The Blender 2.8 Encyclopedia
4.7 (1,894 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
8,620 students enrolled

The Blender 2.8 Encyclopedia

The most complete beginner-to-advanced guide for Blender 2.8x
4.7 (1,894 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
8,620 students enrolled
Last updated 8/2020
English [Auto]
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This course includes
  • 52.5 hours on-demand video
  • 782 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • This is a comprehensive reference and training set for the free 3D modeling and animation package, Blender 2.8. With this course by your side, you can confidently dive into Blender!
  • All lectures are organized in a learning path, so you can watch this course from start to finish, or skip around if you're more experienced!
  • Learn all the tools necessary to create anything in 3D, and put it all into practice with step by step projects like modeling, shading, and rendering a 3D living room from start to finish.
  • Learn how to build a professional studio-quality character rig from start to finish, then learn all the tools you need to animate it!
  • We take it slow when introducing a new tool or technique with a full explanation. We make sure things don't happen too fast or slow!
  • We include many production tricks used to pump out high quality graphics and assets, either while working under pressure, or working on your own personal/hobby project.
  • Just a curiosity for creation! Not only is The Blender Encyclopedia for those who are completely new to Blender, but also for current Blender users unfamiliar with the changes in the latest 2.8 series.
  • Blender is an Open Source and completely free 3D package. Information on how to download and install Blender is contained at the start of this course!
  • This is a completely comprehensive course. It includes an introduction to the software, full reference guides for many areas such as shaders and modifiers, plus many step-by-step projects. So with this course on hand you've got everything you need!

Welcome to The Blender 2.8 Encyclopedia, the most comprehensive training course available covering all aspects of Blender 3D, a completely free 3D production suite.  The newest release series, Version 2.8, is the biggest upgrade yet, with many new features and improvements.

With the tools and techniques covered in this course by CG Masters' lead instructors Christopher Plush and Lee Salvemini, you can take full advantage of this completely free & open source software to:

  • Create Your Own Video Game or Virtual Reality Assets (Do you have a game idea you'd like to create assets for? What about a stand-out character idea for VRChat?)

  • Effortlessly handle Animation, Film, and Television Productions (Blender features a full video editor, and advanced 2D & 3D compositing. Whether you have time to focus on the details for a fantastic short film, or need motion graphics for the next morning.)

  • 3D Printing (A great way to impress everyone you know with a physical representation of your art. Also great for practical purposes like replacing tools or parts with your own custom design.)

  • Architectural, Industrial, and Product Visualization (Make your mark in these industries without multiple expensive software subscriptions, or long waits for bug fixes and upgrades.)

  • Music Videos & DJ'ing (Make the hit music video people have been waiting for, or light up the stage with your real-time visuals that change with the beat at your command.)

  • Even niche avenues like medical visualization, book illustration, and so many more.

The Blender 2.8 Encyclopedia will be of use throughout your entire 3D journey. No matter what job you've been entrusted with, or creative idea you want to make a reality, this is the most important reference guide you'll own.

Our aim is to cover every facet of Blender, a software built over decades by developer ingenuity mixed with creative input. Everything you'll be using for your projects that Blender can facilitate, we'll be covering.

Further than the tools alone, we've made sure this course contains not just the how, but the why. Throughout the course, we've crafted example demos, as well as step-by-step projects, that will take what you've learned to the next level. The focus here is how to use this information in real life scenarios. We want to see you get that career at a top studio, or to realize your dream project that has been bouncing around your imagination.

Our pledge for this course is to provide everything we've picked up in our combined 30 years of experience, distilled into a one-stop resource.

What will you get with this course?

Over 52 hours of video training will be yours right way. We cover each topic in detail, and you'll be led step-by-step through the content. Plus, check out the resources included with the lectures throughout the course:

  • All the Blender files used in the lectures, complete with models, textures and other resources. This includes starting files so you can join in!

  • Diagrams used in the lectures covering Blender tool details, examples of techniques we use,  and even math related info-graphics.

  • And all resources can be used in your own projects as well! Just contact us first for license details.

You will get full access to this course forever with this one-time fee, plus you'll get access to all future updates and additional content as well! We have created this course specifically for Udemy, and you will have unlimited support from us in the Q&A section of each lecture.

An Overview of the Contents of this course:

  1. A complete User Interface & Navigational guide. Created specifically for you to stay ahead of the pack with Blender 2.8's new 'Workspaces', and layering systems. Learn all the latest catered hotkeys, which Blender is well known for. You will appear to be playing a piano concerto to others as you zoom around the software. After these lectures, you're ready to put some headphones on with your favorite music and get in the creative zone!

  2. Master how data is handled in Blender, starting from right under the hood, to practical production methods. Knowledge on the foundation of the software instantly gives you the power to be responsible for larger complex projects. This is the difference between making a single asset, and leading the charge on something bigger.

  3. All the chapters are made to work as single references, but we made sure to create a learning path along the way. After covering why 3D animation is possible, and the placement of all the UI and tools, it's time to learn about Modeling in Blender. Here you'll learn more than just the tools and techniques for modeling, but important concepts and technical aspects that help you truly understand what's going on.

  4. Using the last decade of working as an industry animator, Lee Salvemini covers Rigging & Animation on all fronts. Lee: "Learn about Blender's unique digital skeletal system (the best 3D joint system around for rigging and animating in my opinion!). Along with the methods to easily pose or animate a simple character, all the way to an accessory or armor covered video game hero character."

  5. Things get really epic from here, we move into Drivers, Constraints & Modifiers. This trinity of tool sets is your access to some of the most amazing effects possible in 3D that enable you to make the most of the software for Modeling and Animation. The outcomes from your work when combining these available tools will be outstanding.

  6. The next areas covered are all about getting the realistic or stylistically believable materials for your creations. This is done through the magic of Shaders, material properties that you have access to in Blender, that combine to make any and all objects you see in the world (or your imagination), such as cloth, wood, metal, and everything in between. The options here are endless, and these lectures will cover everything. You'll be amazed by how good the combination of materials look on your character, vehicle, spaceship, or anything else.

