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Modeling Basics Exercise Unit 1

We covered quite a bit of stuff in the past few lessons and I think its time to put those new skills to use and actually make something. Before you do this, I always encourage you to just experiment with any new tools you may have learned because, as with anything, experience is a major part of the learning process.

This exercise is going to be very short, it'll probably take you no more than 15 minutes. It took me less than 5. OK, start up a new project and you can keep the cube.

Scale it on the Z axis so you get a platform looking shape. Then scale it down along all the axises (don't constrain it to any axis). Try to get something like this:

This will be the platform of out chair. To make the rest of the pieces, we'll be adding separate cube meshes and shaping them, then joining them all together at the end.

Now add another cube and scale it down into a very small cube. Scale along the Z axis to make a chair leg.

Go into front view by pressing 1 on the Num Pad. Select the chair leg and duplicate it (Shift + D). Press X to constrain movement to the X axis and move the leg over to the other side.

Switch to Side View with Num Pad 3. Select the leg, duplicate it and move it along the Y axis to the other side of the platform.

Spin around to see the last corner of the chair. Now Duplicate one of the legs and constraining movement to one axis, move it to the last corner.

Here's a good time to spin around your current model and make sure all the legs are lined up well.

Once you're done with that, its time to move on to making the back of the chair. Select one of the legs, duplicate it and move it up on top of the platform (constrain to Z axis). Now scale it up on the Z axis a bit. You'll have to move it back up then. Take that, duplicate it and move it over on the X or Y axis (depends on where you put the back of the chair).

Duplicate that selected piece and rotate it 90 degrees (R + X + 90). Move it over to form a crosspiece between the two back pieces. Bring it down a little bit from the top.

Select one of the vertical pieces of the chair back. Duplicate it, scale it down on the Z axis and move it into the gap.

Duplicate that piece one more time and move it to the left a bit. And we're done with this step of modeling!

Select all the various shapes we've made. You can it the B Key and select all of them at once with box select. Join them all together by pressing Ctrl + J.

Now its looking pretty good but its a little crude and the edges are pretty sharp looking. Let's add a bevel to the edges.

Head over to the Modifiers Tab in the Properties Panel. Click Add Modifier and select Bevel from the list.

The default settings are actually pretty good! I'll leave it there for now. Now you should render it.

I haven't talked about rendering at all yet so I'll explain it a little here. Rendering is going to create a final image from the view of the Camera with all the textures, lighting, etc. applied to the scene. By default, there is a camera and a light already on the scene.

Hit Num Pad 0 to enter the Camera View. Move the chair into the view of the camera.
In the Properties Panel, go to the first tab (the Render Tab).  I won't discuss any of the settings now, but just click the Image button to render the image.

Congratulations on your first real Blender model! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned some new stuff. As an addition to this exercise, try to create different chairs. Here's some ideas:
  • add armrests
  • make a bar stool
  • make a diamond shape backed chair for the head of a table
Experiment and have fun!

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