction Shaun mentions this video is more focused on concepts rather than implementation.

This point is to get your imagination working and gain more insight into game development.

 
Farming RPG

Check Out This Tutorial

This tutorial walks you through building an RPG farming sim game. This is aimed at beginners just starting out with GameMaker so it’s pretty easy to get into.

In the early sections you’ll learn all about objects, sprites, and how to set up your project in GameMaker.

FriendlyCosmonaut will first walk you through the fundamentals of using GameMaker Studio before introducing you to opengameart.org, a website where you can find free assets for your games and prototypes.

By the end of this video you’ll learn to code your own animated characters, create a night and day cycle, and grow crops in your game.

 
Turn-Based RPG

Check Out This Tutorial

Ever since the first RPGs came out on the original NES, turn-based RPGs have been a fan favorite.

They remain a popular goal for beginning 2D developers to this day.

Crafting a turn-based game can be challenging for sure. Luckily you have YouTube and sea of content much like this video by Aidan where you’ll learn how to build a simple 2D RPG.

Starting with movement and collision, you’ll eventually move onto combat, scene transitions, crafting a user interface, and plenty more.

There’s a lot to learn in this series so be prepared to invest some time and keep the coffee pot burning.

 
Ghost Recording

Check Out This Tutorial

In this more advanced tutorial by GameMaker guru Shaun Spalding, you’ll see first-hand how to create a ghost playback effect.

While Shaun uses a platformer for this demo, the techniques will work universally.

For instance, you could use it to create time trials for a racing game.

Shaun creates this effect by first recording the player’s input via the state of the character and saving it to a JSON file. By retrieving the file we can play back the player’s movements.

Check out the description below the video for the source files if you want to use the same sprites and code. This basically holds a pack of pixel art that makes a great learning resource.

 
Simple 3D Dungeon

Check Out This Tutorial

Have you ever wanted to create your shooter game in the style of the original Doom or Duke Nukem?

Well now you can thanks to GameMaker and this short video by HeartBeast.

You’ll learn how to design and navigate a 3D maze complete with pixel art and atmospheric effects using textures and sprites provided in the description.

While this isn’t a true 3D environment, it’s a great stylistic choice.

Some players will enjoy the retro look of this kind of game which keeps them popular among game devs.

 
Box Puzzle Game

Check Out This Tutorial

In this 3-part series by createindiegames you’ll learn how to design a simple puzzle game using GameMaker Studio 2.

This video covers fundamental topics like movement, collision, and animation.

You’ll learn how to use a TileMap and create box objects that the player can push around.

After setting up the player, the instructor will show you how to handle moving the boxes and creating the win scenario.

By the end of the tutorial you’ll have a playable puzzle game ready to go. What’s more, you’ll have all the pieces you need to create additional puzzles and expand your game.

 
Easy Equipment System

Check Out This Tutorial

Spine is a 2D animation package that aims to make the animation workflow easier.

It pairs nicely with GameMaker and can greatly boost your productivity when it comes to animation.

Spine packs a variety of tools and you’ll learn many of them here. When you’re done, you can export your work it and use it in GameMaker.

This video by developer Tainted Lost will show you how to use Spine and GameMaker to build a basic equipment system. Using Spine with GameMaker will make building new, exciting features far less painful.

 
Text Boxes

Check Out This Tutorial

Text is a feature of most games and for some, like RPG’s, it’s a core part of the gameplay.

Story-driven games allow you to express more complex ideas and create characters that your players will learn to love.

In this video by Shawn Spalding you’ll learn how to make custom text dialogue in GameMaker Studio 2. Use it to build an epic world and full of emotion and depth.

Some developers may find that writing stories for their game worlds is just as fun as coding them. Adding prose to your game will help the players form a connection with your characters.

 
Networking for Beginners

Check Out This Tutorial

This video from Benjamin is a gentle introduction to networking with GameMaker. Use it to explore the fundamentals of developing online multiplayer games.

You won’t actually be making a game in this tutorial; you’ll just be setting up a connection between two computers and sending some data back and forth.

This is, however, the bare minimum needed to build an online game. Once you understand the basics of sending data over this connection, you can expand to more advanced topics like shooting a gun or sending an instant message.

 
Zelda-Style Hearts

Check Out This Tutorial

The Legend of Zelda is still one of the most popular games of all time.

