Generate ideas through 3D geometry

18 May 202117:08

TLDRIn this video, the creator discusses a method for generating new and complex 3D shapes from simple objects. The process involves using various 3D modeling techniques such as insetting, extruding, and applying mesh smoothing to create intricate structures that resemble organic forms, viruses, or even space monsters. The video demonstrates how to manipulate basic geometric shapes like spheres and boxes to produce unique and visually appealing designs. The creator also shares tips on optimizing the models for a more crystalline lattice effect and using modifiers to add complexity or achieve a mechanical look. The script is filled with enthusiasm for the potential of 3D geometry in sparking creativity and offers viewers a glimpse into the process of transforming simple shapes into fascinating and complex structures.


  • 🎨 Start with simple objects and quickly make them complex to generate interesting shapes.
  • πŸ” Use the 'Inset by Polygons' tool to create lattice structures that can have an organic look with MeshSmooth.
  • 🧬 Extrude and manipulate inset faces to create unique forms, like a virus or space monster.
  • πŸ’  Optimize shapes down to create crystalline lattices, and use the Shell modifier to add depth.
  • πŸ”’ Experiment with the number of segments on a sphere to create strange and interesting mutations.
  • 🌐 Use MeshSmooth to add complexity and Pro Optimize to create a quasi-periodic tiling for a machine-like appearance.
  • πŸš€ Leave inset faces and delete other parts to create standalone structures that can be further manipulated.
  • πŸ› οΈ Utilize the Mesh Smooth modifier to achieve a mechanical or organic look by adjusting its settings.
  • 🏒 Create complex structures from basic shapes like boxes by applying various modifiers and operations.
  • ⛡️ Use the process of generating complex geometry from simple objects as a method for idea generation and inspiration.
  • 🌟 The final complex structures can be used for various purposes, like emitter geometry for particles or modeling elements.

Q & A

  • What is a simple method to generate new ideas when faced with a blank page?

    -One can create simple objects and quickly make them complicated by forming various interesting shapes. Then, select the ones that seem interesting and keep the rest for later use.

  • How can you give an organic look to a lattice structure in 3D modeling?

    -By adjusting the settings on the MeshSmooth modifier, the lattice can achieve an organic appearance, resembling a structure like a virus or pollen under a microscope.

  • What is a way to simplify complicated shapes in 3D geometry?

    -Optimizing the shapes down to a lower percentage using tools like Pro Optimize can simplify them into more crystalline lattices.

  • How can the Shell modifier be used to create a 3D object from a 2D surface?

    -The Shell modifier can be applied to a 2D surface to extrude it and make it a 3D object, which can then be made chunkier or have its edges chamfered.

  • What is a technique to create a quasi-periodic tiling in 3D modeling?

    -By using the Pro Optimize tool and reducing the percentage to around 20%, a strange quasi-periodic tiling can be achieved, which resembles a machine or a planet.

  • How can you create a unique and complex object starting from a simple shape like a box?

    -By using a combination of mesh operations such as extruding, insetting, and optimizing, one can create complex structures that could resemble a building under construction or a space station.

  • What is a method to generate a large number of unique 3D objects quickly?

    -By using mathematical operations on simple shapes and applying various modifiers and optimizations, one can generate a multitude of complex and unique objects in a short amount of time.

  • How can you create a spaceship model that looks enormous?

    -To make a spaceship look enormous, details should be small and widely distributed relative to the overall size of the ship, similar to how the features of a baby elephant are larger relative to its size compared to an adult elephant.

  • What is a useful technique for creating a texture that has both order and an organic feel?

    -Applying a combination of mesh smooth, lattice, extrude, and inset operations can create a surface texture that has a sense of order but also an organic feel.

  • How can you use the selection tool to create a city-like structure in 3D modeling?

    -By selecting faces at random and then extruding them, followed by adjusting the selection percentage and using mesh smooth, one can create a structure that mimics the look of a city with varying building heights.

  • What is a way to break up the surface of a 3D model to create more detail?

    -Using tools like Pro Optimize or selection functions that allow for random selection of faces based on a percentage can help break up the surface and add more detail to the model.

  • How can you use geometric functions to create a texture similar to bricks without using textures?

    -By using geometric functions to create a pattern of faces that resemble bricks and then converting these into normal maps, one can achieve a brick-like texture on a 3D model.



🎨 Creative Complication: Generating Complex Shapes

The speaker discusses the challenge of generating new ideas when faced with a blank page. They suggest a method of taking simple objects and quickly making them complex by creating various shapes. The process involves selecting the most interesting shapes and keeping the rest for future use. The speaker demonstrates using 3D modeling techniques such as insetting faces to create a lattice, using mesh smooth to achieve an organic look, and extruding and optimizing shapes to create intricate designs. They also mention the possibility of using these shapes for particle systems in visual effects, like a hurricane, and the potential for using simple geometric shapes like boxes to create complex structures.


πŸš€ Space Constructions: Building with Mathematical Operations

The speaker continues with the theme of creating complex structures, this time focusing on generating shapes that resemble buildings under construction or space stations. They use mesh smooth modifiers to alter the appearance between mechanical and organic. By starting with a simple box and applying various 3D modeling operations, the speaker creates a complex and intriguing object that could be interpreted as an alien machine or a space cathedral. They emphasize the power of mathematical operations in transforming simple shapes into complex structures, and suggest the potential for adding textures and details to enhance the design further.


