Kent Trammell (theluthier)

540 replies · posted

[ENDED] BC1-1808 - August 2018 Class Homepage - Getting Started with 3D Modeling & Blender 2.8

Announcement #6 (9/6/18): One last thing. Here's all of Kate's homework reels for your viewing pleasure!

  1. Week 1 Homework Reel
  2. Week 2 Homework Reel
  3. Week 3 Homework Reel
  4. Week 4 Homework Reel

Announcement #5 (9/4/18): This class if officially over. See page 26 for the closing post and don't forget to fill out the questionnaire

Announcement #4 (8/27/18): REMINDER that this week's stream is on Wednesday, NOT Tuesday. I'm out of the office Monday (8/27) and Tuesday (8/28) but will be back in full grading force on Wednesday.

Announcement #3 (8/6/18): New way to Submit Homework. Please create a unique forum thread to contain all your homework submissions for the month, rather than everyone submitting in this main thread. More info on page 12.

Announcement #2 (8/7/18): Zsolt has done it again. He's prepared the report card document for this month. Feel free to monitor your grades there throughout the next 4-5 weeks.

Announcement #1 (8/6/18): Class is officially in session!

**Experienced Blender users are Welcome! Clarification about involvement on page 2 of this thread.


Welcome to the CGCookie Class: Getting Started with 3D Modeling & Blender 2.8! If you're interested in computer graphics, 3D modeling, and you're new to Blender / new to Blender 2.8, this class is where you need to be.

This "Class" format invites all Citizen members to focus together on a particular topic/skill for a month. Participation looks like this:

  • RSVP and attend the Live Events
  • Watch the pre-recorded education outlined below
  • Ask questions
  • Submit homework by creating a unique forum thread to contain all your homework submissions for the month.
  • Generally be active in this thread

WHEN? The class will take place from August 6th - September 4th.

✅ WEEK 1: First Time with Blender 2.8 (August 6-12)

Abstract: The goal this week is to simply get familiar with the application. We’ve all been there: Opening Blender (or any 3D package), gazing at all the crazy UI, trying to orbit in the viewport, crying...Ok, maybe you were stronger than me and didn’t cry. But the reality is 3D software is daunting. There’s SO MUCH to digest especially when you’re a beginner.

This first week we’re going to overview Blender 2.8 and 3D from an absolutely beginner perspective. What is Blender for? What can it do? Wait, this isn’t a juicing seminar?

Goal of the Week: Get comfortable with Blender 2.8's UI, viewport navigation, creation and position objects.

Pre-recorded course to watch:

Week 1 Live Event (Remember to RSVP!)


✅ WEEK 2: Pushing & Pulling Verts (August 13-19)

Abstract: Enter the world of mesh modeling: The oldest form of building 3D objects with your computer. We’ll discuss the technical art of “pushing and pulling verts” as modelers often call it. Welcome to this wild, geometric world!

Goal of the Week: Practicing editing a polygonal mesh's components to create a custom 3D model.

Pre-recorded courses to watch:

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


  • Model a 3D object using mesh modeling techniques [post image(s) to this thread]

✅WEEK 3: Digital Clay (August 20-26)

Abstract: Digital sculpting is the more artistically intuitive method of 3D modeling. If pushing and pulling verts felt like the hard way of doing things, sculpting will be a welcomed alternative!

Goal of the Week: Practice digital sculpting.

Pre-recorded courses to watch:

Article to Read: Big Idea: Digital Tablets

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


  • Do the Melvin sculpting exercise [post a link to your submission in a reply to this thread]
  • Sculpt 3 primitives as demo'd in the live stream [post screenshots]
    • Cube from a sphere
    • Sphere from a cube
    • Cone from a sphere
  • EXTRA CREDIT: Pick on of these options:
    • Sculpt a human face [post a screenshot]
    • Sculpt *something* of your choice [post a screenshot]

✅WEEK 4: Next Steps as a Blender Modeler (August 27-September 2)

Abstract: At this point, you've been introduced to the key 3D modeling methods. Meaning that you have the tools you need to MODEL STUFF! This is where practice will make perfect. This is where you build stuff.

