Main BLENDER 3D BY EXAMPLE - : a project-based guide to learning blender 2.8 and eeve engine.

BLENDER 3D BY EXAMPLE - : a project-based guide to learning blender 2.8 and eeve engine.

5.0 / 0
How much do you like this book?
What’s the quality of the file?
Download the book for quality assessment
What’s the quality of the downloaded files?
Year:
2020
Edition:
2
Publisher:
PACKT Publishing Limited
Language:
english
Pages:
644
ISBN 10:
178961256X
ISBN 13:
9781789612561
File:
PDF, 248.05 MB
Download (pdf, 248.05 MB)

You may be interested in Powered by Rec2Me

 

Most frequently terms

 
0 comments
 

You can write a book review and share your experiences. Other readers will always be interested in your opinion of the books you've read. Whether you've loved the book or not, if you give your honest and detailed thoughts then people will find new books that are right for them.
Blender 3D By Example
Second Edition

A project-based guide to learning the latest Blender 3D,
EEVEE rendering engine, and Grease Pencil

Oscar Baechler
Xury Greer

BIRMINGHAM - MUMBAI

Blender 3D By Example
Second Edition
Copyright © 2020 Packt Publishing
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form
or by any means, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations
embedded in critical articles or reviews.
Every effort has been made in the preparation of this book to ensure the accuracy of the information presented.
However, the information contained in this book is sold without warranty, either express or implied. Neither the
authors, nor Packt Publishing or its dealers and distributors, will be held liable for any damages caused or alleged to
have been caused directly or indirectly by this book.
Packt Publishing has endeavored to provide trademark information about all of the companies and products
mentioned in this book by the appropriate use of capitals. However, Packt Publishing cannot guarantee the accuracy
of this information.
Commissioning Editor: Kunal Chaudhari
Acquisition Editor: Ashitosh Gupta
Content Development Editor: Akhil Nair
Senior Editor: Hayden Edwards
Technical Editor: Shubham Sharma
Copy Editor: Safis Editing
Project Coordinator: Kinjal Bari
Proofreader: Safis Editing
Indexer: Manju Arasan
Production Designer: Alishon Mendonsa
First published: September 2015
Second edition: May 2020
Production reference: 1280520
Published by Packt Publishing Ltd.
Livery Place
35 Livery Street
Birmingham
B3 2PB, UK.
ISBN 978-1-78961-256-1

www.packt.com

Packt.com

Subscribe to our online digital library for full access to over 7,000 books and videos, as well
as industry leading tools to help you plan your personal development and advance your
career. For more information, please visit our website.

Why subscribe?
Spend less time learning and more time coding with practical eBooks an; d Videos
from over 4,000 industry professionals
Improve your learning with Skill Plans built especially for you
Get a free eBook or video every month
Fully searchable for easy access to vital information
Copy and paste, print, and bookmark content
Did you know that Packt offers eBook versions of every book published, with PDF and
ePub files available? You can upgrade to the eBook version at www.packt.com and as a print
book customer, you are entitled to a discount on the eBook copy. Get in touch with us at
customercare@packtpub.com for more details.
At www.packt.com, you can also read a collection of free technical articles, sign up for a
range of free newsletters, and receive exclusive discounts and offers on Packt books and
eBooks.

Contributors
About the authors
Oscar Baechler is a CG generalist, professor, painter, photographer, open source advocate,
and community organizer who teaches at Lake Washington Institute of Technology. He's
published a number of mobile games with a Blender pipeline and created animation for
clients both big and small. Oscar runs the Seattle Blender User Group and Ballard Life
Drawing Co-op and has presented on CGI at SIGGRAPH, LinuxFest Northwest, the
Blender Conference, OSCON, Usenix LISA, SeaGL, SIX, WACC, and others.
I want to thank my wife Roxanne, for her endless support; my kids Felix and Susan, for
playing Baby Dragon with me; and my mom and dad for giving me art supplies. Also, I
want to thank my friend Jacob, for his scanning help. Thanks to Lake Washington Institute
of Technology, and all the students who have shared the classroom with me. Thank you
Xury, for writing a book with me! Lastly, thanks to the Blender community, especially the
Seattle Blender User Group, for over a decade of Blender and friendship.
Xury Greer has been involved in digital media production for over 15 years. He got his
start as an indy film director, participating in 48-hour film competitions, and creating
training videos for businesses in the Greater Seattle Area. Xury earned his bachelor's degree
in game design at Lake Washington Institute of Technology and graduated with the highest
honors. Xury specializes in 3D characters and technical art, and he loves to share his
knowledge. He has taught courses for Mount Si High School, Washington Network for
Innovative Careers, DigiPen, and LWTech.

About the reviewers
Henk Kok is an experienced 3D generalist with over a decade of experience working on
games, television series, and feature films. He values thriving cooperation with those
around him. In 2019 he worked as the 3D animation supervisor for the groundbreaking
Amazon Prime series Undone.
Fernando Castilhos Melo lives in Toronto, Canada, and works as a software engineer. He
holds a degree in computer science. In his spare time, he works on 3D modeling using
Blender and has done so since 2009. He has given some lectures about Blender and 3D
modeling at some open source software events and reviewed several Blender books. He
also developed an integration between Blender and Kinect to create 3D animation using
body movements.
I would like to say a big thank you to:
-My wife, Mauren, for all the support
-My parents, Eloir and Miriam, for encouraging me
-My dog, Polly, for being (literally) at my side all the time during this review
-All my friends for giving me the confidence for this work

Packt is searching for authors like you
If you're interested in becoming an author for Packt, please visit authors.packtpub.com
and apply today. We have worked with thousands of developers and tech professionals,
just like you, to help them share their insight with the global tech community. You can
make a general application, apply for a specific hot topic that we are recruiting an author
for, or submit your own idea.

Table of Contents
Preface
Chapter 1: Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface
Overview of the 3D workflow
The 3D coordinate system
3D objects
Components of a mesh
Materials and textures
Perspective view versus Orthographic view

Blender's user interface

A brief history of Blender's user interface
Blender 2.8's user interface

Basic 3D navigation controls
A brief introduction to the projects in this book
Setting up the source files

Summary
Chapter 2: Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow
Setting up the source files
Using the Outliner to organize a scene
Navigating the 3D Viewport
Using the Toolbar
Basic transformations in Object Mode
Editing the Viking helmet
Preparing to work on the helmet
Making changes to components in Edit Mode
Adding the nose guard
Adding the horns
Adding the studs
Returning to Object Mode to finish

Rendering the final image
Summary
Chapter 3: Modeling a Time Machine - Part 1
Using transformation hotkeys
Setting up the reference images for the time machine
Box modeling the main section of the chair
Destructive editing versus non-destructive editing
Modeling the cushions of the chair
Modeling the sci-fi rings with modifiers

1
8
9
9
11
12
13
14
15
15
19
22
23
24
25
26
27
29
32
36
38
43
43
46
49
58
65
71
73
75
77
78
81
89
107
108
115

Table of Contents

Modeling the armrests
Summary
Questions
Chapter 4: Modeling a Time Machine - Part 2
Modeling the base of the time machine
Modeling the clock
Modeling the side rails
Modeling the rear assembly
Modeling the front housing
Adding smooth shading to the model
Summary
Questions
Chapter 5: Modern Kitchen - Part 1: Kitbashing
Setting up the source files
Previsualizing the kitchen layout
Creating a floor plan
Creating previz objects
Laying out the kitchen composition

Creating tables with box modeling

Appending or linking the tables to the scene

Creating chairs with modifiers and curves
Chair 1 – a wooden slat deck chair
Chair 2 – a perforated plastic bar stool
Chair 3 – cushioned coffee table chairs
Chair 4 – a plastic chair with air slits
Chair 5 – wooden layers with Booleans
Appending, linking, and instancing the chairs

Creating cabinets, islands, and a stove with add-ons
Enabling our add-ons
An Archimesh kitchen island
Boolean modeling a sink with Bool Tool
Doors and windows with Archipack
Adding other decorations with Extra Objects

Linking in canned assets
Summary
Questions
Further reading
Chapter 6: Modern Kitchen - Part 2: Materials and Textures
Simple materials and the nodal workflow
Navigating nodes with a test material
The Principled BSDF material
Simple metals

[ ii ]

117
126
126
127
128
134
147
154
159
159
162
163
164
165
165
165
168
170
173
177
180
180
183
185
186
189
192
192
193
194
196
202
203
204
207
207
208
209
210
211
217
222

Table of Contents

Simple non-metals
Wood
Tiled backsplash
Granite counters
Plant alpha cards
Wall art texture atlas

Summary
Questions
Further reading
Chapter 7: Modern Kitchen - Part 3: Lighting and Rendering
Preparing the scene
Daylight rendering
Preliminary lighting with a sun object
World lighting

Indirect lighting

Irradiance volume
Addressing artifacts
Reflection probes

Using filters and postprocessing
Screen space reflections
Bloom
Ambient occlusion
Color management
Camera settings
Rendering with indoor lighting

Summary
Questions
Further reading
Chapter 8: Illustrating an Alien Hero with Grease Pencil
Playing with Grease Pencil objects
Setting up a tablet and stylus
Annotating with Grease Pencil
Testing in the default Grease Pencil scene
The Edit and Sculpt modes
Adjusting the brush tool for calligraphy
Customizing Grease Pencil materials
Stippling over a photo with a dots material

Roughing in a character

Thumbnailing with layers and keyframes
Sketching rounded forms in Pencil
Construction drawing

Inking the alien hero
The starting ink

[ iii ]

226
233
240
245
250
253
256
256
257
258
259
260
261
262
264
264
268
269
271
271
273
274
274
275
276
280
280
281
282
283
284
285
287
290
292
295
297
298
299
302
304
307
307

Table of Contents

Adding color with the fills pipeline
Silhouette and local color
The background
Lighting and texture

Summary
Questions
Further reading
Chapter 9: Animating an Exquisite Corpse in Grease Pencil
Animating a bouncing ball
Pose to pose beginnings
Arcs, timing, and squash and stretch
Adding a visual style
Adding an ease-in, ease-out anticipation starting take
Reusing and reworking frames with Multiframe

Blinking Blender eyes

Reusing frames for the Blender blinking animation
A field of eyeballs
Returning to the start frame

Building a zooming fight scene
The lines layer
The fighters
Adding color

Bringing it all together

Rendering to external files
Editing the scenes together

Summary
Questions
Further reading
Chapter 10: Animating a Stylish Short with Grease Pencil
Getting started
Preproduction
Navigating this chapter's files

