Here are short answers to frequently asked questions I receive from students about the use of 3D in concept art.

HOW IMPORTANT ARE 3D SKILLS TO CURRENT CONCEPT ARTISTS? 

Modeling in 3D is like any other tool: Helpful when used correctly.

While it’s not mandatory or by any means necessary to make good art using 3D tools, having that skill set under your belt is beneficial for lots of reasons such as rapid iteration explorations, interesting shape creation, perspective, happy accidents, etc. etc. etc. As such I highly encourage everyone to learn at least one 3D software program.

HOW MUCH KNOWLEDGE DO I NEED IN 3DS MAX, MAYA OR ANY OTHER MODELING PROGRAM?

At the bare minimum, I recommend you familiarize yourself with the basics, such as navigation within the program, primitive shape modeling, the use of the camera, etc.  Learn modeling terms, so you can speak the same language as the people who will have to model your concepts.  If you decide that you really like modeling, you can take it a step farther and really dive into the software.   For a few bucks, you can purchase several “how-to” tutorials on Gumroad.  Check out the recommended resources page for more information.


If you have questions that are not answered here, leave a comment below, or send a email to eliott@eliottlillyart.com.  It may take some time, but I will do my best to respond.