Pierrick Picaut is a 3D hobbyist turned professional whose career began 3 years ago upon starting p2design. Being that Pierrick is a Blender Foundation Certified Trainer, we had to reach out to him for his top techniques in modeling in this tool. For more valuable insight, be sure to check out his tutorials on Gumroad and YouTube.

1. Sketch Sculpting

Blender offers a dynamic topology sculpting tool, similar to the dynamesh tool from Zbrush. It's strength is that it generates geometry on the fly, so you don't need to update your mesh surface. You can easily and seamlessly increase details in an area of the model without fullfilling the model with the same detail level. This will allow you to sculpt your models with the highest freedom I know.

2. Retopology Addons

The retopology process can be tedious, but fortunately there are some trunk addons that will help you improve your workflow. Check out the F2 addon and the Bsurfaces addon, for instance. These will help you save a lot of time. If you're doing a lot of retopology, then the retopoflow addon is a must have - but it's not free.

Search for references of topology whenever you're working on organic retopology. There are always people here and there that have faced the same difficulties as you who will share their workflow and tips.

3. Modifiers

Creating a hole on a curvy hard surface can be quite a pain. To make it easier, duplicate your model and project it on the original model using a Shrinkwrap modifier. You can then add a hole on the projected mesh and isolate the part you want to be extruded with a vertex group. Place the Shrinkwrap modifier after your subdivision modifier for even better results.

The Shrinkwrap modifier is also a great way to project details from a Dyntopo sculpt onto a multiresolution model.

I don't use Boolean that much as they generate bad topology but they are awesome for:
  • Experimenting
  • Sculpting with dynamic topology
... Plus, since blender 2.78, they are so fast !

Most of the edges and surface modifications can be done with the modifiers (bevel, edge split, displacement...). You can use them to experiment as they are all non-destructive. Learn to master them as it will allow you to save a lot of time.

Once you're happy, you can apply them and work your topology properly.

4. Use Multiple Mesh

A good mesh is not systematically a one-piece mesh. It can be sometimes very hard to deal with perfect topology on a complex mesh. Do not hesitate to separate your mesh in different, or even overlapping, parts. It doesn't matter if your model will not be animated or if it has mechanical deformation. If you'll have to create a smooth deformation like a character breast and his accessories, for instance, then you can use the cage deformation modifier to unify everything and keep your model easy to edit and understand.

5. Multiple UVs

You can create as many UV maps as you want for a single object. You can recall these in your node editor with the UVs node or the attribute node.

You can group UVs into a single one by simply giving their UVs the same name before joining them. That's very useful when creating multiple object single UVmap.

We want to thank Pierrick for offering these incredibly helpful tips. Now go create something!