Blender 3D: Your First 3D Character | SouthernShotty3D | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (1h 4m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Blender Interface

    • 3. Sketching a Character

    • 4. Modeling Basics

    • 5. Modeling Your Character Part 1

    • 6. Modeling Your Character Part 2

    • 7. Texturing Your Character

    • 8. Rendering Your Character

    • 9. Outro

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About This Class

I've made another 3D class, even easier for beginners here:

In this Skillshare class, you will design, model, and texture your own 3D character! Your project will be creating a rotating video of your character. We will be using Blender 3D, a free open-source software to create our character in 3D. You will be guided through the process of designing, modeling, texturing, lighting, and rendering a character for 3D.

This course will cover skills traditionally used in animation, motion design, video game design, and some VFX.

We will be optimizing workflow for speed and efficiency. No prior knowledge is necessary, but some familiarity with Blender’s interface will be helpful. If you're brand new to Blender or need a refresher, I'd recommend checking out this class (add class link) before getting started.


Upload your project for a chance to win three hand-painted shaders for Blender! More details in the intro video. Winners to be announced January 1st, 2020

Meet Your Teacher

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Motion: Design, Direction, & Animation

Top Teacher

I’m a motion design: art director, animator, and illustrator with a love for all things 2D and 3D. I'm work as a animator in silicon valley at a social media giant. I am also a creative director at MoGraph Mentor. It’s a blessing to be part of the motion design community. I enjoy teaching others in MoGraph Mentor, Skillshare, and Youtube courses with a focus on character design and animation.

If you catch me away from my computer, I’m probably hiking, volunteering, or traveling with my lovely wife and spoiled dogs.

