Blender 3D: Noob to Pro/Box Modeling

Easy to undertake and flexible, box modeling is a favorite of beginners and veterans alike. It is fun to work with and general results are visible in a short time. It is a powerful work flow that any modelers should know.

Before We StartEdit

Before doing any modeling, it is vital to plan first. Gather references and make a general plan on how to tackle the modeling phase. Being ready will save you a lot of complications later.

The Work FlowEdit

With box modeling, start with a primitive that is appropriate for your subject. Most start with a box and generally a good primitive to start. Then, from the primitive, using a variety of tools, mold the essential form of your model. Also called the roughing phase. Don't delve on details here, those are to be tackled later. Finally, on this form, we go to the nearly recursive process of adding details. Layer by layer, details are added until the required amount of detail is achieved.

Start with a PrimitiveEdit

The Primitive

Select the proper primitive for your work. Most modelers start with a cube. The cube is the most flexible primitive available and is suitable to almost all form of subjects. But, in many cases, selecting other form of primitives would cut out most of the modeling required. A gun is a cinch to model using a cylinder. With a little adjustment, a torus forms a good doughnut. In an instant a ball can be made out of a sphere. So produce your primitive to work with.

Rough It OutEdit

The Form

Take the primitive and start modifying it to capture the essential form of your subject. Tools like extrude, loop cut, scale and grab are very handy for this. Avoid worrying about details at this stage. Those are to be done later.

Adding Details, Details and more DetailsEdit

Details, details and more details

Now, we approach the most difficult and unquestionably the most fun part. Using a variety of modeling tools, modify the form again to incorporate details. Add details layer by layer, from general to specific. Planning, studying and experience would help you go through. Continue until you achieve the desired level of detail.

Adding details requires subdivision or addition of polygons. The knife and the loop cut tool is handy for subdividing meshes. Extrusion is great for adding details like horns and fingers. Face and edge loop must be herded to other directions at times and warrants a study by itself. Blender provides you with required tools to achieve all of this.

At this stage, beginners and experienced modelers alike will find their meshes getting more and more difficult to work with as the mesh gets a more and more dense at each level of details added. Planning, an eye to the edge flows and experience alleviate this. So plan and keep practicing.