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 Submission Week 1:

    Cartoon plane:

    Sketchfab :


    Primitive modelling:


    As for the course goal I think I will continue on my truck project, I would actually like to focus on the engine components (hence the quick primitive V8 engine) and in the interior. The exterior part are quite finished already, should I start over a new one ?

  • Homework Submission Week 1:

    Cartoon plane (with an unexpected passenger)

    Primitive modelling submission

    As to the chosen vehicle, I was torn between Mazda MX-5 (which I like to look at) and Fiat 500 (which brings back good memories). In the end the Fiat won. I'm going to try and re-create this photo that was taken on holiday in Scotland.

    The two gentlemen at car rental sneered at us when we picked it up, but it proved to be ideal for the super-narrow single roads in the western part of the country. I'm still not sure if every driver waved at us because they were happy to see a human face, or because they were relieved to have survived without crashing into us, but I do know that I remember that part of the journey fondly.

    I have reviewed many blueprints, but nothing matches exactly - I'm going to use these, in addition to several images taken from different angles.

    • crew

      shiennar Hello again, Katerina! Glad to see you in your 3rd straight class. As usual, excellent job on the homework. I quite enjoy the pokemon-themed plane. And going over-and-beyond the primitive exercise with texturing. Good stuff - It's an A for the week. She's back to take all the XP!

      I also like the personal touch with your vehicle choice. This will be a fun one to see modeled 👍

    • "She's back to take all the XP!"

      Exactly - Katerina is back really good to see one of the "veterans of CG Cookie Classes" :-) 

      Just a short reminder/motivation for them, the all time top 3 standings in gained XPs actually:

      1) Matthew Ullrey (ullreym) - 360 XP
      2) Katerina Novakova ( Sshiennar ) - 308 XP
      3) John Sanderson ( Pprocyonlotor ) - 283 XP

      Anyway John also posted already so congratulations 9 homeworks this year :-) Hopefully Matthew will also join in June too.

      Also some explanation for the new members in the class - the best part of the finishing is when at the end of the month Kent adds the XPs for all the participants based on their homework grades, simply well deserved good feeling and fun too

    • csehz hah, nice one, more little statistical snippets....

      Looking forward to trying to get decent grades this month and stealing some of pot ;)

    • Finished the plane. Rivets were a bit of a pain!

      And here's the primitive exercise. I'm not quite done with the mesh modeling fundamentals course, since I decided to do the head and a side project to practice some of the tricky topology it involved, but I'll try and squeeze in the revolver before week two.

      As for next week, I've always been a fan of the old Volkswagen vans.

      I think the exterior won't be too difficult, but there's a lot of stuff to model on the inside. I'll probably use this as a reference.

      Really enjoying what everyone else has posted so far, too! 

    • csehz No pressure, huh? :-) (I'm Kate XP Monster and I've come to eat your delicious XPs, bwahaha!)

      Now would be a good time to stop being terrible at car modelling...

    • crew

      jjaredkohrt Lot's of fun stuff to look at. Great work this week. I've not seen a primitive exercise like yours - way to think outside the box.  Cool character with your side project. I dig it. And you found a rare interior shot of your vehicle! Good find.

      You've earned an A in my book this week.

  • Hey guys, just a quick question: 

    I wanted to have some dimensions to go with, since that would make my life a bit easier. Do you think these would be relatively accurate? I wrote down metric as well as imperial, as you can see.

    Edit: I see I forgot to add 1.4 meters/3.3 feet wide

    • baukepost If you're going off the scale of the person sitting in the vehicle and assuming that person is 6' tall, then it's probably about right in the measurements.

      What do others think?

    • baukepost Based on the artwork we can reasonably use a motorcycle as a start reference for dimensions:
      In your case, you have an extra passenger seat that is quite broad, the front part is quite pushed forward too and there's many extra components that add space, so it makes sense to have bigger measurement, I'd go for it as well! Nice artwork choice, looking forward to see the result!

    • baukepost it looks ok. situations like this, you could also make quick human model to scale and pose it roughly on the pose and model around it. and this model really doesn't have to be detailed, just a base that has proportions correct.