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1. Intro: Hey, I'm Remington from Southern Shotty 3D. I'm a Blender studio animator that uses Blender for most of my client work. 3D can be intimidating to get started with, I know, especially making a character. Through this class, we're going to walk you through how to make your first character in 3D. The great thing about Blender is that it's free, so the entry point is easy to get started. No previous Blender knowledge is necessary, but I have included a link to the fundamentals in the description below if you want to get comfortable with the interface before starting. By the end of this class, you will have a fully rendered video of your character. Make sure to include your process along the way by posting in the projects as an added bonus, all students who sign up in the first month have a chance to win my Shader Pack for free. This course will focus on modeling your characters, but as an added bonus, I'm including an animated and rig version of the character that we will be making in this project for you to explore and to play with. Let's get started. One second, that's my dog. Sorry, my little friend here wanted to help, but let's get started now. 2. Blender Interface: First we're going to go through the basics of the blender interface. It's a big program and can be kind of intimidating at first, but once you learn how to navigate your way around, you'll find it's actually pretty simple. Blender is a free program that you can download at, which there is a link in the project description. Then once you open blender, you will get greeted with a scene like this, which gives you a light, a camera, and a default cube. First of all, if you're serious about 3D or you're going to want to consider getting a 3D mouse, but we can actually go up here to the Preferences, and you can go look into the input and there is the option to emulate a three-button mouse for all left will work as middle click and you're also going to want a number pad, but if you do not have one, you can emulate a number pad. This will use the 1-0 keys at the top of your keyboard. It's important to note that down here, I have changed some of my default settings. I changed my space-bar action from play to search, and I turned on my tab for pie menu. I find that to be a lot more user friendly and you will see us using that later in the video, so just wanted you to be aware that those are my settings. You'll be able to see the keys that I'm using down here. Blender has a lot of keyboard shortcuts, so just wanted you to be aware of what keys I'm clicking as I'm moving around. First of all, let's look at how to navigate around this view port. By middle clicking, you'll rotate around if you select an object and press period on the numpad you'll zoom in on it and then you can zoom around that object with your old mouse click. If you hold Shift, middle click, you will move side to side and up and down. It's called panning, and if you hold Ctrl and middle click, you will zoom in and out. To select objects, you just left-click them. Right-clicking them gives them plenty of options. Over here, you can see how to move our objects around, what these tools, so we have these what are called gizmos. You have the move gizmo, the rotate gizmo, and the scale gizmo. The move gizmo lets you move that object around. The color of each gizmo corresponds to the axis that it is rotating, scaling or moving on. Green is y, x is red, and z is blue. You also have this little gizmo appear that you can use to drag around or click to snap to different views. You can also access those view ports up here by top, bottom, front, back, right, left. You will know what view port description you're in by the description up here. You can also access those by pressing the numpad, so 1377 gives you top, one gives you front, three gives you right. If you hold Ctrl and click a number, it will give you the opposite. For example, if you hold Ctrl 7, it will take you to the bottom view. To exit that view, you just click and move back around. It can be a bit difficult navigating in 3D space, if it's your first time so take some time to get used to it. Pressing zero, takes you to the camera view. Again, if you just click, you will move out of that, and those are the basics of moving around the view port. Now, you've seen how to move with the gizmo, but you can also select an object. Let's go up here to our selection mode and you can hold G and move your object around if you tap the axis, so if you press x, it will only move it on the x-axis, and if you hold G and tap x, for example, and hit 5, it will move it five units on the x-axis, negative five would move you back five units. The units are measured by default by metrics. Though, you can change those over here on this settings, which we'll get to that a little later. Those are the basics of moving around. If you can't remember the shortcut or you can't remember where to click a button, every view port in Blender has all of its options accessible up here. You can see that you have add, object, transform, move, rotate, scale. If you just look around these menus and take the time to read through, you can see that you can access pretty much everything up here. Another way to access information is by pressing the space-bar and searching. You can select a lot of things from here and you see there I typed move and hit "Enter" and I can move it around. If I hold the left-click, it'll put it in that place. If I hit right-click, it'll reset it to where it originally grabbed it from. Those are the basic navigational points in Blenders viewport. Let's hop into how we can add objects. Again, you can add those objects by clicking up here, but we can also hold Shift A. So if we hold Shift A, we have mesh and we can select all these meshes, curves will allow us to add curves. There's a couple advanced options here you have text, crease pencils for 2D, armatures for rigging characters, empties or objects you can use to hold information almost like a null in After Effects. You can add images, lights, cameras, and those are the main things you can add that we will be using in this course. Over here, by the default view, we have our navigation point here. Up here we have an outliner and outliner is almost like your organization center. We can take this which is currently called collection, which is like a layer if you're familiar with astrophysics or photo-shop, and we can call this default cube. We can twirl that up and down and over here you see we have these eyeballs which will turn off the visibility in the viewport, but when we go to render our final image, sows will still render. If we do not want our objects to render, we can click this little check box here, and that will turn off them being able to render and also turn them off in the viewport. That's the basics of the outliner. Again, there's a lot of options here. You can click up here and see more there, if you want to filter things or add more options to allow you to select certain objects easier. Over here we have our Properties panel. Now, the property panel holds all of your render information, and your dimensions information, and your render passes. Some of these will go through when we get to the final lesson video where we discuss rendering out a video over a character, but from the most part, these are advanced, so we'll save those for the end of the video. The thing to note is that this is object dependence so if I grab this object, you see that all these properties changed. Now suddenly we have all these options for our cube relations, mesh data, things like that. The ones we'll be using the most are this little re-entering here, which allows us to add modifier. For example, if we wanted to add a subdivision modifier, it's going to add geometry and try and smooth out or object. You can see that because we had so little geometry, it crushed our square and turned it into a sphere. We can just delete that for now by clicking this little x. We also have here what is our material panels, which is where we can add shaders and textures and things like that. How to delete something in Blender. It's backwards, you hold x and then hit delete. You don't use the delete key normally. We can also right-click our object, and you'll see that we have some information that we can access there. We'll be using a little bit of that later. Moving on, let's say that we want to change the look of the viewport. Up here we have the different views. Now, because I have the tab on, I can hold Z and switch between those different views or you can click them up here. We have wire-frame which will show us the wire-frame member object, how it draws lines from vertices to vertices. If we click here, we have our solid viewport shading, which is what we have there. This is called look dev, it shows you your shaders and other things. It gives you an idea of what your render light look like. Then here's a preview render mode. This