Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Editing mesh objects, part of Blender Essential Training.
Now let's take a look at how to actually reshape and edit objects in Blender. Now I have a simple sphere here and let's go ahead and put it into Edit Mode. So I'm going to right-click on it to select and hit Tab to go into Edit Mode. Now probably the easiest thing to do is just to select the single vertex and move it around. So if we want to make sure that we're in Vertex Mode, we can either check our little icons here and click on Vertex Mode, or we can hit Ctrl+Tab and select our Mesh Select Mode here, so I'm going to go into Vertex Mode.
Now if I right-click on a vertex, you will see that a manipulator comes up and if I want, I can move this manipulator. But sometimes when you move vertices, you don't really want to move them relative to the world, you need to move them relative to the object. So right now my manipulators are set to Global, which means it follows the X, Y, Z coordinates of the world. We can certainly change that to Local. That's not really going to do much because my object is also aligned to the world.
But if we go to Normal, what happens is this aligns to the object. It actually aligns to the Normal of that vertex. And what that means is that it actually is moving so that the Z axis moves it in and out and the X and Y axis move it basically along the left and right and up and down axis of that sphere. I can also select multiple, so if I Shift and right-click and select say couple more of these vertices, you can see how now if I have four of them selected, they still move along the normals.
Now this may change depending upon how many vertices we have selected. So notice when I have three selected, it's a little bit different than when I have one, two, or four selected. And this is because what it's doing is it's averaging the normals. But again, this can be very handy when you need to move things relative to the object rather than the world. So I'm going to hit the A key to deselect. Now if we want, we can also select multiple vertices. One way to do it is to use the B Tool, so we can actually just hit B and box-select.
I'm going to hit A again to deselect that. Another way to do it is to use the Lasso Tool, so I'm just going to hold down the Ctrl key and left-click and lasso these vertices. Now here's a little thing that is going to probably get you, is that if we'd scroll around here, we did not select the back-facing vertices. Now the reason is because we can't see those back-facing vertices. So basically you're only going to be able to select those things that you can actually see.
One way around this is to either put the object into Wireframe Mode and we can do that by either selecting it here or hitting the Z key and that toggles between shaded and wireframe. Another really handy method is used what's called X-ray Mode. So if I click this little button, what it does is it gives me a shaded view but I can still see through it to see the wireframes. And so if I can see these vertices, then I can select them. Again, all I have to do is hold down the Ctrl key and I've got them.
Okay, so now I have an entire row of vertices. Now I can do this again for the top, so if I want to, I can hit Ctrl and select more if I want. Now another way to select is to basically just select the simple thing and grow and shrink my selection. I'm going to go ahead and turn off X-ray Mode so we can see this a little bit better. So I'm going to go ahead and select that one vertex at the top. And under the Select menu we have a couple of options and one of the ones that we want is More and Less.
Notice how the hotkey is Ctrl+Numpad Plus and Minus. So I'm going to do it here at the menu and hit More, but I can also do it as the hotkey. So Ctrl+Plus on the Numpad selects More, Minus selects Less. So once I have that, I can actually start editing this. So if I wanted to, I could scale that up. If I wanted to scale that, make that a little bit bigger, I could do that very simply. So I'm going to hit A to deselect this.
Now we also can work with edges and faces, so I'm going to hit Ctrl+Tab and let's go into Edge Mode. Now edges are actually kind of a nice way to work because what you can get is you can actually get these rings of edges and these are actually called edge loops. And if I hit the Alt key and right-click, I actually select a whole ring of edges. It's a very quick way of selecting multiple edges. So if I, for example, were to select this edge, hit Alt+Right-Click, I can select that, Alt+Right-Click, I can select that.
If I hold down the Shift key and Alt+Right-Click, I can select multiple edges, so if we wanted to scale those down or whatever. So if I were to select this one here, I could again just scale it. So if I wanted to scale it up, I could and if I wanted to move it, I could. So now we're getting this shape and we can do that again here.
So if I again, Alt+Select this, I could again scale it, shrink it down, and maybe move it up like this. Okay, maybe we're getting kind of this mushroom shape here. Now this is a very easy way to select and manipulate parts of your object. Now we can also edit faces. So if I were to hit Ctrl+Tab and go from Edge to Face Mode, notice how the mode changes. And again, I can just select individual faces and move them if I want, or if I wanted to select multiple faces, I could do that as well.
I'm going to go back into X-ray Mode here and I'm going to hit the Ctrl key and Lasso+Select all of these. So now that we have all of these, we could actually move them if we wanted to, but there are some additional operations that we can do with these. Now if you notice here over in the Mesh Tools, we have Translate, Rotate, and Scale, and we've been working with those already. But we also have two additional ones and these are actually nice to use on faces. One is called Shrink/Fatten, the other is Push/Pull.
Let me show you the difference between these. Shrink/Fatten is as soon as you click it, you can move the mouse up and down. And when you move it up, it shrinks and this is kind of more like a squash and stretch. So it's basically stretching, and if you move it down, it's basically squashing. So you have kind of this nice way of manipulating multiple faces and kind of getting a proportional type of edit. Now if I left-click off of that, it goes away. Let's do the same thing for Push/Pull.
Now this is a little bit different. Now what this does is it moves each face in and out over its normals. And again, as I move my mouse up and down you can see how as I move it up, it moves those faces in along their normals. As I move down, it moves them out along their normals. So those are some of the basic ways of selecting and editing meshes in Blender.
- 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
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 8/12/2014. What changed?
A: We added a single movie on unwrapping objects, a technique that works differently in Blender 2.7. The rest of the instructions in the course work equally well with Blender 2.6 and Blender 2.7.