Kent Trammell (theluthier)

694 replies · posted

[ENDED] BC1-1801 - January Class Homepage - Getting Started with 3D Modeling & Blender

CLASS ANNOUNCEMENT #5 (Feb 1, 2018): The class is officially closed! Thanks to all who participated. Be sure to check page 43 for the closing "statement" and commendations.

CLASS ANNOUNCEMENT #4 (Jan 30, 2018): The timing worked out where this week's homework stretch is 10 days instead of the usual 7. So you've got extra time to complete the assignment! I'll look for submission through tomorrow, the 31st, and then I'll do a final post to close out the class.

BTW week 4's live event is archived if you missed it.

CLASS ANNOUNCEMENT #3 (Jan 15, 2018): Week 2 is done - We're halfway through the class! Today WEEK 3 begins where the focus is digital sculpting. This is a far more artistic method of shaping 3D models, so if you struggled in week 2, week 3 should be refreshing.

Keep up the awesome work, Class! So much creativity and hard work being contributed from everyone 🤘

CLASS ANNOUNCEMENT #2 (Jan 8, 2018): Week one is accomplished! Today WEEK 2 begins. We're moving forward from basic viewport interaction and into mesh modeling; into Edit Mode and the modifier stack.

As always, don't hesitate to ask questions in this thread!

CLASS ANNOUNCEMENT #1 (Jan 2, 2018): The class has officially started! Today we held the first live event to kick things off. The recording will be published by tomorrow at the latest is now available in "Past Events".

That means it's now up to you to watch the Blender Basics Course and submit your homework to this thread. Please add a big, bold title to your homework submission reply so I can easily tell. Like this:

"BC1-1801 Week 1 Homework Submission"

Also don't hesitate to ask questions along the way. I'll be checking this thread daily to answer questions, give advice, check homework.

This thread is for CG Cookie Citizens that are participating in the "Getting Started with 3D Modeling and Blender" class! Its purpose is to serve as central communication for all participating Citizens (excluding Hobby plan Citizens) to ask me and each other questions and to post homework. As the instructor of the class, I will be monitoring this thread on a daily basis (especially Mon-Thurs) throughout the month of January to review homework and answer questions.

This thread is intended only for Citizens who are participating in the class. Free members are welcome to observe the thread but please respect that communication is reserved for Citizens.


Welcome to the CGCookie Class: Getting Started with 3D Modeling & Blender! This is the first "Class" format where Citizen members are invited to focus together on a particular topic/skill together for a month. Participation is this:

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

It will take place from January 2nd through January 31st and the topic is for beginners that want to get into 3D modeling. The class is based on pre-recorded courses that students are expected to watch each week along with weekly Live Events.

WEEK 1: First time with Blender...overwhelmed yet? (Jan 1-6)

Download the latest official version of Blender and watch the Blender Basics course. 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 and 3D from an absolutely beginner perspective. What is Blender for? What can it do? Wait, this isn’t a juicing seminar?

During the Live Event we're also going to open the floor, ask me anything (AMA) style, so I can answer all your questions about getting started with Blender.

HOMEWORK: Create a scene out of primitive shapes. It can be anything from a landscape to a spaceship to a character. Just get comfortable with creating and positioning mesh objects. Here's an example:

Take a screenshot of your scene and post it in a reply to this thread *during the week of Jan 1-6*.

WEEK 2: Pushing & Pulling Verts (Jan 7-13)

Enter the world of mesh modeling! The oldest form of building objects in 3D, in the computer. We’ll discuss the technical art of “pushing and pulling verts” as modelers often call it. First, watch the Mesh Modeling Fundamentals and Modeling with Modifiers courses to be introduced to this wild, geometric world.

Practice makes perfect here and during this week's Live Event we’ll be mesh-modeling a few objects to demonstrate tools and workflow available with Blender. It’s ideal if you practice along with me!

HOMEWORK: Model either 1, 2, or 3 unique objects using mesh-modeling techniques. They can be as simple or as complex as you like, but they can't be primitives. I want to see that you've used mesh tools to significantly customize your shapes. For example, you could model a hammer, a cell phone, a keyboard, a game controller, a picture frame, a coffee cup - choose something fun!

Take a screenshot of your shaded model + wireframe-over shaded (as pictured above) and post it in a reply to this thread *during the week of Jan 7-14*.

WEEK 3: Digital Clay (Jan 14-20)

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! Watch the Fundamentals of Digital Sculpting course this week.

During the Live Event, we'll discuss the pros and cons of digital sculpting as well as how it compares to mesh modeling. Again, practice makes perfect with any craft, and we will also practice sculpting. Be sure to have your pen and tablet ready!

