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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.
For the remaining videos in this chapter, we are going to be doing some heavy-duty mesh editing and so it might behoove you to go back and review the fifth video in this chapter which was on mesh editing concepts, principles, hot keys, techniques that you can use to do the mesh editing. So we decided to do some fun and entertaining for this project. And so my very creative producer commissioned an artist to draw us our own very custom cartoon character and we are going to call him Captain Knowledge. We are going to start off with modeling the simpler parts of Captain Knowledge and then work our way up to the more complex parts and so we are going to start with his boot.
And in top view, let's go ahead and Add > Mesh > Circle. We only want 8 vertices and the reason we only want 8 is because the number of vertices that you start off with really affects the overall resolution of your mesh and the more vertices you have, the higher resolution, which means the more computing capacity that you need and so I'm going to construct what's called a low-poly model. So now that we've added this 8 vertices circle, I'm going to scale that down.
In this view, I'm going to zoom in here to fit the outline of the background image. We are going to rotate it and move it around a little bit so that it's generally lined up. Now it's time to start editing this mesh. So we tab into Edit Mode and we grab these outside edges here, drag them up, scale them in a little bit. Let's change our center to be a medium point between the two points, scale them into to match the outline of the boot and there we have it.
So now we have our first edge loop. I'm going to select that edge loop and we are going to press E to extrude those edges down to about midpoint. You can see there is kind of a flap that bends. So anywhere there is a bend, in any of the clothing or the character skin or the cloth or the boot, in this case, we need vertices because that's where Blender can deform the mesh. So now that we've moved this down here. Click Extrude again, on down to the bottom of this flap.
Maybe to scale it out a little bit. Now that's a good time to introduce the Proportional Editing tool over here or just by pressing O when you are in Edit Mode. It starts the Proportional Editing Mode. In the Proportional Editing Mode, when you grab just a single vertex, you get this circle here and the circle is a circle of influence and it means that any vertices that are within that circle will be affected proportionally. So even though I'm only moving that one vertex, other vertices are moving proportionally to it. Now the amount these other vertices move is proportional to the circle size.
So if I scroll my mouse wheel down, I'm closing up that circle and now as I move, only the center vertex is moving. We use this because in organic forms, there is no such thing as a straight line. Really nothing should ever be a perfect octagon when you are talking about muscles and skin and faces and arms and like that. Otherwise the character looks blocky. You always want to be able to move things a little bit so that everything is off a little bit, because it's the symmetry and the asymmetry that brings characters to life.
Now we are going to select this bottom edge loop and a way to select the bottom edge loop or any edge loop is to select two vertices that start the loop and then doing Select > Edge Loop. Now this flap must fold over the main boot somehow. So we are going to extrude, but we are not going to move the vertices or move our mouse at all, we are just going to click again to drop them in place. Now they are dropped right over the vertices we just extruded from. I'm going to take Proportional Editing Mode off and scale them inward.
You can see I'm creating like a little lip, pull those up a little bit, hide them from view. And now I can scale this in to reflect the rest of the shape of the boot, which is about where they are now. So I can extrude, come on down, down to like this mid-calf of the boot, scale it out, maybe rotate a little bit, align up with his calf shape to match the outline of the artist as he drew this boot. So now we have a pretty good boot shape for the main part of the shaft of the boot.
Now we need to work on the toe. So let's come over here to front-view. And in front-view add another circle of 8 vertices and scale that down. Now for this what we want to do is we want flat soles. So we are going to just take that one vertex and move it up and the rest of that makes a pretty good profile view of what a boot would look like. So if we need to make it a little smaller. So now we are going to introduce the Ctrl+L, which selects linked vertices.
So I have selected these vertices, but these aren't actually physically connected to the rest of these other mesh. So our mesh can contain many sets of disconnected vertices. Now we are modeling this boot as if it's straight on. We started with the circle with the front scene facing directly forward, but the artist has drawn him with his feet kind of spread apart, so we'll have to fix that a little later on but we want to model the boot as if it was just sitting there in the boot store. So now let's move this around the ball of his foot, scale it down, and again rotate it back.
Now we need to close up the front of the boot, position it to make it more like a foot that would fit in that boot. So we are going to select these vertices as well, and move them over. So now for this edge loop, Ctrl+E, to select in that ring and now we want to connect these. So what we are going to do is select 1, 2, 3, 4, and press F to make a face out of four vertices and that's a called a quad face.
You should try to use four vertices to make a face. 1, 2, 3, 4. Now if you happen to select the vertices behind here and that starts getting in the way for you, go ahead and just hide those vertices, remember how we hide vertices? We just select them and press H and the way they go. Alt+H unhides them and now we are ready to start on the back portion of the boot. So let's zoom in. sometimes just moving a vertex just a little bit makes a big difference in the realism and the appearance of a character.
So now with our 8 vertices selected are shown up here, you can see that we're already up to 80 vertices. We'll extrude it, so I can press Y and that constraints my mouse movement only in the Y direction and then extrude one more time in the Y direction by pressing Y and maybe rotating this a little bit, scaling it up, grabbing it, moving it up, so the boot is nice and flat and it kind of aligns up here. Now it's time to start stitching this boot part to the leg part.
And to do that, we are going to do some more little vertex merging. To merge vertices, we select both of them and from the Specials menu by pressing W, clicking on Merge, now there is a couple of different places you can merge them. I must always use the center. Over here on the side we repeat the process. Now here I want the boot to be more towards the outside, so towards the active vertex, which is the one that I last selected. So now when I do my merge, I'm going to do it at the last one and that snaps the outside of the boot there.
Here, I want to be kind of be in the center and we just work our way around the boot, stitching it together and then last but not least, we want to stitch the back ones. And now we want to go ahead and create those four faces on the back and again if the vertices are distracting you, you can always switch to Solid view and hide or occlude the background geometry, and that way those vertices that are upfront wouldn't distract you.
And we could just go ahead and create out four faces, now that we have merged. There we have a pretty good-looking boot. Maybe bring this out. Now we want to make it a little more round and all I'm doing is just grabbing vertices, moving them around a little bit so that things aren't so blocky looking and that's how you make a low-poly boot.
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