In this video by Synthetic Pixel Games you’ll learn how to implement a Zelda-style health system all on your own.

Using only three sprites you’ll follow the process of how to add and remove hearts using increments in half-hearts. The graphics are implemented as part of the UI so they’ll follow the player around the map.

Add some style to your 2D adventure game with these Zelda-style hearts, or create some basic pixel graphics to change those hearts into anything of your choosing.

 
How To Make Flappy Bird

Check Out This Tutorial

Flappy Bird is a remarkably easy game to recreate. You’ll learn that firsthand in this tutorial by Overnight Gamemaker.

Targeted at beginners, this video will go step-by-step through building a Flappy clone. Follow along as the developer builds this simple game on the fly using GameMaker Studio 2.

This project covers a lot of ground from animation to scrolling backgrounds and a few other areas. When you’re finished you’ll have a deployable game ready to add to your portfolio.

 
Make Asteroids!

Check Out This Tutorial

This tutorial is an excellent starting point for those looking to learn GameMaker Studio and create their own arcade games.

This time you’ll be reconstructing the Atari classic Asteroids.

Follow along with the instructor from Ask Gamedev to learn the ins and outs of GameMaker including how to use sprites, objects, events, and action blocks.

By the end you’ll have a fully playable Asteroids game that you can share with friends or goof around with by yourself.

You’ll also have a solid foundation to start building your future with GameMaker.

The post Best Free GameMaker Studio Tutorials For All Skill Levels appeared first on Concept Art Empire.

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Of all the options for 3D renderers today, Chaosgroup’s V-Ray plug-in is the oldest.

With the dynamic and competitive 3D industry that says a lot. Starting in the niche for architectural visualization, this versatile photorealistic renderer has extended its use for projects such as product visualization and video game character development.

In this list you’ll learn all about the comprehensive V-Ray toolset from the original plug-in for 3ds Max to the ported plug-ins for various programs such as Maya, Rhino, and Sketch Up. There’s bound to be something here for everyone so dig in and start learning!

Jump To:
V-Ray for 3ds Max
V-Ray For Rhino
V-Ray For Maya
V-Ray For SketchUp

 
V-Ray For 3ds Max V-Ray for Beginners

Check Out This Tutorial

In this beginner tutorial you’ll learn about dedicated V-Ray objects that are provided after the installation of the plug-in.

You’ll also get a brief introduction on how to navigate inside 3ds Max. This comes alongside handy shortcuts such as pressing F10 to easily change the default renderer from scanline to V-Ray or pressing F9 to quickly render images.

As V-ray comes with its own set of materials, you’ll be learning many different V-Ray shaders.

In the process you’ll create diffuse and reflective material. Finally you’ll render an image using image-based lighting(IBL) to achieve realistic reflections by making materials from angular to spherical.

 
Realistic V-Ray Material

Check Out This Tutorial

In this tutorial you’ll create several materials such as bronze, chrome, gold, steel, copper, aluminum, metal, glass and tinted glass. Yes, it’s a lot!

This just shows how flexible V-Ray can be.

For every material the author provides a handy parameter list on-screen for what to change to achieve the desired look such as glossiness and fresnel.

Materials and lighting go hand in hand. A realistic texture can easily be ruined by poor lighting. As such, you will be using an HDRI image that will serve as an image-based lighting to simulate a real-world scenario.

You can download HDRI maps from this resource site.

 
Modeling, Lighting & Rendering

Check Out This Tutorial

In most cases with rendering you’ll be creating a visualization from an existing plan.

Fortunately 3ds Max comes with dedicated importing options. So in this tutorial you’ll learn how to import DWG files/plans and prepare them for a scene set-up.

With materials and lights you’ll also adjust V-Ray’s dedicated physical camera to match real-world camera composition such as focal length and aperture. Pretty cool!

 
Realistic Grass

Check Out This Tutorial

There are several methods of creating realistic 3D grass. One is to use the 3ds Max hair and fur modifier, another is using V-Ray’s fur object and lastly by using textures and displacement maps.

In this tutorial you’ll learn all about the latter option.

While the method does not hold up for close-up shots, it saves on memory and is easy to setup.

You’ll solve several problems along the way such as tiling issues for the textures and preventing the obvious repetition of seamless textures. You’ll also modify bump textures in Photoshop using levels and curves for a more varied look.

