“I wanted to learn 3D for design… but I didn’t know where to start.”
Start learning 3D fundamentals with shape, line, form, typography, and color!
Join thousands of students already learning my 3D design techniques in Cinema 4D Lite:
- EVEN IF you can’t afford big-ticket 3D software packages like Maya ($1,500/yr) or Cinema 4D Studio ($3,700). This course uses Cinema 4D Lite, a complete 3D software package that comes FREE with Adobe After Effects CC. 🌈
- EVEN IF you don’t have cutting-edge (or even fast) hardware. If you can run Photoshop or Sketch, you're ready to design in 3D! 😍
- EVEN IF you have NEVER used 3D before. Get fast, high-impact results... even as a total beginner! ✨
"The amount of joy in seeing this simple wave move is absolutely amazing. Also, Devon is the BEST person ever to learn from. Full of energy and excitement that is absolutely contagious."
— Utsav S. 🙌
“Honestly, these tutorials were the most exciting I've ever done. I usually doze off watching ANY TUTORIAL, but not yours! Your enthusiasm for teaching is SO infectious and uplifting. This course has really opened my eyes to a new approach to designing 3D and I'm so glad I decided to take the plunge to dive back into fundamentals. THANKS DEVON.”
— Janet M. 😘
“I registered for your course even though I know 3D quite well. A good 80% of what you teach is new to me! I immediately wanted to use your style. I LOVE IT. You changed my approach to 3D. I now start by defining your lights in every 3D software I use. Thanks Devon. It’s rare to use new skills so much on the spot.”
— Vincent B. 👏
Hiiii! I'm Devon Ko. ✨
I’m the creator of 3D for Designers, THE place to be for designers who want to learn 3D!
I was an early designer at Dropbox and the founding designer of Codecademy, the world’s most popular learn-to-code platform.
My work has appeared all over the place: the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TIME, SPIN, Rolling Stone...
And a few years ago, I dropped EVERYTHING to pursue a career in 3D...
Why I gave up a six-figure job at Dropbox and started learning 3D
Not too long ago, I had a pretty successful design career working in technology. I was a product designer at Dropbox and getting the most rigorous design education of my life.
It was a huge milestone, but…
I also felt like I was losing myself.
As I became more senior, the discussions around me stopped being about empathy, delight, and experience. I spent my days talking about growth and profitability instead.
My rate of production dwindled. I wasn't proud of the work I was doing. And I began phoning it in, relying on design systems instead of my own creative voice.
Using the same inoffensive, brand-friendly shades of blue and gray...
I started to wonder, like, is this me? Is this my deal?!
I thought of my teenage years, when I would stay up until 5 in the morning… wide awake and wild-eyed as I played with Photoshop, HTML, and CSS. Now THAT was satisfying.
What happened to that? The INTENSITY of that curiosity, wonder, and creativity?
I wanted to chase that feeling again, to ride that wave… but I had already drifted so far away! The only way to express myself creatively, I realized, was a FULL reset.
That was when I left Dropbox and started teaching myself 3D. And when I did, something inside me WOKE UP:
- I directed and animated a full-length 3D music video for Wilco… after just THREE WEEKS of 3D!
- I started kicking out work like nobody's business. I’m talking more than I had produced in YEARS.
- I discovered my own, authentic style for the first time ever.
- And I didn’t know it at the time, but I was building skills that would lead to opportunities in motion, entertainment, games, and AR/VR...
When our ability to be creative drives our self-worth
I want to share with you exactly how I went from frustrated and stagnant to having a productive, flourishing career with 3D...
First, check out this e-mail I just got from a prospective student:
“I get a lot of anxiety and stress and get caught up in my skills not matching my tastes. I see and love all this cool stuff in the world and have a urge to make stuff 24/7, but whenever I start, the dread hits pretty hard and I’m never even a little happy with anything I send off.”
Ugh. How relatable is this?! I call this stuff “creative quicksand”... when you talk yourself all the way out of learning something new.
I ran into a whole lot of it when I was getting started with 3D. It was embarrassing to be a beginner again! I think my whole identity was kind of tied up in being GOOD at something.
So how does one DEAL?
When we're starting from scratch, how do we avoid “creative quicksand”?
I’m going to tell you exactly what I did...
...starting right now!
3 mistakes EVERYONE MAKES when they try to learn 3D (and how to avoid them!)
Mistake #1: Making work we don’t like, then getting too bored or demotivated to keep learning
No matter how strategic we are about learning... if we don’t like what we make, we WILL lose momentum.
This is why we don't follow through when we just use YouTube... or anyone-can-teach education sites like Lynda and Skillshare.