  7. Next we dive into UV Mapping. Now that you know all about shaders you'll learn how UV Unwrapping works. UV Unwrapping lets you unwrap a 3D model onto a flat plane so that you can texture it more easily. This is an absolutely essential to learn about, and this section was our first new section added after publishing.

  8. You're now an artisan with Blender, packed with all the information and knowledge to turn your dreams into a real, shareable output. The final stage of this process is Rendering. There are a couple of ways to do this, depending on the type of look you want to go for. The render engine Eevee is a new entry to Blender, and mimics the efficient, real-time rendering found in the AAA games you play. The other major one is Cycles: A fully ray-trace based render engine, used for realistic film VFX or Video Game cutscenes, and films like Wreck It Ralph.

CG doesn't stop there, and we don't either!

The more successful the course is, the more we can add to it!
Past the main areas of Blender, the uses extend so far out, and we aim to cover it all. With continued success of the course we will be creating further content FREE OF CHARGE. This will include areas like Texturing, Game Asset Exporting, Scripting, Camera Tracking & Green Screen VFX, as well as helpful preference settings and presets to make your Blender experience smoother.

We also aim to update and evolve this course with each new version of Blender. There are topics we are busting to cover for you in this course, and new features we are following that are yet to be released. Our wish list is ready, and you can let us know what topics you'd like us to focus on and delve deeper into as well! We will be working closely with you all, and you will decide where The Blender Encyclopedia evolves.

See you in there, and Happy Blending!

Who this course is for:
  • If you're looking for the ability to create the highest quality computer graphics, game assets and visual effects, The Blender 2.8 Encyclopedia has the software and learning path completely covered for you!
  • If you're a hobby 3D artist, learn the leading open source full 3D package, Blender, and give yourself the ability to create to the level of your imagination.
  • If you are keen on a career in Video Games, Animated Films or Film VFX, this course will prove an invaluable investment which will allow you to prepare and build for your portfolio/reel!
Course content
Expand all 436 lectures 52:18:10
+ Welcome to The Blender Encyclopedia
4 lectures 06:07

Both Christopher Plush, and myself Lee Salvemini want to welcome you to the Blender 2.8 Encyclopedia!

You've made the right choice, and we hope you enjoy this combined learning path/reference guide.

Blender, is the 3D software package we've chosen for the Encyclopedia. A completely Free and Open Source creation suite. Download your copy now at With no license or fees, you can install it anywhere, and get started right away!

Preview 01:52

For those of you wondering how to watch the videos in 1080p resolution, this video shows you how. You can both stream AND download the videos in 1080p.

How to Watch & Download Videos in 1080p

We've got a lot more planned that we want to add to this course, but it will depend on how well the course does. So help us out, and help yourself get more content, by spreading the word about this course!

Coming Soon to the Encyclopedia

Just a few notes on navigating all of this material to help you learn from it more effectively.

Navigating the Course (Important!)
+ Understanding Blender
17 lectures 01:48:58

Get to know the software by first taking a tour of everything you see when we first open up Blender. See how Blender organizes it's areas, headers, and toolbars in this casual start to learning about the program.

User Interface

Blender's window layout is very customizable, and in this lecture you'll learn how to customize the layout to suit your workflow and preferences.

Customizing the Layout

Now that we learned about layout customization, we'll go over how you can save custom layouts and switch between existing layouts already in Blender. Having quick access to multiple layouts can be extremely useful when performing different tasks.


This begins our tour through Blender's different Editor types. There are different types of Editors in Blender used for different tasks. There's a 3D Viewport for example, which is used for building your 3D scene and interacting with all of your 3D objects. There's various animation editors too, as well as other types that we'll begin to go over.

General Editors

Now we'll go over the different Animation Editors. This lecture contains an intro to how animation keyframes work, as well as a general overview of the different Animation Editors, such as the Dope Sheet, Graph Editors, and Drivers.

Animation Editors

Here we'll go over the different editors for scripting, including the Text Editor which can be used to actually create things like Python scripts, or just use to leave yourself notes in your blend file.

Scripting Editors

Now we'll go over the Data Editors, including the Outliner which can be used to keep track of all of your objects, as well as organize them all into Collections(or "layers"). In these editors is also the Properties Editor, which is especially important as it contains all of the information about your objects, their relationships to other objects, effects you can add to them such as modifiers and particle systems, and a lot more.

Data Editors

In this lecture we'll browse through the different User Preferences available that help you customize Blender to suit your workflow. I also make a few suggested changes, especially when it comes to navigating your 3D scene. This can often be frustrating to get the hang of, so I offer some suggested preference changes to help you roam about your 3D world more comfortably.

User Preferences and Suggested Changes

We'll go over the basics of saving and loading here, including some tips on saving multiple iterations of your project, as well as saving bookmarks of your most used folders for quick access.

Saving and Loading

Sometimes Blender crashes, sometimes you forget to save your work, or sometimes you saved over existed work, doh! Blender tries its best to make sure you have access to backup versions of your files in multiple ways. In this lecture you'll learn how you can recover data that may have been lost for various reasons.

File Backups and Recovery

Learn how to import and export files from other formats. I'll also show you how to enable extra formats in Blender's User Preferences in case the default options don't offer the format you're looking for.

Importing and Exporting

One of the most important things to get the hang of first, is navigating through 3D space. This can often take some time to get used to, and it's essential to master in order for modeling and building scenes to feel natural and fun. I offer some suggestions in the User Preferences lecture to help navigation feel more intuitive, so I would definitely check that lecture out as well.

Navigating Through 3D Space

Now we'll go over the purpose of the world axis and the grid spanning throughout the 3D world. These are mainly used for reference purposes to show an objects location, scale, and orientation in the world, and can be used for a feature called Snapping, which allows you to do things like move an object in increments.

The Axis and Grid

Now we'll go over how you can change the units of measurement used by your scene, and the various ways you can customize this. For example, the grid is typically split into 10 blocks for each larger block. If you're using Imperial units I show you a trick for splitting large 1 foot blocks into 12 smaller blocks instead of 10, so that they can be used as inches.

