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Box Modelling

Masterclasses Aug 21, 2023 12:40:51 PM 23 min read

Box Modelling – Where Imagination Meets Precision


Imagine a realm where cubes and rectangles transform into jaw-dropping 3D wonders, where a simple geometric shape evolves into a masterpiece of digital artistry. This is the realm of box modelling, a captivating technique that unlocks the gateway to crafting intricate 3D creations. From epic characters that seem to leap off the screen to futuristic vehicles that zoom into existence, box modelling is the secret key that artists use to unlock their imagination. So, fasten your seatbelts as we embark on a journey into the enchanting world of box modelling – where imagination meets precision, and pixels come alive with creativity.


Created by: Gregers Berth – Class 21’

What is box modelling?

Picture this: you start with a basic shape, like a cube, and then methodically add layers of detail. It’s like crafting a sculpture piece by piece. This meticulous approach ensures that your final creation has exactly the proportions and structure you envision. But here’s the beauty of it – if you decide to tweak things as you go, box modelling gracefully accommodates changes. It’s like having a sculptor’s chisel in one hand and an eraser in the other. What’s really cool is that box modelling isn’t just for seasoned pros. Its logical process can be grasped by beginners too, making it an inclusive technique for artists at different skill levels. Whether you’re shaping a lifelike vehicle or constructing an architectural marvel, box modelling empowers you to realize your vision with accuracy and finesse. It’s like having a versatile tool that combines the best of both worlds – the preciseness of an architect’s blueprint and the flexibility of an artist’s sketchbook
Some of the most popular objects that beginners might want to try and model after is something simple like a cardboard box or something a little more challenging, would be a vehicle.

With box modelling it’s a slow but steady approach to 3d modelling where details are added bit by bit.

How it all started

Back in the early days of 3D computer magic, 3D artists were figuring out how to make complex models without breaking their computers. Here came the advantages of box modelling to the rescue. Artists needed a way to create detailed objects without overwhelming the technology of the time due to graphical limitations. So, they started with simple shapes and built things up step by step. At first, it was architects and engineers using it for things like designing buildings and structures.

Fast forward today, 3D artists use software like Blender and Maya that are virtual workshop programs to make these objects. These tools let them shape, twist, and refine their virtual creations in intriguing ways. From creating epic characters and creatures to crafting jaw-dropping vehicles and landscapes, box modelling has grown into this fantastic toolkit for artists.

How we introduce you to box modelling at CADA

In the first semester at CADA, box modelling takes you on an exhilarating exploration of interior design. Imagine having the power to choose any interior space – a cozy living room, a futuristic workspace, or a grand hall. With box modelling ideas and technique as your guide, you’ll embark on the journey of crafting this chosen space from scratch.
Starting with a basic shape – the cornerstone of box modelling – you’ll sculpt and mold your vision into reality. The walls, the furniture, the textures – each element emerges under your digital chisel. With every extrusion and scaling, your chosen interior flourishes, becoming a virtual testament to your creative prowess. 

gudmundurVikarJonsson_snowpocalypse_ postApocalyptic-kopi

Created by: Gudmundur Vikar Johnson – Class 21’


As your journey continues, box modelling seamlessly transitions to the realm of vehicles. From the sleek lines of a sports car to the robust form of an off-road beast, the world of vehicles becomes your playground.
Here, the technique’s precision shines. Box modelling’s systematic approach ensures that every curve, every contour aligns with your artistic vision. Extruding for bodywork, scaling for proportions, and intricate detailing – you’re fashioning vehicles that boast both aesthetic allure and mechanical authenticity.
In the final stretch, box modelling extends its embrace to the grandeur of exteriors. Imagine designing a futuristic cityscape, a serene park, or a bustling urban street. Here, your creativity melds with box modelling’s structured finesse to shape environments that teem with life.
Box modelling’s ability to carve intricate details becomes your tool to create captivating exteriors. The buildings, the landscape elements, the interplay of light and shadow – all these facets merge as you sculpt your envisioned exterior scene into existence.


Starting from Home

If you’re raring to dive into box modelling from the cozy confines of your home, the digital universe has got your back. The web is teeming with an array of tutorials, videos, and online communities that eagerly welcome beginners. Programs like Blender Guru, YouTube’s treasure trove of tutorials, and educational platforms like Udemy provide step-by-step guidance, demystifying the art of box modelling. You can check our own step-by-step guide at the bottom of this page and get started today! Armed with patience and a curious spirit, you can begin crafting your own 3D masterpieces.


