Blender - Modeling

Blender

Intro

Modelling

Modifiers

General

Gotchas

Non-uniform object scale
If an object has non-uniform scale you can run into errors when doing operation on the mesh (edit mode). This is because the object scale is taken into account when the mesh is edited. For instance, we have a cube object with an x-scale of .1 (in object mode) and the verts (in edit mode) are scaled to compensate for this (x-scale 10) resulting in a cube that looks uniform. But when we, for instance bevel an edge, we will get weird results. To fix this apply the object level transform (in this case scale) and we will get the result we expect.

  • Objct Mode
    • Apply menu : Ctrl A
    • Object > Apply > Scale
    • You can also choose to apply all transforms to “zero out” the object level transforms.
    • This is similar to Maya > Freeze transform

Misc

  • Repeat last command : Shift R

Modes

  • Toggle Object/Edit mode : Tab

Object Mode

Add

Note that blender comes with a bunch of add-ons that we can choose to enable. We can open the Edit > Preferences > Add-ons. There is a dropdown menu that lets us filter the add-ons by category. If we select Add Mesh from the list we can for instance enable Add Mesh: Extra Objects

  • Add : Shift A
    • In the 3D view header menu there is an add button that will open up the add menu. The item will be added at the 3D Cursor position. Note that if we are in the edit mode the mesh added will be part of the object that we are editing.

Misc

  • Join two meshes : Ctrl J

    • via menu Object > Join
  • Delete : Delete key

    • X : a confirm dialog will appear
    • Header Menu > Object > Delete

Edit mode

Verts, Edges & Faces

  • Selection Modes
    • Vertex select : 1
    • Edge select : 2
    • Face select : 3
    • You can use shift in combination with the numberpad to add multiple selection modes.
  • Menus
    • Vertex Menu : Ctrl V
    • Edge Menu : Ctrl E
    • Face Menu : Ctrl F

Selection

  • Loop Select : Shift Alt LMB
    • Since I have changed the view control to maya we need to use the shift also
    • Works for verts, edges & faces
  • Ring Select : Ctrl Alt LMB
  • Shortest path : Ctrl LMB
    • Selects the shortest path between the 2 clicked components.
    • Works on verts, edges & faces.
  • “Flood select” shortest path : Ctrl Shift LMB
    • It will select all components inside the area defined by the two clicked components.
  • Select Linked (connected components)
    • Select Linked under cursor: L
    • Select Linked of seleced : Ctrl L
  • Select Similar : Shift G
    • Co-planar
    • Normal
    • Area
  • Select All by Trait (the select menu in top of 3D view)
    • Interior faces
    • Non Manifold (verts & edge mode only)
  • Expand/Shrink Selection
    • Ctrl + (numpad)
    • Ctrl - (numpad)
  • Select Boundry Loop
    • Tip one easy way to select the edge is to seelct all the faces of the mesh and Select > Select Loops > Select Boundry Loop (found in the select menu)

Duplicate

  • Duplicate selected : Shift D
    • Works for all components across meshes

Mesh Edit

The shortcuts for each of the mesh edit command will be listed below. You can also use the toolbar T to use the tool. If you longpress on the tools with a small arrow in the bottom left corner you will get additional tool options.

Extrude

  • Extrude : E
    • Extrude Menu : Alt E
      • Offset Even : option in the last tool settings (F9) gives the extruded faces uniform thickness.
    • Extrude tool (long press the tool for more options)
    • Note that if you cancel an extrusion (RMB or pressing esc) the extrude face will still be there. This is handy since with this face still selected and in original position we can press S and scale the face in-place.
    • Extrude to mouse postion : Ctrl RMB
      • Quite handy instead of etruding, reposition amd rotating.

Inset

  • Inset : I (capital i)
    • Individual : I
    • Outset : O
    • Boundary : B
    • Depth (extrude) : Press and hold Ctrl

Loop Cut & Slide

  • Insert Edge Loop and slide: Ctrl R
    • Even cut : E
      • This will make the cut have the same shape as the edges marked by the red dot.
      • Flip the even cut : F
    • Slide Edge Loop again : GG (double tap G)
    • If faces are hidden within the “face loop” the cut will terminate at the border.
    • Number of cuts
      • Mouse wheel scroll
      • Page up / down
  • Insert Edge Loop around selection: Ctrl Shift R
    • If we have an edge loop selected this will create two edge loops on the “outside”

Bevel

  • Bevel : Ctrl B
    • Width : A
    • Clamp overlap : C
    • Profile : P
    • Segments : S
    • Corner type (Inner Miter) : I
    • Corner fill (Intersection grid fill) : N
    • Vertex only : V
    • There are more …
  • Bevel Vert : Ctrl Shift B

