# Good beginner tutorials

Hi guys,
Im having trouble with modeling. Im still confused as to the different types of modeling(Ive heard of box modeling, patch modeling, NURBS, etc. I have no clue what patch modeling is(or if it even exists in Blender). Ive been trying to do a few different tutorials(I watched the one on blender3d.org on the chess piece and found it easy to replicate, have been working on intro to character animation, modeling sections and havent been able to model the character well).
Anyhow, Im looking for advice on some more good beginner tutorials and perhaps some advice on modeling, as in actual manipulating vertices/faces/edges. Id like to know when I should be using vertices and when to use faces or edges(and why!). Any tips you could give me on modeling would be great. Im trying to learn organic modeling, but most beginner tutorials(as far as Ive seen) are on inorganic modeling and usually based on modeling a specific object without going into why you do something.
I dont mean to come off as lazy, I have been able to find tutorials so far. Just not sure which tutorials would be good to follow and which to avoid and Im also looking for tips on modeling and some more â€śindepthâ€ť information on modeling technique. Thanks for your time and effort!

Letâ€™s see if I can help sort some of this out.

Box modeling is a type of polygon modeling, where you start with a box, cut additional edges into the box with the loop cut tool or the subdivide tool, and then shape the box by moving vertices around until it looks the way you want it to look. Additional geometry can also be added using extrude. It can be used for organic modeling by applying â€śset smoothâ€ť to the faces and using the subsurf modifier.

The other main type of polygon modeling is poly by poly (often just called polygon modeling). In this type of modeling you start with a plane or a single vertex, then extrude more small planes or edges along the surface of your model. You then fill in the empty spaces by making new faces between unconnected edges. As with box modeling, set smooth and subsurf are the organic modelerâ€™s friends.

Nurbs and patch modeling do not use polygons, but use mathematical descriptions of curves. Set smooth and subsurf are not needed here, since these are automatically smooth curved surfaces. A â€śnurbâ€ť is a closed figure (a sphere or egg or hotdog) while a â€śpatchâ€ť is an open surface (no â€śinsideâ€ť or â€śoutsideâ€ť just two sides.) Nurbs are shaped with lattices surrounding them which provide â€ścontrol pointsâ€ť (similar to vertices) which can be moved around to affect the shape of the nurb. While youâ€™d think that these would be ideal for organic modeling, Blender does not provide a lot of sophisticated tools for working with them, so most modelers use polygon modeling methods.

As to tutorials: you have already found Intro to Character Animation. If youâ€™re having trouble with that one, you need to step back and do some non-organic modeling to get a better feel for working with the tools and manipulating objects in virtual 3D space. Check out the Tufts Open Courseware and Glen Moyes essay on learning 3D.

Im reading Glen Moyesâ€™ essay already and Ill make sure to check out Tuftâ€™s courseware. In Intro to Character Modeling, when modelng the face, is that poly by poly modeling then? Well, thanks for your help so far Orinoco.

Yes, absolutely. To see how far you can go with this, see mr_bombâ€™s doodles. Thereâ€™s a link in there to a tutorial mr_bomb recorded on modeling a face.

As to your earlier question on when to use what. Thereâ€™s an oil painterâ€™s saying â€śstart with a broom, end with a needle.â€ť Meaning to do the broad sweeping strokes first, put in the fine details last. Works in Blender, too. When you move faces around, you move the face and the eight other faces connected to it. Moving an edge generally moves six faces, moving a vertex, four.

Blender mechanics also applies: when you are selecting vertices to add faces, the easiest way to go about it is usually in edge select mode. Select two edges, you can make a face. In vertex select mode you have to select four vertices - twice the work, unless you can arrange the model so you can select the four correct vertices with a box select or brush select. And it wonâ€™t work at all in face select mode, because youâ€™ll have too many vertices for Blender to work with for the make face tool (needs either three or four.)

A lot of the answers to work flow come with practice, although you can get some clues watching video tutorials of other people working. [btw, donâ€™t limit yourself to Blender specific tuts here: most of the other 3D packages work in a similar fashion, they just use different keystrokes.]

I dont get the part about moving a face moves 8 faces etc. Could you explain further on this topic?
I checked out the Tuft tutorials and they seem really good, I like how they go into the very basics like vertex selecting and the extrude tool, very nice. If you know of any more tutorials like that, please tell me
Does poly-by-poly modeling usually go a lot slower than box modeling? Does it give better control over detail? Any other pros/cons?
Sorry bout all the questions, Im just trying to learn as much as I can.

moved one face, one edge, one vertex.

Itâ€™s probably best to start with box modeling, since you begin the work with a three dimensional object already in place. If you use loop cuts or subdivides, your mesh stays all quads (tris cause pinching and artifacts sometimes when animated.) When youâ€™re comfortable moving things around in virtual 3D space, try poly-by-poly modeling. Most people wind up using a mix. My dragon, for example, started as a brick shaped box which I modeled into the head, torso and tail, then the wings were added using a poly-by-poly technique. Horns and spikes and such were extruded later.

Speed is a matter of practice and knowing the tools. Actually, so is control over detail. If you really want to jump start your Blender career, make a screen shot of your work (Ctrl+F3 with the mouse cursor in the window you want to capture) and post it in the â€śWork in Progressâ€ť forum. Post pictures of the â€świres,â€ť in other words, solid draw mode and edge select mode. Usually a straight front and side view is best, unless there is something bothering you about a detail that doesnâ€™t show up in either of those views.