The walk cycle

The pencil test
The head and pelvis
Footfalls
Finalizing the walk cycle with loop and pizzazz

The background

The city skyline
The theater and usher

Animating the usher's take
The theater approach
The first take

[ iv ]

310
310
315
317
320
320
320
321
322
323
325
328
330
332
333
334
337
341
341
342
343
347
348
349
350
352
352
353
354
355
355
357
358
358
361
363
366
369
370
374
378
378
379

Table of Contents

The money exchange

Setting up the scene
Animating the characters

The theater, crying, and triumph

Reusing the walk with the concession stand
The popcorn
The change of heart

The ending

Entering the theater
Animating the girl's eating and the popcorn's death
End credits
Rendering the finished animation

Summary
Questions
Further reading
Chapter 11: Creating a Baby Dragon - Part 1: Sculpting
The sculpting UI preset
Viewport shading and MatCaps
Low poly versus high poly

Overview of the sculpting brushes

The Draw brush
Smooth, Slide Relax, and Simplify brushes
The Clay and Clay strips brushes
The Snake Hook, Grab, and Elastic Deform brushes
Mask brushes
The Inflate and Blob brushes
The Crease and Pinch brushes
The Scrape and Flatten brushes
The Nudge and Thumb brushes
The Layer brush
The Rotate and IK Pose brushes
Utility brushes

Creating the starting point of the baby dragon with speed-sculpting
Approach 1: Dynamic topology – head, jaw, and horns
Approach 2: Skin modifier – wings, arms, and legs
Approach 3: Metaballs – torso and tail
Approach 4: Meshes – eyes, teeth, claws, and horns
Brute-force sculpting

Sculpting intermediate details

Chiseling with the Scrape, Pinch, and Smooth brushes
Bulging seams
Overlapping muscles via masking

Sculpting the fine details
Stenciling in scales

[v]

380
380
381
384
384
385
388
390
391
392
393
395
395
395
396
397
399
401
401
403
403
404
405
407
408
409
411
412
413
414
414
415
416
417
421
422
423
427
429
430
431
433
435
436

Table of Contents

Stamping ridges along the wing and spine
Refining the details

Summary
Questions
Further reading
Chapter 12: Creating a Baby Dragon - Part 2: Retopology
What is topology?
What are the rules of good topology?
Polygon density
Edge loops
Face loops
Poles

Setting up Blender for the retopology workflow
Downloading the source files
Linking the sculpture to a new scene
Setting up viewport shading
Setting up the snap settings
Setting up the retopology object
Subdivision-shrinkwrap method (optional)
Enabling add-ons

Retopologizing the baby dragon

Method 1 – the Poly Build tool
Method 2 – Manual extrusion and F2
Method 3 – Shrinkwrap
Method 4 – Bsurfaces
Method 5 – QuadriFlow remeshing

Finishing up
Summary
Questions
Further reading
Chapter 13: Creating a Baby Dragon - Part 3: UV Unwrapping
What are UVs?
Setting up Blender for the UV unwrapping workflow
Downloading the source files
Setting up the interface
Setting up the preview checker pattern

Marking the seams and UV unwrapping
Marking the first seams
Visualizing the distortion
Fixing texel density issues

Laying out the baby dragon's UVs
Summary
Questions
[ vi ]

439
440
442
442
443
444
445
446
447
449
450
451
453
454
457
460
462
463
466
468
468
469
475
480
489
494
495
497
497
498
499
500
503
503
503
506
507
507
517
519
523
526
527

Table of Contents

Chapter 14: Creating a Baby Dragon - Part 4: Baking and Painting
Textures
Technical requirements
Getting set up for texture baking
Preparing the scene for baking
Material baking setup

Baking texture maps from high poly to low poly
Your first bake – AO
Normals
Cavity and displacement
Convexity
Subsurface
Top lighting, soft lighting, and facing maps

Texture painting the base color in Blender
Painting the base color
Creating stencils in the image editor
Normal maps and sculpting with a bump map

Using external programs for image editing
Setting up an external program
Image edit projection painting

Setting up the remaining BSDF textures

Making specular and roughness maps from a master file
Subsurface scattering
Rune magic with object projection
Painting the eye

Summary
Questions
Further reading
Chapter 15: Creating a Baby Dragon - Part 5: Rigging and Animation
What is a rig?
Armatures and bones in Edit Mode

Practicing with a simple tentacle rig
Setting up the tentacle rig's controls
Finishing the tentacle rig

Using the Rigify add-on to rig the baby dragon
Setting up the baby dragon's meta-rig
Creating and modifying the Rigify rig

Modifying the armature weights

Parenting (everything) with automatic weights
Parenting to bones (eyes and stencil)
Assigning weights manually (to the horns, claws, and teeth)
Weighting the animation
Painting weights

Animating a flying cycle

[ vii ]

528
529
529
529
530
533
533
535
537
539
540
542
544
544
548
550
552
552
554
555
556
559
561
562
565
566
566
567
568
568
569
571
574
576
579
581
582
583
584
585
587
588
590

Table of Contents

Understanding the rig controls
Blocking in keyframes

Summary
Questions
Further reading
Chapter 16: The Wide World of Blender
Blender skills to learn next
Photogrammetry
Physics
Volumetrics
Hair and fur
Recording a macro in Python

The Blender community

The Blender Foundation and Blender Institute
Blender user groups
Online Blender communities

Summary
Questions
Other Books You May Enjoy

591
594
595
596
596
597
598
598
602
606
609
612
616
617
617
618
619
619
620

Index

623

[ viii ]

Preface
What is Blender? In a nutshell, it's a free, open source 3D modeling suite. But it's also a 3D
and 2D animation program. But wait! It's also a video editor. And a Python programming
IDE. And a sculpting interface, a compositor, a motion tracker, and so much more. A
nutshell is insufficient; Blender needs more of a watermelon to cover all its features.
I remember my first experience with Blender. After years with the commercial program
Maya, I was skeptical of how free software could compare, and learning 3D programs is
rarely forgiving to newcomers. But every day I used Blender, I would discover an awesome
killer feature Blender had that expensive commercial 3D animation software didn't. Then a
new update for Blender would launch, and the new features and workflows would leave
me floored again.
Over the years, I've met so many Blender users who retell this story in their own words.
The conclusion is generally the same: we can't believe how lucky we are that such
phenomenal software exists, free for everyone, and supported by a robust open source
community. The energy is infectious, and long-time Blender users talk about this magic
piece of software with a passion usually reserved for wedding speeches.
We look forward to introducing you to Blender in this book. The chapters we've put
together will help Blender beginners leap over the initial stumbling blocks of Blender's tools
and interface. They'll also challenge your artistic and technical skills with advanced
workflows to bring your imagination to life.

Who this book is for
This book assumes that you have a decent familiarity with computers. You should have
some rudimentary skills at using a mouse and keyboard, navigating the internet, and know
your way around your computer's operating system. You'll also need some grasp of your
hardware. Tools such as a keyboard with a number pad, a mouse with three buttons, and a
powerful CPU and GPU are helpful, but you can make some decent Blender projects using
even a bare bones netbook.

Preface

Maybe you have some knowledge of other 3D programs, such as ZBrush, Maya,
Cinema4D, or SketchUp. Maybe you're looking to learn Blender because the price tag
appeals, the newest features blow you away, or a professional client wants you working
with their Blender-centric pipeline. You'll find many concepts that have equivalencies to
those programs. You can gloss over the explanations of 3D vocabulary, such as polygons,
normals, and rigs, and instead jump right into Blender's tools and workflows.
For those of you who enjoy gaming, that experience will also pay off when learning
Blender. Just like many AAA games, Blender's interface is heavily based on keyboard
shortcuts, and navigating the 3D viewport is similar to moving the view around in games.
Additionally, Blender is an excellent choice for any gamers looking to create content for
their favorite game's custom mod community.
If you're more inclined toward coding, you might have experience with a game engine,
such as Unity, Unreal, or Godot. This book will serve as an excellent expansion to your
technical skills, showing you how to make 3D content to add to games. This book will also
give you a foundation in understanding how these 3D components work, which will come
in handy if you ever build out your own 3D tools.
Artists of every stripe can find their new favorite tool in Blender. Blender's 2D animation
tools are perfect for artists who love drawing, anime, and experimental media. Especially
when combined with Blender's native 3D interface, plus a drawing tablet, Blender has
everything you need for both 3D and hand-drawn cartoons.
Whether you're completely new to Blender, or a 3D animation veteran enticed by Blender's
newest features, this book will have something for you.

What this book covers
Chapter 1, Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface, explains the basics of Blender's

interface, tools, and workflow conventions.

Chapter 2, Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow, will take a look at a 3D scene and

let us get used to navigating and transforming objects.

Chapter 3, Modeling a Time Machine – Part 1, is the beginning of a two-part project in which

we will model an object based on provided reference images. We will cover many of the
essential modeling tools needed for creating 3D objects.

Chapter 4, Modeling a Time Machine – Part 2, is the second half of the time machine project.

We will build on our modeling knowledge and discover non-destructive workflows.

[2]

Preface
Chapter 5, Modern Kitchen – Part 1: Kitbashing, will show how to plan a complete scene and

model the necessary assets to complete a kitchen layout.

Chapter 6, Modern Kitchen – Part 2: Materials and Textures, is a deep dive into material nodes

and explains how to create all kinds of materials to decorate our kitchen with.

Chapter 7, Modern Kitchen – Part 3: Lighting and Rendering, is the final chapter in the kitchen

series. We will produce a final rendered image complete with lighting and post-processing
effects.
Chapter 8, Illustrating an Alien Hero with Grease Pencil, is the first of our three chapters that

dives into the brand new feature set known as Grease Pencil. We will learn about character
concept art workflows and how to use the basics of Grease Pencil.
Chapter 9, Animating an Exquisite Corpse in Grease Pencil, builds on the previous chapter's

workflows and dives into animation and key frames with a loose and fun animation style.
Chapter 10, Animating a Stylish Short with Grease Pencil, wraps up the Grease Pencil projects

in this book. We will cover more advanced workflows and explain how to animate
something with more structure than the previous chapter.

Chapter 11, Creating a Baby Dragon – Part 1: Sculpting, is the beginning of the biggest project

in this book. We'll start with an introduction to sculpting. We'll see an overview of the
brushes and learn how to create our very own baby dragon design, which we will take all
the way to a game-ready asset by the final chapter.
Chapter 12, Creating a Baby Dragon – Part 2: Retopology, is a shift into the more technical

side of 3D character creation. We'll learn about shrink-wrapping, surface snapping, and
rules of topology to transform the sculpted baby dragon into a low-poly mesh that can be
used in a production pipeline.
Chapter 13, Creating a Baby Dragon – Part 3: UV Unwrapping, is where we'll prepare the

model for texture painting. We'll learn how to cut seams, unwrap UVs, lay out islands, and
use checker patterns to check for distortion.
Chapter 14, Creating a Baby Dragon – Part 4: Baking and Painting Textures, gets back to the

artistic side of things. We'll start by baking texture maps that can be used as masks in our
texture painting workflow. We'll use Blender's built-in texture painting tools, and we'll add
some color and surface detail to the baby dragon.

