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- 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 49 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:
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!
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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 UV Mapping, 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!
- 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!
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 blender.org. With no license or fees, you can install it anywhere, and get started right away!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Drivers allow us to automatically update different values in our scenes. Instead of having to manually adjust values, for example the 'Location' of objects. We can create mechanisms with drivers, so they can update on their own. We also have various ways we can control this automatic process.
The Driver Editor has a graph editor similar to the animation graph editor. It is just used in a slightly different way. Also a tab found in the editor panel holds all the Driver properties. We'll go through all of these so you can customize your driver to get it working perfectly.
The first Driver type is 'Distance'. A digital mechanism to calculate the Blender Unit level spacing between 2 or more objects or factors, via variables. These can be further combined to give a final Driver output value.
In this example we will create a real-time altitude meter for our star fighter!
For the next Driver type, Rotation. It compares rotational difference, as opposed to the spatial distance of the last type.
I have a machine where I want a pen to orbit around a center, but we need to lift up the mechanism arm for it to pass over the top of the pen!
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'
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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”…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.