HOMEWORK: *Submit during the week of Jan 15-21*

  1. Do the Melvin sculpting exercise (post a link to your submission in a reply to this thread)
  2. Sculpt 3 primitives as demo'd in the week 3 Live Event: cube from a sphere, sphere from a cube, cone from a sphere (post screenshots)
  3. Sculpt 1-3 additional objects of your choice (post screenshots) 

WEEK 4: Next Steps & Homework Awards  (Jan 21-31)

There’s still much more to learn about modeling with Blender. Remember, it’s a craft. Time + practice is the only way to develop your modeling skills.

This week your challenge is to dive into the Modeling in Blender Learning Flow. While the class gives you a boost, the Flow takes you further into intermediate and advanced modeling techniques/workflows. Test the waters and see how far you can go this week.

During the Live Event we'll discuss the journey of becoming a skilled modeler as well as the potential for turning it into a career. Finally, I’m going to sift through homework submissions to commend my favorites and offer critiques!

HOMEWORK: Model and/or sculpt something challenging this week! Try tackling a character or a complex vehicle, etc. Show me what you've learned; what you're capable of!

Take a screenshot of your shaded model and post it in a reply to this thread *during the week of Jan 21-31*.

Start the new year strong together. See you in January! ❄️

  • BC1-1801 Week 1 Homework SubmissionThis is my render for this class.

    I've started my cg cookie courses 4 month ago and...
    I must admit i'm very impressed by others work, and a little bit dissapointed by mine.
    Maybe i dont have the level i thought.
    So after this post i decide to watch again the "introduction to blender" courses.

    I know this class is not a comptetition of course but i already think it's very helpful :)

    • crew

      Excellent homework submission galledark. You nailed it. I like the variety in the tree leaves' shapes - nice touch. A+

      And I'm thrilled to hear about your 4-month history with CGC that's led you to this class. A little disappointment can be healthy; it can correct an incomplete perspective. Too much and it can kill the dream/aspiration. Avoid the too much :)

    • @Yannis do not worry this scene is great and should not be disappointed at all.

      Anyway it does not matter when you started, Blender is so huge with its capabilities that once even years can look too few. 

    • Tells a story with primitives and the foundation of materials. Cool work. I echo Zsolt's comment - nothing to be disappointed about here. Kudos

  • BC1-1801 Week 1 Homework Submission

    This was a fun challenge to be constrained only to primitives and transform properties. 

    • crew

      rcdavis4 Awesome homework submission. I had to double-take on those palm trees, thinking they weren't actually primitives smashed together. Nice effect. And the sandhills/desert mountains have a cool paper cut-out style. Great job overall: A+

  • BC1-1801 Week 1 Homework Submission


  • BC1-1801 Week 1 Homework Submission.

    Sir Polygon and his "primitive" weapon are no match for the monstrous beast sneaking up from behind.

    I really loved the challenge of limiting the image to the built-in primitive shapes. Although, I did stretch the rules a little by popping into Edit mode to adjust the planes to fit the dragon wings. I enjoyed the freedom to create anything we wanted coupled with the satisfaction that comes with actually completing an assignment.

  • I landed here from learning html and javascript learning to greensock (2d animation) to babylon.  As you can tell I have absolutely no art experience, but am having an unbelievable good time learning blender.  I didn't even know blender existed three months ago, and thought 3d animation was making a 2d drawing appear 3d, shows how naive someone can be.  I do have a question, I have heard references to python and blender, I happen to know python and was curious what you can do with python and blender.  Thanks.

    • crew

      I absolutely cannot tell that you have no art experience ttanya53. This is a fantastic primitive-based scene. I've been playing Super Mario Odyssey and the big fish reminds me of the iconic fish in the game. There's some good details going on in the scene too. A++

      Thanks for sharing about where you're coming from with Blender/3D. If you stick with it, you python experience will be invaluable. In general, Python can be used to do basically anything in Blender from a scripting platform. This means it's commonly used to write custom tools from simple macros to complex functions that expand Blender's capabilities. Like the "Retopoflow" addon, which is entirely written in python for Blender.

      That to say, a Blender artist that knows how to wield python is super saiyan.

      Glad to have you part of the class!

    • As Qui Gon Jinn says... there's always a bigger fish! :D  Nice!

  • BC1-1801 Week 1 Homework Submission

    I cheated a little by using modifiers with the primitives.

    • crew

      CHEATER! Well, if you know how to use modifiers, it's likely that you're comfortable navigating the viewport and transforming objects. So no big deal ;)

      Nice job with the assignment, Tom: A+ 👍


    Say cheese...

