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.

  • Day 4 done!

    Well that's the main thing done, pretty much! Not gonna consider this my homework yet though, I still feel there are some improvements to be made and there's still a few days left to do so. I actually got frustrated with the stinger tip gun thing and attempted to mesh model it instead, but after feeling like that was cheating of a sort I attempted to sculpt again and genuinely liked it, second time's the charm it seems.

     Good stuff to all of those who have managed to finish and good luck to those still stuck in the trenches attempting to create their masterpiece!

  • Sorry I didn't follow the assignment, people sculpts look so cool, it's just that I wanted to shade, light and render my model so bad before the course was over, now I wont have time for the sculpting part.  :(

    Why are you never satisfied with your own work? this always happens to me. I can only see what it could have been. Anyways, here are the final renders. I wanted to make an environment, like some compositing on a street, but time is short, I went with a simple studio setup. 

    Really cool moth with this class, Kent. Thanks for making it happen. 

    • dostovel Dang Omar :)

      Thats looking amazing!  loving the shading you have in the tyres too, fantastic stuff :)

    • crew

      dostovel THAT TIRE MATERIAL. It looks like a freshly washed and polished, nearly perfect. Amazing job, Omar. And overall fantastic job lighting your vehicle. Yeah it's not the assignment but...I can't not give you an A for the endeavor!

      The one concrete note I'd give is the reflections of the glass. Especially with the front windshield, the reflections feel too strong and very wobbly. As if the model is quite bumpy. Still, brilliant work for having zero guidance on the topic 👏

  • Homework submission week 4

    You can probably see it's a bit rough, because I was very busy this week with the UV's of my hoverbike, but I did find some time to do this sculpture. It sort of surprised me, I didn't think it would be this fun! I'm currently more focused on poly modeling, but I'll be doing this more in the future.

    The sculpt took me about 2.5 hours.

    • crew

      baukepost Glad to you made some time for this! BTW working on your hover bike's UV's is an exciting revelation 🤩

      Good job with the sculpt. Definitely an A for this week's homework.

      "I didn't think it would be this fun!"

      I agree! Glad you found this to be true.

      Would you be interested in monitoring a vehicle texturing thread or would this be more something that would have to be created by us (since you are probably also busy with other things for CGC)? It would be really cool to have a 2 to 3 week curriculum for texturing with Blender or Substance. Something like: week 1 for UVs (depending on the vehicle), week 2 for the exterior and week 3 for the interior.

      Unfortunately I can't guarantee consistent monitoring outside of a class month. Like you said, other CGC tasks keep me quite busy like coordinating content creation (tutorials, courses, etc) from various instructors, class planning, livestreaming and planning, hopefully finding time to record another shader forge or something, etc.

      Which is why I cherish these class months because it's so satisfying being tightly involved with you all for 4 weeks! And I absolutely intend to do a texture/shading class ASAP; I'm eyeing October. I know that sucks to wait that long.

      BUT you're 100% welcome to start a thread yourself and I'll try to pop in when I can. Just be sure to @ me.

    • theluthier I think the next class should be about shading/texturing in general, not specifically vehicle texturing.  What if somebody didn't take this class but wants to take that one?  By the way, if it's in October, Blender 2.8 might be released midway through the class.

    • williamatics I think it wouldn't be a problem completing the class with 2.7x.  I imagine Kent won't want to use 2.8 in any classes until he learns it himself.  The next "Getting started in Blender" class after 2.8 comes out may be one everyone will want to take, though!

      2.8 will require some getting used to; and there are some courses on this site that simply won't be able to be used with 2.8, especially any class whose work involves layers (no more layers in 2.8), and very new Blender users who aren't able to work out the UI differences on their own may get very confused.  But, I'm certain that 2.79 will continue to be available for quite a while from the Blender website after 2.8 is released.  So basically the courses can be prefaced with "requires 2.7x".  I know there is at least one course here, a VFX compositing course, that requires like 2.63 or something like that.

      My own strategy for learning 2.8 is, once it enters Beta (which is possibly in August, I think?), I will begin using it for my own modeling projects; while I will continue to use 2.79b for class work here until I am fluent enough with 2.8 that the UI difference in the course videos won't confuse me.