will actually render your object in the scene and show you what that scene is going to look like when you hit render just with lower settings. Let's switch back here a solid mode. If we click this little area, you have plenty of little tweaks and things you can do there. You can change the lighting of the scene and things like that. Help customize your viewport to better serve whatever project you're on. When you click up here we have overlay options. This allows us to turn off different things so here we have the 3D cursor, so we can go ahead and turn that off. We can turn the floor off. We can turn the axis off. We can turn off anything up there to clean up or view port if we feel things are getting too complicated. Those are the basics and navigating around the viewport. The last thing I'll go through is how to customize your viewport. You can see right now by default we have the properties panel, the outliner, a timeline down here, and our viewport. I want to add a new window. We can do that. It's going to create a duplicate of this window. To change that window, you just select the little icon up here and you can choose what window you want down here. If you want to close a window, you click down on the corner and you drag back over and it'll show you arrows showing you what way it's going to collapse. Now, by default Blender is is going to open in layout mode. But up here you see that it has various little tabs here where they have preset layouts for you. We have a modeling tab, which makes it easier to jump right into edit mode with all of our tools. Here we have a sculpting mode that switches us into sculpting mode and gives us all of our sculpting tools, we have UV editing mode, which we'll set up our object and our UV map over here. A UV map was like unwrapping an object so that you can apply textures to it and paint textures onto it. Here we have the texture paint mode. This allows us to paint textures onto our models. We have a shading mode, and this will give us a file browser and image editor and this will show us our shader graph down here and our viewport up here, by default switched to look dev mode so that we can get an idea of what our shader would look like. For example, if you want under your character to hold a glass in his hand, you could add a glass shader down here. Animation shows us our camera view, our viewport, and gives us a dope sheet down here. I dope sheet displays your key frames if you've ever used animation software, this is going to be very familiar to you. Rendering will show you what your render looks like after you've hit render. Compositing allows you to composite effects on top of your render so that you can add more flair, color, correct, or do other special effects. Some people use blender for visual effects on live action video, and here we have a scripting hub, and this is very advanced and this is for developers who want to add features to Blender or run scripts within their scenes. For now, let's jump into sketching a character that we can use in our scene. 3. Sketching a Character: Let's begin sketching our character. Everybody has a different way of how they approach drawing, but these are some of the methods I use to optimize a design for a character that I'm intending to make in 3D. I'm going to walk you through my sketching process here. Here I'm just tossing a lot of ideas down here on paper. Now, you can't see in this rendered video, but I actually had a grid that I was using and I'll explain why that's valuable in a second. But what I did to start as I just chose a topic of animals and started working with animals in basic shapes. Because I wanted to create a model that was going to be quick and easy to create, I wanted to start with more primitive shapes so that there wouldn't be much modeling required to get it from the primitive shape to the final character. You can see that I'm working with a lot of triangles, a lot squares, and a lot circles. I'm not really doing any complex silhouettes or things like that. When you're designing character, think about contrast. Think about giving them a big body with a little head and think about giving them a lot of round features with a couple of straight features to add contrast. That contrast is going to add a lot of visual appeal to your character, and I think that's really important when designing a character, is following design principles by applying them to a character. A lot of people think to make this character more likable, although I was trying to keep them simple for the sake of simplicity of this project, I went ahead and I gave them little tiny legs to go with this big body and then I actually scrunched up his nose and his eyes into what is more traditionally drawn on a toddler's face to give them almost like a little baby proportions to make them a little more appealing. Big eyes and a little mouth set further up in the head, really makes a character or more appealing if you're looking for a more cutesy character. Here, which is very important for 3D, you can see that I have picked a character. I've decided to go with the owl, and this is where the grid comes in handy. To model based off of our image, we're going to want to draw a front and a side view. By using a grid, I can line up important features. You can see that I have the top of the head lined up, and then I can line up the eyes, and the beak, and the feet to make sure that all those things are in-line. Then what we'll do later is we will take these images and we will put them together and pose so that when we switch from front to side view that these images will be in the background so that we can model on top of those. That'll make it a lot easier, especially as beginners for us to model over these sketches. But now we have a front and a side reference, so let's jump into our projects so that we can begin modeling with these references in the back. 4. Modeling Basics: Modeling is a vast skill set that you could always improve upon, but we're going to go through some of the basics in this video lesson so that you can get started with modeling and some of the most commonly used functions. If you're struggling to follow along in the series at all, I'm actually saving these project files as I go along. So you can open my project files at any time and see where I'm at and follow along with me that way as well if you're struggling to keep up. So here we are in object mode, and I showed you how to move your object around, but we haven't discussed exactly how to edit our object. What we're going to do is if you switched your preferences like me, you will hold tab and switched to edit mode. Now, by default it should be on vertex mode. If you see these vertices that we have all around this cube, we can grab one vertex, and we can grab that, and we can move that around, and that is one way that we can edit our model. You can see what mode you're in up here where you have vertex faces and edges. This is edges and this is faces. If you press one, two, and three it'll switch between them. If I press two, I can go on edge mode. An edge is a line drawn from vertex to vertex, I can grab that and move that around. A face is whenever all these edges come together to form one shape with a closed loop as in we can grab that face and we can move that face around. Now, selection modes, we can use the box select, and we can select everything there. We can press A to unselect, we can press A to select everything. We can come over here and we can press C, and let's actually switch to vertex mode, Press C, and you can see that we can draw over these, and just select those, and then we have a face selected. We can Middle click and unselect those. So that works the same way in object mode. Over here, we have all of our different tools. These are your basic movement tools. If you want to grab this, you could have your gizmos, and here if you like working that way, that's a lot easier for most beginners. We have our annotate, this is where we can take notes on the screen measure. This is where we can measure all real-world coordinate. If we're trying to create something physically accurate, and then right here is the back of the tools we're going to be using. There's some more tools down here. A lot of these tend to be more advanced tools or tools that you don't use this option. So we're going focus on this little section right here. We have extrude region inset faces, bevel, loop cut, and knife. Now, these are the tools that you're going to use on most of your modeling most frequently. Let's actually switch to face mode. Grab a face, [inaudible] Extrude region. We can grab this little tool, and we can move that up or down and extrude there, and we can scale that in and out depending on how we want our model to look. Let's go ahead and undo that. There's other options in here that are more advanced options, but we'll discuss some of those later. Here we have our inset faces. If we click "Inset Face" and we just click on that