Blender Basics: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Crafting Game 3D Models

You’ve decided to experiment with 3D modeling for your game and are hoping to produce some amazing assets. So fasten your seatbelts because we’re about to set out on a tour into Blender’s world, the open-source program that is about to become your new best friend.

Why Blender, You Ask?

Blender is an excellent 3D model creation tool that is totally free! Due to its strong features and active community, it has gained the support of both independent developers and large companies. Let’s start with the fundamentals so you can build your first 3D model that is suitable for use in games.

Installing Blender

Go to the official Blender website and download the most recent version first. Running the downloaded file and following the instructions will complete installation.

Navigating the Blender Interface

Open Blender after installation, and let’s become acquainted with the interface. At first, it can seem difficult, but don’t worry—we’ll break it down.

  1. 3D Viewport: This is the 3D viewport, where the magic happens. You’ll be building and modifying your models in the spacious area in the center.
  2. Toolbar: You’ll see a toolbar with a variety of tools you may use to interact with your model on the left.
  3. Outliner: The Outliner lists every item in your scene, and can be found in the upper right corner of the screen.
  4. Properties Panel: Located just beneath the Outliner, the properties panel allows you to customize many aspects of your objects, such as their materials, modifiers, and physics.

Creating Your First 3D Model

Let’s start out easy. We’re going to make a simple model first—let’s call it “Cubert,” a boxy character.

  1. Add a Cube: To add a cube, click “Add” in the 3D viewport’s upper left corner, choose “Mesh,” and then click “Cube.” You’ll see a cube in your viewport. Cubert’s body is here.
  2. Edit the Cube: In the bottom left of the 3D viewport, when the cube is selected, switch from “Object Mode” to “Edit Mode.” The structure of the cube can now be changed. Let’s extrude Cubert’s bottom face downward by selecting it and using the ‘E’ key. Repeat this two more times to make two distinct “feet.”
  3. Add Some Detail: Let’s give Cubert some eyeballs. Return to ‘Object Mode,’ add two more cubes, scale them down with the ‘S’ key, and place them where you want the eyes to be.
  4. Smoothing Things Out: Cubert appears a little too blocky. By adding a “Subdivision Surface” modifier to the Properties Panel, let’s smooth him out.

Exporting Your Model

As soon as Cubert is finished, you should export your model for use in your game engine. Just select where to save it by clicking “File” > “Export” > “FBX.”

The Journey Begins

Congratulations! You’ve just finished building your first Blender 3D model. Cubert is a start, even though he may not be the most complicated character ever created. You can then play with more complex shapes, texturing, and even animation from this point on.

Always keep in mind that Blender is a powerful tool with a lot to offer, and that the best way to learn is to get your hands dirty. Create additional models, try new things, fail, and enjoy yourself. You have access to the entire universe of 3D modeling, and the possibilities are endless. Happy blending!

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