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Basic Modeling

Getting Started With Blender For Virtual Worlds

Blender For Virtual Worlds

A Free Tutorial by Remona Stormborn
Edited by Labyrinth Stormborn
© Remona Stormborn 2014, 2015, 2016, all rights reserved

Visit Gaia Foundation on Atlantis in the Great Canadian Grid for inworld support information.


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Basic Modeling

In this chapter you’ll learn to create new objects, how to manage them, and start modeling mesh objects.

3D View
     Shelves
     Interactive Modes
Basic Navigation
     Perfect Views
     Center
Perspective
Axis
     The Grid
     Display Settings
     Mini Axis
Objects
     Active Object
     Origin Point
          Move The Origin Point
     3D Cursor
          Move The 3D Cursor
     Add Objects
     Operator Panel
     Manage Objects
Basic Selection
Undo and Redo
Escape
Delete
     Lamps and Cameras
Mesh Geometry
     Low-poly Mesh
     Vertices
     Edges
     Faces
Basic Modeling
     Select Geometry
     3D Manipulator
     Add Geometry
     Location
          Translate by 3D Manipulator
          Translate Shortcut Keys
     Scale
          Scale by 3D Manipulator
          Scale Shortcut Keys
     Rotation
          Rotate by 3D Manipulator
          Rotate Shortcut Keys
     Extrude
Project:  Properly Rotating Door
     Model a Door
     Center On Hinge
Questions?


3D View

The 3D Viewport is the editor that you’ll do your modeling in. It’s the center of the Blender universe.

This is the one essential editor that you’ll have open most of the time. Most of the other editors contain tools for directly working on the objects in your 3D Viewport.

The first thing you’ll notice is the mesh cube that Blender opens with by default. You can create a number of shapes, similar to inworld building.

In addition to the cube, you’ll also notice a lot of gadgets: menus, shelves, panels, widgets, what-nots, and whimseys. Ok, maybe no what-nots or whimseys.

These are some powerful tools with which you’ll be able to create mind-blowing things. You’ll grow to appreciate all these magical gadgets.

There are different ways to view your objects, navigate around in the 3D Viewport, and select your objects and their geometry.

I encourage you to play around and practice. Like in your virtual world, you will soon be zooming and orbiting around, hammering away and building great creations without a single thought about it!


Shelves

Shelves

Some editors have Shelves that can be opened to give you access to tools and settings or closed to make more workspace available.

3D View Tool Shelf

Hover your cursor over any area in the 3D Viewport and press the shortcut key T to open the Tool Shelf on the left side of the 3D Viewport. It’s a toggle shortcut key, meaning it opens and closes the Tool Shelf.

3D View Properties Shelf

Hover your cursor over any area in the 3D Viewport and press the shortcut key N to open the Properties Shelf on the right side of the 3D Viewport. Like the Tool Shelf shortcut key, it’s also a toggle that opens and closes the Properties Shelf.

Panels in each Shelf contain information, settings, options, check boxes, buttons, sliders, widgets, and other gadgets.

Blender +Grip

Open and close them with the +Grip you’ll see on the border where shelves are hidden (yellow arrow).

You can resize shelves by mousing over the border until you get a black double arrow cursor and left click and dragging them.

Blender Panel Controls

Inside the shelves, you can close or open each panel with the triangular Arrow Opener (yellow) to the left of the title of each panel.

Rearrange the order of panels by left click and dragging the rectangular Panel Grip (green) to the right of the title of each panel.

Resize the contents of a shelf by pressing control middle mouse button and dragging the mouse in the shelf area.

NOTE:  The contents of panels change depending on what tools you may need under various circumstances.


Interactive Modes

There are six interactive modes. Each one gives us a unique way in which to work on our objects.

One of the two modes you’ll use most of the time is Object Mode, which is the default mode that Blender opens up in.

Blender Object Mode

In Object Mode you can create and work on whole objects. You can move, scale, and rotate objects. Any actions taken will affect all the objects selected together, much like working with a multiple selection of prims or a linked set of prims inworld.

Blender Edit Mode

The other mode you’ll use a lot is Edit Mode.

Edit Mode is where most of the magic happens. In Edit Mode you’ll be able to view and modify the geometry of the active object. You can move, scale, and rotate individual or selected groups of faces, edges, and/or vertices. Here you can add geometry, slice, dice, mirror, and perform a huge variety of special modeling techniques.

You’ll mostly be using Object and Edit modes for now. In later chapters I’ll cover other useful modes.

The shortcut key to change between these two modes is Tab. You’ll use it a lot so take note of it.

If you change to one of the other modes, the Tab shortcut key will switch between the selected mode and Edit Mode.

Blender Interactive Mode

The other Interactive modes are:
Texture Paint Mode: Tools for painting textures onto objects.
Weight Paint Mode: Tools for rigging mesh clothes and avatars by defining the bone influences.
Vertex Paint Mode: Tools for painting color onto objects.
Sculpt Mode: Tools for sculpting your objects in creative ways much like a sculptor would carve and shape sculptures.
Edit Mode: Tools for working with whole objects.
Object Mode: Tools for working with the geometry of your objects.

You can also use the Interactive Mode Selector to change modes. It’s the first widget after the menu items in the 3D View Header.

Object and Edit Mode Headers

The 3D View Header, Tool Shelf, and 3D Properties Shelf content changes, depending on what Interactive Mode you are in, to tools that are relevant to the tasks performed in each mode.

TIP:  In the default theme selected or activated items in the Header are lighter gray than unselected or deactivated items.


Basic Navigation

There are different ways to view your objects and navigate in the 3D Viewport.

We’ll cover the essentials here and add to your skills in later chapters. Find more view options in the 3D View Header > View menu.

Zoom:  control middle mouse and drag or scroll the mouse wheel
Orbit:  middle mouse and drag
Pan:  shift middle mouse and drag or shift alt left click and drag


Perfect Views

Perfect views are centering your view directly from the selected angle:  front, back, top, bottom, or either side.

3D Viewport View Menu Perfect Views

View From Top:  number pad 7
View From Bottom:  control number pad 7
View From Front:  number pad 1
View From Back:  control number pad 1
View From Right:  number pad 3
View From Left:  control number pad 3

You can also change to any Perfect View in the 3D View Header menu > View > select the view you want (red).

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Blender View Status

The top left corner of the viewport tells you which view you are in or ‘user’ if not in a perfect view.


Center

3D Viewport View Navigation Menu Other Views

Center on selected object(s):  number pad . (period)
Center on all Objects:  Home
Center on Cursor Position:  alt Home
Center Cursor and View All:  shift C
Center View to Cursor:  alt Home
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Perspective

Perspective & Orthographic

You can view objects in the 3D Viewport from different perspectives.

Number 5 on the number pad toggles between the two perspective types.

Perspective view (Persp) is more realistic. It has a vanishing point so, things that are farther from you appear smaller. Despite being more realistic, it’s more difficult to work in.

Orthographic view (Ortho) is easier to work in although not as realistic. There’s no vanishing point so things farther from you do not grow smaller. In this view, if you look at a cube straight on, the face farthest away will appear the same size as the closest face.

Blender Persective Status

The top left corner of the viewport tells you which perspective you are in.


Axis

Blender Grid & Axis

An axis is a line that defines coordinates in a given direction in space.

NOTE:  Each vertex has a X, Y, and Z coordinate by which we instruct computers how to draw our objects. The coordinates tell computers where in space a particular vertex is located in each of three directions. That’s the 3 in ‘3D’ or ‘three dimensions’.

Represented by red, the X axis goes from left to right.
The Y axis, represented by green, goes from front to back
And the Z axis, represented by blue, goes from top to bottom.



The Grid

Blender Grid Negative & Positive

Inworld building is always on the positive scales of the X, Y, and Z axis because the 0, 0, 0 point is in the corner of the grid (region).

Blender’s 0, 0, 0 point is at the center of the 3D View Grid. You will be moving objects or geometry on both the positive and negative scales on all three axis.


Display Settings

Blender Display Settings

You can turn off or on the X, Y, or Z axis line(s) on the grid or even the grid itself.

Open the 3D View Properties shelf (N) and in the Display panel tick or untick Grid Floor and/or the corresponding X, Y, or Z button(s) (red).

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Mini Axis

Mini Axis

Another tool is the Mini Axis.

In the lower left corner of the 3D Viewport you will see a little gadget that works much like a compass, indictating what direction you are facing in the viewport.

To the right of that is the name of the active object.


Objects

The first thing you’ll notice is the mesh cube that Blender originally opens with. This is similar to a prim cube that you might rezz inworld.

You can modify this cube and other shapes in an infinite number of ways. That’s the beauty of mesh.


Active Object

Blender Active Object

When more than one object is selected, the last object selected becomes the Active Object.

It will be highlighted in a lighter yellow-orange (if using the default theme) than the other selected object(s).

Any actions taken that can be applied to only one object will be applied to the Active Object.

You can only edit the geometry of one object at a time. When you enter Edit Mode, it will be for the Active Object if more than one object is selected.


Origin Point

Blender Origin Point

All objects have an origin point—the point of reference for it’s location, rotation, and scale.

When you first create an object, it’s origin point is at the center of it’s geometry. It’s the yellow-orange dot (red arrow) in the center of your cube.

The origin point is used for many actions including rotating and orbiting objects.


Move The Origin Point

Blender Displaced Origin Point

When you modify the geometry of an object in Edit Mode, the origin point remains in it’s original location. Because of this, sometimes it ends up being way off from the center of it’s geometry.

When the Origin Point is located off the center point, some actions might not behave as you’d expect.

Blender Origin to Center of Mass

To get an origin point to return to the center of an object, go to Object Mode, select the object, and press control alt shift C. In the pop-up, select Origin to Center of Mass.

You’ll see in the pop-up that you have more options for moving the origin point.


3D Cursor

Blender 3D Cursor

The 3D Cursor is the red and white dashed circle with black cross-hairs. Newly created objects will appear at the location of the 3D Cursor.

Left clicking anywhere in the 3D Viewport will move the cursor to where you click. Because it’s difficult to determine the depth on a 2D monitor screen this is not very useful.


