3DStudents.com is a resource for digital 3d content production students, whether it be for entertainment, fine art, industrial, medical or any industry. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact me. cornell " at " 3DStudents.com ~Cornell

About My High School Program, Digital-Evolutions. [ ]


Digital-Evolutions, is a public high school digital arts program, introducing students to digital sculpture, design principles, traditional art mediums, programming, visual storytelling, engineering/medical visualization, video production, and a heavy focus on 3D visualization and animation. Students can participate up to four years, with two possible advanced college accredited tracks, both IB and traditional. Our core philosophy, is to move past just teaching the tool, to empowering students to become intrinsically motivated, independent learners, story tellers, and artists. It challenges them to tap into both hemispheres and further develop their logical and creative abilities as an artist and critical thinker. The program is both exciting and challenging, providing students with a learning environment without limitations and opening the the door to artistic expression and conceptual exploration. Students become artists, visual story tellers, and technical problem solvers, further preparing them for the ever-changing digital landscape and future workforce.

Digital-Evolutions is hosted at Smoky Hill High School part of the Cherry Creek School District.

Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008/09 predicts that digital media design and animation will show tremendous growth ‘much faster than average’ through 2016 nationally. As of 2008, China has over 30 animation industrial bases, 5,400 animation companies, 450 high schools teaching certified animation courses, and 460,000 students studying animation related subjects. This was an increase of over 36% in comparison to 2006. (Aldric Chang 2008) According to Robi Roncarelli industry expert, China’s growth is not even due to outsourcing, but huge local demands. So it can be said that, our local industry is just at its infancy and this perpetual growth is blending together multiple disciplines, blurring the line between art, science, math, and technology.

But our underling goal is to develop intrinsically motivated creative learners with the skills to succeed in their chosen career path; whether it be engineering and the sciences or entertainment and the arts.

About Me . . . [ ]

Creativity and design has always been a huge part of my life, it has been infused in the way I think, live, parent, and teach, so it is difficult to separate it from my studio classroom. I am a 3d designer and sculptor, my entire family comes from some type design and/or art background. My father was head designer at Kodak and used cutting edge design equipment since the 70's, which lead me to receiving my first computer in 1982. My brother is in a think tank and has been using 3d printers for close to 25 years. A “learning space” is more than just physical, it is a way of thinking, it is a process, it is an atmosphere, it is what I call a “Creative Epicenter”.

In the classroom, I have sixteen years experience working with k-12 and post-secondary students; eleven of those years my emphasis has been teaching creative work flows, the design process, 3d design, and visualization. Additionally, I spent two years as District Technology Coordinator and curriculum trainer for Red Creek Public School District, NY. Personally, I have eight years of Industry related experience – founder and head artist at Specular Studios LLC (http://specularstudios.com/).

Over the last 12 years, I have developed two design program models, a new high school model, Digital-Evolutions (http://www.digital-evolutions.org/) and a middle school version TEAM-C in Denver Public schools.

Digital-Evolutions is a public high school digital 3D design studio housed in Smoky Hill High School outside of Denver Colorado. Our core philosophy, is to move past just “teaching the tools” to empowering students to become creative, intrinsically motivated, independent, conceptual learners with a solid understanding of the creative and design process. Students can participate up to four years, with two possible advanced college accredited tracks, both IB and traditional. The curriculum challenges students to tap into both hemispheres of the brain to further develop their logical and creative abilities as both an artist and critical thinker. The program is both exciting and challenging, providing students with a learning environment without limitations and opening the the door to artistic expression and conceptual exploration. Students become innovators and problem solvers, further preparing them for the ever-changing digital landscape and future workforce.

Presently, I am teaching: 3D Design and Animation, Advanced 3D Design Animation, Digital Portfolio I and II, computer graphics, MYP Design Technology, and IB Digital Arts. The backbone of the classes are to guide them through the design process while they create an original product. During this process, I emphasis that 70% of out effort is developing the idea and once that is set, we build it.

The studio is set in three main areas:

“The Tank” - a collaborative space and think tank, which also houses the recording studio and currently the 3d printers and 3d scanner.

The concept studio - which is our HP workstation lab (sponsor) fully equipped with hardware and software

The prototype studio – which is the hands on area, for creating maquettes,

Have a Question or a Great Tip? . . . Please Contact Me. [ ]

Final Project Turn-in

Give your post a title of "Project {#1} Summary"
Project Information
Artwork Title: “Disappointment

Project Description: (1-sentence) Basically what was/is your goal for them month.  It may be the same as the previous month.

For Example:
  • Character Concept  Design #1
  • Digital Painting using Photoshop
  • Sculpture

Project Progression Summary & Reflection:  (3-4 paragraphs) Basically, in paragraph form write a summary of what you did as well as a thorough reflection.  The degree to which the student presents information that supports the central purpose, arguments, or goals of the project. Should include reflection as well.

Visual Project Progression Images:  Post a clear progression of your skill development. Screen shots and final renders

General Writing: Grammar, punctuation, general writing

Grade is based out of 340 points with an additional potential for 60 bonus points.

Purpose (Current Skill Goal)
Some Development
Fully Developed
Well Written
1 - 3
4 – 7
8 – 10
11 – 12
Project Progression Summary
Minimal Summary  Development
Some Summary  Development
Fully Developed Summary
Above and Beyond
Visual Project Progression Images
Minimal Visual Progression
Some Visual Progression
Fully Documented
Visual Progression
Above and Beyond
Overall Project(s) Progress
Minimal Progress
Above and Beyond
General Writing Poor sentences, no punctuation, fragments, or none completed. Good work, several small mistakes, good effort. Excellent writing, few spelling mistakes, coherent and well-done.

