Design and Modeling of a 3D Sci-Fi Ship

A course by Juan Novelletto
3D Artist and Concept Artist. Hurlingham, Argentina.
Joined November 2018
, 3D Artist and Concept Artist

Learn to create a futuristic vehicle with ZBrush, Maya, and Substance Painter

  • Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 98% positive reviews (114)
  • 2073 students

Learn to create a futuristic vehicle with ZBrush, Maya, and Substance Painter

Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 98% positive reviews (114)
  • 2073 students
  • 27 lessons (5h 43m)
  • 19 additional resources (9 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: Spanish
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch
  • Level: Beginner
  • Unlimited access forever

Beyond the ships that Tesla or NASA may be developing today, in the world of science fiction there are thousands of vehicles both in video games and in movies, which stand out for their level of detail and design realism. Juan Noveletto—3D artist and concept artist—specializes in the creation of science fiction characters and vehicles. Recognized for his work on the video games Master of Orion, Element Space, and Injustice 2, as well as the movie The Vast of Night, in this online course he teaches you his professional process so that you can make your 3D sci-fi ship a reality.

Learn the workflow and professional tools that Juan Camilo uses to develop a futuristic 3D vehicle, with a realism and a cinematographic look that will surprise any viewer.

What will you learn in this online course?

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. 2D sketch
  • U3
    U3. 3D vehicle modeling
  • U4
    U4. 3D vehicle texturing
  • U5
    U5. Presentation of our vehicle
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

Start by getting to know Juan Novelletto, his work as a 3D artist and concept artist, the most representative projects in the creation of futuristic vehicles, and his main sources of inspiration including artists, movies, books, and music.

Create the 2D sketch of different ideas in Photoshop, in a simple and fast way, using nature, pieces by other artists, and vehicles from the real world as inspiration. In addition, Juan Camilo shows you the best way to organize your references so that you can easily decide what to choose from each of them.

Next, go from 2D to 3D by creating the main volumes of your sci-fi ship in ZBrush, using primarily the ZModeler tool. Then work with other more plastic tools to achieve much more interesting and original shapes. During the process, switch from ZBrush to Maya several times to correct and refine errors that may arise during this modeling phase.

Next, add the secondary and tertiary volumes to give the final shape to your ship. Juan Camilo teaches you the Kitbashing technique to give your work a more realistic level of detail. Finish off this phase by adding the Alphas in ZBrush.

Once in Maya, learn how to use all of the subdivision levels created in ZBrush to create a low topology, and a quick method for generating UV coordinates. Next, transfer your model to Substance Painter to apply the final textures to your futuristic ship.

Wrap things up by doing several renders of the ship with Marmoset Toolbag. Use background images to give it a context and make some small adjustments in Photoshop, and your images are finally ready for your portfolio!

What is this course's project?

Design, model, and render a sci-fi vehicle to obtain several images for your portfolio.

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

Designers, illustrators, and anyone interested in creating futuristic vehicles for different projects such as video games, movies, or commercials, among other things.

Requirements and materials

To take this course, you need basic knowledge of Photoshop, ZBrush, and Maya.

For materials, you need a computer installed with Photoshop, ZBrush, Maya, Substance Painter, and Marmoset Toolbag, as well as a graphics tablet.


2073 Students
114 Reviews
98% Positive ratings
  • More reviews

Juan Novelletto

A course by Juan Novelletto

Teacher Plus
3D Artist and Concept Artist

Juan Novelletto has more than six years of experience in the entertainment industry. Specialized in the creation of characters and vehicles, both in 2D and 3D, he has worked on video games of AAA titles, Master of Orion, Element Space, and Injustice 2, and movies including The Vast of Night.

Passionate about science fiction, he considers this area his greatest strength and seeks to reflect his story in each of his creations.


  • U1


    • Presentation
    • Influences
    • Project Presentation
  • U2

    2D sketch

    • Search for references and preparation of the board reference
    • Thumbnails Generation
    • Selection and refinement of a thumbnail
  • U3

    3D vehicle modeling

    • Main forms I
    • Main Forms II
    • Secondary forms I
    • Secondary forms II
    • Tertiary forms I
    • Tertiary forms II
    • Tertiary Forms III
    • Tertiary forms IV
    • Use of Alphas I
    • Use of Alphas II
    • Kitbashing
  • U4

    3D vehicle texturing

    • Prepared the Low model in Maya
    • UV Coordinates I
    • UV coordinates II
    • Textured base in Substance Painter
    • Final texturing in Substance Painter I
    • Final texturing in Substance Painter II
  • U5

    Presentation of our vehicle

    • Render in Toolbag
    • Retouching in Photoshop I
    • Retouching in Photoshop II
    • Tips for your portfolio
  • FP

    Final project

    • Design and modeling of your 3D sci-fi ship

What to expect from a Domestika course

  • Learn at your own pace

    Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule and with an easy-to-follow method. You set your own pace.

  • Learn from the best professionals

    Learn valuable methods and techniques explained by top experts in the creative sector.

  • Meet expert teachers

    Each expert teaches what they do best, with clear guidelines, true passion, and professional insight in every lesson.

  • Certificates

    If you're a Plus member, get a custom certificate signed by your teacher for every course. Share it on your portfolio, social media, or wherever you like.

  • Get front-row seats

    Videos of the highest quality, so you don't miss a single detail. With unlimited access, you can watch them as many times as you need to perfect your technique.

  • Share knowledge and ideas

    Ask questions, request feedback, or offer solutions. Share your learning experience with other students in the community who are as passionate about creativity as you are.

  • Connect with a global creative community

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Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need to complete a specific project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the teacher and with other students, creating a dynamic course community.

All courses are 100% online, so once they're published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

The courses are divided into different units. Each one includes lessons, informational text, tasks, and practice exercises to help you carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You'll also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the teacher and with other students, as well as share your work and your course project, creating a community around the course.

You can redeem the course you received by accessing the redeeming page and entering your gift code.

If you're a Plus member, when you complete a course you've purchased, you'll instantly get your personalized certificate. You can see all your certificates in the Certificates section of your profile. You can download your certificates as PDFs and share the link online. Learn more about certificates.
Design and Modeling of a 3D Sci-Fi Ship. 3D, and Animation course by Juan Novelletto

Design and Modeling of a 3D Sci-Fi Ship

A course by Juan Novelletto
3D Artist and Concept Artist. Hurlingham, Argentina.
Joined November 2018
  • 98% positive reviews (114)
  • 2073 students