My question to GDSE Meta has been greatly simplified per Ryan's input:

Do we want 3D people to be part of our GDSE community?

  • There's 3d for 3D stuff, but those posts (like any other) still have to be on-topic. The question ends up asking specifically about file formats (the fact that it's related to 3D isn't relevant; it might as well have been JPEG or PNG for that matter), and not something that's defined as on-topic. File format conversion is on-topic (from what I can tell) as long as it applies to specific programs, but Is there a missing implementation in glTF format? just sounds off-topic to me but then again, I only have 500 rep here). It's also (1/2)
    – Zoe
    Jun 4, 2018 at 18:02
  • (2/2) worth mentioning that 3D questions are on-topic, but asking how file formats work (whether it's related to Photoshop, Krita, Blender, or any other program) doesn't sound on-topic
    – Zoe
    Jun 4, 2018 at 18:03
  • 1
    Why is this not a duplicate of past discussions that all amount to us saying 3D is on-topic?
    – Ryan
    Jun 4, 2018 at 18:21
  • @Ryan - I'm hoping it's not a strict duplicate, due to my attempting to focus the question more on the if-then construction: If we're not 3D, then we should make a non-app-specific 3D area; if there isn't/won't be a non-app-specific 3D area, AND we continually get 3D questions, then we should develop a more inclusive understanding of, and acceptance of, such queries. Therefore discussion and re-examination of acceptable parameters should ensue. Jun 4, 2018 at 19:25
  • That is still a duplicate to all the other q & as that have happened
    – user9447
    Jun 5, 2018 at 4:03
  • 1
    @DᴀʀᴛʜVᴀᴅᴇʀ: Well, the cited Q&As do not only offer differing consensus, but also vague ones, or are based on some utopic ideal of only having conceptual design questions. Let’s also not forget, that we as a community can revisit topics from time to time. The really relevant question is whether we want 3D experts to be a part of our community. As far as I know, it has never been asked – perhaps we should.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Jun 5, 2018 at 8:29
  • If the question is, "Do we want 3D people to part of our community?" then Gerard could really edit and simplify it down to that question because I didn't read that at all @Wrzlprmft
    – Ryan
    Jun 5, 2018 at 15:59
  • @Ryan: I wasn’t claiming that this is what Gerard was asking but stating that maybe this was a good question to ask ourselves.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Jun 5, 2018 at 18:46
  • Gerard, what 3D application do you use? And which of the zombie, nonclosed 3D questions can you answer.
    – joojaa
    Jun 6, 2018 at 5:20
  • @Zoe 500 is pretty impressive for someone who has not asked or answered a single question :)
    – joojaa
    Jun 6, 2018 at 5:30
  • I think this Meta question has changed too much and has too little focus as it stands. While this discussion is worth having, I prefer to have it in such a way that we can obtain a clear consensus at the end. Unless there are major objections, I would post a new question in a few hours. Save your answers until then. Feel free to ping me in chat about this.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Jun 6, 2018 at 5:56
  • I've closed this as duplicate of the newer question, with the hope of coming to a clearer consensus on this. Please do share your thoughts on the matter on that question, or ping one of us in chat if you have any concerns.
    – Cai
    Jun 6, 2018 at 9:12

3 Answers 3


3D is a very specialized branch and requires much more skill and knowledge than many people assume. Personally i would prefer not to include 3D unless the question clearly concerns graphic design. Anyway that of my oppinion lets look at the situation analytically:

  • 3D does not have a defacto standards setting player. It is a very fractured market. To reflect this there are lots of 3D software out there.

    You might wonder why this would matter. The basics must surely be the same? But unfortunately this is not true. There are atleast six separate if not more paradigms that differ from each other by as much as photoshop differs from excel! Even individual applications differ inter paradigm more than most 2D applications combined.

  • Many of these 3D applications are incredibly complex. For example Maya has more menuitems than Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign and After Effects combined! These are not minor things, most of those items has a settings window for all the minor variations. So many in fact are the menuitems that the software needs a mechanism for cycling beteween 6 different menubars. And even then theres atleast 2 times as much functionality hidden in the special use areas that are not exposed by default. Just dealing with maya prefs is a artform in itself.

  • Most of the apps are also very expensive although the range varies quite much. And some are highly specialized and subindustry/job title specific applications.

So now this causes purely practical questions:

  • How do we scope this. 3D as a moniker is not a good limiting factor. Do we include software meant for engineering, embroidery, sculpting, stress analysis, industrial design, architecture, light design, shading etc.

    • How do we ensure that a task that is 100% equivalent in app 1 is allowed why app2 is not because it happens to be out of scope?

    • How do we explain that certain uses of application is not within scope? And how do we write that policy down so that it does not become a seemingly random policy?

  • How to we deal with the skill gap? We dont have nearly enough regulars that can answer these questions. Even if I personally can Im not sure i can extend my knowledge for all apps, but i am also only mildly disinterested in most questions. For example while i can use mudbox im not much use for zbrush questions even though they span same skills, due to zbrushes highly unique take on things.

    Also i havent used or can't acess many of the main applications, while i have about 45 of the most common professional 3D apps on my work computer!

  • How do we ensure that we dont devolve into really really basic questions? While that can be fun for somebody wanting to expand scope. Its not so fun for answerers.

  • How do we ensure that unanswered 3D questions dont fill the front page?! This has happened before.

  • How do we reconcile the fact that Graphic Design is not 3D? And generally one would not hire a graphic designer to get 3D done.

