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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 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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