Units of Measurement

In this lecture I'll show you all the different shading types available in the viewport. We'll go over how to switch between solid shading, wireframe shading, material preview, and rendering. This is an important lecture in order to understand how to work with and customize the different shading types.

And we'll also go over a lot of Viewport Shading options, like how to enable MatCaps, which are a material that can be applied to your scene for fast previewing. These can be very helpful for things like surface analysis.

I'll also give you suggestions on how to tweak the X-Ray settings to be more like the "Limit Selection to Visible" option from 2.79. X-Ray allows you to be able to see through, and more important select through, an object. I'll show you how it works and why it makes more sense to change the default settings.

There are lots of options we'll go over, such as how to enable a feature called cavity, which can highlight sharp edges and darken concave edges. This is essentially an ambient occlusion feature for the viewport, and it's extremely handy.

Viewport Shading

Now we'll go over some options that help you customize the 3D Viewport. This includes object type visibility, gizmo visibility, object information visibility, and also how to fix a common camera clipping issue. Often times you'll zoom into an object real close and the camera starts to go right through it. This is a common problem and has an easy fix.

Viewport Options

Before we jump into working with Blender, let's take a tour of the different work modes we can use. These are essentially different tool modes, such as Edit Mode for modeling, Sculpt Mode, Pose Mode for animating, and more. Each task has its own work mode, and I'll take you on a tour through them all and demonstrate what they're capable of.

Different Work Modes Overview
How much do you know about Blender so far?
4 questions
+ Working with Blender
22 lectures 02:43:59

This is just an introduction to this section, including a mention of how many tools that we'll work with in Object Mode also work in other work modes.

Introduction to Working with Blender

We'll start off with selection basics. I'll go over the basic selection tools, like how to select, and how to add or subtract from a selection. I'll go over all the basic selection tools and how they're different from each other, and I'll also show you what "active selections" are and why they're so important.

Selection Tools and Active Selection

Now we'll go over the basic object mode tools, such as moving, rotating, scaling, and adding or deleting objects. I'll also explain how the 3D Cursor is used for adding new objects in, and how to move the 3D cursor around.

We'll also cover proportional editing in Object Mode, and we'll learn how to change and work with the Transform fields in the right-side toolbar. For example, using a robot arm as an example, we'll learn how to lock multiple rotation axis' so objects can only rotate in one direction.

Basic Tools

No we'll go over what those oranges dots are in the middle of your objects. These are called Object Origins, and they're useful for many different reasons like for rotating and scaling, and location reference. We'll also go over the options in the "Set Origin" menu which allows us to move the origin point in various ways.

Object Origins

This is a very important lecture on the differences between the Global Axis(the World's axis) and the Local Axis(the Object's axis). I'll go over the differences and demonstrate the usefulness of both axis'. This is definitely a good lecture to watch in order to avoid some confusion in the future, because there are many different circumstances in which one type of axis is used instead of another, so understanding the differences is key.

Global Axis Vs. Local Axis

Learn about the funky red and white target in the 3D View. This is mainly used as a reference point in space, and is useful for many reasons.

The 3D Cursor

Transformation Orientations are different ways that you can move, rotate, or scale your objects. There are various options for this, such as moving an object along the global axis, the local axis, or even the axis of the view itself. Very useful info in this lecture.

Transformation Orientations

Now we'll go over more options for transforming your objects. Pivot Points are points in space that transformations happen around. For example, you can pick a point in space that you can then rotate objects around. That point in space is called a Pivot Point, and there's lots of useful options for this that come in handy in different circumstances.

Pivot Point Options

Learn how to duplicate, or copy, objects. Also how to link duplicates together. Linking duplicates allows you to connect all objects so that if you change one, the linked objects change as well, which can be very handy.

Duplication and Linked Duplicates

Now we'll learn how parenting works. Parenting is when you connect one object to a separate parent object. Then whenever you move, rotate, or scale the parent object, the objects parented to it will change along with it.

Object Parenting

Blender has a ton of snapping options that allow you to do things like snap objects to a grid, or even snap objects onto the surface of other objects. You can even have objects snap to slanted surfaces and make the objects rotate to match the angle of those surfaces. Lots of fun options here that come in handy often.

Snapping Tools

A newer feature in Blender is the ability to transform ONLY an object's origin, meaning you could do something like move an object's origin point without moving the object. This can come in handy and I demonstrate how.

We also now have the ability to transform a parent without transforming the children along with it. We can briefly ignore that relationship in order to move, rotate, or scale the parent without affecting the children.

Origin and Parent Transformations

Now we'll learn about the different kinds of surface shading in order to make our models look smooth or faceted. There's also a tool that can be used to smooth small angles and keep sharp angles sharp. This is called auto smooth and we'll learn how it works.

Smooth , Flat, and Auto Smooth Shading

Since Blender 2.8, the old "layer" system has been replaced with Collections, which is far more versatile and capable of much better organization. It's similar to the layer system in painting software, where you can add objects to separate folders, or Collections in this case. So it's a really useful way of organizing your scene into groups.

We'll also go over View Layers, which replaces the old "Render Layers", but it's also very useful for scene organization alongside Collections. We'll learn how it all works in this lecture.

Collections and View Layers

Now that we know about Collections, we'll go over Scenes, which can be thought of as separate projects within a single blend file. The great part about this is how easy it is to share assets between scenes. For example, you could create separate game levels, one in each scene, and be able to easily share assets like models and materials between the scenes. It's also generally great for organizing larger projects which can be split into multiple scenes.


In this lecture we'll go over the basics of bringing external models and assets into your current blend file. This is extremely useful when working with teams, or when working with any kind of re-usable asset.

Appending and Linking

Adding background images such as blueprints has changed since 2.8. I'll show you everything you need to know in order to add in background or references images into the 3D View, and how to set them up.

Setting Up Background Images

There's a menu of other selection tools that are used for more specific circumstances than the general selection tools we've already covered. These include things like selecting by type, or selecting objects that are linked in various ways.

More Selection Tools

Blender has a cool measuring tool that let's you draw rulers right in the 3D View. You can measure length and angles with this tool, and easily snap the ends of the ruler to faces, vertices, and edges for precise measurements.

