3D Modeling In Blender: Design Your First 3D Object | Derek Elliott | Skillshare
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3D Modeling In Blender: Design Your First 3D Object

teacher avatar Derek Elliott, Product Designer + Animator

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

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

    • 1.

      Introduction

      1:37

    • 2.

      Getting Started

      2:09

    • 3.

      Walk Through the UI and UX

      11:24

    • 4.

      Add Objects to a Scene

      6:16

    • 5.

      Use Edit Mode

      12:24

    • 6.

      Add Lighting, Color and Materials

      10:47

    • 7.

      Render Your Final Image

      3:46

    • 8.

      Final Thoughts

      1:19

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About This Class

Discover the limitless potential of 3D modeling in Blender by exploring its user interface and building a basic 3D object.

When 3D designer and animator, Derek Elliott began exploring Blender he didn’t realize it would transform his entire career. Originally a product designer, Derek soon discovered that learning to model and animate within Blender opened up a world of new opportunities—including creating product animations and investment-seeking presentations for companies around the world. Now with a community of over 220K across YouTube and Instagram, Derek is excited to reveal everything he knows about Blender across five classes:

In this class, Derek will guide you through its interface and basic 3D modeling techniques by building out a 3D scene with a cabinet, shelves, window and pots all lit up by a realistic sky texture. No matter if you’re a graphic designer, architectural designer, industrial designer or just curious about 3D design, this class will help jumpstart your journey to the world of 3D design. 

With Derek by your side, you’ll:

  • Explore Blender’s UI
  • Build out basic 3D objects
  • Add lighting, color, and materials to a 3D scene
  • Denoise and render your final product 

Plus, Derek shares exactly how he sets up his workspace and goes about modeling a new 3D object from scratch. 

Whether you’re just dipping your toes into 3D modeling in Blender or you’re ready to dive headfirst into the versatile software like Derek did, you’ll leave this class with a strong understanding of Blender basics, a detailed 3D render, and the foundational skills you’ll need to create even more interesting projects. 

You don’t need any experience with Blender or 3D animation to take this class. With a computer, mouse and Blender, you’ll have everything you need to learn the basics of 3D modeling. To continue learning more about 3D modeling in Blender, explore Derek’s full 3D Modeling and Animation Learning Path

Meet Your Teacher

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Derek Elliott

Product Designer + Animator

Teacher

Expect easy-going Product + Design related Blender tutorials from ex-industrial designer, Derek Elliott. He makes YouTube tutorials because that's how he started learning in 2008. Since he aims to keep his knowledge relevant and rooted in experience, his 13+ years of expertise goes primarily into client work. He works directly with businesses and brands to produce top-quality animation for new product launches, investment-seeking presentations, and more. It's fun though, seriously.

 

Find out everything Derek knows about Blender across his five classes:

