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! ❄️

  • People who watched all fundamental courses and did some practice should participate in?

    I live in overseas and live event starts like 4am so I won't be able to take part in.

    If there will be something I can do, I want to do.

    • crew

      If you've already watched the courses I suppose you don't have to watch them again. Unless you want a refresher.

      Nuts, I'm sorry about the time zone issue. I never know how to solve that well...You could post questions you have here in the thread each week and I'll do my best to answer them during the streams. Obviously you could submit homework along with everyone else.

  • This sounds like it will be fun... and challenging. Wait?!? What? Homework? Skooldaze wer u long time ugo. hee hee hee

  • So for the record. It is an open class where everybody can participate or not, right?
    I would be interested but January is completly full with other stuff - ergo I need to prioritize. So are you planning to keep doing this format in February as well? 

    • crew

      meadoc It's an open class in that any and all subscribing Citizens are eligible to participate. Free members are not eligible. I'd like to do classes every month or every other month. Sometimes we'll repeat a class but often there will be new ones.

  • Great idea! I am not a beginner anymore, so hopefully I can participate in February :) 

    • crew

      Glad to see you're interested! I'm not 100% sure I'll do another class in February. I've only the capacity to focus on this first class for the time being.

      Assuming it goes well, I may try to schedule classes for all of 2018.

  • This is exactly what I need! I already did the mesh modeling fundamentals but I lost my mind with tire challenge and skipped it. Looking forward to this class.

  • I noticed it mentions to RSVP and submit the homework, is there a specific place to rsvp or is just saying i am in! and uploading the work like other content excercises?

    • crew

      RSVP's are for Live Events. Click on any Event in the list and you'll see the RSVP button in the colored window. There's 4 events scheduled for this class (BC1-1801) that you can RSVP to.

      Sorry we don't have a truly official way to 'enroll' in classes yet. We'll build it eventually but A) I just didn't want to wait to do classes till then and B) doing classes will tell us what exactly we should build to facilitate them best.

      During each week of the class, participants can post a reply to this thread with attached media to serve as a homework submission. I suppose it could be distinguished by a "label" at the top, something like this:


  • Can you please tell me how long the live stream would take? I have to go to work in the afternoon on that day but might be able to watch it before work. Would there be a recorded version of it later to watch? Thank you.

  • When do we submit the homework, before or after the live stream?

  • I'll be able to attend, this is probably a little basic for my skill level but I'll definitely be participating just to make sure I haven't missed anything. Good luck.

  • I love the idea and i'll do my best to be here !

    Just a question about the homework:

    Do we have something to do with materials and lights ?
    Or do we have to do a 100% grey scene?
    Or maybe we can just color a little bit our homework like in the 1st exemple?

    Thanks :)

  • crew

    galledark I'm glad you're participating! You can do either grey or colored scene. Adding colors is slightly more challenging than leaving everything grey. If you're up for that challenge, go for a colored scene.

  • BC1-1801 Week 1 Homework Submission

    I had lots of fun creating this chicken. It took around 1 hours and I think I'm an expert now at navigating the platform, rotating, and scaling primitive objects.

  • crew

    Heads up Class: I just updated the topic description with a "Class Announcement #1" section at the top reminding what to do this week.

  • BC1-1801 Week 1 Homework Submission

    I learned a very important lesson the hard way during this. Save Regularly! I was just finishing up with the lighting as blender decided to kick the bucket. So I lost around an hour of work, whoops. Anyway, I had a break and started fresh and in the end I actually much prefer this version. I did end up tweaking a torus to create the globe, I hope that's allowed.

    So a wee bit about me. I started learning blender 6/7 weeks ago, but like most people I lacked direction. I have a head full of grand ideas and just about no clue how to even go about starting them. So I've been following a few tutorials but I have found it tricky translate what I've learned from the two and a half tutorial series that I've worked through into my own ideas. However, I recently discovered you guys here at CGCookie and I hope between these classes and your workflows I'll discover how to begin turning my ideas into reality. Thank you again for running this, I'm looking forward to the future classes.

    Edited: Bad Link

    • Sadness.... image isn't showing

    • Grant,

      One of the great things about Blender is that it has excellent autosave recovery, (which I don't remember if it's covered in the course sets for this class, but probably should be, and is in one of the videos somewhere here on CG Cookie)  -- at least, as long as the computer hasn't rebooted (this last bit has been my experience because rebooting tends to reset the location that the autosave files are recovered to).

      To access the autosave, go File->Recover Auto Save.  For me, it usually gives a reverse chronological listing of the work I've done. If you saved the file and gave it a name, then the autosave file should have the name of the file you want to recover.  Otherwise, it will be a numbered file.  If the Blender crash just happened and you've just reopened Blender, the autosave file you want is most likely the one at the top of the list.

      Usually, doing this, I've lost no more than 5 minutes worth of work.

      Incidentally, Blender also can save backup versions when you save. In the User Preferences under the File tab, it will save the number of backups in the Save Versions box by renaming the file with an incremental number. So the first backup would be "filename.blend1", then .blend2 for the next to last save, etc, up to the save versions number.  So if you accidentally save over a file you didn't mean to save over, then you can still get at it.

      Hope this helps out with future crashes!

