This week we continued our sword model. We finished the blade and started work on the guard.
We didn’t introduce any new concepts this week, but we did make our first practical use of the mirror modifier to allow us to create one side of the sword guard and have the other side created automatically.
Here are the video instructions from this week:
The matching model file can be downloaded from here.
Hi Folks, this week we started to model a sword using the sword found here as inspiration.
We got 85% of the way through modelling the blade this week. Next week we’ll finish the blade and construct the guard, handle and pommel. These should prove considerably easier than the blade which is the most complex part.
I’ve made a video version of the building of the blade, in so far as we got it to this week:
If anyone would like my Blender file with the part-completed blade, it can be found here.
This week we quickly introduced a number of techniques and then had an open session where people were free to create their own projects. Our lead mentor Declan got some video showing a few of the projects in progress:
Super work from everyone!
If anyone is interested in entering the CoderDojo Boo Challenge with one of their Halloween themed Blender creations, the link to enter can be found is here:
The mirror modifier saves us time when working on a symmetrical model (that is, a model that is a mirror image of itself across the X, Y or Z axis).
3D Cursor and Adding New Meshes in Edit Mode
The 3D cursor is the point in our scene where new content is added. We can move the 3D cursor easily by selecting one or more parts of the model, pressing SHIFT-S and then choosing “Cursor to Selection”. If more than one thing is selected, the cursor will be in the middle of the selection.
Adding a Reference Image
A reference image can be very useful when modelling. One can be inserted from the Add menu (look for Image|Reference). It is a good idea to untick “Align to View” most of the time. You can rotate the image to the orientation you want, or move it and/or scale it once it’s imported.
This week we finished off texturing our bowling pin model in Blender and then imported it into Unity to use in our game.
We started by loading our existing bowling pin model with seams already marked.
The process of unwrapping a 3D model is similar to peeling an orange and pressing the skin flat. The seams we marked are like cuts in the orange’s skin. When we peel it, the pieces between the seams come out separated.
To unpeel the model we entered Edit Mode (TAB key), selected the entire model (A key) and chose UV Unwrap | Unwrap from the Mesh menu. Notice that we don’t see impact of this until we switch to the UV/Image Editor
Switching to UV/Image Editor
Our main panel is normally in 3D View mode. To start working with our texture we click on the icon to the left of the menu options and choose “UV/Image Editor”.
When we change mode we see a flat image with our model split apart and spread out into flat sections. Each of these sections represents a part of our model between a set of seams.
This week we did some basic modelling in Blender. Blender is a very powerful 3D graphics package that is free and open-source. It is supported across all major desktop platforms.
Blender is so large and fully featured that it can be quite intimidating to learn. Knowledge of a few shortcut keys for common operations can really improve the experience of working with the program. We were indebted to Giuliano D’Angelo’s wonderful Blender shortcut infographic for providing us with some quick reference in this regard:
The first thing we covered in Blender was moving about. Practically speaking, Blender requires a three button mouse to operate. In Blender the middle mouse button (MMB) is used to control the view. Used on its own, it tilts the camera. When used with the SHIFT key, it pans the camera instead. CTRL and the MMB are use to zoom, but this is also more often achieved by scrolling the mouse wheel.
Object Mode and Edit Mode
We used Blender in two modes: Object Mode and Edit Mode. The TAB key can be used to switch between these. In Object Mode we can create, select and reposition objects but we cannot do any detailed editing on them. In Edit Mode, we can do any detailed editing we require on the currently selected object. Note that selecting items in Blender is done with the right mouse button (RMB).