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Why isn't 3D more popular?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by splattenburgers, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. C_Occlusion

    C_Occlusion

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    Why isn't 3D more popular?
    I think that it isn't more popular because it requires hard work and dedication to become good at it no matter which software you use...There is no magic button that does a lot of it for you.... Every part has a long learning curve and multiple screw ups before being able to master that one part...Hard work, would answer the original question at the beginning of this post...CO
     
  2. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    I'm confused on what criteria the term "popular" is being used/based on? By virtually every metric that matters 3d is dramatically more popular than 2d. There are a few standout 2d games, and some categories lean more in the direction of 2d (top mobile puzzlers) Top steam/console games that are 2d are the exception rather than the rule. Even in the lower tiers it's mostly 3d.
     
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  3. splattenburgers

    splattenburgers

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    I meant popular among devs and recreational artists.
     
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  4. zombiegorilla

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    Oh... well they don't really matter. Also, it is a pretty baseless assertion. There are tons of 3d artists/creators who don't make games to whom 3d is very popular. And hobbyists are just playing around anyway, so what really is "popular" or to them is only of interest to them, and pointless to worry about it. It's like asking "why isn't red as popular to people who prefer blue?" The answer and the question are completely meaningless.

    For people who make games and play games, 3d is clearly more "popular". If that even means anything. Which it really doesn't. Still not seeing what the point of this thread is??
     
  5. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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  6. Player7

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    I believe you impressed him in all the ways possible, or perhaps he was just taking the piss out of your post.. not sure really :)

    In any case I think we should really to the bottom of why 3D isn't more popular, I still think it grows in popularity every year but so does the complexity of attaining increasingly better visuals. I blame the tools/workflow pipelines and cross product jumping for not being better while the drive to push higher quality visuals with the hardware especially with gpu rendering has left us with this huge gap between seasoned pro's and beginner/intermediates.
     
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  7. RichardKain

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    A seeming obsession in the industry with photo-realism is also a major problem. Stylized 3D is far easier to achieve, but is usually looked down on by many fans. Realistic 3D is far more expensive to produce, in terms of skill as well as work-hours.
     
  8. ptcmia

    ptcmia

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    Time and money. 3D requires a lot of both and a majority of companies cant afford it. Not enough demand. On top of that, its hard to learn so there isn't a high supply of 3D creators.
     
  9. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    haha.

    great S***.
     
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  10. splattenburgers

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    Is 3D actually more time consuming than 2D though? Sprites have to be redrawn over and over. 3D models don't.
     
  11. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    you save things and duplicate them, both for 3d and 2d. there are a few task in digital art that just require straight up monotonous labor, but most of the time you can avoid doing things over and over tediously. Thats one of the great beenfits of digital art.

    if you compare the creation of a 2d character to a 3d character, 3d has a lot more steps involved. Many of these steps are highly technical.

    The first step in ccreating a 3d character is to create a 2d concept. Why? Because doing the same thing in 3d would waste a lot of time. BEcause of the faster iteration time of 2d, it is used specifically for that purpose. So you prototype the idea of the character in 2d until it is approved and only then do you finalize it in 3d.
     
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  12. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    also, consider that the process of making and animating a 3d character is usually split into 4 or 5 distinct professions. 2d concept, 3d modeler/texture, rigger, animator, and sometimes maybe a VFX specialist.

    So the bulk of work with each of those task is enough to warrant a full time specialist. I don't know as much about modern 2d techniques, but from what I have seen often times the artist will also be the animator, and of course there is no rigging.
     
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  13. Teila

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    I picked up 3d modeling because I wanted to make a game and did not want to get everything off the asset store. I was motivated. I can do hard surface modeling now, pretty decent stuff that looks good in my game. I can modify other models and re-texture. I started with Blender and could not figure it out, but then moved to Maya LT with a Black Friday discount and have since switched to the subscription, $30 a month. Worth it for me as I can make models or modify models cheaper than I can hire someone to make them for me. I have a geology background, not art. :) And yet...I figured it out. Would I sell my art? No, probably not...lol. I am not good enough for that.