    • Knew it was here somewhere :D

      Here's that tutorial on the autosave I mentioned:

    • Very cool. Lots of creativity in this class.

    • crew

      Thanks for sharing about Blender's autosave functionality gradyp! It's saved my butt more than once.

      aarkesh As frustrating as it is to redo work - trust me I HATE it - usually the second time around the result is much better. Your primitive scene homework looks great! Even the extra mile with color and lighting. A+ stuff. If I had to guess, I'd guess that you're plenty comfortable navigating around the viewport and manipulating objects' transforms 👍

      Thanks for sharing about yourself! I love getting a feel for where members are in the class. And the fact that you have/had a bunch of ideas but unsure how to get there - That's exactly why I want to do classes! Glad to hear it's clicking for you.

    • Dig what you did with the room Grant. Colors and lighting are very cool.

  • Had fun doing this may of over done it a little (couple of hundred of primitive shapes). Been using blender for a few months but never really got it till I subscribed to CGcookie last month. This course is the best, instead of having no direction of what to do, I have now got a vague description of what to do and better still a time frame in which to do it in.

    Looking forward to the next course, just wish that the time difference wasn't so much in England so I could watch/ participate in the live stream.  

    • Very Picturesque. Nice.

    • crew

      No such thing as "over-doing" here, especially when you follow the guidelines. Your primitive scene looks awesome! I love the tall pointy cones for the trees. Like evergreens. A+ 👍

      I'm sorry about the time inconvenience for the Live Events. It's a problem I really want to solve but it seems there's no ideal answer. If we start to notice a lot of UK/European participation (or any specific region outside the US) we may do a month class catering to that time zone. Still that excludes everyone I said, no ideal answer 😞

    • Love the bridge and the whole composition. Cool.

  • BC1-1801 Week 1 Homework Submission

    About a month into using blender and I have completed a couple of CG courses and did a little bit of blender guru before my CG subscription. I feel like I’ve latched on to certain things better than others and thought it would be smart to start somewhat from the beginning with this class and understanding the fundamentals better. Repetition will be a good thing!

  • In my opinion in Blender it is not an evidence thing how to position objects on each other. Meaning that precisely, so without focusing closely and manually adjusting the objects.

    This example tries to show two scenarios - 1) how to put objects on each other and 2) how to put a cube to the corner to another cube.

    The best method I have seen actually from Kent (as I recall in that robot tutorial), changing the Origin point of the objects and snapping to the another object.

    Concretely for the 2) cube corner to cube corner scenario :

    • selecting the blue cube and going into Edit mode in Vertex select, then select the vertex which should be snapped to the vertex of the green cube
    • pressing Shift - S and select Cursor to Selected
    • going to Object mode and pressing Ctrl - Shift - Alt - C and select Origin to 3D Cursor for the blue cube
    • pressing Shift - Tab to enable the Snapping, in the beside menu select Vertex as Snap Element and in the beside menu the Closest option
    • after that if you move the blue cube, its corner will be snapped to the green one

    Please let me know if someone knows some easier method, because typically such shortcuts and order of steps used to frighten the absolute beginners in Blender :-) 

  • BC1-1801 Week 1 Homework Submission

    One of the things I really like about using primitives like this, as can be seen from several of these already, is how quickly you can test an idea for a scene... Particularly once you get into edit mode and can tweak the primatives here and there just a bit to get closer to the right shape.

    I did this one without going into edit mode, but just as an example, going into edit mode would allow you to change the different ends to different size to create a more tapered look for the neck, head, and legs.  But, since this week's was just about "navigating" the viewport, I kept it in object mode and, while proportions could be a lot better, I still think you get the idea of what this is supposed to be.

    This (combined with the techniques for moving pixels from next week's lessons) is how I created my knight and dragon test shot.  Once I had the figures, I could play around with camera angles, limb angles, lighting, composition within the camera.. All before really starting work on the piece.

    It's also a great way to piece together a nice basemesh for sculpting that can sometimes be closer to what you want than using the Skin modifier... but I'm sure that's a whole nother set of lessons :D

    As for why I would do this class though I've been using Blender for year? One, I wanted to see how the classes functioned, but more importantly, one thing I've learned is that achieving mastery at many things is really a matter of mastering the basics, and so every so often, I'll go through a basic course just to see what I can pick up... as well as share my experiences with those who are new.

    Also, I thought this particular exercise would be a good time to practice a more active pose :D

    Looking forward to seeing what others share!

    • crew

      I'm very happy you're participating in the class gradyp despite your experience. This post is a perfect example of how an experienced perspective can enlighten the basics of a skill/artform. Thanks for sharing and being a part of BC1-1801 🙇🏻‍♂️

      PS: You passed the homework with flying colors 😉


    (I can only check recorded movie.)

  • Just want to point out one Windows difference from what Kent said in the week 1 video and that is while you do have the zip file option also, there actually is an installer for Blender users using Windows that you can use as well.  

    If you want to back up the current version, I believe it's in one of the Program Files under Blender Foundation. A CTRL-RIGHT-Click and drag of the Blender folder to the same folder it is in will give you an option to copy the folder (may need admin privileges), which you can rename to from Blender-copy to something that is more meaningful (such as if you're upgrading from 2.78 to 2.79, renaming the old one 2.78).  Once that is done, you can upgrade without losing the previous version.