 
Quick Tutorial: Sampling

Check Out This Tutorial

From Chaosgroup’s official YouTube channel we have this awesome tutorial that teaches you about sampling and why it’s important.

You’ll learn how to adjust sampling parameters to meet your deadlines such as using a progressive image sampler and setting time constraints for the renderer.

You’ll also learn general graphics theory such as primary rays and secondary rays.

For the final render you are recommended to switch to the bucket image sampler which has better CPU utilization, stable distributed rendering and uses less ram.

 
Realistic Glass of Juice

Check Out This Tutorial

In this tutorial you learn all about how to model glass with juice and render it.

This seems like an easy task but many unsuspecting newcomers fail to account for the refractive parameters.

You’ll start with by creating a spline profile from a vertex interpolation and later converting it to bezier.

You’ll then add the lathe modifier to mold the glass. Afterwards you’ll use the shell modifier to give depth to the glass which is basically required for refractive objects. For rendering, you’ll be using HDRI for realistic reflections and several area lights too.

For more details on general glass material rendering you can check the author’s other video here.

 
Intro to V-Ray for 3ds Max

Check Out This Tutorial

V-Ray was mainly made for 3ds Max to meet visualization demands.

Features are first implemented in 3ds Max and then ported over to other applications. So it should be no surprise that this massive video series is quite comprehensive.

You will learn everything that V-Ray can offer.

You’ll start with lighting objects such as area lights and spotlights. Later you’ll deal with lightning environments such as atmospheric fog. You’ll also discover V-Ray’s flexible material system from its general purpose uber materials to its specialized dirt shader.

Finally you’ll tinker with the render settings such as sampling for anti-aliasing and subdivisions. This leads into global illumination with its various algorithms to optimize your render time.

 
Studio Lighting Techniques

Check Out This Tutorial

For beginners it may seem like an easy task to illuminate a studio set-up since you have total control over your light.

However, you’d be surprised that it can be quote complicated and not so easy to just rehash a 3-point lighting set-up.

For one, every light has to be spot on especially for objects that require delicate reflections such as a phone or a car.

This video series teaches you how to deal with such challenges. You’ll be decoding photos and renders to understand how light works. You’ll learn how to manipulate lights to direct a specific mood as well.

By the end of this series you’ll be able to light several case studies such as a chocolate dessert, a character portrait, and a beautiful car model.

 
Product Visualization

Check Out This Tutorial

So this video pack builds upon the previous studio lighting techniques, but it’s more specific to product work.

Product visualization is used both before production for prototyping the look of a product, and after production for marketing purposes.

This makes product design an essential portfolio piece for any aspiring 3D artist.

In this series you’ll tackle pertinent challenges such as using a long lens for small product rendering. You’ll also be adjusting the aperture to maintain focus.

Several techniques shown include light linking and anisotropy. Near the end you’ll render it using an OpenEXR format and composite the finished piece in Photoshop.

 
Interior Rendering Strategies

Check Out This Tutorial

What makes V-Ray stand out from other unbiased renderers like Arnold and Octane? Well one biggie is V-Ray’s interior render set-up.

Due to the biased nature of V-Ray it can cut corners and save calculation time where it matters.

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to setup strategic portal lights and image-based lighting.

For visual consistency you’ll create a color palette using Adobe Kuler. You’ll also create organic materials such as leather, wood, rugs, and also hard-surface materials such as gold, metal, and chrome.

To add details you’ll add displacement material to the geometry.

Then to optimize your render time you’ll increase subdivision samples for specific passes such as reflection samples, rather than adjusting the universal anti-aliasing system. Very complex but an invaluable video for anyone learning this type of work.

 
V-Ray For Rhino V-Ray For Rhino: Quick Start

Check Out This Tutorial

From the official Chaosgroup YouTube channel, here you’ll explore Rhino and render a product visualization: specifically an earbud.

You’ll be introduced to the asset editor where you will handle most of your V-Ray tasks from materials to lights.

You’ll also be using an interactive render to see your adjustments instantly while making several materials such as plastic and silver. This leads into exploring advanced materials such as Sub-Surface Scattering(SSS) which can be a rabbit hole in itself.

For a more detailed write-up and to grab a copy of the scene file download you can check Chaosgroup documentation page.