and drag, you can see that it's actually going to inset that face inside of itself. Now, unlike the extrude, you could get a similar effect by extruding scaling, but unlike the extrude, this won't add up or down. But then what we can do is we can go ahead and take our extrude and bring that in there. Now, here we have our bevel modifier. If we actually come into edge selection mode, let's select these four edges here. Select these four edges here, and select these four edges here. We can actually go ahead and grab the Bevel tool and click on that face there. We can actually drag and it will add a bevel. Now, any of these tools and when you're done it will give you options here. So you can unclick that and see all the options. Now, this can be intimidating with a bevel, but the big thing you are going to look at when you're using a bevel is how many segments you want to use. Right here, it's out of this one face. If we hit two, you can see that it's going to add more faces there, and if we hit three see we're going to add more faces there. For there let's just add three. Let's just click out of there and now we've kind of inset our face extruded it inwards, and then we've beveled the edges. Let's look at what a loop cut does. So a loop cut will actually loop around whatever part of the object it can and create what is called an edge loop. If you just sit there and click, it will add one edge loop or if you click and move, you can adjust where that edge loop is, but by default that's going to go to the center. So let's actually go ahead and undo those. Here we have the knife cut. Now, the knife cut you can just drag on and wherever it's red, it's creating a vertex. We can just kind of snap there. Hit enter and you can see that just cuts geometry wherever we put it in. Let's undo that. Now, it's a much faster to use the shortcuts if you can remember those. Let's go ahead tap three, let's go back to our selection mode up here, let's collect this face here. If you want to extrude, you hit E and by default it's going to go up and down on the z-axis. Let's undo that by right-clicking and hitting Control z. If we hit I we can inset our faces and do that. Now this one doesn't make us much sense, E makes sense for Extrude, I makes sense for inset, but knife or loop cut is actually control R. When we click here, it will let us drag. Then we can click again to set it. Again we have our options there. Now K is for knife and some of these tools you can see have all these extra options down here. So for knife, we can see that for example, if we want to constrain it to an angle, we hit C, and we'll see that now changes to on, and then when we begin to draw, it will constrain it to whatever angle we begin drawing on. If we hit Enter, it will add that. So let's undo that. So those are the basics of the modeling tools that we will be using. We talked about using Box modeling as a basic form of modeling. Let's go ahead let's add a cube here, and let's move this over on the Y-axis.Now when you use Box modeling, you're going to use a subdivision modifier on top of that box more often. So what a subdivision does is it's going to add extra geometry and attempt to smooth out between that geometry. So you can see here that if we turn that there, and we can adjust how many subdivisions it does. To give you a visual illustration of what a subdivision looks like if we come in here and we select everything and right-click, we have the sub-divide option. We can add these cuts and you can see how it's subdividing all these faces and adding extra geometry there. Let's undo that because that's a bit denser geometry than we want. Let's come over here. The advantage of using this modifier is that you can turn it on and off or get rid of it if you want, and you can just it real-time. Whereas sub-dividing like I just did, is actually baked into the mesh at that point. Here we go. We can actually turn this view port up so that we see more subdivisions. You have render and view port. You can turn the view port down if your view port is lagging, and then it won't do all those extra subdivisions until it gets to the render. Whenever you add a modifier from this list, you can move it up and down on the stack, or you can press X to get rid of it you can turn it off in the view port or if you want, you can turn it off in edit mode, but leave it on in the view port so when you go back out, it's there. So those are kind of the basic options you have. So let's look at how subdivision is affecting this model because the baking bit kind of difficult to understand at first. So what it's doing is it is subdividing from edge to edge, and then trying to create a smooth subdivision from there. So we've told it that we want it to subdivide to the power of two and that is going to divide this twice, giving us these 12 faces on top, and then it is trying to blend from edge to edge. Now, let's see we end up with like a sphere looking shape. Now, let's add a subdivision to this cube, and you can see that it's round and round [inaudible] around, and that's because we have all this extra geometry in there. So rather than just one edge to one edge, it has all this other geometry to calculate in between and kind of help keep structure more. For example, let's say that we wanted this to be more like a trashcan base. Let's hit Control R add a loop cut here and drag this down. Now, I want to subdivide and it only has to sub-divide from this edge to this edge giving us a sharper angle. If we wanted to do that even more, we could select this bottom face, insert that edge, and you can see that now we have a sharper angle down there. Likewise, up here. If we wanted to sharpen, maybe this inset in here, we could grab the face in there, and this was when it can be helpful to turn off an edit mode so you can see what you're doing more, and we can inset that in. But because we already have all these bubbles, we have all these extra edge loops in here, you can see that for the most part it's keeping its shape around there. Now, let's actually tab out here. You can see here that we actually have let's turn our view port up to two. You can see that we actually have all these sharp lines. If this was a trashcan, we'd want it to look smooth. Well we have this object selected, and we can see that with this object selected that we have a thousand Faces that are seen already there. Now, the more faces you add on the scene, the more denser it's going to get in and the slower your computer is going to run. So you can imagine that if we had tens of thousands of faces to get the silk smooth, you know how slow your computer would run. For now let's go ahead and delete this one. Let's click this. So to trick the computer into rendering from here to here smooth, we can right-click it and hit shades smooth. You can see there that's kind of helped us out. Now, if we wanted we could go ahead and add more geometry and get an even smoother circle there, and we could keep adding geometry until Smooth. Now, these are the basics of box editing. You're going to be inside, you're going to be using those tools I mentioned, and a subdivision modifier on top. With these techniques, we will actually be able to create our character that we sketched in the last scene. Let's get started on our character. 5. Modeling Your Character Part 1: Let's just hop into our default scene here. Let's get rid of the camera. Get rid of the light for now so that we can focus on our box here. What we're going to do is we're going to take those sketches we had from before, the front view and the side view. I just have them out here in a window right here. I'm just going to go ahead. I'm just going to drag those into the scene. You can see it's just going to place them as images here. I'm going to double-click up here, name these accordingly. I have my side view and I have my front view. Then what I'm going to do is create a new collection, which is like a folder. I'm going to call this reference, and then I'm going to put these in there. Then that allows me to easily turn these on and off. Now, what we're going to do is center them up to the view. We're going to grab both of these by holding this one and shift collecting this one, we're going to hit "Shift S" and this wheel is going to pop up. This is called the 3D cursor. We have these selected, so we're going to want selection to cursor. That's just going to center those up to the cursor, and in turn center those up with our cube. Now we're going to come into reference. We're going to click Side. We're going to hit "R" 90 "Z". That's going to rotate our photo 90 degrees on the z-axis. You can see here that now we have our side view and our front view aligned up. Let me switch to wireframe mode here. When we press "1", we can see a photo from the front. When we press "3", we can see our photo from the side. We can switch back and forth and model that way very easily. One thing I want to do before we start is take these reference photos