Donâ€™t spend all your time reading: blending is a skill, you gotta practice. And donâ€™t worry that your work isnâ€™t â€śgood enough to post.â€ť Nobodyâ€™s work was â€śgood enough to postâ€ť when they started out, but the people who got better bit the bullet and posted anyway.

So, is there a good tutorial I can work on thats easier than Intro to Character Modeling(and doesnt go into poly-by-poly modeling)? Ill post something soon.

Here is a tutorial using box modeling. The author provides mainly top and side views, so hereâ€™s a camera view of the model at step 5 and step 8 (counting images in the tut, since nothingâ€™s numbered.)

Also, where he says:

Hit 7 and go to the top view. select the front 4 vertexes and then scale them IN along the X access (S key then X key)

he means the four vertices that will become the front of the car (in top view, use box select to select the two vertices on the bottom of the image. Since these two vertices are directly over two more vertices, you are actually selecting four vertices.)

Oh, cool, Ill try that tutorial.

Hey, I got that tutorial done yesterday(didnt add the windows or wheels yet), didnt get to post before the family x-mas party though Anyway, I didnt save mine but saved a render on accident. I screwed up on the roof a little and didnt take my time on this. Oh, and I added a blower and scoop.

EDIT: Oh, I just found this site.
Looks cool!

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Cool car. I like the scoop. That looks like a good site, too. Itâ€™s not Blender specific, but thatâ€™s not always necessary. Looks like they have a lot of video tutorials. Anyway, nice work, too bad you didnâ€™t save it, but youâ€™ll get more practice making another one. BTW, welcome to BlenderArtists.

Hmm, I tried poly-to-poly(for lack of a more formal name) modeling just now, spent about 20 minutes seeing what I could do(not that I think Im at the level where I should start modeling organic objects). I got about this far into a face, though its very poor and the mesh is really messy. Im going to see if I can take this all the way to a full figure.

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Well, messy meshes are the bane of the organic modeler, because itâ€™s so much easier to tweak clean meshes, and in organic modeling you seem to spend a lot more time tweaking than building the mesh in the first place. Especially peopleâ€™s faces.

New term, maybe: edge loops. These are loops of faces or edges that either surround openings (eyes, mouth) or follow muscle flow. Here are a couple of examples: this fellowdoes not seem to be overly concerned with edge loops, while this one paid a lot of attention to edge loops. The latter ended up in the gallery as a five star production, the former is still struggling after three months of effort.

The classic tutorial on edge loops (as they apply to portraits) is TorQâ€™s Better Face Tutorial. He also has an animated Gif showing how to model a nose.

adamprocter, I know youâ€™re trying to be helpful, but simply spamming a thread with a video tutorial site may not be the best way to win friends and influence people. In the first place, that site is little use to those of us on dial-up, and in the second place, people come here looking for a way to get specific help, not another laundry list of possibilities. I just clicked on the link and itâ€™s all about modeling an artificial christmas tree. How is that relevant to Rblackmoreâ€™s concerns? If there is a specific tutorial at BlenderNewbies that addresses the issues in this thread, posting a link to it would be most welcome.

I made extensive use of edge loops as a way of getting more vertices to work with instead of subdividing the entire mesh or subdividing an area and getting triangles. My mesh stayed triangle free and I got an entire head built but Im not sure how to make heads more round, mine keep coming out blocky. Like, the face comes out flat, like a plane and then theres some slight curvature at the corners and then each side of the head is pretty flat like a plane. I restarted and came out with this after about a half hour:

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Yeah. Thatâ€™s pretty common for beginners. You have to keep switching from front to side to top view and making sure things are rounded. There are a few things that can make this a bit easier:
First: after youâ€™ve extruded a new loop, or if you want to see the curve on any particular loop, select it, then do an inverse selection (on the select menu - no hot key) and hide everything (h). This will give you your single loop, hanging in space for your inspection and tweaking. This can be useful to get rid of kinks. Alt+h restores all the hidden stuff.

Second, use alt+b to do a box select of a slice of your model. This just affects the view, but it lets you look at a segment without the rest of the stuff getting in the way. alt+b toggles back to seeing everything.

Third: start with a cylinder, cut it in half, and use it as a base, since itâ€™s already curved more or less properly. (hard to get decent loops with this method, though. itâ€™s just for practice)

PS: are you using reference photos?

Nope, no reference images. Im just scribbling I guess

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Hi, I would like to share these two images with you, the first one was my first attempt at the Intro to Character Animation tutorial, I made a real mess of it, my second attempt was a little bit better.

I found the tutorial very helpful, and fully recommend it

Wow, your 2nd attempt is great. I havent gone back and tried Intro to Character Animation again yet, I will later today or tomorrow. I dont know if Ill be able to do as well as you, you did awesome man!

EDIT: Ok, tried Intro to Char Animation again, still cant get it right. Mine came out very bumpy, not smooth like its supposed to be. Also, Im not even sure how this happens, but my mesh got very messy and complex after a while(I DID deviate from the directions in some places and I didnt read the directions for the first half of the head as I can do that all by heart for the most part). Anyhow, still looking for more interface/beginner modeling tutorials. Anything on the when and why of tools would be great as well(like why you use an extrude or grab and such).