    • louhikarme That's indeed a good idea, I'm currently using a default human rig for scale.

    • crew

      baukepost It would be easiest to adjust for scale after you've begun modeling. So if you block out the model according to the art (regardless of scale), you could then add a basic rigify armature and scale it to the average woman's height. Then pose the armature according to the art and adjust the scale of your blocked out model appropriately. That would be my method since figuring it out on paper seems like more of a headache.

    • crew

      tbrbn Good advice Thibaut. I like where your head's at.

  • QUESTION:  Is it necessary to model the interior of the airplane?

  • dieedi  That's coming along very nicely, good job! One small tip: have a face loop running around the wheel guard, that will make it look better once subdivided.

  • Homework Submission Week 1

    Well after my power cutting out just before rendering twice I've finally got these images done, but first here's the Primitive Exercise. Very basic in comparison to some of the other fantastic ones but this mostly me playing with the snap tool which I had so dearly neglected up until now.

    For the simple airplane I took some renders from the one I used in this render to put it more on display:

    Sorry about the funky orb in the interior, point light gone wrong haha.

    For my blueprints I've chosen a Rolls Royce limousine:


    After taking the advice of you guys I found quite a few similar-ish interiors to work with which is great, not sure if I should post them here because I've posted like 4 images already and this will get quite spammy. Well I hope this shall do, and I wish everyone here the best of luck! Gonna try and finish the MMB and then get to work!

  • I had never model a car before and I have to say it is whipping my ass. There is a trick to it. First I was approaching it by box modeling but it gets ugly really fast, it's hard to accommodate the curvatures. Now I'm taking the edge modeling approach and it's working better. Talk about a humbling lesson. 

    • dostovel That's been my experience so far as well. I'm currently on my third start-from-scratch iteration. Hope this one doesn't fall apart as easily...

    • shiennar Yep, same here, I'm in my fourth one. Trying to get an optimum base mesh, trying to see which workflow gets it up the ground faster and better. I really like modeling, when I start extruding and moving vertices and things begin to take shape, is hard to get up the chair cuz you're so hooked in having fun.... then you start to realize it's not so healthy to be sitting all day and then eye fatigue starts and you also realize you haven't eaten in a while. 

    • crew

      dostovel It's all about the edge modeling! I'll be doing a bunch of it during Tuesday's stream. 

  • Homework Submission Week 1

    Hi there, im back after a year of no practice in Blender. Motivated to build and finish some awesome Cars.

    Here is my preparation Homework.


    Primitives Excercise:

    I also did the Orb retopology to get the habit back of hard surface modelling:

    For the car i have chosen a Toyota Corolla. I will use the blueprint for the basic shapes and dimensions, but i will modify the final look to match a photo reference of a self made variation of the car.

    • crew

      bbenkroft Welcome back to this clan of Blenderheads. It doesn't look like you've taken a break from Blender for a year. The plane and primitive exercise are both well done. And you went a step further with the Orb exercise. I gotta give you an A+ for the week. I look forward to seeing your corolla take shape!


    Here we go, Here's my little airplane for today

    And My primitive kitchen

    And of course most importantly the object i plan to model the Cosmo Type Zero

    • crew

      panboy Everything is looking good. It's an A for this week's homework. Is the  Cosmo Type Zero a real jet? I love the design! It's interesting that the landing gear wheels are shorter than that bottom tail fin 🤔

    • theluthier Thanks, The Cosmo is not a real plane, its from the anime space battleship yamato, and from what i recall it never actually lands on anything so the landing gear is quite vestigial.

      So ill have to think about whether its worth actually keeping the gear on the model. 


    My airplane (with an interior):

    My primitives (It's boring, I know, but at least it's better than my last one!):

    My blueprints (I will take artistic liberties, as I intent my tank to be futuristic):

    My reference for the interior:

    I will use other interior reference if I can find it.  Do you know where I can find reference for the hover thrusters?

