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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.
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.
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