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Blender is a powerful open-source tool for 2D and 3D graphics, full-on animation, compositing, and post-production. It is used to create movies and special effects, even in HD. In Blender Essential Training, Roger Wickes offers new Blender users a thorough explanation of its interface, tools, and features. He also demonstrates practical techniques and shows how to access the online and openndash;content resources of this amazing tool. Specific 3D techniques covered include navigating in 3D space, using cameras and lights, and rendering. Roger demonstrates how to rig, animate, and composite a character over live action. Exercise files accompany the course.
So let's go over appending and linking assets in Blender. What we have is the torso for Captain Knowledge and what we want to do is append in the head that we have modeled. So to append or link in different assets we come to File > Append or Link and one of our windows changes to a file browser, but a special kind of browser called an Asset Browser. All we need to do is navigate to the file that contains the asset that we want to bring in and in this case, when I finished modeling the head I saved my results in a head-complete.blend file.
And when I click on the Blend file instead of opening it or whatever that we would normally do, we are actually diving into this file to look at the different objects that are in there. In this case, I want to pick up the object that was the Head and the Helmet. So all I have to do is right-click on those elements that I want to bring in. Once I have selected them, there is a few options down here that I want to go over. One of which is do I want to Append or Clone a copy of this object to bring into my file or do I merely want to establish a link to the file? In that way if another artist is working in this head-complete file and doing some more modeling and maybe doing some more tweaking on the head and they are not quite done with it, I can just link to that and then when they update that file, the next time I open up my file, I'll get the current copy.
In this case, I know that I'm done modeling the head, the earmuffs and the helmet. So, I'm just going to go ahead and append a copy. The other options are to automatically select the object to bring it in on the active layer which I almost always do and to bring it in at the cursor wherever my 3D cursor is, as you can see over here in this window or to bring it in its original location. I am going to go ahead and click At Cursor and then left-click Load Library and that brings in those three elements, the head mesh, the helmet mesh and then the earmuff mesh.
So, let's go ahead and join these three meshes together by Shift+Right-clicking on the each one and then pressing Ctrl+J . That brings up a confirmation that do I really want to join these meshes and the answer is yes, I really do. And now these three meshes operate as one. If I tab into Edit Mode, I'm editing all of the vertices that make up all of those three meshes together. They are now one object. Now, we have a second problem that often comes up when we are joining and that the head was done at a different scale than the body.
So what we have to do is match the scale of the head to match the body. So, what I'm going to do is scale this head down because I can either scale the body up or the head down, I want my Captain Knowledge to be eight and a half units high or so. So, I want the head to be about one unit high because a properly proportioned human is eight heads high. So, that looks pretty good. Move him down into position, just plunk his head down on his body. And after he gets all this knowledge of course, his head is going to swell up or we can design a bobble head maybe.
So we are going to scale this down to fit the reference image and now we have Captain Knowledge and can join the head to the torso by Shift+Right-clicking on the torso, doing the Ctrl+J and that's how you join meshes together. The other way to separate meshes if we wanted to separate a part and let's say substitute in a different helmet, all we need to do is tab into Edit Mode, select all of the linked vertices or select whatever vertices there are that we want to separate and then press P on the keyboard and we can separate our selected ones.
And now that has brought that object out and now the helmet is a separate object. To drop the helmet back in place all we need to do is right-click. So, I'm going to go ahead and join the helmet back up because Captain Knowledge will never be taking off his helmet. And that's how you append and link assets and join and separate meshes together in Blender.
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