Blender 3D: Noob to Pro/Mesh Modeling

Mesh modeling is the most common type of modeling in all of Blender-dom. If you did the Quickie Model tutorial, then you've already participated in mesh modeling. A mesh is simply a collection of vertices that define a three dimensional object. This exercise will further help explain mesh modeling.

  1. Get a piece of paper and a pen or pencil.
  2. Draw three dots that are no more than 2.5 cm (about an inch) apart from each other
  3. Each one of these dots is called a vertex. (The plural of vertex is "vertices")
  4. Now connect two of the dots with a line segment. The line segment is called an edge.
  5. Draw two more edges so that the three vertices are all connected. You should now have a triangle drawn on the paper. Fill the triangle in. This is called a face.
  6. Now draw another vertex (dot) on the paper. Connect it to two of the vertices (dots) you previously drew. You have another triangle. Fill it in to create another face.
Your sketch should look like this.

Could you imagine doing this same sort of activity in 3D space? Essentially, mesh modeling is just that. The details are on subsequent pages in this tutorial.

You can keep filling up the paper with more vertices, edges, and faces if you want. You may want to try and create something interesting with your triangles. Blender also supports faces with four vertices (called quads), but faces with five or more (so-called N-gons) cannot be created.

Look closely at a 3D video game character some time. Believe it or not, every part of the character is created from little triangles joined together (of course, the triangles are much harder to see in newer games using more detailed technology).

When you're creating your models, remember that the whole point of having edges and vertices is so that you can have control points in 3D space for your faces. When the scene is rendered, only the faces will be seen. Any edges or vertices not connected to a face will not appear.