3D Modeling In Blender: Design Your First 3D Object Level Up in Blender: Sculpt an Advanced 3D Scene Elevate Your 3D Designs: Lighting, Materials, and Rendering in Blender Animat... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: I don't think there's any other tool in the world that's as able to allow you to take something that's in your head and, you know, create it and put it in front of someone else to share with them everyone. I'm Derek Elliott and I'm a three D designer and animator. My background is in industrial design. Working with brands and businesses to help them visualize products, bring advertisements into the world. In today's class, we're going to keep it really basic. I'm going to get you up to speed on the fundamentals of using blender and all the real basic stuff that you need to know. Before you get started, we're just getting you a little bit used to the interface and we'll start building out some of your first few objects and maybe even doing a little lighting and rendering as well so that you've got something you can show your mom. So the potential with blender truly is limitless. Maybe you come from an industrial design background like me, or maybe you're a graphic designer, or maybe you're an architectural designer and you want to start rendering out your architecture projects. Those are all things you can do in blender. So even though we're going to just end with one simple render of some pots in the sunlighting. You can take those same skills that will cover in this class and start making many other objects of your home. Because the skills we cover here today are so base level and so important, You can create all sorts of artwork that you're proud of, that you can show your friends, and you can even start to potentially get some work for them. Thanks so much for being here today. I'm excited you've decided to take this class and start your blender journey. Let's get started. 2. Getting Started: Welcome to the class. Thank you so much for being here. I'm excited to get started and we're just going to take a little bit of time going over your workspace things you might need. Blender is an open source three D creation tool for rendering, animating, lighting modeling. Doing basically anything you might need to bring a three D scene to life. Blender has that capability. Beyond that, you can even do video editing, two D animation. The possibilities are really almost endless. So in this class, we're going to go beyond the basic cube that you start off with in Blender and start editing it. Being able to control how rough a material is or how shining it is. Being able to adjust the color of that object and being able to duplicate that object. Modify it so you can really start to fill a shelf out. And then at the end, we'll also add some lighting and you'll have a realistic image that you can start sharing around as your first blender project. So when you're ready to get started going over to Blender.org and download Blender. It's free to download, fully, open source. You'll get the latest version and then you can install on your computer and start playing around. You don't have to be working on a desktop computer with a separate mouse and keyboard, but that's typically how I work. It's nice to have the extra space. The keyboard in particular, it's really nice to have this numpad over here. There's a few hoc keys that will be covering in this class today that are a little bit more easily accessible when you do have the number pad, but more importantly would be a mouse. I'm using a little bit of a funny looking one here, but it's a pretty normal mouse. It's just got the two left and right buttons, and then it's also got a mouse wheel. The mouse wel is probably the most important part there. So when we're navigating our viewport around, we'll be pressing down on this middle mouse button quite a bit. And we can also zoom in and out with the scroll wheel. So that's very handy to have if you have it. If you don't have a mouse, I would definitely recommend picking one up. So now that you've got everything you need to get started, let's go ahead and move into the next lesson where I'm going to be walking you through some of those very fundamental hot keys so you can start working your way around the interface, knowing where to click. And again, not being scared. 3. Walk Through the UI and UX: In this lesson, I'm going to walk you through the Blender user interface and how to navigate the viewport and what all these crazy windows are. So as soon as you download Blender, you're met with the famous default cube. This is going to be in the beginning of every Blender scene. You start, a lot of people start off by deleting it, the poor guy. But the other objects we have here are a camera and a lamp. You can left click to select those, but this is the beginning of any blender scene. No matter what you're doing, these objects are going to be in there. Besides this big window in the middle which we call the Three D viewport, there's a few other things around the outside where you can control other things around rendering your lighting, for example. You can add materials in this area, but we'll get to all those in a little bit. The biggest area you want to be focused on is this middle area, and that's called the three D Viewport. Now you may have figured it already, especially if you have a mouse, but pressing down on your middle mouse button will allow you to spin the view around. And this was the thing that was very exciting for me when I first started using Three D software, was just being able to spin the view around like that. So pressing down on your middle mouse is how you're going to do that. Now if you do not have a mouse, then what you can do to navigate around the viewport is just in this area up here. You can click and drag, and that will allow you to spin the viewpoint around. So you might see all these different menus and things up here, but we really don't spend a lot of time in most of them because Blender relies so heavily on hot keys. And hockeys are basically just commands on your keyboard that you'd be pressing together sometimes in combination to complete a command. And using those hockeys will help you work a lot faster and blender. Now sometimes you want to look in a particular direction, so this is where having a number pad comes in handy. You press one to go into your front view, three to go into the side view, seven to go into the top view. Again, those are on your number pad. But if you don't have a number pad, same thing up here. You can click on these little buttons and that will take you to those orthographic views. Now on the screen you're going to see all sorts of different buttons. This area up here is called the Outliner, and that's where Blender is going to basically be, keeping track of everything that's in your scene. And when you add new objects, those will all appear here. You'll see in the scene. We do also have a light, which is this little thing, and then this triangle shaped object is our camera. And that's what we use to render our image. If we render an image, it's going to be looking through that perspective. Now sometimes you might need to change the appearance of your viewport, so you can click and drag on any kind of area here. These are all customizable to be different things. If we really wanted to, we could change them all to be three D viewports, for example. That's really all these are, they're just different