Sculpting organic shapes using Blender

Sculpting thought shapes with Blender

Getting started

Open – Blender

Select the cube by right clicking on it.

Choose to delete the cube by pressing the ‘X’ key & then clicking to confirm the delete.

Adding a new Mesh

Press the ‘Shift’ & ‘A’ key together to bring up the ‘Add’ dialogue.

Select ‘Mesh’ then select ‘UV sphere’

Zoom into the large sphere shape in the 3D window by pushing two fingers forwards on the track pad.

The sphere looks very smooth, but it is actually a huge mathematical net.

If you click on the ‘object mode’ tab at the bottom of the 3D window, and select ‘edit mode’. You will see that the ball is made up of 100’s of tiny triangles.

If you click on the ‘object mode’ tab at the bottom of the 3D window, and select ‘edit mode’. You will see that the ball is made up of 100’s of tiny triangles.

‘Click & drag the middle mouse button to have a look around it.

All the characters and objects that you see in computer games and digitally animated films are made from these kinds of nets.

Subdividing

The more polygons our shape is made up of, the easier it is to sculpt with.

In the tool window to the left of the 3D window, look at the mesh tools that appear when a shape is in ‘Edit’ mode.

We will use the ‘Subdivide’ tool, which divides out shape up into more polygons.

Click on the ‘Subdivide’ button twice.

In the 3D window you should see the shape is now made up of more polygons.

Practising Sculpting your shape

Click on the ‘edit mode’ tab and change it to ‘sculpt mode’.

In the window to the left of the 3D window, you should see the Mesh Tools have changed in to the ‘Sculpt tab’.

We need to chose which ‘sculpt’ tool to use.

Scroll down the Sculpt window lick on the little arrow to the left of the word ‘Tools’.

To start with we will use the ‘Grab’ tool.

Grabbing

In the ‘Brush’ panel select ‘grab’ – you know which brush you have selected because it goes a bit darker than the others.

In the ‘Radius’ tab you can choose how big your grabber is, you can type a number between 1 & 100, or click and drag the slider

If you ‘click and drag’ on the ball shape you will be able to drag it, like it is putty.

‘Click & Drag the middle mouse button’ to rotate around your shape, have a look around the shape now you have altered it.

Sculpt the shape by grabbing it in different ways using different sizes and strengths.

Remember if you do something you don’t like you can ‘undo’ by pressing ‘CMD & Z’.

In the sculpt panel there are other tabs that you can select to sculpt your shape.

Inflating

You can inflate your shape, by selecting the ‘inflate’ tab.

Once you have chosen how much you want to inflate the shape by, click and hold on the surface of the shape where you want to inflate it.

Experiment with different sizes and strengths of inflation.

Flattening

You can flatten your shape, by selecting the ‘flatten’ tab.

Move your mouse to the part of the shape you want to flatten, and click and hold. The longer you hold the more the shape will flatten.

Experiment with different sizes and strengths of the flatten brush.

Changing Colour

To the right of the 3D window is the ‘Properties Window’.

Each of the buttons at the top will open a different property tab.

Click on the ‘Materials’ property button with the ball icon on it.

We can use this to decide what colour our shape is.

Click on the ‘New’ button to add a new material onto the shape.

Click on the white tab underneath the word ‘Diffuse’ to open a colour picker.

Pick a colour and then click your mouse somewhere off the colour picker to select it.

You should be able to see the colour change on your shape in the 3D window.

Save your project by going to ‘File/Save as’ using the drop-down menu at the top of the screen.

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