Move The 3D Cursor

Blender Cursor to Center

Press shift S for options to move the 3D Cursor.

Choose Cursor to Center to reposition the cursor to the middle of your grid at 0, 0, 0.

You’ll see in the pop-up that you have more options for moving the origin point.

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Blender 3D Cursor Location

You can also move the cursor to precise coordinates in the 3D Cursor panel of the 3D View Properties shelf (N).

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Add Objects

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Blender Create Object

When adding objects they will be placed at the position of the 3D Cursor. Position the cursor where you want your object placed.

If your Tool Shelf in the 3D Viewport is closed, press T to open it.

Go to the Create tab > Mesh panel for a list of shapes you can add.

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Basic Shapes Object Mode

The basic default mesh shapes available are:  Plane, Cube, Circle, UV Sphere, Ico Sphere, Cylinder, Cone, Torus, Grid, and Monkey.

The Cube, UV Sphere, Cylinder, Cone, and Torus you may be familiar with from building in virtual worlds.

You have an extra sphere shape, the Ico Sphere, and you’ll learn later how this and other add-on sphere choices can help you with unwrapping (determining texture layout) and texturing options.

The Plane, Circle, and Grid are flat geometry options that can be useful.

Monkey is the Blender monkey Susan. She’s handy for practicing modeling and unwrapping.

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Basic Shapes Edit Mode

When adding objects while in Object mode the new shape will be a new separate object.

When in Edit mode, your created shape will be added to the object you are editing.

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Blender Add Mesh Object

Another way to add shapes is by way of the 3D Viewport Header in the Add menu item.

Or, use the shortcut key shift A to get the Add menu.

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Create Menu

There are also objects other than mesh.

Some serve as tools for more advanced modeling and some can be converted to mesh shapes.

They will add some nice treats to your bag of tricks.

We’ll get to those as we need them.

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Operator Panel

Blender Operator Panel

When you create a new object, look in the Operator panel. It’s at the bottom of the 3D View Tool Shelf (T).

Operator Panel +Grip

If you don’t see it, look for the +Grip at the bottom of the Tool Shelf and left click it to open the panel (red).

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Hover over the Operator panel’s top border to get a double arrow cursor and drag the border up or down to resize it.

The Operator Panel automatically populates with settings that pertain to the most recent action when appropriate. Some of these options are not available at any other time and cannot be accessed otherwise.

When adding shapes it will contain various parameters for the particular shape you chose.

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Blender Operator Panel Cylinder

For example, in this image, you can see that you can change the number of vertices, the diameter, depth, location, and rotation of a cylinder shape.

Blender Cylinder Triangle Fan

You can also change the type of ends on the cylinder. Choosing Triangle Fan will triangulate the ends and add a vertex in the center of each end.

NOTE:  Operator Panel settings will contain the same settings you used last for each particular action.


Manage Objects

Blender Outliner

The Outliner editor is located in the top right frame in Blender’s default layout.

It will tell you what objects you have in Blender and allow you to de/select, rename, and un/hide them.

Use the search box at the top right of the Outliner to locate objects. Narrow your search or locate specific types of objects with the drop down filters to the left of the search box.

To keep the individual objects organized, name each object with a name that’s indicative of what it is.

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Rename-Objects

There are three locations where you can name objects.

In the the Outliner (green), in the 3D Properties Shelf > Item Panel (blue), and in the Properties editor (red) > Object tab (yellow).

It doesn’t matter which you use, changing one will update the others.

To rename objects in the Outliner, double left click it’s name in the list of objects.

In the Properties shelf and Properties editor, click in the object’s name box.

TIP:  The name of the active object is in the lower left corner of the 3D Viewport and at the far right end of the Info Editor (main menu bar).


Basic Selection

Blender uses right mouse click for select instead of the typical left click.

This can be confusing at first and takes some getting used to. This prevents accidentally selecting and potentially borking things.

If you can’t handle right click selection, you can change the behavior in the User Preferences > Input tab or control alt U.

Select All:  A toggles selecting and deselecting everything. If you already have a partial selection, you’ll need to press A twice to first deselect all then select all.

Select:  right click objects in Object Mode, geometry in Edit Mode.

Add to Selection:  shift right click objects in Object Mode, geometry in Edit Mode.

Deselect:  shift right click selected objects in Object Mode, geometry in Edit Mode.

Selected object(s) or their geometry are highlighted in yellow-orange when selected.


Undo and Redo

Undo:  control Z to undo the last action.
Redo:  control shift Z to redo the last action.
History:  control alt A to view the actions history.

WARNING:  It’s common to press Z without the corresponding Control key for Undo, in which case, you’ll end up in wire mode. If this happens press Z again to get back into normal view.

Blender Undo Redo History

You can also use the 3D View Header menu.

In Object Mode go to Object > then either Undo, Redo, or Undo History.

In Edit Mode go to Mesh > then either Undo, Redo, or Undo History.

Buttons for these operations are in the History panel of the Tool Shelf > Tools tab.

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TIP:   Since every mouse or keyboard click is registered as a step, you will need more than the default number of steps saved. If you didn’t skip the Customizing Blender chapter, you’ll know that you can increase the number of Undo History steps in User Preferences > Editing tab (control alt U).


Escape

Sometimes, especially with accidentally pressed shortcut keys, you may enter commands that you no longer want to complete. Press the Escape key to cancel the command.

TIP:  If things are acting oddly, not responding, or what-have-you, press Escape to see if that clears things up.


Delete

Blender Delete

You can delete selected objects in Object Mode, or selected geometry in Edit Mode by pressing either the X or the Delete shortcut keys.

You’ll get a confirmation popup. Click Delete in the popup to finalize the operation.

Or, in Object Mode go to the 3D View Header and, in the menu, go to Object > Delete.

And if in Edit Mode go to the 3D View Header and, in the menu, go to Mesh > Delete.

A third way to delete selected object(s) or geometry in either Edit or Object Mode, go to the Tools tab in the 3D View Tool Shelf (T) and locate and click the Delete button.

WARNING:  When deleting whole objects be sure to delete them in Object Mode. If you select all geometry in Edit Mode and delete it, you still have an object, although it’s an object with only an origin point and no geometry.


Lamps and Cameras

Lights & Camera

The Lamp and Camera are also objects though not mesh.

They are not much use for virtual world content creation except in some advanced skills. They are just clutter at this point.

Go ahead and select and delete them for now. You can always add them again if you do need them.

TIP:   You might even consider saving a new user window without the Lamp and Camera so you don’t have to deal with them all the time. Open a new instance of Blender and click ‘File’ in the Info editor (main menu bar) and select ‘Save Startup File’ or press the shortcut keys control U.


Mesh Geometry

Mesh is made up of geometry—various parts used to create the shapes of your objects. Understanding these parts is essential to good mesh object creation for virtual worlds.

The BlenderForNoobs channel on YouTube has a good video discussing 3D geometry.

Blender for Noobs #6 – Understanding basic 3D geometry


Low-poly Mesh

Mesh gets a bad rap for being hard on servers. It’s not mesh that is the problem but mesh objects that contain way too much geometry.

Inworld, the locations of vertices on the X, Y, and Z axis are kept track of by the servers so they can draw and redraw shapes as we navigate around in 3D space. The more vertices we have in our objects, the more work virtual world servers are doing to correctly draw our objects.

Our goal in creating 3D content for virtual worlds is to give our objects details that look great but, without using more geometry than is absolutely necessary to achieve our goal. This is called low-poly mesh.

TIP:   When you download mesh objects from the internet it’s important to know if the object is made with low-poly techniques like you’ll be learning here. And, by the way, well made low-poly mesh items, like you’ll soon be creating, are in high demand for good prices!


Vertices

Delete all the objects in your scene and create a new cube shape.

Select the cube (right-click) and go to Edit Mode (Tab). Deselect all the geometry (A).

Blender Vertices

Vertex or Vertices:  You’ll see small dots at each corner of the cube. These are called vertices and are the points in space whose location is noted on the X, Y, and Z axis.

TIP:  When in Edit Mode, press Z to toggle in or out of wire view to better see the vertices of your object.


Edges

Blender Edge

Edges:  The lines that stretch from vertex to vertex. All edges are straight lines.

TIP:  When in Object Mode, press Z to toggle in or out of wire view to better see the edges of your object.


Face

Blender Face

The flat planes stretched between edges and vertices are faces. Faces are used to apply textures to. They are the visible geometry of our inworld mesh objects.

Face:  A plane, stretching between edges and vertices.
Tri:  A triangular face with three edges.
Quad:  A face with four edges.
Polygon:  A face with 3 or more edges.
Ngon:  A face with more than four edges.

Blender Polys 250

When uploading mesh objects, all faces are triangulated.

You should avoid, as much as possible, using poly faces with more than four edges. On triangulation, polys can end up warping your shapes in odd ways.

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To triangulate faces, select the faces and press control T.

Most people prefer working using quads. To turn tris to quads select at least two connected tris and press alt J.

TIP:   Only pairs of tris can be turned into quads—it won’t work on polys. A quick trick to turn all your geometry into quads is to turn the geometry to tris first and then to quads.


Basic Modeling

Transform is Blender’s term for making changes to objects and their geometry whether that change is to location, dimension, scale, or rotation.

When in Object Mode, Translate (move), Scale, and Rotate work on selected whole objects.

In Edit Mode they work on selected geometry.


Select Geometry

Like selecting objects, selecting geometry is done by right clicking. Right click the parts of geometry you want to select. Hold Shift and right click to add unselected geometry to the selection or subtract selected geometry.

TIP:   In Edit Mode you can only edit one object at a time. If you have more than one object selected in Object Mode when changing to Edit Mode, the active object (last object selected) will be the object that opens in Edit mode.

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Vertex Edge Face Selector

Found on the 3D View Header in Edit Mode, the Selection widget controls whether faces, edges, vertices, or a combination of geometry types are selected during selection actions.

Left click the appropriate box for the type of geometry you want to select. Hold shift to select more than one choice.

Now, when you right click geometry, only the type(s) of geometry you have selected in the selection widget will be selected.

