Intro To 3D Modelling: The Complete Guide

Intro To 3D Modelling: The Complete Guide

We spent last week learning about the basics of 3D modelling using an application called Rhino 3D. Here’s the complete guide that will teach you everything you need to know to get started.

Below you’ll be able to access each lesson by clicking on its name or image. If you’d like to have all the lessons available for reference in a downloadable (and printable) PDF, you can grab one here.


Lesson 1: Getting to Know Your Software

Do you have a product idea you want to create, or even send to a 3D printer like Ponoko the Makerbot? Do you love concept design, character art, or just visualising your ideas in 3D space? In this Lifehacker Night School series we’re going to take a look at how you can do all of that by learning the basics of 3D modelling.


Lesson 2: Using the Interface and Toolbars

Now that you’ve been introduced to 3D modelling using an app called Rhino 3D, we’re going to dive into the interface and toolbars so you can get to know your new environment.


Lesson 3: Viewports and Construction Planes

Halfway point! Let’s keep truckin’ and learn about the viewports and construction planes. These two elements help us further understand what we are looking at and help us understand the units we are working in and how they affect our geometry.


Lesson 4: Object Selection and Transposition

If you’ve been following along so far, you have an understanding of the software we are using, including the interface, toolbars, viewports and construction planes. Now we need to understand how to grab an object and then move it around.


Lesson 5: Bringing It All Together

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.

Again, don’t forget to grab these lessons in PDF format if you want some reference while watching the videos.

These lessons were created by Gabriel Mathews of PolyPlane. You can follow him on Twitter @PolyPlane and on Facebook.


  • Those are five things considered so basic their not even general 3D concepts. Its like your describing opening up a Microsoft Word document for the first time.

    1. Scene.

    2. Navigation.

    3. Primitives.

    4. Object manipulation.

    5. Surfaces, Faces, Edges, Vertices, Loops, Mirrors, Clones.

    6. Handles, Controllers, Fall offs, Selections.

    9. Box modeling, Nurbs modeling, Boolean modeling, Destructive modeling, Non-destructive modeling.

    10. Hard surface modeling, Soft surface modeling, UV maps wrapping/unwrapping, textures baking.

    That isn’t even accounting for animation, physics, particles, liquids, furs and or renders.

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