The 3D projects are just “whatever” to demonstrate a technical concept.
We're asked to make shiny balls or gray blobs… stuff with no meaning (or relationship to design).
A big part of my early learning strategy was to focus on bite-sized assignments and creating things I enjoyed... NOT random tutorials.
When we like what we create, we gain MOMENTUM...
...and start making even more!
THAT is why I had a portfolio’s worth of 3D work after just 3 weeks of learning... and landed my first directing gig!
It's also why all my lessons are built around simple, beautiful, portfolio-worthy exercises. I want you to make things you can be proud of, even just for practice.
Mistake #2: Sinking hours of our valuable time into tiring and low-quality resources
Student artwork from the quickstart "Getting Started" project
Research shows after 20 minutes of listening to someone talk, our ability to pay attention diminishes.
But look for Cinema 4D on YouTube... and you'll see tutorials lasting an hour or more are EVERYWHERE!
When we surrender our time to low-quality, uncurated material… we get tired, unfocused, and lose momentum.
Who needs more of that in their life? I want to develop my skills FAST!
So I created a learning system for 3D driven by chunking...
Chunking is when we divide high-quality material into small, relevant pieces. It reduces cognitive load and is PROVEN to improve memory and retention.
That’s why ALL of my lessons are less than 10 minutes... and why 99% of my students say my lessons are easy to follow!
Mistake #3: Expecting 3D software to be friendly, easy-to-use, or intuitive… and getting overwhelmed when it’s not!
Okay, let’s get this out of the way… 3D software is NOT well-designed!
Is 3D the future? Duh! But does 3D software LOOK like the future? Umm…
The first time I opened Cinema 4D, I wanted to throw my computer out of a window!! 😂
3D interfaces are vast, complicated, and confusing...
But then I started relating 3D functionality to design principles like shape, form, repetition and color.
I leveraged my existing design knowledge into a new, domain-specific approach to 3D!
THAT is how 3D started to make sense to me... and how it will make sense to you!
After 3 years of testing and development, I’ve packaged up my learning system and design techniques into a comprehensive course on 3D fundamentals.
It’s newly updated, expanded, and full of my very best insights on designing in 3D. And I’m finally ready to share it with you!!
So you can get results like this...
"Thanks so much, Devon. This was a remarkable journey. I learned so much! My favorite thing was not just learning 3D techniques, but improving my visual design skills.
You are a great illustrator and working on tutorials that were useful AND inspirational kept me moving forward."
— Yuriy T. 🙏
Intro to Cinema 4D for Designers
This new, self-paced course gives you instant access to my design techniques for beautiful shape, form, lighting, color, and texture in 3D.
What you'll learn in this course:
- How to create, morph, and animate basic shapes
- The four key methods for designing complex and unusual shapes... the RIGHT way
- How to animate ANY attribute in 3D... including scale, rotation, and position
- How to instantly extrude type... and adjust the kerning, tracking, and baseline all in 3D
- How to draw lettering with a vector-like tool right in Cinema 4D... and animate it being drawn!
- The SPECIFIC settings to use for studio lighting setups... including light types to use and WHERE to put them!
- My one-of-a-kind setups for jaw-dropping stylized lighting... that you won't find ANYWHERE else
- How to create stunning color and texture for objects, environments, and backgrounds
- The procedural techniques I use to animate grain, waves, water, and other surfaces
- And more…
When you register for Intro to Cinema 4D for Designers, you’ll get instant access to...
50 fun, easy-to-follow video lessons:
...including 32 Cinema 4D project files, text companions for every lesson, video downloads, and an ever-updating Cinema 4D Lite knowledge base!
6 beautiful, in-depth, step-by-step projects:
And even more:
BONUS #1: One-on-one help DIRECTLY from me or a Teaching Assistant ($350 value)
I'm now making myself available to students ON DEMAND through our in-app messenger.
Unlike most online courses, you are NOT dealing with an instructor who could care less about your success.
I’m not just active in the community...
I don’t just hold office hours once a week…
I will be available to you for PRIVATE, ONE-ON-ONE assistance.
Your learning experience is backed by an instructor who is committed and excited about YOU.
BONUS #2: Exclusive 25% off discount on Cinema 4D Studio ($924 value)
SPECIAL OFFER FOR ADVANCED STUDENTS: Get 25% off on Cinema 4D Studio, the award-winning, industry-leading software for 3D modeling, animation, and motion graphics.
This is Cinema 4D Lite's professional-grade big brother, used by design agencies and animation studios around the world.
