An introduction to Blender – Let’s start modelling ~ Part 2


From the previous article

In this series, I introduce a workflow how to use Blender, make a simple model and upload it to STYLY for the beginners without any modelling experience. This is the second article!

For readers new to Blender, refer to the following article to learn basic operations for Blender.

Blender入門 モデリングを始める1 基本操作


The first article covered how to make a simple model from simple primitives scaled and translated.

In this second article, I look into the details, finally!


The target model in this article

This is the target model to make this time.


The target model in this article


It’s pretty, isn’t it? It is a duck potty with tyres. It’s really pretty…

We will make it over two articles.

Let’s begin then!

Modelling Basics

Edit Mode and Object Mode

Once you start Blender, select the cube placed as default.

Next, just press Tab key.

And then, you find the display has changed from the left to the right of the bottom image. It shows the difference of how the object selected.


Press Tab key

The left is called Object Mode, and the right is Edit Mode.

In Object Mode, you can scale and move objects.

In Edit mode, you can adjust the edge and surface of objects.

In the modelling process, you basically make the shape in this Edit Mode by adjusting vertices, edges and surfaces.

You can also switch between Object Mode and Edit Mode by Menu Bar at the bottom as well as Tab key shown above.


Switch between Edit Mode and Object Mode by Menu Bar

Although I understand Blender has too many shortcuts to remember, they help you to operate quickly. So, in this case, let’s switch by Tab key for a swift move!


Learn Extrude command

Before jumping into duck-pot modelling, we have a practice about Extrude command, which is a basic operation to make a shape in Edit Mode.

Switched to Edit Mode, you find some buttons in Menu Bar as shown below.


Menu Bar with Edit Mode selected


You can choose vertex, edge and face button from where the red allow points. Choose Face (at the right) this time.

Now, select a face on the cube. By the way, in Edit Mode, use right click to select something (Note that use left click to select a button on Menu Bar).

Once a face is chosen, you will find it highlighted.


Select a face

Firstly, just move the arrow along X-axis. The cube is now scaled up.

Next, move the arrow after pressing E key, and the cube grows upward and sideways.

With the same surface selected, scale it up by S key. Now you see only that surface grows.

Scale down by mouse motion after pressing E key and S key in sequence, and now you can see a small surface made on the surface.

After various operations like the above, I got something like this:


Practice for Extrude

I don’t even know what it is. Anyway,  it’s called Extrude to push out face, vertex and edges as seen above.

In basic modelling, you make a shape with this Extrude function by adding faces, scaling and moving feature. You can extrude and move not only faces but vertices and edges.

Now, switch to Object Mode by Tab Key. Conveniently, all new faces by Extrude and other features have been grouped together into one single object. Delete all you made so far. It’s time to make a Duck.


Modelling a duck potty

Make the body

It’s time to make a duck potty, finally!

Make a cube by Create tab at left Menu.

Switching to Edit Mode by Tab key, make a similar shape as shown in the picture below as in the practice above.

Even in Edit Mode, you can scale only in X direction by pressing S key and X key in sequence as explained in the last article.

So, you can scale an extruded surface only in X direction by pressing E, S and X key in sequence then adjusting by mouse motion.



Make the shown shape by Extrude function


Do not worry that the shape looks very big in the image above.

The following shows how to make it.

①Extrude a face on the cube along X-axis a little and then scale up along Y-axis a little.

②Extrude that face along X-axis.

③Again, extrude that surface along X-axis and then scale down along Y-axis.

④Furthermore, extrude it along X-axis and scale down along Y-axis. Translate it along Z-axis a little as a final touch.


Have you made it? Now, you are about to make a hole to shape a potty. But before that, click Spanner icon on right Menu and select Add > Subdivision Surface Modifier. By the way, the function added by this Spanner icon is called Modifier.