windows within Blender. And another thing to know is if you ever get stuck or you get your interface in a place where you're not feeling comfortable with it, then just press File New General and don't worry about saving and you'll be right back to where you started. If you made changes in your preferences like to interface scale, that will all be there. You may have seen me rotating the viewport like this with the middle mouse button. But another thing you might want to do sometimes, like if you want to look in another area, is to pan the viewport. And you can do that without a mouse or a keyboard, just by clicking in this area here. This little hand icon will allow you to pan the viewport. If you just click and drag. That's particularly useful if you're using a track pad on a laptop. But the hockey for that is just going to be holding shift on your keyboard and then the middle mouse that will allow you to pan your view around. So that's really helpful when you're moving kind of between objects, but sometimes you want to be rotating around a specific object and there's a really handy tool in the preferences that will allow you to do that. And that's one thing that I do recommend changing when you're getting started. So if you go into the preferences up here in the top left, you can change in the navigation options. You can go to orbit around selection. And that will allow you to orbit around what is selected. So if you actually put your finger on the screen and moved around, it would stay right there. And that's really handy when you're moving around in blender is using that option. Now another thing that I like to do when navigating is I want to be zooming into the direction where my mouse is actually located. So rather than just zooming into the middle of the screen, I want to zoom to where my mouse is. Another thing that's handy for jumping around your three D scenes. So that's another option we can change here in the preferences, and as you might have guessed it, it's the zoom to mouse position. Now you can see when I zoom in and out, that it'll go to wherever my mouse is. Those are just a couple of things that I think are important to make your life a little bit easier. This button is to look into the camera view. So if we click that, you'll see actually what the camera is seeing. So if we were to render our image, it would be from this exact perspective. And the hockey for that, if you hover over here, you'll see the shortcut is Numpad zero. So if you press zero on your numpad, that will go into your camera view. And that's really convenient when you're working on your scene and then moving into. Actually looking through the camera. If you're not interested in learning the hot keys. Most things in Blender can be accessed a number of different ways. Just like with the navigation tools over here. You can also go into the View menu. And then you can look in your viewpoint and see that these are the commands reviewing top, bottom, front, back, right, and left. And it actually has the hot key listed out there. So if you ever forget it, don't worry. You can just go in the menu and you'll see it there. So we've covered navigating the view and blender. Once you figure out your way to kind of get around blender and how to see different sides of your object, you might be interested to start moving, rotating and scaling objects. And as you might have guessed, there's hot keys for those things too, as well as commands over here on the sidebar. Now if you don't see this sidebar, you can press on your keyboard and that will bring up that sideboard. There's also a little arrow right there that will pop it out. In here you can see we have the move command which will bring up these arrows and allow you to move objects around. The blue axis is the z axis, the green one is y, and the red is the x axis. That's an easy way to move things around using this gizmo. But as you might have guessed, there is a hot key for that. And the hot key is G, actually. So if you press G, we'll say that that stands for grab. That will allow you to move an object around inside the viewport. It will just, no matter where your mouse is, if you press and then move the object around, it will just stick to it until you press again. Now if you had your object here and then maybe moved it accidentally, but you didn't want to actually place it over there, rather than left clicking to place it there, you could press and then just right click and it will cancel that option. And that goes for a lot of things in Blender if you're in the middle of a command but then you don't want to go through with it, you can right click and it will cancel that command we've covered to grab. Now if you do want to move it on specific axes, then you can combine hockeys. We're going to press in X and that will move it along the X axis. Sometimes that's important if you want to move things, especially in architectural renderings or something like that, you want to be moving at very defined axes, knowing those hockeys is handy. Similarly, G, Y will move it along the y axis. And you guessed it, Z is going to help you move up and down. Now moving on from that, the other commands you might want to know to change objects in the viewpoint would be rotating them. And similarly to moving them, we have a little gizmo. Here is what this is called. This will allow us to rotate objects using this little tool that appears right on the object. And you can see in the top left corner, it appears up here. If you look while I'm doing it, you'll see exactly how much that's rotating in the exact angle. Now just like moving, we can rotate objects using a hot key as well. R is going to be the hot key there. You may have guessed that one as well. They're very conveniently named, but if you press R and Z, we'll be rotating on the Z axis, R and X on the X axis, and R and Y will rotate on the Y axis. Now, another thing I haven't mentioned yet but that you might find useful sometimes you want to rotate at a specific angle. Or for example, it'd be common that you want to rotate something exactly 90 degrees rather than having to eyeball that. There's a way we can do that easily in blunder by holding the control key real quickly. I'm just going to reset the rotation and location of this object representing Alt and which just like moves an object. Alt and G will reset the location of it. And then Alt and R will reset the rotation just so that you can see a little bit easier What I'm doing in this next step, if we press R and Z for example, and I want to rotate this exactly 90 degrees, you could look in the top left there and try to get it right on the money, but it's a little bit difficult. If you hold control, it'll snap to five degree increments and you can make sure you're right at 90 degrees. That's another thing that goes for a lot of stuff in blender is if you're holding control, it will incrementally move whatever you're adjusting on The flip side, sometimes you want to do very small movements and you want to do even smaller than you can move with your mouse. If you hold shift while you're doing a command, it will make that a more fine tuned approach. So you can see I'm spinning around multiple times here and it's going very slowly. We covered moving, rotating, and then the last thing you might be interested in doing is scaling. And that's just as simple we're going to press to do that. And then dragging out will make your object bigger. Then if you