For a long time I was afraid to show how I draw pictures cause for most poses I use 3d models. I will throw away a picture if I draw the angle of something slightly off so using 3d to draw complex objects or poses has helped me make art that I couldn’t do before.

I was afraid that people would say, “You’re not a real artist if you have to rely on 3d! Real artists know how to draw X object from any perspective and angle!!!!!!!!” Sure, I agree that knowing how to construct an object at any perspective is an important skill for an artist but… that’s the thing, I’m not that skilled.

So that kept feeding into itself and I told myself that I’m not a “real” artist and etc etc… Even though I saw professional manga artists show their methods of using 3d (like the creator of Gantz to name one) I still felt like I was a failure because I’m incapable of coming up with X pose by myself without the help of 3d, or I can’t draw Y object at some extreme angle.

However after coming upon a comic that very, very clearly traces over 3d, I started feeling like it was okay to do it, to be able to tell your story. After all we all can’t be Kim Jung Gi so we make do with the tools we have. Sometimes though… it’s a bit too much… so much that it’s jarring… I won’t post a picture of the comic out of courtesy, but it’s basically as if I had traced the model down to the point.

So for example, this^ is an old-ass model of Dolor throwing his halberd (before I made him a meaty child and not lean). The angle isn’t the best because his right arm is mostly obscured, but it’ll do for this example.

The above is an attempt to show what the aforementioned artist did which is essentially copying the model down to its own imperfections. Their line width was a static size the entire drawing (which I failed to replicate), however I did capture the wobbly lines in the original. Also they shaded with grey which is the default shade colour in programs like sketchup so it felt very obvious… they also used really weird and unnatural poses and that didn’t help either… honestly it was just a combo of stuff that made it look really jarring and clearly traced 3d.

I wouldn’t get mad anyone for tracing over 3d, cause of course I do it too. You’re making a thing, and creating what you want. And that’s good! Yet… I can’t help but notice the imperfections are glaring enough to take away from the story… I can’t focus when all the poses are super weird and stiff and the anatomy is crooked from the model. Creating poses is one thing, but dead-on tracing it makes it hard to swallow.

The above is generally how I shit out sketches from 3d models. I can only hope that it isn’t glaringly obvious how I used 3d. One of my big concerns when using 3d is stiffness of a pose. If I’m getting angry over the anatomy of a pose that isn’t working from a 3d model, I just take my own reference photos.


In closing, I think using 3d is fine to create your art. But relying too much on it exactly instead of using it as a guideline creates jarring images that make it hard to focus on the story you’re trying to tell.

“Bad” art like One Punch Man can still tell a great story. It worked for ONE because it fit the comedic tone perfectly. ONE’s art has charm that enhances the overall mood of the entire comic, as if the story told itself even without text. But when the art clashes with the mood and story, to the point where it takes you out of the universe, something should be reevaluated. Tbh, I think just using actual 3D models in the comic would’ve fit it better, instead of tracing over it.

Anyway, 3D’s just a tool that I’m able to utilize and get closer to the images that are inside of my head. But there’s always that crippling fear of being “called out” for being a shit artist or whatever…

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Comic artist and resident blob creature. I love cute stuff, gore, and crying boys.

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