SESSIONS: Minimalism

Kent Trammell

Learn to create More with Less.

Welcome to Minimalism. The first course in the SESSIONS series. Computer graphics can be a very complex creative endeavor, which can be overwhelming in the beginning. You may even think it requires years of skill development to create impactful renders. But that doesn't have to be the case.

Stunning visuals can be crafted using simple components and a broad, competent skillset. This course includes 9 unique Blender projects, each of which are designed to be created in 2 hours or less. Embrace the SESSIONS approach and create more art in less time.

Course Overview

Chapter 1


Monochromatic outer space. Can you feel the drama? This scene is designed to inspire cinematic awe. Discover how the most basic, primitive geometry can look incredible with the right materials and lighting.

Chapter 2

Looping Patterns

Utilizing procedural textures to generate animated loops for practical and artistic purposes. This chapter features four distinct looping patterns, each building on the principles of the previous.

Chapter 3

Graphic Landscape

Create an adorable graphic environment that loops endlessly between day and night. Zero light objects are used, meaning every shade of color is achieved with shader nodes. Render times are zippity zoppity.

Chapter 4

Light Shape Hallway

Semi-abstract exercise that explores the visual interest of shapes cast by light and shadow. The setup is fast, simple, freeform, and wide-open to iteration.

Chapter 5


A more grounded application of the light shape hallway exercise that leans into photorealistic interior spaces. Another example of basic shapes looking better than they should with competent materials and interesting lighting.

Chapter 6

Ancient Pillars

Can we create a realistic environment that feels enormous using minimalistic techniques?

Yes. Yes we can

Student Gallery

Dive into the beautiful and mesmerizing world of minimalism in Blender

Start Course

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Awarded upon completion:
100xp +
Course Curriculum
8 Reviews
  • Koala ·

    Sessions : minimalism deserves 5 stars, for several reasons :

    The format : i think i have never learned so much in so little time, thanks to the short duration of the videos and the opportunity to put in practice quickly what i have learned, which enhances the retention of knowledge

    The quality : i have been a CG Cookie member for almost ten years i think (i was quite irregular in my blender practice, to say the least...), and i am amazed at how you guys keep raising the quality of the content that is provided (and improving the interface of the website, too)

    Great tutorial to learn a lot in very little time 🙂

  • E
    Eric Szabo(Eric) ·

    I am a beginner, with a few projects under my belt. Blender is a massive, sprawling program, and it became clear that simply following someone clicking around the viewport was not an efficient way to learn. Sure, I could do it, but copying someone else barely explains the ‘how,’ and they never explain the ‘why.’

    The Planet series steadily offers explanations and definitions throughout the videos. It dips into concepts of design and composition. And I absolutely love it. It is exactly what I am looking for as a learner, and what I hope to get as a customer.  

    You mentioned that you were being repetitive. Please, keep repeating yourself! As a beginner I want that. Highlighting concepts and maneuvers over multiple videos and videos series is the only way to become familiar. Seeing them once, where I barely know where to click, let alone understand context, is almost useless for learners. Yet, those flashes of anticipation (mix node? Mix node!!), feels like monumental victories. Those only happen with experience and familiarity. So please! Be repetitive. Lean into your preferences. Over time, they really help the learner.

    Lastly, on time invested. I’ve taken to watching videos twice. Once to get comfortable with where the video is headed and take a few notes. And again, at .75% speed (pausing often) to do the project. All in, this will take me about 4-5 hours. I feel a bit embarrassed writing that. But I think experts forget how long it took them to learn their trades, while novices feel like they have to hide or compensate for their unlearned bungling. 

    I am eager to carry on with this series. Willing to put in the work to learn. Consider this an enthusiastic vote for more of this ‘explaining the why’ style of tutorial.

    Keep it up!


  • Sascha Feider(SFE-Viz) ·

    I had an absolute blast with this course. It absolutely fulfills it's promise of creating stunning renders in a short amount of time which is perfect for anyone struggling to finish big projects.

    For me the greatest thing was, that the varied art styles within the course sometimes pulled me way out of my comfort zone and taught me things I wouldn't have learned otherwise. And with it's intended time limits it taught me to focus on simpler aspects and a new approach to some of my art. It has definitely improved my skill set, confidence and the way I think about certain scenes.

    The course is beginner friendly and requires just basic knowledge of Blender. Kent has a very clear and calm way of explaining everything he does so it's very easy to follow and memorize new concepts and techniques.

    If you're time constrained or just looking for visually impactful projects achievable in an afternoon - look no further and start Sessions.

  • Lewis Thorpe(DripInspector) ·

    This course has changed the way I work in so many ways, from thinking about iterations, setting time limits and just being more experimental with my work. It amazes me the amount of progress I have made in my CG journey from doing this course.

    Sessions: Minimalism pushed me out of my comfort zone and took me back to basics with the lessons, this has helped push my skills further and opened my eyes to new techniques and styles.

    Overall, this course offers concise and impactful lessons that are sure to have you creating cool scenes but more than that, it helps build your confidence as an artist. 

  • Sébastien Lenaerts(slenaerts) ·

    I loved how it forced to focus on a limited set of topics, forcing you to go beyond. It really helps the matter stick (I know it did for me)! The 2 hour mark did sometimes frustrate me as I so often decided to start over as I wasn't happy where I got. This series is like the gym coach helping you focusing on the right elements to get there.

    Don't get me wrong, all CG cookie courses are top, but somehow the complexity of each project, makes that only a few elements really stick, and often it ain't the core elements that you need to really master. the minimalistic course just turns that around.

    Kuddos to Kent for this series!

  • Nick Mladenov(Nick_sdx) ·

    This course encapsulates exactly the things I've always wanted to learn how to create. Super happy that it came out a little after I discovered CGCOOKIE! There's lots of variety, great projects and of course, as always, Kent Trammell does an amazing job of explaining the entire process!
    Would recommend to absolutely anyone who has an interest in 3D Art.

  • cameramannz1986 ·

    Sorry McDonald's I will steal your song Ba Da Ba Ba Bah, I'm Lovin' It! For any blender user no matter at what level they are they will learn lots of tips and tricks from this course.

  • Martin Aversa(cgtin) ·

    What can I say? No doubt who is winning the Suzanne award for best teacher this year.

    This course really cracked open a bit of my mind and the way I understand 3D art in general. The projects are all unique and fun to make, they look amazing and they only take less than 2 hours, that's insane!

    Kent gives so many great tips for achieving realism without spending hours and hours modeling and adding detail. And time managment skills too, like reusing old projects in smart ways, so you don't have extra work but it also doesn't look the same as before.

    Another thing to note is the level of observation, studying reference photos to the smallest detail in the texture, so you can replicate it in blender, amazin'. I learned A LOT inside the shading workspace.

    What are you doing today? Oh, ok, no... go and take the Sessions course!