Goal of the Week: Be inspired to continue modeling and spend the week modeling or sculpting a challenging object.

Pre-recorded courses to watch: Modeling in Blender Learning Flow

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


  • Model and/or sculpt something challenging this week! Try tackling a character, a vehicle, a houshold object, whatever. Show me what you've learned. Show me what you're capable of! [post image(s) to this thread]

✅Class Wrap-Up Stream (First Tuesday in September)

We'll be doing a 5th live stream to close out the class, review week 4 homework, and possibly a special guest.

This thread is reserved for CG Cookie Citizens that are participating in the "Getting Started with 3D Modeling & Blender 2.8" 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 Auguest to review homework and answer questions.

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

  • I have now fully switched over to Blender 2.8.

  • I was testing out Blender 2.8 today and I noticed I couldn't find where to add background images. So I googled it and found out that the old way of using background images is gone from 2.8... So I thought I would give you all a heads up, in case you want to use background images for sculpting or something.

    There are 2 options for using images in 2.8, here's a link to the explaination of how it works:

  • Hey all, just had a couple of questions relating to both 2.8 and this class:

    With 2.8 are there any drawbacks to importing a file created in 2.79? Just that I have a couple of personal projects that I'm working on and I can't see myself finishing both of them before class starts aka before I transition to 2.8 so I'd like to know whether I can safely transfer them with little to no hassle or if it'd be best to stop work on their current forms and restart in 2.8.

    The other question I have - which is admittedly rather minor, but thought I'd sate my curiosity - is that it's been confirmed that working on your homework before that specific week begins is acceptable, however I'm just curious if this would negatively affect your grade? Considering you got a head start, of sorts? Just that I have an idea of what I *really* wanna do for my Week 4 homework but it's gonna take a while, to the point where the week allotted - even if I completely dedicate myself to Blender - won't be enough time to finish it. Even if it would negatively affect my grade I'd still do it, I'd just like to know what to expect.

    Thanks for reading and thanks to any who can answer these! 

    • thecabbagedetective Loading files in 2.8 can be a bit of a hassle sometimes, as far as I've seen in the streams of Pablo Vasquez (Blender Today), but I suppose it will be better over time.

      I myself have only loaded a couple of files, and at least one of them made blender crash.

      It's advised to keep a backup of your 2.79 files before working on them in 2.8, because it's impossible to load the file back in 2.79 ones you edit them in 2.8. I managed to get a file from 2.8 to 2.79 by exporting to an Alembic file, and then importing that in 2.79. It wasn't a very clean import though. 

    • ccarrotnl  Aha, cheers for the advice. Loaded  one of my files into 2.8 and it worked fine, but I think I'm gonna stick to 2.79 until I absolutely have to swap for the class.

    • crew

      thecabbagedetective So far, 2.8 doesn't seem reliably backward-compatible with 2.7x files. So if you have serious projects underway with 2.7x, I recommend not transferring those projects to 2.8. Simple 2.7x model files have opened fairly reliably for me in 2.8 but who knows about all the nitty gritty settings and parameters under the hood.

      As for working on the homework early, I'm ok with it - It won't affect your grade negatively. Just please post your homework to this thread during the appropriate week; not before 🙇🏻‍♂️

  • I am commenting here to test the "remembers your spot" feature because it keeps pulling me back to a previous spot when I've read farther ahead.

    • crew

      silentheart00 Did your 'thread memory test' work? I too have wondered how accurate the feature is. Though I often have this thread open in multiple chrome tabs, on various pages, replying in various tabs - so that's gotta be confusing to the feature 😅

    • theluthier It appears to work when I comment, or reply to a comment.  Other times, it's more sporadic.  It appears to store the last time I was "engaged" versus casually reading the comments, if that makes sense.

  • Also, modifiers in Blender 2.8 do not show up in edit mode.

  • Just in the mental preparation to the class found an inspiring way to complete the Week 1 exercise to model with primitives - it could be a fun practice to do that through a short Python programming. 

