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Essential Blender 04 Mesh Modeling Discussion

# Essential Blender 04 Mesh Modeling Discussion

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07/28/2010

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Chapter 4: Mesh Modeling DiscussionBy Kevin BraunIntroductionWhat is Polygon Modeling?Polygon, or "Poly," Modeling is the process of creating a 3D model using basic 3D elements called vertices,edges and faces. A vertex (more than one vertex are called vertices) is a point in 3D space. An edge is aline connecting two vertices. Three edges together form a triangle face, while four edges together form aquad face. Those triangle and quad faces of filled space are the polygons.A vertex, an edge, and a face.One of the main advantages of polygon modeling over other modeling methods is the ability to easily adddetail to specific areas without having to add more complexity to the rest of the model. Other advantagesinclude speed of rendering in real-time environments and relative ease of texturing.Modeling ToolsWorking with VerticesSelecting / DeselectingThe first thing you'll need to know in order to begin modeling is how to select and deselect vertices. RunBlender, or if it's already running, clear the current scene with Ctrl-X. There should now be a square in thecenter of your screen, highlighted in purple to indicate that it is selected. In the introductory chapters, youworked with objects in Object mode, and always used the Tab key to leave Edit Mode when an object wascreated. Now, we want you to actually work in Edit Mode. So, use the Tab key to enter Edit Mode with thedefault cube still selected, and you'll see that the four edges (straight lines) and four vertices (points at eachcorner) that make up this polygon are highlighted in yellow.Callout: The Tab key toggles between Edit and Object modes.If you press the A-key with your cursor in the 3D viewport, you can toggle between selecting and deselectingall of the vertices in this object, just like you could when working with multiple objects in Object Mode.Putting an object into Edit Mode makes it function in many ways like a mini-version of the whole scene - a lotof what you have already learned will apply within this new, smaller scope.Make sure all vertices are deselected and then right click on the vertex in the upper left corner to select justthat one. If you now right click on the vertex in the lower left corner, the one you previously selected willbecome deselected and the lower one will now be selected. You can select (or deselect) multiple vertices atthe same time by holding the Shift key down while right clicking (RMB) on each vertex you would like toselect.Callout: In Edit Mode, selection works for vertices just like it does in Object Mode: RMB selects, while Shift-RMB builds and takes away from the selection.

DeletingThe next thing you'll need to know is how to delete a vertex. First you'll want to get a good look at all thevertices that are in this object. By pressing Numpad-5 you can toggle your view between Perspective andOrthographic view (see Chapter 2 for more on the difference). Switch over to perspective view and use thetechniques you just learned to select all of the vertices except the one in the upper-most left corner and thenpress the Delete key (or the X-key). A menu will appear with a number of different options - this is wherethings start to differ from object mode. Choose "Vertices" from the menu to delete the vertices that you haveselected. You may notice that a side effect of deleting the vertices is that the edges and faces are alsodeleted. This is because the faces are made up of edges and the edges are made up of the vertices you justdeleted. Removing the vertices necessarily removed the other things they had built. If you had chosen"Edges" or "Faces" from the Delete menu you could have removed only the edges or faces respectively,leaving the vertices in place, but unconnected.Callout: X-key or Delete key brings up the delete menu, allowing you remove vertices, edges or faces.

Ortho: Orthographic view.Perspective: Perspective view.MovingAt this point you'll want to move the remaining vertex closer to the middle of the screen so you can beginworking with it. To do this you'll need to select it, then press the G-key to "Grab" it. Once you press the G-key the vertex will move to follow the movements of your mouse, just like an entire object would in ObjectMode. Move the vertex near the center of the screen and press the LMB to place the vertex and confirm thetranslation. Of course, the keyboard constraints that you learned in the Object chapter also apply here: