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Modeling hands with the Proportional Editing tool

From: Blender 2.48 Essential Training

Video: Modeling hands with the Proportional Editing tool

Captain Knowledge is starting to shape up pretty well. We have his torso here, we have his boots, as a separate object, and we have his helmet as a separate object. So what we're going to do now is finish off his body with the hands and the head. Go ahead and model his hands as a separate object, because hands are really hard to do. You can just ask Michelangelo, if he's still around. So we're going to model as a separate object, but we want it to join up with the wrist. So we're going to do an Edge Loop Select and Shift+D to duplicate these vertices.

Modeling hands with the Proportional Editing tool

Captain Knowledge is starting to shape up pretty well. We have his torso here, we have his boots, as a separate object, and we have his helmet as a separate object. So what we're going to do now is finish off his body with the hands and the head. Go ahead and model his hands as a separate object, because hands are really hard to do. You can just ask Michelangelo, if he's still around. So we're going to model as a separate object, but we want it to join up with the wrist. So we're going to do an Edge Loop Select and Shift+D to duplicate these vertices.

We're just going to drop them in place. What we've done is we've made a copy of those vertices and there is actually two vertices in exactly the same place. I can actually just move them a little bit. See there, these vertices. What we want to do is separate them from the main mesh by pressing P and we can separate by the selected ones or by material if there are different colors or by loose parts, but we're going to do the selected ones. They have kind of disappeared. Where did they go? Well, they became their own object. So if we Tab out of here and hide, now we see that we have this wrist ring that we can use as the starting basis for our hand.

Now hands are comprised of your palm, the back of your hand, the thumb, and forefingers. Some cartoon characters only use two fingers, some use three, he's drawn four, so I'll go ahead and draw four. What I'll actually do is I'll draw the thumb, show you how to extrude the thumb and skin it, and then you can repeat for the other four fingers, and get you started and we can go. Now he hasn't drawn the fingers out, but the finger length of the pointer finger is the same length as your palm, as a proportional kind of a thing.

So we can kind of use this distance here a guide for how long the fingers should be. It looks like the fingers should end up somewhere down around in here. So we'll Tab in and start extruding. First major group is right here where the thumb starts to separate from the palm of the hand. So we'll scale that out and working in the Side view here, scale in the X direction, scale it in, because it's not quite that wide. Since I did extrude, I do want to randomize some of these vertices.

As I move them, you may want to turn Proportional Editing on. I don't know if I've discussed Proportional Editing in detail, but let's take a moment now and talk about this little O that's down here in your Header bar. Right now Proportional Editing is turned off. So you can turn it on by pressing O or turn it off by pressing Alt+O. It cycles through three modes. There's three modes: Off, On and Connected. The On mode just says okay any vertices within anywhere here are just going to moved proportional to however much I'm moving my selected vertices.

So right now if I press G, what comes up instead of just the vertices being moved is a circle. That's the circle of influence. I can change the circle of influence by scrolling my mouse wheel down, to focus in more on a specific area, or scroll it out, to be more of a broader area. You can see as I'm moving this one vertex, all the others around it are also moving as well. The amount that those are moved is determined by the Falloff curve, which is right next to the On/Off selector.

There are different kinds of curves that are used for determining how much nearby vertices are moved relative to the vertex you've selected. So if I, for example, choose Short Falloff, that means that when I move this vertex, it moves a lot, but the other vertices next to it don't move very much. If I use a Round or a Spherical Falloff, then when I move this one vertex, the others move quite a bit more as you can see. So even though they're all on the same circle, how much they are all distorted or moved determines on your Falloff.

Generally, I like the Smooth Falloff, because that's a hyperbolic curve, which is what balloons and latex and other stretchy things stretch by. That's the same algorithm there. So I'm going to move this up little bit. The reason you want to use Proportional Editing and the reason I call it up again is because when you're editing organic meshes and stretching the surfaces and stretching the skins, you want to move all of the vertices together, so that they all form a curve. There's never any straight lines in your mesh. So I'm going to go ahead and press Ctrl, and then Click.

When I do that, I'm kind of automatically extruding vertices from the selected vertex. Now if I go ahead and erase the edge that's connecting those vertices to this other one, now I have a disconnected mesh, just like we have at the belt buckle. So now I have this portion of mesh and if I press Ctrl+L to select the linked vertices, you would see that I have these vertices here. Notice that even though I have Proportional Editing Mode on and some of these vertices are within the circle, they're not moving.

That's because I've selected Connected. Only the vertices that are connected to the selected vertices are moved and that's Proportional Editing Mode. If I turn it just on, on, then anything around it is moved, whether they're connected or not. Now we have the basic back of the hand and then the palm on the other side, down to where the thumb starts to disconnect. So I'm going to position my 3D cursor right over the center of the thumb where it starts and in Top view, go ahead and add another circle. Now the number of vertices you use depends on how fine of a resolution you want to use.

