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! ❄️

  • Hi everyone,

    Wow I see really cool stuff here... This is so awesome.

    Sorry Kent... I wasn't able to do my homework last week and could not make it to the 2nd class but I have done a little modeling... for 2nd homework.

    I hope you guys like it... I am a total weapon nut so I modeled a AR 15 iron sight. The screws on the sides are "floaters" because I would like to use it later and try to bake a normal map with it... so I thought a bit ahead :)

    Feedback and tips are very welcome from everyone.

    Cheers :)

  • Watching the week 2-Pushing and Pulling verts. Someone asked could you change the shortcut to open the face/vert/edge menu. To do that you must go to your User Preference>Input>3D view>Mesh>Call Menu(2). There you can set the shortcut to something different instead of Ctrl+Tab. 

  • BC1-1801 Week 2 Homework Submission (3 of 3)


    Low-res Chest

    Ceramic Mug

    • Paul that looks nice one and you even rendered it.

      I like that you posted the cup, exactly this is the point of the homeworks, someone is able already to model almost everything, while others going step by step and simplier objects mean the same success.

      As I recall you mentioned in your experience that you are a "refresher", very similiar scenario for me, who watched a lot of tutorials in years, but did not do too much in the practice so the cup should be also my mandatory homework.

    • crew

      Love the coffee cup ppaulhaynes1955! It's got a definitive style. Taller and with a 'crimped' bottom edge. Good stuff. You executed my assignment beaufifully! Easy A 👍 I look forward to seeing the other 2!

    • Kent Trammell ... second and third models have been added to original post. (Page 16)

    • crew

      Whoops, just now seeing your other models for Week 2. Excellent work, Paul! All your topology is clean and minimal. More A-quality modeling!

  • BC1-1801 Week 2 Homework Submission

    • It'sa meeea Marioo!


      Nice one... love the plant that evil smile is so accurate! Hahahaha

      I think the bullet is great a example of keeping the poly count low even though it is a high poly model... With the plant pot maybe on the higher side... ;)


    • At first I thought "Little Shop of Horrors", but you're right killzone - Mario it is. Nice

    • crew

      Here's to the Mario and Zelda themes going on this month! I've been deep into the latest iterations of both and am thus a sucker for em 😍

      Excellent submission pprocyonlotor. All your topology appears quadded and evenly spaced. Clean modeling: A  👍

      I do see where killzone is coming from. It's a good crit.

    • "I do see where killzone is coming from.  It's a good crit."  Meaning the plant is too high poly for what it needs? I can see that. I just left the default settings for the primitive cylinder and sphere. The bullet was made from a cube,thus the lower resolution, but I can see how keeping things simpler would be important when the model gets more complex. Thanks for the feedback everyone.  I did another today for funsies, that made more use of modifiers.  It was supposed to be a chandelier, but it kind of just turned out to look like a jellyfish ...and it may also be more high poly than needed...

  • BC1-1801 Week 2 Homework Submission

    I scrolled trough the submissions and all of them were so good. It's nice to see meshes and even renders like that.

    I missed the first weeks class and didn't apply for it but I watched it afterwards. This is the first time for me on a live stream lecture and I have to say that the different to recorded was so outstanding. All the questions and answering by Kent or other watchers was really big deal for me, I think that has a big part in learning. This is something I want to do more in the future, keep it up!

    Anyway here's my submission for this weeks homework

    • That rocking chair looks awesome... just the right amount of detail! Keep up the good work! :)


    • Great job on all three of these!  I can't quite place what, but something feels slightly off on the fork and spoon. Probably has to do with the curvatures.

      As for the rocking chair, keep in mind that the angle between the back of the chair and the seat would be closer to a 90 degree angle. The reason the backs seem to tilt back has to do with the rotation of everything on the rockers.  Also, if you ever texture this with a wood texture, the grain of the wood should go along the length of each piece. (This is something I learned doing a similar rocking chair last summer.)

      Keep up the great work!

    • I think what's bugging me about the fork... I don't think the tines themselves should actually curve.  Most of the ones I have bend backwards about 5 to 10 degrees from the handle, then widen and just before the tines, about a 20 degree (?) turn in the other direction from the first. I didn't measure, so I'm guessing on the angles, but the key thing is that bend upwards is before the tines.  The tines themselves should be straight.

      Also, the end of the fork with the tines and the bowl of the spoon feel too small to me, especially in comparison to the knife.  I'm just guessing, that's how it feels to me. Overall, though, the modeling on all three are great.

    • crew

      Thanks for joining in this class! Hearing that this class structure clicks for you is encouraging. I'm looking very forwarding to doing more of these classes.

      I love these models swikni. If you wanted to get a jump-start on a kitchen/household item collection, this would be perfect! Something that could be sold on the Blender Market perhaps.

      To gradyp 's point, I feel like the fork tines (didn't know they were called tines btw) are possibly a little small compared to the spoons. Maybe they're regular-sized forks beside large spoons - as my family's silverware has such sizes.

