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Blender3D:NoobtoPro/MoreMeshEditing
Techniques
YoupreviouslyscratchedthesurfaceofthetoolsthatBlenderprovidesforeditingmeshes.Thispagewill
introducemoreofthem.

Contents
1 AddingMoreMeshPieces
2 LinkedSelections
3 SeparatingandJoiningMeshes
4 ProperExtrusion
4.1 MoreExtrusionOptions
5 EdgeLoopSelection
6 LoopCuts
7 EdgeLoopDeletion
8 SubdividingParts
9 SubdivisionSurfaceModifier
10 SharpeningtheCurves
10.1 ApplyingaCrease
10.2 AddingVertices
10.3 WhichtoUse?

AddingMoreMeshPieces
Startwiththedefaultcubeagain.Selectitand TAB intoEditmode.Press SHIFT + A tobringuptheAdd
menu.InsteadofallthesubmenuswithalltheobjectsyoucouldaddinObjectmode,youwillseeonlyasingle
menucontainingonlymeshobjects.Selectanothercube,anduse G tomoveitawayfromthefirstcube.

Ifyou TAB intoObjectmode,youwillseethatthetwocubeslooklikeseparate,disconnectedobjects,but


theyareinfactoneobject,andcannotbeselectedseparatelyinObjectmode.Youcan TAB backintoEdit
mode,andmakeconnectionsbetweentheverticesofthetwocubes,whichyoucannotdowithseparateobjects.
Therefore:

Asinglemeshobjectcanbemadeofseparate,disconnectedpieces.

LinkedSelections
Ifyouhavesomepartofameshselected,pressing CTRL + L willselectallotherpartsofthemeshthatare
connectedtothealreadyselectedparts.Intheabovecaseoftheobjectmadeupoftwodisconnectedcubes,you
can RMB onasinglevertexofonecube,thenuse CTRL + L toselectalltherestofthatcubebutnotthe
other.

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Anotherwaytodolinkedselectionsistosimplymovethemouseoversomepartofthepieceyouwantto
select,andpress L toimmediatelyselecteverythingconnectedtothat.Conversely, SHIFT + L will
unselecteverythingconnectedtothevertexunderthemouse.

SeparatingandJoiningMeshes
Youcanseparateapartofameshintoitsownobject.Thepartyouareseparatingdoesnthavetobe
disconnectedfromtherestofthemesh.SimplyselectthepartyouwanttoseparateinEditmode,andpress P ,
andinthemenuthatappears,chooseSelection.Youwillseetheselectedpartimmediatelychangetoa
reddishorangehighlight,indicatingitispartoftheobjectselectionbutnottheactiveobject.

Conversely,youcanjointwoormoremeshobjectsintoone.SelectallthedesiredobjectsinObjectmode,and
press CTRL + J ,andyouwillseethemallimmediatelytakeontheorangeyellowhighlightindicatingthey
arealltheactiveobject. TAB intoEditmode,andyoucanconfirmallareeditableaspartofthesamemesh
object.

ProperExtrusion
Youpreviouslydiscoveredhowtoaddwholenewsectionstoameshwith CTRL + LMB .Blenderalsohasa
properExtrudefunction,whichletsyoudothiswithabitmorecontrol.

Startwiththedefaultcube,asusual.GointoEditmode.Selectjustthetopfourvertices.Press E tostart
extruding,andmovethemouseroughlyalongthedirectionoftheZaxis.Youwillfindyourselfdraggingouta
wholenewfaceformedfromfournewverticesconnectedtotheonesyoupreviouslyselected.Youwillnotice
alsothatthemovementofthenewlyaddedpartofthemeshisautomaticallyconstrainedtobeparalleltotheZ
axis.Press LMB or ENTER tofinishtheextrusionoperation.

Deselecteverything.Nowtryselectinganotherfourverticesoftheoriginalcube,saymakingupafacepointing
alongtheXaxis.Nowifyouextrudethese,youwillseethattheextrusionisautomaticallyconstrainedtomove
onlyparalleltotheXaxis.

Aquirkoftheextrusionfunctionisthatifyoupress E andthenimmediatelyabortwith RMB or ESC ,the


additionalmeshpieceisstillcreated,butitisleftinthesamepositionastheoriginalmesh.Toreallyabortthe
extrusion,youhavetoundoitwith CTRL + Z .