I'm going to go ahead and just use 8 and that creates a disconnected circle. Aha, you say, now I know why he was talking about that disconnected stuff. So I want to work only on the thumb and as I'm moving stuff around I don't want to affect the rest of the hand, so I'm going to choose Connected as my Proportional Editing Mode. So we're going to rotate now and scale down. We're just going to make the thumb and then we're going to all stitch it together, just we like stitch the arm and the shoulder together. Its okay, you can zoom right in here. All right, now we have the knuckle, which will be connected and stitched in here, so we have a few vertices to use for stretching.

So I'm going to go ahead and extrude this down to the thumb joint, scale it down a little bit, and turn Proportional off, actually right now while I'm doing this, so you don't want to affect the other joint that I just did, extrude, move, rotate, scale, extrude, move, rotate, scale. Now we want to get to the end of the thumb where we want to actually stitch the thumb together, and thumbs come to a wrapped paper, so we want to do our own bevel on the end of the thumb. The way we do that is we do three extrudes and scales.

Now if you look at the end of this, we have the end of a fingertip. What I like to do is I want to take the inside of the thumb, the opposite side from where the thumbnail would be. So I'm going to flatten this down, this would be where the thumbnail would be, just as a little visual cue. So I'm going to take the opposite end and then take the three that are above it, and use them to make a face F, and then the four on the other side, I'm just going to zoom really in close here. Now we have four on each side to make the other side and now we have skinned the end of the thumb and made an enclosed mesh, Ctrl+L.I have a Loop Cut option.

When I choose Loop Cut, the Loop Cut as I move my mouse and I hope you can see in purple here is trying to guess which loop I want to cut, just like I can select loop edges and loop rings. It actually shows me here with a purple background. Hey! I'm going to cut this way. I'm going to cut laterally. So when I click, it now changes to a green line and allows me to move where along this loop I do the cut. So for a thumbnail, it would be right about there. So now I have a set of vertices that I can use for creating and adding a thumbnail onto the object if I wanted to, and then I could connect it to the thumb.

Now a thumb is actually kind of fairly oblong, I've drawn this some kind of circular. So what I can do is select them and scale them out in the X direction, there. That's how you make a thumb or a finger. Come down to the joint knuckle, make your vertices, make your loops, and then skin the edge. So I'm going to go away now and let you complete the rest of the fingers. Here's a tip for the fingertips. You can just duplicate the mesh just like I showed you with the Shift+D and rotate and scale the individual fingers and do that four times to create your own fingers.

Or you can just model each individual finger individually if you really want to. But I'm probably going to just duplicate this mesh four times and use those as the fingers. So along we go ahead and do that and then we'll come back and finish up with stitching the back of the hand and the palm together to create the completed hand model.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Blender 2.48 Essential Training
Blender 2.48 Essential Training