 
Webinar Project From Start to Finish

Check Out This Tutorial

Here’s a neat mix of webinar+tutorial where you’ll learn the pipeline of creating your renders from scratch.

You’ll start by gathering references and choosing your mood. The tutorial explores lighting setup then proceeds to shading.

You’ll also be utilizing Grasshopper, the newly shipped plug-in with Rhino for parametric modeling.

To speed up this workflow you’ll be introduced to isolate rendering. This means only a portion of a scene is updated when you make changes to your materials or lighting.

Apart from other generic concepts you’ll also be using advanced features such as atmospheric effects, render settings, and frame buffer functionalities.

 
How To Create Lighting

Check Out This Tutorial

A fairly easy tutorial for beginners where you model and light a cathedral scene.

The main structure is entirely made in Rhino with its spline tools. For the lighting you’ll again use an image-based lighting, which as you might guess is already a standard for lighting a scene.

You’ll also add additional lighting for the interiors which offers a slightly different workflow.

For materials, you’ll be using several presets such as concrete built inside the asset editor. By default it will not map correctly and you learn to solve this by changing the type to box mapping.

 
Edge Softening

Check Out This Tutorial

In the real world most natural objects do not have sharp edges. Definitely not as sharp as a CG-rendered object.

To simulate reality an artist might bevel every possible edge, but this makes revisions a bit tricky.

As a solution V-Ray provides an edge softening setup where bevels are made during render and determined parametrically.

With this video you’ll be exploring different settings such as whether to use convex, concave, or both in your scene. In addition, this feature is flexible enough to determine if there are any intersecting geometries that have the same materials.

 
Interior Night Lighting

Check Out This Tutorial

Here’s one more great video from the official Chaosgroup YouTube channel. This one covers lighting techniques for a nighttime architectural interior scene using IES lights, sphere lights, and emissive lights which give off a realistic glare when rendering.

You don’t need to build it from scratch as the scene is provided in the video description(link below).

You’ll learn handy tricks such as avoiding overlapping of lights and model objects. This is really handy to avoid weird artifacts in your final scene.

You’ll also learn how to group lights so you can adjust them with a universal parameter rather than individually. Other fun tips include how to snap lights to bulb housing for true accuracy.

To nab a copy of the scene you can check the Chaosgroup documentation page here and download for yourself.

 
Basic Animations

Check Out This Tutorial

Note: the topic discussed here is not character animation, but rather a simple object transformation.

Rhino is mainly a modeling program and does not have a complete animation toolset with it.

Now with that said, camera animation in Rhino with V-Ray is easy to set-up.

You’ll first create an arc spline for the camera to follow. The main thing about animation is it will take a ridiculous amount of time to render.

Fortunately V-ray provides an option to save caches of global illumination calculation to speed up render times without drastically reducing the quality. All of these things are covered in pretty good detail here.

 
Full Product Design Visualization

Check Out This Tutorial

In this video series you’ll model a mobile traffic light design in Rhino and render it with V-Ray.

Through this process you get to explore Rhino’s surface toolset for industrial design which means the output can be used as a prototype for actual production.

You’ll then texture the model with plastic, glass, and metal components.

Finally you’ll create a scene composition to light and eventually render an image for presentation. The version of Rhino used here is a bit old but the concepts all still apply.

 
V-Ray For Maya Linear Workflow For Beginners

Check Out This Tutorial

Linear workflow is a type of color management where the set-up properly defines gamma for proper display and calculation. In recent versions of V-ray and Maya, most of the processes have been handled automatically.

However, imported images for shading must still be modified. In this tutorial you learn how to maximize the linear workflow using V-Ray inside Maya.

In the first section you’ll learn why linear workflow is important and how it affects not only Maya, but every 3D program out there today.

You’ll tackle different elements that require a linear workflow such as basic lights, sun, sky objects, and especially shaders. You’ll also discuss global settings such as render sampling and global illumination.

 
Material Basics

Check Out This Tutorial

Every external render engine comes with its own set of materials.

V-Ray ships with its uber material where it can accommodate the majority of your needs, with the exception of specific shaders such as a skin shader.

This means you’ll only need to learn a few parameters to get started with texturing.

So in this series you’ll learn about fresnel and index of refraction(IOR) and how to use them to achieve a realistic render, such as having a high IOR value for metallic objects and lower IOR value for non-metallic objects.