    • crew

      jjakeblended Jake's right that it'll take some time for me to get comfortable enough with 2.8 to record training and/or run a class with 2.8. Not to CGCookie has [bad] memories of 2.5 release goals being extended over and over and over, making it very awkward for the preorders we took of that big 2.5 course.

      That said we want to be very quick in having at least the Blender Basics course re-made and ready to release alongside 2.8's official release. After that we'll gradually begin ushering in 2.8 courses across the board.

      Though now I'm wondering if an August beginners class is not a great idea with 2.8 in beta in August..

    • theluthier I think it would probably be better to go ahead and do the usual beginner class for the current version in August, and just take advantage of the beta period to familiarize yourself with 2.8 in the background.  The first release candidate isn't due out until October and even that isn't "the" "official" final 2.8 release necessarily, so if you put off the beginner course until after 2.8 who knows how long you might have to wait before you're able to do it?

      It may end up that you do the beginner class in August, the shading class in October, and the first 2.8 beginner course in December or even start off January with it - new year, new Blender! - but I don't think anyone would mind, I suspect that first 2.8 beginner course will be very very popular.  

    • crew

      jjakeblended Over night I've actually been thinking of using the 2.8 alpha for the August class. Since the class only covers basic/essential Blender things, in theory the alpha should be plenty capable at that capacity. But I need to play with it more first to confirm. It'd be cool to get a jumpstart on 2.8 rather than be late to the party so to speak.

    • theluthier just grabbing 2.8 to have a little gander as well, test with some little stuff over the next few weeks.

    • theluthier oboshape now there's an idea.  Gotta make sure the alpha isn't too crashy, though.  So far it has given me trouble when I try to open those huge example files that they made available late last year; but just opening it up, adjusting settings, and building simple things, it seems fairly stable (famous last words).

  • theluthier Would you be interested in monitoring a vehicle texturing thread or would this be more something that would have to be created by us (since you are probably also busy with other things for CGC)? It would be really cool to have a 2 to 3 week curriculum for texturing with Blender or Substance. Something like: week 1 for UVs (depending on the vehicle), week 2 for the exterior and week 3 for the interior.

  • Homework submission Week 4:

    After a few discarded concepts I decided to go for a car-marine. I was inspired by old episodes of Top Gear where the trio tried to build amphibious cars and always managed to send them to the bottom of whatever puddle they wanted to stay afloat on. I thought this might make it easier for them. The idea is that it can drive on a road and when it enters water, the wheels retract inside the fuel tanks and the whole thing is propelled with the tiny implements in the back. Not the most realistic of concepts, but it was surprisingly fun to make.

    I have also fully finished my Fiat 500 project. I've improved the interior materials, rendered the whole car again, and uploaded it to Sketchfab, where it can be freely downloaded if you'd like to play with it. There is the link to the gallery project.

    • crew

      shiennar I quite enjoyed reading about your inspiration for this design. And it's a cute design at that. I can EASILY see this being in my kid's favorite cartoon show! Really nice work - certainly an A for the week, as usual 😎

  • Homework submission week 4

    For my sculpt i tried to do an AUDI Podracer.

  • Homework submission Week 3

    My free time has run out. So i am submitting this wip as is. I will definitely continue to work on details in my free time.

    Homework submission Week 4

    Got this is mind during the last stream. Should be hover bike, but to be honest it looks like a toy horse :D

    To wrap up. This was such great time and a lot of fun. Never thought of such great community. Thanks guys for your support and good job everyone.

    • crew

      tthepainter Even in this WIP state, your interior is developing really well. I know the kind of effort and time it takes to get this far at this quality. And for that it's an A in my book.

      I also appreciate you making time for the concept sculpt! I can see both a toy horse 😅 but more importantly a sleek hoverbike design as well. Another A.

      Good stuff, Palo 👏

  • Homework Submission Week 4

    Enjoied this exercise. I tried out some different Brushes, especially the mask brush.

    This is my 4th example i polished the most, some kind of a flinging drone.

    And here my first 3 attempts on a Train. Here i just tried some shapes. These are not polished, just for Concept.

    Was a fun class, i still need to polish up my car exterieur from week 2.