    • crew

      Ha I love the pose! Nice job ninivekha. Looks like all primitives to me. And the construction of the scene means you must be comfortable with viewport navigation as well as object manipulation. A+

      Are you new to 3D/Blender? I see a traditional sculpting piece in your gallery..

    • Hi Kent,

      Sorry I am not new to Blender/3D. I have used Blender before it was free, 2002 I think, and then later 2003-2006 I really got into it, I have learned the basics of modeling but at the time I was most interested in rigging and animation. I use Blender and 3D Max from time to time for modding games, but still not much modeling, so I think this class will be great to get me into modeling, one of my new year goal! 

    • Nice job with the poses.

  • "BC1-1801 Week 1 Homework Submission"

    I think I'd have to thank you guys first since your work made me feel more enthusiastic, so it probably helped to finish mine.

    Blender is actually not new for me, but haven't put much effort since started. However, 3d rendering holds a really special place in my heart, kind of lately, because of my passion for computer graphics and game dev.

    Also, I feel I'm going in the right direction by taking this class, so thank you Kent!


    had fun with this one. using just primitives is not as easy that one might think, and certainly i normally do blocking out project bit different. 

    first one:

    the second one i cheated with particle simulations and displace modifiers and procedural materials other than those everything is primitives. main point for creating this was composition and i know its more advanced topics and I hope this isn't coming as showing off, i'd really like to hear if the composition works or not, its something i've tried to understand lately and figuring out what makes pictures work.

    • Hey Kaj, I love the motorcycle design, fun use of the primitive forms. Your landscape is really detailed. It took me a little while to find the town in the background. I wonder what else is hidden in there. The town is following the rule of thirds and the nebulous clouds point my eye there. Unfortunately the dark blurry shadows in the foreground compete for the attention of my eye. If the render camera was elevated and angled down a little, perhaps the blurry trees and shadows would be more subtle. I love the color variations in the trees and ground which gives them a warm and earthy look. Great work!

    • crew

      Now I KNOW you're not a beginner louhikarme 😋 Pretty awesome submissions. I love the clever design of the bike using only primitives. And the detail in the landscape is nuts! I'm playing Breath of the Wild right now and this made me think of a 'blocked out version' of the world in that game.

      Great job. It's fun to see what you more experienced users are doing with the homework. Thanks for participating!


    Forrest Scene with Basic shapes:

    Clouds and rocks are ico-spheres pushed/pulled with proportional editing.
    Trees are 8 sided cylinders w/edges scaled out and dragged down.
    House is a square with a few lines cut in to allow for a door.
    Hills are made from the tops of spheres dragged up with proportional editing.
    Background it world color set to blue.

    Colors done by adding multiple colors to each object and selecting the faces I wanted to be that color and hitting "Apply".

    Hope it's not too convoluted and over the top.

  • BC1-1801 Week 1 Homework Submission

    Excuse my poor English, it is not my native language.

    I used to work with Cinema4D some years ago. Then I recently discovered that Blender has improved a lot specially using Cycle render engine. So it made me want to practice again.

    This picture is inspired by Disney's castle. I made it using just primitives and I used Blender render.

  • I was under the impression that using primitive shapes was not going into edit mode and altering the primitive shapes, just scale, rotation and translate? Or did i miss something. Could or done alot more if I could of  gone in edit mode.

    • I thought your scene was nice Tony. I don't think this is a competition. lol. Just all learning and having fun. I think for the most part most of what I've seen has been primitives (with a tweak or two in edit mode).

    • No its not a competition and some of the work is fantastic especially the dragon and the knight that was epic. Just a stickler for the rules and wish i'd just broke them too lol. 

    • Loving these emotions about the homework, like in a real class :D

      Anyway Tony you are right :)

    • crew

      Heh I like to see people taking the homework seriously! You're right blacksheep80: The assignment was to stop shy of edit mode and simply practice (a) navigating the viewport and (b) manipulating objects (in object mode, i.e. translate/rotate/scale).

      But I'm not criticizing anyone for going into edit mode since it must mean they're comfortable with (a) and (b). Rest assured that you've followed the directions better. 👍

  • BC1-1801 Week 1 Homework Submission

    This is my submission for week 1. I had a lot of fun making this scene. I've been on blender cookie for a couple of months now(I'd still say I'm a beginner) and as some others mentioned I liked the direction and time limit that this exercise gave me. I feel this was a really good assignment for getting really comfortable and proficient with interacting with objects. I think it was simple, yet challenging enough. I'm actually a bit sad I won't be able to join you on the next stream :( If it only wasn't a Tuesday. I also love all the creativity from the projects others are doing.

    • Wow. And to think its below freezing here. Very nice

    • Whoa. This is nice. Took the time to add in some nice details. Fun challenge isn't it. Looking forward to seeing more.

