Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Grid Tutorials Episode 1 - Modelling Basics - Part 4

Welcome to part 4 of the Modelling Basics chapter.

Chapter 1 - Modelling Basics
Part 4 - Simple polygonal modelling

Until now we've learned how polygons work, what they are made of, what is a vertex an edge or a mesh. It's time to put the new found knowledge to good use and start doing some simple modelling.

It has been said before, but I feel the need to say it again: this first chapter can be learned and practiced, regardless of what 3D graphics software you're using. The polygonal modelling, at first, is similar and the steps you have to follow are the same. We are not going to do any software-specific modelling yet.

Without any further ado, let's start doing some modelling!

Create a square on any plane. Select the mesh and extrude it upwards, until you have something looking either like a cube or a rectangular parallelepiped. Notice the new meshes on the sides the program creates.
 Then pick the two vertices on one edge and translate them until the shape becomes something like in the picture. Notice that some of the edges which are affected by this translation have changed in size and orientation to correspond with the new shape.
Now select the face marked by the yellow stripes and extrude it outwards. Again, the program automatically creates some new edges and faces.

If you take a look around the new shape, you will see that the sharp edges are making light fall not so smoothly on the object itself. It's time for a bevel.

Select the edges like shown in the image below, go to where the software you're using has the bevel function and apply this operation.
 As you can clearly see, your object now has more detail than before, and the lightning is smoother, thanks to the newly created chamfers.
In order to create a chamfer, the program has added some new polygons at a specific angle.

Without any examples and using what you have learned so far, try creating a circle (not NURBS) just like you did with the square. Extrude it outwards and create a tube or a cylinder. Use the translation tools, size and rotation to obtain different shapes. You can also select one or more faces of the cylinder and extrude them.

This practice is important, as in the next part we'll start modelling a simple boat, made only out of polygons.

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