[3]

Preface
Chapter 15, Creating a Baby Dragon – Part 5: Rigging and Animation, is the final baby dragon

chapter. We'll get to see all of our hard work pay off and rig the dragon so that it can be
posed and animated. To wrap it up, we'll animate a fly cycle so that we can see the
character in action.

Chapter 16, The Wide World of Blender, shows off some of the areas that this book couldn't

cover in detail. Even a book this size can barely scratch the surface of what a 3D suite such
as Blender can do, but we'll have a look at some inspiring extra features before we're done.

To get the most out of this book
You will need an internet connection to download the latest version of Blender and the
source files for this project (an internet connection is not required after downloading the
software and the files).
Blender can be downloaded from https:/​/​www.​blender.​org/​download and requires about
400 MB of storage space to install. The project files in this book are approximately 2.65 GB
all together (you do not need to download them all at once). There are some projects that
require additional software for digital painting / image editing such as
Krita, GIMP, Affinity Photo, or Photoshop. We recommend Krita because it's free and open
source, just like Blender! It can be downloaded from https:/​/​krita.​org/​en/​download/
krita-​desktop/​. The download for Krita is approximately 100 MB. It's a good idea to have
at least 4 GB of additional free storage so that you can create your own 3D sculptures and
texture files for the projects. In total, about 7 GB of space will be enough for everything
covered in this book.
The version of Blender used in this book requires a computer that supports OpenGL 3.3.
You can find the official hardware requirements on the Blender website here: https:/​/​www.
blender.​org/​download/​requirements/​ This book has been tested for the Blender 2.8 series
of releases. The upcoming 2.9 and 3.0 series of releases may have different hardware
requirements.
Blender works best on a computer that has a numpad because the camera navigation
hotkeys are bound the numpad keys. This book uses an alternative method to teach these
controls since many laptops do not have a numpad, so it is not absolutely required.
A drawing tablet with pressure sensitivity is highly recommended for the Grease Pencil
projects as well as the sculpting and texturing chapters in the Baby Dragon project. There
are affordable options available from http:/​/​www.​huion.​com/​, premium options on offer
from https:/​/​www.​wacom.​com/​, or if you have a computer with a built-in stylus such as a
Microsoft Surface that will work nicely as well. It is possible to complete these chapters
using a mouse, but it is not recommended.

[4]

Preface

Software/Hardware covered in the book OS requirements
Windows 10, 8.1, and 7
Blender 2.83
macOS 10.12+
Linux
Windows 8.1 or higher,
Krita 4.2.9
OSX 10.12,
Linux
Blender and Krita are open source and receive updates several times a year. There may be
new versions available if you're picking up this book even a few months after it's
published, but don't worry. The projects in this book should still be compatible.

Download the example code files
You can download the example code files for this book from your account at
www.packt.com. If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit
www.packtpub.com/support and register to have the files emailed directly to you.
You can download the code files by following these steps:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Log in or register at www.packt.com.
Select the Support tab.
Click on Code Downloads.
Enter the name of the book in the Search box and follow the onscreen
instructions.

Once the file is downloaded, please make sure that you unzip or extract the folder using the
latest version of:
WinRAR/7-Zip for Windows
Zipeg/iZip/UnRarX for Mac
7-Zip/PeaZip for Linux
The project files for the book are also hosted on GitHub at

https://github.com/PacktPublishing/Blender-3D-By-Example-Second-Edition. In case

there's an update to the project files, it will be updated on the existing GitHub repository.
We also have other code bundles from our rich catalog of books and videos available
at https:/​/​github.​com/​PacktPublishing/​. Check them out!

[5]

Preface

Download the color images
We also provide a PDF file that has color images of the screenshots/diagrams used in this
book. You can download it here: https:/​/​static.​packt-​cdn.​com/​downloads/
9781789612561_​ColorImages.​pdf.

Conventions used
There are a number of text conventions used throughout this book.
CodeInText: Indicates code words in text, database table names, folder names, filenames,

file extensions, pathnames, dummy URLs, user input, and Twitter handles. Here is an
example: "Rename it Top."

Bold: Indicates a new term, an important word, or words that you see onscreen. For
example, words in menus or dialog boxes appear in the text like this. Here is an example:
"Choose Delete | Faces."
Warnings or important notes appear like this.

Tips and tricks appear like this.

Get in touch
Feedback from our readers is always welcome.
General feedback: If you have questions about any aspect of this book, mention the book
title in the subject of your message and email us at customercare@packtpub.com.

[6]

Preface

Errata: Although we have taken every care to ensure the accuracy of our content, mistakes
do happen. If you have found a mistake in this book, we would be grateful if you would
report this to us. Please visit www.packtpub.com/support/errata, selecting your book,
clicking on the Errata Submission Form link, and entering the details.
Piracy: If you come across any illegal copies of our works in any form on the Internet, we
would be grateful if you would provide us with the location address or website name.
Please contact us at copyright@packt.com with a link to the material.
If you are interested in becoming an author: If there is a topic that you have expertise in
and you are interested in either writing or contributing to a book, please visit
authors.packtpub.com.

Reviews
Please leave a review. Once you have read and used this book, why not leave a review on
the site that you purchased it from? Potential readers can then see and use your unbiased
opinion to make purchase decisions, we at Packt can understand what you think about our
products, and our authors can see your feedback on their book. Thank you!
For more information about Packt, please visit packt.com.

[7]

1
Introduction to 3D and the
Blender User Interface
Welcome to the wonderful world of 3D graphics! This section of this book will help you
jump-start your knowledge with some terminology and the basics of working in 3D. We'll
keep this brief and try to get through the boring stuff as quickly as possible so you can get
right into creating amazing 3D projects in Blender 2.8!
Blender 2.8 is a series of releases. There is usually an update for the
software every 3 to 4 months. The first release in the series was 2.80, then
2.81, 2.82, and so on. The projects in this book can be completed with
version 2.80 onward, with some optional features requiring 2.81 onward.
You can read more about Blender's release cycle here:
blender.org/download/releases.
First, we will take a look at the fundamentals of a 3D scene. We will learn how the 3D
coordinate system uses three dimensional axes, as well as how 3D objects are manipulated
with transformations. We will answer some basic questions, such as: what are
objects? What are polygons? What is topology? What are materials and textures? What is
the difference between Perspective and Orthographic views? The answers to these
questions are key to working with any 3D software.
After we've provided you with some general 3D knowledge, we will learn about the
specifics of Blender. We will cover how to install the software, as well as how to download
the source files for this book. We will take a look at Blender 2.8's user interface. Then, we
will learn about the basic 3D navigation controls, which include Rotate, Zoom, and Pan. We
will also learn how to use Blender's hotkeys effectively. At the end of this chapter, we will
provide an overview of the projects in this book.

Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface

Chapter 1

We will cover the following topics in this chapter:
Overview of the 3D workflow
Blender 2.8's user interface
Basic 3D navigation controls
A brief introduction to the projects in this book

Overview of the 3D workflow
If this is your first time working with 3D software, you'll find the explanations in this
section very helpful. However, if you are already familiar with 3D terminology and the
composition of a 3D scene, then you may want to skip ahead to the next section of this
chapter.
Some of the vocabulary terms you're about to learn might sound overwhelming at first, but
don't worry – you don't have to be good at math just because we use words such as
"geometry" to describe our 3D models. Luckily for us, the software does all of the complex
math for us, and we get to sit back and create art without having to worry about it –
hooray!

The 3D coordinate system
All 3D software uses the Cartesian coordinates system, which is made up of threedimensional axes: the X-Axis (red), the Y-Axis (green), and the Z-Axis (blue). The exact unit
size of this coordinate system is arbitrary and varies from one software package to another,
but many packages set one unit on the grid to be equal to 1 meter in the real world:
There is a special type of 3D software known as Computer-Aided Design
(CAD). This is used for engineering and conforms more closely to real-life
units, but for the purposes of this book, we will not be discussing CAD
software.

[9]

Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface

Chapter 1

The three-dimensional axes: X-Axis (red), Y-Axis (green), and Z-Axis (blue)

With these three axes, we can define where an object is in a 3D space using transforms.
There are three types of transforms:
Location: (sometimes called translation) This determines the position of an
object.
Rotation: This determines the orientation of an object.
Scale: This determines the size of an object.
Now that we understand the coordinate system, let's look at the 3D objects that will appear
in the scene.

[ 10 ]

Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface

Chapter 1

3D objects
An object is something that appears in a 3D scene. All objects have transforms that define
their location, rotation, and scale in a 3D space. You will find several types of objects in a
3D scene:
Mesh: A mesh is the most common type of object in 3D; nearly everything we
make is a mesh. Meshes are 3D objects that are made up of components
(sometimes referred to as the geometry of the mesh). These components are used
to form geometric polygons. Polygons are the multi-sided shapes that form the
visible surface of a model. Creating 3D models with this approach is called
polygonal modeling.
Empty: An empty is an object that doesn't have any components attached to it.
Some software packages call these null objects or locators. These are useful in
advanced workflows for defining and keeping track of an exact spot in a 3D
space. Since an empty has transforms, it will be present in the 3D scene just like
all other objects, but because it has no components, it will not be visible in the
final result.
Light: A light is a type of object that casts light onto the scene. Just like in the real
world, you can't see without a light source. If a 3D scene had no light source, you
would just see black. Most 3D software includes a light source in the scene by
default so that you can see what you're doing. Often, these default lights are a
type of environmental light or ambient light source that illuminates the scene
without necessarily coming from a particular point in the scene.
Camera: A camera is a tool that's used to create the final image from our 3D
scene. We can use a 3D camera the same way we would use a camera in real life:
position it, aim it at the subject, and take a picture. The picture we take with a 3D
camera is called a render. Rendering creates a high-quality image of the scene.
High-quality renders take much longer to process than the normal Viewport
preview of the scene, so we don't usually render until we are finished creating
the scene.
Now that we know what an object is, let's take a closer look at the most important type of
object: a mesh. We need to understand how the components of a mesh come together to
create a 3D model.