Measuring Tool

This tool is a simplified version of grease pencil that let's you draw in the 3D View. This is super useful for things like drawing quick concept art or writing messages in the 3D View. This can even be animated, which is super fun and easy.

Annotations Tool

A quick lecture but an important tool that let's you add your favorite and most used tools (and settings!) into a quick access menu.

Quick Favorites Menu

In this step by step project we'll be taking everything we learned in this section and the last section and actually creating a 3d toy train. This project includes using Blender's new Workbench render engine, which is a super fun render engine to use for quick renders and preview renders.

Project - Your First 3D Scene - Making a Toy Train
Are you ready to work with Blender?
6 questions
+ Modeling (Mesh)
28 lectures 04:10:43

A quick intro before jumping into the world of 3D modeling.

Introduction to Mesh Modeling

Now let's dive into what elements a 3D model is actually composed of, which are vertices, edges, and faces. And we'll also cover a few terms that you'll hear occasionally in 3D art.

Mesh Anatomy and Common Terminology

No joke. Even quads and n-gons are triangles in the end. It's better to work with Quads, and you'll learn why in this section, but in the end, everything is converted to triangles when it's shaded and rendered. This is important to understand and be aware of for various reasons.

Everything's a Triangle

Before we go over all the tools, let's build something first in order for you to get the hang of the basics. It'll make understanding all the other tools a little easier, plus you'll learn enough from this lecture to be able to play around with 3D modeling on your own. So let's build a low poly axe!

Project - Your First 3D Model - Low Poly Axe

In short, normals are simply the direction a face or a vertex points. It's very important to at least have a basic understanding of what normals are and what they're used for in Blender, and that's what we'll go over. They're used primarily for smooth shading, but have other purposes as well.

What are Normals?

In this lecture we'll go over selection tools specific to Edit Mode. Many Object mode selection tools also work in Edit Mode, but Edit Mode has some of its own tools as well. For example, there is a tool called "loop select" that allows you to select an edge and all the edges connected to it. It's a very important tool too. And there are also different selection modes that you can switch between, like Vertex select, Face select, and Edge select, that make it easier to select particular elements of your model.

Selection Tools and Selection Modes

Now we'll go over some of the most basic and fundamental tools you'll be using to model with.

Transform Tools and Basic Tools

There are actually a number of ways you can remove elements from your mesh in Edit Mode. You can delete only specific elements from a selection, or you can dissolve and collapse them. Dissolving will remove something like an edge from the model, but it'll fill the area with a face instead of creating a hole in the mesh. Collapsing will take something like a face and collapse it into a single vertex. This is an interesting chapter to at least skim through to get an idea of what options exist and how they work.

Deleting, Dissolving, and Collapsing

You can take two objects and join them together into one, or even separate multiple meshes in on object into separate objects. We go over all these options in this lecture.

Separating and Joining

Extruding is one of the most important tools for modeling. It allows you to make a selection and extend it, which allows you to draw shapes and make extensions to existing shapes.


Now we'll learn the various ways we can create faces and edges between vertices in order to create a solid 3d object. In this lecture we'll learn about the basics, and also more complex tools like loop cutting, and how to select two vertices on a mesh and automatically draw edges from one to the other.

Creating Faces and Edges

In this lecture we'll start going over the tools in the Face Tools menu. This includes inset, poke, triangulate, converting tris to quads, solidifying faces, converting your faces into 3d wireframes, and fill tools which help you fill an area between edges with faces.

Face Tools - Part 1

Now we'll finish going over the Face Tools by starting off with Grid Fill which doesn't just fill an area with faces, but instead fills it with a grid of faces which can come in handy. We'll also go over the intersect tools, welding edges into faces, and shading options that allow you to smooth shade or flat shade selected faces in Edit Mode.

Face Tools - Part 2

Now we'll begin going over the tools used for editing Edges. We'll go over beveling, bridge edge loops, subdividing, and subdividing edge rings.

Edge Tools - Part 1

Now we'll finish going over the Edge Tools. We'll go over un-subdivide, rotating edges, edge sliding, and the mark sharp options.

Edge Tools - Part 2

These are very cool tools that help you cut through your mesh by pulling the selected edges away. For example, you can select an edge on the top of the cube and rip it away and it'll be like opening a box lid. You'll also learn how you can selecting vertices of a mesh, and split them apart into their own mesh.

Splitting and Ripping

The knife tools allow you to draw a line over you mesh that will cut right through your mesh, adding extra edges along the cut line. This allows you to add extra custom geometry to your mesh that will give you the extra geometry you need to create more complex shapes.

Knife Project basically allows you to draw a shape, and project that shape in a direction on your mesh to create cuts, like a cookie cutter.

And Bisect allows you to draw a cutting line through your mesh, adding extra edges through your mesh, but also allows you to delete that portion of your mesh too.

Knife, Knife Project, and Bisect

In this lecture we'll go over the tools used for editing vertices. We've covered a lot of these already, but we'll go over connecting vertex pairs, smoothing vertices, and merging vertices. We'll also cover auto merge, which is a function you can enable that will automatically merge vertices together when they get close enough to each other.

And finally we'll cover vertex parenting, which is a super cool feature where you can parent external objects to vertices within another object. I'll demonstrate how this can be useful too.

Vertex Tools

Blender has various mirroring tools that can help you mirror your mesh horizontally or vertically. There is a mirror modifier that achieves this as well, but we'll be going over the manual tools for this too, because some of them are a little different and come in handy for a quick operation.

We'll also be going over X-Mirror as well as Topology Mirror. These options can come in handy if you want to edit one side of your mesh and have it automatically edit the other side too.

Mirroring Tools

Now we'll cover some miscellaneous tools starting with convex hull, which simply creates a covering over your selection. Then we'll learn how the spin and spin duplicate tools work. Spin allows you to take a shape and spin it in a circle. So you could take the profile of a wine glass and spin it 360 degrees to create a fully 3 dimensional glass. And spin duplicate will take a selection and duplicate it while it spins it around. We use this to create the studs on a studded bracelet.

