Friday, 8 April 2011

3D adventure game: Part 1

In this series of tutorials I will assume that you have basic 3D modeling skills. If not visit: for more basic tutorials

You can get the .blend file and reference images used in this tutorial from:

Main character

you should have a rough idea of the kind of character you want to create whether it be a human or animal, so its time to start modeling.

Open up blender and select the default cube. Enter edit mode by pressing "Tab" key or selecting "Edit mode" from the "Mode" drop down menu. Subdivide the cube by pressing "W" key and selecting "Subdivide".

Select the face select icon on the toolbar and in front view ("NumPad 1") select half of the cube. You can box select faces by pressing "B" key and dragging.

With half of the faces selected press "delete" and select faces. You should now be left with half a cube. You can now add a mirror modifier to the cube so that you only have to model half of your character.

To do this, in the buttons panel select "modifier" and then choose "mirror". it should by default replace the missing half of the cube with a mirror preview. now you can start modeling.

Add reference images by selecting "View" > "background image" on the toolbar. Click load and browse to your image file. Using the "X + Y" offsets line the image up with the cube.


Using a combination of extrude, grab, size and rotation begin to line the mesh up with the reference images making sure to look at front and side views. You can add more vertices's to the mesh at any time by subdividing or adding loop cuts to create more detail:


"G" key: Grab a vertex, edge or face
"S" key: size a face or edge (or multiple vertices's)
"R" key: rotate a face or edge (or multiple vertices's)
The above keys can be followed by "X, Y or Z" keys to lock the movement to that axis

"A" key: select/deselect all
"K" > "loop cut": add a line of vertices's
"W" > "subdivide" : split a selected face into 4 faces

outline the basic shape of the character. you can press "Z" key to toggle wire frame view which will let you see through the mesh so you can see the images better.

Once you have the basic shape outlined in the front view you can split the window and work from the side view. To do this mover the cursor over the black line between the buttons panel and the toolbar until the double headed arrow appears. right click and select "Split area". Drag the line across the screen and left click to accept. 

In the right hand window set the view to side by pressing "Numpad 3" and line the reference image up with the mesh. (don't move the mesh)

In the "background image" window use the "X + Y" offsets to line the image up. (It doesn't have to be perfect since the images are just a guide)

Continue moving the vertices's to line up with the image in the side view. ( you can select loops by holding "ALT" and right clicking an edge.


Once the torso is complete its time to start adding limbs. The arms are the easiest so that's where we will start.

If you haven't already, cut a hole in the side of the torso and extrude a shoulder. To do this find a face that roughly lines up with the shoulder position and press "W" > "subdivide" using the new vertices's create a round shape face, when complete select the faces and press "delete" > "Faces".

Extrude and rotate the shoulder as necessary.

Extrude the loop ("ALT + right click" to select) down the length of the arm making sure to capture the size changes.

Once you have extruded the arms in the front view move to the side view window and move each loop to line up with the image. You should have defined biceps and forearms to make it look more realistic.

once you reach the wrists leave the loop open and move to the legs. (we will cover hands and feet in a later tutorial)

You should now have something like this:

In this tutorial you have learnt...
  • How to use key commands to create a detailed mesh
  • New commands (subdivide, loop cut, loop select and lock axis)
  • The principles of creating a torso
  • How to split the view ports
  • How to enter face select mode
In the next tutorial we will add legs and a head to out character

Thanks for reading

More soon...

You should have a rough shape that looks something like this:

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