Using 3D ModelsIntroductionOnce I had to do a drawing of a structure made up of several columns. The columns were in sets of five and sets of three. There were three levels and the whole thing was five sided. I made it in CorelDraw so that the lines would be nice and sharp and I could add perspective. It took me about a day and a half to finish and I was quite pleased with the end result.I sent it off for approval and when the corrections came back one of them was to show the structure "at a slightly different angle." What that meant was that I had to redraw the entire thing! Such is life for an artist. But I got to thinking, "There must be a better way!"After thinking about it, I came up with the idea of making a model in Bryce (a 3D program principally used for creating landscapes). I made one column, duplicated it, grouped the various sets, and, there it was! After it was done, I could rotate and view it from any angle I wanted! "Now this is the way to go for a project like this!" I thought.And so began my experimentation with integrating 3D models into my work. I soon discovered that there were tons of free 3D models available for downloading on the internet and I began downloading all I could find. SketchUpAfter much experimentation with finding models and viewing them and so on I came across a 3D program that was ideal for my purposes. It’s called SketchUp and there is a freeware version which you can use. You can easily make your own models as well as download a virtual ton of free models from their 3D Warehouse site.Once you have your model you can turn and rotate it to any angle you want and then render the image either in full color with shadows, textures and all, or simple as a black and white line drawing. Then you can use the image as a guide in doing the final art.In ConclusionUsing 3D models in your artwork can be a big help. However, a word of caution should be mentioned here. Perfectly drawn objects can be perfectly boring and “dead” in your art so try to use them sparingly or only as reference. Cartoons especially need to have a lot of life, a bit of distortion and lack of adhering strictly to the rules of perspective in order to be fun and interesting.