Convex Hull, Spin, and Spin Duplicate

Now we'll go over the rest of the selection tools. The tools in this lecture are used for more specific circumstances, like making random selections, or making checkered selections.

More Selection Tools

Subsurf modeling is one of the most important and most used techniques for modeling. In this lecture you'll learn exactly what it is, how to add it to your object, and why it's awesome.

Subsurf Modeling - Part 1 - Introduction

Now we'll go over some guidelines you should follow when subsurf modeling. Because subsurf modeling works a specific way, there are things you'll need to be aware of when building your models. We'll also learn about edge creasing, which is a way you can select an edge and turn down the smoothing effect of the subsurf modifier.

Subsurf Modeling - Part 2 - Rules and Tools

Now we'll take what we've learned in the previous two chapters and we'll build a coffee mug using the subsurf modifier. Putting these techniques into practice will help in understanding them and how to go about using them in your projects.

Project - Subsurf Modeling a Coffee Mug

You can organize your vertices into groups, which can be useful for quickly selecting different parts of your mesh. Vertex groups are also used for rigging purposes, and they can also be used in a lot of different modifiers to have the modifier only affect certain vertices. It's a very handy feature.

Vertex Groups

In this lecture you'll learn about the various ways you can analyze properties of your mesh, such as angle sharpness and area thickness. You'll also learn how you can toggle on and off different measurements such as edge length and face area.

Mesh Analysis and Measurements

Once you're finished modeling something complex, there may be a few things to fix, such as stray edges not connected to anything, or even accidental holes left in your mesh. This lecture goes over the cleanup tools you can use to fix many different issues.

Cleaning Up Your Meshes

If you're interested in learning more about normals and how to manually edit them, then this lecture's for you. I'll go more in depth about normals, and show you all the different ways you can manually edit them in Blender.

Editing Normals
Do you have what it takes to be Blender's next top modeler?
8 questions
+ Modeling (Curve)
3 lectures 32:48

Modeling with tools that are similar to curves in the Graph Editor? That's right!

Learn the editing tools for Curve modeling objects in this lecture.

Curve Editing Tools

With the Curve calculations being a little more stringent compared to polygonal modeling. We have access to various Curve only modifiers. Learn about these and all the various properties in this lecture.

Curve Properties

There are two main ways we can use another curve to change the extrusion shape of a target curve object. 1) Bevel, take the 1D Curve Line and create a new cylindrical surface, branching out from the curve origin. 2) Taper. A curve that acts as a height map, along the Y axis of the 'Taper' curve. The curve start and end's are remapped to fit match.

Taper, Bevel, Follow Path and Active Spline Panels
Not too many curveballs here, promise!
5 questions
+ Modeling (Surface)
3 lectures 19:21

Surfaces are an older tool-set for Blender. Used as an alternative to mesh modeling, before features like the sub-division smooth modifier were added, and mesh modeling with topology took over.

But this unique object type is still worth knowing for precise models (3D Printing, product design). So let's go through Surface modeling.

Introduction to Surface Modeling

Learn about the main editing tools of the NURBS Surface mesh types. A more controlled calculation of polygons that uses control points with weighting factors to allow smooth surfaces without moving every single vertex.

Surface Editing Tools

A deeper look into Surface meshes, with its various properties and Surface only modifiers.

Surfaces Properties
Surface to say this Quiz will make you think!
5 questions
+ Blender's Data System and Scenes
12 lectures 02:03:14

An introduction to the Data System section. With some basics about how Blender handles file data.

Beginnings and an Expanded Look at Blender's File System.

This is an optional lecture if you're curious about Blender under the hood, so feel free to jump straight ahead to the practical examples if you'd like.

How does your .blend Blender file store all the different data that creates your 3D scene? This lecture explains.

Theory Lecture: Connecting the User to Blender's Data

An overview of Data-Blocks: Collections of Properties that tell Blender, for example how a 3D model is shaped, or the brightness level and color of a Lamp. And how they can or cannot be interchanged.

Introduction to Data-Blocks and Manipulating Data

An example to learn more about creating, modifying and interchanging Action (animation) Data-Blocks.

Example: Rollerball - Access and Manipulating Animation Data

Learn how to use Data-Blocks to your advantage!

We can modify a ladder using Linked Mesh Data-Blocks. Editing an upright ladder will copy changes to those leaning against a house.

Example: Medieval Ladder - Using linked Data

Packing and unpacking is a helpful tool set in Blender to store external files (such as images for image textures) into the Blender .blend file itself. So you don't need to keep track of all the references to the files on your PC.

Packing and Unpacking Data in Blender

The Data Linking Menu contains a myriad of great options to quickly copy Data-Blocks of various types to other objects, or scenes.

The Data Linking Menu

In this section, we'll dive just a little deeper into the data side of Scenes.

An Introduction to Scenes

Let's go through a practical example of appending and combining elements into a 3D sequence.

Example: Wasp Bot & The Firefly Tree - Creating a Shot with Scenes and Appending

Another fun practical example, this time focusing on linking a character file that you can keep in another file. Especially helpful if you're working with multiple people in a team!

Example: Ninja Leaving the Temple Pt.1 - Creating a Shot with Scenes and Linking

Further tools to deal with linking, and issues you may face now that we're referencing content from other files. That can be updated separately and change in your main scene file.

Example: Ninja Leaving the Temple Pt.2 - Creating a Shot with Scenes and Linking

Some further notes to help your decision of which type of scene combining methods to use. Remember it is absolutely fine to mix both of these methods for any assets in a project.

Appending or Linking? Which Production Method to Use
Trivia Round! Under Blender's Hood
7 questions
+ Drivers (New!)
14 lectures 01:45:33

This lecture is an introduction to what drivers are and what you can use them for.

Introduction to Drivers

In this step by step project I'll take you through setting up your first driver, and tell you all the basics you need to know for setting up drivers in general.

Project - The Basic Drivers Workflow

In this lecture we'll go over all the different areas of the Drivers Editor in order to get more familiar with the Editor we'll be using before diving into the rest of the section.

The Drivers Editor

In this lecture I'll show you how you can edit F-Curves which are used in several different graph editors such as the Drivers Editor. F-Curves are animation curves that can be modified similar to bezier curves.