All students are eligible to upgrade through my partnership with MAXON at a 25% discount — a $924 value, almost 2.5x the cost of the course, a free bonus to you.
Note: You only need Cinema 4D Lite for this course, but everything we learn in Cinema 4D Lite will also work in Cinema 4D Studio.
BONUS #3: 24/7 lifetime access to lessons, projects, and downloads… with free updates FOREVER
Students who register now will have 24/7 lifetime access to EVERYTHING: lessons, projects, guides, downloads, and starter files.
And that’s not all… I’ll send you free updates, too! When we update a lesson or release a new project, you'll have instant access to the new material.
This also means you can register for the course now and take it ANY TIME. You’ll continue to have access next week, next month, or next year. 🙌
My personal, no B.S. guarantee! Try my course for an entire 60 days, 100% risk-free...
If you aren’t having fun and seeing a ton of value, I INSIST you get 100% of your money back.
I’ve been told a money-back guarantee is kind of extra for an online course… 😂 but let me tell you exactly why I do it:
I’ve surveyed HUNDREDS of designers who completed this course, and here’s what they say...
👍 100% learned something new
👍 100% say the skills in this course are valuable
👍 99% say the lessons are easy to follow
👍 100% will use 3D in their future design work
👍 100% would recommend this course to friends
The opportunity to teach is a privilege, and I take student success VERY seriously. I’m confident my material will be one of the best learning experiences you have EVER had.
Take the course, complete the lessons, and see the results for yourself. Try the ENTIRE course, for 60 days, completely risk-free.
If you aren’t seeing any value, email me ANY TIME during the 60 days. Show me you did the work and I will personally refund you 100% of the price.
Just take a look at the results designers are already getting...
Makin' more things in the third dimension! Thanks once again to @3dfordesigners for the super fun class. Learning SO much. I'm excited to merge my existing type knowledge with 3D capabilities. pic.twitter.com/z3Vo0lSPM8— Scott Biersack (@youbringfire) February 14, 2018
It's been a while since I created something in #Cinema4D. Excited to take the #c4dfordesigners journey and pick up some new #c4d #3D skills. Thanks for creating this course @3dfordesigners. Intro complete✌🏽 pic.twitter.com/bySiJIZzwV— Vishnu Ganti (@vishnuganti) June 4, 2018
spent all of today rigging & animating a bike ride! pic.twitter.com/hUTPI2VVA6— sailor mercury (@sailorhg) March 5, 2018
Here is a sneak peek of a 3D animation we have been working for a screen of a mobile app we are working on. Using Cinema 4D's Deformer Twist and Bend that we have learnt from @3dfordesigners ! Let us know how do you like it! https://t.co/oeb45bHHO2 pic.twitter.com/tCIG5tg138— Minami (@minami_digital) July 2, 2018
After completing the first two #c4dfordesigners lessons on Shape and their corresponding tutorial project, I wanted to create a little forest scene and incorporate everything I've learned so far. pic.twitter.com/Nn6hCAv62X— Kai Brueckers (@kaibrueckers) February 4, 2018
It’s 3 AM and I had a very hard time closing my laptop to get some sleep after having so much fun with C4D thanks to Devon @3dfordesigners.— Manuel Sainsily (@sainxart) March 11, 2018
Here is a quick overview of what I’ve accomplished this evening 🏓 pic.twitter.com/7X8OaPLKu4
Frequently Asked Questions
"What software do I need?" Cinema 4D Lite, which comes free with Adobe After Effects CC!
"I have the retail version of Cinema 4D. Can I still take the course?" Yes! Anything we do in Cinema 4D Lite will work in the retail version of Cinema 4D.
"Can I use 3D if I have an older computer?" If you can run Photoshop, Sketch, or other design apps... you can take this course! I've designed these lessons NOT to be performance-intensive, and offer lots of workflow alternatives along the way.
"Is this course live? Are there specific times I need to be available?" Nooo. Everything is online and asynchronous. Complete the lessons and participate in discussions at any time that is convenient for you!
"What if I fall behind?" Don't even sweat it! Most of our learners are full-time students or professionals, so I made the course self-paced. And you have 24/7 lifetime access! If you need to take a break for a vacation or busy week at the office... we'll still be here!
You know, even as creative people, we're GREAT at talking ourselves out of learning new skills...
We can procrastinate for years, then discard the prospect as unworthy. The possibility of failure makes us feel vulnerable.
But if we can get past that “creative quicksand” and INVEST in ourselves… we get closer to living a full, creatively-satisfied life.
3D is a total creative playground for designers, yet still uncharted territory for most of us.
I can't wait to show you!! 🚀