You’ll also learn several tips such as avoiding pure black and pure white in any color as it does not produce any value-adding result. These aggressive colors can also cause excessive render times.

In addition, V-Ray also has strong integration with Maya. It can utilize Maya’s built-in nodes for shading networks which is super handy.

This means all your prior knowledge of Maya texturing can be applied to the V-Ray material system.

 
Rendering Characters with V-Ray

Check Out This Tutorial

If you have already created hundreds of interior and exterior renders then you might be tempted to skip this one. But if you really want to practice V-Ray with Maya I suggest following it through to the end.

Designing 3D characters comes with its own set of challenges: mainly rendering skin and hair.

But in this detailed video tutorial you’ll learn how to handle V-Ray’s Sub-Surface Scattering shader to bring out the fleshiness of skin.

You’ll also explore V-Ray’s physically based hair material. Other topics include adjusting various displacement settings to match your details with a ZBrush sculpt, a very handy process for artists who constantly import designs between programs.

 
Create Cloth Shaders

Check Out This Tutorial

Cloth material comes with its own set of problems while rendering.

They can’t be too shiny as they will end up looking metallic. They also can’t be too rough as they can become dull.

Thankfully this guide will show you how to create cloth shaders in V-Ray(the right way).

With the help of the facing ratio node(i.e. fresnel) you’ll make various types of clothes such as soft, satin, and royal velvet.

The techniques shown here can also be applied to other third party render engine which makes this tutorial all the more valuable. You can download the project files here to follow along.

 
Fundamentals of V-Ray For Maya
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Digital art used to be something you could only do on a desktop with expensive software and equipment(read: drawing tablets). But with so many awesome art apps out there you can create incredible artwork on your smartphone, tablet, or even in your web browser.

Actually one of the best ways to do this is with free browser-based apps.

Most of these work best with a Wacom tablet and stylus, but you can also go a long way with a mouse or trackpad if you have patience.

Play around with a few of these and see which ones may fit best for your workflow. You’ll be surprised how much artwork you can actually make with these!

Sketchpad Webapp

Check Out Sketchpad

Sketchpad is fairly intuitive and simple to use, even if you’ve never used an app to create art before.

You’ll get a basic set of tools and brushes like adjustable pencils, stamps, text tools, clipart, and lines with snapping capabilities and layers. You can keep things really basic, or use the tools to their fullest potential to create some seriously cool stuff.

Mostly anyone would love the clean, intuitive layout because it’s super quick and easy to access with all your tools, no matter what type of tech you’re using.

Sketchpad might not be the tool for creating highly detailed finished pieces. In fact I’m almost sure it’s not.

But it’s a great way to dip your toes into digital drawing and get used to using a webapp.

 
YouiDraw

Check Out YouiDraw

Unlike a lot of the other apps on this list, YouiDraw has been around for a while.

It’s great for drawing, along with creating designs like logos and maybe some basic icons.

This app has lots of features to explore, so you can get as simple or as complex as you want.

You can start by drawing on a blank page or by uploading an image to manipulate.

YouiDraw works a bit differently from most apps and programs, but it’s actually really cool when you get the hang of it.

Most digital art programs use layers as a way to organize the elements in your piece. YouiDraw uses not only layers but pathways too.

Don’t worry, you still have layers here.

But each element you put on your canvas is also its own “path” that you can edit and manipulate on its own. This takes some getting used to. But you might find pathways even easier than layers!

Once you get a grip on pathways and learn not to get lost you’ll love what you can do with this app.

 
Pixlr

Check Out Pixlr

Pixlr is kind of like old-school Photoshop because it has a similar setup, so it’s a decent alternative if you don’t want to invest any money on art software(yet!)

With Pixlr you can also draw or modify images just like you would with Photoshop.

Start with a fresh canvas to draw or paint on, or upload an image from your computer if you’d rather start that way.

You’ll find a lot of tools similar to what you’d get in Photoshop with many of the same capabilities. So this is great if you just don’t want to shell out for Photoshop. Still, this isn’t a real replacement for desktop drawing software.

And this might not be the best for total beginners learning digital art, but those with some experience can jump right in easy peasy.

 
Aggie

Check Out Aggie

This app is so fun because it’s meant to be collaborative. So you can create art with other people around the world!

Several artists can all open the same file and work on it at once, which is pretty darn cool I think.