Select “Subdivision Surface Modifier”

Now it smoothed the body of the duck. This is the so-called smoothing, which conditions the appearance of the model. You can adjust the intensity of smoothing by View parameter on Subdivision Surface Modifier, but don’t increase it to more than 3 or 4, otherwise, the number of polygon increases too much to handle.

Don’t press the Apply button just yet. It’s really final so we do it at the very end.


You can adjust it here.

Until you apply it, you can adjust the effect while monitoring its consequence dynamically.

Set View parameter to 3 and switch to Edit Mode. As the effect has not been applied, the selectable vertex, edge and face are still at original state.

Now, select three faces on the top.


Select three faces on the top.


Scale down the three surfaces by E and S key, and push in by E and Z key to make a hole to shape a potty.


A hole to shape a potty.


By the way, for this resizing process, you can use only “I ” key instead of E and Z key in sequence.

“I” stands for Inset Faces. To be honest, I barely use it as it cannot do finer adjustment like X-direction scaling.

Sorry, I should have said earlier…

Now the potty got a hole, but its edges look too smooth.  Let’s add some variations to them.

Set View parameter on Subdivision Surface Modifier to zero for better visibility.

And, select Edge button from Selection Modes on the menu bar at the bottom.

Select edges to add a variation.


Select edges


You can select connected edges all at once by holding Alt key. You can do the same for vertices and faces.

After selecting the edges as shown in the picture above, you can chamfer the edges by selecting Bevel in the pop-up menu by Ctrl+E and then moving the mouse.

Adjust them to the shown below.




Now, change View Parameter on Subdivision Surface Modifier back to 3. Brilliant! There is now some tightness on the edges which was too smooth before.

Subdivision Surface Modifier makes a sharper feature where vertices are positioned closer whilst it makes a smoother feature where vertices are spaced out.

Bevel function itself is to chamfer edges, but it’s also handy to impose edges as seen in this example.

You could switch to Object Mode for better visibility as you might find it difficult to see the entire image with Edit Mode.


By the way, we actually used Bevel function from Modifier menu in the previous article.

In the case of Modifier menu, Bevel command is applied to the entire object.

However, you can apply Bevel command only to the selected edges by Ctrl+E menu when you select edges in Edit Mode.


Make head shape

We are almost there!

Next, we make a head shape. Switching to Faces in Selection Mode, we make the shape by extruding the shown faces.


Make a head shape from the faces shown.


The completed shape is shown below. Make a head shape by Extrude function referring to this example.


Completed head shape


The important points are to narrow down around the neck and to form round shape by fairly big faces.

For the rest, you make your own duck potty by adjusting edges and faces as you like while monitoring the entire image.

You can have a swan(?) boat by stretching the body. Or, it would be interesting to make duck potty for two. How about making two heads?


Duck Potty after final touch


Now we shaped our duck potty.  But, do not apply Subdivision Surface Modifier yet.

That’s it for today. Next time, I explain how to make eyes and mouth and how to colour.

See you later!


The duck potty in this articles made an appearance in my Vtuber video.

I am more than happy if you watch it. ↓↓



Shortcuts and technical terms in this article

Technical terms

・Object Mode > The mode where you can move and scale objects

・Edit Mode > The mode where you can edit vertices, edges and faces of objects

・Extrude > Pushing out faces to make a shape

・Modifier > the function added by Spanner icon on the right Menu Tab.

・Subdivision Surface Modifier >  It increases the number of polygon, which smooths edges of object.

・Inset Face >  It imposes faces. It made a new face inside of the selected face for instances.

・Bevel > As appeared in the previous article. It chamfers edges.



・Tab > to switch between Object Mode and Edit Mode

・E > Extrude

・E→S > You can scale the extruded face. You can scale along a specific axis by pressing X, Y or Z key following S key.

・I > Inset Faces (=E→S)

・Select Edges with Alt key held > You can select the connected edges all at once. (Shift + Alt) allows you to add connected edges to the selected already.

・Ctrl + E > In Edit Mode, it pops up the menu about Edges.