I just recently came here with a 3D question and the community here was immediately building a wall around it and marked it off topic. I tried to reason through discussion on meta and in the answer itself. But the 10K+ users say 3D has nothing to do with graphics design. I think this is wrong, luckily one of them directed me to the wiki and I started reading the first line.

Graphic design is the process of visual communication, and problem-solving through the use of type, space, image and color.

So if the majority of this community wants to ban 3D from this site then the title should change imo. I have no clue why 3D or even technical questions are being disliked and closed because the SE network has a tag filtering system for this. I didn't do further research in how narrow the concept of 2D graphical design without technical questions is but I suggest to come up with a new name since the title is confusing people.

Not allowing certain tags will not do the trick. When I am creating a 3D model either for animation, a website, my matte painting, a game, spriting or whatever I am doing Graphic Design. So the logical choice to not be "bothered" by 3D questions is changing the name of this community.

Yet, I would rather see all graphics design under one roof, like SO does in the programming world. It might take a while, even years to build a strong community but eventually it can be as good as SO.

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    I don't think people want to be as big as SO. There's really no reason to strive for it.
    – joojaa
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 9:34
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    @joojaa A lot of questions get handled in less then 10 minutes and all programming experts know of SO. I would strive for that any day of the week. I am not talking about the size, I am talking about the quality of SO. If GDSE can support a divers community of well... "Graphic Designers" then we all would benefit from eachother. And the name GDSE would be a proper name.
    – Madmenyo
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 9:44
  • Hello Menno, thanks for your input. I edited the title of your question to better reflect the point you are making. If you feel I changed things beyond your meaning, feel free to improve further.
    – Vincent
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 12:17
  • @MennoGouw we've been discussing this all morning in our chat, if you wish to come in as well, chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/1240/the-ink-spot
    – Ryan
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 14:03

4 Answers 4



If you want 3D supported here, Post good 3D design questions.

(... and not software support questions)

Here is the thing....

I'm all for 3D questions as they relate to design. But find me one here which is design related and references Maya, Lightwave, etc. All I see are software support questions. Which we have plenty of.

We customarily do allow 3D questions that relate to design. But we tend to close (rightly so) questions which ask how to use an application as related to 3D apps or technical support. The same way we tend to close video questions.

I realize 3D is a broad and sweeping thing and it means different things to different people. As I've posted before there is indeed some crossover between 3D modeling and graphic design. I do not deny that. But there's also crossover between automobile engineering and graphic design, commercial constructions and graphic design, environmental design and graphic design, etc.

The truth of the matter almost anything can also touch on some aspect of graphic design. After all everything we see in life has been designed. So, where's the line? What would be off-topic.

I'll go with however the community decides to go. I'd just caution against opening a door to an area so vast that it has the ability of overshadow every other area. Do we really need more "how do I use Maya" or "How to fix 3DS" questions?

There's no need for "3d" as a topic to be allowed. If a question is design related, we already allow it even if the user happens to be using some 3D application. The problem is... we don't get design questions as they relate to 3D applications. We get tech support questions for 3D apps and as far as I'm aware we are not a software support stack in spite of the abundant Adobe questions we get. But we do close roughly 80% of the Adobe questions which are along the same lines as all the 3D questions we've gotten.

The 3D proposal at Area 51 failed for a reason. Not enough support. So if there's so little interest in that stack... why clutter this site with more of the same lazy questions from those users?

Please, post some examples of 3D questions which would be beneficial to this site. Because that seemed impossible at the Area 51 proposal.

Too much focus is being placed on the names of 3D applications. A good design question is a good design question and the software in use is irrelevant. Post a good design question and it won't matter that a 3D app is being used. But disallowing software support questions for 3D application is really not too much in my opinion.

In the end... if this site is to be a software support site, then fine be one. Otherwise, we need to stop focusing on what apps are or are not allowed and focus on the intent of questions as they relate to design. Thus far, I've only ever seen software support questions for 3D apps here.