  • Whilst not strictly homework I managed to finish the CG Cookie Logo too, which was a good way to practice some edge modeling (which dostovel has pointed out to be incredibly useful when it comes to vehicles). If some of you haven't tried edge modeling yet definitely give this a try, it could really help!



    really linking all the blueprints that ive seen so far, and the planes :)
    going to be a really interesting month as everyones art progresses

    Heres my submissions for this week,  

    My plane 

    and heres my primitive Abomonation

    My Primitive Wardrobe

    and for my project, ive gone for an old skool 'Hillman Imp' car.  mainly as its the first car i learned to drive in during the 80s as thats what my old man had :)



    here my recent submissions.

    I prepared my blueprints in photoshop, to align verticaly and horizontaly and export layer as images,
    I prepared my scene in blender, at the right size.
    I collected references also.

    I will model the base by edge modeling, then add separate pieces, probably with nurbs modeling, or at least have a try.
    I'm mostly an edge modeler instead of box modeler.
    Before all, i like to have a first round of collect and watching references, before tweaking first vertices.

    The picture below shows the two parts assembled, and at the bottom it is the lower part alone (upper right image).

  • Homework Submission Week 1

    Simple airplane: 

    Model with Primitives: (Model removed)

    1991 Range Rover.

    I just searched google not sure if I had to obtain it from the search results of CC.

  • Think I need to practice quite a bit more before attempting to model the exterior because I'm getting stumped already, just on the bonnet/hood. Upon closer inspection my blueprints seem slightly skewed too but that's possibly common and not a problem. Not quite sure where to go from here but I guess my best bet would be one of the vehicle tutorials.

    Just to be certain though is a blueprint being crookedly drawn aka not perfectly symmetrical gonna be a problem? Or should I find another?

    'Cause I'll be honest, I haven't the faintest idea as to where I should start, which parts should be separate, how to deal with multiple angles of the blueprints. Maybe I bit off more than I can chew, but hopefully the next stream will give me an idea. 

    • thecabbagedetective
      Hello, if deformations are too much prononced in the blueprint, it can be problematic.
      You can always taking acount of only one side (right or left) to establish your model, and ignoring the other  side of mirror.
      But sometimes it's not enough if deformations are too big. You have to adapt, find references or change blueprint.
      I always check my blueprints inside photoshop before importing in blender, and also make my own if needed and if i got lot of references. As you can see above; i took different references, sized them and aligned them in photoshop and assembled in illustrator into one image.
      I used the deformation tool in photoshop to match the wireframe design reference with the one just under (éclaté), using layer transparency, because the scans deformed the images if you don't take care.

    • crew

      thecabbagedetective It's ok that your blueprints aren't symmetrical. We're going to model one side and use a mirror modifier, so just trust one side and don't be bothered by the asymmetry in the blueprint. Alternatively you could take you blueprint into photoshop, gimp, or krita and copy and paste one side of your blueprint to the other side to make it symmetrical.

      I'm glad some of you are trying to model ahead of time and running into the difficulties. We'll spend plenty of time on Tuesday on the workflow.

    • llollito_larkham theluthier Thanks for the advice you two! Never even thought about mirroring the blueprints, that should help a lot. I think until Tuesday I'm mostly going to study prerecorded content whilst experimenting with my model on the side so I know as much general stuff as possible before getting into the more specific field of vehicles.

      Thanks for the grading too! I definitely know my primitives exercise could've been much better but that just gives me motivation to do better.

  • Hey guys, just finished my rough blockout, which was very challenging. I'd like to know if you've got any ideas on how I could improve it, especially the "dashboard"area.

    Sketchfab link:

    Concept art:

    • baukepost I also find the blockout part to be the most difficult, especially finding the right balance between "not to detailled yet" and "too basic primitive".

      You did a really good work, it was worth the challenge! Few comments, feel free to take them into account or not :) :

      - add holding components to the rear part of the cover frame 

      - the "what-would-be-the-fuel-tank-if-this-was-a-motorcylcle" could be elaborated a just a tiny bit more: more curve perhaps ?

      Aside from that (and I think I'm being a bit picky), you should be able to have a lot of fun detailling this from this blockout!

    • tbrbn I'm not completely sure what you ment with those two tips (my bad for not having enough English skills), would you mind explaining it a bit more?

