Kent Trammell (theluthier)

1,276 replies · posted

[ENDED] BC3-1806 - June 2018 Class Homepage - Vehicle Modeling with Blender

CLASS ANNOUNCEMENT #7 (July 5, 2018): BC3-1806 is officially over! The Class Wrap stream recording is available to watch and the closing post is on page 63. Please take a minute to fill out the Questionnaire 🙇🏻‍♂️

CLASS ANNOUNCEMENT #6 (June 20, 2018): Week 4's stream recording has been edited together - curse you computer freeze! - and is available to watch. This is the final week of the class! Spend some time sculpting a wild and crazy vehicle design and let's finish strong 💪

Also a reminder that we will be having a 5th stream to wrap up the class on  July 3rd, so don't miss that.

CLASS ANNOUNCEMENT #5 (June 20, 2018): Check out Week 3's stream recording if you missed the broadcast! I also updated Week 3's homework for those of you that want to finish your vehicle exterior.

CLASS ANNOUNCEMENT #4 (June 13, 2018): Week 2's stream recording is now available to watch if you missed the broadcast. Also the additional timelapse video mentioned in the stream is available here.

CLASS ANNOUNCEMENT #3 (June 11, 2018): Week 1 is done! Thanks for getting your homework submitted on time. Here's a link to the report card if you'd like to keep track of your grades throughout the class. Onward to Week 2!

CLASS ANNOUNCEMENT #2 (June 6, 2018): Week 1's stream recording is now available if you missed it. Also I've secured a concept car blueprint thanks to the talented 2D/3D artist, Milen Ivanov (see page 9 of this thread to download it). This is the vehicle I'll be modeling and you're welcome to model it as well if you don't want to find your own!

CLASS ANNOUNCEMENT #1 (June 4, 2018): Class is in session! Today officially begins the BC3-1806 class. Please check the syllabus below for Week 1's focus and assignments. Begin watching the pre-recorded courses if you haven't already and begin searching for a cool vehicle you want to model. The first Live Event is tomorrow at 2pm EST - SEE YOU THERE! 😎


Vehicle model by Chris Kuhn on

Welcome to the CGCookie Class: Vehicle Modeling with Blender! Here by popular demand, this class is designed to be a holistic learning experience about the art of modeling vehicles. If you’re diligent in watching all content and hitting homework deadlines, by the end of the class you'll be prepared to build digital vehicles to your heart's content! This is an intermediate-to-advanced class which means you’ll do best by having some experience with Blender and 3D modeling before committing to this class.

This is the third "Class" format where Citizen members are invited to focus together on a particular topic/skill for a month. Participation looks like this:

  • RSVP and attend the Live Events
  • Watch the courses outlined below
  • Ask questions
  • Submit homework
  • Generally be active in this thread

WHEN? The class will take place from June 4th through July 2nd (ish)

✅WEEK 1: Hard Surface Primer (June 4 - 10)

Abstract: Vehicle modeling is pure hard surface modeling. Therefore it's important to be proficient with general polygon modeling techniques. This first week we're ramping into this particular modeling skillset to prepare us for the vehicle modeling extravaganza to come!

Goal of the Week: Level-up and/or dust off your hard-surface modeling skills.

Pre-recorded course to watch:

Week 1 Live Event (Remember to RSVP!)


✅WEEK 2: Vehicle Exterior Modeling (June 11 - 17)

Abstract: When I say "Imagine a vehicle" I'll bet a million dollars you're thinking about the exterior. And that's why the exterior is important. It defines everything about a vehicle's visual perception: Style, utility, purpose. This week we're going to build a vehicle exterior based on concepts like building to scale and building from blueprints.

Goal of the Week: Build the exterior of your chosen vehicle based on blueprints. This will be good practice in strict adherence to orthographic front/side/back/top view modeling.

Pre-recorded courses to watch:

Week 2 Live Event (Don't forget to RSVP)


  • Model the exterior of you chosen vehicle [post images and/or a Sketchfab embed]

✅WEEK 3: Vehicle Interior Modeling (June 18 - 24)

Model by Neubi on

Abstract: The insides of vehicles involve more organic, soft shapes as well as opportunity for lots of fine hard surface details. Often vehicles renders focus on the exterior where the interior can be hidden or approximated. But not in this class!

Goal of the Week: Model the interior of your chosen vehicle to gain experience with fine hard-surface details in a confined space.

Pre-recorded courses to watch: Admittedly we don't have much in this context specifically...