press a defined axis like and then z, it will flatten it on the z axis, and x will extend it on the x axis, and Y will extend it on the y axis. And those are really some of the basic hot keys that you need to know. Sometimes if you're like me, you might accidentally hit the H key and your object will disappear. And you can probably start to imagine what that hot key might be, it's the hide hot key. If your object just goes out of the screen completely disappears, you might have accidentally press H. One way you can get it back is Alt H. Just like we reset the location with alt G, we can press Alt H and that will reset what's hidden. But you'll also see that that actually checked off this little marker right here. If you look up here, that's another way to hide objects. Then lastly, if you want to delete an object, like for example, sometimes when I'm getting started, I just want this cube in the middle. You can delete objects by selecting them with left click and then press X to delete them. Now I'll undo that real quick to also show you that if you want to select multiple objects, for example, if you wanted the camera and the lamp, you can hold down shift and then left click on it. And that will select two objects at once, which then you can press X to delete them. Now we just have our cube in the scene. What we just covered was the very fundamentals of moving around the three D Viewport and doing some very basic commands to control objects within your scene. Join me in the next lesson where we'll add more objects to the scene and start to edit them. 4. Add Objects to a Scene: In this lesson, we're going to go ahead and start actually building out a little bit of a scene in our three D viewport. We're going to create a wall with a shelf on it and we'll eventually be putting some things on the shelf. So what we'll want to do is look through our camera view and take a picture of that scene. But first of course, we need to build the scene. In this lesson, we're going to start adding some objects into our scene using some of what we did in the previous lesson to modify them so that we have that shelf start to come to life. In our three D viewport. Here we have our cube that we started with, and we can actually use this as a wall. For example, I'm going to press and Y to just move this back on the y axis a little bit. This is going to be what will be my wall. So what I want to do is press S to scale that up a little bit, then I want it to be thin like a wall, so I'm going to do and y, if you remember that hot key from before, don't forget. If you're not familiar with the hot keys, you can use the commands over here to control the scale. For example, what we have there is our wall background. Now what I want to do is add a shelf onto this wall. What I could do is press shift A, and that could add in another cube, but I already want it to be this thickness. So what I'm going to do is press shift D to duplicate that wall. Then what I'll do, I'll right click. I still actually have that duplicate there, but I didn't want to move it anywhere else. I wanted to stay right where it was. So I'll just right click. Like I said before, that cancels the command. We actually did do the duplication, but we did not move it. If I press R and X, and then I'm going to hold control so that we snap at defined increments. And then looking in the top left in my screen, I can see that now we're rotated right at 90 degrees. I'll left click and complete that action again. If I do that process one more time, shift D to duplicate the wall. Right click so that it stays where it is. And then R X and then holding control will rotate on the x axis 90 degrees until we see that in the top left. Now let's scale this down to be a little bit more shelf size, one to press, and Y to scale this in a little bit until it's something like that and then I'll just move it over. I know I stressed the hot keys, but sometimes I do like to have this gizmo up just because it is convenient When you're working. I'm going to move that shelf into a place where it's just a little bit away from our plane. Now, we covered zooming in and out with the scroll wheel earlier. But sometimes if you want to smooth scroll in and out, you can hold control. And then just with your middle mouse, go in and out moving your mouse and that'll zoom in. Now that we have our basic shelf scene here, you might want to add an object to it. The way we can add objects you saw before was by pressing Shift A, and that will bring up the ad menu. Now of course, like many things in blunder, that menu is also up here. And you can see if you hover over it, you'll see the shortcut is Shift A. Shift A will bring up this menu to add things. Now you could add whatever you want here. You can see that there's all sorts of different objects. But what I'm going to do first is just add in a cylinder object. That's going to add in a cylinder wherever our three D cursor is. And that's what this little candy cane shaped thing is. If you'll notice if we move this out of the way, that's our three de cursor. Anytime we press shift A and add in a UV sphere, for example, that's going to add it right where that three D cursor is. Now there's a number of ways to move your three D cursor around, but right now we like it right in the middle of the scene. So I'm going to delete these two objects. Well actually we'll hold onto the cylinder. I'm going to move that onto the shelf. Let's just press S to scale that down so that it is the size of a cup or something like that. And just move it into place that now we have our object there. Now along the lines of moving these objects, we're also going to want to move the camera. To do that, I'm going to select the camera. Then you might think that you just move it this way and then rotate it a little bit and try to tell where it's looking. But that obviously is very difficult. I'm going to use this button over here again. Remember the hot key is Numpad zero. If I click that, I'll go into my camera view and then I can just rotate the camera in this view and then just pressing, move it around until I have it looking the direction I want. Now maybe you've played some video games before where you control things with the W, S and D keys. We can actually do that in Blender as well. If I press Shift and Tilda, which tildes that little squiggly button around the tab button on your keyboard, we can actually just pan around using our mouse this way. And then we can use the WS and D keys to fly around. Now if you scroll in and out on your mouse control how fast you're moving. Now one thing I'm noticing is that my view is a little bit off here when I was rotating it. So I want to make sure my camera was looking straight ahead. So I'm going to press on my keyboard and that will bring up this side bar over here. So you might have seen this previously as I think it's there right when you open blunder. But this transform menu over here shows whichever object you have selected exactly the rotation of it, the scale of it, and kind of tells you all the information you need to know about the object. So our camera, we can see, if we go into the view again, is rotated on the x axis 83.3 degrees. But I want it to be looking straight ahead. So I'm just going to drag in this field and holding control, I can snap that to 90 degrees. Similarly, this Y axis is a little bit off holding control, I'll just snap that to zero. And then the Z would be where it's looking left and right. So I'm going to hold control and make sure that's at zero. And then let's just in this field here and I'm holding shift to make this a very fine tuned adjustment. I can control where it is on the z axis just until that is nice and framed up. Have a little more fun playing in the three D Viewport, adding objects, moving them around, adjust your camera, find a nice angle that you think you might like. But join me in the next lesson where we're going to dive into edit mode, which is where we can actually start making some changes to these objects. 