      Either way, it's a small discrepancy in the context of the assignment. Your wireframes and shapes overall are nice. Grade A work 👏

    • Great chair!

  • BC1-1801Week2 Homework Submission
    I used a lot of tools an modifier  like extrude, Loop Cut, Invert, Bridge Edge  Loops, Bevel, Mirror..
    And  I  had  a lot of fun playing with the array modifier especially  in combination with curve modifier.

     I love  to see  an idea comes alive.

  • BC1-1801Week2 Homework Submission
    This is my work for this course. I love to create Weapons and shields, i called this one "Ciguë". (The name of a poison used long time ago ).
    Fell free to give feedbacks :)

    • Nice model Yannis. Only critique I would make (and I can't believe I'm doing it as we're all in this as first timers) - the handle may be too thin. In real life, that sword would be difficult to weild with that thin on a handle. Just an observation. Otherwise very nice and rendered

    • crew

      I love that you named the sword. Investing in your models creatively, giving it some story, is a great habit. Nice job galledark!

      The model looks pretty good overall. I can't tell 100% the wireframe as Blender by default hides random bits of the wireframe. If you turn on "Draw All Edges" in object properties, it will fix that. Never known why that's not on in the first place..From what I can tell, the wireframe looks nice and even.

      And I agree with pffsfs's critique. The small, thin dimensions of the handle makes the hilt and blade feel massive. A simple scaling up of the handle by 1.5 (maybe 2) would fix that.

      Even with that, it's still an A in my book. 👍

  • BC1-1801 Week 2 Homework Submission

    Below is my submission for week 2: SPIDER-BOT!!!! 

    I Really enjoy playing with all the modifiers which were new for me. Array and Curve modifiers for the legs. Lots of Subdivision Surfaces and using Edge Weights for sharpening the creases. Plus a little bevel modifiers too.

    Wire-frame render isn't the best, but gives a good feel for the poly's before subdivision surfaces applied.

    Only the 1 model for me though, so tried to make it a little more complex.

    Now on Sketchfab:

  • BC1-1801 Week 2 Homework Submission

    The recorded video(2 hours) is so long...and probably I will watch it again.

    I struggled very...very much. It is difficult for me.

    I made two unsuccessful trying and that mesh became messy.

    This is the third challenge.

    I added a bottom, stretched upward, dig the center hole, made the narrow parts and Modifier SubSurf.

    Next, I want to try to use Array Modifier.

    If I don't get new idea, probably I will make a similar bottle with this function, or I give up and fall forward.

    • Remember... arms out if you fall forward =) Naw just don't give up motsu. Bottle came out nice

    • @motsu
      Repetition is a great way to learn anything. Many of us start an object, realize it's not going to work out the way we are approaching it, then trash it and start over with a better plan. It does eventually start to fall into place.

    • crew

      Repetition is a painful but effective teacher. No matter how true I know this to be, I HATE doing things more than once 😅

      But it appears that you're getting the hang of it. Your bottle looks great. Even the ridges on the bottom remind me of the bottom of a classic coke bottle. Unless that's an unintentional subsurface artifact ha.

      You should be encouraged because you definitely accomplished the assignment with an A 👍

  • BC1-1801 Week 2 Homework Submission

    This is another attempt at the homework, hopefully better than the fish.

    • crew

      Excellent soap dispenser ttanya53. I see nothing wrong with this at all: A

      I'm bummed to hear you say "hopefully better than the fish." The fish WAS NOT BAD! It's just inherently difficult to purely mesh model such an organic object as the fish. Considering that, you did an impressive job.

      Was it much easier mesh-modeling this dispenser vs the fish?

    • theluthier I should have watched the class first, after that and listening of the retopology class I know get the importance of edge and face loops, I had thought the issue was quads.  I have learned a lot from listening to your class and it has helped to have the active group and seeing other peoples stuff.  Thanks.

  • theluthier finished watching the stream. one thing on using sharps, it needs also bevel modifier to work with to get decent results.

    • crew

      Thank you for this tip louhikarme! Creases, sharp edges, edge split modifier, bevel did I get confused on the stream? [facepalm]

      I need to get this approach straight. But I'm reminded why I stick to holding edges ha. Do you use this approach over holding edges much?

  • BC1-1801 Week 2 Homework Submission

    I discovered that if your models lack a peel, and you are two tired to go on, Porg™ yourself a cup of coffee.

  • Let me share some statistics about the homeworks in the class Saturday morning 08:00 CET (the weekend comes so more freetime :-) ):

    - 37! members posted homeworks on Week1 (plus one even found in separate thread posted homework accidentally there, so maybe 38 :-) )

    - 5 new members joined to Week2, welcome in the thread :-)

    - 10 members posted already their homeworks to Week2, who already participated in Week1 (2 members to be added to the table yet)

    - 27 members hopefully are working on their homework on Week2 (including me :D ), who posted homework to Week1 but did not to Week2 yet

    So at the moment we are 42 in the 2018 January class!