    The idea is maybe a little bit for the advanced users, but you will see it is very simple and fast to run any Python code in Blender, so why not could be inspiring to show also for beginners.

    Actually this code is able to select a random RGB color, switch the engine to Cycles, set the camera in the required distance and angle, then in a loop adding 25 cubes with assigning material to each with that random diffuse color. Look at this in five seconds:

    Somehow finding this as very powerful, let me attach the code concretely, khmm such things could be used for a lot of automation:

    import bpy
    import random
    from math import radians
    def get_random_color():
     r, g, b = [random.random() for i in range(3)]
     return r, g, b

    bpy.context.scene.render.engine = 'CYCLES'
    obj_camera =["Camera"]
    obj_camera.location = (25.0, -8.0, 17.0)
    obj_camera.rotation_euler = (radians(51), 0.0, radians(53))
    area = next(area for area in bpy.context.screen.areas if area.type == 'VIEW_3D')
    area.spaces[0].region_3d.view_perspective = 'CAMERA'
    for i in range (0, 5):
     for j in range (0, 5):
      x = i*3
      y = j*3
      z = 0
      bpy.ops.mesh.primitive_cube_add(location=(x, y, z))
      cube = bpy.context.object
      mat ='material')
      mat.diffuse_color = get_random_color()
      mesh =

    It might be useful information yet if someone tries to paste Python code to the inside Python Console in Blender, that the indendation then should be with the space ' ' characters instead of the tabs. (you can see in the code above that in the for i in range and for j in range sections there are spaces, they are needed in Python). If you would like to reproduce it, after the paste I pressed two Enters for the running

    • csehz That's really neat!

    • crew

      csehz Your post has single-handeldly inspired me to brainstorm a "Getting Started with Python in Blender" class. It will be so much fun! Thanks for the inspiration 🙇🏻‍♂️

    • csehz Wow, I knew you could build addons with Python but this blows my mind, didn't expect that! Awesome 😁

    • theluthier Do it, please!

    • Kent thanks such "Getting Started with Python in Blender" class would be so great, before of anything expressing to everyone that no programming knowledge is needed. 

      ssmurfmier1985 Miranda yes basically Python is much closer to the average users (even to beginners) than someone would think, for example look at this - grab the top of your screen and add a cube to Blender, you will see all the Python code behind of that action and so which you can investigate and build in to your own code:

      Anyway just a short hint yet to bring the topic even closer, so as showed in the before example, you can paste any Python code to the Python Console in Blender. Although that works great, writing Python code in that console is not too user friendly, programmers that is why edit their code in some text editor like Notepad++ (it is a free program with even portable version from link ):

      The code is much more readable/beautiful like that, then you can save your file with .py extension and in Blender you can open such ready codes in Text Editor window, let me show it analogically with the original 25 cubes demo:

      You can see that there is no any rocket science in the basics, although it is so powerful that surely rockets can be built through that :-)

    • csehz That looks so much easier then I expected. I'm signing up for this class in advance! Learning programming has been on my wish list for years, and this looks like a really fun way to learn it 😄 thanks for sharing this and making all these pictures to show us what's possible, looks really awesome 😎

    • theluthier 

       Your post has single-handeldly inspired me to brainstorm a "Getting Started with Python in Blender" class. It will be so much fun! Thanks for the inspiration 🙇🏻‍♂️


  • Right, so I gotta cram studying of 2.8, rigging, Substance, anatomy. topology (still) and hair physics into this month. What could possibly go wrong? My brain's gonna melt haha.

  • When it comes to the prercorded courses for week 4, are we talking about the whole learning flow? Isnt that abit much for a beginner class? Or are we talking about the first part or something?