5. Use Edit Mode: In this lesson, we're going to take the objects that are in our scene and begin modifying them or editing them. And there's two main ways to do that. One is by actually entering edit mode on the object, which will allow us to modify its individual vertices. And another way to modify the objects is by actually adding modifiers which will allow us to do all sorts of different things that we'll get into in this lesson. We're back in our scene here with our self cylinder and our wall object, but we want to start making some changes to these objects. For example, maybe we want the shelf to be a little thinner. What we could do is something called entering edit mode. So the way we'll do that by pressing tab to enter edit mode. Now what you'll see is we have vertices all around our object. Now vertices are these little tiny points. Basically, any model in Blender is made up of a series of vertices. Now you sometimes might want to select vertices, but other times you might want to select faces or edges. The way that you could do that is up here in the top of your screen. You can see this little dot is the vertex select mode. This little line is the edge select mode, which will allow us to select edges. You can move these using the same commands we did in object mode. By pressing and then remember again that you right click will cancel the command. Then in face select mode, we can select entire faces at once. Now faces would be at least three vertices together making up a face. In this case though, you can see we have four. Now I can quickly switch between vertex edge and face select mode by pressing either 12 or three along the top of my keyboard. One is vertex select, two is edge select, and three is face select mode. Now let's say that we want to maybe bring this shelf out a little bit so we could press and y to bring it out a tad. Then maybe we wanted to bring this edge in a little bit. We could select this face and then and X. Remember, just like an object mode, we can pull up our move tools here if you'd prefer to move things that way, But getting used to the hockeys will help you quite a bit. Now, with this object here, the wall object, I'd like to extend the wall out, but I'm also going to have it come around a corner rather than trying to mess with a whole bunch of faces. This is really all just one object. It would be much easier if the thickness was automatically applied, and I only had to work with one face at a time. And we can do that with modifiers. I'm actually going to tab out of edit mode and delete this object. And we'll show you how we can add a more flexible model by using a solidify modifier to add that thickness back. I'm pressing shift A to add a plane. And then remember R x and 90 will rotate on the x axis 90 degrees. Then we can move it back into place. Then in edit mode, I'm going to press to scale this up. Then just like we did with the shelf in our edge select mode here. By pressing two, I can select this and then press to extrude it. Now we have a little bit of a wall to the side there. Now to get that thickness back, I can go into my modifiers properties, which is this wrench icon here. And there's a whole bunch of modifiers to work with in blender, but one that I like to use a lot is the solidify modifier. If we add that to our object, then you can see we can control the thickness of this plane. Now rather than having to mess with individual faces, I can just mess with these edges. And they'll be dynamically updated and the whole thing will stay nice and thick with some realistic dimension to it. I wanted to add a window to this plane and that's one of the reasons why we added the solidify modifier. Is so that instead of having to fill faces in in the middle, we can just cut holes into our mesh and then use that more easily create something like a window. I'm going to press control R, which is a new hot key, which will add an edge loop. If we press control R, we'll see this yellow part highlight. If I click, I can then scroll up and down. And this is basically just going to slice our mesh. I'm going to put that right about where I want the bottom of my window, which is maybe in line with the shelf and then left click. And now we have another, basically we've got more definition to our mesh. Now we have this line here that we can control individually to make an actual window. I'll press control R one more time. Pull this over to about right there. Press control R on this one right here. And then control R one more time to create a few more edges. Now what I can do in face select mode by just clicking up here or pressing three. You can select this face, press X and delete it. That's how we can quickly start building things out. This was not obviously an object we can add, but we added the plane, added the modifier to give it thickness, and now we have a nice wall object. You could repeat that process again by adding another plane, moving this down, scaling this out to create a floor. And then press Shift D to duplicate that, create a ceiling. And you can see quickly we have started to build out a little bit of a scene here. I'm going to keep doing some of the same hot keys I was doing before to build out the scene just a little bit more. I'm going to press shift D to duplicate this shelf object. Bring that down a tad, we'll go into edit mode on it and bring this down. Then maybe we want to have a another shelf object so we can press Shift D to duplicate that. Then let's say we want that to be a little bit thinner. We could scale it down, but maybe we want these two shelves to have the same thickness. What I could do is just make them the same object and instead use a solidify modifier to control their thickness. Let's press X to delete that old shelf and then tab into edit mode. Then what I want to do is basically just, I want this top plane only because I'm going to add a solidify modifier to give it its thickness. A key we can use to basically everything we don't have selected is control I. Then once we do that, we can press X and delete faces. Now we just basically have this singular plane which then I can add the same solidify modifier to give it some thickness. Then now in edit mode I can press Tab to go into edit mode. And we just have this one plane we're working with. We can press A to select everything, and then press Shift D and then Z just to move that down. And now we have two shelves here that we can control independently. But now if we want to address the thickness, they'll both change at the same time with the solidify modifier. We didn't cover this on the wall, but you can control the direction that the modifier is going. With this offset option will basically just control which side things are on, then the thickness obviously is a little bit more self explanatory, but the shelves are looking pretty good. I just want to add in a few more objects here. We've