Editing F-Curves

The first type of driver we'll be going over is Scripted Expression, which allows you to use math equations to affect the final driver value.

Scripted Expressions

Now we'll be going over the rest of the driver types and how they can all be used to combine multiple inputs.

Combining Multiple Input Variables

Now we'll start going over the input variables, starting with Transform Channel, which is an input variable that allows you to use location, rotation, or scale as the input.

Input Variables - Transform Channel

Rotational Difference takes the difference in rotation between two objects or bones and uses this as the input.

Input Variables - Rotational Difference

This variable takes the distance between two objects or bones and uses that as the input.

Input Variables - Distance

Single Property allows you to use custom properties as the input. Custom properties can be found in many places in Blender's Properties Editor, and these can be incredibly useful especially for controlling things like shape keys.

Input Variables - Single Property

In this step by step project we'll set up constraints and drivers to allow a dimmer switch on the wall to control the brightness of a lamp for a room.

Project - Light Switch

In this step by step project we'll be using constraints and drivers to set up a camera rig that will automatically follow a boxing match while keeping both fighters in frame.

Project - Boxing Ring Dynamic Camera

In this step by step project I'll show you how drivers can affect shader values by setting up drivers to affect the RGB values of a sphere's shader.

Project - RGB Sliders

In this step by step project we'll be using drivers to control muscle flexing shape keys depending on how bent or extended an arm is.

Project - Muscle Flexing
+ Constraints
24 lectures 01:45:32

Constraining an object or bone can allow you to complete advanced setups to limit, modify or project them!

Introduction to Constraints

There are quite a few constraints, and they all can be used on different objects and bones, and together! The possibilities, just like with drivers, becomes endless.

Constraints are useful in 3 main ways:

1) Restrict an object (a piston, or locking rotation inside an analogue joystick), they may also 'limit' the object in some way

2) To reference another object or data in some way (such as copy transforms, or 'transform' with an animation data block

3) Tracking another object. Slightly different to referencing another object, tracking constraints will rotate to point towards and look at a 'target'

Working with Constraints

Let's make our demo scene to go through the Constraints.

Preparing Constraints Demo Scene

Let's add our first constraint, the Copy Location, and go through it in a little more detail.

Transformation Constraints - Copy Location

Next, the Copy Rotation Constraint!

Transformation Constraints - Copy Rotation

The Copy Scale, which has some great extra parameters to narrow down the transposing. Such as Axis toggles and a 'Power' value.

Transformation Constraints - Copy Scale

Copy Transforms is a Copy All, Location, Rotation, and Scale.

Transformation Constraints - Copy Transform

This is quite an interesting Constraint. We can limit inside, outside, or 'on the line' to a specific Blender unit distance.

Transformation Constraints - Limit Distance

Globally or locally. We can limit the minimum and maximum position in 3D space the constrained object can move.

Transformation Constraints - Limit Location

Globally or locally. We can limit the minimum and maximum rotation in 3D space of the constrained object.

Transformation Constraints - Limit Rotation

Globally or locally. We can limit the minimum and maximum scale in 3D space of the constrained object.

Transformation Constraints - Limit Scale

A fascinating constraint that uses the combination of axis scales, to always keep the same volume.

Transformation Constraints - Maintain Volume

This constraint is more complex and versatile than the other “transform” constraints. It allows you to map one type of transform properties (i.e. location, rotation or scale) of the target, to the same or another type of transform properties of the owner, within a given range of values (which might be different for each target and owner property). You can also switch between axes, and use the range values not as limits, but rather as “markers” to define a mapping between input (target) and output (owner) values.

Transformation Constraints - Transformation

The Clamp To constraint clamps an object to a curve. The Clamp To constraint is very similar to the Follow Path constraint, but instead of using the evaluation time of the target curve, Clamp To will get the actual location properties of its owner (those shown in the Transform panel), and judge where to put it by “mapping” this location along the target curve.

Tracking Constraints - Clamp To

The Damped Track constraint constrains one local axis of the owner to always point towards Target. In other 3D software you can find it with the name “Look at” constraint.

Tracking Constraints - Damped Track

The Locked Track constraint is a bit tricky to explain, both graphically and textual. Basically, it is a Track To constraint, but with a locked axis, i.e. an axis that cannot rotate (change its orientation). Hence, the owner can only track its target by rotating around this axis, and unless the target is in the plane perpendicular to the locked axis, and crossing the owner, this owner cannot really point at its target.

Tracking Constraints - Locked Track

The Stretch To constraint causes its owner to rotate and scale its Y axis towards its target. So it has the same tracking behavior as the Track To constraint. However, it assumes that the Y axis will be the tracking and stretching axis, and does not give you the option of using a different one.

Tracking Constraints - Stretch To

The Track To constraint applies rotations to its owner, so that it always points a given “To” axis towards its target, with another “Up” axis permanently maintained as much aligned with the global Z axis (by default) as possible. This tracking is similar to the “billboard tracking” in 3D (see note below).

Tracking Constraints - Track To

The Action constraint is powerful. It allows you control an Action using the transformations of another object.

The underlying idea of the Action constraint is very similar to the one behind the Drivers, except that the former uses a whole action (i.e. multiple F-curves of the same type), while the latter controls a single F-curve of their “owner”…

Relationship Constraints - Action

Child Of is the constraint version of the standard parent/children relationship between objects (the one established through the Ctrl-P shortcut, in the 3D Views).

Relationship Constraints - Child Of

The Floor constraint allows you to use its target position (and optionally rotation) to specify a plane with a “forbidden side”, where the owner cannot go. This plane can have any orientation you like. In other words, it creates a floor (or a ceiling, or a wall)! Note that it is only capable of simulating entirely flat planes, even if you use the Vertex Group option. It cannot be used for uneven floors or walls.

Relationship Constraints - Floor

The Follow Path constraint places its owner onto a curve target object, and makes it move along this curve (or path). It can also affect its owner’s rotation to follow the curve’s bends, when the Follow Curve option is enabled.