    • baukepost My english is far from perfect as well, we got lost in translation :D So a picture is always worth a thousand word, I'll try to make myself understood:

      - "add holding components to the rear part of the cover frame" is the red circle: for the moment you have it floating, I thought you could already add connection to the rest of the vehicle body, as you did in the front (blue circle). That way all the components seems to blend in with each other, and your vehicle will have more flow.

      - "the "what-would-be-the-fuel-tank-if-this-was-a-motorcylcle" could be elaborated a just a tiny bit more: more curve perhaps ?" is the orange circle. The arrow points to a face that look very flat. I admit that in the reference it's also kind of flat, but maybe  think about giving it more curves. Below is an fuel tank of an "old-school" motorcycle, I tried to show you with the arrows what kind of curvature you can think about if you want to also give more flow to your vehicle.

    • tbrbn I understand now, thanks! Very valuable feedback.

    • tbrbn "I also find the blockout part to be the most difficult, especially finding the right balance between "not to detailled yet" and "too basic primitive"".

      Amen to that, the block-out is finicky. Anyone else found box modeling to be unfitting for their car? 

      I went on with edge modeling, it was hard to get the curves needed out of a box this time. But with edge by edge extrusion, I find the modeling gets muddy really fast, you have to pull every single vertex to get the shape and the surface goes all wobbly. 

      I went with the first car I ever had, it served faithfully for almost ten years and I always wanted to model it. Turning out harder than I thought.


    • crew

      baukepost This is looking so cool already. I second tbrbn's feedback.

    • crew

      dostovel I'll spill the beans: I too have found box modeling to be inadequate for intuitively achieving the smooth curvature of most vehicles. Edge-modeling is the ticket.

    • theluthier dostovel 

       I'll spill the beans: I too have found box modeling to be inadequate for intuitively achieving the smooth curvature of most vehicles. Edge-modeling is the ticket.

      Shots fired :D

      From my (little) experience, if you want to have a one-to-one replica of a given car model, it will indeed be more easily achieved with edge modelling. Box modeling is more recommend for stuff you can allow yourself " "artistic freedom" (understand: not having the energy to struggle ;) ).

      The problem with edge-modeling is how repetitive and not fun this workflow is (at least to me). It also give me the impression of not really working in a smart way, not to anticipate the following steps of the modelling. It's a safe method, I can't deny it but I don't find it rewarding.

      Box modeling is time-consuming on the beginning, but once you the proper blocks and major mesh flow which will give you the correct feature lines to sharpen, the remaining of the modelling becomes very simple. And you can definitely achieve great replicas of actual vehicle models with box modelling. Just allow yourself few days of struggle with the blocking part.

  • Homework Submission Week 1

    Simple airplane -

    Well as somewhere already mentioned here, I found this exercise rather hard and quite time consuming. Although learnt really a lot from it, regarding the Sketchfab model I was not able to export somehow the rivets around the pilot cabin (anyway which technique applied by Jonathan Williamson is so unique, never seen before!), in summary around in 90% was able to follow the tutorial which felt itself as success.

    Reference/Blue print image - amongst the game toys found this yellow taxi and thought it could be an interesting base, although probably will be too hard for my skills. Inspite of that would go with it as it inspires visually

    Model with primitives exercise - as anyway the main parts of the taxi will need to be considered, tried to build already this from primitives, good practice was at least in the mind

    • crew

      csehz Sorry to hear the plane exercise was more on the difficult side. The result turned out well. On one hand, having the physical toy as reference is going to be a huge plus. On the negative side, having a blueprint is super useful with vehicle modeling. Usually I'm against over-dependence on orthographic/blueprints (especially for organic modeling) in this case it a significant aid.

  • I've been exploring different possibilities for the tank's hover thrusters in my block out.  Which one do you like best?  From which one will I learn the most?  I can't upload .blend files here, so here's the link.

  • Homework Submission Week 1


    Model with Primitives:

    My chosen vehicle: 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cabriolet B



    I will admit that I did not look at the primitives video and kinda went all subsurface:

    So after reviewing that video today - I have redone my models in cylinders and cubes.



    I've not done the plane course yet - but I have watched some of it.