Created by: David Ranloev – Class 16’

CADA’s Box Modelling Bootcamp

For those yearning for a structured yet adventurous plunge into the world of box modelling, look no further than CADA’s exhilarating 3D Bootcamp. On Thursdays, join us in person or virtually to delve into the art and science of shaping 3D wonders. Guided by seasoned experts, you’ll wield the tools of the trade, learning to sculpt, refine, and create under their watchful eye. Unleash your creativity alongside fellow enthusiasts, ask questions in real-time, and witness your skills unfold in this dynamic and engaging 3D bootcamp.

To learn more about our 3D bootcamp here.

In a nutshell, box modelling stands as a versatile and precise technique that holds a significant place in the realm of 3D modelling. It offers a systematic approach to sculpting, ensuring that the final outcome boasts accurate proportions and contours. This method gifts artists with the invaluable freedom to experiment, allowing them to fine-tune their creations until they meet the desired vision. Whether you’re shaping the form of a high-speed car, a mechanized robot, or even constructing a sprawling cityscape, box modelling remains an indispensable asset for every 3D artist worth their mettle.

Yearning for deeper insights into the world of 3D? Look no further than one of Denmark’s premier 3D artist schools. Here, you’ll delve into the intricacies of box modelling alongside an array of other fascinating 3D disciplines. If this piques your curiosity, the details await right here.

Ready to try out Box-modelling? Follow the steps below and complete your first creation!

Step 1: Conceive and Conceptualize 

Every creation begins with an idea. Before you even touch your digital canvas, envision the object you want to bring to life. Imagine its shape, contours, and unique characteristics. Whether it’s a character, a vehicle, or an architectural marvel, this mental blueprint sets the stage for your box modelling adventure. 

Step 2: Set Up Your Workspace 

Launch your preferred 3D software and create a new project. A free great and free tool you can use is Blender. The digital realm becomes your playground, ready to transform your imaginative vision into tangible form. Here, you’ll sculpt and shape, guided by the principles of box modelling. 

Step 3: Lay the Foundation 

Begin with a simple shape – often a cube or rectangle – which will serve as the starting point for your model. This primitive geometry acts as the skeleton upon which you’ll build intricate details. It’s like setting the stage for a captivating performance. 

Step 4: Extrude and Define 

Now comes the creative dance. Use the extrude tool to pull sections of your base shape outward, giving it volume and dimension. This is the essence of box modelling – molding the basic structure into intricate forms by extruding edges and faces. 

Step 5: Sculpt and Refine 

With the foundation in place, dive deeper into refining your model. Use tools like scale, rotate, and move to shape individual components. As a sculptor shapes clay, you shape vertices, edges, and faces, refining the contours to match your mental vision. 

Step 6: Add Intricate Details 

Here’s where the magic truly unfolds. Employ the cut and bevel tools to carve in fine details – edges, panels, indentations – that give your model depth and character. This is the phase where your model transforms from a shape into an intricate work of art. 

Step 7: Smooth with Subdivision 

Apply a subdivision surface modifier to your model. This step refines the surfaces, smoothing out edges and enhancing the overall polish. It’s akin to applying finishing touches to a sculpture, ensuring a seamless and visually pleasing result. 

Step 8: Materials and Textures 

Infuse life into your creation with materials and textures. Apply different shaders to achieve realistic surfaces – metal, glass, fabric, and more. This step adds richness and authenticity to your model, making it visually compelling. 

Step 9: Illuminate and Set the Scene 

Lighting transforms your model from a digital creation to a lifelike entity. Experiment with lighting setups, shadows, and highlights to accentuate the form and textures. Just as a painter uses light and shadow to evoke emotion, you manipulate light to breathe life into your creation. 

Step 10: Capture the Essence 

Position your virtual camera to capture the essence of your model. Experiment with angles and perspectives to showcase the most captivating features. A carefully chosen viewpoint transforms your model into a visual narrative. 

Step 11: Iterate and Perfect 

Art is a journey of continuous improvement. Review your model from different angles, adjust details, lighting, and materials as needed. The iterative process ensures your creation evolves closer to your envisioned masterpiece. 

Step 12: Share Your Artistry 

With your creation complete, it’s time to unveil it to the world. Share your model on social media, online portfolios, or art communities. If you want to share your work to the students, teachers and the alumni from CADA, you can join our official Discord server where you can recieve feedback. You can find the link on our frontpage. Embrace the feedback and recognition from fellow artists and enthusiasts, and use it to fuel your artistic growth. 

In the world of 3D artistry, box modelling stands as a remarkable technique that bridges imagination and technical precision. As a 3D artist, mastering this process opens doors to crafting awe-inspiring creations limited only by your creativity. So, grasp your digital tools, step into the realm of box modelling, and sculpt your visions into remarkable reality.