[ 11 ]

Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface

Chapter 1

Components of a mesh
There are three basic components that we use in polygonal modeling:
Vertices: The most basic piece of geometry is a vertex (the plural form is
vertices). A vertex is a single point in 3D space. It has no size nor orientation; it
only has a location within the mesh object. You can't do much with vertices
alone, which is why we need edges.
Edges: These are straight lines that are drawn between vertices, similar to a
connect-the-dots puzzle. The edges that connect two points are always perfectly
straight in polygonal modeling.
Faces: The visible part of a polygon. Faces are created by filling in the space
between three or more edges.
The following diagram shows the vertices, edges, and faces of a 3D model:

The three basic components of a mesh

Polygons can have any number of sides; three sides make up a triangle (tri), while four
sides make up a quadrilateral (quad). There are lots of fancy names for specific polygons
with more than four sides, such as pentagon, hexagon, and so on, but in the world of 3D
modeling, any polygon with more than four sides is simply referred to as an n-gon. The
following image shows some of the basic polygons you'll come across:

Vertex, edge, tri, quad, and n-gons

[ 12 ]

Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface

Chapter 1

The way in which these components are connected is referred to as topology, a subject that
we will cover in depth later in this book. There are many best practices and rules for
creating a mesh with good topology. The most basic rule of topology is that quadrilaterals
are the best type of polygon, triangles should be used sparingly, and n-gons should be
avoided altogether. Models that don't follow the rules of good topology usually have
problems in the final result. Topology is a very large and advanced subject, so we won't go
into any more detail about it in this chapter.

Materials and textures
We can add color to our 3D models with a mixture of materials and textures. Materials are
used to determine how light behaves when it interacts with the surface of the object. Does it
look like glass? Metal? Skin? Textures are 2D images that are wrapped onto a 3D model,
sort of like a candy wrapper. To make our textures line up with the model, we have to
unwrap the model first. Unwrapping gives us a 2D representation of the model called a UV
map (or UVs). An example of this can be seen in the following image:

The 3D model on the left has been unwrapped to create the UVs on the right.

Once we have UVs, we can paint a texture that will be wrapped back onto the model, as
shown here:

[ 13 ]

Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface

Chapter 1

The 3D model on the left has been given a texture from the 2D image on the right

They are called UVs because all of the pieces have a U coordinate and a V coordinate,
which are used to determine their positions in 2D space (very similar to graphing data on a
2D graph). Since we already used X, Y, and Z for our three-dimensional axes, our twodimensional axes are labeled U and V. We will cover UVs, materials, and textures in detail
in later chapters.

Perspective view versus Orthographic view
3D scenes can be displayed in Perspective mode or in Orthographic mode. In Perspective
mode, objects are drawn with a vanishing point. As objects get farther away from us, they
look smaller, which is the way things look in real life. In Orthographic mode, however,
objects stay the same size no matter how far away they are from us. In this mode,
everything looks flat and close together. This can be useful for making blueprints or
architectural renders, but usually, we keep the view in Perspective mode because it looks
more natural:

Perspective versus Orthographic

[ 14 ]

Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface

Chapter 1

So there it is – your first introduction to 3D! We've covered a lot of new ideas in a short
time, but they will all become second nature to you once you've spent a little time working
on 3D projects. Next, we'll take a look at Blender's user interface.

Blender's user interface
You can download the latest version of Blender at http:/​/​blender.​org/​download. At the
time of writing, the latest version is Blender 2.83. Blender is available on Windows, macOS,
and Linux. It is a very similar experience on all three operating systems.
Most of Blender's hotkeys are the same between operating systems.
However, if you are following along with this book using a Mac, you need
to use the command (cmd) key instead of the control (ctrl) key any time the
instructions say to use the control key.
Before we learn about the current version of the user interface, it's useful to know a little bit
about Blender's history. There is over a decade's worth of tutorials and resources
available online. The software may look a bit different in those old resources, but if you can
get past the old interface, the information is just as helpful as it always was, so let's take a
look.

A brief history of Blender's user interface
Blender's user interface (UI) was very polarizing in the past. Older versions of Blender
required the user to memorize dozens of hotkeys before it was possible to accomplish even
basic tasks, which meant that many users found this hard to use. However, those were the
days of Blender 2.49, and when Blender was updated to version 2.50, the UI got its first
major facelift, which added many new features, more buttons, and a cleaner user
experience.
Each release of Blender increments the version number by +0.01, which means 2.80 is 30
versions newer than 2.50 – that's a lot of versions! Many of these versions simply added
small new features and bug fixes, but version 2.80 is just as big of an overhaul from version
2.79 as 2.50 was from version 2.49.
The original Blender included most of the basic requirements for a 3D modeling suite: 3D
modeling, rigging, animating, and its internal "Blender Render" rendering engine. The
earliest versions of the software were infamous for missing features such as undo and
warning the user that data might be lost if they exited the program without saving first.

[ 15 ]

Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface

Chapter 1

Its bright white UI with horizontal buttons, excessive use of tabs, and odd coloration was
criticized by many users, but nevertheless, it was responsible for some amazing Open
Movie projects such as "Elephant's Dream" and "Big Buck Bunny":

The UI for Blender 2.49

When Blender 2.50 rolled around, the UI was changed radically in response to user
feedback. The Open Movie "Sintel" was created alongside the development of this new
version to make sure that it included all of the features required for animation production.
The 2.5 series of releases continued to introduce amazing features such as Cycles, the ray
tracing rendering engine; the bMesh modeling system, which overhauled all of the
modeling tools and allowed users to use n-gons; the new dynamic topology sculpting tools;
and much more.

[ 16 ]

Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface

Chapter 1

It quickly became a formidable modeling suite and gained popularity as the software grew
all the way through to version 2.79:

The UI for Blender 2.79

Finally, the 2.8 series came around. This highly anticipated release was in development for
over 3 years and overhauled many of the underlying systems that were starting to show
their age. The result was a stable, fast, customizable, and user-friendly experience that
provided all the modern features you would expect in a modeling suite:

[ 17 ]

Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface

Chapter 1

The UI for Blender 2.80

This is an excellent time to learn Blender! The Blender 2.8 series of releases comes with
massive improvements to the software, among other things. The user interface has received
several updates that will make it more user-friendly than ever before! There has especially
been a focus on making it more accessible to new users (that's you!).
So, there's your brief history lesson on Blender's UI. Now, let's break the UI down into its
different sections and learn how to use it!

[ 18 ]

Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface

Chapter 1

Blender 2.8's user interface
When you first launch Blender, you will see the Splash Screen. This screen will show you
what version of Blender you are using. It will display a piece of artwork made with
Blender, and it will let you open project files that you've recently been working with:

The Splash Screen for Blender 2.80

If this is your first time launching Blender 2.8, it will also ask you to choose which mouse
button you would like to select objects with: left or right.

[ 19 ]

Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface

Chapter 1

In previous versions of Blender, the default was to select objects in the Viewport with the
right mouse button. Many users found this strange, so in 2.8, the new default is to use a leftclick to select objects (you can change this at any time through the user preferences menu).
Believe it or not, right-click is more ergonomic in this context; your hand won't get as tired
if you use right-click to select. It sounds weird, but you should give it a try! From this point
on in this book, selecting objects will simply be referred to as "click to select" so that you
can follow along with either a left-click select or right-click select.
When you're finished with the Splash Screen, click anywhere outside of it to dismiss it.
Blender's UI is highly customizable. By default, it is broken up into six distinct areas, as
highlighted and numbered in the following image:

Blender's user interface, broken down into six areas

[ 20 ]

Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface

Chapter 1

The four largest areas in the center of the UI are called editors. Each editor presents us with
a specific way of visualizing our 3D project. There are many types of editors, but these four
are open in the default workspace:
1. 3D Viewport: The 3D Viewport is where we will be spending most of our time. It
is our window onto the 3D scene. Nearly all of our 3D modeling is done here.
2. Outliner: The Outliner lists all of the objects in the project and helps us organize
our scene.
3. Properties: The Properties panel contains the render settings and lets us add
advanced modifiers, constraints, particles, physics, and materials to our 3D
models.
4. Timeline: The Timeline is useful when we start animating. It keeps track of
playback options and keyframes.
Blender 2.8 includes two new major pieces of the UI: the Top Bar and the Status
Bar. Most of the data that can be seen in these areas isn't new to Blender 2.8; it has
just been reorganized into these two bars so that it is always visible:
5. Top Bar: The Top Bar is found at the very top of the user interface. The Blender
logo can be seen at the top left. Clicking on it will give us the option to reopen the
Splash Screen. The Top Bar includes the typical menu options that you'll find in
most software, such as File, Edit, and so on. The most exciting feature on the Top
Bar is the new Workspace presets, such as Layout, Modeling, Sculpting, and
more. These tabs will allow us to quickly rearrange the UI for different
workflows.
6. Status Bar: The Status Bar can be found at the very bottom of the user interface.
It includes helpful hotkey reminders, tool options, a polygon count, and other
useful information about the current file. Check here often for reminders of how
tools work.
In Blender 2.80, the Top Bar included a tool settings section. However, in
version 2.81 and later, the tool settings have been consolidated into the
header of the 3D Viewport.
We've broken down the latest version of the UI into its main sections, which means we're
ready to take a look at basic navigation in the software.

[ 21 ]

Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface

Chapter 1

Basic 3D navigation controls
The first thing you'll need to learn in any 3D software is how to navigate the 3D Viewport.
In Blender, the X-Axis is used for width, the Y-Axis is used for depth, and the Z-Axis is
used for height. All 3D applications use the same colors for these axes; red for X, green for
Y, and blue for Z.
The X-Axis is always used for width in 3D software. However, some
software such as Unity and Maya reverse the other two axes so that the YAxis is used for height and the Z-Axis is used for depth.
The 3D Viewport is where you will be spending the majority of your time in any 3D
software, and Blender is no exception. We will need a three-button mouse to be able to
navigate the 3D Viewport properly (pressing the scroll wheel down acts as a middle mouse
button). The Middle Mouse Button (MMB) is used for three fundamental navigation
controls:
Rotate (sometimes referred to as Orbit): Click and hold MMB and drag the
mouse to rotate the view.
Zoom (sometimes called Dolly): Scroll with the scroll wheel to zoom in and out. If
you want more precision, you can hold down the Control key (abbreviated
to Ctrl) and then click and hold MMB and drag to zoom in and out.
Pan (sometimes referred to as Slide or Move): Hold down the Shift key
and then click and hold MMB and drag to pan the view.
If you ever forget these controls, you can always look at the Status Bar at the bottom of the
screen. There, you will see reminders of these hotkeys. Alternatively, in Blender 2.8, there is
a new navigation gizmo at the top-right corner of the 3D Viewport. This gizmo is
particularly useful if you're using Blender with a drawing tablet or any other device with a
stylus instead of a mouse:

The new navigation gizmo, along with a few helpful navigation controls

[ 22 ]

Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface

Chapter 1

Navigating in 3D space can take some getting used to, but it is essential that you practice
these controls. Every 3D project will require you to be constantly using a combination of
rotate, zoom, and pan.
As long as we're talking about the essentials, let's give a quick mention to how to use
Blender's hotkeys effectively. You will need to learn several important keyboard shortcuts,
or hotkeys. The hotkeys in Blender only work correctly if your mouse cursor is hovering
over the appropriate window when you press them.
Most of the hotkeys covered in this book are for the 3D Viewport, which means you need to
make sure that your mouse is hovering over the 3D Viewport when you press a
hotkey. Otherwise, the hotkeys won't do what you expect them to do.
So, now you know the basic navigation controls in Blender. You will need to know these
controls before you can follow along with the projects in this book. Speaking of which, up
next, we'll have a quick look at the projects in this book!