Selected items will be highlighted in orange. The last selected item will be highlighted in white.


3D Manipulator

3D Manipulator

The 3D Manipulator works similarly to the manipulator inworld.

It’s the red, green, and blue gadget that allows you to move, rotate, and scale your selected objects by dragging the arrow heads, pulling or pushing the block ends, or rotating the rings. More on that in a bit.

The shortcut key to toggle visibility of the manipulator is control Space.

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Add Geometry

While in Edit Mode, faces can be added between two or more selected edges or three or more selected vertices by pressing the shortcut key F.

If only two vertices are selected then an Edge will be created instead of a face.

If many connected edges are selected this will create a polygon face. To get multiple triangle faces instead press the shortcut keys alt F.

Blender Make Face Tool Shelf

Or, with the 3D View Tool Shelf (T) > Tools tab > Mesh Tools panel > press Make Edge/Face button (red).

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Blender Make Face Menu

Or, in the 3D View Header Menu > Faces > Make Edge/Face.

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Location

Translate means to move or change the location of selected objects or their geometry.


Translate By 3D Manipulator

Blender 3D Manipulator Translate

In the 3D Viewport Header locate the 3D Manipulator widget and left click the Arrowhead icon to translate (move) selected items.

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Blender 3D Manipulator Closed

If you don’t see the Arrowhead icon, left click the 3D Manipulator icon (red) to fully open the widget.

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Blender Translate

Just like with inworld building, you can use the arrows of the 3D Manipulator to left click drag your selected object or geometry on an axis.

Now you can left click and drag the appropriate arrowhead or tail in the 3D Viewport to move on the chosen axis.

To translate (move) on two axis hold shift as you left click drag on the axis you do not want to translate.


Translate Shortcut Keys

Despite this daunting list of shortcuts, you’ll soon be using them frequently without a thought. There’s a pattern to how they work. Just study the lists, trying each out in Blender and it will quickly make sense.

G is the translate (move) shortcut key.

Press G and move the selection freely by left click and drag.

Press G in sequence with the axis key, X, Y, or Z to move the selection on the chosen global (relative to the grid) axis:

Translate (move) selection on the X global axis:  G, X, left click and drag on global X axis
Translate (move) selection on the Y global axis:  G, Y, left click and drag on global Y axis
Translate (move) selection on the Z global axis:  G, Z, left click and drag on global Z axis

Translate (move) selection on two axis by indicating the axis to not include:

Translate (move) selection on the Y and Z global axis:  Shift G, X, left click and drag on Y and Z axis
Translate (move) selection on the X and Z global axis:  Shift G, Y, left click and drag on X and Z axis
Translate (move) selection on the X and Y global axis:  Shift G, Z, left click and drag on X and Y axis


Scale

Blender uses the terms Scale and Dimension for resizing selected objects or geometry. In later chapters I’ll discuss the difference between Scale and Dimension. For right now don’t worry about it.


Scale By 3D Manipulator

Blender 3D Manipulator Scale

In the 3D Viewport Header locate the 3D Manipulator widget and left click the Blockhead icon to resize selected items.

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Blender 3D Manipulator Closed

If you don’t see the Blockhead icon, left click the 3D Manipulator icon (red) to fully open the widget.

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Blender Scale

Similar to inworld building, you can use the blockheads of the 3D Manipulator to left click drag your selected object or geometry to resize it on an axis.

Left click and drag the appropriate blockhead in the 3D Viewport to resize on the chosen axis.

To scale on two axis hold shift as you left click drag on the axis you do not want to scale.


Scale Using Shortcut Keys

The S key is the Scale shortcut key. Just like the translate shortcut you’ll soon see the pattern and will be using them frequently without a thought.

Press the S key and left click and drag to scale the selected on all three axis.

You’ll see a dotted line and arrow to show where to drag:  drag toward the selected to scale down, away from selected to scale up.

Use the S shortcut key in sequence with the axis key, X, Y, or Z to scale the selected along the chosen global axis:

Scale selected along the global X axis:  G, X, left click drag black dashed line
Scale selected along the global Y axis:  G, Y, left click drag black dashed line
Scale selected along the global Z axis:  G, Z, left click drag black dashed line

Scale selected along two global axis:

Scale selected along the global Y & Z axis:  Shift G, X, left click drag black dashed line
Scale selected along the global X & Z axis:  Shift G, Y, left click drag black dashed line
Scale selected along the global X & Y axis:  Shift G, Z, left click drag black dashed line


Rotation

Protractor

Rotation in Blender is based on the 360° full circle.

Note that 360° lends itself well to the most common rotation increments:

A quarter turn is 90°, a half turn or about face is 180°, and a three quarter turn is 270°.

Five increments for a full turn is with 72°, 144°, 216°, 288°, & 360°.

Rotating in six moves is with 60° turns: 60°, 120°, 180°, 240°, 300°, & 360°.

One eighth turns are in 45° increments: 45°, 90°, 135°, 180°, 225°, 270°, 315°, & 360°.

One ninth increments is with 40°, 80°, 120°, 160°, 200°, 240°, 280°, 320°, & 360°.

One tenth slices are: 36°, 72°, 108°, 144°, 180°, 216°, 252°, 288°, 324°, & 360°.

Rotating in twelve increments is with 30° turns: 30°, 60°, 90°, 120°, 150°, 180°, 210°, 240°, 270°, 300°, 330°, & 360°.

That’s probably the most commonly used rotations you’ll use. Do write them down in your notekeeping system (which you are using—right?) for reference. They’ll be very handy.


Rotate By 3D Manipulator

Blender 3D Manipulator Rotate

In the 3D Viewport Header locate the 3D Manipulator widget and left click the Curve icon to rotate selected items.

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Blender 3D Manipulator Closed

If you don’t see the Curve icon, left click the 3D Manipulator icon (red) to fully open the widget.

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Blender Rotate

Like inworld building, you can use the rings of the 3D Manipulator to left click drag your selected object or geometry in rotation on an axis.

Now you can left click and drag the appropriate ring in the 3D Viewport to rotate on the chosen axis.

To rotate on two axis hold shift as you left click drag on the ring you do not want to rotate.


Rotate Using Shortcut Keys

Rotate selected on two global axis:
The R is the rotate shortcut key. Just like the translate and scale shortcuts you’ll soon see the pattern and will be using them without a thought.

Press R and left click and drag to rotate the selected on all three axis. You’ll see a dotted line and arrow to show where to drag:  drag in the rotation direction you want around the selected.

Use the S shortcut key in sequence with the axis key, X, Y, or Z to scale the selected along the chosen global axis:

Rotate selected around the global X axis:  G, X, left click drag black dashed line around global X axis
Rotate selected around the global Y axis:  G, Y, left click drag black dashed line around global Y axis
Rotate selected around the global Z axis:  G, Z, left click drag black dashed line around global Z axis

Rotate selected around the global Y and Z axis:  Shift G, X, left click drag black dashed line around global Y and Z axis
Rotate selected around the global X and Z axis:  Shift G, Y, left click drag black dashed line around global X and Z axis
Rotate selected around the global X and Y axis:  Shift G, Z, left click drag black dashed line around global X and Y axis


Extrude

Play Doh Extruder 500

I like to explain extrusion by reminding people of the playdoh extruder that many of us had as children. It was a plastic device that allowed you to press a lever to push playdoh clay through a hole creating a long rope of clay in the shape of the hole it was pushed through.

That’s how extrusion works in 3D modeling.

Blender Extrude

Select geometry then press E and drag to perform basic extrusion.

I could give you a bunch of gobbledegook about face normals, limits, orientations, ad infinitum but that wouldn’t be very helpful.

Instead I’ll give you the shortcuts and let you play with each of the moves to see how they work. You’ll learn a lot more that way and it will help you build some muscle memory for this essential tool.

Try each with vertices selected, then edges, and then faces to see how each performs on different types of geometry.

Extrude on the global (relative to the grid) axis:

E, X
E, Y
E, Z

E, Shift X (Y and Z, not X)
E, Shift Y (X and Z, not Y)
E, Shift Z (X and Y, not Z)

Extrude on the local (relative to the object) axis:

E, XX
E, YY
E, ZZ

E, Shift XX (Y and Z, not X)
E, Shift YY (X and Y, not Z)
E, Shift ZZ (X and Y, not Z)

Select two or more pieces of geometry and press Alt E instead of E in each of the combinations above. Again, try each one with vertices selected, edges selected, or faces selected.

Extrude is a fast, effective tool for adding geometry to your objects, giving you the ability to quickly create more complex shapes.


Project: Properly Rotating Door

Real doors pivot on one edge of one side.

Blender Pivot Center of Mass

Inworld, when mesh objects are uploaded, the origin points of your mesh objects are reset to the center of the object’s geometry. This is used as the point on which both prim and mesh objects rotate inworld.

1x500

Blender Pivot Side

Inworld, we have tricks we can use to make a prim door rotate on one side basically by slicing off half the prim.

1x500

Blender Pivot Edge

In blender we use a trick that not only gets the door to rotate on one side but, more precisely, on the edge where the hinges should pivot. Your mesh door will look more realistic when it opens and closes.

1x500

<< Previous | Table of Contents | Next >>

Blender: Customizing

Getting Started With Blender For Virtual Worlds

Blender For Virtual Worlds

A Free Tutorial by Remona Stormborn
Edited by Labyrinth Stormborn
© Remona Stormborn 2014, 2015, 2016, all rights reserved

Visit Gaia Foundation on Atlantis in the Great Canadian Grid for inworld support information.


« PreviousTable of ContentsNext »


Customizing Blender

Set Blender up to work the way you work with custom layouts, themes, file management, and backup strategies. Link your favorite 2D graphics program to Blender and tell Blender to use your graphics card.

Preferences
     Interface Tab
     Editing Tab
     Input Tab
          Input Devices
          Keyboard Shortcuts
          Cheatsheets
          Custom Keyboard Shortcuts
     Add-ons Tab
          Downloading Add-ons
     Themes Tab
     File Tab
          2D Graphics Program
          Backing Up Files
     System Tab
     Saving Preferences
Project: Get Ready to Model
Questions?

