Intro To 3D Modelling, Lesson 5: Bringing It All Together

This week we’ve been learning 3D modelling with Rhino 3D. If you’ve been following along, congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of the series and are now well on your way to being able to model up just about anything. Today we’re looking at how to bring everything you learned together and additional resources you can use to learn more.

In the video above I go over some of the basic principles that I’ve talked about over the last week and put it all together to create a simple scene. I’ve taken a photo in my studio to use as a reference image for what I’m creating (pictured to the right).

I cannot emphasise this point enough: use references. It isn’t cheating. It’s like any other art form. The best way to get the best results is to refer back to things that exist in reality and then riff from them. Not only does this create a more believable model, but it will assist you in solving problems. By referring back to your original, you can see all the subtle information about the way a surface looks and flows.

The three biggest points I want to drive home are:

  • Take your time: Rome wasn’t built in a day (although if you’re awesome, you could probably model it in a day). By pacing yourself, you give your brain time to learn.
  • Plan ahead: By creating a road map of what you want to accomplish with your model, you’ll be ahead of the game. While you can go into a modelling program and just play around, but to create really effective models, it is always a good idea to think before acting.
  • Realise your potential: The cool thing about modelling is that anyone can do it. You just have to practise. It gets easier with time. Before you know it, all those hot-keys will become second nature and you can stop worrying about the software and start creating!

There are plenty of “how-to” sites that will help you model this and that, but if you really want to learn and understand the why of 3D modelling, I invite you to come over to and start watching all the other videos on the site. They come out weekly and are 100% free. I recommend going to the first page of videos and starting from the beginning and working forward. Each video is about four to five minutes long, and explores and discusses a particular topic while creating relevant analogies to help you learn to model fast.

If you want to explore a particular topic in more depth, I offer a few premium videos in the PolyPlane store. I’ll be adding more premium videos as time goes on and as suggestions pour in.

This lesson was created by Gabriel Mathews of PolyPlane. You can follow him on Twitter @PolyPlane and on Facebook.

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