A cola bottle

As a way to learn more about 3D modelling, I though that (re)creating a coca cola bottle would do me good. Don't ask me why. It's been a few years since I did it, but here it is.


Got progress? Well, sort of.


The first step in the recreation of the image above would be – 3D modelling! And so I started Autodesk Fusion 360 and began to tweak, bend, bevel and wade through countless menu options, in order to get to the point that I had a wireframe (actually, it's a solid) model of the bottle.

I remember it was really tricky to get the right dimensions and look of those convex … things that pop out in the center, making up the distinct grip of a Coke bottle.


When the modelling stage was done, I loaded the model (exported as a .step-file) into KeyShot to try to get it to look nice.

The bottle itself is made out of glass. Amazing information, I know. So, I tried to find a decent looking glass material that had the right amount of refraction and translucency, as well as adding a tiny level of dents and imperfections in the glass itself.

The red decal itself was pretty straightforward. It's just an image, wrapped cylindrically in the center of the model (well, it took me a few hours to get that right).

The straw has a translucent plastic texture, just as a straw would have. I hope.

But, the drink itself?

Yes, an empty coke bottle is no fun, right? So I had to get back to the modelling environment and create a solid that could represent a liquid texture. Then, In Keyshot try to find a material that resembled … well, a brown sugary liquid.

I spent quite a lot of time trying to get the right amount of translucency, fall off:s and whatnot, as well as getting those air bubbles to show up.

So yes, after tweaking and fiddling around, I then placed one full bottle in the center of the scene, copied a number of emply bottles on the ground, added what I thought would be an apropriate lighting environment and … pressed that render button.

Many hours later, my iMac had finished what you see at the top of the screen. And that is all I have to say about this little project.

What's with all of this 3D-stuff?

I know that I don't know – nor master – all of the steps and processes that involves creating three dimensional imagery. I also know that there's a bazillion people out there, creating much more creative/clean/optimized images than I ever will have the knowledge to do myself. But that's not the point.

The main (and only) reason why I occationally dabble with projects like the above, is that I feel good about it. It's very meditative to sit and watch a model come alive, or try to tweak a texture setting so that it resembles what you're after. And, when you're done, you're done. No strings attached. There's no clients asking for "a small adjustment", or "what if you change this into that". No guilt in rage-quitting the project and start another. You always learn something, big or small. And that's what matters most, I think.

(PS. When I grow up, I will buy myself a new computer that minimise the time you sit and wait for calculations to happen.)

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