Hard surface modelling in Blender 2.8x: the best way to learn with or without Add ons?

Hi everybody,
I am new in Blender and just finished a basic course. Now I’m going to start a new specific course about Hard Surface Modelling but reading on YT channel, blog, forum and community, I meet so many solutions the them confused me…
Above all, I found this new course from Chipp Walters, NITROX 3D (no destructive modelling)
who promises to use ANY Add Ons to obtain amazing results. If I have exactly understand in his Intro course (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Atw16f8wZ6Y&feature=emb_logo) he says, that the most famous Blender modelling Add Ons are very amazing and useful (Hard Ops, Boxcutter, Fluent, Speedflow…) but you need a “Deep, deep knowledge…”, on the contrary, if you learn how to use Modifiers well, you can get the same results without using any type of Add ons.
Also, reading on the subject, I found many people who absolutely suggest the use of some excellent Add ons (not mentioned by Chipp Walter) but who seem to be really indispensable, as Quad Remesher, Retopoflow, MESHmachine …
So, in general, what suggestions could you give me so that I can start this cycle of tutorials on the Hard Surface modelling in the best way, to start on the right foot, without wasting time learning superfluous Add ons, but also by using other absolutely “time saver” Add ons .
Many many thanks for a reply!

You might also want to check out Creative Shrimp’s hard surface with Aidy Burrows and Gleb Alexandrov.

However if you are just starting out I would learn the basis of what to do to get the result you are looking for before relying on add-ons. Add-ons are there to make the artists life easy but they are just that a tool but without any knowledge of how it works or why it works you will be lost if something comes up you can’t get looking right with the add-ons.

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That’s a good tutorial but not noob friendly. Aidy has a nice pace for beginners while Gleb works fast and sometimes skips over stuff .

There are even a few edits in the videos where he changed the topology of the mesh without recording it so you might sometimes be stuck until you figure out what he did. Not much of a problem if you want to pick up the techniques but can be frustrating for people that like to following tutorials step by step.

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Okay guys,
for your all considerations, and considering that the Walters course costs 25 euros while the Aidy and Gleb course costs 60 euros …, I think I’ll start with the first one.
Thanks for your replay!

Personally, I think you’d be much better off going to CGMasters and doing all of their free tutorials on hard-surface modeling, particularly the Hammer and the Knife series. He is hands down the best Blender modeling tutor out there. They’re 2.79, but the modeling tools are the same. Also, the Gleb/Aidy course will be much more beneficial to you as a modeler. They cover a very wide range of a lot hard surface approachs and techniques. This is the bread and butter of modeling.

On the other hand, the Nitrox method is a very specific approach to modeling procedurally and not very common among professional vfx/film/game modeling artists(if that’s where you want to go) it is good though, to understand how the modifier stack works.

Best of luck, and most importantly, have fun.


Another great Blender education platform is @cgcookie:

Okay, very good suggestion!

A piece of advice, if you are new best stay away from using the boolean method of hard surface modelling and use the subsurf method for hard surface, cause it might confuse you later on, if you don’t know what those terms are check this video he explains both of them including their merits and demerits ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCZvLUTMpFQ ).

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Never used booleans…

They are useful for merging different objects.

It is a pain in the ass to clean up the topology though, whether you are new or experienced.
Still, useful is useful.