Before we get started, I have to warn you that this is probably not the most optimized way to achieve this. I intended to make it the same way as the original tutorial, but under blender, not Maya. Also, I like the topology made this way.
I’ll often switch between the selection modes, from vert to edge to face. I’ll tell when I change, but won’t repeat how to do it. The selection mode buttons are at the bottom header of the 3D view (edit mode only).
The first one from left is Vertice selection, the second edges selection, the third faces selection.
(notice : you can do it all only with vertice selection, but it’s sometimes quicker to switch)
Now let’s get to it.
MODELING A TENNIS BALL
1) Start with an empty scene (delete the cube (XKEY) in the default scene). Hit SHIFT-C to get the 3D cursor to coordinates 0,0,0. It should stay here. Anytime you move it unpurposely, hit SHIFT-C to get it to center again.
2) Switch to top view (NUM7).
Press SPACE -> Add>Mesh>UVSphere
Give it 8 segments and 8 rings. You should get this.
Move the camera a bit down.
Press AKEY twice to get sure all verts are selected. Switch to face select mode. Unselect the faces as shown (SHIFT+RMB).
Press XKEY -> Faces to get rid of those unwanted faces.
3) Switch to edge selection. Select the edges as shown in white.
Delete those edges with XKEY > Edges to get this.
Back to Vertices Selection mode, select vertices by twos to create edges (FKEY) as shown.
Delete the shown vertex (XKEY).
Make an edgeloop where shown (CTRL-R).
Select vertices by 4 and make faces (FKEY). Add two edgeloops as shown.
4) Switch to side view (NUM3). First move the backmost vertices so as they are arranged as a quarter circle.
Do the same thing in top view (NUM7) with the selected vertices.
Now the tedious part : arrange the vertices so as they look like the picture below.
From time to time, you can hit “To Sphere” in the “Mesh Tools” panel (Editing set, F9), to get everything match to a sphere.
Tip : try to match roughly the positions in each view, one after the other, it will work pretty good.
5) We’re going to duplicate this eighth, then mirror it.
Hit SHIFT-C to ensure the 3D cursor is at center. Make the pivot the 3D Cursor in the pivot menu.
Now in EDIT MODE, select all, hit SHIFT-D to duplicate, then immediatly hit ESC not to move the mesh part.
CRTL-M to invoke the Mirror menu, select X Global.
Select all again, SHIFT-D, ESC, CRTL-M, Y Global.
You now have half a sphere.
Duplicate this half again, and mirror it along Z Global.
Now, do not deselect this half, hit RKEY to rotate, ZKEY to constrain rotation around Z axis.
Rotate the half sphere 90°.
Use CRTL to make 5° shifts in rotation (watch the leftmost bottommost corner of 3D view to see the amount of rotation).
The vertices should match with the other half. If not begin again or try to move them a bit.
Hit Rem Doub to remove double (Mesh Tools)
6) Now switch to top view (NUM7) and make loop cuts (CRTL-R) as shown.
Look at the upper left quarter of the ball, still in top view. Select the vertices as selected on the screenshot.
Hit CRTL-E > Edge Ring Select.
The “seam” loop is selected! (Does this feature exist before 2.42?)
Press SKEY and apply a slight scaling down.
Select all the vertices, hit CRTL-N to recalculate all normals outside (this will prevent some strange cuts in the ball).
In modifiers, add a Subsurf (Catmull), and under the Link and Materials panel, select Set Smooth.
There it is!
Feel free to download the .blend file!