Blender 2.8 Beginner Tutorial – Part 4: Hard-Surface Modeling

Blender 2.8 Beginner Tutorial – Part 4: Hard-Surface Modeling


– Welcome to the fourth video of the Blender 2.8 Beginner’s
Tutorial series, where we will model the 3D
knife to cut our apples in half. Well, certainly we don’t need a knife in 3D to cut the apples in half, but in the final image it
should look like that, you know. Anyway, for that we will
use a reference image, which we put into the 3D Viewport to make the modeling process easier for us, and while we are going, we will learn more and more shortcuts to speed up the modeling
and navigation process. As always, besides the
timestamps you can find the link to sign up to
our resource section to download all the textures, blend files, and videos for this projects
in the video description below. Hi everyone, my name is
Zach for cgboost.com, and let’s get started. I’ve prepared a little image here for you, which we will use as modeling reference, but also we will use this for
texturing the knife later on. So as you can see, I have this
here in an external folder, and what I do, I simply drag and drop it into Blender’s viewport. So now it’s placed
weirdly here in 3D space, what I do, I select this, and you know that the
shortcut R is for rotation. And I showed you that you can reset the rotation over here by
putting this back to 0, 0, 0, but there’s a even quicker way to do that by simply pressing Alt-R. So with Alt-R, you reset the rotation, and the same works with
scaling by pressing Alt-S, and also for the position
by pressing Alt-G. So in this case, I also press Alt-G, so this object is now
perfectly placed in the center. And, in general, this object
is basically a 3D object, just like the apple, so we can
use the transformation tools to scale, and move, and rotate this. However, this is a reference image object, that means this won’t show
up in the final rendering, that means we can only see
it here in the 3D Viewport, but if we output an image of our 3D scene, this won’t show up. So let’s go to the top view, and for now let’s scale it down a bit. Although I have the real life
measurement of this knife, for now I just measure it by
my eyes compared to the apple, so that it looks good. Later on, when we’ve
finished modeling the knife, we can rescale this if we like, but I guess in this case it’s totally fine to go with this way. This image here should
be for the top view, that means I will roughly place the top view of the knife
here, on the red line. Let’s hide the apple
so it’s not in the way. I always try to model new
objects in the center of my scene because this makes modeling easier, especially when you deal with symmetry. Now let’s move the object a bit downwards, because this shouldn’t cover the 3D object which we want to model, and I also need a reference
from the side view. So let’s go to the side
view here, right click and click on Duplicate objects,
or or simply press Shift-D. Then you can move it somewhere, and now certainly we wanna rotate this. And, as you know, you can use the Rotate tool over here, or simply press R for rotation. But now, it’s rotating really strangely. So what we can do when we use the Move, Rotate, or Scale
tool with the shortcuts, we can use additional shortcuts to lock the rotation or
transformation, in general, to a certain axis. So in this case, I wanna
rotate along the x axis, so I simply press X while
the rotation is active. So now I can see it’s
locked along the x axis, but I can also press Y
or Z for the other axis. But in this case I wanna have the x axis, and in the top left corner you can see for how many degrees we
have rotated the image. And we can also simply enter a number, for example 90, on the keyboard and hit Enter to confirm, and then we have rotated
this image for 90 degrees. You can also change the
value down here afterwards, if you like. Now let’s take a look from the front view, move this down a bit so that this also roughly aligns with the red X axis, And now have a good
reference for modeling. We will model the knife
in two separate objects. We will model the handle as one object, and the blade as one object. Let’s start with the handle. First of all, make sure that the 3D cursor is placed in the center of your scene because new objects will
be placed on this spot. So if this is not in the center, right click and simply go to Snap, and click on Cursor to World Origin. Now, hit Shift-A, go to
Mesh, and add a cube. This cube is way too big, so let’s press S and scale it down. And now let’s go to front
view, and first of all, check if the height of this
cube fits to the handle, and now let’s go to top view and press S, and lock this along the y axis. So this locking also works
for scaling and for moving. So let’s scale it down. Now let’s move it to the center here. Press S for scaling, X for the x axis, and scale it so this cube roughly covers the whole handle here. By the way, if you quickly wanna change the views without always going up here, you can also do it with the numpad. You can simply change the views by pressing 1 for the front view, up here you’ll always see in