131 video lessons · 25885 viewers

Roger Wickes

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 12m 5s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. Using Blender's full capabilities
      4m 16s
    4. Getting and installing Blender
      3m 8s
    5. Mouse and keyboard differences on the Mac
      2m 27s
  2. 1h 6m
    1. Blender oddities
      7m 38s
    2. Introducing the User Interface, Console, and Render windows
      3m 8s
    3. Configuring the desktop for an efficient workflow
      6m 27s
    4. Using the mouse and tablet on a PC or a Mac
      5m 7s
    5. Acquiring keyboard skills
      7m 38s
    6. Window panes and types
      7m 53s
    7. Exploring the default scene
      5m 53s
    8. Setting themes, UI colors, and user preferences
      4m 0s
    9. Understanding how to safeguard your data with autosave and backups
      6m 52s
    10. Appending and linking assets
      7m 27s
    11. Using the open-source movies and assets
      4m 18s
  3. 2h 7m
    1. Working with objects in 3D space
      6m 24s
    2. Navigating 3D views
      4m 23s
    3. Understanding Blender modes
      1m 51s
    4. Understanding meshes
      2m 8s
    5. Editing a mesh
      3m 28s
    6. Using the Mirror modifier
      2m 55s
    7. Working with Vertex groups
      2m 35s
    8. Using Bézier curves
      3m 52s
    9. Working with text objects
      5m 23s
    10. Using reference images
      3m 38s
    11. Modeling boots by extruding circles and joining meshes
      8m 59s
    12. Applying the Mirror modifier to duplicate the boot and rotate
      1m 58s
    13. Modeling a helmet with NURBS and the Boolean modifier
      7m 14s
    14. Modeling a belt and pants by making a compound object from multiple primitive objects
      3m 51s
    15. Modeling legs by using edge loops and the Knife tool
      6m 9s
    16. Modeling a chest and arms using edge loops
      5m 30s
    17. Stitching the shoulders and neck
      5m 13s
    18. Modeling hands with the Proportional Editing tool
      9m 4s
    19. Linking vertices to create knuckle joints
      4m 7s
    20. Reinforcing modeling basics to create the face, eyes, nose, and ears
      13m 6s
    21. Appending and linking assets
      3m 54s
    22. Sculpting basics
      3m 3s
    23. Using the Subsurf modifier to smooth
      2m 34s
    24. Parenting
      2m 7s
    25. Working with groups
      2m 1s
    26. Understanding the endless possibilities for editing mesh with modifiers
      2m 37s
    27. Duplicating objects using the Array modifier
      1m 54s
    28. Modeling a set
      7m 52s
  4. 39m 41s
    1. Lighting overview
      4m 25s
    2. Using the Omni lamp
      4m 50s
    3. Working with the Area lamp
      2m 57s
    4. Using the Spot lamp
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Sun, Sky, and Atmosphere lamps
      4m 51s
    6. Using the Hemisphere lamp
      2m 3s
    7. Working with Ambient and Radiosity lighting
      7m 34s
    8. Lighting with three-point and other multipoint lighting rigs
      5m 30s
    9. Understanding shadows
      3m 22s
  5. 1h 21m
    1. Realism overview
      2m 56s
    2. Creating a world in less than seven days
      6m 36s
    3. Applying ambient occlusion
      3m 47s
    4. Working with basic materials
      3m 24s
    5. Working with node materials
      4m 27s
    6. Applying Pipeline options
      2m 51s
    7. Painting vertices
      3m 13s
    8. Using shaders
      7m 59s
    9. Using mirrors
      4m 41s
    10. Working with transparency
      4m 28s
    11. Using halos
      2m 40s
    12. Simulating with Subsurface Scattering (SSS)
      4m 26s
    13. Applying textures
      9m 34s
    14. Mapping image textures to an object to create a decal
      4m 19s
    15. UV unwrapping
      4m 54s
    16. Applying multiple materials to a single object
      3m 31s
    17. Painting in 3D
      4m 14s
    18. Using bump maps
      3m 14s
  6. 1h 25m
    1. Understanding animation
      4m 14s
    2. Keyframing objects
      6m 15s
    3. Keyframing materials
      3m 14s
    4. Creating Shape keys
      2m 28s
    5. Creating Facial Shape key animation using reference video
      2m 12s
    6. Animating by combining Shape keys
      2m 53s
    7. Working with lattices
      3m 37s
    8. Using hooks
      1m 30s
    9. Working with Vertex groups
      2m 33s
    10. Creating armature objects
      3m 44s
    11. Mirroring armatures for bilateral creatures
      3m 43s
    12. Attaching mesh to the armature by way of skinning
      5m 7s
    13. Posing a character
      4m 43s
    14. Using inverse kinematics
      4m 29s
    15. Creating a walk cycle with inverse kinematics
      6m 34s
    16. Completing the walk cycle
      3m 49s
    17. Limiting range of motion and degrees of freedom
      3m 47s
    18. Managing actions using the Action Editor
      3m 52s
    19. Blending actions together using the Non-Linear Animation Editor
      4m 34s
    20. Tracking
      3m 2s
    21. Following a path
      2m 21s
    22. Mimicking an existing animation
      3m 47s
    23. Using the grease pencil
      2m 56s
  7. 50m 43s
    1. Understanding particle systems
      2m 20s
    2. Working with game engine physics
      3m 52s
    3. Spewing particles
      7m 25s
    4. Guiding particles
      3m 43s
    5. Creating reactions and collisions with particle systems
      3m 15s
    6. Creating hair and fur
      4m 25s
    7. Grooming hair and fur
      3m 26s
    8. Jiggling and squishing soft bodies
      3m 43s
    9. Simulating cloth
      6m 10s
    10. Simulating fluids
      5m 47s
    11. Using boids to simulate swarms, schools, and flocks
      6m 37s
  8. 21m 29s
    1. Using Render controls
      6m 18s
    2. Radiosity
      3m 31s
    3. Stamping text on video
      2m 32s
    4. Setting up test renders
      4m 43s
    5. Rendering image sequences
      4m 25s
  9. 1h 5m
    1. Viewing node thumbnail images on certain Macs
      1m 31s
    2. Overview and integration
      2m 12s
    3. Render passes and layers
      4m 27s
    4. Using Input nodes
      6m 22s
    5. Using Output nodes
      3m 54s
    6. Working with Color nodes
      4m 29s
    7. Color mixing and layering
      3m 27s
    8. Using Distort nodes individually and in combination
      7m 15s
    9. Using Vector nodes
      6m 46s
    10. Creating effects with Filter nodes
      8m 49s
    11. Using Converter nodes
      6m 7s
    12. Chroma keying with Matte nodes
      6m 15s
    13. Understanding node groups and reuse
      4m 17s
  10. 38m 43s
    1. The Video Sequence Editor (VSE)
      11m 47s
    2. Integrating audio
      3m 31s
    3. Using VSE Greenscreen and other plug-ins
      5m 40s
    4. Integrating the Compositor with the VSE
      7m 50s
    5. Layering and splicing video
      6m 18s
    6. Speeding up and slowing down sequences
      3m 37s
  11. 5m 26s
    1. Putting it all together: Captain Knowledge visits lynda.com
      5m 12s
    2. Goodbye

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