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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.
When you start working with mesh modeling in Blender, you need to pay attention to edge loops. Now edge loops are basically just loops of edges that define areas of a character or an object. Now I have a little creature here and let's take a look at how his edge loops work. I'm just going to go ahead and right-click to select them and hit Tab to go in Edit Mode. Now I'm in Face Mode here, so I'm going to go into Edge Mode. Now if you notice here we've got all sorts of edges but a lot of these edges tend to go in loop.
So if I hit Alt and one of these edges, you can see I have a loop around his legs, the top of his arm, it kind of has a loop, and we also have one around his waist. Now if I want, I can use these to actually manipulate and edit my character. So if I wanted to, I could make him a little bit skinnier, I could hit S to scale down his waist and I could scale that down. One thing you want to notice is how this is kind of going asymmetrically. Now that's because I selected this edge and we're scaling around the center of that.
And that's because we have our 3D Cursor set to Active Element. So I'm going to go ahead and undo that and let's set this to Bounding Box Center which basically just sends it to the center of all the edges. And again, I'm going to hit S to scale and now when we scale down, you can see how that goes symmetrically. But the edge loops here are actually what define that whole waist. And so by working with them as a loop, we have a little bit more control over how to manipulate our character.
So I can move those again and I can rotate them and I can actually reshape him fairly nicely. Now if I wanted to add more detail, I could also do that. Now there is a very nice tool that Blender provides and that's called Loop Cut and Slide. It's over here in the Mesh Tools Panel. So if I hit Loop Cut and Slide, what happens is wherever I place my mouse, it will find the edge loop in between those. So if I put it here, you see I've got an additional edge loop.
All I have to do is left-click and then once I left-click, I can slide that loop wherever I want and then left-click again and it's selected. So if I wanted to, I could hit scale again and scale that down to give him a little bit more of a waist. Now if I want, I can also select additional edge loops here. Now if I select the one up here, notice how the selection stops right here. Now edge loops are basically just ones that go over these two-way junctions.
When I get to this three-way junction, then it's going to stop. So what I have to do is hit Shift+Alt, right-click again to get that area, right-click again to get this, and right-click one more time to get that third area. Now once we have all of these, then I can do things such as scale and rotate to change this profile. Now this works also with things such as his arms. Let's say we wanted more detail in his arms, we can again hit Loop Cut and Slide, and again, just position the cursor over that area, and again, I can add additional detail.
So as you can see, edge loops really are a very powerful way to add symmetrical detail to an object or a character. There are also ways to manipulate that detail efficiently.
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