Knife & Bisect

  • knife tool : K
    • Snap to edge midpoint : Hold CTRL
    • Straight/45 deg cut (toggle) : C
    • Close the cut : LMB double click
    • New cut : E
    • Cut through : Z
    • Pan : Alt MMb
    • toggle Snapping : Shift
  • Knife Project : Search
    • Go into edit mode of the mesh that you wish to project to.
    • Select the object (in the outliner) that has the edges that you wish to project.
    • Press spacebar (search) and start typing “knife project” select it when it appears.
  • Bisect Tool : (sub-tool of the knife)
    • Select faces to cut
    • LMB click and drag
    • Use the on-screen tool manipulator to adjust cut
    • expand the bisect tool operation panel to edit settings

Fill, Join & Separate

  • Edit Mode
    • Fill : F
      • Creates a face between the selected components
      • If used on to verts of an n-gon the edge created will not be connected to the face (use Join for this)
    • Fill : Alt F
      • Adds triangles
      • Beautify option
    • Face menu > Grid Fill
    • Join : J
      • When used in edit mode it will create an edge between two selected verts
      • Note that there have to be a face connecting the verts
      • The resulting edge will be connected to the face and it will add verts to any preexisting edges that the new edge will cross.
    • Separate : P
      • Popup menu with various ways to separate the selected components. (i.e. separate into new object/mesh)
      • Or with RMB > Separate
  • Object Mode
  • Join : J
    • When used on object mode the selected mesh will be joined to one object (one mesh)

Normals

  • Normals Menu : Alt N
  • Recalculate Normals : Shift N

Merge

  • Merge
    • By Distance
      • If we have verts that we want to merge one fast way is to press A (select all) followed by M > By Distance.
    • At Last If we want to merge some verts that are not on top of each other we can select them and then M > At Last or some of the other options
  • Auto Merge
    • If we enable auto merge, every time verts end up on top of each other they are merged automatically. You will find this button in the 3D View header bar, next to the mirror options.

Delete

If we are in edit mode and press delete key we will get a delete popup menu. Below are some of the options. Read more in the Delete & Dissolve (docs)

  • Delete : Delete key or X
    • Vertices : All vertices in current selection, removing any faces or edges they are connected to.
    • Edges : Any edges in the current selection. Removes any faces that the edge shares with it.
    • Face : The selected faces and “internal” verts & edges
    • Only Edges & Faces : Deletes faces & edges but leaves the verts.
    • Only Faces : Removes faces, but edges within the face selection are retained.
    • Disolve : This will “keep” the mesh but delete the components.
    • Collapse : Delete the components and merge to a single point.
    • Edge Loop : It will do the opposite of extrusion. Delete faces down to the next loop available.

To dislove the selection witout having the menu pop up:

  • Dissolve Selection : Ctrl X
    • No popup menu

Misc

  • Subdivide : RMB > Subdivide
    • If an edge is selected resulting verts (after the subdivision) will be connected with an edge. This is nice if we subdivide across an edge ring etc.
  • Polygon info -> Vert / Edges / Faces
    • Bottom Right side of 3D view
  • Scale to flatten edge
    • S -> Z -> 0
  • Rip : V
    • Works on verts & adges
    • separates the component in the direction it is dragged.

Add-ons

Note that blender comes with a bunch of add-ons that we can choose to enable. We can open the Edit > Preferences > Add-ons. There is a dropdown menu that lets us filter the add-ons by category.

  • LoopTools (Mesh)
    • Bridge
    • Flatten
  • Copy Attributes Menu (Interface)
  • Bool Tool (Object)
  • F2 (Mesh)

How to

Cap a cylinder

  • Manual way
    • Select the cap face and inset (I)
    • With the “inner” face selected, Ctrl F Face (menu) > Poke Faces
    • Select center vert, Ctrl Shift B (bevel vert so that we can get the edge ring in the next step)
    • In edge mode Ctrl Alt LMB one of the “poked edges"go select the edgwe ring
    • Menu at the top of the 3D view: Select > Checker Deselect
      • You can adjsut the parm of this function, but we want to selected every other edge so leace Deselected at 1.
    • Dissolve the selected edges Ctrl X
    • Select the center face press M Merge > At Center
  • Grid fill
    • Select the cap face and inset (I)
    • Delete the center face
    • select the inner edge Ctrl F Face menu > Grid Fill
      • Optimally tweak the parms of the grid fill