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Modeling a helmet with NURBS and the Boolean modifier

From: Blender Essential Training

Video: Modeling a helmet with NURBS and the Boolean modifier

So let's make a helmet for Captain Knowledge, and we are making helmets in rounded shapes. It's a lot easier sometimes to model with NURBS Surfaces. Blender supports a whole bunch of different NURBS Surface primitives that we are going to use and we are going to start with this NURBS Sphere. So we'll position the NURBS Sphere roughly in right positions, go ahead and start scaling a little bit to get into the right shape here. I'm working in this view. Here I'll scale in the X direction by pressing S-X and scaling it down, so that we follow the roundness of his head.

Modeling a helmet with NURBS and the Boolean modifier

So let's make a helmet for Captain Knowledge, and we are making helmets in rounded shapes. It's a lot easier sometimes to model with NURBS Surfaces. Blender supports a whole bunch of different NURBS Surface primitives that we are going to use and we are going to start with this NURBS Sphere. So we'll position the NURBS Sphere roughly in right positions, go ahead and start scaling a little bit to get into the right shape here. I'm working in this view. Here I'll scale in the X direction by pressing S-X and scaling it down, so that we follow the roundness of his head.

We want to make sure this thing is centered. So I'm going to press N and change the Location X to 0. I guess while we are at it, I might as well go ahead and type in Helmet here because that's the name of the object. And now when we tab into Edit Mode to make our final adjustments to the shape, you can see that this isn't a mesh object. This is actually a computed surface and the shape of that surface is defined by these control points. And if I move the control point, Blender recalculates what the rest of the surface should look like.

So working with a NURBS Surface, instead of having thousand vertices to play with and get misaligned and all of that, All I have to do is work with these control points to control the overall shape of the mesh. I'm going to start and work my way counter-clockwise around his head. Just dragging these control points so that the whole mesh deforms to the outline here. So now we have a great head shape here, and the curve here matches the shape that we want the helmet portion to be.

Down here I really don't care. I'm going to be cutting those away. Now I'm ready to cut away the portion that I don't want. Now in order to cut it away I need to convert this first to a mesh object. So I press Alt+C to convert it. The other way to convert an object is to go Object > Convert Object Type. And now if I tabbed into Edit Mode, I would see that Blender has converted this NURBS Surface into a whole bunch of vertices and a real mesh that I can do further editing on. Now the way you cut out a section of an object using another object or another surface is to use the Boolean Modifier.

And the Boolean Modifier modifies one object according to another. So let's go ahead and add that other object and you can use any kind of object, doesn't really matter. I'm going to go ahead and use another NURBS Sphere. And what we want to do is position this sphere so that it cuts away the portion of the helmet that we do not want. So if I worked in Edit Mode here, I can grab and move this NURBS Sphere forward. As I do, you can see that it would be cutting more and more of the helmet away, or these two intersect is what's going to be cut away.

All right, so let's tab out of there, now we select our helmet and we are going to name this object cut. So bringing that up, I'll just type it cut, keeps it simple. Add the Boolean modifier to your helmet and type in the name of the cutting object, which is in this case cut. It tells me I have to make it a mesh, okay, there. The Boolean Modifier has three modes where it can compute the intersection between two objects and make a mesh of that.

It looks like that intersection. Or the union, which is both of them together or in this case what we want is the difference between the two. So wherever the cutting mesh is, it's going to cut away portions of the helmet. Now this Boolean Modifier is dynamic, if I would grab this around and move it, I'm changing the direction and the location of the cut. And I can show that by hiding my cut, and as you can see, I now have a cut away portion.

If I move the helmet around, I can change the dynamics of the cut. I'm going to drop that in place. So now if I look at this, I can see where the cut is actually going to happen on the outside of this sphere. And I like that. I like that very much. So we are going to go ahead and I think that follows the curve pretty well. So we are going to go ahead and apply this modifier. And that makes those changes permanent to this mesh. Now this mesh is permanently cut. Now we don't want all of this part here that was created and by the modifier, we are going to go ahead and cut that away.

So to cut that away, we tab into Edit Mode and start selecting vertices, I can use bb, select all these vertices that we don't want. While I'm at it, I can box select the X to Delete when we think we have gotten all of the right ones selected but not too many. I can now pick off this trace. A lot of times too it's easier to delete in small groups, make small changes. You can always undo if you find that you have deleted too many, X to Delete.

So now we are ready to make our fine tune adjustments by grabbing this back vertice here because we want to stretch this down. So we are going to use O to go into Proportional Editing Mode and now when I press G, I have my circle of influence. And all of the vertices that are within that circle are influenced by the move action. So I'm going to grab a couple here, press G and now it stretches them right into position. I can grab some around in the back, and grab those down.

It's great for editing smooth surfaces because the Proportional keeps everything proportionally moving. And the results of the edit are a nice fine smooth mesh. We have got something funny going on here with the front, so we'll fix that a little bit. Take Proportional Mode off, O and then G to grab and move. All right, so now when we go back and we have put in our Mirror Modifier, the last thing I would like to tell you about is recall that this was oriented on its side, so the Z direction was left and right.

So we are going to use the Z-axis now. Notice it hasn't joined it in the middle, and that's because when I converted it, the longitude line didn't quite match up at the equator. That's just the way NURBS Objects are converted. Now I could go into Edit Mode and move this over, but the issue is with a curved surface right here because it wasn't exactly at center. The tangent is not exactly 90 degrees and so if I smoosh this together, I would end up with a seam in the middle that you could see.

So what I'm going to do instead is increase the Merge Limit to 0.1 and now I have told Mirror that any vertice that's within 0.1 Blender units of center will go ahead and be merged over. And that creates a nice smooth transition. So now we have our nice smooth helmet using NURBS Surfaces and the Boolean Modifier.

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This video is part of

Image for Blender Essential Training
Blender Essential Training

131 video lessons · 24889 viewers

Roger Wickes
Author

 
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  1. 12m 5s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
      58s
    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
      14s

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