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Blender 2.6 Essential Training
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Symmetrical modeling with the Mirror modifier


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Blender 2.6 Essential Training

with George Maestri

Video: Symmetrical modeling with the Mirror modifier

Now let's take a look at how to do Symmetrical Modeling. In Blender this is done using the Mirror Modifier. Now I have this basic character and we've got some of the parts blocked out, but we still need to block out the character's arms. Now the arms are kind of a symmetrical thing where you have a right arm and a left arm. Now, I could just model them individually, I am going to hit Tab and go in here. For example, if I wanted to I could take the faces around where the arms socket would be and I could just extrude those by doing Extrude Region.
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  1. 3m 42s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
      28s
    3. Downloading Blender
      34s
    4. Using Blender on a Mac
      42s
    5. Using Blender on a laptop
      36s
  2. 30m 32s
    1. Overview of the Blender interface
      6m 6s
    2. Understanding 3D view windows
      5m 23s
    3. Navigating in 3D space
      6m 35s
    4. Configuring user preferences
      6m 24s
    5. Creating custom layouts
      6m 4s
  3. 32m 29s
    1. Selecting objects
      6m 12s
    2. Moving objects
      4m 35s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 48s
    4. Scaling objects
      2m 16s
    5. Understanding transform orientation
      3m 53s
    6. Changing an object's origin
      5m 27s
    7. Selecting pivot points
      3m 22s
    8. Using Snap to move objects precisely
      3m 56s
  4. 44m 15s
    1. Creating mesh primitives
      6m 36s
    2. Selecting vertices, edges, and faces
      4m 48s
    3. Editing mesh objects
      7m 39s
    4. Proportional editing
      3m 52s
    5. Sculpt mode
      4m 45s
    6. Working with edges and edge loops
      3m 42s
    7. Extrusions
      5m 18s
    8. Smooth shading objects
      2m 23s
    9. Subdividing meshes
      5m 12s
  5. 50m 31s
    1. Working with modifiers
      5m 52s
    2. Working with subdivision surfaces
      3m 48s
    3. Creating a simple creature
      7m 54s
    4. Symmetrical modeling with the Mirror modifier
      8m 21s
    5. Joining mesh objects
      3m 37s
    6. Stitching vertices
      4m 52s
    7. Finalizing a simple creature
      4m 48s
    8. Creating text
      3m 29s
    9. Boolean tools
      2m 59s
    10. Vertex groups
      4m 51s
  6. 22m 36s
    1. Using the Outliner
      8m 22s
    2. Using layers
      4m 30s
    3. Creating groups
      2m 48s
    4. Working with scenes
      4m 2s
    5. Creating hierarchies
      2m 54s
  7. 54m 26s
    1. Assigning materials to objects
      8m 4s
    2. Diffuse shaders
      6m 47s
    3. Working with specularity
      5m 56s
    4. Using the Ramp Shader options
      9m 45s
    5. Additional shading options
      2m 37s
    6. Creating reflections
      8m 29s
    7. Adding transparency and refractions
      6m 49s
    8. Subsurface scattering
      5m 59s
  8. 51m 48s
    1. Adding a simple texture
      6m 11s
    2. Using bitmaps
      6m 53s
    3. Mapping textures in the UV Editor
      8m 28s
    4. Using UV projections
      5m 56s
    5. UV mapping a character
      6m 11s
    6. Fine-tuning UV mapping
      6m 7s
    7. Creating Bump and Normal maps
      3m 15s
    8. Displacement mapping
      3m 48s
    9. Using the Node Editor
      4m 59s
  9. 53m 9s
    1. Adding lamps to a scene
      8m 44s
    2. Fine-tuning ray-trace shadows
      4m 32s
    3. Using spot lamps
      4m 20s
    4. Fine-tuning buffer shadows
      6m 19s
    5. Using Hemi lamps
      2m 32s
    6. Working with Area lamps
      5m 17s
    7. Creating sky and ambient light
      4m 49s
    8. Adding background images
      3m 19s
    9. Creating sunlight
      6m 6s
    10. Ambient occlusion
      7m 11s
  10. 30m 8s
    1. Working with cameras
      4m 47s
    2. Creating camera targets with constraints
      3m 43s
    3. Render properties
      5m 7s
    4. Rendering animation
      5m 13s
    5. Adding motion blur
      4m 10s
    6. Creating depth of field
      7m 8s
  11. 32m 30s
    1. Understanding the Timeline
      4m 3s
    2. Animating objects
      6m 26s
    3. Animating properties
      4m 0s
    4. Editing animation in the Graph Editor
      8m 36s
    5. Using the Dope Sheet
      4m 53s
    6. Path animation
      4m 32s
  12. 39m 59s
    1. Facial animation using shape keys
      4m 40s
    2. Understanding armatures
      6m 2s
    3. Fitting an armature to a creature
      7m 23s
    4. Deforming a character with an armature
      3m 49s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      3m 53s
    6. Controlling the hips and body
      2m 1s
    7. Animating in Pose mode
      2m 47s
    8. Creating a test animation
      9m 24s
  13. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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Blender 2.6 Essential Training
7h 26m Beginner Dec 21, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course provides an overview of modeling, animating, and rendering 3D graphics in the open-source software Blender 2.6. Beginning with a tour of the Blender interface, author George Maestri shows how to create and edit basic objects, work with modifiers and subdivision surfaces, and apply materials and textures. The course also demonstrates lighting 3D scenes, setting up and using cameras, animating objects, and assembling basic character rigs.

