YouTube Channels for 3D Artists and Game Developers

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From blogs to ebooks to tutorial sites, the ways to educate yourself and learn new skills online are nearly endless. One source that's evolved dramatically since its inception is YouTube.

Thanks in part to advertising and monetization options, YouTube has gradually emerged as a legitimate place for publishers to create high-quality education and learning channels.

Here are some YouTube channels that are worth following for any digital artist, especially those interested in 3D modeling, design, and game development.

The New Boston

What We Like
  • Frequently updated tutorials.

  • Easy to understand tutorials.

  • Entertaining videos.

  • View tutorials for free.

What We Don't Like
  • Somewhat basic concepts.

  • Covers some poor programming practices.

The New Boston is a lot like, in that the scope of material varies widely, ranging from basic math to wilderness survival. However, if you look through their playlists, it's apparent that the producers have a penchant for technical subjects, and there are numerous sets of videos that fit squarely into any game-development curriculum.

At The New Boston, you'll find tutorial series for 3ds Max, UDK, Adobe Premier, & After Effects, but beyond that there are also lessons on GUI programming, Python, Android/iPhone development, HTML5, and every variation of C, C#, C++, Objective C, and even basic algebra.

The World of Level Design

What We Like
  • Professionally made videos.

  • Very large selection.

  • Perfect for game developers.

What We Don't Like
  • Some concepts are quite advanced.

  • Ads before every video.

One of the problems with instructional channels on YouTube is that some of them like to feed you enticing bits and morsels to get you to pay for a premium service later on. World of Level design does have a premium service they'd like to sell you, and they plug it occasionally, but never at the expense of the material they're offering on YouTube, and there are enough solid (and free) instructional videos to warrant a subscription to the channel.

Videos are focused on UDK, CryEngine, level design, modeling, and asset production in Maya, and the material is clear and to-the-point.

FZD School of Design

What We Like
  • Free design tutorials.

  • Great companion blog.

  • Entertaining, educational videos.

What We Don't Like
  • Sound quality in videos isn't ideal.

  • Videos sometimes flow too quickly.

Led by the masterful Feng Zhu, FZDSchool is focused more on concept art, design, and digital painting than 3D production, but just because there aren't any Maya/Max tutorials here doesn't mean it's not worth checking out.

Chances are if you're interested in 3D digital art, you probably possess at least a cursory interest in entertainment design as well, and if you don't you may want to rethink your stance. The more well-rounded you are as an artist, the better off you'll be, and as one of the best designers in the industry, Feng Zhu has an awful lot to teach.

Make some popcorn and watch a master at work. You'll be better off for it.


What We Like
  • Valuable screencast tutorials.

  • Free to watch videos.

  • Available from multiple video sites.

What We Don't Like
  • Smaller selection of videos.

  • Sound quality isn't the best.

AcrezHD is big and getting bigger all the time. They've been able to set themselves apart by focusing on some of the less popular 3D apps instead of reproducing the same bundle of Maya/3DS Max tutorials that can already be found all over the internet.

They specialize in After Effects and Cinema 4D, but their repertoire also includes the likes of RealFlow, Cebas Thinking Particles, and traditional cinematography​.

It's a cool channel for the motion graphics crowd, made even cooler by the fact that some of their training can't be found anywhere else on YouTube (not without digging anyway).

Zbro Z (Plus a Bonus)

What We Like
  • Impressive artistic designs.

  • Well done screencasts.

  • Moderate video selection.

What We Don't Like
  • Some videos are very advanced.

  • Must have software to follow along.

We weren't sure who to choose for our fifth channel but decided on zbro because until now we haven't seen another consistently updated channel that focuses solely on Zbrush sculpting.

There are videos on both organic and hard surface sculpting, texturing, anatomy, and design, but it's not so much an instructional channel as it is a showcase of one person's dedication to improvement. But you can learn an awful lot simply by looking over the shoulder of a talented artist.

Since there aren't really many actual tutorials on zbro's channel, we thought we'd also include a playlist called ZBrush 4 Tutorials, which was compiled by a YouTube user called bigboy4006. The playlist contains over 90 different Z4 tutorials and links out to a few more channels that are definitely worth your subscription.

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