Organic Modeling: One of the Fastest Growing Occupations in Creative Industries

Organic modeling is a form of digital art that allows you to create and shape any three-dimensional character imaginable. In addition to letting your imagination run wild, the profession is also super-popular at the moment, with many leading creative companies looking after new artists.

The effect of organic modeling is massive. Most of us are not even aware that this art form is shaping our professional and everyday life. Nowadays, three-dimensional characters are on the front lines of the entertainment industry (i.e., in film, animation, and video games). But they also play a significant role in medicine and the processing industry. According to experts in the field, 3D modeling has led to the emergence of virtual cinematography in which the (simulated) camera movement isn’t limited by the laws of physics. In short, you basically don’t need a camera for CGI and visual effects because of 3D modeling.

As for television series, according to the Concept Art Empire, the production of Game of Thrones, for instance, made the most of 3D modeling. Together with the animation team, they designed everything for the model of each episode before shooting. Once a ground-breaking movie, Avatar is also famous for its outstanding 3D models. Dinosaurs in Jurassic Park movies, Dragons from Westeros, King Kong, and many other 3D characters were also modeled from scratch.

Today, 3D organic modeling attracts more and more creative people like artists, architects, sculptors. Although talent is crucial to mastering the skills needed for successful 3D modeling, working on a project also requires perseverance, and it takes a lot of time to get good results. To advance in your career as a 3D modeler, you need an impressive portfolio, and to get one, you need at least two to three years of experience.

To become competitive in the market, besides extensive experience, one needs to master advanced software. Yet, with the right tools and lecturers capable of delivering the knowledge that is both extensive and useful, it might not be that difficult.

Miloš Vuković - ZBrush
Miloš Vuković - 3D model via ZBrush

The Basic Principles of 3D Organic Modeling

Organic modeling is part of the broader concept of 3D modeling. The difference is that 3D modeling refers to creating any three-dimensional shapes, while organic modeling refers to creating living beings in the virtual environment. However, the boundary between hard surface and organic modeling is not simple to define, so give us a moment to explain both areas.

Hard surface modeling is generally less challenging than organic modeling and is common in architecture and product design in automotive and other industries. Besides cars, other objects ready for hard surface modeling require the same attention to detail as the organic ones, including curtains or the soft plush curves of a thick armchair.

A statue of a human or animal still counts as an organic model, as well as plants, trees, insects, animals, humans, and alien creatures. However, depending on the model origin, any model with folds and creases could be defined as an organic model (to name a few: lava fields, felled trees, carved surfaces, architectural decorations, etc.). This is why the line between hard surfaces and organic modeling is so thin.

Some 3D artists specialize in cars, others work with human figures, and some enjoy creating architectural objects. Strictly defining the difference between organic and inorganic models helps clients clarify which model they find most suitable. For instance, if someone needs product visualization, they need to find a modeler who works with a hard surface. But if they are looking for somebody to model an animal for a video game, they are seeking an organic modeler.

For artists trying to find their place in the digital market, we have a bit of simple advice: Make sure to state in your portfolio your strengths and what type of 3D modeling you have the most experience with.

Crater Studio - 3d model kreiran za reklamu Wizards 101

Pixelized Anatomy

Organic modeling requires an understanding of real-life anatomy and topology because, in this line of work, you are modeling living beings. These are usually humans and animals, and often imaginary creatures. In the initial process of creating a model from scratch, an understanding of anatomy is required. An organic 3D model is created from muscle composition to details like hair and wrinkles on the face.

Each part of an organic model holds a certain number of pixels. Each model is limited by the number of pixels used to create a character. And each pixel (a.k.a. pixol) contains information about depth, orientation, material, and color value.

The mentioned pixels present a technology used by the company Pixological, the developer behind ZBrush software that combines 3D modeling, texturing, and painting. ZBrush is quite probably the best and most popular software for creating organic 3D models today. Its main advantage is a wide range of brushes like the one that complements clay and allows you easy progress. With it, you can delete a model part by part until you reach the permitted number of pixels. No wonder that ZBrush has become the industry standard for highly detailed digital art in film, video games, and animation.

To sum it up: Advanced skills in Zbrush and understanding of human or animal anatomy are the basics of organic modeling. The advanced skills in character modeling are acquired by time and practice.

Milica Toševska - rad sa kursa Organic Modeling

Kick-off Your Career in Organic Modeling Today

Organic modeling provides amazing opportunities to achieve photorealistic and hyperrealistic results. Such models are ready-made for film, video games, or animation. Skilled artists can move from the video game industry to the film industry and back, never mind the various technical limitations.

Leading corporations such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Netflix spend billions of dollars annually developing VR technologies and creating content that supports 3D graphics. This is why many occupations in these areas are currently in high demand. Creating organic models is ever-present, and if you wish to master your skills in this area, hurry up until the profession gets competitive.

Organic modeling courses in Crater Training Center are intended for beginners, as well as experienced digital artists. Read more about the curriculums and other details of two-level courses in Organic Modeling here:
Organic Modeling I – ZBrush (beginner level)
Organic Modeling and Texturing II (advanded level)

Author: Bosiljka Đikanović