February 3, 2023


In this tutorial, I will include the importance of the theory “Form Follows Function” and talk about the working process from 2D concept to 3D final design. Blender has been used as a tool to try out various compositions and integrate different props into a final scene in Photoshop.

That is the ultimate picture of this venture that illustrates how totally different props combine collectively.

Analysis & analyze capabilities

Earlier than beginning to attract thumbnails, you will need to spend time on analysis and analyze the subject. I looked for spaceship constructions and cutaway to grasp the way it works in actuality. There are a lot of structural parts of a spaceship and the essential capabilities that have to be targeted when come to design are: fuselage, turbine engine, cabin, sensor, elevator, and air vent.

To understand how things work before designing

Form follows function

Reading Gundam Instruction Manual can help me understand how joints connect with each other and how they rotate and move. Design is not only about looking cool, but also needs to have some purpose and be functional. I think building a model is a very good exercise to review all the basic fundamentals of hard surface design.

To learn the way joints work by studying instruction manuals

Begin with thumbnails

After learning the essential capabilities of the spaceship, I began to work alone, contemplating capabilities when doing idea sketches. Writing annotations subsequent to my drawing offered a clearer path and jogged my memory of the design goal as properly. I did two thumbnails and tried to discover totally different shapes. One was extra rounded whereas the opposite one was an angular form.

Rough sketches with annotations

Block out in Blender

Sometimes it is challenging to start it from scratch. I firstly used simple geometries like cubes and cylinders to block out major forms and be patient to fix the overall proportion and shape before moving to another step. It is fine to ignore details at this stage.

To dam out the principle huge shapes first and ensure the proportion is heading in the right direction earlier than including particulars

Refine particulars

I seemed for extra actual life references to grasp laborious floor slicing traces, and the way issues join collectively. This step is critical for designing particulars, giving me extra concepts of making useful design. I did some tough doodling on prime of the mannequin in Photoshop to generate extra concepts and develop the small print additional extra.

To refine details by searching for more references

Boxcutter & Hard Ops in Blender

I found out that the workflow is more efficient after inserting Blender add-ons, Boxcutter and Hard Ops. This toolkit can increase productivity and save more time just by cutting out the shapes, or inserting new geometry in a faster way. When working on modeling, I also need to make sure the model is neat and no faces are flipped over. To double check the faces, press Alt+V  and enable face orientation. Blue color represents correct face direction while red color is being flipped. To solve the flip normals problem, go to Edit Mode and press Alt+N, then click “Flip.”

Use Blender add-ons to build the 3D model

Final design

This is the final concept based on my draft. I added a modular turret to my spaceship for having two different designs, which could be disassembled and assembled flexibly in my final illustration piece. For the material, I only used one single material for my spaceship and did not add any fancy textures as it was not necessary for the final scene.

Different views of the final concept

Rough sketch of spacecraft

After finishing the spaceship, I started to work on spacecraft. I used another method starting with black and white sketches first. This can help me draw my ideas faster with different solutions. As they were just 2D graphics, I wanted to see how they looked in 3D viewport. I then used Grease Pencil in Blender to sketch out the shapes based on my drafts, fixed the vertices a bit and filled up the faces. This is not a clean model and is not final, so it is fine to do experiments and test out the over proportions.

Use a giant brush to sketch out concepts in Photoshop and use Blender Grease Pencil to mannequin the essential kinds

Clear lineart

I labored on clear lineart for giving myself a clearer artwork path earlier than leaping to Blender. Final time when doing the spaceship, I jumped forwards and backwards in 2D and 3D packages to develop concepts, which was extra time consuming in my view. Subsequently, I modified my working course of and drew the idea in a neater manner, which might be simpler when shifting to the modeling stage.

Work on clear lineart earlier than modeling

Closing design of spacecraft

I repeated the earlier modeling steps from step 4 to six, beginning with easy kinds first and slowly mixed them through the use of Boxcutter and Laborious Ops device. It took fairly a little bit of time to repair the geometries and slicing traces. Since this spacecraft was symmetrical, I mirrored it to a different aspect by urgent Alt+X. This shortcut is helpful in relation to mirroring objects. After ending the entire mannequin, I added the bottom supplies with a little bit of metallic and decreased roughness.

Totally different views of the ultimate idea

An internet site for developing customized shapes

This website could be very helpful and helpful if you find yourself lack of concepts. After typing some random phrases or your identify within the clean part and press “Construct It,” it’ll routinely give you many prospects and you can begin engaged on it as a base or do paint over on prime.

Mix easy kinds primarily based on my identify “Samantha”