Preferences

Blender is highly customizable.

You’ll learn how to emulate the numberpad and three button mouse if you don’t have them.

How to change the UI font size if you have trouble reading the menus and labels.

You’ll tell Blender where to find and save your files by default and how to back up your files so you can recover if projects are lost or damaged in any way.

You’ll learn how to change processing power to your graphics card if it’s possible for your system.

With these settings Blender will be ready for modeling, which you’ll start learning in the next chapter.

To open the User Preference window, go to the Info editor (main menu bar) and navigate to File > User Preferences in the menu, or press Control-Alt-U.

The User Preferences will open in a separate window.

Alternatively, you can select the User Preferences editor with the Editor Selection widget in any Frame.


Interface Tab

Preferences - Interface
This is where you can change the settings that control Blender’s user interface. You can change things like the size of your cursor, mini axis, and other 3D View tools.

I recommend not changing anything in this tab until you become more familiar with Blender.


Editing Tab

This is where you can change settings for editing tools & options.

Preferences - Editing - Steps

Under Undo,Steps (red) is the number of actions you’ve taken that are saved in History (Control-Alt-Z) for the Undo (Control-Z) and Redo (Control-Shift-Z) operations.

Blender sets the default number of steps saved to 32 steps. Since every small action like the selection of a single vertice is saved, I’ve found myself undoing well over 100 steps.

I recommend that you set the maximum to the full 256 steps if your computer system’s memory is capable of handling that.

If your computer has limited memory resources you may want to keep Steps set to a lower value but, I don’t recommend anything less than 64 steps.

Other than that setting, you should leave this tab as it is unless you know what you are doing.


Input Tab

In the left hand column of the Input tab you’ll find settings for your input devices.

Blender Input Presets

If you already know how to use either 3DSMax or Maya you have the option to change the presets and the keyboard shortcuts to match either program in the Presets at the top (red) of the left hand column.

Changing to either of these settings will change Blender’s input methods and shortcut keys to closely match those of the application you choose.

Note: there’s a new option to change to Virtual Worlds. I tried the setting out and found that it doesn’t change in any way that is helpful.

I recommend not changing this setting. It’s preferable to learn Blender’s default commands and shortcut keys so that tutorials, including this tutorial, are not difficult to follow and translate.

But, if you do find it’s too difficult to get used to changing from virtual world building methods to Blender’s, you can try out this setting. If you do, it will be your responsibility to adapt the changes to the methods in tutorials including this one.

Blender Emulation 3Button Mouse and NumPad


Input Devices

If you don’t have a 3 button mouse or number pad on your keyboard you can emulate either or both.

To emulate a 3 button mouse, go to the Input tab in the User Preferences (control-alt-u) and tick Emulate 3 Button Mouse (red). You can now use Alt-left click instead of the middle mouse button.

To emulate a number pad tick Emulate Numpad (blue). Use the keyboard numbers instead of the number pad shortcut keys.

Trackball users have another option in the Input tab. In the Orbit Style setting (yellow) change the setting from Turntable to Trackball.

For those of you with or interested in a using a graphics tablet, check out these resources:

CG Cookie’s article:

Tablet vs Mouse, Kent Trammell, June 9, 2016

BlenderArtists Articles:

Thread: Wacom and Blender, Forum, Started Nov 9, 2014
Thread: Which tablet is best for Blender, Forum, Started Jul 10, 2013
Thread: Tablets and Blender, Forum, Started Apr 2, 2007

An excellent YouTube Tutorial on using tablets, type of tablets and their features, and setting up a graphics tablet in Blender by Grant Abbitt: Using a graphics tablet in blender


Keyboard Shortcuts

Blender Shortcuts in Menus

Blender uses shortcut keys which, over time, you’ll learn to use effectively.

You don’t need to memorize them all. The important ones you’ll learn quick enough. Others you find useful you’ll learn as you need them.

With practice you’ll soon find you use them without thinking.

You don’t have to use Shortcut Keys. You can use the menus and your mouse. However, using the shortcut keys is faster and easier.

In addition to the searchable list in the Input tab of the User Preferences editor, you will also find the shortcut keys at the end of each item in Blender’s menus (red).
 

 

TIP:  The active shortcut keys are different depending on where your cursor is located. It is important your cursor is in the frame or panel you want the action to take place in.

Some commands use a sequence of shortcut keys to give detailed instructions to Blender.

For example: the sequence of the shortcut keys a, s, x, 2 would be a quick way to select everything (a) and scale it (s) on the X axis (x) to two times it’s original size (2).

Without the shortcut keys, that sequence of commands would have taken quite a bit more work to accomplish than just hitting a few keys on your keyboard.

BlenderForNoobs on YouTube has a video overview on Blender’s shortcut keys. You’ll find the video a good overview of how the shortcut keys will come into play when you begin modeling. Don’t worry about memorizing any of the shortcuts in the video, we’ll cover those as you need them.

Blender for Noobs: How to start mastering keyboard shortcuts on YouTube:


Cheatsheets

There are quite a few cheatsheets available online forBlender’s shortcut keys.

Any cheatsheets for versions of Blender before v2.59 are obsolete so be sure to grab a current one.

Here’s a few you might find useful:

WikiBooks Blender 3D Cheatsheet

Tufts University PDF Cheatsheet

Blender For Dummies Cheatsheet

And, because you did set up a note taking system as I suggested (right?), you can always refer to your notes to quickly look up Shortcut Keys.


Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

For menu items you use frequently that don’t have shortcut keys, you can give the command a custom shortcut key by going to the User Preferences (control-alt-u) and, in the Input tab right clicking the item in the menu and choosing Add Shortcut.

Blender Search Shortcut Keys

Look for shortcut keys with the Search box (red) by name, shortcut key, or key combo.

Add new shortcut keys by clicking the Add New button (yellow) at the end of each category of shortcuts.

WARNING:  Be careful to make sure a key combo that you want to use is not already in use before you assign it to a command because Blender will not warn you that a keyboard shortcut is already in use.


Add-ons Tab

Blender Add-ons Preferences

You can find, install, activate and deactivate add-ons in the Add-ons tab.

Add-ons in Blender are scripts that extend it’s functionality in any number of ways. They are created by Blender users all over the world. Some are better written than others.

Their functions range from simple additional features to complex operations and tools.

Blender comes preinstalled with a few dozen add-ons. Not all are activated.

To activate a preinstalled add-on (or one that you downloaded and added), locate it in the list on the right hand side of the Add-ons tab (yellow) and tick the box at the top right of the add-on’s panel (green).

To deactivate any add-ons, untick the box.

To locate a specific add-on use the Search box at the top left of the Add-ons tab.

Use the Supported Level buttons (red) to filter your search by Official (Blender’s officially supported), Community (Blender community supported), and/or Testing (add-ons still in the testing phase-beta) support levels.

Below that is the Categories filters (blue) with which you can narrow down your search.

Note that User in the Categories filters will show the add-ons you have installed.

In the list of add-ons in the right hand column (yellow) click the triangle to the left of an add-on’s name to open it’s panel (green).

Inside each panel you’ll find a button to take you to online documentation for the add-on as well as information on the add-on’s status and any warnings.

When done, be sure to press the Save User Settings button in the lower left of the window (pink) if you want your changes to persist to future sessions. If you don’t, the changes will only be effective in the current work session.


Downloading Add-ons

Because Blender is an open source program you’ll find lots of great add-ons available free, and occasionally, for a nominal charge.

As is typical of open source programs, the add-ons are created by individuals whose skills vary widely. Some are very powerful, useful tools. Some, not so much.

I’ll recommend some good add-ons you will find useful as you need them.

What not to do is to go downloading a bunch of add-ons before you are sure what they do or how to use them. (*rolls eyes wildly knowing full well you are gonna ignore me*)

When you do add an add-on, read the documentation. Not all add-ons install in the same way and some are harder to figure out how to use than others.

With that said, I refer you to these add-on sources.

Addon Resources:

Blender Resources
Blender’s Addon Catalog
Blender Addon List
Blender Nation Addons

Natalia Mitiuriev aka Ms Magic Animations on YouTube, Blender Tutorial: How to Install Addons has a very good video tutorial on installing add-ons in Blender:

But, hey, seriously, for now, keep it simple?


Themes Tab

If you find anything difficult to see or have problems with the coloring used anywhere in Blender, you can change it in the Themes tab. You can change the color and style of Blender by changing the theme or change individual elements of your current theme.

Blender Preferences Themes

In addition the the default theme, you can choose from ten additional themes in the Presets drop down menu at the top left of the Themes tab.

There are free themes that you can find online as well.

I’ll be working in the default theme and so as not to confuse you.

Blender Themes tab Buttons

To install a new theme or reset your theme and theme settings back to Blender’s defaults press either the Reset to Default Theme or Install Theme button near the lower left corner of the User Preference window.

3D Viewport Background Color

If you’d like the 3D Viewport background to be lighter or darker, change it in the Themes tab. In the right hand column look for 3D View (blue – 1) and select it.

Now, look near the bottom of the middle column for the Theme Background Color and make sure Use Gradient (yellow – 2) is not ticked.

To the right of that, click on the Gradient High/Off color box (red – 3).

In the Color Selector pop-up move the shade bar until you get a shade you like. I’d suggest not using full white or full black as there are elements that will be difficult to see. You can, however, use nearly full black or white just so that it’s enough contrast to see white or black elements in the 3D viewport.

Blender Text Size

If you find Blender’s user interface text to large or small you can change it in the Themes tab. Look for Text Style button in the left hand column and select it to change text size. You’ll then see text settings for panels and widgets (red).


File Tab

Use these settings to tell Blender where your files and graphics application are located, how to display files, how to save backups, and control your recent file history.

Blender File Preferences

On the left side of the Preferences File tab you can set the location where Blender can find or save various types of files (red). Click the folder icon at the end of each line to browse to the file paths you prefer.

Fonts: This should be where your fonts are located. For windows the location is usually C:\Windows\Fonts\ .

Textures: This should be where you’d like Blender to start looking when you browse for textures.

