Last modified on 16 September 2014, at 15:55

Blender 3D: Noob to Pro/Model a Silver Goblet

Basic ShapeEdit

Blender3d Silver goblet extrusion plan.jpg

At first glance, the goblet looks like it is composed of cylinders. However, while it is possible to model the goblet with a cylinder mesh, it is easier to make a goblet by using cubes. Cubes make the goblet faster to make and it makes fewer vertices to track. Now, lets start making the basic shape of the goblet.

Start with the default cube and go to Edit Mode ( TAB ). Move to the side view ( NUM3 ). Box select ( B ) the top edges of the cube. Extrude ( E Regions) upward about one grid square. Hold down  CTRL  while extruding, for incremental movement, and press the  Z  to restrict movement to the Z-axis. This extrusion is called E1. Repeat 2 more times for extrusion 2 and 3 (E2 and E3).

Now Extrude a longer piece upwards, for the Goblet's stem, of 10 grid squares (E4). Next we will define the area for the 2 top knobs and the bottom of the glass by Extruding upwards 5 more times at 1 grid square each (E5-E9). Next do another upward Extrusion of about 10 grid squares (E10). This is the actual glass itself.

Inflate the GlassEdit

Sizing the first knob

Now, lets begin to inflate the glass. First, clear all selections by hitting the  A . Make sure you are still in the side view ( NUM3 ). Box select ( B ) the bottom most cube (all 8 vertices, not just the bottom 4). Then expand it outward by scaling ( S ), then pressing  SHIFT + Z  to lock/prevent any scaling in height along the Z-axis and finally pressing  4  to quadruple its size. Next, deselect all vertices ( A ), select ( B ) the 4th pair of vertices (E2), scale them ( S ), lock scaling ( SHIFT + Z ) and triple the vertices in size ( S  and  3 ).

Do the same for E5 and E7 (the 7th and 9th pairs of vertices, respectively). Then expand ( S  and  SHIFT + Z ) the top, Goblet rectangle (E9 and E10) to 6 times its current size ( 6 ).

Make the cup's interiorEdit

All extrusions
View of the finished basic goblet

Last is the cup's interior. Once again, you should still be in the side view ( NUM3 ). Box select ( B ) the very top most vertices of the Goblet (E10). Once selected, get a better view by changing to 'Orbit Up' ( NUM8 ). With the top surface selected, initiate an Extrusion ( E Regions), followed by a termination with the  ESCAPE . It will appear as if nothing has happened, but new, overlapping edges have been created and are now selected (this also creates E11). Next Scale ( S ) the selected vertices to 4/5ths of the original size ( .8 ). This creates the inside lip of the cup. Now, Extrude ( E ) the interior lip, along the Z-axis ( Z ) downward ( -10 ) to create the bottom interior of the Goblet (E12). Finish off with a 'Remove Doubles' ( W Remove Doubles), for good measure. It should look something like this.

[Noob note: For some reason, when I extruded the interior of the cup to -10, I would have a lip sticking out of the bottom of the cup when I applied the subsurf. To resolve this, I extruded to -9. I was also left with a space at the bottom of the cup (i.e. you could see all the way to the base of the goblet) so I selected the bottom most vertices, pressed F, extruded and hit ESC, merged, selected the center vertice and translated that down -1. This gave me a nice looking bottom for the cup.]

[Another Noob Note: When you create the interior of the cup with .8, be sure to hit  Shift + Z  to restrict it to just the X and Y axis, or when you extrude your glass downwards by 10, it will go through the bottom of the glass]

[Noob Question: Does he really mean extrude the interior lip down along the Z-axis? It would seem to me that you should grab it and drag it down (or ( G  then  -10   Enter )] [Answer: Yes. Extrude creates another set of vertices. Dragging down the existing vertices won’t give the lip and the interior the right shape. Try it both ways and see.]

[Pro Note: If you wish for a more detailed cup, extrude the bottom of the cup, then scale it by .2097. Then translate (in layman's terms, that's "grab") it .7181 along the negative Z axis (or -.7181 along the Z axis). Through the use of creasing and control loop-cuts, you can get a very nice goblet.]

Note: If the thickness of the vessel sides or bottom is too thin, the Goblets interior faces may 'bleed through', affecting the exterior of the Goblet when you apply a subsurf.

You may want to try modelling the inside/bottom of the Goblet (sim. to "Die Another Way" tutorial). Turning on "Occlude Background Geometry" ( Z ) will be helpful, as it turns off the ability to see & select through the model. The button icon is that of a "ISO Cube" located with the 3 select mode buttons (4 dots, 2 lines, & a triangle) of the 3D Toolbar, in Edit Mode.

Smoothing and DefiningEdit

Time to take the mesh and turn it into a proper goblet. Add a subsurf level 2 ( Ctrl + 2 )to the mesh. Change to Object Mode ( TAB ) and select the Set Smooth button under Links and Materials. The cube-looking mesh will now look like an object that was created from a cylinder. This has removed all our crisp edges, and our globlet is looking very unstable! Let's rectify things by flattening the bottom.