Topics include:
  • Navigating in 3D space
  • Selecting, rotating, and scaling objects
  • Using Snap to move objects precisely
  • Creating mesh primitives and extrusions
  • Subdividing meshes
  • Creating a simple creature
  • Joining mesh objects and stitching vertices
  • Organizing a scene with layers, groups, and hierarchies
  • Assigning glossy and reflective materials to objects
  • Creating bump maps
  • Creating sky and ambient light
  • Understanding ambient occlusion
  • Adding motion blur and depth of field
  • Editing animation in the Graph Editor
  • Building and animating a simple character
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Blender
Author:
George Maestri

Symmetrical modeling with the Mirror modifier

Now let's take a look at how to do Symmetrical Modeling. In Blender this is done using the Mirror Modifier. Now I have this basic character and we've got some of the parts blocked out, but we still need to block out the character's arms. Now the arms are kind of a symmetrical thing where you have a right arm and a left arm. Now, I could just model them individually, I am going to hit Tab and go in here. For example, if I wanted to I could take the faces around where the arms socket would be and I could just extrude those by doing Extrude Region.

But what I'm doing on the left side of the character is not reflecting on the character's right side. So, there is a very distinct possibility that this won't be exactly symmetrical. So I am going to go ahead and undo that. Now one way you can do it in some programs is to select both of them and extrude them at the same time, but that doesn't really work quite as well in Blender. So probably the best way to do these sorts of modeling is to use the Mirror Modifier and this is actually a really good modifier, I like this one a lot.

So what we have to do first is we have to cut our character in half. So I am going to go into X-ray Mode here, just by clicking this little button down here and I'm going to position the character so that I'm seeing him pretty much from the front. I could go into a front view at this point, but it looks like I can get it from here and then I am going to hit B to do a Box select and just select all of the faces on the character's right side. Now I am going to scroll around here just to make sure that I've got everything and I do, so I am just going to go ahead now and hit the Delete key.

Now a Menu option comes up and it asks you what you want to delete, the Vertices, the Edges, the Faces, do you want to delete everything. Well, in this case I just want to delete the Faces and when I do that the character is cut in half. So now that we have that, we can start mirror modeling him. But before I do that I want to actually get rid of my Subdivision Surface Tool and start from scratch, because really we want, we want a mirror and then subdivide. So I want the mirror to be at the bottom. So I am just going to delete Subdivision Surfaces, add in the Mirror Modifier and again we're in the Modifier Panel here.