and make them always on top. You do that by clicking down here on the picture tab with one of our photos selected, hit, "Depth" "Front". Then we'll do that here in front. Then unfortunately when we do that, we can't see our box because you can see that it's always in front. What we're going to do is then use Alpha. Let's make that 0.15. I'll do the same here and make that 0.15. That just makes it see-through. Lastly, let's take this group. We will click the "Filter". We'll click this little arrow, that gives us more options here. We're going to click that and now we can select our photos. With that, we're ready to begin modeling. Let's select our cube. Come over here to the Modifier Tab, Add Modifier. Let's add a subdivision surface. If you're struggling with your viewport lagging, then you can keep these numbers lower. But for now, let's turn this up to two. We're going to right-click this and we're going to shade smooth. That'll make our object to look smooth. We're going to hit "Tab", and we're going to go into Edit mode. Now we're going to begin modeling. But before we get started, let's hit "Control R". Click here, go into wireframe mode by pressing Z. Again, you can access those modes up there, but I'll be using the Z key throughout this. Let's click B, and that'll allow us to draw our box. Let's delete these vertices here. Then let's tap back out to object mode. Let's go here. Let's add a mirror modifier, and that will mirror our entire model across. Now, when we come in here, we can grab and we can move everything around. You can see that it will mirror it on both sides. Let's go back to front view here. If you get lost in which view I'm in, it is always labeled up here. Let's take these points here. I'll try and use these gizmos as much as I can so that you can follow along with what I'm clicking. Let's drag this up there and let's select these. If you want to keep the gizmo active, but you want to use box select. You can press B, and that'll give you this little cursor and you can drag. Then when you're done selecting, it'll go away and go back to your Gizmo. We'll hit Box there. Let's go ahead bringing that over. This is just an adjusting game as we play there. I'm going to bring the bottom of this box edge down to here. We can see that it's not reaching all the way, and that's because that subdivision is smoothing things too much. Let's hit "Control R" with our loop cut. We'll drag this down until we start to get a little bottom there. Let's grab these and move those over. Now, I'm moving quick for the sake of time. I know that may be hard for some people who aren't familiar with the program. Feel free to slow down or to pause and catch up. Or if you need to, you can go ahead and just grab my project files and follow along that way. Let's go ahead and add another edge loop here. We'll put it right there. Let's grab these and move those out there. Let's go ahead, add more and more edge loop up here. I grab that one, move that in. Again, you're paying attention to this outline right here. Let's go ahead and grab this one. Move that in. You can see that's getting a bit closer to what we want. Now this one seems a little too high, so let's go ahead and grab that one. Great. We have a pretty good shape from the front. You can see there that it matches our body shape. Now let's go to the side view by pressing 3. Go over there and you can see you that our owl is way too skinny. Let's grab these vertices and we're just going to bring that line out to the edge. Again, let's bring these out there. We're just going little edge loop there. There you can see that's following the curve nicely. Let's grab this little butt back there. Let me grab this and move this forward. Now your butt doesn't have to match this sketch exactly. This is just serving as a reference for us which we will stick pretty closely to for the sake of this tutorial. Let's go ahead and add an edge loop here. What we're going to do is we're going to take that edge loop and we're going to bring that down a bit. We're going to grab this one, bring it over. Let's take that down and let's grab the back of his head. Now, I've been grabbing the axis, but you can also grab these squares and you want to move on both axis. Let's go ahead and grab both those squares and move that there. Now, I wanted his face to look flat. Let's come back over here, bring these back in. I'm using the box select, but you can also use what is called the circle select. If you press "C", that will bring up a circle and you can scale in and out and use that to select. Then if you right-click, it'll get rid of that little circle. I sometimes switch back and forth. There we go. If we tap back out into object mode, let's make that solid and let's scale around. Here we go, we have a pretty good owl shaped body. But if you notice when we come into the top, he looks square from these corners. That's because we started with a square, so that's to be expected. What we need to do is go back into edit mode and let's just switch over to wireframe mode. You'll notice that I'm working in wireframe mode a lot. If you're working on solid mode, you may be trying to select things and move them around and then realize you're only moving one side. That's because wireframe mode looks like an x-ray mode, so you can see the vertices from all side and select all the way through. That's just something that can be troublesome for beginners. Let's go ahead and move this end just to round out the face a bit. We'll come up here and we'll grab this whole corner. We're just basically taking what would be considered the box corners and bringing them in. There we go. Now we have more of a round little bird body. Let's go ahead and let's add these legs. This is where we're going to start using some of those tools we learned in the basic modeling course. We will come in here. Actually before we do this, let's actually add or apply this subdivision. We can actually move the mirror modifier up in the stack, if we want. That's something. You'll notice there that it's actually, I switched into focus mode, which I just did that with forward slash. You can see that the order of things affects the modeling. You can see that if we put the mirror first, it's actually a little bit smoother. Let's go ahead and put the mirror first. We'll take our subdivision and we will apply it. Then we're going to add another one. We're going to turn that one off so we can see what happens when we apply it. When we apply a subdivision surface, now you can see all of that geometry is now baked into the mesh. That's important to note, that if you apply a subdivision surface, there's no way to go back unless if you Control and Z a bunch of times. Whereas before, we could just turn the subdivision surface on and off. Now we have our geometry baked in. Before we go ahead and add the legs, let's switch to an edge mode here. We don't need all of this geometry. It's just cluttering up our scenes. If we hold "Alt Shift, click" and we click an "Edge" loop, it will select that loop all the way around as far as that edge goes. Now, before we did delete edges and vertices and things like that. If we delete edges, you see that it creates this bridge of emptiness, and that's not what we want. We want to go to X and dissolve. That's going to try and maintain the geometry, but get rid of that edge loop. We can maybe get rid of this one and get rid of this one. That just helps keep our mesh from getting too dense. You can see that our topology, which is what you call your facial structure here, looks a little bit more smoother and cleaner. Let's go into making our legs now. 6. Modeling Your Character Part 2: What we're going to do is switch to face mode by pressing 2, and this is an instance when you want to be in solid view because when you click down here, you don't want to be clicking a face up here, which is in your wireframe mode. You can click right through and hit another face. Let's grab this one right here and come into the front view. We'll press E, and extrude down to the heel there. It extrudes on the normal there, so you see that it came outside of an angle. Let's go ahead and straighten that up. If we grab our auto rotation gizmo here, just get that flat with the grid. Great. Now what we're going to do is go to the side view and make sure that we're straight there as well. Let's grab this face, go back to the side view and rotate. Let's use the side view here as a reference and we'll actually bring that all the way down to the bottom. We're going to hit Ctrl R, we're going to drag that edge loop down to the beginning of the foot, we're going to do as we're going to rotate in the back. With face mode selected, we will go back to the sideview. We'll press E, extruder foot, we'll go over here to the front and we'll do the same thing. We will extrude our foot. See that because we have the mirror mode on and it's doing it on both sides there. Let's go ahead and turn this back on and you'll see that