Week 3 Live Event (Don't forget to RSVP)


  • Model the interior of you chosen vehicle [post images and/or a Sketchfab embed]
  • OR if you didn't finish your vehicle exterior from week 2 or didn't have time to fine tune it as much as you wanted, you can choose to do that for week 3 and skip the interior. Just understand that I will grade you based on how much visible difference there is between your week 2 and week 3 submissions. In other words, if it looks like you barely did anything on your exterior for week 3 you'll get a lower grade.

✅WEEK 4: Vehicle Concept Sculpting (June 25 - July 1)

Abstract: There's another facet of vehicle modeling that doesn't involve strict adherence to blueprints. Instead, Concept Sculpting is about designing a vehicle from scratch using the artistic approach of digital sculpting. This can be an extremely fun, experimental method for creating unique vehicles.

Goal of the Week: Sculpt a vehicle exterior from scratch; Practice hard-surface sculpting techniques.

Pre-recorded courses to watch: Again we don't have much in this context specifically, but we have a couple courses that cover hard-surface sculpting in general:

Week 4 Live Event (Don't forget to RSVP)


  • Sculpt a unique concept vehicle [post images and/or a Sketchfab embed]

✅WEEK 5: Class Wrap-Up (Early July)

Also by popular demand, we'll be doing a 5th live stream to close out the class, review week 4 homework, and possibly a special guest vehicle modeling guru. Once I get confirmation on that guest I'll add the Live Event to the calendar.

Hark! June is here.

This thread is reserved for CG Cookie Citizens that are participating in the "Vehicle Modeling with Blender" class. Its purpose is to serve as central communication for all participating Citizens (excluding Hobby plan Citizens) to ask Kent and fellow participants questions and to post homework. As the instructor of the class, Kent will be monitoring this thread on a daily basis (especially Mon-Thurs) throughout the month of June to review homework and answer questions.

Free members are welcome to observe the thread but please respect that communication is reserved for Citizens.

  • Homework For Week 2:

  • Finally got the C-17 Refs sorted out as image planes, ready to tackle the Fuselage. Maybe. :0)


  • The gun is finished, thanks for the inspiration jack07!



    congratulations to everyone, there is some amount of good work here !

    I'm sorry i couldn't  be more present in the thread, i'm really missing time to come here as I'm quite busy in "real life", so i focus on my modeling when i can.
    I made some good progress, but i've been strugling also...
    Just like it was said before, it is difficult surface modeling. I had a panic moment when i saw myself having difficulties to find to good modeling, topology, etc.
    Choosing to model the "carcasse" was may be not the simpliest way to go.
    Well, i still find also myself slow in the process (i can only work on it after full time job, that is may be a reason).
    I hope i could find a bit more time and go faster next week.
    I'm not very happy with my overall result. Adding geometry and loops destroyed a bit the surfaces, and there are still a lot of details to fix. Who said  "panic moment " ? lol !
    I think it is best to have the model for you to see so i uploaded a sketchfab after removing mirrored parts to stay under 50 Mo file size.

    Front Door
    Back Door

    There are some really good work i've seen here. The old truck is awesome !
    I imagine a funny crazy race car game with all those models.

  • WIP. Not sure if i have time to finish this, but i am modeling a marathon to get as much as posible done!

  • Just posting WIP, not submitting my homework just yet. I will not have enough time to finish this in the next couple of hours.
    A thing happened with work and I only had today (sunday) to work on this. By stream time this will defintiely be over since my vacation starts tomorrow :D

  • Wow theres some amazing stuff on show , fantastic work :)

    for me , I definetly punched waay above my weight and going to have to hang my head and sit and watch from the sidelines.  took me a few days to even get to a rough shape for the front end..

    struggling to get it anywhere near done, but enjoyed the challenge to push myself above what i know.

    think ill start alot smaller and work on the techniques by going back over some lessons.

    Ill keep watching, looking forward to seeing what comes out, and might give the sculpting a go at the end ;)

    • oboshape  DON'T sit on the side lines .  I am in a similar position as you and feel out of my depth, I am positive a few more feel the same.  The progress I have made from all the mistakes and failures in the last week alone is  phenomenal.  I feel like I am at bottom of the class, however,  when in that position the only way is up and I am moving at a pleasing rate.  Surrounding yourself/ joining in with better people/skills is the best the best way forward.  

      It took me 16+ hours to start getting shapes I was semi pleased with.
      It's not about the marks for me, or even having a model I am pleased with, it's all about trying and what I can take from this.

