Starting out as a 3D artist – tutorials


Welcome to the fourth part in a series of posts helping you get started as a 3D artist. The series includes delving into software, hardware, resources and tutorials – everything that will get you going in the right direction as you embark upon this super exciting journey. I entered the world of 3D visualization as a fresh faced 19-year-old, absolutely clueless in so many ways. I was grateful for others helping me on that journey. Hopefully this series will be like the many tour guides that I had in the early days.

Having worked out what software we want to work with as well as the hardware that will enable us to get the most out of that software, we’re now ready to start learning how to use what we’ve got in our hands! We’ll break this post up into two main parts. The first will be free tutorials and the second will be paid training. You’re likely to want to make use of both types but if you’re just dipping your toes in then the free ones will get you off to a good start.

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A brief introduction to scratch the surface of all the excellent content out there for teaching you 3D visualization and animation.
Image credit supplied by Giovanni Gargiulo

Free Tutorials


3dtotal have a huge collection of excellent tutorials that cover a wide array of 3D software. Some of these will guide you through the basics of different pieces of software and others will give you tips and tricks to achieve a whole host of different things. And if you’re interested in paying for some learning materials from 3dtotal then head over to their shop and check out their excellent Beginner’s Guides.

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A huge array of tutorials available on 3dtotal.
Image credit supplied by 3dtotal and Anda Deng

Blender Guru

If you want to learn Blender then there’s only one place you should look for help in learning how to use it and that’s Blender Guru, aka Andrew Price. He runs an excellent YouTube channel that covers a huge number of different subjects. His videos are in-depth, yet incredibly easy to follow. He’s also got some fun humor in his content so it makes following along really enjoyable!

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A tonne of free tutorials for a brilliant free piece of software.
Image credit supplied by Blender Guru

3Ds Max Learning Channel

For those opting for 3ds Max as their software of choice you’ll first want to head over to Autodesk’s 3ds Max YouTube Learning Channel. This is their official channel and over the years have built up quite a collection of individual videos and series of videos around themes. They’ve also got a playlist called “Getting started with 3ds Max 2018” which will serve you well. Even though it’s not been updated in a few years there’s not a huge amount of fundamentals that have changed with 3ds Max in that time.

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Excellent tutorials from the creators of the software.
Image credit supplied by Autodesk

Simulation Lab

Further to the official tutorials for 3ds Max you’ll find this YouTube playlist from Simulation Lab helpful. It’s a short crash course that will give you a good insight into the basics of using 3ds Max.

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A crash course for 3ds Max
Image credit supplied by Simulation Lab

Maya Learning Channel

For Maya enthusiasts Autodesk also have a learning channel on YouTube for you guys. Other than a load of general tutorials they’ve also got a Quick Tips playlist which are great for fine-tuning your skills and picking up new ways of doing things.

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The official learning channel of Autodesk Maya
Image credit supplied by Autodesk

Vertex School

This is for you if you want to make a foray into ZBrush. Vertex School provide a great set of introductory videos which run you through how to find your way around the interface before focusing in on the tools ZBrush provides.

Introductory videos to get you going with ZBrush
Image credit supplied by Vertex School

Paid Tutorials

The Gnomon Workshop

These guys have a prolific amount of content on the website which seems to cover every piece of 3D software that you could shake a stick at. If you want a place that provides training to cover your entire workflow then it’s worth taking a look at. They operate a subscription model and for just under $50 per month you can access all their training material. It’s pretty easy finding what you want using their search and filter tools.

The Gnomon Workshop website 3d content tutorials

Great content for any 3D software you care to mention.
Image credit supplied by Gnomon


Another subscription service for training is the well-established Lynda. Their monthly fee is a little cheaper at just under £25 per month. Once again, they have pretty much everything you could ever want. The training is generally of a really high quality and will serve you well.

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A subscription service providing tutorials
Image credit supplied by Lynda


Maybe subscriptions services are not for you and you would rather pay for specific chunks of training rather than find yourself drowning in a sea of content that you’ll never need. Udemy allows users to pay for the training they want. This means you can really target your training, do it when it’s convenient for you and keep costs under control.

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Another subscription service offering a huge range of tutorials.
Image credit supplied by Udemy

Mastering CGI

Before mentioning a couple of last places, I wanted to give special mention to Grant Warwick’s courses over at Mastering CGI. These have probably single handedly taught me more about 3ds Max and V-Ray than any other training. The small to medium investment is well worth it. Grant is not only a master of CGI who could teach artists a lot without much effort but he still puts in a huge amount of work to his training to make sure every fine bit of detail is understood and communicated clearly in theory and in practice.

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In-depth tutorials that go beyond the basics.
Image credit supplied by Grant Warwick

Longer courses

These won’t be for everyone but if you can afford it then you’ll get some of the best quality training out there. The first is the 7-week course provided by Viz Academy and the second is the arch viz masterclass provided by State of Art Academy. These both focus on 3ds Max, Corona and Photoshop with State of Art Academy also providing training in V-Ray.

viz academy tutorial helpful resources tips

Longer courses delivered by the pros.
Image credit supplied by Viz Academy


These are only a select collection of a huge range of resources that are out there. I wish we could include more but hopefully these will provide at least a starting point for exploration into the world of learning 3D visualization. If you’ve got any that you want to highlight then why not put it in the comments below.

Read part one of this article tutorial: Starting out as a 3D artist – 3D modeling software
Read part two of this article tutorial: Starting out as a 3D artist – rendering software
Read part three of this article tutorial: Starting out as a 3D artist – hardware
Read part five of this article tutorial: Starting out as a 3D artist – resources
Read part six of this article tutorial: Starting out as a 3D artist – 10 killer tips to drive you to success

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