Big Trouble In Little Blender – 1.1 Initial Modeling Notes



My last attempts at 3D modelling were for the XNA games I wrote – 2-3 years ago.
Back then I was using the cut-down version of SoftImage that was offered free to XNA subscribers.

I was never that skilled & what I remember is pretty patchy – So moving onto Blender has provided a steep learning curve. Fortunately the models I’m putting together a pretty simple; allowing me to learn as I build.

I’ve made some notes from my first attempt (which I’ve copied below).
These probably won’t be useful for anyone other than myself. I’m planning on building models as required, rather than in one lump – Which means I’ll probably forget everything in the mean time – To avoid that as much as possible, I’m hoping to use this as a reference point – Allowing me to learn new tools & features of blender; rather than constantly relearning the same tools.

Apologies for any obvious mistakes or omissions – These notes were made as I was learning, and not necessarily as I had learnt.




Useful site: Blender Reference Manual

Use default view.

Currently using the ‘Blender Game‘ rendering engine.

Mesh Create – On the left, create tab to add meshes
Mesh Tools – On the left, Tools tab to manipulate – translate, rotate, scale etc…

On the top of the right column
This is the scene tree – showing models, animations, etc.

Mesh Values
To the left of the outlier, there should be a ‘+‘ tab
Pull this out to show specific values for mesh translation, rotation, scale, etc..
These values are only visible in ‘Edit Mode‘ (see below)
In the main modeling window:

Mouse Buttons
Left mouse button moves the 3D cursor – try not to use the left mouse button
Middle mouse button (pressed & move) – rotates the scene
Middle mouse button (scroll wheel) – zoom in/out
Right mouse button selects (e.g click on a mesh to pick up and move the mesh)

Mesh view Shortcuts
Note – to rotate around a specific object/mesh – press ‘.‘ (full stop on the number pad)
Ensure NUMBLOCK is on.

front/left/top windows are not automatically visible.
To save screen real estate – shortcuts for the main window are:
1 = Front view
7 = Top view
3 = Side view
0 = Camera view

Mode Select
At the bottom of the screen, there is a pull down menu.
When modelling there are two main modes;
Object mode: moves & positions meshes
Edit mode: edit faces/vertices/edges etc…

Selection Type –
With ‘edit mode‘ selected, at the bottom of the screen there are three icons
cube with a small orange dot – select this to edive vertices/nodes
cube with orange line – select this to edit edges
cube with one face orange – select this to edit faces/polygons

Once selected
right click to select specific edge, vertices,face
shift-right click to select multipoles edges, vertices,face, etc.
Useful Shortcuts – Press;
A – Select/Deselect everything
Z – Toggle wireframe on/off
CTRL-I – Inverse selection
K – knife tool, Used to add edges.
(use left mouse button to add nodes)
SPACE to save
GG (G twice) – Reposition a vertex.
E – Extends edge, vertices, face (whichever is selected when E is pressed)
W – With an edge, vertices, face selected this opens the ‘Specials’ menu – subdivides face/bevel, etc…



Next post: 1.2 Initial UV Unwrapping Notes

Contents page.



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