      You also have a model whereby you can start getting the interior in.  

      Hang in there...

    • adsb2035  oboshape Definitely gonna second this. When I started this course I couldn't even model the hood without screwing up and getting frustrated, a nagging feeling that I bit off more than I can chew. Failure is only failure if you learn nothing from it, and the best way to learn is to constantly push yourself, which you've admitted you've been doing.

      Whilst naturally we can't tell you what to do, I'd encourage you stick with it at least a bit longer. You might surprise yourself as to what you can do. But even if you fall short, hey, dust yourself off, take away what you did learn, and apply it to your next project.

    • crew

      adsb2035 THIS! This is amazing advice, outlook, encouragement. Thanks, Adam.

    • adsb2035 cheers for the encouragement Adam and definitely what I needed to give myself a shake, ive took a step back or a period today before work, and gave myself a kick up the rear and got back on the horse....

       gotta love this community ;)

      so on that note, Ive spent my T breaks and lunch breaks and a little time inbetween when work was slow to come up with this.  not exactly on par with others but, im getting there, and im sure with more practice it will become less frustrating ;)

      its by no means complete, but its a shell and filled in to a workable state.

      for me one of the hardest things for me to get my head round was making the subsurf work for me, and not against me when getting the parts to line up and cutting out holes.  Another thing was, just how involved a project it actually is, which is really quite deceiving from the outset. got a bit carried away with loops all over the shop, and tried to go back and get my head round the quad junctions for some, not all parts.

      but, practice, practice and a bit more practice..... ill get there ;) 

    • crew


      gotta love this community ;)

      Amen! I never really understood the truth of this statement till these classes. Nearly brings tears to my eyes 😊

      Being aware of your narrative this week, I have to commend your effort and perseverance. And look what it's done for you! Your vehicle model is shaping up very nicely. And you couldn't be more correct that this is a very involved project. So much so that I'm considering the option to give you guys the choice of bypassing the interior to continue working on the exterior.

      Objectively speaking, the model feels about 85-90% accurate to the real thing. So while there's room for improvement - as you say practice practice and yes, you will get there - but the quality of your model combined with your effort has earned you a B+ in my book. Great job this week, Darren 👏

  • Homework Submission Week 2:

    Well that was hard let me show my version 56 after two weeks work, basically I am satisfied that the result at least similiar to the original model 1963 Checker Taxi, or in secret even proud of that :D

    Sketchfab link:

    I used the box modeling technique, simply because the Pos-Apocalyptic Vehicle tutorial had that method and started slightly earlier than the live stream, where the edge modeling was proposed and really that seems more intuitive in general. Although in my case as had a toy car with a far from perfect "blueprint", maybe the box modeling anyway fit better to this scenario to have correct proportions.

    Regarding the sketchfab version, that is around from a backup version 51 so five saves back, because I wanted to push out the side of the car and used proportional editing, by that tweaking made gaps between the panels at some places and crashed the model. So got the experience that such after tweaking can be very tricky and better to be cautious

    • crew

      csehz Congrats on finishing, Zsolt! 2 weeks of work has paid off. Overall it's a solid model but perhaps a bit boxy compared to the reference photo. Though the real car is definitely boxier than a lot of body styles, I still can see some subtle roundness to pretty much everything. Perhaps your later versions of the file where you used proportional editing was where you added the subtle curvatures.

      It's a B+ in my book. Good job! 👍

    • theluthier Kent thanks for the objective grade, yes the proportional editing was a try to make more curves, going to continue that on different way.

      One small useful shortcut is my lesson after these adventures with proportinal editing -> Shift + H that hides everything else what is selected, not touching any other area.

    • csehz I red your post and figuratively RAN to Blender and tried out that that shift + H and it's perfect! After using so many times ctrl + I to invert selection and then hiding it this hint was priceless,. Thanks.

  • theluthier 

    Homework Submission week2

    i threw all blockouts that i had and started fresh. and that was good thing. body took 4 complete starts since i wasn't happy with it. 

    the engine is going to be whole another thing to make, luckily i got pretty decent pictures of it from different angles. 

  • Homework Submission Week 2

    I think it's fair to say that car modelling is not going to become my thing. I did try my best, though, reworking each area more times than I can count (another month or so and it might start to look like a nice car). I've picked up a few tricks in the modelling courses I worked along recently, but there are still many areas of the Fiat that could have the topology laid out better, I think.