    • crew

      bbenkroft 4 sculpts! Wowsers. I really like what I'm seeing here, Tobias. That chunky drone has an intimidating vibe to it - I dig it. And all your train designs are quite unique from each other. That's not easy to do in my experience. Great work this week! Easy A+ from me 👏

  • Homework Submission Week 4

    Well maybe it went a little bit wild, but finally in the stone age things had to be like that :D 

    With the crazy idea using a bird as stone age car mirror to sign when another car comes behind, surprised even myself :-) 

    Anyhow it was a fun to warm up the sculpting skills since March, thanks a lot Kent for this class again

    Sketchfab link -

  • Homework submission week 4 

    Sculpting a vehicle was such a fun thing to do even though at first it sounded pretty scary. It indeed gave free hands and there were situations when I had to brake a bit before it turned too stylized. The most difficult thing was sculpting the windshield and eventually I ended modeling it traditionally after there was no result of trying to get it even.

    Here's a Sketchfab link for the silly Dune Buggy and for a bonus here's one warm up sculpt that went out of hand.

    I also rendered one version for easy viewing:

    • crew

      swikni I love both of your sculpts! I say it's good to just let a sculpt "run wild", see what happens. And your dune buggy has a rocket league feel to it. As a big fan of that game, I very much like that feel.

      Excellent work, Jere - A+

  • Week 4 submissions. This is how far i got. 

  • Homework Submission Week 3-ish

    Here are some renders as well.

    This thing took a large amount of time to get to this point. I also needed to do some traveling during the middle of week three, so you could have found me working on the side rear mirror at the airport terminal waiting for a flight. This is my first time modeling a car. I'm really happy with the results. I had the option in a class at college to either make a car or work on a self-portrait. I chose the latter, but had always wanted to see how much work was involved with this project. Now I do.

  • Hey guys now that we r done with this class ...any suggestions on how to start learning shading and texturing step by step from the scratch ? 

    It is not necessary that courses or tutorials suggested should be from cgcookie

    • ffreddie82 Depends how deep you want to go.  Do you want to go to a code level to learn how to make shaders, or in a higher level context?

    • ffreddie82 The Shading the Pancake Hobo course was very helpful to me when it comes to the workflow of creating different kinds of cycles materials, and on the side covers texturing-by-stencil in Blender quite well.

      I would also recommend the three-part series on YouTube beginning with this video, covering different classes of materials via the new Principled Shader.

      Also, in Kent's tutorial on Customizing your Startup File, there's a portion where he creates a node group, gives it a fake user, and saves it as part of his startup file so it's always available whenever he starts a new project.  You can do this not only with utility node groups, but whole materials if you ever come up with a material that you think could be versatile but don't want to have to learn how to make over and over again.

    • silentheart00  I just want to reach a level of making realistic materials.

      jjakeblended  i watched the shading pancake hobo course and i understood the part of texturing only but once i reached the shading part i couldn't quite get i understand what is happening but i cannot do the same alone. I'll watch the youtube series thanks for that suggestion 

    • ffreddie82 Yeah, watch as many videos as you can.  From what I understand about shaders is they contain algorithms that calculate how light interacts with the object.  So, when I was first learning about shaders, there were 3 ways light would interact: lambert, blinn, and phong shaders.  A lambert is a very diffused surface; no highlights.  So, something like flat or matte paint.  Blinn has a soft highlight, something like the fake wood appearance on a cheap desk.  Phong is a strong highlight, like a glass bottle.  Now, shaders have gotten more complex and can do a lot of cool things.

      According to Wikipedia, "...a shader is a type of computer program that was originally used for shading (the production of appropriate levels of light, darkness, and color within an image) but which now performs a variety of specialized functions in various fields of computer graphics special effects or does video post-processing unrelated to shading, or even functions unrelated to graphics at all."  So, at the base level, it's a program that describes how something should look when rendered.  Hope this helps, and feel free to ask any follow up questions.

  • Week 4 Submission - Peregrine Falcon Plane


    It's rough in parts, scraping off the rust in sculpting.  Figured I should get something in, and birds are always fascinating to me, so it was a natural choice.  Why not sculpt the fastest animal alive?  Tried adding some details, but beyond a paint job, there didn't seem much to add that came to mind.  Now, to finish this bloody car...