    • Thanks guys! :)

    • crew

      Wonderful job here, fflowizard! It's a very thorough scene. Excellent use of primitives. A+

      I feel this was a really good assignment for getting really comfortable and proficient with interacting with objects. I think it was simple, yet challenging enough.

      Very glad to hear that :) Though I'm bummed to hear that Tuesdays don't work for you. I've mentioned it several times already, but the timezone thing is a major buzz kill with streams/classes. It drives me crazy that there's no ideal answer for a stream time. Do you have any suggestions for helping that situation? Should streams be at different times each week? Or do classes per time zone?

    • Thanks for feedback!

      I think the time you chose is actually quite good for Europe/America. I see many twitch streamers stream at the same time. It's just that Tuesday is a bad day for me personally. If it was any other day it would be fine. I went through the lectures already so I'll try to ask here on forum If I have any questions and I will be able to catch the week 4 stream anyway.   

  • BC1-1801 Week 1 Homework Submission

    I found this exercise to be a challenge, attempting to figure out how to create some shapes without using using curves, modifiers, or editing.  Originally, I had planned to create a sailboat in the scene, but decided on the houseboat instead.  It was good to have to think about how to do things using just primitives.

  • BC1-1801 Week 1 Homework Submission (Part 1)

    This is the first part of my submission for week 1. Completely made out of primitives, with only rotation, translation and resizing. Loved doing this with the primitive restrictions.

    Tomorrow I will try to create a cottage and some trees to make a complete scene.

  • BC1-1801 Week 1 Homework Submission

    Wow! A little bit down to the wire for me. Thanks for offering this course Kent! Great review and challenge to get back in to a groove. This image was inspired by Wallace and Gromit's "A Grand Day Out." Hope I submitted this correctly!

  • BC1-1801 Week 1 Homework Submission

    Hi everyone.

    During the work i have faced some problems:

    1. problem with materials, what is easiest way to add same material to many objects?

    2. how to control global environment?

    3. I create some of simple form and then, for example move it down, is option to change quantity of segments gone? or i missed something...

    • Love the raindrops and the ripple effect on the lake

    • Someone can answer better I'm sure, but here's my take:

      1) there is a dropdown with the material you have created. here you can rename/alter and use to assign to any object. I haven't figured out if you can select multiple objects and assign the same material. 

      2) not sure what you mean here. my guess is the world tab where you can assign a global color to the view

      3) once you move a newly created object the controls to add/lower segments goes away. you have to add these options before moving or transforming the object.

      Hope these are accurate and help. Like your image above. 

    • crew

      alexsr Love this one! Something very artsy, minimalistic, and intriguing. I like the seemingly huge water drop ripple compared to the size of raindrops and trees. And the colors accent each other well. Great job: A+

      Are you new to 3D/Blender?

    • crew

      Whoops, missed the questions you asked somehow. Thanks for the assist rcdavis4! In their answer to #1, you can use the down arrow button (below the + and - on the right side of the material panel) to reveal more options. There you'll find "Copy material to others" which copies the selected material to all selected objects.

      #2 can be done in the world tab, just as rcdavis4 says.

      #3 also just as rcdavis4 says. Unlike Maya - which stores all object operations as 'history' and can be accessed anytime throughout the model's manipulations - Blender only gives you those options immediately after creation. Once any other operation happens, those options are gone.

      Personally this was never an issue for me despite being an avid Maya user. Rarely did I find myself digging through the history much beyond immediately using a tool..

  • crew

    WOW this thread has exploded!! Looking over newest submissions now.

  • BC1-1801 Week 1 Homework Submission

    Gandalf: Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?

    Bilbo: All of them at once.

    Crappity crap crap crap. This was indeed an extremely challenging exercise to restrict oneself to merely primitives (that's an apt terminology for Suzanne. lol). It was very tempting to just press [tab] and fiddle with geometry. Definitely made one think outside the box and use your imagination.

    Let's see... About my experience level. I've just started to seriously start learning Blender. Paid for yearly membership to CGCookie and decided to take the bull by the horns. It's a heckuva lot cheaper than paying for college tuition for any course for that matter. I've puttered with Blender prior to Cycles coming out, but never really had nor took the time to delve into it seriously. Now I am.

    I'm pretty much starting from the ground up. Have sculpted Melvin a few times now and Retopologized the RoboOrb twice - once with Jonathan and once without. I'm finding the Learning Flows very detailed and helpful toward my quest to learn how to do 3D modeling. This class I'm hoping to use as a supplement toward the Learning Flows. I don't worry that I may have done some of this before - it all helps. So yeah, I consider myself a beginner.

    Old Dog (aka Scott)