    Now, jump to my two daughters who are starting college in the fall. They have been creating 2d art since they were very young and had formal instruction in illustration for many years. One daughter models using Blender and Maya LT. She uses each for the things they do best. :) The other is just starting to model but is picking it up very quickly. She is also an amazing texture artist. Both learned these tools on their own, with tutorials, and a little help from their art teacher.

    Both are getting commissions from Indie developers for both 2d and 3d art. They do quite well, maybe the cost is lower than someone who has been in the industry, but in the future I can see them making a living. Both are considering a college program in 3d digital art.

    Games are not the only source for 3d artists and most likely not the biggest source. Films, advertising, the military, etc., all hire 3d artists. With more and more CGI being used outside of games, who knows what might happen in the future.

    I think the biggest problem is that indie developers, many of them, simply do not want to pay for art or cannot pay for art. It is the reason why so many quality assets are no longer being supported on the asset store.

    So if a young artist has the choice of making illustrations for corporate offices, advertising firms, graphic design studios, flyers, magazines, etc, where they get paid a decent wage, why go to the indies who are able to pay a fraction of the price that large companies pay?

    I think that needs to be added to the list.

    Lack of inexpensive tools
    Difficult to learn (although so is code, so not sure if this is true....I learned it.)
    Large game studios do not provide a very supportive environment, and mostly pay intern wages to young artists, who cannot live on those wages. How many can do that?
    A thriving indie game industry that cannot pay artists a living wage due to restricted budgets. Not their fault really, but again, how can a young artist afford to live off the money available to them through indies?
    The popularity of mobile games...I have belonged to two Game Dev groups in the last couple of years, and both have an overwhelming number of mobile app creators using 2d art. We were often the only ones making a PC game.

    The one thing that is not true, in my honest opinion, is that 3d games are not popular. They are VERY popular. Even the biggest studios use contract work, a little from this person, a little from that. So instead of big graphics art studios, we have individual contractors and small studios. Those will not end up on the study I bet. :)
     
  14. aer0ace

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    I mostly, if not completely, agree with what @BIGTIMEMASTER is saying. I made a 2D game followed by a 3D game, and here's my assessment. Building 2D art takes about the same amount of time as building 3D art, but the efforts are in completely different areas. For 2D, there is a lot more monotonous labor. In 3D, you would think that it's not as monotonous, kind of like a one-and-done thing for each angle, but the challenges, as BIGTIMEMASTER mentioned, are mainly technical. Here are some common tasks that can seem "laborious":
    • Weight Painting Vertices to Bones: Usually automatic weighting is enough for most purposes, but things like underarms, toes, and accessories can become a challenge to weight properly. You have to test the integrity of the mesh with every animation that you've assigned to the skeleton, and this can only be done wiht visual inspection from various angles. And the more animations you add, the more times you have to re-test to make sure the mesh is deforming correctly, without any visual artifacts occurring.
    • UV Mapping and Texturing: UV mapping can be a challenge for complex shapes. The way I do it in Blender is to add "seams" so Blender can smartly unwrap, but this can be an extremely laborious task the more complex your model gets. You typically have to "find" the right seams to reduce as much texture distortion as possible. Some UV mapping tools like Substance are great, to paint directly on the mesh. I haven't used Substance before, although there is something similar in Blender, but, not that great. It looks to me it's better for organic/fluid texturing, rather than mechanical and precision texturing.
    • Assigning Materials: If your model has various materials on it, you typically have to select the correct polys to assign those materials. Sometimes you can miss a few and have to fix those.
    • Anomalies: And then you have various anomalies that you have to clean up, like collinear planes, non-manifold meshes, root animation node placement, IK/FK weight balancing, IK pole adjusting, and the list goes on. Often, some of these tasks require some investigation, sometimes minutes, sometimes hours, to figure out, depending on how wily you constructed the model. And sometimes, it's more worthwhile to just restart from scratch or from an earlier saved version.

