Strange Attractor Wire sculpture
Open Cuboctahedron
Three Dimensional Design
Albertus Magnus College
Jerry Nevins, Professor
773-8546, office
Office: 203 Aquinas Hall
email me



Class Blog, Mod4, 2019


Three Dimensional Design seeks to expand your understanding of design theory as it relates to the 3 dimensional world. Working with 3D software, we will explore concepts of modularity, sequence and series, relief, contour, structure and symmetry.

We will examine the function of space, volume, mass, plane, and line. Sculptural issues will be explored through the solution of design problems. The main emphasis of this course is the development of critical thinking skills as they apply to three dimensional art forms and to help you gain a deeper understanding of visual art.

This is a working studio course. Regular attendance is expected.

This is an A level course and is part of the general education program, "Invitation to Insight" and it fulfils the fine arts requirement. As such, the goals of the class as well as those stated above are to encourage you in:

Creative thinking

Informed engagement of works of art

Developing your vocabulary in art to be able to articulate visual ideas more fully.

Articulating how the ideas in this course illuminate understanding of all three dimensional art including Sculpture, Ceramics, Installation Art and Architecture


Topics to be covered include:

Learn Blender 3D Software
Create an extended relief using radial symmetries
Explore the Platonic Solids
Archimedian solids
Grid arrays
Serial planes
Learn Blender 3D software
Render our forms using Blender

"The chief reason for studying regular polyhedra is still the same as in the time of the Pythagoreans, namely, that their symmetrical shapes appeal to one's artistic sense." ---H.S.M. Coxeter

Watch this explanation of Abbott's "Flatland" and how we might imagine the 4th dimension by Carl Sagan.... brilliant. Write 1 paragraph response on the class blog.

List of Projects

With accompanying videos... full semester of projects

Link to Blender Shortcuts "Cheat Sheet"

Video tutorials for the beginner at

Neal Hirsig's Blender course videos from Tufts University

Begin work in Blender. Learn to create, rotate, scale and extrude basic mesh objects.

Video 1, How to navigate in Blender The viewport, creating first objects, manipilating objects, introduction to mesh modelling. The blender interface. Object mode/edit mode.

Watch Video here.

Topics: The viewport, creating first objects, manipilating objects, introduction to mesh modelling. The blender interface. Object mode/edit mode.

1. Project 1, Open Face Polygon. create a open faced wireframe form in Blender, render it using lighting and materials. 3 forms/views. Post images to class blog (online). Emphasis: The Grid as organizing element.

Watch Video on how to do this here.

Exploring Other Dimensions: Flatland and the Third Dimension, TedEd 2013

The Golden Ratio... the Pentagram Symbolic meaning in geometry

Project 2, Morphing Grid Design. Develop a grid of 25 units which morph or change shape in a sequential way. Emphasis: Repetition, Gradation.

Video here

Project 3, Serial Planes Develop a volumetric form using a series of graduated planes, that is a sequential and gradual variation of each plane. Emphasis Repetition and Gradation

Watch Video on how to do this here:

View some options here

Project 4: Modular High Relief Develop a geometric 3D pattern using identical planar geometric units.  Focus: Repetition Use Wireframe modifier to create open face polyhedron. Repeat in a 6X6 grid using array modifier. Emphasis: Repetition, Unity

Watch demonstration video here:

Project 5: Radial Organic Structure Watch video here.

Project 6: Mesh modeling bowls, bottles glasses using concentric circle meshes. Emphasis- Contour

Project 7: Create a Bowl Video of my demonstrating this (project )

Project 8:   Bowl with symmetrical holes video

Project 9: Video: Create Coffe Cup in Blender. Render it with basic lighting

Step by Step instructions

Project 10: Video: Explore wire sculptures Step by Step using “Strange Attractor” plugin for blender, found on github.  add curve>attractors>Aizawa / add curve>circle/ Select attractor/ click on curve properties icon/ In Geometry section in the dropdown “Bevel Object, choose Bezier Circle/ now select Bezier circle and scale it down to make wire. Add a plane, s20, set it/ select lamp, Sun size 1 use nodes, strength 6/ world, darker/select plane, new material, glossy roughness .1/ select sculpture, new > glossy, roughness .2, choose golden color.  Use GPU render.  Render settings 100% render 300 samples, Layers/denoising Focus: Curvilinear linear form

Watch demonstration video here.

Project 11:   Nesting Glass Cubes

Video how to on nested cubes here.

Nested cubes part 2... watch Video!

Step by Step instructions

Project 12:     Torus Bracelet video

Explore Materials and textures in Blender.
Realistic materials, rusted steel, etc.

Project 13:      Glass Bowl with cloth napkin video tutorial

Model cloth, falling on a pedestal.

Insert image in "world" as a background.

More advanced design and rendering. Glass, porcelain, UV texture mapping, etc.

Physics mode in Blender... Cloth simulations

Project 14. Organic Sculpture with base. Create a harmonious form using a low poly shape you have altered by pulling vertices, edges and faces, then using subdivide modifier, render it in steel or marble.  Make the base a contrasting material/color. Focus: Transition

Video here...

Part one, mesh modeling starting with cube Video here.

Finish up work, organize and finalize Google Drive portfolio.

e-Portfolio Assignment: All work created this semester will be uploaded to Google Drive in a folder labeled 3D Design, Spring, 2018, "your name". Share the Drive folder with me by right clicking on the folder and choosing "Share". Enter Choose one or more of your best pieces to post in your e-Portfolio site along with a description of the project and how it explores the visual ideas discussed in class. Work found in your Drive will be one of the primary ways of assessing your accomplishments in this class. Expect to save 45-70 images

Academic Expectations: Attend all classes, care about your work, make progress in the medium, help and cooperate with your classmates, take risks, make mistakes. Your grade will be based on the care you bring to your work and the successful completion of each assignment. As this is a workshop class, good attendance is assumed. Attendence is crucial. A maximum of 3 absences is allowed.