This is great for brainstorming on projects, or for creating fun artworks and goofing around.

The app is fairly new so it’s changing all the time and frequently getting new features. But you can already do quite a bit with it.

Note: since it’s under construction though, the creators advise you to save work frequently.

Unlike a lot of these other apps, you can use stylus pressure with Aggie although quality varies from browser to browser.

Aggie has lots of tool settings and capabilities, but it does pretty much anything you can expect from a drawing program.

If the collaborative aspect appeals to you, well here’s your app.

 
Sumopaint

Check Out Sumopaint

Sumopaint is a popular webapp for creating and sharing artwork because it comes with a community of other artists. Here you can share artwork, collaborate, and learn from each other.

You can even use it offline!

The app comes with perspective tools, a huge variety of adjustable 2D and 3D brushes, layer capabilities, stamping and cloning tools, and so much more.

In other words: this app is wildly popular for a reason.

You can draw and paint an original piece from scratch or edit photos all with this one simple web-based tool.

It’s worth noting they do have a pro version but I’m not sure what that offers extra. After toying around with this a bit though, I’d say the free version is plenty.

 
Kleki

Check Out Kleki

Here’s a very simple app to get you up and drawing in no time.

It’s a neat little webapp to help beginners get used to the basic tools you’ll find in almost any art program.

Kleki has a simple layout that you can figure out in minutes, even if you’re a digital drawing newbie.

You won’t find as many tools here as you will in some of these other apps, but Kleki is great for drawing and sketching ideas fast.

It’s perfect if you don’t need a lot of detail in your work. Also for newcomers who just want to create simple drawings or comics, or just get used to creating art in this digital format.

While it might not be the program for elaborate finished pieces, you can do quite a bit with these simple tools and a little creativity.

In fact, sometimes simplicity opens to the door to even more creativity because it forces you to use limited tools in a new way.

 
Pixilart Draw

Check Out Pixilart Draw

Not to be confused with the Pixlr editor app mentioned earlier, this program is specifically for creating pixel art. You know, the stuff you’d see in old 8-bit or 16-bit video games.

You’ll find a lot of the same tools here that you’d find in any drawing program like brushes, a paint bucket, color picker, text, and stamp. Just that everything is pixelated.

If this is your style well here’s your webapp!

It’s a lot of fun to play with if you’re experienced or if you’ve never tried this art style before. It definitely doesn’t do a lot of things, but it does do pixel art really really well.

Worth playing around with if you’re into pixel art or 2D game design.

 
Vectr

Check Out Vectr

Vectr is an intuitive graphic design tool created to shorten the learning curve and help designers create some amazing stuff fast.

This app isn’t really meant for painting and drawing, but rather for creating graphic designs like logos, icons, slideshows, or maybe small vector graphics.

Given the name you can probably guess this webapp only creates vector files. So if you do create some artwork here you can scale it out to massive sizes while still maintaining image quality.

If you’re interested in graphic design definitely try this out! With this one app you can easily create professional quality images or icons while still feeling like an artist.

One of the cool things about Vectr(besides being free) is that you can collaborate with others in real time.

Other designers can watch you draw live(and you can watch them) which is great for teaching and learning. It also comes with tons of free tutorials right on the site so you can start learning immediately.

 
LetsDraw.it

Check Out LetsDraw

This app is actually a bunch of drawing games like Pictionary, as well as drawing contests and challenges all rolled into one thing.

If you just feel like drawing you can open a blank canvas and get started here. But the interactive stuff adds another layer on the site.

Games can actually improve your drawing skills if you practice the right ones.

Some of them require you to draw quickly instead of overthinking things. And the “it’s just a game” mindset can remove a lot of the mental pressure we put on ourselves when we’re creating art, opening us up to more freedom to express creative ideas.

LetsDraw.it is a lot of fun and a great way to get used to drawing on a computer. It’s simple to get started and intuitive to pick up.

 
GIMP Browser Extension

Check Out GIMP Extension

As you probably gathered from the name, this browser extension/webapp is an online pared-down version of the popular digital graphics software GIMP.

It does have a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it you can create truly stunning work.

In fact it might have the most capabilities out of any webapp on this list.

You can do a lot or a little with this sucker. Draw and create original artwork, manipulate images, and retouch photos. So many possibilities!