    • aarev Hi Arev, as I understand it you can use the modeling learning flow as a guideline. So if you have a specific thing in mind you want to make, but you miss some knowledge on how to apporach this, then you can watch (part of) a course about this subject. Also, if you don't have any idea what to make, or you're not confident enough yet with your modeling skills to tackle your own thing, you can do one of the prerecorded courses and submit your finished model from that course as your final homework assignment. So it's totally up to you how much or how little you watch, it all depends on what your plans are and what your skill level is. Hope this helps :)

    • crew

      aarev Miranda hit the nail on the head. It's not a requirement to watch the whole flow but just that it's the single best collection of material to sift through for that week.

  • theluthier Did you intend for the Week 4 stream to be on Wednesday and not Tuesday?

  • Getting 2.7x files into 2.8 is very hit-or-miss for me too.  On the one hand, I've been able to for instance open the VonnBots Blend file, or even append characters from it into a new 2.8 file; the only thing that doesn't "work" is the custom UI addon for the rigs.  On the other hand, I tried to import my half-done French Horn project into 2.8 and couldn't set it to render preview mode without crashing - maybe because of all the modifiers?  

    Just be aware that 2.8 converts your layers into collections.  Helpfully, they will be named according to the layer they were - so everything that was in layer 1 in your 2.7x file will be in "Collection 1" in the 2.8 outliner; everything that was in layer 12 will be in Collection 12, and so on.  Except you can rename collections to whatever you want, which is awesome.

    I would suggest that if you have any projects started in 2.7x, even if you plan to switch completely to 2.8 (like me), just finish those projects in 2.7x first and only start projects in 2.8 from scratch.  

    Right now I'm kind of spinning my wheels, I finished my last big Blender project in the middle of July so now I'm waiting for the class to start producing with 2.8.

    One benefit of switching to 2.8 so soon is being able to get really excited when functions I miss are re-added.  I'm gonna throw a party when Local View gets put back in; you're all invited.

    • jjakeblended Will there be cake? ;)

      Collections are really awesome indeed, renaming and creating as many as you want makes organizing so much easier. You can even add sub-folders to your collections. One of the best new features in my opionion! Big fan :)

    • ssmurfmier1985 And objects can belong to more than one collection at the same time, so they can be controlled and selected in more than one way.  It really is a vast improvement, one of so many in 2.8 which is why things like having to learn some different hotkeys doesn't bother me all that much in the scheme of things.

      I've read that new matcaps and today the new Grease Pencil function has also been added to 2.8!  The new Grease Pencil stuff is likely beyond the scope of the beginner class though, and I believe the "old" version of the grease pencil tool is now called Notations, to distinguish it from the new system which is more of a 2D creation tool than a utility.  I'm not as interested in the new system as some, as I'm more of a 3D mesh traditionalist, but it does look a seriously cool feature.

    • jjakeblended Wow, didn't now about that option yet. That is awesome!

      I'm very curious about the 2D pencil features, want to try out if I can use it to make basic concept art directly in Blender (nothing fancy, I'm not much of a 2D person either). Won't try that out for a while though, 'cause got a lot of 3D stuff to learn first, can't do it all at once :)

      edit: just watched a video from the blender development team about grease pencil, you can do a lot more than drawing, it's pretty awesome actually! Huge amount of cool new creative options, worth exploring more in time :)

    • jjakeblended Jake I like the option so much in 2.79 (and in before versions too), that no need to install Blender to the computer, it is enough just to download and run.

      Do you have information will be the same also with 2.8 so having a kind of portable version in this way?

    • csehz I like that option too, and so far all of the 2.8 builds I have tried work the same way.  You can run Blender from a thumb drive if you wanted.  

    • crew

      One benefit of switching to 2.8 so soon is being able to get really excited when functions I miss are re-added.  I'm gonna throw a party when Local View gets put back in; you're all invited.

      Great point jjakeblended! Glass half full kinda perspective 🤘

  • Looking forward to this! I just Joined CG Cookie again and ready to restart my learning into Blender. I realized how hard it was for my to stay consistent and continue my growth as a modeler when I didn't have a community behind me (plus planning a wedding the last 6 months).

    Having Kent and the rest of CG cookie mentoring myself and my art was something I have been missing. Excited to re-learn everything!:)

  • 3 days....

