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Creating Characters (Blender 2.57)

One of the (if not the) most important aspects of a game is the characters.  But another thing about characters is that they're hard to make.  This will just be a quick tutorial on how to make characters

When you first open Blender you start out with a cube, light, and camera, we just need to focus on the cube for the character.

The first thing you should do is scale the cube, and this will be much easier if you use hot keys. It's easier to scale when you're in Top Perspective(numpad 7) and Right Perspective(numpad 3)  If you don't have a number pad, go to user preferences (if you can't find it, hit the space bar and type in "user preferences") go to "Input" and click the box by "emulate number pad" like below.

While in object mode (the default mode when Blender is opened) scale the cube to about HALF the size of a torso (don't forget to scale the depth of the cube)  You can do this by clicking one of the widgets and hitting "s".  If you don't use the widgets, you can use the middle mouse button (MMB) to toggle how you're scaling (which direction or in all directions). 


 Once you've scaled the cube, move it north of the middle of the graph (to make this easy, turn on the widgets and move it until the green arrow lines up with the y axis) or put the bottom left corner on point (0,0).  On the right of the Blender screen, there should be multiple buttons, one of which has the icon of a wrench on it.  Go into "edit mode" by clicking on the drop down menu where "object mode" is (you can also toggle between object and edit mode by hitting the "Tab" button).  When you go into edit mode, the entire cube should be highlighted in orange.  Click on the button with the wrench icon and will take you to the modifier page.

Click on the modifier drop down menu and on the first column hit the "mirror" modifier. Now everything we do will be reflected.

If you know the hotkeys on Blender, then the rest should be easy.  Some basic hotkeys are:
  • G: Grab
  • S: Scale
  • R: Rotate
  • E: Extrude
  • CTRL+R:  Loop Cut
  • Z:  Toggle between fill-in and wireframe
  • CTRL+Z:  Undo
  • CTRL+Shift+Z: Redo
  • Shift: Selecting multiple vertices, edges, and faces
  • A: Select and deselect entire object
As default, you can only select vertices by right clicking (RMB) on a vertex.  You can also select multiple multiple vertices by holding down the shift key and clicking on adjacent vertices.  However,this is time consuming and you can toggle between vertices, edges, and faces by clicking on the icons that are on the same bar as the Mode drop down menu.

 When you have a vertex, edge, of face selected, you can use the same hotkeys as you use on the object as a whole (ex: if you have have a face selected, you can scale it so that that particular face is a different size instead of scaling the entire object)

One more thing before I wrap up this post is loop cutting.  Basically what loop cut does is create new vertices/edges/faces.  This is really useful for adding in necessary detail.  Hit CTRL+R (NOT just R) and a purple line should appear  appear around the entire object (not including the reflection)when you put your cursor over a face. You can set whether the line is horizontal or vertical. Left click (LMB) to set the purple line either vertically or horizontally and then when the line turns orange you can set where to place the loop cut, then LMB again.

After hitting CTRL+R, put your cursor over a face to form a purple line like ^ (can also be done vertically) and LMB to set

After setting the loop cut line, you can adjust where the line is, LMB again to set it

After you add the loop cut, you have another whole loop of edges which can be used to add details like ^ to make it look more like a torso in this case

I would suggest at least doing a little bit experimentation with these functions before moving.  Functions such as extruding, scaling, grabbing, and loop cutting will be important throughout the process of making a character and it would be wise practicing with these before getting too far ahead of yourself.  Also, another thing you want to be able to do is change camera view by holding down MMB and dragging.  If you'd like me to go into deeper detail, email the blog.


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