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Blender 3D Model Basics: The Getting Started Guide

Creating a new 3D model

Creating a completely new 3D model from scratch can be a bit overwhelming if you have no prior experience. However, at some point, you will probably run out of premade 3D models to download and print or you won’t find exactly what you need. Give 3D modeling a try through 3dexperience ekl basics.

There are several ways to get into 3D modeling. Obviously, you will need 3D modeling software and you will learn the basics. Rest assured, there are less complicated and free options for 3D modeling, rather than jumping straight to the deep end of CAD design with other top-tier commercial solutions.

Modeling programs for beginners

TinkerCad – The easiest way to quickly create your own models. TinkerCad is an online editor (no installation required) that allows you to create 3D models directly in a browser window. It’s free, easy to operate, and you’ll even find basic tutorial videos. So after a few minutes of touch-ups, you are ready to create your first 3D object. 

Fusion 360 – Another popular tool for creating models. Fusion 360 is available for PC, Mac, and iOS (iPad). Arguably more complex than Tinkercad; However, the official website provides a quick guide along with detailed video tutorials, making it a great option for novice enthusiasts as well.

Other modeling programs in 3D model

There are a large number of 3D modeling programs, both free and paid. The choice depends mainly on personal tastes and preferences. If you feel that TinkerCad and Fusion 360 lack some features or functions, you should investigate the following software:

  • OpenSCAD (free)
  • DesignSpark Mechanical
  • Sketchup
  • Blender (free)
  • Maya
  • 3DS Max
  • FreeCAD (free)

Obviously, there is a lot more to Blender, but this simple Type 101 introduction will get you down to business with the basics, and you can at least build a simple object in this bewilderingly complex software.

Puzzling interface

If you are new to 3D model graphics, opening Blender can be overwhelming. There is a cube, a camera and a light. That’s it. Surrounding this elementary view are LOTS of controls and numbers, which look less like a graphics program and more like the cockpit of an Airbus.

The process of building simple objects is easy enough, but what it is supposed to do is not obvious just by looking at the interface.

The first thing to do is find out what the mouse does. Unlike most other applications, in Blender it is selected with the right mouse button. You move by clicking and holding the right mouse button. If you click the left mouse button, your move is usually complete. If you click the right mouse button, your movement will be undone.

Make a shape using 3D model

The gray window with the grid is your movie studio. You model, animate, and render in this window.

Select the cube with the right mouse button. Press the Delete key. You will be prompted to delete the object and must click OK.

You only need a camera if you are rendering an image. We’re just going to model so ditch the camera too. Select the camera in the same way. Press the Delete key. Once again, you will be asked to delete the camera and you need to click OK. (See a topic in development? Every time you delete, you will be asked to confirm.)

Select the light and remove it. By the way, confirming the deletion usually just requires you to hit the return key.

Now that you have a clean area to work with, you can start modeling. While you can make a bunch of shapes and screw them together, it’s much better if you can make the basic shape of the object you’re modeling from a mesh. It performs better and looks better that way.

Let’s make a really basic organic shape. Press “Shift + A” to open the floating menu. Select “Mesh -> UV Sphere”.

To zoom in and out, use the scroll wheel in the center of your mouse. To rotate the view, press down on the scroll wheel (which generally functions as a third mouse button) and move the mouse. To get different views of the object, press the numbers on the numeric keypad (or choose the view menu at the bottom of the screen which also shows the keys to press).

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