Tradition of Honor: As a member of the Albertus Magnus College Community, each student taking this course agrees to uphold the principles of honor set forth by this community, to defend these principles against abuse or misuse and to abide by the regulations of the College. To this end, every student must write and sign the following statement at the end of each examination: "I declare the Honor Pledge."

Tradition of Respect: In our class: 1) Everyone is allowed to feel they can work and learn in a safe and caring environment; 2) Everyone learns about, understands, appreciates, and respects varied races, classes, genders, physical and mental abilities, and sexualities; 3) Everyone matters; 4) All individuals are to be respected and treated with dignity and civility; and 5) Everyone shares the responsibility for making our class, and the College, a positive and better place to live, work, and learn.

Accommodations for Special Needs: Albertus Magnus College is committed to ensuring that all qualified students with disabilities are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from its programs and services in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Office of Disability Services is responsible for the determination of appropriate accommodations for students who encounter barriers due to disability. Contact the Office of Disability Services at or 203-672-6671 to schedule an intake interview and provide documentation. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, the Office of Disability Services will provide you and your instructor with a Letter of Accommodation. Please discuss the accommodations with your instructors as early in your courses as possible

The Germain Center for Academic Success provides quality tutoring services to all students at Albertus Magnus College. Students can make appointments by booking through Navigate, emailing, or calling 203-773-8590. The Germain Center is open for normal hours during the academic year (Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m.; Friday, 9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.; Saturday, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.) and abbreviated, virtual hours during the winter intersession and mod five. Further, (Online Tutoring 24/7) provides online tutoring for many subjects throughout the year -- even when the Germain Center is closed. Students can access through the link at the top of their eLearning pages. If students have any questions about tutoring, they can email

PGS offices are now located on the first floor of Aquinas Hall.

The Registrar's Office, Financial Aid, Human Resources, and the Business Office are now located in the former PGS suite, now called the Student Administrative Services Suite, found on the ground floor of Aquinas Hall.

Prevention of Power-Based Violence Resources 

If you or someone you know is concerned about, have experienced, or currently are experiencing sexual harassment, assault, power-based violence, or stalking, there are many resources available both on and off campus for students to utilize.Click on the link above or here


 It is the responsibility of the student to officially drop or withdraw from a course.  However, failure to attend a course for 14 calendar days may result in an administrative withdrawal from the course. The policies on course withdrawals and administrative withdrawals may be found online at

Albertus Magnus College adheres to the definition of a credit hour in compliance with, and as defined by NECHE commission policy.

Suggested Reading:

Wucius Wong, Principles of Three Dimensional Design
                     - Designing with the Computer

Zeier, Paper Constructions

Stevens, Peter, Structure in Nature is a Strategy for Design

                       -Patterns in Nature

Fuller, Buckminster, Synergetics, Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking

George Hart: Math professor and Sculptor at SUNY Stonybrook

Critchlow, Keith, Order in Space

Drawing Geometry: A Primer of Basic Forms for Artists, Designers, and Architects by Jon Allen Paperback $15.04

The Golden Section Discussion of historical references in ancient Greece.

Timaeus, Plato, 360 BC, Online at MIT

Discussion of Timaeus, Plato's "theory of everything", Platonic solids, Euclid, etc at

Polyhedra and Art, an excellent site by George Hart, Professor at SUNY Stonybrook
"Through history, polyhedra have been closely associated with the world of art. The peak of this relationship was certainly in the Renaissance."

The quadrivium—the classical curriculum—comprises the four liberal arts of number, geometry, music, and cosmology. It was studied from antiquity to the Renaissance as a way of glimpsing the nature of reality. Geometry is number in space; music is number in time; and cosmology expresses number in space and time. "Number, music, and geometry are metaphysical truths: life across the universe investigates them; they foreshadow the physical sciences. "

Prevention of Power-Based Violence Resources 

If you or someone you know is concerned about, have experienced, or currently are experiencing sexual harassment, assault, power-based violence, or stalking, there are many resources available both on and off campus for students to utilize.

On Campus Resources

Office for Student Engagement 

The Office of Student Engagement is located in the front of the Hubert Campus Center and houses the offices of Albertus’ student affairs staff. Incidents, questions, and concerns can be directed to any member of student affairs to provide support and resources, both in person and through email. 

To speak to someone about prevention, resources or how to access services, contact:

Project Director for the Prevention of Power Based Violence: 

BethAnn Morhardt

(203) 773-4477 

Campus Center Room 102J

Health and Wellness 

Health and Wellness has two offices on both sides of the dining hall on the second floor of the Hubert Campus Center. Health and Wellness staff can provide students with counseling services, both in person and through outside resources, as well as Health Clinic resources. 

Health and Wellness Staff

Off-Campus Resources

Local Centers


National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Sexual Assault Hotline

Women and Families Center Hotline

Umbrella Center Hotline

Back to Syllabi

Contact me






Radial array of altered cubes

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.
::: Frank Lloyd Wright :::

Project 1: Open face polyhedron
Stainless Steel render

Student Work
Project 3, Modular High Relief
Bristol board, Mat Board, 16" X 16"

Project 2
Serial Planes

Serial Planes
Project 2

Octahedral Columns