Sounds: If you have a preferred location for storing sound files, this is where you’d like Blender to start looking when you browse for sound files.

Scripts: It’s a smart idea to create a folder for installing add-ons, themes, scripts, and other Blender tools. This keeps you from loosing your custom downloaded add-ons if you uninstall Blender for a clean reinstall or need to move them to another computer or other situation. If you do, point to the location in the Scripts section of this tab.

Scripts is where Blender will find additional add-ons, downloaded themes, or other add-ons you want Blender to load on start-up. Blender will continue to look in it’s default storage areas, this just adds another file location to Blender’s default locations.


2D Graphics Program

Blender File Preferences

Image Editor: Also in the File tab, the Image Editor setting links Blender to an external 2D graphics program like Photoshop, Paint Shop, or Gimp.

To link to your favorite program, locate the Image Editor line in the File tab (blue) and click the file folder icon.

Blender Link 2D Graphics

Graphics Program: Navigate to your 2D graphic program’s executable file (red), select it and click the Accept button (blue).


Backing Up Files

Blender File Preferences

You can tick boxes to Hide Recent Locations and/or Hide System Bookmarks in the file browser (yellow). If you don’t use either of these choices when browsing to files it’s a little less clutter if you hide them.

If you prefer to view your files as thumbnails in the file browser, you’ll find below those two options, an option to Show Thumbnails in the far right column of the File tab (yellow). You can always turn thumbnails off or on when in a browsing window. This just sets the default behavior.

Blender File Preferences

Blender saves a list of your most recently opened files. You can set how many files to remember in history. Click the arrowhead at either end of Recent Files (green) to change the number.

Blender File Preferences

Blender has a couple ways in which it backs up your work.

Blender saves one previous session of your current file by default. You can increase this number to allow Blender to keep even more previous work sessions of your files. It can sometimes be handy if you really mess things up or are experimenting with a project.

To change the number of backup sessions Blender saves click the arrowhead at either end of Saved Versions (green) to change the number.

The backed up sessions will be saved as FILENAME.blend1, FILENAME.blend2, and so on, depending on how many versions you set it to. The saved work sessions will be saved in the same location where you save the original file.

Blender File Preferences

By default Blender auto saves your files in your system’s temporary files as you work. To change how frequently your work is saved click the arrowhead at either end of Timer in the Auto Save section of the File tab (aqua). The number indicates how many minutes between saves.

Untick the box to disable automatically saving your work (aqua).

Blender Recover

To open auto saved versions of your project go to the Info Editor (main menu bar) > File > and select Recover Auto Save.

To open your most recent project go to the Info Editor (main menu bar) > File > and select Recover Last Session. If you have a project open it will open the most recent project before the current project.

Blender Splash Screen Recent

You can also open recent files from the splash screen when you open a new instance of Blender (red).


System Tab

Preferences - System - Compute Device

This is where you make changes to more technical system and graphics settings. Generally, unless you have a graphics problem, I’d leave this section alone.

One thing you should change is, if you have a nVidia graphics card, is to tell Blender to use it instead of your computer’s CPU (red). In most cases this will speed things up.

Under Compute Device select CUDA (red) and your graphics device should appear in the drop down menu on the next line. Check that the correct device is selected.

If you have an AMD graphics card or just want to know a little more about this setting using Blender 2.73, BlenderTek on YouTube has a great video demonstrating how to set up an AMD to work with Blender.

Also: Marclen Chin has the same using Blender 2.69 in 2 videos going a little slower that are easier to understand: Part 1, Part 2

We won’t be doing full renders but, later on we will be doing some limited rendering to create ambient occlusion (normal daylight shading) textures or AO Maps so this may be useful for you depending on your computer system.

You don’t have to worry about this now if you’d rather not because you can always come back to this section if you find that your system can’t handle rendering in a timely manner when we use it in later chapters.


Saving Preferences

Save User Settings Button

When you are done making changes in preferences, be sure to click the Save User Settings button at the bottom of the Preferences window to save your changes permanently. Otherwise, they’ll only affect the current work session.

If you make any changes that you want to be in effect for the current session only, close the window without clicking the Save User Settings button.

It might be a wise move to backup your preference settings after making important changes. Blender saves user settings to a file named “userpref.blend”.

If you want to make a copy of your preferences or locate other Blender files go to Blender Manual: Configuring Directories to find out where Blender stores it’s documents in your operating system’s file management system.

Load Factory Settings

Anytime you do want to go back to the default startup settings, which includes changes in the preferences, startup screen choice, custom screen layouts, and any changes you make to the startup file, go to File > Load Factory Settings in the Info editor (main menu bar).


Project: Get Ready to Model

For this project I want you to be ready to start learning modeling.

Go through your User Preferences and make the changes that you need and save those changes (see this chapter).

If you have not done so yet, create your own custom modeling layout and save it (see the previous chapter).

Make sure your cursor is still in the center of the grid with Shift-S > Cursor to Center. More about that in the 3D View chapter.

Save Custom Layout 3

Save all your changes as the new default startup window so that every time you open a new instance of Blender your preferences and custom layout will be in effect.

Do this by clicking File in the Info editor (main menu bar) and select Save Startup File or press the shortcut keys Control-U.

Save Custom Layout 4

In the pop-up verify that this is what you want to do by selecting Save Startup File (red).

That’s it! You’re ready to start modeling!


Questions?

Post your questions in the comment section below & I’ll answer it as soon as possible. Please be specific so I can understand what it is you’re asking.

You can also visit Gaia Foundation on Atlantis in the Great Canadian Grid for inworld support information.


« PreviousTable of ContentsNext »

Blender: Getting Started

Getting Started With Blender For Virtual Worlds

Blender For Virtual Worlds

A Free Tutorial by Remona Stormborn
Edited by Labyrinth Stormborn
© Remona Stormborn 2014, 2015, 2016, all rights reserved

Visit Gaia Foundation on Atlantis in the Great Canadian Grid for inworld support information.


Table of ContentsNext »


Getting Started

Introduction
     Why Mesh?
     Are Prims Obsolete?
     What Else Can I Create?
What Is Blender?
     Requirements
     Download
     Welcome to Blender
How This Tutorial Works
Finding Help
Project: Note Keeping System
Questions?


Introduction

I’m lazy. I am. I hate reading directions. I really hate heavy tomes full of blah, blah, blah on how to do something.

I’m a creative person, not a bookworm. I want to push buttons, click and drag things, poke and prod and make things transform into beautiful creations. I want to point my wand and create fantastical magic!

And that’s how I started out with Blender. A few months later, after resisting several urges to toss my computer out my five story window, I wasn’t having fun anymore. But, I was determined to master this skill so I decided to read the directions.

That turned out to be not so efficient either….few tutorials focused on virtual world content, most were technical and vague, many charged a high price, & the rest were outdated.

Books, blogs, forums, online tutorials, videos, inworld classes, you name it, I read it or watched it. It took digging, rooting out piecemeal useful bits here and there, experimenting, & pestering the few experts I could find that were willing to share their knowledge.

Finally, I’m confident to say, I can create quality content that doesn’t lag my sims and looks fantastic and, best of all, I have fun doing it!

Now, you can too, because, luck have it, I’m also a writer and an experienced virtual world teacher. Thus, this tutorial was born.

Best of all, it’s free. Yeppers, I’m not asking for anything but your time, feedback & enthusiasm for creating and learning.

You can learn to create with Blender without crying the crocodile tears I did. Start out right: start here. I’ll keep it simple and on point: content creation for virtual worlds in easy to understand language.


Why Mesh?

While building with prims inworld is a lot of fun, mesh gives us the ability to create much more organic and intricate shapes. Done right, with methods specifically for virtual world use, mesh creates less stress on servers and less lag. I know there are many who argue the point but, they are wrong. I’ll teach you the methods that will show you why they are wrong.

Low-poly mesh is what you need and that’s what I’ll teach you here in addition to great tricks to get high detail without adding complex geometry to stress out virtual world servers.

Another benefit of mesh is the control you get over the physics and the LoD. Your mesh objects will have custom physics so avatars and other objects can interact with them in more predictable ways. Ever get annoyed at how some objects inworld break down as you move farther away? You’ll learn how to control how your mesh is seen from various distances and how avatars will interact with your mesh creations.

With the techniques I will teach you how to determine how textures will layout on your objects, giving you full control to reduce ugly stretching and warping of textures. You’ll also learn how to create custom textures that provide ambient occlusion (natural daylight shading) as well as how to create special textures for creating special lighting and shading effects.


Are Prims Obsolete?

No way! You don’t have to give up the hard earned skills you’ve learned building with prims and sculpts. Instead, you’ll expand your skills in creating exciting content.

In fact, I’ll show you ways to enhance your prim building with mesh. Throughout this series, I’ll show you ways to use the best of both worlds with hybrid building, taking advantage of the best features of Blender and inworld creation techniques.


What Else Can I Create?

For virtual worlds, in addition to 3D objects, you can create sculpts, terrain, textures, avatars, clothes, and animations for your virtual world. Mesh is a powerful building component to add to your tool belt. With mesh you get rich 3D detail for low land impact and infinite possibilities.


What Is Blender?

Blender is a free open source 3D program. It’s used for many types of 3D projects such as modeling 3D mesh objects, sculpting, animation, avatars and avatar clothing, rendering, compositing, video editing, creating games, & more.

Although 3ds Max and Maya currently dominate the industry, Blender is fast becoming recognized for it’s sophistication and responsiveness to users. You’ll find a huge community of users who enjoy sharing their knowledge and support. In many respects, it outshines it’s expensive competitors.


Requirements

  • A computer running Windows, OSx, or Linux 1
  • A graphics card that will run a 3D graphics program 2
  • A virtual world account, viewer, & basic building skills 3
  • An internet connection and ability to upload and download content
  • A 3 button mouse and a keyboard with number pad (highly recommended) 4

1. Blender is pretty much the same regardless of what operating system you use.

2. If you can visit virtual worlds in a a standard virtual world viewer you’ll be fine running Blender. Depending on your graphics card, processor, & memory, you may or may not be able to run both at the same time….

