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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.
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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