Relationship Constraints - Follow Path

The Pivot constraint allows the owner to rotate around a target object. It was originally intended for pivot joints found in humans e.g. fingers, feet, elbows, etc.

Relationship Constraints - Pivot

The Shrinkwrap constraint is the “object counterpart” of the Shrinkwrap Modifier. It moves the owner origin and therefore the owner object’s location to the surface of its target.

Relationship Constraints - Shrink Wrap
You don't need to constrain yourself with this Quiz!
8 questions
+ Modifiers
48 lectures 05:13:27

In this lecture you'll learn about what modifiers are, how they affect your objects, and how the ordering of modifiers can change the results. We'll also go over settings in modifiers that are common among many modifiers, that way I won't have to bore you with repetitive details in every lecture for modifiers that have the same options.

Modifier Basics

Now we'll dive into the modifiers starting with Data Transfer modifier, which allows you to transfer lots of different types of information from one object to another. For example, you can transfer vertex weights from one object to another which is helpful when rigging. You can also transfer normal data and a lot more.

Modify - Data Transfer

In this lecture you'll learn how you can bake and store animation data using the Mesh Cache modifier, like from a cloth simulation for example, and then reuse that data on other objects. The example in the lecture shows reusing cloth simulation data on many different curtains, and we change some parameters to make all the curtains look different. This is faster than using cloth simulations for everything because once we bake the simulation to a file, we no longer need any simulations at all. The information in the file is used to quickly animate other curtains we apply it to. Very cool stuff.

Modify - Mesh Cache and Mesh Sequence Cache

The Normal Edit modifier can be used to modify the direction of normals on your object. This is especially useful for low poly game models like grass and trees, because you can fake a more rounded look on them to hide the fact that they're just planes with textures.

Modify - Normal Edit

The Weighted Normals modifier is a super useful modifier that can fix a lot of issues that arise from using beveled corners. Weighted normals simply bends vertex normals in the direction of larger faces, leading to better results for beveled edges on lower poly models.

Modify - Weighted Normals

The UV Project modifier allows you to use other objects, such as Empties, to project UV coordinates at your object. This can be a practical alternative to UV unwrapping because you can literally do things like project a brick texture onto a wall by pointing an object at the wall. Very cool and easy to use. And since you're using another object to control texture project, this means you can also easily animated the textures.

Modify - UV Project

The UV Warp modifier can be used to change or even animate UV coordinates. If you already have an object UV unwrapped, you can use this modifier to move those UVs around your texture map. In the case of a low poly tank for example, you can use this modifier to move the UV coordinates of the treads in order to make them look like they're moving.

Modify - UV Warp

The Vertex Weight Edit modifier gives you extra control over vertex group weights. So basically if you're using vertex groups for anything, you can affect their weights in various ways using this modifier.

Modify - Vertex Weight Edit

The Vertex Weight Mix modifier allows you to mix different vertex groups together in different ways.

Modify - Vertex Weight Mix

The Vertex Weight Proximity modifier is a cool modifier where you can affect vertex group weights depending on how close another object is to an object or surface.

Modify - Vertex Weight Proximity

The Array modifier creates duplicates of your object and offsets those duplicates. In this lecture we use train tracks as an example and we create many planks of wood underneath the tracks, all spaced out evenly. This is a really useful modifier that comes in handy in a lot of different circumstances.

Generate - Array

Ultra useful modifier that let's you bevel sharp corners so they're nice and round. There is a ton of different options for this modifier, and they're all pretty useful. There's also a new feature where you can customize the shape of the bevel by drawing your own shape. This is fantastic for things like moulding for walls.

Generate - Bevel

The Boolean modifier allows you to add, subtract, and intersect multiple objects. This allows you to easily create holes in objects, or join two objects into one airtight mesh.

Generate - Boolean

The Build modifier is an animation modifier which makes an object appear one face at a time until it's completely built. You can also make an object disappear one face at a time as well.

Generate - Build

The Decimate modifier is used primarily to optimize the face count of a mesh. If an object has 1000 triangles for example, you can use this modifier to make it only have 500 in the end, and it'll simplify the mesh the best it can while maintaining details as best as it can.

Generate - Decimate

The Edge Split modifier splits parts of a mesh away from the rest of the mesh depending on the angle between them. For example, you can split the top and bottom part of a cylinder away from the body of the cylinder with this modifier. This can be useful for various reasons explained in the lecture.

Generate - Edge Split

The Mask modifier allows you to hide certain areas of your mesh. This can be useful for editing, or can be used for animation effects like you'll learn about in the Acid Burn Effect lecture at the end of the section.

Generate - Mask

The Mirror modifier will simply mirror one side of your mesh to the other side. Incredibly useful for things like making characters or cars since you'll only need to build one side and then you can mirror that to the other side.

Generate - Mirror

The Multiresolution modifier is an incredibly useful modifier for sculpting especially, and also for creating levels of detal(LOD) for game models. This modifier has subsurf functionality but also allows you to sculpt on the highest level of subdivision. With the subsurf modifier you can't sculpt on anything but the original mesh, but with multiresolution you can.

This modifier also has an amazing option that allows you to generate a multi-res model from a model that's not multi-res. For example, if you sculpt a character with Dynatopo enabled you need to retopologize it take make sure you have clean topology. When you do this you do not end up with a multiresolution model, so you won't have different levels of detail. The multi-res modifier can fix this problem for you.

Generate - Multiresolution

The Remesh modifier rebuilds your mesh's topology using quads only. It has a lot of limitations, but can be very useful in certain circumstances.

Generate - Remesh

The Screw modifier can be used like the spin tool where you can take a wine glass profile for example, and spin it around in a circle to create the rest of the glass. It can also take a spun mesh and shear it upwards, like the threads on a screw for example, or like a spring.

Generate - Screw

The Skin modifier can add thickness to your edges. This can be used to quickly create a base mesh to then sculpt on. For example, you can create a very fast and simple monster character with this modifier, and then further sculpt on that base mesh to create your finished character.

Generate - Skin

The Solidify modifier simply adds thickness to your objects. It's especially useful because it allows you to assign different materials to the thickness that it creates.

