Pencils Modeling & Animation

This project is aimed at the "oddly satisfying loop" genre. While most sessions try to harness the satisfaction of looping, this one fits more explicitly as a simple repeatable animation concept.

Here's the primary things you'll learn:

  1. Animation with drivers. Rolling a cylinder along the ground is not as simple as it seems. As a harmonious combination of rotation and translation, it's most accurate (and easiest) to use a driver.

  2. Adaptive Subdivision. Once again, high-fidelity geometric detail is very important when our camera is so close to our subject(s). We'll use the shader editor to craft a believable, procedural sharpened-pencil displacement texture.

  3. Macro without DoF? This is notably the only MACRO project (so far) that doesn't feature strong depth of field blurring. Due the head on camera angle and shallow depth of the scene, we can't use DoF as a crutch. Instead all details must hold up to close scrutiny 🔍

Having trouble keeping up?

Blender has a steep learning curve and it's a lot to keep track of, especially if you're new. Here's some tips for getting the most out of these lessons:

Slow down the playback

Our video player has the ability to slow down play back speed to 0.75x or 0.5x. This can be very useful for catching every detail of the workflow.


Watch each video twice

I highly recommend this approach to get the maximum informational value out of each lesson. Watch once for a broad grasp of the workflow, concepts, and techniques. You don't even need Blender open for this. Great for a commute or while you're prepping dinner.

Then watch through a second time with Blender open to follow along. Having an idea what's going to happen next will enable you to track the information much better.

Depending on how comfortable you are with Blender, you could even watch the entire chapter once before the second viewing.

Optional Pre-requisite Courses

Though this course is designed with Beginners in mind, it still assumes you're at least familiar with Blender's UI and basic concepts about 3D creation.

If this is your very first time opening Blender, it might be best if you watch some of these courses first:

  1. Blender Basics
  2. Fundamentals of Materials and Shading
  3. Fundamentals of Digital Lighting
  4. Fundamentals of Animation

Learn more like this?

For more bite-sized projects, watch the first SESSIONS course, Minimalism:


The seed that led to SESSIONS was actually planted years ago during livestreams. Kent recorded several projects to fit within a 2-hour streaming window and they're all collected in this Playlist:


Animation Materials Modeling Rendering

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