it's got nasty little skinny, smooth feet. What we're going to do is we're going to add an edge loop here. Carry that up to tighten that edge loop here. Bring that down to tighten there. Again, this shortcut is Ctrl R, click there, slide it up front. We're tightening it up there as well by adding one. Then the back actually looks pretty good, but we can add one there just for safety. Now, we want these feet to be wide at the front. What we're going to do is we're going to hit 1 to get our vertices selected. We're going to press C, and let's just select these ones around here. You can see I accidentally selected some back here. We'll press C, deselect those. We can use the scale key here, and let's just scale that out there on the x-axis, which is the red one. Let's press 2, and we'll deselect that by pressing A. Then let's Shift collect this, stretch that out and there you go. You can see that we have a little L foot. Now, we can see it looks smooth on the edges here. So we can actually go ahead and add an edge loop here on the side if we want, there's one way to do that. But then you can see that we're getting all these lines up here. Let's just hit Ctrl Z, undo that and another thing we can do to sharpen scenes here in Blender and this won't transfer to other programs, but it works for Blender. If we hit Shift there, Shift here, Shift there, we're just going to select those edge loops on both sides. Click all of those. What we're going to do is we're going to come up here to Edges and we will do what is called edge crease and the shortcut is shifty. If you hit that, it'll look like nothing's happened, but you need to drag left and right. So by dragging to the left, it'll sharpen that. If it turns red, you sharpen it all the way. Let's go ahead and bring that up just a little bit. You can see it's added an edge crease there. That just helps sharpen that object there. I'll take Ctrl R, and we can add one down here for the bottom and there you go. Now our foot has its shape. So let's go back out here and we can see that now our owl has this little L feet. Now we have our feet. Now we need to add the wings, and the eyes, and the beak, and the little tail feathers. This is what we're going to do is we're going to come here to our front view. We're going to hold Shift A, go to Mesh and click "Cube." You may not be able to see it at first, but it is there. If you switch to wireframe mode, you can see that it's hiding inside of our bird. Now, it may be hard to call grabs. What you can do is come up here to the collection, click that, it will select it, and then you'll be able to see it. Let's go ahead and we'll just drag this out here for now. We'll just make the wing over here. We're going to grab our scale key. Let's go ahead and scale it in so that it's thin like a wing. Then we'll rotate around here or just switch to the side view if we want. Let's go ahead and switch to the side so we can see it a little bit better. Let's grab our y-axis and we can go ahead and scale it down there. Now let's add a subdivision surface to this, and now it looks awful. Let's add our viewport up here to two. Let's tab in the edit mode. Let's add an edge loop up here, and an edge loop down here. I'm just going to go ahead and go back to object move, go to grab here, and move this down here. Then I'm going to go back in to edit mode. I'm going to switch to vertices by pressing 1, and then I'm going to switch to wireframe. Again, if you need to switch modes, those are up there. Let's go ahead, grab these and move those up and give them short little wings. We'll just grab this, grab the scale. Let's scale that out there and switch back the object mode. We can now see that we have a little bit of a wing there. Let's right-click that, hit "Shade smooth," switch to front view, and you can see that we're not getting that crease. Again, we can come in here and add edge loops or we can do creases. Let's do some creases. Let's switch to wireframe mode. Let's box select these. We'll switch back to edge mode. Let's get rid of that edge and that edge and that edge. I'm just selecting these to get rid of them. It's just the same selection in any other program. Let's go back up here in the edge into our edge crease. Let's go ahead and do that almost all the way. Then over here, let's actually, on this side, we will click and I'll click there. That'll just select the faces and then edge loop making it a little bit easier. Again, we will go up to edge and edge crease and bring that out a little better. If we switch back to object mode let's see now there are wings holding it structure. Even though this deviates from the illustration, I think I'm actually going to exaggerate up here a bit. Let's hit one, go into Z frame and then I'm just on a side view here and we'll just box like those. Let's go ahead and scale those in a bit. Grab this one. Scale it in a bit. Let's go ahead and add another edge loop here by hitting Ctrl R. This one says deselect it, we'll just scale that out on the y there and go back into object mode. There we go. Now we have our little wing. How do we go about getting this wing under this body? We'll just grab this over here and use our rotation and just say that we want to rotate a wing there. You'll notice that it's disappearing in there, but we can still see where it is with the selection. We're just going to match that to our sketch and you can just go back and forth there. I think that's good enough. If I click here, I can now see that I have the owl's wings there on the side. Now, I actually think I want to make this a little bit thicker. It's looking a little bit of thin. So I've gone back in edit mode, we'll switch to wireframe mode. It's actually use the C, scale that down by scrolling in the mouse wheel and just select along here, switch to our grabbed mode here. Let's go ahead and just make this wing a little bit thicker. I'm actually going to grab these two points here. Let's just move those in so that it gets thinner as it goes up, I won't grab this one and split the difference. There we go. Now we have a little wing that can jump out of our bird. I actually want to make this rotate a little bit more so that the wing looks like it's sitting inside of the body more. How do we get this to be part of this mesh? Because if we click this and move it around, you can see that they're not attached and over here you can see that we have our body. I'm just going to rename that now. I'll just call this owl. Up here we have our wing, so what we can do is we can grab this and we can hit Spacebar to search and we can search for join. We can also press Control J, and if we hit that, see that now are wing pops over here and that's because it has been added to our mesh. If we hit Edit mode and go in here, and I'll see you that on the mesh. But they still serves as a separate object inside of the mesh. If you want to select those independently of one another, you can hold the L key and hover over a vertices, and we'll select that object and press the A to deselect that or we can select our wing. With that you can see that's how we have our little wings. Let's go ahead and make our tail and will come in here into the Side view, will hit Edit mode. Let's press L, and let's actually duplicate this. We'll switch top view by pressing Seven, and we can just go ahead and rotate those on the y-axis here. I'm just going to kind of move around there so you can see what I'm doing. I want the tail feathers to be poking up like that, and if we click this Z button and hold shift, we can rotate that more slowly if we want. But I'm actually going to hold it and press R and then hit 90 and then Z and that will push that wing back there. Then let's go ahead, switch back to the side view and move this down in line with this. But come back up here on the side just hop view by pressing Seven, and we will line that there. You can see that it's creating two copies of the mirror modifier and we will fix that later. But for now, we have a little tail feather for him and let's come up here. Let's create a little beak, so we will do the same process. Let's add a box model and we won't be able to see it so just switched to wire frame view. Here mind created in reference because I had referenced select it was grabbed that move it up to our collection. Let's name this the beak. Let's scale that down, bring it up to the size of the nose. Let's go ahead and add a subdivision surface, bring that up two, let's edit and we will add a little loop cut right there, bring that down and then we're in wire frame mode. So let's go ahead and we will scale that down on the x here. Let's actually add another loop cut, and drag that down give her beak a little bit, box select that and we'll grab that and we're just going to move that down there. Again, I think we could actually scale that beak down even a little bit more in the x. Let's go back out to object mode, see what that looks like and we can't see it because it's inside of URL. Let's