So because of these issues im leaning towards the current policy of no support questions on how to operate 3D applications, or deep technology issues unless it deals directly with graphic design.


Even though I advocate for going elsewhere until the answer rots or is slowly closed or gets a really low quality answer. Anybody can simply change the policy by starting to give stellar answers consistently! I would retract my votes if you would!


One can propose a generic 3D application tutorial site but be aware that the last 2 efforts didnt get enough supoort even with quite well coordinated effort.

  • Hi joojaa! You've said in the past that the problem is we don't have enough 3D experts to pull it off, fair enough. But now it seems you actively discourage an attempt at it because it will probably fail. I would have thought you'd be neutral about it, if not supporting it.
    – Dom
    Jun 5, 2018 at 22:17
  • @Dom it is more lenient to tell people to go elsewhere than passively let their question die. Either the answer is forthcomming or it is not. Anyway if i wanted to answer general 3D operation questions i wouldnt have stoped answering them years ago. Oh and for some reason graphic design students make for bad 3D application users in my Uni.
    – joojaa
    Jun 6, 2018 at 4:21
  • Can you please specify “clearly concerns graphic design”? This rule is not really applicable in my experience because it strongly depends on interpretation.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Jun 6, 2018 at 5:49
  • @Wrzlprmft it has to be a question about a design problem rather than how does my technology work. But yes it is open to interpretation but thats ok even many of our best questions have had downvotes.
    – joojaa
    Jun 6, 2018 at 6:03

I would like to see more 3D experts join the community.

If you want to kickstart a 3D initiative you could ask various questions to cover the basics, and ask in the metas of related SEs for experts to come here and answer them.

It is possible for you to singlehandedly get the ball rolling if you can figure out the right questions to ask. Google's keyword analysis tools can help identify the most googled 3D questions. Asking them will naturally attract more 3D content.

Also, add all the relevant, on-topic 3D tags you can think of and fill in their description and snippet (try to follow the existing word pattern/formula).

  • Just in case you haven’t noticed: This question was closed in favour of a fresh, and more defined start. You may want to voice you opinion there.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Jun 6, 2018 at 12:08
  • Thanks, I don't have anything more to add, I just wanted to voice some encouragement for a relatively new and enthusiastic user.
    – Dom
    Jun 7, 2018 at 8:19

My argument has always been that Blender is the best place to ask generic 3D questions because it fits their nitch area and that is the place these questions can be answered (the fundamental goal of SE right? questions that get answers). While design does incorporate some 3D I do not think it helps the end user when asking these questions because we've never had the user base. 3D model users do not normally come to a graphic design page. Also, there was a beta site for 3D modeling that can be read in the linked questions but it was shut down for not being active enough.

I think after looking at a full site scale I do not think it's good for the site to have unanswered questions and if you look at true 3D modeling tags like you can see how long the age is for some that went unanswered before closure.

To step back and answer your question. Basic foundational 3D modeling questions should really go to Blender but to verify I'd ask on their meta. Do we need a dedicated site, well it was nice but the last one we had didn't make it and was shut down. If you'd like to try again then by all means try to on Area51.

  • 5
    Blender.SE is only for questions related to blender. The tour states that anything not related to blender is off-topic. So generic 3D questions are off-topic unless they directly involve Blender.
    – Zoe
    Jun 4, 2018 at 21:47
  • For you to be able to use blender shouldn't you know the fundamentals of 3d?
    – user9447
    Jun 5, 2018 at 4:02
  • 1
    @DᴀʀᴛʜVᴀᴅᴇʀ: But you cannot expect newbies to separate their question completely from the program they are using.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Jun 5, 2018 at 8:16
  • 4
    Blender mod here: As a general rule of thumb, if it's a question about using 3D software/file formats and it doesn't involve Blender, it is off topic on Blender. That said, we do allow software agnostic 3D questions (though these seem not so common). Some relevant discussions on our meta.
    – gandalf3
    Jun 5, 2018 at 8:59
  • 3
    @DᴀʀᴛʜVᴀᴅᴇʀ (Another BSE mod here) No BSE is not the place for "generic 3D questions" We are a question and answer site for blender. While the very fundamentals may be the same, there is much more that is software specific. (With 41k questions, I'd say maybe 15 are about general 3D).
    – David
    Jun 5, 2018 at 13:53
  • @David I read that as "DarthVader, another BS mod here" and all I could think was, wow, some nerve.
    – Welz
    Jun 5, 2018 at 21:55
  • @WELZ Oh, yikes. lol. no not that at all. The "E" is very important.
    – David
    Jun 5, 2018 at 22:03
  • And even after seeing the E, I just assumed it was some extra word attached to BS :D
    – Welz
    Jun 5, 2018 at 22:03
  • 1
    3rd Blender mod here, GD.se has always had this "issue" since I was a member here some 5 years ago. I would honestly just suggest removing it from your scope entirely other than basic stuff under a 3d tag like extruding text in PS, faux perspective etc since your gray area of acceptableness is indecipherable for the average new user. We have a very strict policy for on-topicness blender.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1/… so you'll find the migrating or suggesting ask there instead channel won't always be an option.
    – iKlsR
    Jun 6, 2018 at 8:21
  • Blender and 3d fall in stackoverflow's scope in terms of technicality, gamedev's scope in terms of application and technicality and even 3d printing is building up tolerance. If it doesn't match yours and make up such an annoying percentage, just remove it imho.
    – iKlsR
    Jun 6, 2018 at 8:23

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