    Anyway, I did the UV unwrapping and materials because I'm fairly sure I won't be able to squeeze that in next week with all the interior modelling (I'm still doing the one-project-per-week thing so I need something presentable on Sunday). I was originally working with simple principled-based materials but I switched to Substance because I like the Iray render a little better. If you'd like to see them compared, I have both of them on my Blender blog.

    EDIT: I have also uploaded the Fiat to Sketchfab with SubSurf level 1.

  • Next step, the rear.


    I've put it on sketchfab with subsurf level 1 just to have more smoothness :D

    • dieedi love how you did the engine :p

    • crew

      dieedi Excellent job! From your first WIP post to end of week 2, your steampunk car has come a long way. It's got a style that reminds me of the old 90's animated batman show, which I adored. And the topology is very clean. I've a couple minor notes; nitpicky notes:

      First, the trunk area is a a little wobbly on the car body side (red line), while the trunk door edge is not (green). Evening out the red edge would be 👌

      Second, I see some holding edges on the side that make the topology unevenly distributed and it shows in the smooth shaded view. You could kill them with a diamond junction to remedy this (green is new topology, red is removal).

      Remember those are nitpicky notes. Overall its a solid model! A in my book.

  • Seeing some awesome results popping up in this thread, great job already guys!

  • Homerwork Submission Week 2

    Tried to spend as much time as i could, but to make nicer details i would need a one week of time more. This course is great however i think it is very fast paced for people with fulltime job and families.

    People, how many hours did you spend this week on modeling your car ?

    • tthepainter
      I didn't count the hours.
      I'd say around 12 to 14 h.  It includes time searching for references and studying them.
      It is not the most of the time, but it takes some time to work on references.
      I'll try to track more precisely the time spent next week.

    • crew

      tthepainter Great job, Palo! Kudos on finishing. Surfaces feel smooth, edges sharp, and the model is comprehensive in terms of detail. The only sore spot is the interior of the wheel being empty. Still you've earned an A in my book 👍

      As for the high expectations of the homework with respect to time availability, I'm getting the impression a lot of people struggled this week to finish the assignment. While I do want the homework to be a challenge, I don't want it to be impossible or require too much time. I'm thinking about giving the option to skip the interior this coming week to continue polishing vehicle exteriors.

      I like that you asked the question about time spent, as I'm curious myself. For me, I've probably spent around 8-10 on my vehicle exterior. What did you spend on yours btw?

    • theluthier I'd rather you have lots of assignments planned and scale back than have to figure out how to add more.

    • theluthier Thank you, thats awesome, Kent.

      I'm thinking about giving the option to skip the interior this coming week to continue polishing vehicle exteriors. 

      Agree, that would be awesome. Maybe you can let members vote for this idea.

      It took me about 40 hours as i had to start over on some parts. The last 8 hours my wife started to have a bit of anger in her eyes. So it was not only a modelling challenge but also a relationship challenge :)

    • tthepainter All of them, it feels like.  Several, several hours.

    • crew

      tthepainter Haha I know the eyes of which you speak 😅

  • Homework submission Week 1 Part2 Primitives

    Thanks for the opportunity to submit later.


    This has been very exciting modeling experience this far and many things has been learned. I think my Matu looks fairly OK at the moment but still there are some places that I wish could be a bit smoother. Here's the Sketchfab link and some sort of a render below.

  • Homework Submission Week 2

    Here's my hoverbike so far. Please note that I had to turn on simplify for the export to sketchfab -also for the shrinkwrap objects- so some things don't look smooth enough.


  • Woohoo hit the 1,000,000 verts club, looking forward to my viewport running at 15 FPS. Thank goodness for the simplify modifier.

  • Homework Submission Week 2

    Not much difference compared to the previous post. The powertrain part will take me forever and is currently draining my energy. I'd better change my mind with the cabin interior this week and catch up that later. Regardless, I'm very happy with what I have :D

    "Beauty" clay render:

  • Homework submission week 2

    I wasnt able to finish it, so the model has some isues. This doesnt mean i am not satisfied. Its the first car i have modeled  completely on my own (without use of videos or other learning material). I will do some more modeling on it so that it will be easier to model the interior.

    • crew

      aarev This is super impressive for being your first car model! And I'm definitely getting the impression 1 week wasn't enough for several participants to finish the exterior. I'm thinking of ways to remedy that..

      Still, you've done good work this week. It's a strong B+ in my book 👍