Random Hard Surface Device

A random device I made to practice hard surface modelling and also a bit of texturing and materials.
It has no real purpose, but I tried to make it look at least somewhat functional, something that can be part of something bigger in real life.

Modeled in Blender, Textured in Substance Painter, rendered in Cycles (statics) and EEVEE (animation)

More renders on ArtStation https://www.artstation.com/artwork/6b0BQV


very good work. I’m also trying to get better at hard surface modeling right now. is very difficult for me. I assume you have worked a lot with booleans, sub devs and bevels? do you use box cutter and hard ops? what is your workflow like with substance painter?

I created the main shape, then I used a mix of booleans and regular modelling techniques and did a few iterations and adjustments here and there. I do use some shortcuts from HardOps and MeshMachine, but it’s 99.9% vanilla Blender. I applied all the booleans while I was working on them, to manually tweak things that won’t look good automatically.
It’s not subdivideable, I used a lot of triangles and ngons (see the wireframe shots in the artstation link). My concern was just with proper shading. For bevels, I used edge bevel weights and a bevel modifier, to keep it non-destructive. Check this video out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTQ_SjlGPhk . I have BoxCutter but I rarely use it to be honest, I never took time to properly learn it

For Substance, I first UV Unwrapped the model (manually), then used UVPackMaster to pack the UV islands efficiently, then assigned color IDs for various parts of the object, so I can use them as masks. I exported as FBX, with triangulated faces, then in Substance I baked the different necessary textures (Normals, AO, Curvature, position…etc). I used the mask with color selection to assign the basic material properties for each part. After that I created a scratches layer that replaces the grain normal map with a flat one, and reduces roughness, I added decals and then a subtle dirt layer above everything. I exported the PBR textures back to Blender and rendered it.

I would suggest you get familiarized with the basic modelling techniques and knowing them by heart first, especially bevel, shear, snapping, changing the transform origin point, aligning the transform to another face/object, knife, inset/outset, using shrinkwrap and guide meshes…etc.
Then study concepts and real products you like and try to make sense of different elements from a functional point too. eg : why are screws usually here? can a battery or a motherboard fit inside ? how would you manufacture and disassemble it? is metal flexible enough this? is plastic strong enough…etc.

I recommend the course “Master Car Creation” by CGMasters and “Hard Surface Modelling” by Gleb Alexandrov and Aidy Burrows. You could find interesting tutorials on Youtube. I rarely watch tutorials or courses though, so I don’t know if there are newer/better resources

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Thank you very much for this detailed answer! helps me. keep up the good work :slight_smile:

You’re welcome, I’m glad I could help. Thank you too!

Nice stuff! I too like making unusual things and making them seem like they belong to this world. Those 4 holes are some nice geometry :slight_smile:

It’s fun and relaxing! and thanks :slight_smile:

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