I have been working in blender for just over a year now and have been able to learn the basics and master the simulations but something i am having extreme trouble with is modelling more complex objects for example vehicles and steam-punk objects. I really want to know the basic workflow for bigger more complex mechanical objects. I can get a basic shape pulled together but i cannot get beyond that point. thanks.
I think everyone’s workflow will be different, but mine goes something like this: (for a tire, rim, and lug nuts)
Decide which parts are the basic shape and which parts will be modeled and added later. In this example I have 3 basic models. the tire, the rim and the lug nuts. Think about if there is a repeating shape (the lug nut, and the tire tread in this case) Use the tools available for example the array modifier, for the lug nuts. also think about what part of the detail might be better handled by a texture, in this example maybe the writing on the tire or the rust on the rim.
Build the pieces. If there is something organic in the model, in this example maybe a dent in the rim or a chunk of the tread is missing, I jump into Sculpting and sculpt it.
Put it together. Generally, unless there is a reason not to, I try to join all the pieces of a model into the same individual mesh. Then later using the “L” key I can work on individual piece later.
Hope that gets you started.