Noob questions

Hello all,
I’ve played around with blender quite a bit over the years, but now I want to do something besides “cartoon” style stuff and I’m running into issues everywhere.
Never really read much on the tuts or help, just played until I found the right button… and that aint gunna get me through what I’m trying to do.

I have a few questions I want to ask in the hope someone can answer for me.

1.) When I build 2 plains, say 2 discs horizontally next to each other, how do I connect them to create something like a coin?

2.) When I use the subsurf, them remove part of the object, the subsurf ajusts to the new object shape, when in fact, I want it to stay exactly how it was, butbe able to remove a part of the object. (eg. A ball, cut in half, will show rounded edges on the half remaining… when I want a sharp cut.)

3.) How do I put a background to work from?
(eg- I am building a ship… an extremely hard project for me. I want to have the ship building plans as a backdrop so I can “trace” the lines of the ship, then use the lines as the hull)

4.) Similar to Q.1 - Can I draw with lines and then make those lines be the outline of a solid, 3D object?

5.) Where can I find the polygon count of a project?

Any help on these would be very much appreciated.

1 ) you can joint them Ctrl J

3 ) click veiw then select background image and load up in the appropriate viewport

  1. start with a plane erase one vertex then place the vertices where you need and then
    select the last vertex and you can add vertex by Ctrl and click where you want that point to be

5 ) don’t know at top screen you find sum of faces - verticies ect…


Welcome to the forums!

You really should go thru some of the basic tuts, or even browse the wiki for some of the answers. But here are are few answers to get you started.

1)If you know that you want a “coin” to begin with:
Vertices - 32
Radius 1
Depth .1
leave cap ends toggled on

  1. After a mesh object has been subsurfed, you can make edges sharp by:
    selecting the edge(s), then pressing shift e and dragging your mouse until the crease value at the bottom left of the 3D window is +1.00

  2. At the bottom left of the 3D window, click on view…background image. Click on Use Background image", then load etc

  3. Yes - you can use curves, then convert to a mesh, or just create a mesh adding points. For instance, create a plane, then in edit mode delete 3 of the verts. Next select the single remaining vert, the press e for extrude and move your mouse around and click to place it.

  4. The upper right of the 3D window
    Ve = Vertex
    Fa = Faces
    Ob = Objects

I’m not expert, but here’s a few possibilities.

Unless you have some over-riding reason to connect two dics, why not just take the first disc and extrude it?

Option A - Extrude the disc

Option B - connect disc one to disc two… go around the perimeter and link edges.
This can be tedious if there are a lot of faces, and you have to do each one individually.
eg. select one edge from to dics, one from bottom directly below, then use “F” to make that a face, continue on around the disc.

Ow, not sure what to try there,unless you remove the subsurf. I think if there are unconnected edges, that is, if the mesh is not closed, the subsurf will give some odd looking curves.

Again, there are multiple ways to get around this beast.

Option A - go to front view, place a plane. Add a texture to the plane of your reference image, then adjust this to the back. It should show the image if you look at it in shaded mode. (this has the option of allowing you to move the plane around as you model, to any angle as you work the object)

But, this is most likely what you want.

Option B - Use the background image option.

This one can be difficult, as filling in the middle of an oddly shaped object is not simple.
Best reference I can think of is the tutorial on filling faces…

I don’t know if there is a pure polygon count, but in the basic window, top right area, is a “resource information” section that gives Vertice count, face count, and object count.

I’ll answer your questions as best I can, being somewhat new myself.

  1. This depends, if you mean joining two objects and making them on mesh, then you would do what Ricky said and select them both and press Ctrl+J. But, if they’re already the same object, but you want to connect the different sections of the meshes, you would select 4 different vertices at a time and press ‘f’, that would make a face between the 4.