MoreExtrusionOptions

ALT + E bringsuptheExtrudemenu,whichgivesyouaccesstomoreoptions,dependingonwhatyouhave
selected:

Regionextrudetheentireselectedareaasone,exactlyequivalentto E .
IndividualFacesifyouhavemorethanonefaceselected,thentheyareextrudedseparately.In
particular,anyedgecommontotwoselectedfaceswillgiverisetotwoseparateextrudededges,rather
thanone.
EdgesOnlyextrudesonlytheedgesnewfacesarecreatedonlyconnectingthenewedgestothe
existingones,notbetweenthenewedges.
VerticesOnlyextrudesonlytheverticesedgesarecreatedonlyconnectingthenewverticestothe
existingones,notbetweenthenewvertices,andnonewfacesarecreated.

EdgeLoopSelection
Edgeloopsareanimportantconceptwhenconstructingmeshes.TheyaresoimportantthatBlenderprovidesa
shortcutforselectinganentireedgeloopwithoneclick: ALT + RMB onanedgeorvertexthatispartofthe
loopyouwanttoselect,anditwillselecttheentireloop.Alternatively, ALT + SHIFT + RMB addsanedge
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looptotheselectionor,ifthepartyouclickonisalreadyselected,itwilldeselecttheentireloop.

Forexample,tryexperimentingwithaUVsphere:everylineoflatitudeandlongitudeinthismeshisan
edgeloop.

LoopCuts
Sometimesyouneedtoaddmoreverticestotheinteriorpartofamesh,perhapstofleshinsomedetail.The
loopcutfunctionletsyouaddmoreedgeloopsbetweenexistingones.

EnsureyouareinEditmode.Itdoesntmatterwhatpartsofthemesharecurrentlyselected.Press
CTRL + R toactivatetheLoopCutfunction.Youwillseeamagentacolouredloopwrapitselfaround
differentpartsofthemeshasyoumovethemouse.Youcanpress RMB or ESC toabandontheoperationat
thispoint,oronceyouseetheloopappearingaroundthecorrectpartofthemesh,youcanuse LMB or
ENTER toproceed.Nowthemagentacolourchangestotheusualorangeyellowselectionhighlight,andwill
nowrestrictitselftoslidingalongthissectionofthemeshasyoumovethemouse.Ifyoupress LMB or
ENTER atthispoint,youwillendupwithanewloopofverticesandedgesatthelastshownpoint,while
RMB or ESC willstillcreatethenewloop,butleaveitpositionedatthemidpoint.

Whentheloopisstillatthemagentastage,youcanusethemousewheeltoincreasethenumberofcutsto2or
more.Youcanalsotypeanumberofcutsusing 0KEY ... 9KEY .

EdgeLoopDeletion
Conversely,youcangetridofedgeloopsaswell,reducingthecomplexityofthesurfacewithoutleavingholes
init.Selecttheedgeloop(thequickwayis ALT + RMB onacomponentedgeorvertexasdescribedabove),
thenbringupthedeletionmenu( DEL or X )andselectEdgeLoop.Theselectedloopwilldisappear,and
adjacentedgesandfaceswillbemerged.

SubdividingParts
Aloopcutalwayscutsacompleteloop.Alternatively,youcansubdividejustaselectedpartofthemesh:make
yourselection,thenpress W tobringuptheVertexSpecialsmenu,andselectthetopoption,Subdivide.
Thiswillcreateonecut,butapanelwillappearatthelowerleftoftheToolshelf( T tomakeitvisibleatthe
leftofthe3Dviewifitsnot),whereyoucanalterthenumberofcutsandothersettings.Thissameoptionis
alsoavailableonEdgeSpecials CTRL + E .

Anotheroptionisthesecondoneonthe W menu:SubdivideSmooth.ThisonecomputesaCatmullClark
interpolationtogivemoreofacurveratherthanaflatsubdivision.

SubdivisionSurfaceModifier
Amodifiercausessomechangetothegeometryofanobjectjustbeforeitgetsrendered.Thechangedoesnot
affecttheobjectasyouviewandedititinthe3Dview,orasitisstoredinthedocument(unlessyouapplythe
modifier,whichmakesthechangepermanent).Thisallowsyoutocreatesomecomplicatedeffectsatrender
time,whiletheoriginalmeshstayssimpleandeasytoedit.Modifiersfortheactiveobjectareappliedand
controlledintheModifiers tabinthePropertieswindow.

Asubdivisionsurfacemodifier(alsoknownasasubsurfmodifier)appliestheCatmullClarkinterpolation
discussedaboveasamodifier.Beingamodifier,itappliestotheentireobject,notjusttoselectedvertices.But
sincetheoriginalmeshispreserved,youuseitasacontrolcagetoadjusttheshapeoftheinterpolatedcurve.

