Where do you get 3D assets?
Most of the content I’ve purchased has come from one of the two main stores for Poser/DAZ assets: Renderosity and DAZ3D, but I’ve also purchased a few items from HiveWire3D, Content Paradise, and a few other sites.
I’ve also downloaded tons of freebies, including models, textures, props, and utilities, from a variety of sources, but by far I’ve found the most on ShareCG.com.
Do you really pay those prices?
If you visit the Renderosity or DAZ3D stores, you’ll likely be shocked by the prices on items like clothing, hair, and props. But hopefully no one actually pays those prices! If you’re a member of the store, the prices are much lower on a daily basis and many items go on sale at deep discounts. Both stores also give away free items each month.
Why use 3D graphics instead of learning to draw?
When I first came up with the idea of creating a graphic novel, I put a fair amount of effort into learning to draw in a simple comic style, but I was never satisfied with my efforts. In particular I struggled with drawing characters from a variety of viewpoints, as I have some vision problems that complicate my depth perception.
While searching for drawing aids I came across Poser and learned that it was originally created as a posing aid for artists who found perspective difficult, and that immediately caught my attention. The more I explored Poser and the world of 3D graphics, and particularly the ways these graphics are used to create webcomics and graphic novels, the more I knew this was a much better approach for me than 2d hand drawing.
Why use 3D assets made by others? Why not make everything yourself?
No one expects a sketch artist to make their own paper, pens, erasers, French curves, rulers, or compasses, at least not if the artist wants to actually produce sketches in a reasonable amount of time. All artists purchase a variety of tools to help bring their visions to life, and I view core 3D assets like figures, clothing, hair, and complex props as similar kinds of tools.
I almost always make my own textures instead of using the ones that came with an item, and in the case of props I often modify and/or re-map the mesh in Cheetah3D to better suit my needs. I’ve also created a number of simple props, and I’m just starting to experiment with making clothes and hair.
But there really is no point in creating figures from scratch, given the immense complexities of polygon flow, grouping, weight-mapping, rigging, joint-controlled morphs, bending, and so on. It would take several years to develop the skills to create an original figure from scratch, and even then it would never match the versatility of or tremendous amount of content available for Victoria4 and Michael4.