I re-learned a valuable lesson
I feel like this new forum post will read more like a journal entry. So, for what it's worth, I hope someone reading it will help them along their 3D journey...
Over the last two days, I re-learned a valuable lesson. While wrestling with the Modeling a Wheel exercise, part of the Modeling with Modifiers course in the Modeling in Blender 2.7 learning-flow., I was sort of forced to resign really and had to realize that my original approaches to modeling a car tire were flawed - majorly flawed in fact. I deleted three attempts all together.
I was a bit frustrated, and apparently, I wasn't the only one, that the pre-exercise courses did not hint at how to 'start' modeling a car tire, and it left me with a lot of questions. So, I did what I believed was best and started looking at reference images of tires. I had no clue there were so many tread designs!
Finally, after trying a few more times to model a car tire on my own (and failing), I acquiesced and watched a classic CGC produced video on YouTube called "CGC Classic: Modeling a Porsche Pt. 6 - Wheel Rims and Tire Treads (Blender 2.6)." As I watched it, I kept thinking to myself, "Wow! That's not what I did at all!" I realized that my 3D brain was not working and that I needed to take a deep step back and rethink my approach.
On a side note, watching the video felt like cheating because I really wanted to figure it out on my own, but I'll admit, I was totally lost!
So, today, I decided to give it another go. This time, however, I'm going back to basics and will start using my old training, and that is dissecting a car tire and realizing its parts through primitives. Also, what is it about a car tire that can be modeled using Modifiers, e.g., Array, Curve, Subsurf, etc.? That's my plan. It was how I was trained to model 3D objects eons ago, so I will go back to basics.
Wish me luck!