3D modeling 101 Pt.2

In the last part (Pt.1), we looked at how 3d models are used in animations and VR etc. We also installed Blender, the free opensource software, popular alternative to Maya. In this part, we will try to recreate low poly Pikachu, which is a popular model originally by Agustin Flowalistik. During the process, we will practice the common tricks of creating Geometry in a 3d space.


Let’s learn about Vertex, Edge, Face!!

3d models come in many formats and style, .obj, .stl etc. If you open a 3d model with notepad (fig.1), you would most likely see a long list of numbers.

obj  xyz

 fig.1 .obj file opened with notepad (left) and Cartesian 3d space (right)

These numbers are 3D Cartesian coordinates of many dots. These dots are known as Vertex , floating in 3d space. These vertices are connected to form Edges, which then connected to make Faces or Polygons.

Multiple faces in a group can form complex surfaces with varying curvature as beatiful as your favorite mustang. One can see that 3D models like .stl and .obj are describing surfaces by its constituting vertices mathematically. No Voodoo Sorcery involved.

A 3D model of an object, say a football, is nothing more than a butch of vertices making up a enclosed surface face identical to the shape of the football itself, a sphere in the simplest case.


fig. 2 A simple UV sphere (left) vs. a High-poly Football (Right)

The Shape accuracy and level of details of such surface is limited to the amount of vertices, aka polycount / vertex-count.  With more vertices (high-poly model), more complex surface can be described; very much like more pixels(high-res image) can resolve more image detail.See the comparison of the 2 model shown in figure 2, the foot on the right consist substantially more polygon, so it can describe a smoother surface with the indented details while the simple UV sphere cannot.

As 3d modeler, your job is to create these vertices & polygon directly or indirectly.

To be continued…

Let’s Start model’em all!!

To be continued…


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