which view you are right now, 3 for the right view,
and 7 for the top view. This only works with the numpad, and not with the numbers
above the letters. However, if you don’t have a numpad, you can use this thing over there, or you go to Edit, Preferences, and in the Preferences you go to Input and click on Emulate Numpad. That means the numbers above the letters are now basically the numpad, and you can use these
to navigate the view. So, in my case, I don’t need that. So 1, front view, 3, right
view, and 7, top view. If you wanna have the opposite, you can simply press the 9 on the numpad to switch between bottom
and top, as you can see. Or, if you are in the
front view with numpad 1, you can press numpad 9
to go to the back view. Or if you have numpad 3
enabled with the right view, you can press numpad 9 for the left view. Let’s go to front view,
and as you can see, we have a little problem here. This box is basically covering
the whole background image. So what I do, I select
the background image. Go down here to this little image icon. Here, we can adjust a few
settings for this reference image, and I set the depths to Front. That means, no matter where
this object is placed, it will always show up in front. Looks a little bit weird, as you can see, but that’s how it works. However, now the image is
basically covering the object, so we also have to enable Use Alpha and reduce the transparency. Now this is placed in front of the object with a little bit of transparency. Let’s go to the top view, numpad 7. Select the other image and
basically do the same thing. Depths to Front, Use Alpha,
and reduce the transparency. So, and now we finally can
start modeling the knife. So let’s select this cube thing, and with Tab, go to Edit Mode. First of all, make sure
that X-Ray is enabled, that means we can also
work with the vertices, axes and faces, which
are on the other side which we don’t see. And if we are in front
view, we basically don’t see what’s going on on the other side, so the X-Ray option is
really important here. So first of all, let’s
add a few loop cuts. So either use the Loop Cut tool, or if you don’t want to do that, you can also use the shortcut Ctrl-R. Now as you can see, when I
hover my mouse above this cube, I get a preview line. And the cool thing is,
when you use the shortcut, you can scroll the mouse
wheel to add more cuts. In the bottom left corner, you can see how many cuts we will add. So I will add four for now. Then I confirm with left click. Take care because now
you automatically enter the Slide Mode that you can
slide these along the surface. If you don’t want to do
that, simply hit escape. Now we have the cuts where they should be. So with the Box Select tool enabled, I select these vertices here, and since I have X-Ray enabled, I also automatically select
the one on the other side. So let’s go back to front view, and simply press G to move it around. So right now, we just try to roughly match the shape of this knife. Let’s press Ctrl-R and add
another loop cut over here, and move this down a bit, and let’s also add one over here, and move these also down a bit. So if I disable X-Ray
and tap to Object Mode, you can see that this object
is certainly way too angular and that’s why we add again a
Subdivision Surface Modifier, similar as for the apple. So let’s click on that, and let’s increase the Viewport and Render subdivisions to 3. The difference between Viewport and Render is the viewport is only showing up when we edit stuff here
in the 3D Viewport, and for rendering that
means the subdivisions when we output an image late on. So we can have different
subdivisions for the final output and the viewport. This is useful if you wanna have a lower resolution in the viewport, for example, so that the
viewport maybe runs faster because the more objects and
the higher resolution you have, this might slow down your viewport. And that’s why we have two sliders for the same thing, basically. So now this is really smooth, but as you can see here
in the reference image, we have this quite sharp edges. So let’s go to the front
view, tap into Edit Mode, and let’s add the loop
cuts, similar as we did for the stamp of the apple. So I press Ctrl-R and move
this closer to the edge, and then you can see the
edge gets a bit sharper. Also, as you can see,
here from the top view, we have this angular shape, and this we also want to create. So first of all, let’s hit Ctrl-R and add a loop cut directly
in the center of the knife. Let’s go to top view, numpad 7. Let’s select this one
here, and then with Shift we draw another box over here. Now let’s press G for moving, and as you can see, I
made a little mistake here because I forgot to enable X-Ray. And that’s exactly what happens, you basically move this stuff around, and the stuff on the other
side wasn’t selected. So let’s press Ctrl-Z to undo this. Let’s get back to top