Noob Note: If your goblet has a bulge in it after applying the subsurf, go to Edit mode ( Tab ), select all ( A ), press  W , and select "Remove doubles". (If a menu for boolean operations appears when you hit the  W , then you're not in Edit mode; change immediately to Edit mode and try the  W  again.)

Select the four edges that surround the small circle at the very bottom (the very lowest set of edges) and press  SHIFT + E  to enable creasing. Now drag the mouse up and down to select the level of the crease. When you're satisfied, hit  LMB . Repeat the process for other edges you want to be sharp. I've turned on Draw Creases under Mesh Tools 1 to illustrate which edges have been creased (highlighted yellow) in this example.

Note: Due to the vagueness of this tutorial I had problems trying to follow what was wanted. I got around it by beveling the goblet (for the cup-edge/thickness), and then merging necessary vertex. Here is how it turned-out:


Applied subsurf modifier Crease edges

[Noob Note: I found that if you select the bottom 4 vertices and extrude them down by 2 .5 increments ( Z  -.5 twice) and then you select the bottom 8 vertices (the bottom .5 section)

and scale by 1.5 ( S  1.5) it makes for a more realistic looking goblet base.]

That concludes the creation of the goblet. Save the scene for use in the lighting tutorial. To jump to the relevant lighting section, go to Blender 3D: Noob to Pro/Light a Silver Goblet


Okay, this is pretty much just because I wanted to show off my work, but also because transparency was really hard to find and really easy to actually do. I don't know if there's a lesson on transparency in this, but I really wanted glass, and I'm impatient. This little bit is for anyone else who's interested in modeling the goblet as glass and is impatient like me. If you try this, first keep the non-transparent goblet saved somewhere, it is used in the "silver goblet and lighting" follow-up tutorial linked above.

Hit F5 to go to the shading context and then click the red ball icon to open the material buttons.

The following images show the settings needed, and the final render of my green glass goblet.


In Materials is an Alpha slider- goes from 0.00 (invisible) to 1.00 (opaque). It needs to be pretty low, less than .25, I'd say. Also in the Edit buttons (F5) is a section called "Mirror Transp", for me it's a tab between "Shaders" and "SSS". In here the "Ray Transp" button must be on. The IOR value is refraction rate- the value of glass is 1.51714. Next to that is Depth, determines how deep to apply transparency. I recommend maxing it to 10, to play it safe.

  • Tilescreen's addition

Ray transp stands for Ray Tracing Transparency, this basically involves shooting light out from the camera and bouncing it about your 3d scene. The depth value of the ray tracing settings determines how many times a ray of light can 'mirror' (reflect off a surface) or 'transp' (refract through a surface, just like at school with prisms and the light bends). It is possible to work out how much depth you need as each time it enters or exits a surface you will need +1 level of depth. So for this you should need about 4 or 5 depending on how complex you have made this goblet. If you don't have a sufficient depth it will just come out a solid colour with no transparency.

More on Ray tracing. Samples refers to how many beams of light will be fired out of the camera to calculate the refraction and reflection. higher numbers = better quality but also increase render time, but the real killer is the depth. Increasing it by one means it has to work out an (in my case) an additional 18 bounces. Also try adding a filter to slightly blur your reflections and refractions but only a tiny one.

To get a softer shadow then click on the lamp, press F5 and increase the samples (found in Shadow and Spot) this will shoot out more shadow rays and give you softer shadows.

  • End of my addition

  • Yoshi's addition:

Try experimenting with the colours. The easiest way I know to do this is:

Select the goblet in object mode. Go to the textures tab (next to the red ball), and under 'texture type' pick 'blend'. Then click 'colours' next to the textures subwindow, and hit 'colorband'. You can change the colours by click on the left of the bar, then double clicking the coloured bar under it. Once you pick the darkest colour (left), click the far right of the checkered bar and do the same as before.

  • End of Yoshi's addition

If you want a shadow, you'll need to create a plane and go into the "Shader" settings for it. Turn on "TraShado", otherwise the shadow will be a flat black one and look all wrong.

Noob says: Even when I turn on TraShado, the shadow is flat black... I can't get those lighter edge shadows. Solution: Make sure that TraShado is applied to the plane rather than the cube and that Shadow is also selected.

Noob Note: Do not try and use this goblet for a fluid simulation it will not work.

Reader note: If the ray tracing transparency does not work for you, make sure that the ray tracing is enabled in the Scene ( F10 ) menu. It's the Ray button in the Render panel.

Noob says: No matter what I do, my goblet stays opaque and my goblet has no shadow when on a plane. Do I have to somehow link my goblet to my plane?

Noob answer: Adjust the alpha ( F5 ) and look in the material section. Adjust the (A) slider under RGB sliders (bottom right) to something like 0.25.
Noob Answer 2: Try changing the “Filter” value under the Ray Transp button from its default value of zero to something like 0.1 or 0.2. This will cause the light to take on more of the colour of the object each time it passes through. It should give you a nice, deep colour for the glass, and its shadow, to the point where the alpha value makes no further difference, and can be set to 0.

Here's the final result:


Noob Note: If you have problems with a sandy texture showing up (like in the picture above) your cup is clipping through the plane (bottom face is trying to occupy exactly the same space as the plane), just move it up a little bit on the Z axis, and it should go away.