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  • Writer's pictureAlvin Shi

Blender Saga: Intermediate Modelling

Previously, we delved into how to make an interesting cutoff shader, along with some nice outlines. During that time period, I ran into the issue of not having things to stick my shaders on. No matter how cool and fancy a cartoonish shader is, there's only so much it can do to a spherical surface. To that end, I set my sights on learning how to properly model more complicated things.

Coming from an Adobe Illustrator background, the concept of manipulating vertices and curves to generate surfaces translated over nicely from how the polygonal pen tool works. Most of my troubles came in the form of not knowing important keyboard shortcuts, so I'd sometimes waste time manually selecting sets of vertices or faces I could have otherwise quickly singled out. At any rate, I was figuring some stuff out in that department.

I also managed to wrangle the hair modifier, and I generally learned a lot about modifiers and how they help make modelling a lot easier. For example, the grass in the above photo isn't manually placed (like old-me would have tried to do), it's all managed under one hair modifier. The windows aren't all manually spaced out like that either; it's an array modifier on one rectangular prism.

(astute readers may notice a kind of glassy transparency to the windows. I'll talk about wrangling with that kind of stuff in a later post)

Speaking of the hair modifier, I also made an onigiri planet for people to enjoy:

Here the bumpiness of the rice hairs mesh really well with the toon shader, generating some nice texture in the model. Likewise, the outlining is quite detailed, taking into account all of the little bumps present on our suhi's surface.

With more complex modelling under my belt, I was excited to move on to more ambitions animations and loops. After all, intermediate modelling was only one of two things I wanted to learn next after figuring out a general toon shader setup.

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