  • BC1-1801 Week 2 Submission

    The bell pepper seemed like a good challenge in the time allotted (and also reminded me of an intro graphite/charcoal drawing class). Had I to do it over again, I would have started the UV sphere with fewer segments, and I would have tried to have been more clever about modeling the cap. I learned a lot though.

    The ring was just having fun. Threw that one together pretty quickly. For want of time, I gave up trying to resolve the seam where the ends of the curve modifier merge. Probably normals, or maybe the ends aren't actually merging as I want them to.

    These organized classes work better for me, and thanks for providing this. A combination of community, accountability, and deadlines. Definitely focuses the mind.

    • "These organized classes work better for me, and thanks for providing this. A combination of community, accountability, and deadlines. Definitely focuses the mind."

      I completely agree. My self-motivation sometimes needs a kick in the pants.

    • Yes exactly. Still not being some modelling master of course but one thing is sure, that I am better in that than two weeks ago! :-)

    • crew

      The bell pepper is a great choice. I'm so enjoying the variety everyone's coming up with in here. The shape is very recognizable and the wireframe is clean and even as can be. Also good work with the braided ring. It's an excellent application of modifier-based modeling. Awesome job: An easy overall.

      I'm thrilled to hear that you're enjoying the class format. Getting this kind of feedback motivates me to get more scheduled :)

  • BC1-1801 Week 2 Homework Submission

    The tyre has some issues I know.. :D Two mandatory (for me) items and one the house just as a free idea

    • crew

      The tire is hard. Took me a couple attempts in preparation for Week 2's stream. So you should feel accomplished about what you have. Your other models are great too! Love the skyscraper; another excellent modifier-based modeling choice. And your coffee cup has super-even topology. I honestly don't think you could get the polygons more uniform. Aside from the inside of the cup. But now I'm nitpicking.

      Great job, csehz! csehz! Grade A work 👏

  • BC1-1801 Week 2 Submission

    After 4 hours I got the wheel...

    And that is how it looks without all the modifiers. 

    Thanks for the class! The deadline makes me find time to model...:D

    • crew

      WOW. Is this your first time modeling something like this? As in based so heavily on modifiers? If so, wow.

      This is a fantastic wheel. It immediately makes me think of WWII-era Jeep wheels. The details are spot on and I appreciate you showing the base mesh of each piece (without modifiers)! You killed the assignment: A grade.

      No doubt it was a laborious 4 hours, but I'd bet you learned a lot about the workflow and could do it again in half the time.

  • BC1-1801 Week 2 Homework Submission

    Had to skip some of the buttons/details of the Joy-Con because it was getting too complicated for me. I struggled with the subdivision surface modifier. The hard corners were getting too round and when adding more edge loops the round parts was messed up. Had to start from beginning many times because either the mesh got too complicated/messed up or I found other ways I could lay it out. Learned a lot from this homework.

    • crew

      Come on now. I've seen Mario and Zelda models, now a Joycon? I think you all know I'm a sucker for the Switch! Not sure I can grade this objectively 😅

      Overall it's a solid model. Your details are defined and clear. It absolutely registers as a JoyCon to my eye. The wireframe is just a tiny bit unpolished in spots. But it's going to be hard to explain how it could be better polished here in text form.

      iindieviking Could you possibly provide me a download link to your .blend file so I could explain critique during the livestream this coming Tuesday? I'm inclined to give this model a B+ but want to clearly explain what would make it an A for me.

  • I have a general modeling question. I am trying to model an old milk can.
    The handle is attachted to the surface of an additional piece of metall.
    I don´t know the correct term.

    For this I need additional geometry.How can I  do that?
    If  I use Loop cut I will have vertices on areas  I don`t  neet  them.
    With subdivide I will  produce n-gone around this  area.
    With shortcut "V"  I can split - but this  doesn`t really help me.
    I saw already tutorials and there was explained how  to get rid of  the extra   vertices (n-gones) by  usin edge-slide.
    But so far I dont have a  correct idea how to managed it.

    By the way:In Blender you  can  found e.g. n-gones:
    Edit Mode >Face selection mode
    Go to  Select >Select All  by Traits>Select  Faces by Sides
    On the Tool shelf, select  :"Greater  than 4"
    there are  some more helpful  options

  • BC1-1801 Week 2 Homework Submission

    It started off as a homework submission and ended up being one of my weekly scenes. I just hope it doesn't count as flexing :-) The modifiers I used are Subsurf, Mirror, Bevel, and Array. To make the outline visible, I added Wireframe (and turned off Subsurf).

  • busy week. allmost didn't have time to finish this. And damn, so many good works here already!

    I have long project on doing my desk items and I've been putting it off. decided to start with a mug and line 6 ux2 unit. I found this especially useful since i've been doing so much stuff from head and used reference as a guide to make things cool, so in practice point this was good. ux2 needs textures which is something i'll do later, now just quick render with principled shader and nothing fancy.