A brief introduction to the projects in this
book
This book offers a wide variety of projects, so there's something for everyone: you'll start by
adding horns to a Viking helmet. Then, you'll kick it up a notch by building a time machine.
After that, you'll try your hand at architecture by modeling and rendering a modern
kitchen in the EEVEE physically-based rendering (PBR) engine. Next, you'll explore 2D
character design techniques with Blender's brand-new Grease Pencil tool. You'll practice 2D
animation by creating a free-form surreal transformation animation, learn advanced Grease
Pencil animation techniques by creating a fun 2D animated short, and finally jump back
into the world of fantasy by creating a baby dragon. It is recommended that you go through
these chapters in order, but you can try skipping ahead to some of the later projects if they
sound more interesting to you. Here are the projects, in order:
Viking Helmet: In this project, you'll dive right into Blender 2.8 and get a feel for
the 3D workflow. You'll start with a scene of Viking-themed items, including a
helmet that's been partially created. You'll add a nose guard, rivets, and horns to
the helmet, and then place the helmet on the head of a training dummy to make a
completed scene.
Time Machine: Starting from scratch this time, you'll build a time machine.
You'll learn about modeling tools, creating new objects, the modifier stack, and
fixing shading issues in a 3D mesh.

[ 23 ]

Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface

Chapter 1

Modern Kitchen: With this project, you'll learn how to assemble a scene from
premade parts to create custom materials and lighting to turn a boring grey scene
into a fully rendered gorgeous final shot in the new EEVEE rendering engine.
Illustrating an Alien Hero with Grease Pencil: You will design a character with
the powerful new Grease Pencil tool and learn how to draw 2D images inside of
a 3D scene.
2D Surreal Transformation Animation: This will be your first introduction to
animation, you don't have to have fantastic drawing skills for this one. You'll
learn about frames and materials in Blender's Grease Pencil tool.
Animating a Stylish Short: Taking your 2D skills to the next level, you'll learn
how to animate a short film from start to finish.
Baby Dragon: This is one of the biggest projects in this book, but don't let that
scare you – you'll start off with one of the most artistic and fun parts of the 3D
process: sculpting! By the end you'll have a finished character that can be used
for animations and video games.
Now that we know what projects will be covered in this book, let's have a look at how to
get the starter files for the projects.

Setting up the source files
This book comes with project files that you can use to follow along with each chapter.
Please check the Download the example code files section of this book's Preface to learn how to
access the project files.
There are a variety of file formats in these source files. Blender projects are labeled with
the .blend suffix. The .blend files store data such as objects, materials, collections, scripts,
and more. Basically, your whole project is stored inside of this single file. One exception,
however, is image files. It is possible to store images inside of .blend files, but image files
take up a lot of space on your computer, so this would make each project file huge.
By default, Blender saves projects with a relative file path, which means as long as you
don't move the .blend file or the linked texture files out of their appropriate folders,
Blender will know where the files are and everything will work properly when you open a
project.

[ 24 ]

Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface

Chapter 1

Summary
In this chapter, you learned how 3D software works and in particular, Blender. You learned
the basics of the three-axis coordinate system, as well as how transforms are used to place
objects in a 3D scene. You also got a glimpse of Blender's UI and looked at the list of
projects that will be covered in this book.
These concepts will be the foundation of your 3D knowledge. There are so many
possibilities that there's something for everyone! You can model, create materials, paint
textures, sculpt, render, and much more! To learn more about Blender's features, have a
look at the features page on the Blender website at: blender.org/features.
Now, you're ready for your first 3D project! In the next chapter, you'll be provided with a
small scene full of Viking themed objects. You'll get to position objects in the scene and
make some edits and additions to a Viking helmet. See you there!

[ 25 ]

2
Editing a Viking Scene with a
Basic 3D Workflow
In this chapter, you'll get your first taste of the 3D workflow. Now that we've covered some
basic 3D terminology, we can learn the navigation controls, menus, and a few modeling
tools. Whether you're new to 3D or you've used other 3D software before, this chapter will
help you get an idea of how things are done in Blender 2.8.
Many of the 3D modeling concepts we're about to learn are interdependent on one another.
It would be difficult and very slow to learn in order of the smallest features to the largest
features. If we take things too slowly, you'll be so bored that you'll fall asleep before getting
to do anything exciting, so we're going to keep things moving. If this chapter seems like it's
going fast, don't worry; we will break down these concepts in more detail in subsequent
chapters.
Once we've finished the boring textbook stuff, we'll dive right in and work on our first
project in Blender 2.8! This project is a little Viking themed scene with a training dummy,
arrows, and most importantly, a Viking helmet! We'll get some practice transforming
objects by sticking the arrows into the dummy's chest, and we'll really have some fun by
adding horns and other features to the Viking helmet.

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

In this chapter, we will cover the following topics:
Setting up the source files
Using the Outliner to organize a scene
Navigating the 3D Viewport
Using the Toolbar
Basic transformations in Object Mode
Editing the Viking helmet
Rendering the final image

Setting up the source files
For this project, you'll need the files from Blender3DByExample_Chapter02.zip, which
can be downloaded here: https:/​/​github.​com/​PacktPublishing/​Blender-​3D-​ByExample-​Second-​Edition. Download and unzip the folder. You should now have a
directory called Blender3DByExample_Chapter02 that contains the starting project file
and a folder that contains all of the texture files that are required:

Example of the unzipped directory

Blender saves projects in a proprietary format called .blend – these files store everything
you need for a 3D scene: models, animations, lights, you name it! .blend files can also
include image textures, though most 3D artists choose to keep the texture files separate so
that the .blend file will take up less room on the computer. For this chapter, the textures
can be found inside the VikingScene_Textures folder, as you can see here:

[ 27 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

You'll find these files in the VikingScene_Textures folder

Always keep the texture files in their original folder. Blender looks for
texture files in specific locations. If the files aren't where Blender expects
them to be, then they will be missing when the .blend file is opened. To
find missing files, we can tell Blender where to look for them via the File |
External Data | Find Missing Files option.
Now that we have our files, we can get started. Open the VikingScene_Start.blend file
to begin this project. You can open a .blend file by dragging and dropping it into Blender,
or by going to the File menu and choosing Open.... We will start by learning how to use the
Outliner panel.

[ 28 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

Using the Outliner to organize a scene
Welcome to your first Blender scene! We had a brief introduction to the user interface in
Chapter 1, Introduction to 3D and the Blender User Interface, but now we can see it with our
own eyes. The largest area of the UI is dedicated to the 3D Viewport (or just "Viewport" for
short). You can see all of the 3D objects inside this area. This scene has been set to use the
new Random Colors feature, which gives all of the objects false colors so that they are easier
to identify in the Viewport, as shown in the following screenshot:

Objects in the VikingScene_Start.blend file with random colors

The random colors are helpful, but there is an even better way to discover the contents of a
scene: the Outliner. The Outliner can be found in the top-right corner of the UI. Let's learn
how to use it to our advantage.

[ 29 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

We can look at the Outliner to get a sense of what's in this project file. The Outliner in
Blender 2.8 has been upgraded with a new feature called Collections. Collections are similar
to layers or groups in other applications. These collections are a very powerful feature as
they can have any type of object grouped within them, including other collections.
Let's take a look at how this scene uses the Outliner to organize the objects. In the following
screenshot, you can see that there are five collections in this .blend file; a top-level
collection and four collections inside it:

Collections in the Outliner

The top-level collection is called Scene Collection. This is a default collection that contains
everything else within the scene. The indentation in the Outliner shows that the bottom
four collections are all grouped inside the Scene Collection.
Next to each collection are orange icons with little numbers that indicate how many of each
type of object is inside them:
Accessories has four mesh objects.
Viking Dummy has six mesh objects and two curve objects.
Lights has four light objects and one camera object.
Particle Shapes has four mesh objects.
To the left of each collection is a little arrow that indicates that the collections are collapsed
in the Outliner. Let's expand two of these collections to see the list of objects that belong to
each collection:
1. Click on the little arrow to the left of the Accessories collection.
2. Click on the little arrow to the left of the Viking Dummy collection.

[ 30 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

Good! Now, we can see the expanded hierarchy for each collection, as shown here:

Expanded hierarchy

This Viking scene is relatively small with 21 objects in total, but it's still important to stay
organized. Imagine working in a project that has hundreds of objects. The Outliner fills up
really fast, so placing objects into collections is a terrific way to stay organized.
The bottom two collections are grayed-out because their visibility has been turned off. On
the right-hand side of the Outliner, you can see three icons for each row, as shown in the
following screenshot:

The three restriction toggle icons (the top row is the regular state, while the bottom row is the grayed-out state)

[ 31 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

These three icons represent Restriction Toggles. From left to right, we have Selectable,
Hide in Viewport, and Disable in Renders:
When the Selectable toggle is set to its grayed-out state, the object can't be
selected by clicking on it in the Viewport.
When the Hide in Viewport toggle is set to its grayed-out state, the object can't
be seen in the Viewport.
When the Disable in Renders toggle is set to its grayed-out state, the object will
not show up in the final image.
Blender has many types of restriction toggles, but in this scene, we only
have three available to us. To make more or fewer toggles appear in the
Outliner, we can open the Filter pop-up menu, which we will learn about
in the next project in this book.
The Lights collection has both its Selectable and Hide in Viewport toggles grayed-out so
that the lights will not be in the way while we work in this scene. However, the Disable in
Renders toggle has not been grayed-out, which means that the lighting will turn on for the
final image.
The Particle Shapes collection is for storing objects that make up the particles, such as the
grass on the ground and the straw that fills the dummy. Particles are an advanced feature,
so don't worry about this for now – just know that this collection is still being used in the
scene, even though all three of its toggles are grayed-out.
You may have noticed that the other objects in the Outliner also have little arrows and can
be expanded. This is useful for advanced users because you can see all of the data
associated with each object, similar to how we can see all of the objects associated with each
collection. But let's not get ahead of ourselves – you're probably itching to get into the 3D
scene!

