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Sea of Knowledge: top 10 YouTube channels for artists

Blur Studio character modeler Alvaro Zabala shares with us his top 10 useful YouTube channels for anyone working in the artistic industry…

Alvaro's Profile

Introduction

Hey there! I am 3D modeler and texture artist from Madrid (Spain), specializing in character and creature modeling currently employed at Blur Studio. In this day and age internet access is pretty much a given to any modern society. Visual artists, on the road of learning, sometimes get overwhelmed by the amount of information at our disposal – something that was hard to believe some years ago. For that reason I bring today 10 of the most useful and interesting YouTube channels that the multimedia artist can learn from.

I say multimedia artist because, although I consider myself a 3D artist, we can all learn from different disciplines and grow as a whole, not just in one specific field, but in an array of them. Making us so much more knowledgeable in general, but also giving us different perspectives on how other artists approach design, rhythm, color, composition, shape, light, and so on. For this reason the 10 channels I’m going to talk about now reflect that idea of nurturing one’s artistic self from different artistic perspectives.

Every Frame a Painting by Taylor Ramos and Tony Zhou

I think cinema is one of the best ways to represent a story, and  also, one of the most complete art forms existing today, with an array of artists working together to bring the vision of an individual to life.

Even though the channel doesn’t contain a huge array of videos, it contains really useful information presented extremely well. I feel this method of explaining what are usually complicated topics, in a very straightforward, simple, yet elegant way, is very successful in getting the information across while still making it an enjoyable experience.

Besides technical information about cameras, shots, lenses, composition, and so on, this channel changes the way we think about a motion picture; about the power of the director, the cinematographer, of every artist that wants to tell a story, and, even more importantly, how they want to tell it.

Michael Pavlovich

Coming from a well seasoned principal artist, this channel is a gold mine of small tips and tricks for the main sculpting software at the moment, ZBrush. ZBrush can be a really challenging and daunting software to start with, so having a channel that showcases, little by little, each of their tools and tricks is not only extremely useful but also very refreshing.

What is even more exciting about Michael’s channel is that it’s useful for both beginners and more seasoned artists since it’s always up-to-date with the latest releases for Pixologic’s amazing software.

Flipped Normals

This channel started as a few small tutorial videos by Henning Sanden and Morten Jaeger, and expanded at an incredible rate to become its own platform with their own resources and training available for artists.

Now it has become one of my favorite places to learn, in a very detailed way, different aspects of 3D, incorporating Game and Feature workflows as well as less technical lessons that touch upon the overall adventure that is being an artist in this industry.

Unreal Engine

As an already extremely well established game engine, when Epic Games decided to make Unreal as a free software, they added that final boost to make this engine even more supported than it already was.

As an official channel, and the supporting community, Unreal has an incredible amount of resources available for everyone, with technical talk about the software itself, interviews with devs, showcases of their latest updates, and more. Always a fantastic channel to search through if game development is your thing.

Art Café

A lot of channel’s focus on the technical side of the industry and its tools. There are countless software out there with a lot of intricate information on how to use them, but there are not a vast amount of channels that focus on the art itself, the industry we are in, and the intricacies of the life as an artist.

For this, Art Cafe, hosted by the extremely talented Maciej Kuciara, focuses on bringing together well-renowned professionals from the industry to have a good conversation about art, their personal experiences, and the industry in general.

FX Hive

FX Hive is another great channel if what you are looking for is more on the side of Visual Effects and/or compositing. A lot of great tutorials for all levels and skills where you can learn tips and tricks in various programs.

It goes from procedural modeling to destruction simulations, teaching you as well how to incorporate all these things to real life footage and comp them together for a finished look.

Sycra

There are a vast amount of channels focused on concept art and drawing itsef. I feel most of those they are, either, not fully supported or too technical. I feel Sycra found a really good middle ground in which he could provide a great amount of lessons focused on skill as well as other content focused on art, its approach and the concepts around it.

A channel that has podcasts, paintover of students, fully fledged tutorial on specific topics, etc. Even if your primary occupation is not concept art or illustration it does broaden your view of things.

CGMA

CG Masters Academy is an online training resource offering to supplement artists with really high quality content from industry professionals both in the 2D and 3D side of the industry. Even their real master classes and workshops have a tuition requirement, their professionalism extends to their YouTube channel where they offer interviews, lessons both on 2D and 3D, design focused content, interviews with industry professionals, and more.

Proko

Extremely well established in the traditional and digital world, Stan Prokopenko or “Proko” offers a vast amount of knowledge both for the beginner and advanced side of drawing and painting, as well as insightful interviews and different kinds of art content.

From all the fundamentals to the more advanced traditional painting tips and tricks, Proko’s channel is full of information presented in a really professional manner.

Blender Guru

Mainly focused on Blender, and filled with tutorials, this channel has become one of my favorites because of the amount of small nuggets of information and tips, and especially, the interviews. Andrew Price, with his really clear approach to explaining things, makes one of the most interesting channels about CG out there, even if you are not a Blender user.

Not to disregard his information about Blender but, his series of interviews and talks about different topics in the industry made me realize how useful a channel like this is to any digital artist.

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