  2. Using the ball example: If you removed half the ball by deleting some verts, but you still want a sharp edge on the top where it was cut, you would select the top edgeloop(Alt+RMB, if you didn’t know, a VERY useful hotkey) and the press Shift+E, that will ‘crease’ the edge and make it sharp. You can change the value to be partial or a full sharp crease by simply dragging the mouse.

  3. If you want a background picture to use as a reference, go to the header for the 3D windows, and press the ‘view’ menu, close to the top is ‘background image’, select that and it will give you a little dialog box where you can browse and load an image, and adjust its size/location etc.

  4. This is kindof a vague question, and it could mean a few things. But if you wanted to make an outline of a simple object, you would start with a vertex(The simplest way to do this is just to add a plane then delete three of the verts), and then extrude by using Ctrl+LMB.

  5. The poly count, vertice count, and edge count are all in the top right corner. If you’re in edit mode, it will only show the counts of the current object. And also, if you have part of your mesh selected, it will show the number of faces/edges/verts you have selected, as well as the total. For example, if you have a sphere with 100 faces, and you selected 50 of them, it would display ‘50-100’. Meaning 50 out of a total 100 faces are selected.

Hope that helps, and if you have any more questions feel free to ask!

Hobo Joe, DracoFodder, OBI_Ron, RickyBlender,
Thank you all very much. Exactly the answers I was looking for (press this, then press that… hehe)
Very fast response too.
Very much appreciated guys.

I’m sure, over the length of my new project, I will have lots of questions for you. Hopefully, by the end of it, I’ll be answering some Q’s in here too.
Thanks again.

Befor asking too many basic questions go to and take a look at the manual. Most of the stuff is covered there and if it isn’t you can always come back here.
There are also lot’s of tutorials under that link.
Cheers and Happy Blending

All the tips are very useful thanks… but one thing I cant seem to get around is the image material/texture on a plane.
I add it and do all the stuff… and it shows in the rendered picture, but not while I edit.


I think that one only shows the image in the editing mode if you set the draw type to textured…

Edit: oops, my bad memory, that doesnt work, but you can apply an image to a plane via the UV/Image editor and then when in the draw type “textured” the image will show up on the plane.
Sortof covered here:

But, essentially, you select your plane, select the UV Face Select option, go to the UV Image Editor. Choose menu option Image -> Open, load your image file. Then you should see it on the plane.

You can then step back to edit mode, as long as the draw type “textured” is set the image will be visible on the plane while editing.

You’re going about it wrong, you shouldn’t just make a plane and attach a texture to it. You should use the tool located under ‘View > Background image’. From there you can load your image and scale it and move it how you want.

When you apply it to a plane it’s not near as versitile, because it would have to be in textured view for you to be able to get references, so no wireframe. And using wireframe with reference pics is essential.

Hobo Joe is correct about the “View>Background Image” command. That’s the way to get a picture to view in 3d view without changing anything else.

But remember, you must be in Orthographic View (“View>Orthographic View”) as opposed to Perspective View. And you must be looking at the object from either Top, Side, or Front view (View>Top,Side, or Front; or NumPad 7, 3, or 1 respectively).

On the subject of cutting a subsurfed ball, creasing definitely works for this particular instance and it keeps polycount down, but it may not always be the appropriate answer. Another viable solution is to add a ring of control vertices. This is the traditional way of giving definition to a smoothed object. I won’t post a full, in-depth explanation of how control verts work, but if you don’t understand them, definitely look them up.

The basic operation in this case would be:
Create a new loop of vertices next to your edgeloop on the part of the hemi-sphere you want sharpened (the largest ring you have left). This is done by pressing CTRL+R (or K>Loop Cut), then positioning the mouse pointer over edges you want to cut. Click the mouse once to accept the location, then move the mouse left or right to move it towards either adjacent ring. Finally, click the mouse button again to accept the change.

This method is very effective for shaping any kind of subsurfed object. The theory behind it is easily understood when you consider that the subsurf modifier is simply rounding off every edge into a curve. If you add more verts to that edge, the curve will be tighter.