go ahead and bring this out, so it's poking out there let's go to the side view. Go ahead grab the rotate tool, rotate that back here, go into edit mode, wire frame mode so that we can see through everything. Let's grab these back vertices here, bring it up there and grab these around. You do not need to follow me exactly on these, you can do whatever you like. It's actually grab all these use the rotate tool to flatten that out there and move that up here. While in edit mode, let's press A to select everything. Let's duplicate by hitting Shift D, and then we're going to grab this down and let's press the R, if you're on the side view, this should work and we'll grab that and move that forward. Let's press R and move that up here with our Move tool still activated, tap and select everything switch back to object mode and you can see, his mouth looks awful. Let's go to the Front view, go back into Edit view press L to select that one, we'll switch to our scale and let's grab that on the x and move that in. I'm just going to scale that up there, tap A to unselect everything and there we go. We have a decent looking beak. Let's right-click that and hit Shade smooth. We don't necessarily want to add this to the object like we did before, we don't really want the beak mirroring over. Remember how we had that issue here with a tail, how there was two tails on each other. Let's come back to the front view, lets grab this beak, let's grab this owl, let's say control p and this will allow us to set the parents so you want to grab the beak first and then now. Once you've done that, you can hit Object and we'll do object keep with transform, then that will keep the object in its place and now this object is parented to this object, meaning this object will follow and do whatever this object does. If we grab this, we can move it around and you can see that the beak is staying attached and that's great. Remember before when I said it was going to fix the tail. Let's go back into Edit view, let's select that tail, and now I'm going to show you how to remove an object from a mesh so that it can hit P and that will bring up separate. You can also type in any of these commands into the search bar. We want to operate by selection, and now let's go back out to object mode, and we'll click this object and you can see that when we separated it, it kept all the modifiers that the Owl had. We'll just delete that mirror and we will select the all body and hit Control P, Object keep transform. Now when we grab our owl, I'm just going to press the G Q and grab him to move him around, you will see that he moves with all of his features. I'm actually going to go back in the side view and I'm going to start working on this eye here. What we can do is we can actually, again we'll add a UV sphere so that shift A mesh UV sphere and again we won't be able to see that because it's inside of our bird and you can just click that sphere here, which went into reference and select reference and we'll grab that, and we will move that up here to be over the eyes and let's press the S key and just scale down until we get to the same size of the eyes and we'll have our grabbed key there. Let's go to the side view here, let's drag this out to match our eyes there. Let's go to the front view, let's turn off the visibility of our references, let's go on to solve view and see what we got and that's what we want these big giant bug-eyed owl eyes. That looks pretty good so what we're going to do now is hit the Owl body with the I selected and we're going to hit Control J, and that will join it and duplicate the eye to the other side. Now we are ready to begin texturing our owl. 7. Texturing Your Character: The first thing we need to do is apply the mirror modifier. We're going to apply the mirror modifier and that's so that when we paint on the right side of our object, it won't also paint on the left side. Then what we're going to do is we're going to tab in the Edit Mode, we're going to select everything and then we're going to press "U" and Smart UV Project. Now let's switch over to Texture Painting tab. You will see now that we have UVs over here and UVs are basically your model unwrapped, almost like a bunch of little stickers that will then stick back on to your character. That's how the computer knows where things go when you paint on this 2D image. Now, what we're going to do is, you see that our owl is purple and that is because there is a missing texture or so that's what Blender thinks because we haven't given him a texture yet. Let's click on the Material Properties panel here, let's click "New." Let's call this Owl Body. We're going to press N and click "Tool." Now this will be our tool properties. Over here are our tools. The main one we'll be using is Draw, which will allow us to draw onto our character. There's also Soften if we'd like to blur or Smear, if you'd like to push that around similar to the smudge brush in Photoshop. Now we need to create a texture for our owl. Let's click this little add button right here under texture slots, we'll add a base color, and then we can up this texture if we want or leave it by default, I'm going to up mine to 2048 by 2048, I'm going to hit "Okay." I'm going to select the color and make this black. Now you'll see that the bird body has become black. You'll also see that now we have tool properties over here. The main ones you want to focus on are the radius, the strength, and the color. With the draw tool selected, we can begin drawing on our bird. You will see that this color right here is our active color, and that's the color that we'll paint. We can go ahead and we can change that color to whatever we want. To change the radius of the brush, you can change here and click around. You can also press the F key and drag your mouse and click again to set your radius there. That's a much faster way to do it. Strength key is here, and that works just like opacity. If we turn that down, you can see that that's about 30 percent cent. You can adjust that by pressing Shift F and there, it will give you a fall off and let you know how much opacity you have on your brush. With those tools, you should be able to paint your entire owl. Two more tools that will help you is the Fill bucket here, so that you can choose a base color for your owl. Let's say that we want to choose this orange, then we can click there and it will paint our whole owl orange. We can start with an orange rather than a black and that way we don't have to paint over our entire owl to get rid of that black. There's also the Gradient here. You can choose your two colors here by clicking here and changing the color there, then you can drag and that will do a gradient based on wherever you drag and land. One thing that is very important is that your texture will not save automatically. So when you want to save your texture after you're done painting, you want to come up here. You want to make sure you have the correct texture selected, which is the owl body-based color in our case, and you can see all of our painting there. Now, if you were to close Blender, all of this would disappear if you do not save it. I just can't stress that enough. Let's come up here to Image, then we can Save As, and then we can pick anywhere on our computer to save our image. Once we've done that, Blender will save our image and reference it. Now if we want to go and update our image and do more painting, we would then have to come up here and select Save again. In that case, you could just hit Save here. One last tool to help you with texture painting is called Paint masking, and this will allow you to focus on certain areas that you want to paint. If you come up here and you toggle this little button, that will turn on Paint masking. Now you will only paint what is selected. Now the selection tools are the same as edit mode and A, it will deselect everything. If you hold L, you can go around and select which body parts you want to paint. You can also just switch over to edit view, and you can just tab L and then switch back to Texture Paint and then whatever you have selected there, you can then paint on individually and it won't get on the other objects. That just makes it a lot easier to paint things like the wings. With these tools, you should be able to paint the whole owl however you like. However, I'm going to time-lapse through the painting process for the sake of time. If you'd like to see a full length video recording of me painting the owl, there will be a link in the description below. I've just pulled these colors off reference images on the Internet looking at owls and other illustrations of owls and choosing colors that I like and found appealing. I'm just using the fill bucket to start with a base and a little bit of a gradient. Then I'm just using the draw brush to go through and draw these patterns around his eyes and draw in these little ruffled feathers. Currently, this texture only works on the body because the body has its own object and that's the only object we created a texture for. Now if you want to do this for the tail, you would go through the same exact process and create a new texture. Again, if you need help figuring that out, you can watch the full video recording in the description. Now we're ready to light and render our character. But again, I want to remind you to save your texture. 