Generate - Solidify

The Subdivision Surface modifier is one of the most used modifiers in 3d modeling. This modifier will subdivide your mesh so it has extra geometry, while also physically smoothing the mesh. It uses your original mesh as a cage to calculate the smoothing, so you'll have a high resolution result but still have the simpler original mesh to use when editing, which is a lot more convenient than having to edit a high resolution mesh.

Generate - Subdivision Surface

This is an experimental feature in the Subdivision Surface modifier that subdivides the mesh more when it closer to the camera, and subdivides it less when its farther from the camera. This is a very efficient way of adding extra geometry where it's needed the most (up close), and is most often used for something called Micropolygon Displacement, which you can learn more about in the project at the end of the Shaders section.

Generate - Adaptive Subdivision Surface

The Triangulate modifier simply splits all of your quads and n-gons into triangles. This is especially useful when exporting models to other software.

Generate - Triangulate

The Weld modifier is a newer modifier in blender that functions exactly like the Merge options in the vertex tools menu. It'll merge vertices together when they're close enough, and this is super useful to have in modifier form.

Generate - Weld

The Wireframe modifier converts your mesh's edges into 3d wireframes. this is really useful for creating a wireframe overlay for your objects to show off their topology, but has other uses as well.

Preview 05:03

The Cast modifier can change the shape of your objects into spheres, cylinders, or cubes. It can also be used to distort the shape of objects using other objects. The example in the lecture shows a large sphere going through smaller pipes, and it's bulging out the pipes as it passes through.

Deform - Cast

The Curve modifier can be used to change the path or shape of other objects. With this modifier you can make other objects, or arrays of objects, follow and bend around a winding path

Deform - Curve

The Displace modifier can be used to move vertices on the surface based on a black and white texture, where dark parts of the texture displace vertices downward, and lighter parts of a texture displace vertices upward. This can be used to transform a plane into a landscape with mountains for example.

Deform - Displace

The Hook modifier can be used to attach vertices to Empty objects. Then you can modifier those vertices by simply moving those empties around, allowing you to control the vertices of a mesh with external objects. Very cool and very useful.

Deform - Hook

The Laplacian Deform modifier can be used to reshape and repose your meshes without having to rig them with armatures. This is especially useful for quick character posing, but can be used on anything. The results of the mesh deformations are exceptional as well.

Deform - Laplacian Deform

Lattices can be used to deform and reshape your meshes, or even just parts of your meshes. Basically you surround your object with a lattice like it's a cage, and then editing this cage will modify the object inside of it as well.

Deform - Lattice

Vertex groups are the general way to deform meshes with an Armature skeleton system. This is an alternate skinning method that uses the volume of an area with a low polygon resolution 'Cage'. This cage is moved by the bones, and the objects inside the volume all deform together, no matter the topology. To avoid your character being too squishy if that is not the intention. You can mix and blend between the mesh deform effect and traditional, predictable vertex group deform.

Deform - Mesh Deform

The Shrinkwrap modifier is quite a literal one. It will shrink one object on top of another, wrapping it up. This can be insanely useful for hard surface modeling, but also for literal interpretations like shrink wrapping plastic onto a 6 pack of soda.

Deform - Shrinkwrap

The Simple Deform modifier can be used to bend, twist, and taper objects. You can do things like bend things around into circles, which is especially useful for car tires, or twist them around like rubber. This modifier has a lot of uses, and it's really fun to play around with.

Deform - Simple Deform

The Smooth modifier simply smooths out all the geometry. So sharps points become soft for example. This is the same as the Smooth tool in the Vertex Tools menu.

Deform - Smooth

The Smooth Corrective modifier is extremely useful for deformed objects. It's very handy when trying to keep decent deformations around things like arm and leg joints. It works by trying to maintain the original shape and volume as best as it can around areas of deformation, to prevent things like excessive intersection or problems caused by bad weight painting.

Deform - Smooth Corrective

The Smooth Laplacian modifier is similar to the Smooth modifier, but this modifier tries to maintain the shapes of the mesh better. While the Smooth modifier smooths everything without worrying about details that should remain sharper, the Smooth Laplacian modifier maintains details a lot better, though it calculates slower as well.

Deform - Smooth Laplacian

The Surface Deform modifier is a cool one. This can be used to bind one mesh to another. In the lecture we use chain mail as an example. Instead of having to use a physics simulation on a high poly chain mail mesh which would be complicated and take a while, we can simply use a cloth simulation on a plane, and then bind the chain mail to the plane. Then however the plane is deformed by the cloth simulation the chain mail will deform the same way.

Deform - Surface Deform

The Warp modifier is sort of a combination of the Hook modifier and the Displace modifier. This allows you to use external objects to move vertices on your mesh. You can use two Empties as warp points for example, and vertices near one of the empties will move towards the other Empty. Because both emptys can be moved freely, this offers a unique kind of control over how the mesh is deformed.

Deform - Warp

The Wave modifier literally generates waves throughout your mesh. For simpler water this can be used instead of creating a full water simulation. This can also be used for things like sending shockwaves through your objects.

Deform - Wave

In this step by step project we'll combine a few different modifiers to create the effect of acid burning through an object.

Project - Acid Burn Effect

In this step by step project we'll combine modifiers like the Hook modifier and Curve modifier in order to create a customizable kitchen island. The customizing includes automatically adding extra bar stools when the island is stretched out longer.

Project - Customizable Archi-Viz Assets

In this step by step project we'll create a metal grate. This is a simple project but shows you an interesting way to use modifiers creatively for practical purposes.

Project - Metal Grate

In this step by step project you'll learn how to instance objects. This means that all the faces of one object will be replaced by another object. This is useful for making arrays of objects follow a curve path without being distorted by the curve modifier. This technique replaces the "dupli frames" technique of older versions of Blender, and this is an important and interesting lecture to watch.

Project - Object Instancing Arrays

In this step by step project we'll use the lattice and shrinkwrap modifiers to easily and perfectly get a windshield wiper blade to fit snugly up against a windshield. Very satisfying techniques in this lecture.

Project - Fitting Wipers on Windshields
You've Modified your knowledge, now you can test it!
9 questions