🌌 Gigantic Spaceships: Achieving Enormity in Design

The speaker shares insights on how to make a spaceship look huge by using visual cues similar to those that distinguish between the sizes of animals, like baby and adult elephants. They describe their process of creating the 'Guild Highliner' spaceship from a simple cylinder, using mesh smooth and optimization to create a complex surface pattern. The speaker also discusses the importance of detail distribution in achieving the impression of size and shares a tip for creating a city-like appearance by randomly selecting and extruding faces on a model. They conclude by emphasizing the flexibility of the creative process, allowing for experimentation and refinement.


πŸ™οΈ Cityscapes and Realism: Adding Depth to 3D Models

The final paragraph focuses on creating a realistic cityscape within a 3D model. The speaker talks about the process of selecting random groups of buildings and using mesh smooth to add levels of detail, which enhances the realism of the structures. They highlight the importance of allowing for flexibility and experimentation in the design process, encouraging the viewer to try different approaches and see what results they yield. The speaker concludes by thanking the viewers for watching and inviting them to find them on Instagram.



πŸ’‘3D Geometry

3D Geometry refers to the study of shapes and sizes in three dimensions. In the context of the video, it is used to generate complex and interesting shapes for creative design. The video demonstrates how simple 3D objects can be manipulated to create intricate and unique forms, which is central to the theme of generating ideas through geometric manipulation.


In 3D modeling, insetting refers to the process of pushing the faces of a 3D object inward to create a more complex structure. The video uses insetting to create a lattice-like structure, contributing to the overall complexity and visual interest of the generated shapes.

πŸ’‘Mesh Smooth

Mesh Smooth is a modifier in 3D modeling software that smooths the surfaces of a mesh by adjusting the positions of its vertices. In the video, it is used to give an organic look to the shapes, which is a key technique in achieving the aesthetic of the designs being discussed.


Extruding is the process of pushing a face or edge of a 3D object outward to create a new volume. The video script mentions extruding faces to create a structure that resembles a virus or space monster, which is an example of how extrusion can be used to generate new and interesting shapes.

πŸ’‘Shell Modifier

The Shell Modifier is a tool in 3D modeling that allows a 2D surface to be transformed into a 3D object by giving it thickness. In the video, it is used to add a chunky appearance to the models, which is a significant step in the process of creating the final complex structures.


Chamfering in 3D modeling involves creating a beveled edge on a model. The video discusses using chamfer to refine the edges of shapes, which is important for achieving a more polished and detailed look in the final design.


In the context of 3D modeling, optimization refers to the process of simplifying a model to reduce its complexity and improve performance. The video demonstrates using optimization to create a crystalline lattice from a complex shape, which is a key part of the creative process shown.

πŸ’‘Quasi-Periodic Tiling

Quasi-periodic tiling is a type of pattern that has a sense of order but does not repeat regularly. The video uses this concept to create a complex and visually appealing surface texture for a spaceship model, which is an example of the intricate designs that can be generated through 3D geometry.

πŸ’‘Particle Emitter

A particle emitter in 3D modeling is a tool used to generate numerous small particles that can be used for effects like smoke, fire, or in the video's context, a swirling formation on the surface of an object. It's an example of how 3D geometry can be used to create dynamic and visually interesting effects.

πŸ’‘Geodesic Dome

A geodesic dome is a hemispherical structure that is efficiently constructed from a pattern of interlocking polygons. The video mentions creating a geodesic dome-like structure, which is associated with the work of Buckminster Fuller and is used here to demonstrate the creation of complex and efficient shapes.

πŸ’‘Pro Optimize

Pro Optimize is a term used in the video to describe a process that breaks up the surface of a 3D model to create a more complex and detailed texture. It's used to add realism and complexity to the models, such as simulating the look of a cityscape or an alien machine.


Creating complex shapes quickly from simple objects can generate new and interesting ideas.

Insetting polygons can create a lattice structure, giving an organic look with mesh smoothing.

Extruding inset faces can result in unique shapes resembling microscopic organisms or space monsters.

Optimizing shapes can simplify them into crystalline lattices, useful for creating intricate designs.

Using the Shell modifier can transform 2D surfaces into 3D objects with a more chunky appearance.

Adjusting the number of segments on a sphere can create bizarre and unique forms.

Mesh smoothing and optimizing can produce a quasi-periodic tiling, resembling mechanical or alien structures.

Deleting connecting tissue and leaving only inset faces can lead to the creation of intriguing shapes.

Optimizing shapes down to as little as 20% can result in strange and complex forms.

Using particle arrays, these shapes can be used as emitter geometry, creating dynamic visual effects.

Starting with a simple box and applying various modifications can lead to the creation of a spaceship model.

Changing the settings of the mesh smooth modifier can give objects a mechanical or organic appearance.

By using mathematical operations, simple shapes can be transformed into complex and visually compelling structures.

Adding textures and details to a model can enhance its complexity and visual appeal.

Making a ship look enormous can be achieved by designing it with small, widely distributed details relative to its size.

Using selection tools to randomly choose faces and applying geometric functions can mimic the look of a cityscape.

Extruding and mesh smoothing random selections of faces can add depth and realism to a city-like structure.

The process of generating ideas through 3D geometry is iterative, allowing for experimentation and refinement.

The final creation, a spaceship named Guild Highliner, is an example of the complex structures that can be generated from simple geometric forms.