My First Finished 3D Model…

This course was fantastic, a really great introduction in to 3D modelling in Blender. I spent about two and half weeks following along (which was a little longer than I wanted this course to take) but I learnt an awful lot from it. I personally learn best from visually seeing actions and putting them into practise over and over again.

By the end of the course (approximately 6 hours of tutorials) I felt that there were some parts of my modeling and geometry (such as the back wings) that I could have gone back over and improved with new techniques I learnt later on in the course. I’m finding one of the most challenging parts of modeling is knowing when to stop! Sometimes, you just have to accept that what you’ve made is pretty good (almost perfect) and that you need to move on. You may fiddle around for ages and still not find that perfect position or angle. A good sense of judgement is needed. As long as you achieve the desired effect and you are happy, move on to the next part.

I’m now going to start modeling some smaller concepts (maybe some fantasy weapons) to practise the techniques I learnt on this course. I’m then going to start following a texturing course. I will then return to my model of the plane and have a go at rendering a textured version with a transparent windshield to show off the detail of the cockpit.

Struggles, difficulties and tips

Sometimes when insetting (I) I came across the issue in the below screenshots. Extra vertices/faces are added. At first I thought this was to do with the mirror clipping. Note: It’s important to check vertices are clipped – move them around until they clip back into place. Make sure to check vertices that are hidden under mesh too. I realised that the issue below happened because “boundary” was selected. Hit F6 to bring up the option to uncheck “boundary”.


Quick tip: I wanted the gauges to be evenly spread right and left of the centre. In this case the easiest way was to have the same position on the X-axis, but the right was positive and left negative.

A couple of times my origin point was in an awkward place and I couldn’t rotate objects in the way that I wanted them. I later found out that you can reset the origin point by going into the transform sidebar.

Tip: Insetting the top of a surface makes it nice and smooth.

There is a good example of why applying scale is important at 5:27 in this video. Because the rotation wasn’t set in the video, when the array modifier was applied, all of the rivets (the object) increased in size. Also important at this part to have the origin at the same position as the empty.

Tip: I set the count to 4 on the array modifier and rotated the rivet by 15 degrees. I then put into the count “360/15” (360 is full rotation, 15 is what I chose the angle to be), this then created equal spacing 360 degrees round for all of the rivets.

Tip: I enabled the addon “LoopTools”. I then selected a circular edge that was more of an oval shape, hit the “W” key and then selected “LoopTools” followed by circle, and it made it turned the end of my oval shaped mesh into an equally spaced circle.

The final issue I had with my model was getting the rivets that I duplifaced to render, along with the gauges. At this point I had to learn more about layers (something I hadn’t really touched upon) as both of these objects were in separate layers to the main mesh. After a couple of hours discussion with a friend, he fixed my problem! What I didn’t realise is that duplifacing hadn’t made my rivets into actual objects. That’s why I couldn’t select them and why they wouldn’t render. To fix this, I selected the “path” that I made, hit “CRTL + A” followed by “Make Duplicates Real”. I then deleted the path and all of my rivets had become real objects that could be rendered. Hoorah!


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