Some ultra-newbie questions about modeling.

I’m trying to build a stylized cat that I can make poseable. I’m starting from a cube and I subdivided it a few times and deleted half and applied a mirror modifier so that I could work on just half and get the other half to copy it. I’m having trouble though, figuring out exactly how to select and move the vertices that I want.

  1. I right click to select them, correct? Left clicking just moves that little circle cursor thing around the screen. So when I move them, and let go, they still appear to move with the cursor, until I left click. But not always. Then using the box tool to select, I get inconsistent results as well as far as where things move and which button I’m supposed to be holding to move and then stop moving. Then when I want to select something else, I have to hit A to deselect what was already selected or it keeps the old selection when I hit new vertices. That seems wrong… am I doing it wrong?

  2. Also I’m going to need to extrude and I don’t remember the keyboard shortcut for that. And then what to rotate my extruded part–what is the keyboard shortcut for that?

I did do the beginner blendercookie getting started tutorials it’s just that they haven’t stuck in my mind. I’m mainly wanting to model for 3-D printing, not for rendering, if that matters at all in any of this.

  1. Next, when I have made some progress in my shape in edit mode, when I go to object mode it turns into a cube again, and adjusting the levels is impossible, it just stays a cube. I don’t get it.

  2. Once I have my base framework in a general animal shape, can I go into sculpt mode to get it how I want it, and then come back to object mode and have my model look the way it did in sculpt mode?

  3. And then can I add an armature to that sculpted shape to make it poseable? Is that how it works?

I’ve watched through the rigging an alien tutorial and have a fairly good understanding of that process, and I did the sculpting a head tutorial and came out with a pretty good head (though I didn’t really put much effort into the neck, so that looks a little weird.)

  1. And then how would I make it hollow to save on printing material costs?

Sorry for so many questions but I’m really gung-ho to learn this but I’ve only had the program for a few days, and my only past 3D modeling experience was using pre-made models in DAZ and posing them.

Would be easier to answer if you made a list of problems and number them.
And of course if you placed your support questions in the support forum, not CG discussions.

Ah, whoops. I didn’t realize where to post. Can a moderator move the thread there for me?

  1. Right-Click = Select, right. I mostly do this to move my vertices / faces or edges - > right click (+ shit right click) to select all i need, or i hit “b” to draw a selection box. Then i hit “G” for “Grab” to move it around.

  2. The shortcuts for extrude and rotate are fairly simple: R = Rotate , E = Extrude, S = Scale, G = Grab.

  3. and 4) i dont know how this could be…for me it works quite well with switching around.

  4. Yes you will add armature and bones to the mesh to do animation and movement

  5. The beginning Cube is always hollow, so your cat should be, too in the end.

For 3D printing it needs to have a wall thickness in addition to being hollow… do you know how I’d accomplish this?

  1. By default yes, this can be changed in preferences to be Left mouse button to select which is more comfortable for those that use other 3d applications. File > User Preferences > Input > Select with Left

  2. How are you switching between edit and object mode and which version of blender are you using?

  3. Yes, you’ll generally want to add a multires modifier for sculpting though you can use sculpt tools just to tweak your base mesh. (base mesh meaning no subsurf or multires modifiers)

  4. You’ll want to add a Solidify modifier to your object(s) and adjust the thickness to the materials requirements.

Im not sure if theres a specific way you need wall thickness to be formatted but i suppose the quickest way to do it would be to just hit “A” to select all vertices (or hit it twice if you already have some vertices selected) and press Shift+d to duplicate it. than left click. At this point youl have to meshes right int he exact same spot so it should look like you only have one. So now just press “S” and move your mouse to scale it up. you can scale it up to provide some wall thickness. You may have to move some vertices to the middle because of your mirror modifier so you don’t have a weird strip down the middle of your model with nothing there

Ok, now to look really stupid… what exactly does “subsurf” mean?

Subsurf is a modifier with an effect that is sorta similar to multires modifier. However it doesn’t have a different setting for sculpt mode as-well as when you go into edit mode with sub-surf you see the smoothed/beveled model underneath your base model and you can edit it like that. There are also some key shortcuts associated with subsurf(although i cant remember them) so that around certain edges there can be more or less beveling.

Not really a technical explanation, this is just what i know from observation.