This might not the best choice for total beginners, but if you’ve used GIMP before or are semi-experienced with digital art you’ll love this thing.

 
Google Quick Draw

Check Out Google Quick Draw

This is actually a drawing game and AI experiment, and it’s lots of fun!

You’re basically playing Pictionary with a machine. You draw and it guesses what you’re drawing, and it learns as you go because it remembers not only your drawings, but those of everyone else who uses it.

This game is crazy smart and it’s always getting smarter.

Not only will you get to play a fun game and hone your drawing skills, your drawings will also go into the program’s database where they’ll contribute to further AI research.

Google Quick Draw is perfect for doodlers, Pictionary enthusiasts, AI nerds, and anyone who wants to kill a little time playing with a really brainy art machine.

The post Draw & Paint Online With These Free Browser-Based Webapps appeared first on Concept Art Empire.

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Animation takes a lot of practice to master. So it’s just magical to watch other artists solve creative problems and craft brilliant stories, all for entertainment.

If you’re into this kinda stuff as an artist, or just a fan of entertainment, take a look at this list featuring our favorite animators on YouTube.

Some of these artists post their own animations or tutorials, or even a combination of the two with other goofy animated videos thrown in. You’ll find everything from autobiographical shorts to parodies, music videos, film and game reviews, and hilarious satire.

Not only are these animators just amazing artists, they’re also great writers. I guarantee there’s a lot in here to keep you entertained for hours.

JelloApocalypse

JelloApocalypse on YouTube

This channel is run by Brendan Blaber who’s not only an animator, but also a writer, voice actor, and cartoonist.

There’s a lot to look at here!

Check out his Tip of the Tongue series for tips on writing and drawing for cartoons and the film business.

He also posts funny reviews of games and movies along with his own animations in a fun hodgepodge that will lead you down a highly entertaining rabbit hole. His voice acting skills always keep things interesting.

 
RubberNinja

RubberNinja on YouTube

This channel is run by an artist named Ross who also works with the Game Grumps channel.

He posts a variety of videos including random (but very clever) cartoons, his own animated shorts, and Gamer Tonight, an ongoing short that spoofs popular games and cartoons.

Most of his videos are pretty short so it’s easy to watch a bunch of them at once. Enjoy binging!

 
Matty Burrito

Matty Burrito on YouTube

This account, run by an artist named Matt, is a collection of short cartoons with lots of sarcasm and over-the-top ridiculousness.

His cartoons are often strange and mildly disturbing, in a good way. Much like his Pokemon series with some over-the-top humor.

If that’s your thing, check him out!

Matt creates funny and honest videos about topics like the perils of Youtube-dom, kind of like Sara Scribbles meets South Park with some fantasy thrown in, along with the occasional review videos that are just as fun as his cartoons.

You’ll also notice a few recurring characters and storylines throughout his animations.

 
CypherDen

CypherDen on YouTube

This channel is kind of a blog/vlog as told by the artists’ animated doppelganger. It’s really fun.

In this semi-autobiographical cartoon topics range from fluffy and fun to serious, real, and relatable.

You’ll find short and engaging animations about being an artist, an animator, and an adult. It’s also worth checking out her earlier videos to see how her animation style has changed and grown more refined over time.

 
High5toons

High5toons on YouTube

High5toons is run by a duo who do all their own cartooning, animating, and voices in their series of short entertaining yet off-the-wall pieces.

You’ll also find shorts animated to music from the animator’s band.

Some of their stuff gets pretty trippy, especially the music videos, and they’re a lot of fun to binge watch. The cartooning style varies and is quite experimental.

 
Lightsen

Lightsen on YouTube

In this channel, you’ll find originals and parodies of popular games and cartoons like Sonic and Pokemon, all in a bold artistic style that goes to some… interesting places.

You’ll also find a few original shorts about crime fighting lizards.

Not to get too random, but you should definitely check those out. Really just check out the whole channel it’s too fun to miss.

 
Ricepirate

Ricepirate on YouTube

RicePirate has a bunch of made-up of parodies, original animated shorts, and voice acting demos from this voice actor and animator.

The parodies are hilarious (exactly what a parody should be) as they poke fun at the content and cartoon style of so many pop-culture topics.

He even sometimes gets on camera himself to provide life updates and interesting peeks at upcoming projects, as well as behind the scenes workflows of his animations.