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StartwiththedefaultcubeselectedinObjectmode,asusual.Gotothe
ModifierstabinProperties.WhenyouselectSubdivisionSurfacefromthe
AddModifiermenu,anewpanelappearsasatright.Noticethetwovalue
slidersundertheSubdivisionsheading'View'controlsthelevelofsubdivision
withinthe3Dview,while'Render'appliestotheactualrenderthehigherthe
numberoflevels,theclosertoacurvetheinterpolatedgeometrybecomes.
Havingtwoseparatesettingsforworkingenvironmentandrenderallowsfor
fasteroperationinthe3Dview,withtheusualtradeoffoflowerquality,while
stillallowingmaximumqualityforthefinalrender.

Keyboardshortcuts:BecausetheSubdivisionSurfacemodifierissoheavilyused,thereisasetof
hotkeysforaddingthemodifiertothecurrentobjectifitdoesntalreadyhaveone,andsettingthe
numberofsubdivisionlevelsinthe3Dview: CTRL + 1KEY .. CTRL + 5KEY forsettingthe
viewlevelsto1..5respectively.

Assoonasyouaddthemodifier,theappearanceofthecubeshouldchangetolook
somethinglikeatright(hereshownwithjustonelevelofsubdivision).

Theupperpartofthepanel(fromtheApplyandCopybuttonsupwards)iscommontoallmodifiers.Note
theXbuttonattheright.Clickingitgetsridofthemodifier.Noticealsoagroupof4iconbuttonsinthe
middle,theleftmosttwolooklikeacameraandaneye.Theiconsaredefinedasfollows(fromlefttoright):

Usethemodifierduringrendering
Showthemodifiereffectinthe3Dview
Showthemodifiereffectinthe3DviewinEditmode(ifthisisuncheckedandthepreviousoneis
checked,themodifiereffectdisappearswhileinEditmode)
ShowthemeshasthoughthemodifierwereappliedtoitinEditmode.

Uncheckingthefirstoneletsyoudisablethemodifierwithoutlosingitssettings.Theremainingthreecanbe
handyifyouretryingtodisentangletheeffectsofdifferentmodifiersduringediting.

Whenthethirdbuttonisenabled,themeshwilllooklikethisinEditmode.Theoriginalmeshremains
highlightableandeditable.Apreviewoftheeffectofthemodifierisalsovisible,andrespondsimmediatelyto
anychangesmadetotheoriginalmesh.(Trymovingsomeverticesaround,andseewhathappens.)
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Thefourthbuttongoesonestepfurtherandactsasifthemodifierhasalreadybeen
applied,whileallowingyoutoeditonlythosepartscorrespondingtotheoriginalmesh.
(Thisbuttonaffectsthebehaviorofthethirdbutton.Itcannotbeusedindependently,and
maydisappearifthethirdbuttonisunchecked.)

SharpeningtheCurves
Thesubdivisionsurfacemodifieroffersmuchmorecontrolovertheresultingshapethanmightbeapparent
fromabove.Forexample,youmaynotwantuniformcurvatureeverywhere,youmaywantsomepartsofthe
shapetohavesharperedges.Thiscanbeachievedintwoways:

byapplyingacreasevaluetoselectededges
bystrategicpositioningofadditionalverticesinthecontrolcagemesh.

ApplyingaCrease

Selecttheedgeswhereyouwantthecurvetobesharper.Press SHIFT + E .Note


howthecurvegetspulledmoreorlessclosertothoseedgesasyoumovethe
mouse.Theselectededgestakeonamagentacolour,indicatingtheyhavea
nonzerocreasevalueapplied.

ThecreasevaluecanbeseenandeditedintheTransformpanelatthetopofthe
PropertiesShelfatthesideofthe3Dview(youcantoggleitsvisibilitywith N .
Valuescanrangefrom0.0(nocrease,thedefault)to1.0(maximumsharpnessof
theedge).

AddingVertices

Forexample,startwiththesubdividedcubeexampleasabove.Press CTRL + R
tostartaloopcut,andpositionthemagentaoutlinesomethinglikethis:

Press LMB or ENTER ...

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...andmovethemousesothenewlyaddedloopmovesclosertoonesideofthe
cube.Seehowthesubdividedmeshdevelopsasharpercurveonthisside?

Toconfirmtheplacementofthenewloop,press LMB or ENTER .

WhichtoUse?

Thebasicprincipleis,theclosertogethertheverticesare,themorecontrolyouhaveoverthecurveatthat
point.Sothequestionis,doyoujustwantasharperedge,ordoyouwantmoredetail?Thatwillgovern
whetheryouneedtoaddvertices,orjustapplyacreasetotheexistingedges.

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