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How do you model/normal something as complex as the transformers? Do you actually sculpt/model each and every part for Baking into lowpoly? If that is the case, how do you animate these parts?

My most detailed model ever is some wall-e like mob.

Example of the kind of model I am looking at https://youtu.be/VDrAzeNS2pk
Some turbosmoothed basic models composed with 8K displacement maps. That way they can animate a simple looking easy to understand model and get much more detailed renders. Check out the behind the scenes of Dark side of the moon. They pretty much tell everything.
You simply press "3d model bumblebee" button in 3dsmax.

thx I should check this out movie was fantastic
You do model everything. In film all of the polygons will remain, in games they'll be baked down onto a lower poly version (but which will be almost as complex with how powerful the average PC has gotten).

For animation, the trick is that not every part has to be animated. Take an arm: you've got a shoulder, a forearm, a hand and the digits. As long as you model appropriate joints, you can place whatever the fuck you want on say, the forearm, make it as complex as you like, and it'll still move as one part.
Even though the geometry of this Bumblebee model looks super complex, I'm willing to bet the rig for it is no more complex than your average human character's. (Torso/waist might be one exception, but I swear you can see that thing stretching here even though it should all be rigid metal).

I am trying to make a model as-detailed-as the transformers, not a direct clone.

Also was there such a button? lmao

How do you think and plan all these small parts? Do I have to break open a bike engine?
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You make shit that looks vaguely like it might belong there. You wanna have circular stuff for the joints so it can animate (notice how the elbow joint here has a bunch of circular things that can interlock and rotate), but besides that you're free to model absolutely whatever the fuck looks cool and like it could reasonably be found on your design.

Transformers might be a bad example because those are actually supposed to functionally transform into cars (and designing something capable of that requires a LOT of hard surface experience) but basically any other hard surface model, the trick isn't to design something fuctional but something that looks like it *could* function.

Just look at Bumblebee's feed. They're just a bunch of random car parts arranged together in a shape that somewhat resembles a feet.

okay will try to model a bit and update here
If you haven't done much hard surface before, your models won't look as detailed or cohesive as the big mechs done by the pros.
The best way to practice is by making smaller projects that you can easily polish and bring to completion. Trying to model mechanical objects from real life will also help you understand how some stuff is made, and build a mental database of shapes and forms you can use to create completely imagined components (though even then, looking at reference doesn't hurt).
However, that doesn't mean you can't have fun and make mechs as well. I would just do a little bit of both, and the more "serious" practice will help your mechs a lot.

I have done up stuffs like Guns and Tanks in Hard Surface modelling. Just that I have been learning 3D for five years and I feel like there have been no improvement in the last two years.

Wanted to challenge myself with this.
Have you pushed yourself to learn more in these five years? The fact you're asking 4chan for advice on how greeble works makes me think you might not have been learning from the right sources.

true, probably learnt from the wrong sources. trying to fix that now ._.
post some of your work anon, it's hard to give advice on how to advance if we don't know where you are at.
I worked with the Transformers meshes. Everything is modeled, even the tiniest screws. It's incredibly heavy - high polycount doesnt seem to be an issue when it comes to these characters

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