got our one cylinder, let's move that down a little bit, then let's press Shift D to duplicate it. Maybe we make this one a little bit more of a pot like shape, we can tab into edit mode. And then adding a loop cut, just like we did on the wall press control R. And then right click to complete that action. And then to scale that out a little bit. Now we have a little bit of a different shape. Now if we wanted to give some thickness to this, just like we did before, we could tap into edit mode. Select that top face, press X to delete it. And then add in our same solidify modifier. And then just bring this up until we have a nice thickness there. Now one more modifier that will get a lot into in the next class is the subdivision service modifier. And that's the best way to really smooth out mesh. If we add in that modifier, you'll see what it does that will smooth out our mesh a lot more by basically taking the average of the points we have now smoothing between them. Now in the subdivision surface modifier, there's a few controls here. The viewpoint levels is what you see in the Viewport for a little bit faster performance then the render levels is what will actually get rendered. Now usually I'd like to leave those the same, but if your computer is a little bit slower, you can turn the viewpoint levels down a little bit lower. Now, one thing you'll notice that when we're working with these smooth objects is they don't actually appear smooth. You can see all the individual faces. One way that you can fix that is by right clicking and shading them smooth. This isn't actually adding more geometry to our object, but it is making it so that they appear smooth. You can see if we look at the silhouette here, you can actually still see all the vertices. Now, down here on the bottom, we have a, it's coming to a little bit of a point. And I want to make that a little bit more flat on the bottom. So what I'm going to do is just looking down into that pot, I'm going to go into my face Select mode. And then select that bottom face. And then press. And that's a new hot key we're learning. And that's going to inset that face, that will actually add an edge loop. And it's a little bit difficult to see that I'm going to go into my x ray mode here. And that is this command up here in the top. And the hot key is alt Z. Now we can actually see all of our geometry a little bit better. And that's something I do often when I'm in edit mode, is switching back and forth between x ray mode and regular mode to C geometry easier. Let's do the same thing over here. Let's delete this top face with X and then let's add in our solidify modifier. Then we can add in the subdivision surface here as well, but if we want to maintain that shape, we'll just press control R to add an edge loop there, just like we did with the wall. And then this bottom face, we'll press to inset it, then we can right click and shade that smooth. Now this has a little bit of a problem where it's trying to round over this top part. We could add in just a little bit more geometry here and then drag that up so that, that holds that edge a little bit better. Now we've got a nice little scene with two pots there and our shelves. Now one last modifier, let's take a real quick look at is another one of my favorites, the bevel modifier. These shelves right now obviously have very sharp edges, and really nothing in the real world has an edge that's quite that sharp. So we have a way that we can break that, and that's with a Bevel modifier. So if we go back into our wrench tab here, we can add in a Bevel modifier and that will change the amount of, it'll add an edge to it, but something's really weird happening where the edge over here seems to be really elongated. And then this other one is basically doing weird things. And that's because when we were scaling this object, did it in object mode instead of edit mode. If I was to add a new cube, for example, just for reference the scale on this object. And again, if you can't see this window, you can press to bring that up is 111. If I added a bevel modifier to this object, you can see that it's nice. And even if I were to scale that object on the x axis in object mode, it's going to start to stretch that out and that's what's happening on our shelf. In most cases when we're working with modifiers especially want the scale of our object to be 111. I'll just delete this cube. And then on this shelf object uppers control A and apply the scale. That's also going to throw off our solidify because we had scaled it down on the Z axis. We can make some slight adjustments there to get that back to the right place. And now our bevel is also working better. Now, we'll work more with the bevel modifier in the future, but the quick things to know about that is you can change the amount of bevel here. And then the segments is going to add more segments to how round that is. So we could write click and shade that smooth and we'd have a nice round bevel on our object. In this lesson, we talked a little bit about going in and out of object and edit mode with the tab key. We also touched a little bit on some of my favorite modifiers, The Solidify modifier, for example, as well as the bevel and the subdivision surface modifier. What I would employ you to do now is play a little bit more around with your scene. Think about adding maybe more walls or another window or something like that. More shelves, more pots. Meet me in the next lesson where we will finalize our scene a little bit more by adding some lighting into it. Viewing the scene in rendered mode, adding some materials, and actually rendering the image. 6. Add Lighting, Color and Materials: Welcome back. In this lesson, we are going to finalize our scene by adding some light into it and some simple materials. And I'll also go over some of our camera settings so that we can actually render this image so that you've got something that's ready to share. So in our last lesson, we've got everything set up here where we've got our two pots, our shelves, our floor and ceiling, and a wall with a window that we can bring some light into. We also have our camera set up right around here. Now if you remember, I mentioned in this panel here, we can kind of control what's happening with that camera. And I wanted to be looking straight ahead, so the rotation 90 is great. I don't want it to be off kilter either way. Right here. So let's make sure that's at zero and the z rotation is looking straight ahead. Now it can be a little bit difficult to go between your camera view and your three D view. So one thing I like to do in this instance is actually open up a new window. So the way I'll do that is just up here in the top right hand corner of my screen, I can click and drag out, and that will make a new window, and that's where I can sort of maybe be viewing through my camera. So that I can do things in two places at once. I'm going to press my hot key over here, zero to go into my camera view. And then in this view, I don't need to see all these things. I'm going to press to hide that sidebar to hide that. Now I'm just looking through my camera right here and I can make adjustments over here to get my shot framed exactly how I like. Let's just move this back a little bit until we've got a nice frame here and maybe we even want this to be a square image. The way you can change your aspect ratio is in this little printer tab here. Right now by default it's