With VR and AR on the rise; what's the best place to learn 3D (C4D) as a designer?

6 years ago from , Made By Johannes

VR and AR are just around the corner with 3D interfaces, game design, product design, art etc. I think it's a good time to update my skillset. What is the best place to start learning 3D / Cinema 4D?


  • Weston VierreggerWeston Vierregger, 6 years ago

    I used to work on the Vive platform for HTC and I have experience with VR UI.

    C4D is not a good tool for VR/AR UI. VR and AR UI's still heavily leverage game engines like Unity and Unreal Engine, and there is already a massively optimized workflow for this type of work. C4D wasn't made for this.

    If you want to get into VR/AR, I argue that you should definitely spend your time learning Maya, Modo, 3DS or Blender if you're on a budget. For as nice as C4D is for motion graphics and general design tasks, even something as basic as UV unwrapping will give you an aneurism compared to Modo or Maya. Don't worry about animating, either... that will be done in-engine.

    Not to mention, that as a modeller C4D is deceptively quick but don't produce very well optimized assets. They are generally high poly, and actions like booleans look great in motion renders but are generally pretty bad when exported to OBJs and imported into engines.

    As a designer trying to get into VR/AR, the steps you should follow today in order are:

    1. Buy a PC

    2. Download Unity or Unreal

    3. Learn the basics of your engine

    4. Download Maya LT, Modo Indie, or Blender and learn that

    5. Learn how to combine them with your existing UI knowledge

    That's my advice.

    C4D is a program designed for motion graphics and rendered animations/film. It's great at rendering 1 frame a minute for basic stuff. In VR, you need to render a frame 90 times a second, twice. Game engines are better at this than any other existing 3D software, and will definitely be your main tool. Work with that in mind.

    Best of luck!

    11 points
    • Maciej JurczakMaciej Jurczak, 6 years ago

      I'm big VR entusiast and I bought PC and HTC Vive last december.

      No I'm learning Unreal ( it's much more easier to do something in it without programing konowlage. It has visual language Bleuprints, something like Origami Studio ).

      As of 3d programs, designing for VR is the same as for game dev. You need to know Maya, Blender, 3ds max or Modo, then Zbrush to do high poly models for normal maps and of course PS and Substance Designer/Painter or 3d Coat to do materials/textures.

      I myself have problems with organics models, that's why I'm learning Fusion360, it's a CAD app, but many game artist that doing non-organic models started to use it. Greatest feature of it is something like version control :)

      Learning for VR is big commitiment, but I think it's worth it :) Good luck!!!!

      1 point
    • Juan F. MenaJuan F. Mena, 6 years ago

      Great answer, thanks for the detailed explanation.

      Any time-saving tips regarding common mistakes newcomers make when designing UI for VR? Broad question, but looking for advice around your 5th step "Learn how to combine them with your existing UI knowledge".


      0 points
      • Filipa Cruz, 6 years ago

        Yes, in fact there are already a few articles you could read on that in medium. I can't find them all right now, but I can tell you these things I've learned by reading a lot on the subject.

        These two links are very helpful. — "Michael Alger PG student: VR Interface Design Pre-Visualisation"

        “Getting Started With VR Interface Design”, Marvel

        The conclusions I've drawn from reading those texts and a few others are the following.

        While planning a mobile VR app you should take this aspects into consideration 1 — Basic UI/UX principles can be applied, they just need to be changed a wee bit. 2 — A VR environment is a rectangular image applied to a cilinder, giving the feeling that you are inside such environment 3 — The recommended size for such image would be 3600px * 1800px. 4 — According to Michael Alger , you should start by drawing smaller portions of the screen, one at a time. 5 — The area of interest represents 1/9th of the 360 environment. It's positioned in the center of the equirectangular image and has 1220px * 600px” 6 — The needs to have a proportion of 2:1 7 — The full view allows you to have a notion of the overall aspect of the application and it's proportions while the area of interest allows you to do better design regarding interface proportions 8 — One of the biggest problems in VR right now is the fact that the users get migraines and nausea because when they rotate their head, the image can't keep up with the motion, giving them the visualisation of a blur. The repetition of this event causes migraines and nausea 9 — The VR environment FOV (field of view) in a headset is about 94º. In case the user is sitting down, the fov can be extended by 30º to the sides and 55º up or down

        Either way, I'm writing blogposts on VR and AR, if you'd like to read them. "Mixed reality from A to V #1 ""Mixed reality from A to V #2 "

        1 point
  • Filipa Cruz, almost 6 years ago

    I'd advise you to check A-Frame . They have very good documentation , a open slack team for people to talk about questions and issues, and even a sort of school to walk you through the API. Also you can create 3D content by coding in HTML or adding them from blender as equirectangular images, for example.

    0 points
  • Erick De La RosaErick De La Rosa, 6 years ago

    Also looking to get into this. If I am using blender, is it possible to then test your prototypes with something like an iPhone and google cardboard... or do these require a vive/oculus?

    0 points
  • Robert PaigeRobert Paige, 6 years ago


    0 points
  • Nick MNick M, 6 years ago

    C4D has a trial version you can download, but outside of learning its UI, most 3D applications share the same foundations. Blender is free, and its a great place to start with TONS of online tutorials and support. While Blender's barrier of entry is low, its not going to be quite as robust as C4D for UI. for that I would supplement After Effects. After Effects can help you understand the nuances of camera work in 3d space with layered objects.

    C4D, and 3D in general is a super powerful tool to add to your toolbelt. Its a great idea to get ahead of it now.

    0 points