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Modelling Exercises: Hard Surface

If you are looking to get into hard surface modelling but wondering what you should model, here are some ideas from the very basic to more complex shapes and forms.

Overview

Exercise 1001: Simple Prop

  • Task: Model and UV a simple everyday asset.
  • Learning Outcome: Modelling tools, clean topology and edgeflow, clean and organised UVS
  • Tip: Model the asset as it has been manafactured (but not always) and analyse your reference clearly. Look a real-world reference that surrounds you (not just pictures).
  • Deliverable: Greyscale model turntable, close up stills and contact sheet (references)

Exercise 1002: Model a Real-World Complex Prop

  • Task: Model and UV a complex prop, including the interior (if any) and exterior. This could be a prop that you own, a prop from a film, etc. You can use a sculpting application to add high res details. If you can, use some photogrammetry/scan geo as reference.
  • Learning Outcome: Observation skills, ability to create a production ready asset. High res details should be applied to the topology model as a displacement map.
  • Tip: Block out the main shapes, then focus on the secondary and tertiary shapes.
  • Deliverable: Greyscale model turntable, close up stills and contact sheet (references)

Exercise 1003: Model a Building

  • Task: Model and UV the exterior of a building. This could be a modern or classic building but it must be based on a real building.
  • Learning Outcome: To gain an understanding and appreciation of architecture.
  • Tip: Work smart – use instances as you block things out, UV as you go. Find a building that you can visit often – this will allow you to remove any guesswork.
  • Deliverable: Greyscale model turntable, close up stills and contact sheet (references)

Exercise 1004: Model a Vehicle

  • Task: Model and UV the interior and exterior of a real-world vehicle
  • Learning Outcome: To demonstrate the ability to create assets with ‘scale’ in mind, good asset management and a clean hierarchy with clear naming.
  • Tip: Work smart – use instances as you block things out, UV as you go. Find a vehicle that you can visit often – this will allow you to remove any guesswork.
  • Deliverable: Greyscale model turntable, close up stills and contact sheet (references)

Exercise 1005: Model a Real-World Complex Prop

  • Task: Work from a 2D concept (not your own)  to model and UV  a hard surface asset. This should be a fantasy design but the elements that make up the asset (the panels, pistons, etc.) should be based in reality (or plausible at least).
  • Learning Outcome: The ability to translate a 2d design to 3d and maintain the essence of the design. The asset should be built with rigging and animation in mind.
  • Tip: Study engineering and mechanics. Think function over form.
  • Deliverable: Greyscale model turntable, close up stills and contact sheet (references)

 

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