    Have you ever sculpted and painted a figurine? If you have, you will find that when you think you're "done", you will find another place you haven't painted, and then another and then another. Working in 3D space with nooks and crannies requires a different level of attention to detail than 2D images take. Imagine doing that for all the tasks I mentioned above. The point being that all of these tasks are extremely iterative. You will be doing each task, importing it into the engine, noticing problems, and rinse and repeat, until you get to the level of quality you expect.

    Sure, 2D painting the same sprite over and over again in different poses and directions is laborious, but the equivalent efforts in 3D are a lot of the tasks I described above.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
  15. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    off topic, but @aer0ace , check out a trial of substance painter. some of those issues you mentioned will be alleviated by using a solid 3d texturing app. Nows the time to buy a perpetual license before Adobe makes a subscription out of it. Substance Painter 2 is my favorite version but the latest version has some UI changes that makes it a little more like photoshop, if you prefer that.

    But, too add to aer0aces comment, a lot of those things get multiplied more so the more complex your project is. Like, your automatic rigs will work fine for a basic indie project with humanoid characters and run of the mill animations, but once you go outside that you are on your own and the rigging and animations have to be developed from scratch. This is extremely technical work and not a lot of people even know how to do it.

    Also, as you get clsoer to realism, the bar gets exponentially higher. Like on a curve. So if you got realistic or semi realistic 3d models, you then need animations to match, right? If you got lousy animations or poor rigging, it's really gonna show. Whereas with 2d, keeping that quality bar more consistent involves less disciplines working together in unison.
     
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  16. RichardKain

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    It depends heavily on the style you are going for. The more complex and detailed the style, the less efficient the production pipeline is going to be, and the more work you will have to put into it. This applies for both 2D and 3D, naturally, but there is a definitely a quality bias when it comes to both approaches. Because of its iconic nature, low-res 2D art tends to go over better compared to low-res 3D art. 8-bit and 16-bit sprite work tends to age much more gracefully than low-polycount PS1-era models.

    If you go for a reasonable style, 3D can actually be very efficient, and in some cases even faster than 2D. But that doesn't change the learning process, or the time that takes. Having the know-how to implement a more efficient and/or minimalist 3D style takes a lot of learning and experience. You can't just crap that sort of thing out on your first try. As you pointed out, one of the big time-savers for 3D is in animation. 3D animation isn't necessarily cheap, but it is far, FAR more reusable.
     
  17. Teila

    Teila

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    Yes, it is work but so is any other game development endeavor. My daughters love to create 3d models and they love to texture and paint. One of them can rig and weight paint and unwrap in what seems to be only a moment...I am sure it is longer, but she is really fast! Takes me forever. :)

    So..not everyone is cut out to be a coder, an artist, or anything else. Choose the area you enjoy, dabble in the rest as it is always good to learn a little bit about everything. Then, you can get side jobs doing what you love and pay others to do what you hate. :)
     
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  18. JustColorado

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    Those numbers are simply not true.

    You can see here AutoDesk financials. https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/ADSK/financials?p=ADSK
    2.5 billion in sales

    and then there are all of the smaller companies that don't report.
     
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  19. aer0ace

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    I guess you gotta blame the "Selling General and Administrative" for their operating at a net loss. If you look at their bottom line, hell, my company is running way better ;).
     
  20. JustColorado

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    It is not as bad as it looks
    Software accounting is not very straightforward.
    In another life, I was Chairman of a publicly traded software company.
    And some of the accounting rules are just outright absurd.

    You can see here from there GAAP numbers they are in fact profitable
    https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/ADSK/analysis?p=ADSK

    They made a profit of $1 per share over the last 12 months and are expected to make over $3 per share this fiscal year. They have 219 million shares outstanding so that translates to 650 million + in profit if they meet expectations. Which explains the stock price.

    But they are probably going to close this thread if we get into the finer points of accounting.
     
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  21. Frpmta

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