set to 1920 by 1080, which is a common widescreen format. But let's just change that to something square. So I'm going to type in 1,500 by 1,500 and this would be something that looks great on for like Instagram for example. Let's move our camera in and just get this framed about how we like something like that I think looks pretty nice. And we'll be able to tell exactly how we want this framed once we start adding some light into the scene. Our scene, if you recall, came with this light up here, which is just a point lamp. And you can't really see much of what that's doing, even if we move it around. You could see obviously our shading isn't changing at all. That's because this is still just a regular three D viewport view. Basically, It's not actually showing us what's going to be rendered. To see what's going to be rendered, we need to play with these four little balls across the top of our screen if you try clicking on this, one is the wire frame view. This one is our solid view, which is what we've been doing most of our work in this one is called the Viewport shading mode, which is going to give you a little bit of lighting detail and material information, but really where we want to be is the rendered view. Now you can see we're actually getting information happening with that light. So if we move that light around, you can actually see that it is showing a rendered view. But for me, I want things to look a little bit more realistic than they are right now. One of the reasons they don't look super realistic right now is because we're rendering the V render engine, which is a somewhat new render engine for Blender. It's, it's real time render engine, very similar to what Unity or Unreal Engine would look like. So if I change this from V to cycles, you'll see that for one it gets a lot slower. But it does look quite a bit more realistic. It's going particularly slow for me because I'm rendering on the CPU, but instead I want to be rendering on the GPU. So you may not have a graphics card in your computer, but if you do, you want to go up to Edit and then Preferences, and then in system you can enable your graphics card if you have one. So make sure that that's shown right there. Mine is this G force RTX 40 90 and then you should be able to select GPU compute. And for most people, if you have a GPU that's going to be rendering a lot faster. Now all these little things around the scene, this kind of graininess is called noise. And what that is, is light bouncing around the scene. You know, it's not completely accurate, but when you render with more samples that will start to go away the way I want to light this scene, it can be a little bit difficult to light it with just regular lamps like this. So there's a really cool way and blender, we can get really realistic sunlighting without using an actual lamp object. Some press X to delete this object and you'll notice that our scene still has some color to it. It's just this plain gray world. But I want to have that be not gray. I want it to be a little bit more like a realistic sky. This is where the gray is coming from. We could change the color of the background here, of course, but this isn't looking very real either. Instead of just using a color input, I'm going to actually use a sky texture. If we click this little yellow dot here, we'll bring up the menu where we can select Sky Texture. Now once we add that, you can see that we have a very realistic looking sky here in this particular view. I don't actually need to see this floor plane in my three D cursor and the camera and everything. So I can turn off those overlays with this option up here in the top right there, it will turn off the overlays. Now I just have a clean, sort of unobstructed view of what I'm seeing in my render. So if I go into my camera view here, that's exactly what I would get if I rendered and if you wanted to render an image, the hockey for that is 12 and that will just immediately start rendering your image with exactly how you have it set up. So you can see that we're looking through this camera and it's rendering from that point of view. Now back to the sky texture really quick. If we zoom out here, we can see what's going on. For one, this is very strong. It's way too bright. So we're going to bring the strength down to something much lower. I might bring it down to something even as low as like a 0.2 These values aren't particularly important exactly what they are, but this sky, we'll cover it more in detail later. But you can see we've got a few options here. The most important ones would be the sun elevation. So you can see we've got a shadow. Let me just actually add in another plane, just for the point of reference here. If we add in another plane, and then let's put a monkey head on the plane, which we didn't do that earlier, but this is just a object that comes in blender that's great for testing things out. You can see if we control the elevation of the sun. If it's at 90 degrees, it's basically straight ahead. And we can actually zoom out and look up. And we can see that the sun is right there. And then if we pull it down, the sun elevation to something like that, you can see we start to get a longer shadow and we start to get some realistic colors happening around the horizon. Now if you wanted a softer shadow, you could change the size of the sun. And now we start to give you a softer shadow. These are really fun to play with, we'll go into more detail with those later. But the sky texture is a really great way for getting a realistic sky, as the name would suggest. So let's go into our render view here. Now, rendering can be a very computer intensive process, so I'm actually rendering all around where this camera is. I don't really need to render what's outside the frame so I can set a render border in my camera view here. That will tell Blender basically, I only want to render what's in here just so that my computer performs a little bit faster. This is especially important for people with lower powered laptops or if you're not used to rendering in cycles. So you can press control B to add a render border and then just click and drag. And now we're only rendering what's in the view in our computer ship port form a little bit faster. Now if we were to press on our middle mouse and spin the view, go back into seeing everything rendered. But now anytime we go into our camera view, again zero is the hockey. We'll be looking straight through that. Let's go into the sky texture. Let's just move it around. Let's rotate our sun all the way around. Okay, it's actually facing the right way there, but it's a little bit too high in the sky. Let's bring the elevation of that sun down a little bit. And now we're getting some nice shadows. If I actually go into my camera view now, you can see that we have those shadows we were looking for. Again, the size of the sun is going to control how sharp or soft those shadows are. We can just play with this until we have a nice look. I just want to highlight pots and create some interesting shapes in the foreground here with the way that sun is oriented. So this is a very basic render. It's kind of ready to go here, but if we wanted to add some simple materials to these objects, just to spice it up a little bit, but with a mesh object selected. We've got this little materials property tab, this little red ball, and that will bring up a whole bunch of commands. The only one we're going to really