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...
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-By-Example-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:
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...
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:
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.
We can look at the...
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.
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:
- Move your mouse into the 3D Viewport.
- Press and hold the middle mouse button.
- 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.
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:
- Hover your mouse over the right-hand side edge of the Toolbar until your mouse turns into a double arrow.
- Left-click and drag to the right to expand the Toolbar, as shown in the following screenshot:
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...
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!
- Click on the Move tool in the Toolbar to activate it.
- Select the Arrow_01 object by clicking on it in the Outliner or in the 3D Viewport.
- Press the tilde ~ key to bring up the View pie menu.
- Choose the View Selected option to frame the arrow.
- 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:
- Left-click on the red axis arrow of the Move gizmo and drag it sideways toward the Dummy object.
- Next, click and drag the green axis arrow of the gizmo...
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...
Rendering the final image
While we work in 3D, we tend to use low-quality preview settings for the Viewport because it's easier to see the polygons and it keeps our computers running fast while we work. So far, we have been working with low-quality preview settings, so our Viewport looks like this:
Now that we've finished making edits to the Viking scene, we can change a few settings to get a high-quality final image. A high-quality render needs a nice set of lights. Remember the Lights collection in the Outliner? Well, it's time to make it visible:
- Find the Lights collection in the Outliner.
- Click on the grayed-out eyeball icon to the right of the Lights collection.
Good – we have some lights, but a bunch of ugly lines appeared in the Viewport. These lines are part of a feature called Overlays. Overlays include everything...
Wonderful! We've covered a lot of ground and you've edited your first model. We learned how to use the Outliner to organize the objects in the scene. We've built some familiarity with the 3D navigation controls. We also had a quick look at Blender's new Toolbar. Finally, we practiced basic transformations using 3D objects and components.
After doing all this, we edited a provided model with some of the most common modeling tools, such as extrude, and we learned how to select edge loops.
In the next chapter, we will learn how to start a project from scratch by making a time machine! We'll take what we learned while working on the Viking Helmet and expand on that knowledge using many more tools and workflows.