CS 488: Lecture 18 – Modeling in Blender

Dear students:

In game studios, roles are usually divided. There are engineers, artists, UX people, sound people, game designers, managers, and other roles. Each role has their expertise, but they should be familiar with the activities of others. Today, we engineers will explore what its like to be a 3D artist. We will interactive work through a few 3D modeling exercises in Blender.

Being a skilled 3D modeler takes a lot of time and practice. I do not profess to be a skilled 3D modeler.

Pyramid

Your first exercise is model a pyramid vertex by vertex. As you build up your pyramid, try out the following features:

  • Switch between object and edit mode using Tab or with the mode selector at the top-left corner of the 3D viewport.
  • Switch between vertex, edge, and face mode using the three buttons next to the mode selector.
  • Add vertices using control-right-click.
  • Select vertices individually using left-click.
  • Select all vertices by pressing a.
  • Deselect all vertices by pressing aa.
  • Connect the selected vertices by pressing f (think Fill). With two vertices selected, an edge is inserted. With three, a face is inserted.
  • Delete selected vertices using x.
  • Move selected vertices using g (think Grab).
  • Constrain the movement of a grabbed vertex using x, y, z, X, Y, Z.
  • Rotate the scene with middle-drag.
  • Zoom the scene with middle-scroll.
  • Pan the scene with shift-middle-drag.

Bullet Bill

Your second exercise is to start building a Bullet Bill character. Walk through the steps to build up your model:

  1. Open a new scene either by opening a new instance of Blender or going to File / New / General. You will need to save or trash your current scene.
  2. Select the cube and enter edit mode.
  3. Delete all vertices.
  4. Press A and add a cylinder.
  5. Press control-r and add two loop cuts at one end of the cylinder. Use left-click to first confirm the cross section, slide the cut into position, and use left-click again to confirm its position.
  6. Select the ring of faces between the two loop cuts using alt-left-click.
  7. Inset the the ring by selecting Face / Extrude Faces Along Normal and moving the mouse around.
  8. Add another loop cut with control-r about one-third of the way from the other end of the cylinder.
  9. Press control-r to add a loop-cut. Before confirming the cross section, scroll the mouse wheel to add many cuts. Confirm the cross section with left-click. Accept their default positions with escape.
  10. Select the cap of the cylinder on the end with the many loop cuts.
  11. Enable proportional editing using o or the button in cluster of buttons at the top and center of the 3D viewport. Use the Smooth profile.
  12. Press s to scale the selected face. Scroll the mouse wheel to control how the neighboring vertices are scaled. Aim for a bullet-like taper. To make all the vertices converge while scaling, press 0.

Alien

Your third exercise is to build an alien using box modeling. Walk through the steps to build up your model:

  1. Open a new scene either by opening a new instance of Blender or going to File / New / General. You will need to save or trash your current scene.
  2. Select the cube and enter edit mode.
  3. Add loop cuts to subdivide all six faces into 3×3 planes.
  4. Select faces on the bottom of the cube and press e to extrude out some legs.
  5. Select faces on the sides of the cube and select Faces / Extrude Faces Along Normal to extrude out some arms.
  6. Select faces on the top of the cube and press e to extrude out some eye appendages.
  7. Select the central front front face and press e to extrude in a mouth.
  8. Select the faces at the end of the eye appendances and press i to inset faces within. Press e to extrude the inset faces inward.
  9. Select the wrench icon in the panel on the right and add a subdivision surface modifier.

TODO

Here’s your TODO list:

  • Instead of a normal lab on Friday, work through a Blender tutorial on your own and build something interesting. Share a screenshot and links to the tutorials in #gallery on Slack by the end of Friday.

See you next time.

Sincerely,

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