mess with right now is the base color and then maybe the roughness. Let's take this pot for example. Let's say we wanted that to be, I don't know, a black material. We can press new and they'll add a new material so you can name it whatever you want. It doesn't matter and you don't need to name your materials, but obviously it helps keep things a little bit organized. If you do but pot one, let's have that a black color. You can change the color in blender with either RGB values, hue saturation value, which is my favorite, or you could actually type in a specific hex code. But let's just bring the value down until that's a black color. And then maybe we want it to be shiny, so we could control the roughness value down here. Now there's a lot of sliders to mess with. At least with this lesson where we're just working with basic things, we'll just focus on the roughness and the color for now. We could do another material here, we could call this pot two. Then maybe this pot is like a orangish red color. Then we could change the roughness on that, that it's nice and shiny too. And you can see we have some very realistic reflections happening now. Maybe so that this all stands out a little bit better. Maybe our walls become a black material too. Let's press new to create a new material. We call that wall. And then you could change that to whatever color you like. I'm just going to bring the value down just so it's a little bit of a gray so that our shelf stands out against it. Now with this set up, I'm liking the way my scene feels. Maybe we frame our camera shot a little bit better, or even quickly. You could go back into edit mode. And maybe the shelf comes over a little bit to get a little bit more of an interesting shadow. Maybe this window needs to be a bit smaller so that we're not getting quite so much light in. I'm really just looking in my rendered view while I'm editing things in my view over here just until I have a really nice look. This is common practice in Blender to go between checking your rendered view. I'm getting some really interesting shapes here, and then making changes in the view over here. 7. Render Your Final Image: So with this all set up, I'm feeling pretty good about it. I'm ready to render my image. What I'll do is go into this render tab and then make sure you've got the resolution set to something you like. So I've got mine at 1,500 pixels square. And then the next tap you want to take a quick look at is these samples. I think I mentioned earlier that there's all this kind of graininess and that's basically the more samples you have, the less grain there will be. With the viewport right now, we have basically two distinctions here. We have the viewport amount of samples and then we also have the render amount of samples. Basically, the more samples you have, the more light beams are being shot and the more accurate your reflections will be. Also, with that, higher accuracy means more render time. I actually don't usually like to leave this at the 1,024.40, 96 settings, but I actually pull this down quite a bit. In my viewport, I usually would maybe only look at let's say 100 samples or so. And then in the render, I usually only like to render with maybe 600 or so. Because for a scene like this that's going to be just plain with more complicated scenes, like if you have transmissive materials or glasses, metals, or there's a lot of lights in your scene, you might need to use more. But something small, like 600 usually works pretty good. If we render this image using our 12 hot key, you'll see that it starts to calculate. And it's rendering pretty fast on my computer because this is a relatively simple scene and I have a nice graphics card. One thing you might notice is that even though our sample value isn't that high when it rendered the image, it's very smooth. But in this viewport, for example, we can still see all the grain. And that's because by default and blender, there's denoising happening. So usually with a low number of samples, your image is going to be pretty grainy. So if I turn off this denoising and let's set the render samples to something that matches the viewport, like 100. We should be getting basically an identical image to what we see in the viewport. When that finishes, you see that we still have some graininess here. And that's okay if you're just doing a preview render, but for a final render, we want to get rid of that graininess. The way that that is happening is with this noise option, you can actually turn on noise in the viewport two, which will keep everything very smooth in your viewport view. But usually that can be a little bit slow to work with. It's usually best to only use denoising when you're rendering an image. I'll uncheck that for the viewport, but turn it on for the render even with only 100 samples, which in the Viewport is pretty grainy. If we have denoising on you press 12 to render. You'll see that once it finishes rendering all those samples, it'll add the layer of denoising on top and we get an actually pretty smooth image. You can save your image by going up here, pressing Image, Save As, and then you can save that wherever you like. And you could save that as my first render, or whatever the heck you want that as an image. And that will be in the folder you saved it on. In this lesson, we took all the models we built. We took the wall. We took those little pots on the shelves. We actually turned them into something that feels a little bit more real. We added materials to them, We added some realistic lighting into our scene. And now we have something that really sets the basis for your next portion of exploration. You could play with the camera angle, the sun lighting. You could try doing a nighttime or a mid day render. And really, there's a lot of places you can go with this. If you were following along for the first time, your scene might look a lot like mine. But I encourage you to play around some more, try doing something else using the same tools. There's really a lot of flexibility in what we've learned so far. 8. Final Thoughts: Well, congratulations to you if you've made it this far. I know Blender was a very daunting software when you opened it, and it's probably still quite daunting. But everything we did today and in this class was a lot of the first things I did in my first years using Blender. And I still do all those things almost every day today. Even creating professional work. We started with our measly default, cube, floating and nothingness, and now we actually have a sunlit shelf with some pots and realistic materials on them. We covered navigating the viewport. To get to this point, we covered adding walls using edit mode and object mode. We've been added a few modifiers like the subdivision surface to smooth things out, to solidify, to give things thickness. And what we have now is a really great basis for moving forward and adding more objects to our scene. Learning new things and continuing to build out scenes in blender. Whatever you might have in your head, you can create it, use your own ideas, Use my work as inspiration and share below in the project gallery. I'd love to see what you come up with. Thanks for following along so far. There's a lot left to learn. I've got a whole series on blender tips and tricks. We're going to be covering a lot of other things like materials and animation. Feel free to stick around. I can't wait to see it in my next class.