3. If you don’t already have a virtual world, try the Great Canadian Grid, where accounts and uploading are free and there are sandboxes to practice building in. I recommend OpenSim worlds where you can then visit other worlds with the original avatar you sign up with.

Visit: http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Grid_List for a list of the OpenSim worlds. With OpenSim, you can even download the software to create your own private world.

Other worlds are: Second Life and InWorldz, which are closed worlds – not connected to any other worlds.

4. If you don’t have a 3 button mouse or number pad, I’ll show you the alternative in a bit.


Download

Download your copy of the current version of Blender at: Blender.org

Blender installs fast and easy. Everything you need for installation on Windows, Mac, or Linux operating systems is available on the site.

Blender does not update automatically. You’ll need to check the site once in awhile to update to new versions.

For Steam users, you can download Blender with Steam, in which case, you’ll get automatic updates.


Welcome to Blender

Once you have Blender installed, go ahead and open it.

If you’ve had a previous copy of Blender installed, click the Copy Previous Settings link on the splash screen when it first opens if you want to preserve your old settings.

Also note the resources listed on the splash screen as well.

Although, generally too technical for beginners, you’ll soon find them useful. Left click anywhere outside the splash screen to eliminate it and get started.

Now that you have Blender open for the first time, it looks intimidating. All those buttons, menus, and widgets.

Don’t panic!

It’s not as complicated as it looks.

We only need some of these tools and I’ll help you get a layout that gives you the tools you’ll be using the most and gets rid of some of those extra gadgets you don’t need cluttering your screen.

In the next chapter, I’ll take you on a quick tour of Blender’s user interface to get you familiar with the layout and give you an idea of how things work. You’ll learn to create a custom work area and save it for future use.

Once you know how to manage Blender’s user interface, you’ll find it a lot less intimidating.


How This Tutorial Works

I’m about to walk you through the basics so let’s get started laying a strong foundation that will turn you into a Blender pro faster than the speed of crossing empty sims bare butt naked and bald. But first, let me quickly explain how this tutorial will work.

I’ll take you from the very beginning where you’ll lay a strong foundation with the tools you’ll use frequently. I’ll keep adding on to those basics to help you expand your skills to create architecture, sculpts, clothes, animations, avatars, terrain, & more.

You can peruse these lessons at your own pace: go as fast or slow as you like. Start at the beginning and work your way through it or learn the foundation then peruse the subject areas you are most interested in. That’s up to you.

I encourage you to play with each technique you learn until it becomes comfortable. With muscle memory you’ll build speed, efficiency, and loose the initial awkwardness just like you did in your virtual world.

Blender Frames

Throughout this series I will be using screenshots using colored highlighting and arrows to point out items I refer to.

(pink)
(red)
(green)
(yellow)
(blue)

The references to screenshot content will give, in parenthesis, the (color) of the highlights and arrows in the screenshot that I’m referring to.

TIP:   Also pay particular attention to the tips,…
WARNING:  the warnings, and…
NOTE:  the notes in boxes like these.

Look for the practice projects that are included at key points. Be sure to do the practice projects to make your learning experience more successful.

Throughout this tutorial you will find embedded YouTube videos.

You can watch them on the page or break them out and watch them on YouTube.

Click a video to start it and, if you want to break it out, hover over the bottom area to get a menu where you can click on the YouTube icon to open the video’s YouTube page.

Another option is to watch all the videos in this tutorial in my playlist.

All my videos are uploaded and put into a playlist that you can watch in the correct order without interruption. Go to the playlist and click Play All.

Once the list opens and begins playing you’ll see controls above the video list (to the top right of the video) which will allow you to set it to play all the videos without interruption.

Be sure to follow the tutorial here for more details, practice projects, or to read something you didn’t catch in the video or that was confusing.

Here’s a short tutorial on how to change YouTube quality and speed: How do I adjust the playback speed on YouTube videos [and other settings] by BlurbByte.com – Tech. Changing speed is helpful with tutorial videos, allowing you to slow down or speed up instructions to make them easier to understand or faster if boringly slow.

TIP:   Speed settings apply to individual videos only unless watching a series of videos in a playlist, in which case all videos in a playlist will play at the settings you set in any video during a viewing session.

YouTube Breakout Button

To break a video out into YouTube, mouse over the video and click the YouTube button (green).


Finding Help

There are many ways of getting help with Blender.

Blender Splash Screen Links

On opening a new instance of Blender you can click any of the links in the left hand side of the Splash Screen (red) to find help. The Blender Manual and Website are both in the list.

Note that there’s a link to download a full copy of the Blender Manual on the manual’s front page. This is handy for reference when you don’t have access to the internet.

Blender Help Menu

You can also find links to help in the Info editor’s (main menu bar) Help menu.

Here you’ll also find the Blender Manual and Website, as well as, other links like the User Community where you’ll find, in the Community Support section, a link to an Extensive listing of support and community websites.

Also check out the List of Blender tutorials in the Blender 2.69 Manual (a little outdated but some content not yet transfered). Click the headings to get a list for each category.

Other ways to find help is to, of course, leave your questions in the reply section below any page in this tutorial.

You can also visit Gaia Foundation on Atlantis in the Great Canadian Grid to find out when and where you can attend Blender Q&A sessions and classes.

Blender Spacebar Operation Search

Pressing the spacebar at any time will give you a popup menu where you can search for commands. You can scroll the list with the middle-mouse-scroll-wheel to peruse the list if it’s longer than the window. Click any command or use the given shortcut key to activate the command that you choose.


Questions?

Post your questions in the comment section below & I’ll answer it as soon as possible. Please be specific so I can understand what it is you’re asking.

You can also visit Gaia Foundation on Atlantis in the Great Canadian Grid for inworld support information.


Table of ContentsNext »


Blender: User Interface

Getting Started With Blender For Virtual Worlds

Blender For Virtual Worlds

A Free Tutorial by Remona Stormborn
Edited by Labyrinth Stormborn
© Remona Stormborn 2014, 2015, 2016, all rights reserved

Visit Gaia Foundation on Atlantis in the Great Canadian Grid for inworld support information.


« PreviousTable of ContentsNext »


Blender’s User Interface

I’ll take you on a quick tour of Blender’s user interface to familiarize you with the layout and show you how to change it to suit your needs at any given point in the creation process.

The UI
Info Editor
     Saving Projects
     File Browser
Frames
Headers
Editors
Windows
Project: Save a Custom Layout
Questions?


The UI

Blender uses a unique interface that is highly customizable.

In this chapter I’ll introduce you to the way Blender is layed out, how to use the various components to best effect, and how to make it work better for you.

In the next chapter, we’ll go over the tools and get those customized to meet your needs as well.

Soon, you’ll be all set for learning to create content for virtual worlds more effectively in an environment that reduces the overwhelming clutter while giving you the tools you need.


Info Editor

Blender Info Editor

The Info Editor, which you’ll find, by default, along the top of the Blender window, serves as the main menu bar. (More on what Editors are in a bit.)

Blender Info Editor 1

With it you have the basic commands you find in most main menu bars: Open, Save, Import, Export, Preferences, Quit, Window management, and Help options.

Blender Info Editor 2

In addition you will find the Screen Selector widget which we’ll talk about more at the end of this chapter.

After that are two more widgets, the Scene Selector and the Render Engine Selector. You won’t need to worry about either of those widgets for our purposes. We’ll be using the default Blender Render engine and we won’t be using scenes.

Blender Info Editor 3

After those two widgets you’ll see a line of information showing the contents of your 3D Viewport — the main modeling window. You can see how many objects, faces, edges, & vertices are in your 3D Viewport and how many of those are selected.

Some actions will give you an informational message for a few seconds in the Info Editor. Also, if you get an error, a temporary message will appear on the Info Editor bar. Watch for those, in particular, when the expected behavior is not happening.

If the information in the Info Editor extends beyond the boundary of your window width, you can left-click-drag it to the left to make the information visible.


Saving Projects

I suppose this might be a good time to mention that you can save your Blender projects as working files. They’ll have the extension .blend.

To save your project, go to the Info Editor (main menu bar) > File and select one of the following options:

Save (or the shortcut keys Control-S) to save the file.

The File Browser will open to allow you to specify a name and location for the file if it’s the first time you’ve saved the current document.

Save as (or Shift-Control-S) to open the File Browser to save the file with a specified name and location.

Save Copy (or Control-Alt-S) to save another copy of the current file with the specified name and location.


File Browser

File Browser

In the File Browser you’ll find a Header along the top with widgets to control how you want to view your files (green) and the viewing size (yellow).

Locate files with the Search box (pink).

Below the widgets, you’ll find the area to name and save your file to the location you want (blue). Click the Save Blender File button when done.

Duplicate Name

If the name you choose happens to be a duplicate name, the naming area background will turn red as a warning (yellow). If you click the Save Blender File button, the file will be named the given name and the original file will be lost.

Browse Folders

You’ll find several options for browsing locations in the right side column (red). You can add your own favorite locations by clicking the + on the Add Bookmark bar.

New Folder

Because your projects will, in most cases, include the working file and backups, your exported creations, and UV textures, it’s a good idea to save your projects to their own folders.

Click the magic folder icon to create a new folder (red).


Frames

Blender Windows and Frames

Blender’s interface is layed out in Frames (green) arranged within a Window (yellow).

Each Frame is a work area inside the main Window that contains an Editor.

Frames give you complete control over your workspace. You can Remove, Add, Resize, & Rearrange Frames as you like.

You can break out of the main Window and use floating Frames.

You can save your favorite Frame Layouts to use again or use a choice of default Frame Layouts provided by Blender for use in achieving specific tasks.

Resizing Frames

Mouse over a line dividing two Frames (red) to get a double-arrow cursor (blue) then left-mouse-drag the border to resize Frames.

Blender Join or Split Frame

Instead of left-mouse-dragging the double-arrow cursor, right-mouse-click the Frame Border (yellow) to get a Context Menu (red) asking if you want to Split or Join the areas.

Choose Join Area in the Context Menu and mouse over the Frame you want to eliminate until a large gray arrow appears (green).