If you want 3D to gain support here... Post good 3D design questions.

  • Yes, I'm the one who downvoted you for: abuse of fallacies, formatting and I also simply don't agree with your arguments haha <3
    – go-junta
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 23:14
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    +1 This is the most important point. Of the 3D questions that have been and continue to be asked, none of them have been about design that I can tell Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 12:30

I am against this on a philosophical level, but I welcome the discussion. The reason I'm against this is that the questions do not get handled. During the first year on my stay before we banished the 3D questions nearly all questions were either:

  • Closed because the question was tech support.
  • Had a very low quality answer.
  • Had a extremely long lead time so the original asker had already been bailed.

The thing is that there is a need for 3D questions that is not being met by the StackExhange currently. Unfortunately the problems is there's far, and I mean far more people who have questions about 3D than there are people who can answer them.

It is a bad idea to let people on by allowing 3D questions if we don't have the capability to answer them.

What happens when you allow unhanded questions

There are downsides to having badly handled questions. The options are:

  • Infinite zombification, which means it keeps bumping on front page. This is bad for new users as all they see there is questions with no answers. A few days this was so bad that half of all questions were unclosed 3D questions.
  • The post needs to be modded to oblivion. Which is more explicitly not nice.
  • The post is to be closed.

It's also no use to ask questions if they get answered 6 months - 2 years later. Because that's what would happen now.

Also consider that when people don't know 3D questions they get moderated randomly. So you get the "why was this question accepted and not that" wars going on.

What needs to happen in order to open 3D again

I think it should remain as it stands until we have some user with sufficiently high reputation who is willing to devote time answering 3D questions. So if they get answered in a timely manner and we get good questions, I might reconsider. Note that this means you need to have enough skill and experiences in 3D to be able to handle somewhat challenging things.

A personal note:

I would have known several answers to the matte question. That's not the point. I probably would not have answered (last week I could have because I was in competition) because I don't feel the question is interesting. This brings my personal problem into the picture is still haven't seen a single:

  • Well written
  • Beyond bare basics

3D question being asked. I've done my share of answering these questions. I'm retired of that stuff unless you can peek my interest.

Also I think because of it specialized nature we should make sense for animation and modelling site instead of taking them in here.

PS: General animation questions seem to have a similar problems as 3D questions.