Navigating the 3D Viewport
3D navigation is essential when working on any project in Blender, so let's practice what we
learned in the Basic 3D Navigation Controls section of Chapter 1, Introduction to 3D and the
Blender User Interface, before learning one more very important navigation feature.

[ 32 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

As we have already learned, Blender's 3D navigation controls are all about using
the middle mouse button (MMB). Let's start by rotating the view:
1. Move your mouse into the 3D Viewport.
2. Press and hold the middle mouse button.
3. Drag your mouse around to rotate the viewing angle.
Notice that the focal point of the view is focused on the Viking dummy in the center. When
we rotate, our view always orbits around the current focal point. We'll see why this is
important after we practice our other controls.
By default, Blender uses a Turntable style for Viewport rotations. If you're
more comfortable with a Trackball style, you can go to Edit | Preferences.
Go to the Navigation tab, then set Orbit Method to Trackball.
Once you're comfortable with orbiting the Viking dummy, let's try panning:
1. Make sure the mouse is still in the 3D Viewport.
2. Hold down the Shift key, then press and hold the middle mouse button.
3. Drag your mouse around to pan the view.
Panning shifts the focal point of the Viewport. If we rotate the view now, we will orbit
around the new focal point. Both orbiting and zooming are relative to the focal point. Let's
give zooming a shot now:
1. Once again, make sure the mouse is in the 3D Viewport.
2. Hold down the Ctrl key, then press and hold the middle mouse button.
3. Drag your mouse up and down to zoom in and out.
A second method for zooming is to simply scroll up and down on the
scroll wheel. Either method works, but you may have smoother control by
using the first method.
As we rotate, pan, and zoom around the scene, the focal point of the Viewport will
inevitably get stuck in an awkward position. Eventually, navigating the Viewport will
become very difficult and frustrating. This is a common issue in all 3D software.

[ 33 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

To fix this issue, we can choose an object that we want to focus on, then frame it by using
the View Selected feature (also known as the Frame Selected feature). First, we'll pick an
object that we want to work with:
1. Select the Dummy object by clicking on it in the 3D Viewport or in the Outliner.
The object will have an orange outline in the Viewport to indicate that it is selected. Now,
we need to frame it. There are many ways to do this, but Blender 2.8 has a new pie
menu that we can use for easy Viewport navigation.
2. Move the mouse over the 3D Viewport so that the keyboard shortcuts behave
correctly.
3. Press the Tilde key (~ ) to bring up the View pie menu.
The tilde key can be found in the top-left of the keyboard, directly beneath
the Escape key on most keyboards.

The View pie menu is one of many pie menus in Blender 2.8. When activated, pie menus
bring up a quick list of menu options in a circular pattern around the mouse, as shown in
the following screenshot:

The View pie menu will appear when you press the tilde ~ hotkey

[ 34 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

Each option on the pie menu takes up a slice of space around the mouse (like a slice of pie)
and can be selected by simply moving your mouse in the direction of the menu option you
want and then clicking.
We will become familiar with the other options of this pie menu later in this book, but for
now, we just need the View Selected option:
1. Make sure the View pie menu is still open.
2. Move the mouse diagonally down and to the right to highlight the View
Selected option.
3. Click while the View Selected option is highlighted.
The nice thing about pie menus is that you don't have to click directly on the menu option;
all you have to do is aim the mouse in the general direction of the "slice" of the pie menu
that you want and then click.
Pie menus are designed around speed, so if you're really, really fast, you
don't even have to click! Press the key to open the pie menu, and while it's
still opening, swipe the mouse in the direction of the menu option you
want to choose.
Excellent – the Viewport's focal point has been reset so that the Dummy object is centered in
the view. You should get familiar with using this navigation feature since it will come up
over and over again in our workflow.
If you have a keyboard with a number pad, you can press the period key
(.) on the number pad to activate the View Selected feature, without
having to use the pie menu.
Play around with the navigation controls until you're comfortable with them – you'll be
using them from here on out. Practice rotating, panning, and zooming. Try selecting
different objects in the scene and use the View Selected option to frame them within the 3D
Viewport. One more time, here are the navigation controls we covered:
Rotate: MMB and drag
Zoom: Ctrl + MMB and drag OR scroll wheel.
Pan: Shift + MMB and drag.
View Selected: Tilde ~ hotkey | View Selected OR period . on the number pad.
When you feel comfortable with these controls, you can move on to the next section of this
chapter, where we'll have a look at Blender's new Toolbar.

[ 35 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

Using the Toolbar
In Blender 2.8, there is a new user-friendly Toolbar attached to the left-hand side of the 3D
Viewport. The Toolbar provides an assortment of large icons, with each icon representing a
tool. By default, the Toolbar is collapsed into a single column, but we can expand it to show
the names of all of the tools. Let's expand the Toolbar now:
1. Hover your mouse over the right-hand side edge of the Toolbar until your mouse
turns into a double arrow.
2. Left-click and drag to the right to expand the Toolbar, as shown in the following
screenshot:

When the mouse is placed on the edge of the Toolbar, the cursor changes to the "Resize Horizontal" symbol

Now that the Toolbar has been expanded, let's learn about some of the tools.
The first tool in the Toolbar is the Select Box tool, which is highlighted in blue to indicate
that it is active. When a tool is active, it can be used by clicking in the 3D Viewport with the
Left Mouse Button (LMB). The Select Box tool lets us draw a box selection by clicking and
dragging over multiple objects.

[ 36 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

All of the tools on the Toolbar can be accessed with hotkeys for a faster
workflow. To discover the keyboard shortcut for a tool, hover your cursor
over the tool and wait for the tooltip to show up.
Directly beneath the Select Box tool is the Cursor tool. This will let us place the 3D cursor
in the scene. You'll learn more about what the 3D cursor is and how to use it in the next
project, so don't worry about it for now.
The next four tools are used for transformations: Move, Rotate, Scale, and Transform. The
names of these tools should sound familiar from what we learned in the first chapter.
Clicking on a tool in the Toolbar will activate it, and a gizmo will appear in the 3D
Viewport. We use gizmos to interact with the tools from the Toolbar. The gizmos for the
four transform tools are shown in the following image:

The Move, Rotate, Scale, and Transform gizmos

Let's learn more about these four gizmos:
Move: The Move tool gizmo has three colored arrows, one for each axis (red for
X, green for Y, and blue for Z). Clicking and dragging on these arrows will move
the selected object.
Rotate: The Rotate gizmo also has three colored handles, but this time they are
shaped like semicircles instead of arrows. The colors still correspond to the same
X, Y, and Z axes. Clicking and dragging on these semicircles will rotate the
selected object.
Scale: This gizmo looks almost identical to the Move gizmo but, instead of little
arrows, the tips are shaped like little cubes. Clicking and dragging on these little
cubes will scale the selected object.

[ 37 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

Transform: The Transform gizmo is just a combination of the previous three
gizmos. Some users like to have all of these gizmos active at once, but it can be a
little overwhelming.
The last few tools in the Toolbar are for advanced workflows, so we'll skip them for now.
Next, we'll practice with the basic transformation tools by moving, rotating, and scaling the
three arrow objects in the scene.

Basic transformations in Object Mode
Before we can edit the Viking helmet in this project, we need to practice using the
transformation tools. We already learned how to activate tools, and we know what the
gizmos look like, so now it's time to stick some arrows in the dummy!
1. Click on the Move tool in the Toolbar to activate it.
2. Select the Arrow_01 object by clicking on it in the Outliner or in the 3D
Viewport.
3. Press the tilde ~ key to bring up the View pie menu.
4. Choose the View Selected option to frame the arrow.
5. Rotate the view with the middle mouse button so that we can see the dummy in
the middle of the scene, as shown in the following screenshot:

The Arrow_01 object has been selected and the Dummy object is visible

[ 38 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

6. Left-click on the red axis arrow of the Move gizmo and drag it sideways toward
the Dummy object.
7. Next, click and drag the green axis arrow of the gizmo to pull it toward the front
of the Dummy object.
8. Finally, click and drag upward on the blue axis arrow to bring it up to the chest
area of the Dummy object.
As you move the arrow, you may need to refocus the view on it. Use the
View Selected option as often as you need to.

When you're done moving the arrow along all three axes, the arrow should be positioned
similarly to what's shown in the following screenshot:

Arrow moved into position on all three axes

Looks can be deceiving when working in 3D, so check your work from
multiple viewing angles before moving on. The arrow might look like it's
in place from this angle, but it could be askew.

[ 39 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

Now that the arrow has been moved into position, it's time to rotate it. First, we'll frame the
arrow in the view, and then we'll use the rotate tool:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Press the tilde ~ key to bring up the View pie menu.
Choose the View Selected option to frame the arrow.
Select the Rotate tool from the Toolbar.
Click and drag on the red axis of the rotation gizmo to aim the arrow at the
dummy's chest, as shown in the following screenshot:

Arrow rotated along the red x-axis

This is looking good, but the arrow is way too big – it's an arrow, not a spear! Let's size it
down with the Scale tool. When we scale objects, we usually want to scale along all three
axes at once to keep the object's size proportional. Luckily, the scale tool makes this really
easy as we can use the white circles of the gizmo. Let's give it a shot:
1. Click on the Scale tool in the Toolbar to activate it.
2. Hover your mouse over the Scale gizmo so that the gizmo's white circles light up.
3. Click and drag inward to make the arrow smaller.

[ 40 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

That will do the trick! The arrow should now be a similar size to what you can see in the
following screenshot:

Arrow scaled down to an appropriate size

Excellent! Now, we need to go back to the Move tool one last time and stick that arrow into
the dummy's chest. Just like with the Scale tool, you can click on the Move gizmo's white
circle to move the object along all three axes at once. Let's try this now:
1. Click on the Move tool in the Toolbar to activate it.
2. Rotate the view as needed so that we can move the Arrow_01 object toward the
Dummy object.

[ 41 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

3. Hover your mouse over the Move gizmo's white circle.
4. Click and drag the white circle toward the dummy until the tip of the
Arrow_01 object pierces the Dummy object, as shown in the following screenshot:

Bullseye!