8. Rendering Your Character: Now we're going to light our character and render them out into a video. Lighting and rendering is actually a pretty complicated process and since this is a beginner video, I've included this lighting setup project that we're going to use to light our character. You can see down here that I have a plane that is spinning, and then I have some lights around the scene. I'm going to talk about how you can adjust some of these settings for your character but first, let's import our character. We'll come up here and will click "File Append", and then we're going to import our character from our scene file. What you want to do is you want to click the file that has your character in it, in my case it's texturing-character 001 here, and then I'm going to go to object and then I'll see all these objects here. I know that I want to import the beak and the tail and the body. There's the body and the tail and the beak, and let's hit "Append". You'll see that now it has placed our object into our scene and if we grab this, everything should move around fine. What we're going to do now is we're going to parent our owl to the plane. Let's click this button here, and that will take us to the first frame. You can also just drag and click over here, and we will grab our bird, and we will grab our plane, and then we will hit "Shift-click", and then we will hit "Control P" to parent and keep transform. What that will do is make our bird spin. Now, I have it set to five seconds. If you want it to be longer or shorter, you can change the n number here, and then you can just grab this key frame by clicking it and hitting G, and you can move that wherever you want. Now, if we come up here and click this button, we will see a render preview of what our bird looks like in the scene. Now if your computer is a bit slower, that may be hard for it, so you can click this mode here, which is called, look dev mode, and that'll give you a preview of what our character is going to look like. What we can do here is we can now take any of these lights and if you come over here to the light properties, you can change the color of the light, or you can change the strength of the light. That's how you can adjust those settings and you're more than welcome to take these lights and move them around, or if you hit "Shift A", you can play with these lights and make your own lighting setup if you want. If we come up here to the render properties, we can see what device we're using to render. If your computer doesn't have a good video card, you may need to switch to CPU. If you don't see your video card there, you may need to come up here to preferences and come down to system, and you can see that if we have none, that disappears and if we switch to CUDA or OpenCL, we can click our video card there. Here are our Render Settings. If you're struggling to move around in the viewport or minor mode, you can try turning the viewport samples down. What samples are, is they just go over and they recalculate all the 3D light over and over. The higher samples you have, the better your image is going to look. Now here I have my sample set relatively low because I'm using what's called a denoise pass. Over here, in the compositor, you can see I have a de-noising node. Now when you press "Render", if your screen's coming out black, you may need to delete this node, and the way you do that is you just get that and press "X" and then drag this node over here and put it into this white slot right here, and then you'll render without the de-noising pass. If you find that your image looks noisy when you render it, you may want to up these samples here. If your computer is taking way too long to render, what you can also do is you can lower the samples and it'll render faster, but it will look noisier. The other thing you can do is you can come down here to the output properties, and you can change the resolution here and put a smaller resolution. Also in the Output tab is where we can choose to save or export. I'm going to save mine into this folder here, and then we can change our file format here. For us, let's click "F MPEG Video", let's drop down encoding for the container, let's choose MPEG 4, and then we can just leave this video at default settings. Mine's going to be medium quality. You can change into lossless or perceptually lossless or whatever you want, but the file size will get bigger. With this panel, you've set your resolution, your output, and your file size, and with this panel you're setting all your render settings. As a beginner, I want you to only focus on the sampling, but there are plenty of options here that we can do. Optimize our renders to make them look better or to render faster. If you want to adjust the focus of the camera, I have this little node right here that you can grab and you can just move that in and out and place it where you want the camera to focus on your character so that when we go into render view, you can see that there's a little bit of blur here around the edge from the depth of field of the camera and that way we'll make sure that his eyes are in focus. Now if you want to render a single frame, what you can do is you can just put whatever frame you want to render on, and if you tap the 0 key, it'll take you to the camera. If you press "F12" it will render. What it'll do is it's going to render your image, and then it's going to composite it with the effects over here. If you're not happy with some of the effects or if you want to play with some of the effects that are on there, what you can do is you can switch here to render result and the image view there, and you can come over here and you can just tap M and M. What that does is that it mutes the effects and you can undo those effects and play with them as you like. I have a lens distortion here for our camera and a glare to add a little bit of clarity to the highlights. Then what I have here is an Alpha over node. What that does is it takes our image and places it on top of another image or color here. If you adjust this color, you can play with your background, and you'll see there that it updates. If you want, you can leave your bird at default lighting, but I'm actually going to add a clay shadow that I made, which you can see in my render in the beginning of the video. Now the clay shadow is actually complicated to make. I have an entire video on how to make that clay shadow, which I'll link to in the description below, but for now I'm just going to include it on the project file and show you how to use it as a beginner. What you're going to do, is you're going to click the object you want to apply a material to. Here I've already deleted the current shadow that was on my owl by selecting it and hitting this minus key. What we're going to do, is we're going to hit New by clicking this, and this will add a new material slot. Then what we will do is click down here, and we will click "Clay". If I switch over to render mode, you can see now that my bird looks like clay. Let's go ahead and name this owl body, and then we'll come down here to the base color, click this little circle, hit "Image Texture" and now he will turn purple because there's no image texture. We will hit "Open" and then we will select our painted texture. In this case it's my owl body base. Then we'll go ahead and repeat that for the beak and the tail. Now you're going to need to create a new shadow each time, so let's click a new material slot, and then we'll click our body because that's what we already have for our clay shadow, and then we'll click this new material, and what it's going to do is create a duplicate material and name it something new. We'll name that beak, and then we'll just change this little slot right here to our beak texture. Then we can go back here, do the same process for our tail. Now our owl has a fun clay texture. Then to render this, what we need to do is you can come up here and do render, and if you want to render an image, you just click "Render Image", and if you want to render animation, you just hit "Render Animation". Wherever you told it to output under this Output Tab in here, it will output with the resolution you selected and the Video Codec you selected. With that, you should have a turn table of your character. 9. Outro: Thank you for taking my class. I hope you enjoyed it. Please post whatever results you had in the projects below and comment how you felt about the course overall. I'd really love to see the characters you're making, and I'm excited to see what you guys come up with.