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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 Subdivision Surfaces. This is basically a modifier that does pretty much the same thing as the Subdivide command in the Object Tools Panel. But this is more interactive, it's basically live so we can actually modify an object and have it subdivide at the same time. It's really great for character animation and anything where you need organic shapes that animate. So I am going to go ahead and select this box and expand out my Properties Panel just a little bit so I can get into my Modifiers and then I am going to add Subdivision Surface.
Now notice what happens, as soon as I add this, it starts subdividing this particular surface. So if I want I can add more subdivisions in my View and also more in my Render. Now with this you got to be a little careful not to add too many because you can very easily get millions of polygons if you bring this up much above three or four. So you have to be very careful with this. But we can actually dial in Resolution and we can have a different resolution for the Viewport and for the Render, which can be really, really nice.
Now what really is cool about Subdivision Surfaces is when you start editing the original mesh. So right now I am in Object Mode, if I hit Tab I am going to go into Edit Mode. Now what shows up here is the original box. So if I were to delete this, okay with no Modifier that's my box. But when I put the modifier back on you'll sea that it actually subdivides that. And so as I add more detail in terms of subdivisions I have a smoother object.
Now what's really cool is that I can actually modify the original mesh, in other words that original box that I have and it will actually, the underlying surface will follow along. So if I were to select for example some of these vertices here, I can actually start making a very curved surface, and that's pretty cool. And if I wanted to go into Face Edit Mode and Shift+Select a couple of faces I could actually go through and use some of these Object Tools such as Extrude Region and I can make an extrusion, and let's go ahead and do another one here.
And now notice how as I do this we get additional detail, but also that detail is smoothed. Now one of the things you probably should be aware of is that that smoothing really depends on how close together the edge loops are. So, if I were to go into Edge Mode here and Alt+Select this edge, you can see how when I slide it this way the more distance I have here, the more curve I have. If I push it closer you'll see that this curve is tighter.
So this can actually control how much curvature we have in our model and this is another reason why Edge Loops can be important particularly for this sort of modeling. So if I drag this Edge Loop in here you'll see it's tighter or it's looser. So as you start modeling one of the nice things you can do is to actually model with a Subdivision Surface applied, in that way you can model your object simply and then you can see the smoothed or more complex result as you model.
But the actual model that you're using is the simple box rather than the more complex curved surface underneath. And we're going to be using this a lot more during the course. So go ahead and practice editing this object and get used to how Subdivision Surfaces works, because we are going to be using those a little bit more later in the course.
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