How To Do Bulkhead Panel Lines

Hey all, this is a video tutorial on how to do panel lines in bulkheads in science fiction scenes.

Hope everyone is doing great.


Great technique. Thanks for that.

Hey Dan, I missed something. Sorry if this is a stupid question, but did you duplicate the panel and then mirrored both panels? I was following along and when it came time to delete the faces I was left with holes. Thanks.

This is the proper modifier stack. The mirror always goes on top and is the first to be applied, then the Solidify modifier.

Hope that helps. :slight_smile:

Please note that in this particular instance I’m doing for a client, both the X and Y axes are mirrored, though this may be different in your case. The purpose of this image is simply to show the stack priorities and which goes on top. Your individual settings may vary! =D


Thanks for the tutorial. Just to double check, your base model doesn’t have a solidify modifier, just the duplicate, right?

@ifcruickshank: Correct. Usually you don’t need to add solidify to the base mesh simply because the only parts that are usually visible are the lines where the panels meet. Sometimes I add a solidify to it, though. But it’s very rare and only in certain circumstances.


Makes sense. Thank you, sir!

Not a problem! Happy Blendering, my friend. :slight_smile:


Thanks for this… a much needed kick in the butt as this got the creative juices flowing again.

J dan, did you know that you sound exactly like Sam/Owen from the show Nikita? Go listen to that guy and tell me I’m wrong

Thanks for this, great tutorial! :slight_smile:

Just finished watching this, very good info about the solidify modifier. Had to try it a couple of times to get the result. As I am new to Blender and couldn’t figure out which keypresses you were using at times. Got there in the end though. :slight_smile:

I’m having trouble with the flipped normals, which are screwing up the rest of the process. Are both meshes supposed to have their normals facing inward? I do that, and when I go to make loop cuts on the inner mesh, they appear on the outside, rather than on the inside. While its not a big deal, it’s still really annoying, having to rotate my view around constantly to see what changed on the other side. I’m obviously doing something wrong, but I don’t know exactly what it is. Could you maybe give me a short text run-down of the exact steps to get the meshes set up to do the loop cuts properly?

Good trick and nice presentation. You can speedup your modeling making one loopcut, bevel (Ctrl+B) and X F, instead of creating 2 loopcuts, changing to face mode, selecting faces and delete.

Hey Zokk,

I think I get what you’re asking. I may be wrong, if so, I apologize. What does this setting in Blender show?

It should show as the image displays it. Usually, the default is set to -1.000, which would make the generated faces on the outside of the mesh, away from the normals. This sounds like this is the challenge you’re facing. You want it to be at 0.000, which means the generated faces are centered in the middle of the base mesh.

Hope this helps.


Yep, that was the problem. Setting it to 0 seems to have solved the problem. Thanks.

A sort-of related question, as well: How do you position the camera when modeling fully-enclosed interior spaces? Do you build them one wall at a time, so you have free range of motion with the camera, or do create all the walls, floors and ceilings around the camera, effectively “trapping” it inside the room while you work?

I usually just model the entire room and use perspective in the OpenGL 3D window. But everyone has a different way of doing it, I think.


nice, thanks for sharing this.

I’ve never seen any of your tutorials Dan… I enjoyed this, thanks for taking the time to show us a few of your methods.

Dan, thanks for posting this video, it’s is really motivating and helped me to get over the stumbling block of how to model complex looking geometry without ending up with a huge mess geometry that is difficult to work with.

In return, I have a suggestion that may work well for you. If you want 2 sets of insets towards the edges of the bulkheads, instead of making a loopcut and moving it over then making another one and moving it over, ect, you can start with just one loopcut at the center and use Ctrl-B to split the loop and draw them away from one another into position towards the edges. Now select those two edges and repeat this, now you will have the basis for two channels evenly spaced and ready to inset or extrude with only a few operations needed to get to this point.

May the force be with you.