And once we do, what you get, actually you do get a little bit of some extra geometry, but it doesn't seem to be right. Well that's because by default the mirror modifier is going along the X-axis, so it's in other words just going along this red axis here. We're actually modeling along the Y-axis, so if I click on the Y-axis and click off the X-axis, you'll see that it makes a perfect mirror of the character. And down here we have what's called a Merge Limit, and what that does is it just says any vertices that are within this limit will get stuck together.

So because we started with our character exactly in the middle, this should just stick together all the way. Now one of the things you don't want to do is start moving this centerline. So if I go into Vertex Mode for example and I move one of these, you'll see that everything is mirrored, but we really don't want that to happen. So be sure to respect the center line. But we can continue to model anywhere on the character and it will be reflected on the other side, which is really, really nice.

So, let's use this to actually start creating the character's arms. So the first thing I am going to do is let's go ahead and go into Edge Mode here and I'm going to select this Edge Loop here and just move it up just a little bit, because what I want to do is kind of bring this amount of detail down just a little bit and then I'm going to go into Face Mode. I am going to select these four faces on the side of the body, right here and we're going to extrude. So I am just going to do an Extrude Region. And notice how when I extrude that actually mirrors on the other side, which is really kind of cool.

So, now that I have this I can use my Scale Tool to kind of square this up a little bit and may be shrink it down and again, I want this arm to have kind of a circular profile. So I will need to bring in the edges and the vertices. So let's go ahead and go into Edge Mode here and I want this to move down and then I am going to go into Vertex Mode, select the corners of this box, hit S to scale and scale them in just so that we get more of a circular outline, so there we go.

So now, again Ctrl+Tab go into Face Mode, shift those and now we can extrude the rest of the character's arms. So I am going to do an Extrude Region, extrude out a little bit more. I am going to scale those down just a bit and then do another Extrude Region. So this is basically the roughed out arms. We're going to finish these a little bit later. So I just kind of want to show you some of that as to how the Mirror Tool works. Now let's go ahead and use the Mirror Tool to add some more detail.

We still need an eye socket for our character. So we can do that by going into Edge Mode. So I am going to deselect, go into Edge Mode and for this character I am going to go ahead and turn off X-ray here. I want his eye to be almost on the outside of the top lip. So I want some detail on this side and on this side and enough to make a circular outline so that I can extrude an eye socket into the character's head. So we're going to need a few more Edge Loops.

So I am going to select Loop Cut and Slide and I'm going to select right here on the inside of the mouth and lay one in here, lay one on the outside of the mouth, right there, okay. So that gives me enough vertical detail. I still need more horizontal detail. And again, we're going to do another Loop Cut and Slide. So I am going to go ahead and add in one here, one here and one more and again remember, we click, drag and then click again.

So what I've created is enough detail, so that when I go into Face Mode, I can select these four faces and that will be the outline of the character's eye. Now, if I zoom in here, you'll see that well it's still square. Just like with the arm I will need to kind of bring in the edges of this and that's pretty easy to do, because all we have to do is go into Vertex Mode and then deselect everything and then just right-click and Shift+Right-click and select all of these.

Hit Scale, bring those in, so that way you can even see it's starting to look like an eye, okay. Now, I've got some of these here are a little bit too far forward, so I am just going to go ahead and move those in just a little bit as well as these. And then let's go into Face Mode, so I am going to go ahead and select these, position them, make sure that they are pretty flat and then let's do another extrude. So I am going to do Extrude Region, make the inside of the eye socket and do one more to give the eye socket some depth.

So again, just like with the mouth, we want kind of a little tight ring around here and then a little bit of depth to hold that eye socket. Deselect and look what we have. So, this is some of the workflow for symmetrical modeling. As you can see this could be very, very powerful. Now we still have a lot more reshaping to do on our character, we could probably add some more detail around the belly and still reshape the character's eyes and that sort of thing. But you can see that we've got most of the major shapes already blocked out.

Now the Mirror Tool is something that we'll eventually want to apply. Once we have our character fully modeled and we've got the symmetry where we want it, we will hit Apply to that Mirror Modifier. But not right now, we actually want to keep this on as we continue to refine the character, and once he is done then we'll apply it and it will bring the character back to one entire mesh.

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