    Unfortunately I've found I cannot switch -completely- to 2.8 after all; because I've started Wayne's animation courses this month and to continue those courses I will need to use 2.79, because the UI button addons for those courses' rigs don't work in 2.8 (addons are disabled).  

    I am RESOLUTE however about switching to right-click-select on Day 1 of the class!  Which is the default setting in 2.8 of course, but which I will have to reset in 2.79.  

    Since the rig UI addons add the buttons to the N-panel, which is not changed tremendously much in 2.8, I'm hoping that they will simply work as intended once addons are switched back on for 2.8 at which point I finally will be able to switch for good.  C'est d'art.

    • jjakeblended 

      you can keep both.  just download 2.8 and for the class open 2.8 blender and for the other you open 2.79

    • 3 days....

      jjakeblended Yes that is exciting, for me especially the introduction to 2.8 will be interesting and that is the place where finally all of us are beginners.

      Anyway I respect from the side of the developers that they make available the program in a kind of half ready state (probably much more than half and in final state anyway will sweep away the old concepts), so trying to keep the being open approach without too much concrete expectations to actual projects. For that the 2.79 will be fine for long

    • csehz Yes absolutely.  Remember, until the finalized version of 2.8 is released later this year, 2.79 still is the official current version of Blender and is the only one that is technically supported, so there's nothing wrong with using it.

      In case I wasn't really clear in my last post, though - I still have "switched to 2.8" as far as my own personal projects go; I will just have to keep using 2.79 for the animation courses, or any other courses that may have materials that aren't 100% 2.8-ready yet.

  • I don't think Blender 2.8 is for me, either.  I'll switch if they bring back add-ons, local view, background images, modifiers for curves, and modifiers shown in edit mode.

  • Commenting again to keep my reading place.

  • i look forward to the class sessions. just a shame this week i working at the time the class start . so sadly i will have to rewatch it . since i just started 2 weeks ago this will be perfect for me :)

    • yyukinoh1989 No worries it is natural watching the recorded version of the live stream, if its time does not fit to your schedule/time zone.

      Typically I am having the same, but so anyway we will meet in the thread here :-)

    • csehz
      awesome so all questions can be asked here then ?
      that is why this community is so awesome .
      I could never attend to lessons since my current work so this is amazing and i learned already so much

    • yyukinoh1989 Ideally the live stream is the best place of putting questions, but as we are from all around on the globe and also life happens, for someones the recorded version stays and that is fine.

      Although the CG Cookie site also has a good looking mobile version where the contents can be watched online, for saving some costs I used to download the recorded stream to the phone at home and just go :D Then watching it anywhere, on the autobus or in the breaks at work.

      So yes absolutely feel free to ask here there are a bounch of experts, anyway sometimes your question might require some printscreen or even attaching your .blend file and that even more fit to the class thread.

    • csehz good to know . tommorow the first lessons start it seems.
      just wondering is it only one day a week the lessons are been given or is that several days ?

    • crew

      yyukinoh1989 Live streams are once a week (every tuesday) over the next 5 weeks. In between streams, the idea is to watch the outlined pre-recorded content, work on homework, and ask questions / answer questions here in this thread.

      I'll go over the Class format early in tomorrow's stream.

  • crew


    Class is officially in session!

    This means it's *officially* the time to get busy with week 1's curriculum: 

    • Install Blender 2.8.
    • Poke around and play with the interface.
    • Watch the live stream tomorrow at 2pm eastern US time; or watch the recording if you can't be there live.
    • Start working on your primitives exercise.

    Remember this is all outlined in detail above, in the description of this thread.

    I'm so pumped to [finally] get underway!


  • Can someone tell me where i can find matcaps in 2.8?

  • Hot dog!  I'm excited! hurriedly downloads and installs 2.8

  • I'm back from playing video ga- I mean dealing with personal business, so lets get this underway! I'm really looking forward to the chill atmosphere and being able to possibly help out newer users, though I gotta poke around 2.8 a bit more myself haha.

  • Waiting to see if Kent can complete his mannequin challenge (and the class of course)

    Old Dog