Don't forget to rotate the Viewport frequently so that you can see what
you're doing; if you only work from one viewing angle, you might not be
placing objects correctly in the 3D space.

[ 42 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

Good work, but there are two more arrows. Use what we just learned to finish placing all
three arrows into the dummy's chest:
1. Select the Arrow_02 object.
2. Press the tilde ~ key to bring up the View pie menu and choose the View
Selected option.
3. Use the Move tool to move it in front of the dummy.
4. Use the Rotate tool to aim the arrow tip at the dummy.
5. Use the Scale tool to shrink the arrow down to a more appropriate size.
6. Use the Move tool again to stick the arrow in the dummy's chest.
7. Repeat these steps again for the Arrow_03 object.
When you're finished placing the arrows, we can move on to editing the Viking helmet!

Editing the Viking helmet
Now that we've had some practice transforming objects, we're ready for the main event:
editing the Viking helmet. This is the largest part of this chapter, so we'll break it down into
a few small subsections, as follows:
Preparing to work on the helmet
Making changes to components in Edit Mode
Adding the nose guard
Adding the horns
Adding the studs
Returning to Object Mode to finish
We will begin by preparing to work on the helmet so that the rest of the objects in the scene
don't get in the way.

Preparing to work on the helmet
Let's take a moment to prepare for working on the helmet. In a typical 3D workflow, we
edit one object at a time. We can use a special view mode called Local View to temporarily
hide all of the other objects in the scene. Let's do this now:
1. Select the Viking Helmet object.
2. Look at the header of the 3D Viewport and find the View menu at the top-left.

[ 43 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

3. Click on the View menu to open it and choose Local View | Toggle Local View,
as shown here:

View | Local View | Toggle Local View

If you are using a computer that has a number pad, the hotkey to toggle
the Local View is the slash (/).

4. Open the Object menu in the top-left of the 3D Viewport header.
5. Choose Clear | Location, as shown in the following screenshot:

Object | Clear | Location

6. Press the tilde ~ key to bring up the View pie menu and choose the View
Selected option to frame the helmet in the Viewport.

[ 44 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

The clear location operation has moved the helmet to the center of the grid, which will
make it easier to work on. Lastly, let's turn off the Random Colors so that we can see the
helmet's material colors. We'll do this from the Viewport Shading pop-up menu:
1. Look at the header of the 3D Viewport and find the four circle-shaped icons in
the top-right corner.
2. Click the little downward-facing arrow to the right of the four circles to open the
Viewport Shading pop-up menu.
3. Change the Color option from Random to Material by clicking on
the Material button, as shown in the following screenshot:

Viewport Shading | Color | Material

There are many ways to customize the Viewport's shading in Blender 2.8. At the end of this
chapter, we'll take look at how powerful this feature can be for creating a final high-quality
image. But for now, we're ready to make some changes to the Viking helmet!

[ 45 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

Making changes to components in Edit Mode
The Viking helmet provided in this scene is already halfway done, but as we can see in the
following screenshot, it's missing some details: a nose guard, pyramid studs, and horns. To
add these features, we need to switch to a different Interaction Mode:

Viking Helmet in Object Mode

Blender has several interaction modes that provide us with different ways of editing our
models. We can see which mode we are in by looking at the header of the 3D Viewport; at
the moment, it says Object Mode because we have been in Object Mode up to this
point. While we are in Object Mode, we can move objects around, rotate them, and scale
them, but we can't make any changes to the components of the objects.

[ 46 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

To edit the components of the Viking Helmet object, we need to switch to Edit
Mode. Edit Mode is where we can edit the components that make up a mesh object. As you
may recall from Chapter 1, the components of a mesh are vertices, edges, and faces. Let's
switch to Edit Mode:
1. If it isn't already selected, select the Viking Helmet object.
2. Go to the header of the 3D Viewport and click on Object Mode.
3. Choose Edit Mode from the drop-down list:

The Interaction Mode drop-down list

A faster way to enter Edit Mode is to use the Tab hotkey. In Blender, you
will be switching between Edit Mode and Object Mode very often. Many
Blender users refer to this as "Tab into Edit Mode," or simply "Tab in."
Once we enter Edit Mode, we'll see that several things have changed regarding the User
Interface: the 3D Viewport header has several new options, the interaction mode now says
Edit Mode, the Toolbar on the left contains several new tools, and the Viking Helmet
object has dots and lines drawn all over it, as shown in the following screenshot:

[ 47 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

Viking Helmet in Edit Mode

These dots and lines are the vertices and edges that the mesh is made out of. While we are
in this mode, we aren't limited to selecting the object as a whole; we can select the
individual components instead. Take a look at the header of the 3D Viewport again. Next to
where it says Edit Mode, you'll see three component selection types: Vertex Select, Edge
Select, and Face Select. These are represented by the icons shown here:

Component selection modes

[ 48 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

While we're in Edit Mode, we can switch between these selection modes by clicking on
these three icons, or by pressing the 1, 2, and 3 hotkeys on the home row of the keyboard.
These selection modes provide us with flexibility in terms of the types of selections we can
make, but they don't limit us to the types of operations we can perform on a mesh.
Most of the time, it doesn't matter which selection mode we use because when we have a
face selected, all of its edges and vertices are also selected. It's even possible to activate all
three selection modes at once by holding the Shift key before clicking on each icon. This can
of course be overwhelming, so usually one at a time is enough.
We can also switch between the selection modes at any time. For example, we can make a
selection in Face Select mode, then swap over to Vertex Select mode, and the selection will
automatically be converted from a selection of faces into a selection of vertices (if possible).
There are a few edge cases (that's a pun) where we need to select edges but not faces, at
which point Edge Select mode becomes very useful. But the rest of the time, we can use
whichever selection mode works best for the task at hand.
We will switch between these three selection modes as needed while we're editing our
models. Speaking of which, it's time to add a nose guard to the helmet!

Adding the nose guard
This is exciting! You're about to make your first edits to a 3D model in Blender! Adding the
nose guard will give our little Viking dummy some much-needed protection, just like a
proper helmet would!
To get started, we need to make a selection. Technically, we could use any of the three
selection modes for this part, but face selection is the most efficient choice in this case:
1. Switch to face selection mode by pressing 3 on the home row of the keyboard, or
by clicking the Face Select icon in the header of the 3D Viewport.
Notice that the vertex dots disappear from the view because we are in face
selection mode now.

2. Use the middle mouse button to rotate the view so that we can see the underside
of the helmet, as shown in the following screenshot:

[ 49 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

The underside of the helmet

3. Hold down the Shift key so that we can select multiple faces at once.
4. Click on the two faces that the nose guard will be attached to, as shown in the
following screenshot:

The nose guard will be added to the two faces shown here

[ 50 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

Great – we've got our selection. To add the nose guard, we can use the most common tool
in 3D modeling: Extrude. Extruding lets us pull new polygons out of the selected polygons.
We do this very often in almost every 3D project. It's appropriate that the first modeling
tool we get to use is Extrude because we will use it over and over again in the modeling
workflow. There are several extrude tools in Blender, but the one we need is called Extrude
Region. It looks like this in the Toolbar:

The Extrude Region tool as it appears in the Toolbar

Alright, let's start extruding:
1. Click on the Extrude Region tool on the Toolbar. The Extrude tool gizmo will
appear, sticking out of the selected faces, as shown here:

Select these polygons so we can extrude the nose guard

2. Click and drag downward on the gizmo's yellow plus (+) symbol to start creating
the nose guard. Try to match the length shown in the following screenshot:

[ 51 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

The first extruded segment of the nose guard

New polygons will be created each time we use the yellow plus symbol. If
you need to adjust the length of the extrusion, click and drag the yellow
arrow part of the gizmo, NOT the plus symbol; otherwise, we'll end up
with unneeded duplicate polygons, which is a common pitfall when
learning to extrude.
3. Click and drag the plus symbol again to make a second extrusion. Try to match
the length shown in the following screenshot:

The second extruded segment of the nose guard

[ 52 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

4. Select the face on the right-hand side of the newly extruded section.
5. Extrude the next piece of the nose guard, as shown in the following screenshot:

The third extruded segment of the nose guard

Looking good! Don't worry about the other side for now – we'll learn an easy way to make
it symmetrical when we're finished with our other edits. We have all of the polygons that
we need for the nose guard, but they aren't quite the right shape yet, so let's make some
adjustments:
1. Activate the Move tool on the Toolbar.
2. Switch to Edge Select mode by pressing 2 on the keyboard, or by clicking the
Edge Select icon in the header of the 3D Viewport.
Notice that the edges appear slightly thicker than before to emphasize that
we are in edge selection mode now.

3. Select the bottom-right corner edge of the nose guard.
4. Click and drag upward on the Move gizmo's blue arrow to raise the edge up
along the Z-axis, as shown in the following screenshot:

[ 53 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

The edge of the nose guard raised up

5. Select the center edge at the bottom of the nose guard.
6. Click and drag the blue arrow downward to form the tip of the nose guard, as
shown here:

The tip of the nose guard

[ 54 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

Awesome – now, we just need to make it symmetrical. There are several ways to make sure
that our models stay symmetrical while we are making them. In this case, we did not turn
on any of these features ahead of time... does that mean it's too late? Of course not! Never
say never:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Go to the Select menu in the header of the 3D Viewport.
Choose All to select all of the Viking Helmet's components.
Go to the Mesh menu in the header of the 3D Viewport.
Choose Symmetrize:

Mesh | Symmetrize

The Symmetrize operation should have left your model looking like this:

[ 55 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

The default (backwards) result of the Symmetrize operation

It sort of worked... but it symmetrized the wrong side. To fix this, take a look at the bottomleft corner of the 3D Viewport. Here, you will see the Adjust Last Operation panel. You
may have noticed this panel already. It appears every time we perform an operation such
as extrude or move. In this case, it shows the Symmetrize operation that we just performed.
Click on the little triangle next to the word Symmetrize to show the parameters for the
operation:

Adjust Last Operation panel displaying the Symmetrize operator

From this panel, we can adjust some options to get a different result:
1. Change the Direction from -X to +X to +X to -X.

[ 56 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

The operator will now symmetrize the correct side of the helmet and complete the nose
guard:

The final result of the Symmetrize operation

You must change these parameters immediately after performing this
operation. If you don't do this right away, the operator panel will
disappear and you won't be able to change any of the options. If you make
a mistake, undo with the Ctrl + Z hotkey, and then try the operation again.
Deselect everything so that we don't accidentally make unwanted changes to the selected
parts. You can deselect by either clicking in the empty space near the helmet, or by pressing
the Alt + A hotkey. Excellent! Now, our Viking helmet has a nose guard. Don't forget to
rotate your view around to make sure it looks good from every angle. If you're happy with
the edit you've made, save the file by going to File | Save. Alternatively, you can press
the Ctrl + S hotkey.
We've covered a lot of ground by making these few edits to the helmet. Let's keep the
momentum going and add some horns.