Left-mouse-click the large gray arrow to finalize your choice.

The unwanted Frame disappears and the Frame adjoining it stretches to fill the area.

NOTE:  Frames cannot be L shaped. The border between them must be the same length to Join them. Sometimes this takes a little strategy to get Frames layed out the way you want them.

Blender Split Frame

Right-mouse-click the Frame Border (yellow) and choose Split Area in the Context Menu (red).

Mouse over the Frame you want to Split until a line appears (aqua). Move your mouse to the desired location and left-mouse-click to finalize.

Blender Resize Grips

A faster, though trickier way to add and delete Frames, is by left-click-dragging a Resize Grip (yellow) in the top right or bottom left corner of any Frame.

Split Area: The direction you drag the Resize Grip determines whether you are making a horizontal or vertical split. Where the mouse button is released sets the location of the new Frame Border.

Join Area: Left-click-drag a Resize Grip into the frame you want to eliminate and, when the large gray arrow appears, release the mouse.

Try practicing this skill right now until you get a feel for how these actions work. Being adept at this skill will give you a lot of speed in completing your projects.

3D View Maximized

Maximize any frame by hovering the mouse cursor in the frame and pressing the shortcut keys control-up arrow.

This is a great way to declutter fast and give yourself more space for your work flow.

Control-down arrow returns to the original frame layout.


Headers

Blender Headers

Along the top or bottom of each Frame, you will find the Editor’s Header (green). The Headers contain Menus, Widgets, and Selectors for tools relevant to each Editor’s function.

The Info editor, is a Header as well (yellow). There’s actually more to this editor that you can’t see by default but I’ll leave that until a time when we need to use the other functions of the Info editor.

You can move any Header from the top of a Frame to the bottom or vice versa by hovering your mouse cursor over the Header and pressing F5.

You can also hide the Headers for more workspace by dragging the border between the Header and the Editor’s work area to the Frame border.

Blender +Grip

It can be opened again with the +Grip that will appear at the far right of the border where the header is hidden.

Good to know in the case you ever accidentally close a header….


Editors

Each Frame contains a work component, called an Editor.

Blender Frames

Blender’s default layout consists of 5 frames containing these Editors:

  • Info editor (pink): Blender’s main menu bar
  • 3D View (red): The window to view and manipulate objects
  • Timeline (green): For use with animations
  • Outliner (yellow): Object organizer
  • Properties (blue): A box full of powerful tools that you will come to love and adore

Each Editor has it’s own set of Menus, Widgets, and other tools specific to the tasks that each is specialized for.

NOTE:  When working in any particular Editor it is important that you hover your mouse cursor in that Editor’s Frame when using shortcut key commands.

Some Shortcut Keys are only appropriate for use in particular Editors so will only work in those Editors.

Blender Editors

The editor in any frame can be changed depending on what tasks you want to perform.

The first item in every header is an Editor Selector widget (yellow).

Left-mouse-click the widget to get a the menu and select the Editor you want to use.

There are many editors to choose from and each is used to perform a particular set of tasks.

You won’t need most of these editors so don’t let it overwhelm you.

We’ll focus on only the Info editor, 3D View editor, Outliner, and Properties editor for modeling and the UV/Image Editor for working with textures.


Windows

Windows

To open a Frame as a separate Window go to the Header in that frame and in the View menu select Duplicate Area Into New Window.

NOTE:  Not all editors have the View menu.

Blender Resize Grips

Or, easier, shift-left-click-drag a corner Resize Grip to get a copy of the Frame in a new separate window.

To open a second window layed out exactly like the original window, go to your Info editor (main menu bar) and in the Window menu select Duplicate Window or use the shortcut keys control-alt-w.

To toggle full screen view go to the Info Editor (main menu bar) and in the Window menu select Toggle Fullscreen or press alt-F11.


Project: Save a Custom Layout

For this project you’ll create a custom layout for modeling and save it so you can use it anytime.

The tasks you’ll need for basic modeling will involve using:

The Info editor (main menu bar) for basic commands
The 3D View editor for the actual modeling
The Outliner to name and keep track of your objects
The Properties editor to work with materials, textures, & special modifiers
The UV/Image Editor for unwrapping (telling Blender how you want textures to apply to your objects).

All of these except for the UV/Image Editor are in the default layout.

You don’t need the Timeline editor which the default layout does have.

Change Editor

The quick and easy solution is to replace the Timeline editor along the bottom of your default window with the UV/Image Editor.

Locate the Editor Selection widget in the header of the Timeline editor (bottom left frame in the default layout) and select the UV/Image Editor.

My Modeling Layout

Arrange the frame sizes to something you think works well. Try for something similar to the above image.

Open the shelves in the 3D Viewport with the toggle shortcut keys N and T. Remember to make sure your cursor is hovering over the 3D Viewport when you do this.

Because you’ve been playing around in the window, make sure your 3D Viewport cursor is still in the center of the grid with Shift-S > Cursor to Center. More about that in the 3D View chapter.

Save Custom Layout 1

Save your layout with the Screen Selector widget in the Info Editor so you can choose it anytime you need it (red). It’s the first widget just after the Help menu.

You’ll see that you are in the “Default” screen layout. To add your own custom layout, click the + near the end of the widget. By the way, the X deletes the selected screen layout so don’t click that.

Save Custom Layout 2

Once you click the +, you’ll see that the selected screen is changed to “Default.001“. Click in the box where the name is and type a new name for your layout.

My Modeling Layout” or something that makes sense to you is fine. Press Enter.

Anytime you want to use your new custom layout, you can change it with the Screen Selector widget.

Save Custom Layout 3

Next we’ll save all your changes as the new default startup window so that every time you open a new instance of Blender your preferences and custom layout will be in effect.

Do this by clicking File in the Info editor (main menu bar) and select Save Startup File or press the shortcut keys Control-U.

Save Custom Layout 4

In the pop-up verify that this is what you want to do by selecting Save Startup File.

That’s it! Close and open Blender to check that all your changes have been saved.


Questions?

Post your questions in the comment section below & I’ll answer it as soon as possible. Please be specific so I can understand what it is you’re asking.

You can also visit Gaia Foundation on Atlantis in the Great Canadian Grid for inworld support information.


« PreviousTable of ContentsNext »

Blender: TOC

Getting Started With Blender For Virtual Worlds

Blender For Virtual Worlds

A Free Tutorial by Remona Stormborn
Edited by Labyrinth Stormborn
© Remona Stormborn 2014, 2015, 2016, all rights reserved

Visit Gaia Foundation on Atlantis in the Great Canadian Grid for inworld support information.


Start »


Getting Started

Introduction
     Why Mesh?
     Are Prims Obsolete?
     What Else Can I Create?
What Is Blender?
     Requirements
     Download
     Welcome to Blender
How This Tutorial Works
Finding Help
Project: Note Keeping System
Questions?


Blender’s User Interface

I’ll take you on a quick tour of Blender’s user interface to familiarize you with the layout and show you how to change it to suit your needs at any given point in the creation process.

The UI
Info Editor
     Saving Projects
     File Browser
Frames
Headers
Editors
Windows
Project: Save a Custom Layout
Questions?


Customizing Blender

Set Blender up to work the way you work with custom layouts, themes, file management, and backup strategies. Link your favorite 2D graphics program to Blender and tell Blender to use your graphics card.

Preferences
     Interface Tab
     Editing Tab
     Input Tab
          Input Devices
          Keyboard Shortcuts
          Cheatsheets
          Custom Keyboard Shortcuts
     Add-ons Tab
          Downloading Add-ons
     Themes Tab
     File Tab
          2D Graphics Program
          Backing Up Files
     System Tab
     Saving Preferences
Project: Get Ready to Model
Questions?


Beginning Modeling

In this chapter you’ll learn to create new objects, how to manage them, and start modeling.

3D View
     Shelves
     Interactive Modes
Basic Navigation
     Perfect Views
     Center
Perspective
Axis
     The Grid
     Display Settings
     Mini Axis
Basic Selection
Undo and Redo
Escape
Objects
     Active Object
     Origin Point
          Move The Origin Point
     3D Cursor
          Move The 3D Cursor
     Add Objects
     Operator Panel
     Manage Objects
Delete
     Lamps and Cameras
Mesh Geometry
     Low-poly Mesh
     Vertices
     Edges
     Faces
          Add Faces
Basic Modeling
     Select Geometry
     3D Manipulator
     Location
          Translate by 3D Manipulator
          Translate Shortcut Keys
     Scale
          Scale by 3D Manipulator
          Scale Shortcut Keys
     Rotation
          Rotate by 3D Manipulator
          Rotate Shortcut Keys
     Extrude
Project:  Properly Rotating Door
     Model a Door
     Center On Hinge
Questions?


Questions?

Post your questions in the comment section below & I’ll answer it as soon as possible. Please be specific so I can understand what it is you’re asking.

You can also visit Gaia Foundation on Atlantis in the Great Canadian Grid for inworld support information.


Start »


Adding Geometry

Getting Started With Blender For Virtual Worlds Book Cover

Adding Geometry

THIS PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

A tutorial on using Blender for new users, focused on creating well made, low-poly mesh objects, rigged clothes, avatar animations, & more for virtual worlds.

Now that you know the basics of modeling let’s learn how to add objects and geometry to your creations.


Create Menu

Adding Objects

You can add new objects in Object Mode or add a new shape to an object that you are working on in Edit Mode.

If your Tool shelf in the 3D Viewport is closed, press the ‘T‘ toggle to open it & look at the tabs along the left edge of the Tool shelf. Left-mouse-click the Create tab & you’ll find a list of shapes you can add.

The basic default mesh shapes available are: Plane, Cube, Circle, UV Sphere, Ico Sphere, Cylinder, Cone, Torus, Grid, & Monkey. The Plane, Circle, & Grid are flat geometry options that can be handy. Monkey is the Blender monkey Susan. She’s handy for practicing modeling and unwrapping which we’ll cover soon.

The Cube, UV Sphere, Cylinder, Cone, & Torus you are probably familiar with from building in your virtual world. You do have an extra sphere shape, the Ico Sphere, & you’ll find later how the sphere choices can help you with unwrapping & texturing options.

