[Introduction to Blender 2.8] Let’s start modelling (2) Extrusion

Getting Started

Previously

In this article, I’ll show you how to use Blender, make a simple model, and upload it to STYLY for those who have never done modeling before.

If you are new to Blender, please refer to this article for the first basic operations.

In the first part, we created a simple model by scaling and moving simple primitives.

In the second part, we will finally get into the detailed operations.

The finished model

Here is the model we will be working on.

The finished model

The finished model

This is a duckling potty with tires, which we will create in two articles.    

Modeling Basics

Edit mode and Object mode

When you open Blender, select the cube that is placed from the beginning. Then press [Tab] key. Then, the display will look like the left to right image below. The selection of the object has changed.

Switching with the [Tab] key

Switching with the [Tab] key

The left side is called object mode, and the right side is called edit mode. In object mode, you can zoom in and out and move objects as they are. In edit mode, you can modify the vertices, edges, and faces of the object. When modeling, you basically use this mode to create shapes by tweaking points, edges, and faces. You can switch between object mode and edit mode by pressing the [Tab] key, but you can also do it from the menu bar above.

Switching mode from menu bar

Switching mode from menu bar

There are many shortcut keys in Blender, and it is hard to learn them, but it is good to learn them so that you can switch modes with [Tab] key.

Let’s learn Extrude

First, let’s practice Extrude, which is the basic operation to create a shape in Edit mode. When you enter the Edit mode, you will see some icons in the menu bar above.

Menu bar in edit mode

Menu bar in edit mode

In the red frame, select a point, an edge, or a face. From here, select the face (far right). Select any face of the cube. In edit mode, you can also left-click to select something. When you select a face, you will have selected a face.

Selecting a face

Selecting a face

First, move the X-axis arrow (red). The cube will now extend forward. Next, press the [E] key and then move it. This time, the cube has increased in front of you. Keep the same face selected and try increasing the scale with the [S] key. Only the face has increased in size. Now press the [E] key, then the [S] key, and then move the mouse to decrease the scale. A small surface will be created within the surface. Press the [E] key again and move the mouse to the X axis… and repeat to try different ways.

Practicing Extrude

Practicing Extrude

Extruding more surfaces, points, and lines like this is called Extrude. Basically, modeling is done by using Extrude to increase the number of faces, scaling, and moving repeatedly. Not only faces, but also points and edges can be extruded and moved in the same way.

Now let’s go into object mode by pressing the [Tab] key. The new faces and other objects created in Extrude are now all in one object. Press the [X] key to delete everything you just created.

Modeling a duckling and a potty

Create a body

Go to Add>Mesh>Cube on the menu bar to bring up the cube. Press [Tab] key to go to edit mode, and use Extrude as in the previous exercise to make it look like the picture below. Even in edit mode, you can use the [S]→[X] key to change the scale of the X axis, as described in the previous article. So, if you want to change the scale of the X axis of the extruded surface immediately, press [E]→[S]→[X] key and then move the mouse.    

View from above

View from above


Diagonal view

Diagonal view

The way to do this is as follows.

  1. Extrude the face of the cube, move it out a little in the X-axis direction, and then increase the size a little in the Y-axis direction.
  2. Continue to Extrude the same face and move it out in the X-axis direction.
  3. Extrude the same face again, and make it smaller in the Y-axis direction after it is brought out in the X-axis direction.
  4. Extrude the same surface again, make it smaller in the Y and Z directions, and then move it slightly in the Z direction.

Is it done? Next, before drilling the pothole, select the wrench mark from the menu on the right, and then select “Subdivision Surface” from “Add Modifier”. The function to be added from the tab of the wrench mark is called a modifier.

Wrench mark

Wrench mark


Select Subdivision Surface

Select Subdivision Surface

The number in the Subdivision Surface “Viewport” determines the roundness of the duck’s body, but as the number of polygons increases, you need to stop at 3 or 4 at the most or it will become very heavy. Do not press “Apply” yet. If you press “Apply”, it will become a decision, so press it last.

Adjust here

Adjust here

Set Viewport to 3 and switch to Edit mode. The editable points, lines, and planes will remain unchanged since we have not applied them. Now select the three surfaces above.

Select the three faces

Select the three faces

Make the three faces smaller by pressing [E]→[S], and then push [E]→[Z] to make a hole in the potty.

Making a hole

Making a hole

Incidentally, this process of creating and resizing faces with the [E]→[S] keys can actually be done by simply pressing the [I] key, which means Insert Faces. However, the [I] key does not allow you to change the size of the X axis.

The holes are too smooth, so let’s make them a little more crisp. Set the Viewport of the Subdivision Surface to zero to make it easier. Then, from the menu bar below, select Point, Line, Surface, and then Line, and select the line for the hole.

Selecting a line

Selecting a line

If you want to select a line all the way around, hold down the [Alt] key and select one line. This can also be done for points and surfaces. Once you have selected the line as shown above, select “Bevel Edges” from the menu that appears when you press [Ctrl]+[E] and move the mouse to drop the corners a little. The width should be about the same as the following picture.

Bevel

Bevel

Now change the Subdivision Surface view back to 3. The smooth hole is now sharp.

The hole is now sharp

The hole is now sharp

In Subdivision Surface, the narrower the sense between vertices, the sharper the shape, and the farther apart, the rounder the shape. The bevel itself is originally intended to drop the corners, but it can also be used in this way since it creates new lines. In edit mode, it is sometimes difficult to see the whole picture, so switching to object mode makes it easier to see.  

In the previous article, I actually used this bevel function by adding it from the modifier. When added from a modifier, the bevel is applied to the entire object. If you select a line in edit mode and do it from the [Ctrl]+[E] key menu, you can bevel only the selected line.    

Creating the head

We’re almost there. The next step is to create the head. Switch to face selection and create the shape by extruding the faces in this area.

Creating the head with the faces in this section

Creating the head with the faces in this section

The finished shape is shown below, and you can use this as a reference while using Extrude to create the head.

Shape of the head, finished form

Shape of the head, finished form

After that, you can adjust the lines and surfaces as you like while looking at the whole picture. 

The shape is ready

The shape is ready

The shape is now ready. Don’t press Apply Subdivision Surface yet. That’s all for now.

In the next article, we’ll talk about eyes, mouth, coloring, etc.

Next article is here

Shortcut keys and terms used in this article

Terms

  • Object mode: Allows you to move and scale objects as they are.
  • Edit mode: Allows you to edit points, edges, and faces of an object.
  • Extrude: Create a surface and extrude it.
  • Modifier: A function that can be added from the wrench mark on the right menu tab.
  • Subdivision Surface: A type of modifier. Increases the number of polygons and makes the object smoother.
  • Insert Faces: Creates a new face inside a face.
  • Bevel: Adds a face to a corner so that the corner falls off in appearance.

Shortcut keys 

 

  • [Tab]: Toggle between object mode and edit mode.
  • [E]: Can Extrude.
  • [E]→[S]: Change the size of the surface created by Extrude. [S], followed by [X], [Y], or [Z] to change the size in the axis direction.
  • [I]: Insert Faces, which does the same thing as [E]→[S].
  • Hold down [Alt] while selecting a line: Select a line all the way around. You can also use [Shift]+[Alt] to select a line to add another circle.
  • Ctrl]+[E]: When in edit mode, a menu for edges will appear.  

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