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Rough Sketching

Lesson 1 in Vehicle Concept Art

Lesson Information

In this lesson you'll learn the foundations required for the rest of the course. Pablo will take you through the Brief Builder Tool to spark ideas for your vehicles, then you'll build references and start your design. At the end of this lesson, you will have a finished vehicle sketch.

Start With Ideas

Use the Brief Builder to come up with your basic vehicle idea. You will then use this idea throughout the course to create your concept art. 

Inspire Your Designs

Before moving forward, collect 9 references for each of these categories: Shape, Detail, and Movie Examples. You should have 27 references total.


Create six rough vehicle sketches. Don't worry about polish at this stage, but instead focus on giving your vehicles strong shapes.

Extra Credit

Create another three vehicle sketches to really get the ideas flowing.


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Hi Pablo. I have a question about your reference images. Where do you get them? And what keywords do you use to find them? I'm having a difficult time finding closeups of real life references for greebles. Usually the photos of the aircraft/vehicles I find are too far away to be useful, or covered in panels.

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Hi Emilio! There are a lot of helicopter images I found with great greebles! Also, if you look for vehicles that might not be immediately related to military, such as tractors, yachts, snowmobiles, trains, etc., they have a lot of closeups of those (it's easier to get closeup to take a picture of a snowmobile or a tractor than a stealth bomber!) Also, I found that just wandering around my town with a cellphone I could walk right up to various machines and vehicles and take tons of closeups. A lot of construction vehicles are left parked after work on the streets, and I've found tons of good closeup photos that way!

Lesson Plan