There are also objects other than mesh. I’ll get to those in later chapters. Some serve as tools for more advanced modeling & some can be converted to mesh shapes. They can add some treats to your bag of tricks.


Add via Menu

Another way to add shapes is by way of the 3D Viewport Header in the Add menu item in either Object or Edit Mode.


Add via Shortcut Key

And, of course, Blender gave you a shortcut key to add shapes quickly: Shift-A


Basic Shapes Object Mode

In Object mode adding a new shape will add a new object.


Basic Shapes Edit Mode

In Edit mode, it will add the new shape to the object you are editing.


Operator Panel

Add Cylinder Operator Panel

When you create a new object, look in the Operator panel. It’s at the bottom of the Tool shelf, ‘T‘.


Operator Panel +Grip

If you don’t see it, look for the +Grip at the bottom of the Tool shelf and Left-mouse-click it to open the panel.


[alert heading=”TIP:” type=”info”]The Operator panel is important to watch for. It will populate with settings relevant to the most recent command used. Some of these options are not available at any other time & cannot be accessed otherwise.[/alert]


Add Cylinder Operator Panel Triangle Fan

When you add shapes, you can change various parameters for the particular shape you chose in the Operator panel. For example, in this image, you can see that you can change the number of vertices, the diameter, depth, location, & rotation of a cylinder shape.

You can also change the type of ends on the cylinder. Choosing ‘Triangle Fan‘ will triangulate the ends & add a vertice in the center of each end.


Naming Objects

Name your objects!

It’s wise to create complex builds with many separate objects that you can then modify inworld. This gives your builds more flexibility.

To keep the separate parts organized, name each object with a name that is indicative of what it is.


Rename Objects

There are three locations where you can name objects. In the ‘N’ 3D Properties Shelf: Item Panel, in the Outliner, & at the top of the Object panel (yellow cube icon) in the Properties editor. It doesn’t matter which you use, changing one will update the others.


NEED EXTRUDE SCREENSHOT HERE

Extrude

Extruding geometry is expanding new geometry from selected geometry. You can extrude selected vertice(s), edge(s), and/or face(s).

Create new geometry in Edit mode with the shortcut key: E.

Go to Edit mode & make sure your mouse is in the 3D Viewport. Select the geometry you would like to extrude new geometry from.

You can then drag the newly created geometry with your mouse or, for more control, press Enter to finalize the Extrude command and force the new geometry to be in the original geometry’s location. Use your translate, scale, & rotate commands to move and shape your new geometry as needed.

<!–nextpage–>

NEED CREATE NEW FACE SCREENSHOT HERE

Make Face

To create a new face between edges, in Edit mode, select the edges bordering the area where you need a new face and press ‘F’.


NEED NORMALS SCREENSHOT HERE

ADD INFO ON CHANGING THE DIRECTION THE FACE IS FACING


NEED DUPLICATE SCREENSHOT HERE

Duplicate

To duplicate selected objects in Object mode or selected geometry in Edit mode press Shift-D and press Enter. You can then modify your duplication as required.

<!–nextpage–>[content_band inner_container=”true” padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”20px” border=”none”]

NEED SUBDIVIDE SCREENSHOT HERE

Subdivide

IS THERE A SHORTCUT KEY TO SUBDIVIDE?


NEED EDGE AND FACE LOOP SCREENSHOT HERE

Loops

Loops are another form of geometry – sort of. They are geometry that goes around an object. They can be edges or faces. Blender has some tools that use loops to perform actions on geometry. In objects with complex geometry, loops are sometimes nonsensical but, in most cases, they can be a good shortcut to achieve actions that otherwise would take many steps.


NEED LOOP CUT AND SLIDE SCREENSHOT HERE

Loop Cut & Slide


NEED INSET SCREENSHOT HERE

Inset


NEED BEVEL SCREENSHOT HERE

Bevel


NEED EDGE TOOLS MENU SCREENSHOT HERE

Edge Tools

Ctrl-E

NEED BRIDGE EDGE LOOPS SCREENSHOT HERE

Bridge Edge Loops

NEED EDGE DIVIDE SCREENSHOT HERE

Edge Divide


Practice Project

Here’s a good practice project from BornCG on YouTube. It will give you a good workout using the skills you’ve learned so far.


Add Shapes Add-ons

Getting More Shapes

Go to your User Preferences (Ctrl-Alt-U) & in the Add-ons tab look down the left hand column. In the Supported Level section Left-mouse-click ‘Community’ then, in the Categories section, click ‘Add Mesh’. You’ll get a list of three items in the right hand column. These are additional mesh shapes that you can add to Blender. On the top right of each item’s box tick the selection box then click the ‘Save User Settings’ button on the lower right of the User Preferences window.


Add Extra Objects

Add Pipe Joints

Add Gears

Add Mesh: Extra Objects

Extra Objects gives you a bunch of cool shapes that you can have fun exploring & using.


Add Polysphere

It also includes a third sphere type, the Polyshere, for another texturing option for spheres. No more settling for beach ball distortions for your sphere objects inworld!


Add Bolt via Menu

Add Mesh: BoltFactory

Bolt Factory adds two interesting shapes you may find handy especially if you are into mechanical devices or Steampunk design.


ADD A MESH ANT LANDSCAPE PIC HERE ADD A MESH ANT LANDSCAPE PIC HERE ADD A MESH ANT LANDSCAPE PIC HERE

Add Mesh: ANT Landscape

ANT Landscape will take a chapter all it’s own some time later. Meanwhile, you’ll find it fun to play with or to create a huge plane for something big.

[alert heading=”TIP:” type=”info”]Note that the new shapes you added don’t show up in the list of available objects in the 3D Viewport Tool shelf’s Create tab. When adding shapes other than the default shapes use either the Add menu item in the 3D Viewport Header or use the Add shortcut key, Shift-A.[/alert]

Any Questions? Just post your questions in the comment section below & I’ll answer it as soon as possible. Please be specific so I can figure out what it is you are asking.

Telling Lies (or NOT)

Great stories, both true and fictional, for you avid readers out there

urahomicidalmaniac

You’ll find anything from ‘Why I Love My Dog’ to hot, steamy erotica, to reviews & recommendations to fantasy & poetry. Our writers span the globe so there’s no end to the possibilities of what you might find lurking here.

Hell, you might even find a recipe for double fudge pancakes with raspberry sauce. Whatever your taste, one of our members has something delicious for you!

What’s a little white lie anyway?

General fiction, poetry, & prose of the ‘old wives tale’ variety. Some fishing fallacies may be floating around in there as well….

Words
For the love of words by Remona Stormborn

What Happens to a Dream Renewed?
A poem by Remona Stormborn

Summer Poems
by Remona Stormborn

Bipolar Reordered
by Remona Stormborn

Fact Over Fiction

Here’s where you’ll find our writers’ factual flavored flourishes. From true stories (ummm, ah, almost true?) to astronomically oriented opinions, you’ll love these great factoids on steroids!

A Line Of Old Men
US History in terms of human lifetimes by Logan Stargazer

The Lil Naughty Nook

Some like it hot! We have lots of steamy love for you from our Stormborn creators and their adorable friends. Visit our Adult-Only content area for romance, erotica, & general naughtiness!

Warning: These are Adult Only Stories!

The Dream
An erotic dream story by Lil4u

The Massage
For Woman Version by Logan Stargazer

A Most Amazing Night (Warning: Porn)
by Logan Stargazer

More

For those of you who follow ‘Telling Lies’, I’d like to recommend a blog where you will also find great stories, poetry, and other reading tidbits. Mikibits.com, by Miki4formidably Resident of Second Life.

In Second Life, Miki4formidably lives in a beautiful lighthouse she built. The sim where her lighthouse is located is a gorgeous build that looks so realistic I thought a picture of it was a photograph. What a dreamy place from which to find writing inspiration!

Lot’s more coming so check back often! Meanwhile, don’t forget to check out our blog, Virtually Speaking, or one of our many tutorials.

A New School in IW?

School

Just a note to let you all know that I’ve been chatting with Martin Glom of IW about the possibility of teaming up to hold some inworld classes on our Stormborn sims. He’s interested in teaching Photoshop, in particular, clothing creation. Photoshop is a subject I lack being a Gimp user myself so it’s a welcome addition to the roster of great content creation tutorials available. Continue reading A New School in IW?

Labyrinth Stormborn

Labyrinth Stormborn

Labyrinth Stormborn

I’m a recluse from New Zealand who likes drawing, writing, reading and driving (not at the same time). Obsessive, impulsive & compulsive, I’m interested in history, nature, geography & science, with a bent toward astronomy and science fiction.

Computing and computers had always fascinated me, and I’ve been online since PCs could connect. I made my first web page using windows 3.1 and I’ve been a fan and supporter of online interactive worlds since they began. I first started building in virtual worlds about 10 years ago but soon after i did, others interested in being creative or needing help with projects led me to putting more time into instruction than making things.

Unable to recall every one of them, I’ve experienced V-Worlds, SL, Opensim, 3rdRock, Metropolis, OSGrid and Inworldz. Thanks to encouragement and support from friends on Inworldz I’ve found a good balance allowing me to be more productive.

I like to make things that are different, interesting and useful; my own house at Wolf Creek is a good example. As well as my shop, Amaze Building Supplies, which has textures, doors, mazes & novelties, there are several of my creations dotted around our sims which are worth seeing.

AMAZEpic9 200

Amaze Building Supplies

Doors, custom builds, textures.

Visit Amaze Building Supplies

Pano2postpic 200

Trafalgar Square Pano

Visit the Trafalgar Square Pano

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Mexico City Pano

Visit the Mexico City Pano

Pano4+remona 200

Hill Country Pano

Visit the Hill Country Pano (Use Mouselook)

Pano1 200

Auckland City Pano

Visit the New Zealand Pano

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Portland Pano

Visit the Portland Pano

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Tower of London

Realistic replication of the Tower of London circa 1400’s. Under construction but coming soon eventually!

Visit the New Zealand Pano

Visit Labyrinth on InWorldz

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