Mick also includes some animation and voice acting tutorials to help other aspiring artists. All in all, his channel is full of lots of random stuff that’s worth checking out. He’s also got quite a following on Twitter if you’re into that kinda thing.

And for you Yu-Gi-Oh fans, you’re gonna like this.

 
TheOdd1sOut

TheOdd1sOut on YouTube

Plot twist! This animator actually doesn’t use animation software at all, but works with Adobe Premiere instead.

The artist has a consistent style and creates very naturally drawn, but very expressive, snowman-humanoid characters.

If you like The Oatmeal and ASDF you’ll probably be into this.

His animations are sometimes semi-autobiographical, touching on lots of relatable stuff we all experience. And they’re always entertaining.

Some of these videos are a bit on the longer side so settle in and switch YouTube to auto-play.

 
Jaiden Animations

Jaiden Animations on YouTube

Here you’ll stumble into a library full of animations of the relatable real-life variety in a simple, doodly drawing style.

You’ll find lots of engaging topics dealing with mental health and self-improvement, which is actually really useful if this is something you struggle with. (And come on, who doesn’t?)

Jaiden also includes topics about funny travel mishaps and experiences, all autobiographical and starring a cartoon version of herself.

There’s also a healthy amount of random animations that have nothing to do with anything. But aren’t those sometimes the best animations?

Catch up with Jaiden on other social channels like Instagram and Twitter too.

 
Felix Colgrave

Felix Colgrave on YouTube

This channel is mostly animated shorts, and really I mean they’re short.

As in, under a minute for many of them. Yet packed with just as much entertainment as other vids.

These animations are all so entertaining, unexpected, somewhat grotesque, and highly addicting.

They’re the kind of videos that you finish and say to yourself “What the heck did I just watch?” right before hitting the replay button.

Though most are brief, the video lengths are all over the place ranging from 15 seconds to thirty minutes. You never know what you’re going to get.

The cartoon style is definitely exaggerated but quite detailed with lovely backgrounds, which I can’t quite tell might be drawn or photographic.

 
PrimatePunk

PrimatePunk on YouTube

An artist simply named Arón produces the content on PrimatePunk. This includes lots of parodies of popular shows like Spiderman and Dragon Ball as well as plenty of originals.

The style changes a lot ranging from a kind of twisted Dick and Jane style, to something reminiscent of Ren and Stimpy.

There’s a wide variety of content here in the form of parodies, sarcastic commentary, and satire.

Most of the animations are also pretty short and highly binge-able. Grab a snack and dive in.

 
Domics

Domics on YouTube

Domics creates self-described anecdotal animations about situations we’ve all been in and some original short stories as well. This is all with a minimalist palette and simple art style.

He really has a gift for turning the most mundane situations into something engaging and entertaining.

He mostly sticks to a limited palette(I mean, you can’t get much more limited than black and white) but sometimes includes color. And every once in a while he’ll hop on camera himself to answer questions or teach a tutorial.

This channel has been around for years so there’s lots to explore. You’ll also notice how his style of art and storytelling evolves over time while still maintaining a consistent look and feel to the artwork.

A great channel to get lost in.

 
Shgurr

Shgurr on YouTube

So this channel starts as a bit of a mishmash by featuring original shorts starring talking animals.

Yet if you scroll through the archives over time it evolves into an ongoing autobiographical cartoon of a college student with some other stuff thrown in.

It’s a lot of fun because she originally started this account as a way to learn animation, with no real direction for her content. You’ll find lots of different stuff like Q&As, animations set to music, parodies, and original shorts that show off her quirky sense of humor as an artist.

 
EroldStory

EroldStory on YouTube

Erold’s channel is full of relatable stories from his own life and funny observations about things like weird baby names, all featuring voiceovers from Erold himself.

These videos feature some fun animation styles ranging from somewhat realistic proportions to highly exaggerated caricatures.

Erold is not only an accomplished animator, but a great storyteller with a natural means of grabbing your attention. It’s easy to get sucked into the ongoing saga of his life because his storytelling coupled with this amazing art is an engaging combo.

If you’re interested in creating autobiographical cartoons or telling any kind of story with your animations, this is a great artist to subscribe to and learn from.

You can also follow their newest sketches and life updates on Instagram.

The post Best Animators On YouTube Worth Subscribing To appeared first on Concept Art Empire.

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