DECATUR – Students at Richland Community College are learning to use 3D animation and 3D printing technologies in several courses offered by the school.
NowDecatur took a trip over to Richland to check out how one the classes works. Students enrolled in 3D Computer Modeling are getting their start in the 3D Modeling world. Professor Ryan Rocha is teaching students about the vast amount of career opportunities associated with 3D Modeling and animation. He says the students are using a special program that is a lot like sculpting.
“In the past, sculptors used real clay and their hands,” says Rocha. “Now, students in the modern-day are using Zbrush to learn to think like sculptors as this program sort of mimics the sculpting process.”
Rocha says it is important to start with the basic sculpting process as the students were molding a skull in Tuesday night’s class. He says, with some practice, 3D modeling can be used in a variety of ways. Once the design process is done, you can import that into a 3D printer where it can be made out of a number of materials. Richland has a 3D printer that does mostly plastic molds of designs.
“Zbrush allows you to see what that mold will look like any way that you want it, whether that means colors, materials, etc.,” says Rocha. “You can then send that design to the 3D printer which generally makes a plastic mold. From there, you could possibly mass produce a product that you designed.”
Professor Rocha explains that with software innovations and 3D printing, career opportunities are expanding beyond just video game design.
“The career path for 3D modeling and animation was mostly entertainment design like movies and video games,” he says. “Now with new software, faster computers, and 3D printing, you are starting to see a wide variety of career opportunities. You can do games, but you can go into product design, or even vehicle design. You can really do whatever you want with this.”