[ 57 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

Adding the horns
Historically, Vikings didn't actually have horned helmets, but this is our world, so we can
add whatever we want!
Remember how we mentioned that you would be using the Extrude tool over and over
again? Well, guess what? We're going to extrude again here:
1. Switch to face selection mode by pressing 3 on the home row of the keyboard.
2. Rotate your view with the middle mouse button so that you can see the area of
the helmet that the horn will be extruded from:

A nice view of the area that the horn will be extruded from

[ 58 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

Just like when we extruded the nose guard, the first step is to make a selection. We have a
lot of really fancy selection methods that we can use, but some of them aren't visible in the
UI right now. You may have noticed that some of the tool icons on the Toolbar have a tiny
arrow in the bottom-right corner.
This means that there are similar tools stacked underneath that tool. Let's try out the Select
Circle tool, which is stacked underneath the Select Box tool:
1. Click and hold down the left mouse button on the Select Box tool to expand the
list of stacked tools, as shown here:

Stacked Selection tools on the Toolbar

2. While the mouse button is still held down, hover over the Select Circle tool.
3. Let go of the mouse button to activate the Select Circle tool.
4. Hover the little selection circle over one of the Viking Helmet's round white side
pieces.
5. Click and drag the circle to select all of the white polygons, as shown here:

[ 59 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

The white polygons that make up the base of the horn are selected

There! Wasn't that easy? The next step is... you guessed it, extrude!
1. Activate the Extrude Region tool again.
2. Click and drag the yellow plus (+) symbol on the gizmo to extrude the first piece
of the horn, as shown here:

Extruding the first piece of the horn

[ 60 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

We're off to a good start, but these horns should be curved. Unfortunately, the only way to
make a 3D model curved is to add lots and lots of extra polygons, so we're going to have to
extrude over and over again. The problem is that with each extrusion, we will have to make
small adjustments to the position, rotation, and scale. That's going to involve a lot of back
and forth between the extrude tool, the move tool, the rotate tool, and the scale tool, but
there is a better way of doing this! We'll use one of the alternative extrude tools stacked
underneath the Extrude Region tool:
1. Make sure you still have the same polygons selected from the previous step.
2. Press the Tilde ~ key to bring up the View pie menu.
3. Choose the Front option from the pie menu in order to rotate the view to the
front of the helmet, as shown here:

The Viking Helmet, as seen from the front view

4. Click and hold down the left mouse button on the Extrude Region tool to expand
the list of stacked tools, as shown here:

[ 61 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

Stacked Extrude tools in the Toolbar

5.
6.
7.
8.

While the mouse button is still held down, hover over the Extrude to Cursor tool.
Let go of the mouse button to activate the Extrude to Cursor tool.
Hover your mouse over the position you would like to extrude the horn toward.
Left-click to extrude the horn to the position of the mouse, as shown here:

The extruded horn

[ 62 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

Excellent – the Extrude to Cursor tool took care of the position and rotation at the same
time as extruding! Now, all that's left is the scale. It would be nice to avoid switching back
and forth between the Extrude to Cursor and Scale tools, so it's time to learn about a new
hotkey. The hotkey for the scale operation is S. This hotkey automatically begins scaling as
soon as you press it, no gizmo required:
1. Hover the mouse near (but not directly on top of) the selected polygons.
2. Press the S hotkey to begin scaling.
3. Drag the mouse slightly closer toward the horn so that the extruded piece tapers
slightly, as shown in the following screenshot.
4. Left-click to confirm the scale operation:

Scale the extruded section down to taper the horn

It helps to back the mouse away from the selection before pressing the s
hotkey. The amount of scale is determined by the distance, so you will
have very little control over it if your mouse is right on top of the selection
when you press the hotkey.

[ 63 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

Perfect! The great thing about using the s hotkey for scale is that our Extrude to Cursor tool
remains active, so we can finish the horn without switching tools over and over:
1. While the Extrude to Cursor tool is still active, left-click to extrude the next small
section.
2. Press the S hotkey to begin scaling down the newly extruded section.
3. Drag the mouse inward to shrink the selected polygons.
4. Left-click to confirm the scaling operation.
5. Repeat these steps as many times as needed to finish making the horn.
Have fun with your design! Our example turned out like this:

Finished horn

When you're finished with your horn, we can symmetrize the helmet again:
1. Go to the Mesh menu in the header of the 3D Viewport.
2. Choose Symmetrize from the Mesh menu.
3. Use the Adjust Last Operation panel to change the Direction of the Symmetrize
operation if needed.
If you like, you can make the second horn by hand instead to get a wacky
asymmetrical result. Make the horns however large or small or lopsided
as you like!

[ 64 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

Beautiful! That's a fine pair of horns. Our example turned out like this:

A fine pair of horns on our Viking Helmet

Now that we have a nose guard and horns, all that's left is to make some pyramid studs for
decoration.

Adding the studs
If there's one thing we know about helmets, it's that they look cooler with pyramid studs,
especially if they go all the way around the metal rim. We're going to use a couple of
advanced techniques to make selections and create the studs.
In 3D modeling, we have a very useful topology concept called Edge Loops, which we will
learn about in more detail in the next chapter. Basically, an edge loop is exactly what it
sounds like: a loop of edges that run through a model. If the model has good topology (like
our Viking Helmet), there will be clean edge loops all over the model. We can use these
loops to our advantage in our modeling process. Let's use them to start modeling the studs:
1. Switch to Edge Select mode by pressing 2 on the keyboard.
2. Hover your mouse over the middle horizontal loop of the Viking Helmet's base.
3. Hold down the Alt key and click on any one of the horizontal edges in the loop.

[ 65 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

The whole loop will be selected with just one click, as shown here:

The whole edge loop around the base of the helmet is selected

Next, we want to select a part of the vertical loop that crosses over the middle of the helmet.
We have to use a different method this time because the vertical edge loop runs all the way
through the nose guard and underside of the helmet, which isn't ideal. Instead, we're going
to use a wonderful selection feature called Shortest Path:
1. Hold down the Shift key and click to add the first edge in the vertical edge loop
to the current selection, as shown here:

Selecting the edge above the horizontal edge loop

[ 66 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

2. Use the middle mouse button to rotate the view to the back of the helmet.
3. Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the final edge in the vertical edge loop (it's
in the same position as the first, but on the opposite side).
Perfect – the shortest path between the two edges has been added to the selection. Now, our
selection includes a horizontal edge loop around the rim and part of a vertical edge loop
across the top of the helmet, as shown here:

The shortest path over the top of the helmet

Selecting these edges by hand would have been a pain, but with the right approach, we
were able to select them all in just three clicks.
If you're having trouble with the Shortest Path feature, you can select the
edges one at a time by holding the Shift key and clicking on each edge.
The way in which you make your selection will not be an issue for the
following steps; just make sure you have all of the edges selected, as
shown in the preceding screenshot.
We're going to use the vertices in this selection as center points for our studs, so let's switch
to Vertex Select mode:
1. Press 1 on the home row of the keyboard to switch to Vertex Select mode.

[ 67 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

That's good, but that's going to be way too many studs, so let's remove some of
the vertices from the selection. Specifically, we want to remove every other vertex.
That sounds like a pain, but fear not – we don't have to do that by hand either!
2. Go to the Select menu in the header of the 3D Viewport.
3. Choose Checker Deselect, as shown here:

Select | Checker Deselect

Good – the selection should now look like this:

The selection after using Checker Deselect

[ 68 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

If your selection is offset from the example shown here, then we need to make an
adjustment to the Checker Deselect operation by using the Adjust Last operation, just like
we did when we had to edit the parameters of the Symmetrize operation earlier in this
project:
1. Have a look at the Adjust Last Operation panel in the bottom-left of the 3D
Viewport.
2. If needed, increase the Offset to shift the selected vertices until they match the
ones shown in this example.
There we go – that will make for a more manageable number of studs. Now that we've
selected all of the individual spots where our studs should go, we're ready to actually make
the studs:
1. Open the Vertex menu in the header of the 3D Viewport.
2. Choose Bevel Vertices from the menu:

Vertex | Bevel Vertices

This operation works similarly to how the s hotkey works: you have to drag the mouse to
increase the amount of vertex bevel:
1. Drag the mouse outward until the vertices split into little diamond shapes.
2. Left-click to confirm the operation when the little diamonds match the example
shown in the following screenshot:

[ 69 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

Beveled vertices

Now, we just need to turn the diamonds into pyramids.
3. Open the Face menu in the header of the 3D Viewport.
4. Choose Poke Faces from the menu:

Face | Poke Faces

Remember that even though we are in Vertex Select mode, we can still
use the operations in the Face menu because the highlighted faces inbetween the vertices are also selected.

[ 70 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

Poking faces sounds dangerous, but in 3D modeling, it's fun! We just need to make one
more adjustment in the Adjust Last Operation panel:
1. Have a look at the Adjust Last Operation panel at the bottom-left of the 3D
Viewport.
2. Increase the Poke Offset to make the little diamonds stick out like
pyramids. 0.08m feels about right, but feel free to try other values until you get a
result like the one shown in the following screenshot:

The studs are raised up with the poke offset

And there we have it – the Poke added an extra vertex to each face and the Poke Offset
raised them up to form the studs. We're done!
That was a lot of work. Now, we just have to wear it proudly! And by that, we mean we
have to place the helmet on the dummy's head.

Returning to Object Mode to finish
Now that we're done making our additions to the helmet, we can finish the scene. We've
been spending a lot of time in Edit Mode, but we want to return to Object Mode so we can
place the helmet on the dummy's head:
1. Return to Object Mode by using the drop-down menu in the header of the 3D
Viewport, or by pressing the Tab hotkey.

[ 71 ]

Editing a Viking Scene with a Basic 3D Workflow

Chapter 2

2. Go to the View menu in the header of the 3D Viewport.
3. Choose Local View | Toggle Local View to leave Local mode and bring all of the
other objects back.
You can always tell if you're still in Local view because the 3D
Viewport will display (Local) in the top-left corner.

Now that we're back from the isolated Local view, the helmet is buried in the ground, as
shown in the following screenshot:

The helmet buried in the ground

Use the transformation skills you learned about at the beginning of this chapter to place the
helmet on top of the dummy's head:
1. Activate the Move tool and move the helmet upward to the dummy's head.
2. Activa