Revolve Practice


Create 3 curves and align them using snap to curve. 1 angular (linear) and the other 2 curvy (cubic)

Take a screen shot with all three curves selected. 


Attach Curves:  Select all the curves, choose Curves > Attach.  Change the following Settings:



Delete History: Select the new attached curves and choose Edit > Delete by Type > History

Revolve Curves: Select the new attached curves and choose Surfaces > Revolve.  Use Default settings. *If your surfaces show up black, reverse curve direction.  Select the surface, Surfaces > Reverse Curve Direction

Assign New Material:  Right-click on the surface and Assign New Material.  Choose Blin


New Manga Effect – Photoshop Tutorial

Andrei Oprincaby Andrei Oprinca


I wanted to write a tutorial about this a long time ago but I was busy with other projects. Recently I saw on the cover of the Advanced Photoshop Magazine a manga effect and I decided I will go ahead and make my own version. I’m not using the same technique as in the magazine but the result is really cool. Enjoy

I don’t know how the guys at Advanced Photoshop magazine made this effect because I didn’t purchase that issue but I guess the only way of doing this is using the Liquify filter. You will see how many things you can do with this filter. I will show you my way of making the manga effect.

Final result preview

Resources used

Step 1

As I said in the introduction of this tutorial, I used Photoshop’s Liquify filter to achieve this effect. It is best if you use a high resolution image because applying the Liquify filter on a low res image, it’s very likely that you will loose quality on that image.

For this tutorial I used a free stock image that’s 3000×4000 pixels. Using high resolution images like this gives you room to resize to a smaller resolution after you apply the filter.

So open your image in Photoshop and duplicate it so that you have one copy as backup. Now go to the duplicated layer and name it liquified, from now on you will work on this layer.

Step 2

Go to Filter>Liquify. Now let’s see what you can do here in order to create the manga effect. If you look at manga pictures you will immediately notice several things: 1 – big eyes, 2 – small eyes and nose and 3 – rounded head with pointed chin.

That’s exactly what you have to achieve using the Liquify filter controls. I suggest you use a big brush when you work with this filter because if you work with small brushes you will have irregularities on the straight lines and edges if the face.

The liquify tools that we will use the most are the Bloat Tool to make the eyes bigger, the Pucker Tool to make the nose and mouth smaller and the Forward Warp Tool to change the position of the nose and retouch the chin.

Step 3 – the eyes

Let’s start with the eyes. On the right side of the window you have the brush settings. As I said, use a big brush. How big? depends on the resolution of your image and the element you’re working on. On the eyes for example, use a brush size that is bigger than one eye.


We will use the Bloat Tool to make the eyes bigger and circular so select that tool. Click over one eye and you will see how it starts to change shape. Make several clicks on different spots of the eye and increase the size gradually keeping it’s rounded shape. Use the Forward Warp tool if needed to position the eyes correctly.

Step 4 – the mouth

You need to make the mouth a lot smaller. If your model has the mouth opened, this step will be more difficult. Select the Pucker Tool and as before, increase the brush size and make it bigger than the mouth itself.

Set the Brush Rate to about 30 and Brush Density to about 50. Start “brushing” on the lip corners and then on the center.

After that, get the Forward Warp and click and drag the corners of the mouth to make it narrower. See image below.

Step 5 – the nose

If you got the eyes and mouth right, I suggest you duplicate the layer before moving forward, just in case. Use the same technique as on the mouth to make the nose smaller. Use the Forward warp tool as many times as needed and use smaller size brushes to fix details.

Step 6 – head shape

Here you will have a bit more of work. The main objective is to make the lower half of the head smaller and rounder and the chin more pointed.

The main tool used here is the Forward Warp Tool. Use a big size brush to move parts of the face. You will have to lift the mouth and place it closer to the nose.

Try to keep the shape of the hair and not make very big “mutations” because people will mediately notice those mistakes. Decreasing the Brush Density will help avoiding that. Brush density works like the brush hardness when you paint with a regular brush.

When you done, get the Spot Healing Brush Tool and remove as many spots and imperfections from the skin. Remember to create as many duplicate backups as you feel comfortable.

Step 7 – color adjustments

Once your happy with the shape of the head, you can go ahead and add some color and contrast effects to make it look a bit more interesting.

First desaturate the image slightly using the Channel Mixer Adjustment layer at 45 Opacity. I gave it a touch of yellow using a Color Balance Adjustment layer and I increased the Yellows on the Mid and Highlight channels and the Cyans on the Shadows layer.

Step 8 – enhancing the eyes

Create a new layer above all the other layers, go to Edit>Fill and fill with 50% Gray. Set blend mode to Overlay and paint with the Dodge and Burn Tools as shown in the image below. Use about 30% of Strength on the Dodge/Burn tool. Do the same for both eyes.

That’s pretty much it. The rest of the things that I made are explained on my other manipulation tutorials. Basically I created a new layer, added Surface Blur to make he face smoother and erased the parts that I wanted to keep sharp.

Then  I created a Stamp with Shift+Ctrl+Alt+E, turned it into a Smart Object and added the Lighting filter. It’s a technique explained on the ending of the Manipulation Secrets part 3 – Global Light

Final Result – Before & After

Drawing Reference Images for 3D Modeling


Here is a simple tutorial for creating reference images for a 3d project.