  • Homework Submission Week 4

    Here is a massive people mover. Inspired by a Grasshopper, Jet Airliner, and Helicopter.  I call it the Chopper-Hopper.

  • "Ah don't worry about retopolgy, it'll be easy," I thought, " I can easily knock that out in a couple hours," 

    Oh how naive...

  • I'm soooo tired of UV's, I currently have to make like 15 different UV maps because I can't make a texture higher than 4k in Substance Painter with my graphics card :(.

  • see the June Week4 submissions have pipped the post on the report card ;)

  • Homework Submission Week 4

    Sketchfab link

    Did this one without looking at any references, at 4am, from a box of scraps, while discussing with friends which classic Resident Evil was the best. Finished some details today. I think I'll retopo it...

    • crew

      jack07 Haha I very much appreciate the description of setting 😆 Nice job on the sculpt too - It's an A from me.

      So which classic Resident Evil reigned supreme?

    • theluthier It was a fiery discussion between the third and fourth installment, but in the end we all agreed that 4 was the top one, with a good balance of action and horror. Until 7 came out.

      Thanks for the A! These classes are so enjoyable, wish I had have more time to spend here! When is the survey for the october class going to be live? :P


    "At the dawn of the 23rd century, the brightest technological minds at the Mars Mining Operation invented a piloted vehicle, designed to traverse the dangerous martian mines whilst being highly productive. Their creation was the A.M.E, the Agile Mining Excavator. Equipped with six magnetic legs, carefully crafted to cling to even the roughest surfaces, and an overclocked MMO mining drill atop its looming tendril. It was highly successful, with the MMO receiving massive profits due to the increased productivity.

    However, there was another mind at the MMO. A much darker, violent mind. This mind belonged to one Frederick Garvey, the lead designer of the MMO's tools and vehicles. He proposed an idea, an idea to take their initial concepts of an excavator and turn it into something more. A means of war. After some initial trepidation he was given permission to "improve" upon their designs and finally resulted in the A.I.T, the Agile Ion Tank, with its front defended with a remote-controlled .45 automatic turret and its drill replaced with a devastating ion particle cannon, effective at annihilating anything in its wake, organic or otherwise.

    Whilst events started innocently enough, merely being used to defend the AMEs from the horrors that lurked within the Martian depths, they were slowly but methodically used in acts of defense, in acts of attack,  and in acts of war. With this, the MMO slowly turned from an otherwise uninteresting corporation to one of the most powerful military forces the solar system knew. With it's piercing red glare sweeping the battlefield before it, it bestowed nothing but fear and despair into its enemies, knowing that there will be no escape..."

    Well that was... probably unnecessary  but there you are! English class wasn't my strong point...

    So here we have the AIT, completely retopologized and somewhat shaded. Again, disappointed with the materials I had but I think I did the best I could with what I had. Also regret taking a break 'cause there were quite a few other things I had planned to do, such had mesh model an interior, but hey, who's not to say I can't work on this more after the class is done?

    Here's one more well lit without the fancy effects:

    And here is the retopoed version alongside the original sculpted version:

    Went from a whopping 5.1 million verts to a somewhat less but still whopping 1.6 million verts, not animation ready yet but I'm sure I could make it so in time.

    This week was a lot of firsts. First proper sculpting project. First time ever retopo-ing. First time actually doing something significant in the compositor. First time (badly) writing pointless lore. It was damn enjoyable, if I do say so myself. Even my topology, which was... well, *good* isn't the right word, but it's definitely my best so far!

    Sketchfab link goes here. No, wait... here. This was also a first of attempting to apply materials to a Sketchfab model and whilst it's not as accurate to the original it looks close enough for me.

    Dunno about you guys but this was by far the most experimental week for me, minus a few frustrations and growing pains it was a lot of fun. Been doing this whole Blender thing for about 5 months now so I'm really excited to see what I can learn by my anniversary. Looking forward to the stream tomorrow (today?) and if everything is to be reviewed I hope I made it in time! Good day to you all and I'm incredibly tired so goodnight... morning? Whichever suits you I suppose.