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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, as you start working with more complex meshes, there are times when you'll want to identify certain parts of that mesh and be able to come back to it later, and this is where Vertex Groups comes in handy. It allows you to save off groups of vertices that you can select later, and this can be really important, particularly if you have difficult selections that take a while to construct. You can save those selections and then come back. So let's take a look at how this works. So I've got this simple character here, and I am going to go ahead and select him and go into Edit Mode, and I want to make sure that I'm in Vertex Mode as well, so I am going to be selecting Vertices, and let's go ahead and just select one of his hands.
I am going to go ahead and select his left hand or the vertices that comprise his left hand. And once I have these selected, I want to go over in the Properties Panel to this little triangle here, and this stands for the vertices. So if you'll scroll down here, you'll notice we have a roll out here called Vertex Groups. And right now that's empty, but we can create a new group to hold these vertices. So I am going to go ahead hit Plus and that creates a blank group, but I want to give this a more descriptive name.
So I am going to go ahead and call it Lt_Hand. Now once I have this, it's still an empty container. I don't have those vertices in that left hand group yet. In order to do that I have to hit the Assign key, and once we do that, those vertices are now in that left hand group. So I can now select or deselect those vertices simply by highlighting those and hitting Select or Deselect. Now, if I wanted to add more vertices to this group, I could.
I could right-click this vertices here and Hit Assign, and now when it selects, it selects all of those. Or if I wanted to, I could remove that from the group. So when I Select or Deselect, it's removed from the group. So you can Assign or Remove individual vertices or groups of vertices from the Vertex Group. Now, this can be really handy if you can select a few of them, you can assign them to the group and then turn them all around and select a few more and, again, assign them to the group and kind of have this additive way of building that group.
So that's one way of doing it. Now, there's another way of creating groups and that's actually a little bit quicker. So I am going to scroll over here, and let's go ahead and select the vertices in the right hand. Now, if I wanted to I could create an empty container and then assign those vertices to that, but there's actually a faster way, and there's actually three ways of getting to it, so let me show you all three ways. The first one is the longest path, we hit Mesh>Vertices, and then we scroll down and there's a Vertex Groups option, and here's where we can actually do all of our work.
But this is three menus. So if we wanted to, we could cut it down to two menus by hitting Ctrl+V, and that brings up just that Vertices Menu and, again, we can scroll down to Vertex Groups and we have all of that. But actually the fastest way of doing it is just hit Ctrl+G for Group and this way we can either Assign it to a New Group, Assign it to the Active Group, or Remove it or even Set the Active Group. So there's a number of options here. Right now we're just going to Assign it to a New Group.
So what happens is it creates a blank group and then assigns those vertices. So it's really just a one step process, much easier than actually creating the empty group and assigning them. Now, again, we have a left hand group and this one, well, this one needs to be renamed again. So let's call it right hand. And once we have that, we can Deselect or we can Select. And we also have our Left Hand one, where one can Select or Deselect, and we can actually Select both of them or Deselect either one of them.
Now, notice here how we have a Vertex Group here in the Outliner, underneath my Character, and this really is just a way to set which group is the Active Group. So notice how when I select this one or that one, you can find those groups. So those are some of the basics of Vertex Groups. As you can see, it's a really good way of taking complex selections and making them easy to reselect. Now, one example is perhaps the character's mouth. If you wanted to, you could select all of the vertices around the character's mouth, which may be difficult to select at first, but once we have it, we can make it into a group and come back to it.
So there's all sorts of uses for this tool, and I'm sure you'll get a lot of good use out of it.
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