  • 2
    Yet if GDSE does only support certain types of Graphic Design questions the naming of this site is wrong. And there will always be people coming in with very proper "Graphic Design" questions which this community deems "off topic". Which imo makes the current community look a bit selfish. If questions do not get closed they get answered later, I'm not a expert but could have answered a couple that are currently marked closed. The way things are currently going is 3D people gets blocked off, they leave and never return. To me that sounds destructive.
    – Madmenyo
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 9:49
  • @MennoGouw Such problem exists in other cases too, life is sometimes like that. I have nothing against opening 3d questions if they dont become a problem.
    – joojaa
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 10:19
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    But why do you see them as a problem? Is it just personal preference? Like I said eventually they will get answered but by blocking 3d like is hapering now makes things worse.
    – Madmenyo
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 10:22
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    @MennoGouw This isn't SO, if a post does not get handled the options for the post is: a) Infinite zombification, which means it keeps bumping on front page. This is bad for new users as all they see there is questions with no answers. Few days this was so bad that half of all questions were unclosed 3d questions. b) The post needs to be modded to oblivion. or c) the post is to be closed. Its also no use to ask questions if they get answered 6kk-2 years later. Because that's what the eventually stands as now. Consider when people don't know 3d questions get moderated randomly.
    – joojaa
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 10:34
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    I think the Moderation will be the real trick but if Menno does stick around then we have @MennoGouw GiantCow and to whatever extent myself and you (Joojaa) know this stuff maybe not for answering but for at least determining if the question should remain open.
    – Ryan
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 12:50
  • @joojaa "I think as it stands until we have some user with sufficiently high reputation who is willing to devote time answering 3d questions." Old users should then stop downvoting AND closing beginners' questions (3D or not) systematically, that is so overkill; a little effort to upvote them when they ask stuff that wasn't asked before and is still asked properly would help them feel welcomed and build reputation. I'm not saying you do this (or don't) but it's quite easy to notice this "resistance" which leads to people not wanting to even stay to get high reputation and/or contribute.
    – go-junta
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 23:08
  • @go-me the community dont really want certain type of questions. But wr keep gwtting it nonetheless. Tech support is not within scope. But all 3d questions being asked are tech support.
    – joojaa
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 3:58
  • @joojaa My comment was about 3D and non 3D questions/answers. Lot of 3D artists also do what people here jealousy call graphic design! I doubt the community isn't interested in all the questions/answers they ignore or downvote; they read them, comment on them and even answer them. That requires an investment of time which means they care to some degree. There isn't a good new users retention when active users don't upvote useful questions and answers. And 3D questions can't be all tech support; isn't tech support = low memory, broken keyboard, software bug, system upgrade, etc.?
    – go-junta
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 4:43
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    @Go-me no configuring your apps and bugs are also tech supoort
    – joojaa
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 5:10
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    @Joojaa Unless the mods deleted the questions that are being said "tech support", I don't see many (if any) in the tag 3D... In fact the questions about 3D have a lot of views, they're interesting and they do have answers. If the questions are deleted then we could debate about the existence of Santa Claus as well; without any data, it would be logical to put that statement in the myth category! In other words, saying they are tech support questions only seems (a bit) exaggerated. Also, have you seen what answers I got on the "pricing design" question? This should apply to 3D too!
    – go-junta
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 8:01
  • @go-me I have data collected for about 1.5 years. Anyway this is graphic design not graphic_s_ design after all. But yes i agree there could be some slack IF and only if the question is relevant. Oh and the pricing design questions did nearly get thorown out too...
    – joojaa
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 8:08
  • I'll stop commenting the will of the People otherwise I'll get downvoted on all the other technical posts. If the data are alright, I saw I was already in the top 25 downvoted with 2 months of existence only. I must be terrible and shouldn't even question the wisdom of the "community" ;) You can have data, no one sees them. That was the point.
    – go-junta
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 8:19
  • @go-me naah, in my experience that does not happen. Its just that your answers are sometimes a bit debatable and dubious (and sometimes perfect and beyond normal understanding). Anyway i try to refrain form down-voting unless the information is CLEARLY damaging. So i don't recall down voting you.
    – joojaa
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 9:08

I'd like to see this as well, and have argued for it.I would be all for seeing 3D, 2D, and Generative Art

Early question: Do we still feel like 3D questions are out of scope here?

More recent question: Are we going to allow 3DS Max/Maya/Modo... questions? YES or NO?

So there's definite debate.


It's doesn't make sense when people reject 3D so easily and even say it failed in Area51 because of lack of support. As if 3D was a rarely used type of design because of this.

If there's no questions about it, there's no search results about it either and 3D forums gain all this traffic... not Stack Exchange. It's not area51 that will attract people who are beginners or experts OUTSIDE of SE to come and follow that area51 suggestion. Why would they? Area51 is something only already SE users know about, it has almost no benefit to potential new users.

By the way, Adobe is working to improve their 3D features and this will become, want it or not, even more used in graphic design (or demystified and accessible, I should say.) Get ready, as the price of 3D printers will drop, you will not only be asked about laser or inkjet questions...

If "how much should I charge", and "how to do a script that add layers to XYZ","how to make my overlay in CSS do X" and "what to tell to a client who..." all belong here, then 3D certainly do!

If you keep pushing the 3D questions away, there's no reason for 3D novices and experts to hang around here. The fact there's not many experts is not a reason to push the questions away; to my knowledge, there's not either a lot of real prepress, trapping, Adobe scripting, Gimp, QuarkXpress or typography experts either, Sketch, Powerpoint, etc... heehe heh.

There's also some of us learning 3D.

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