view and enable X-Ray, and let’s do this again. Press G for moving, lock
this along the x axis, and move it a bit to the side here. Now, if I quickly hide
the two empty objects, go to Object Mode and disable X-Ray. You can see that we don’t have this sharp line here in the center. So let’s get back to Edit Mode,
Alt left click on this edge, so we select the whole
loop here around the knife. Now let’s use the bevel tool
over here to bevel this. So I simply left click
somewhere in the 3D Viewport and hold, and move my house
to add a little bevel. And here, we basically do the same thing as we did over here, we add two edges which are very close to each other, and then this hard edge will be created. Now let’s tap back to Object Mode, and this is basically
the handle we have here. If I re-enable the reference images, you can see we have this little
metal cylinders over here, but we won’t add them to the
knife because we wanna keep the model of the knife relatively simple, and these little cylinders will be added to the knife through the
texture later on anyway. So let’s hide the two images, right click, and click on Shade Smooth. The handle here needs to be selected. Let’s double click on
the name cube over here, and let’s call it knife handle so we know exactly which object is what. And one last thing, I press N, you can see since we scaled the object in the beginning in Object Mode, the scale values are non-uniform, and as I told you in the previous video, we have to press Ctrl-A and apply the scale so Blender knows
that this new scaling of the object is the new
default scaling of the handle. Don’t forget to save with Ctrl-S. Alright, now let’s model
the blade of the knife. For that, first of all, let’s unhide the two reference images. Still make sure that the 3D
cursor is in the center here, and now let’s hit Shift-A, go to Mesh, and add another cube. Let’s go to the front view, numpad 1, and scale it down so that this roughly has the height of the blade here. But there’s one thing we do here, because as you can see down here, we can see the blade if we look from the top view onto the knife, but we didn’t model the cutout
part inside of the handle. So we do a simple trick
here, we just move this slightly above the wooden part here, so we can still see the metal later on. That means we also have to
scale this along the x axis, so that on the one hand, this fits the size of the blade up here, but also to this point over here. So let’s move it and scale
it until everything fits. Now let’s take a look
from above, numpad 7, and now let’s scale
this, S, along the y axis to make the width as wide as it should be, something like this. And now, as always, we change
the scale of the object, so we press Ctrl-A and apply the scale. Now everything is back at 1, 1, 1. So now let’s tap into Edit Mode. Make sure that X-Ray is enabled. And before we shape this
into the shape of the knife, let’s add the sharp edge down here. So for that, let’s go
to the Select Box tool, and simply select the part down here. Press S for scaling, in
this case Y for the y axis, and now simply enter 0 on your keyboard and hit Enter to confirm. Now we basically have this shape here, but still we have a little problem because if I left click
one vertex down here, you can see this mesh just
lies on top of each other. And this can cause problems later on, so I again select this, and we can merge vertices
which are on top of each other. They need to be selected,
then let’s go to Vertex, Merge vertices, and then
click on By Distance. Now, as you can see, two
vertices were removed because they were merged here, and if I now select one of those, you can see they belong together. Now let’s go to the front view, numpad 1, and now let’s start shaping the object. In this case, we won’t
use a Subsurf Modifier, because this object has very sharp edges. So first of all, let’s
use the Loop Cut tool, or press Ctrl-R, and add
a loop cut over here. Another one roughly in
the center of the blade, and that’s basically it. Why, I will tell you in a second. Then select this, here,
press G, move it up a bit. Doesn’t have to be perfect. And we will add the bending
over here in just a second. And let’s also move this down just a bit. So basically, I edit this cut over here so that we have a straight
line of the metal over here, so that we can see it
as we see it down here. Because if I just would
connect these two over here, then at some point, the
metal would disappear inside of the wood,
and this we don’t want. And this we just add to add a little bit of bending to the knife. So first of all, let’s select these two, which basically also selects
the edge inside here. And let’s get back to the front view, and now let’s use the Bevel tool. So I left click and hold, and then move it around to add a bevel. And if I now confirm this, you can see that we have
some options down here, so let’s increase the Segments and you can see that we
now can add a little bit of this nice roundish bending. But make sure that you don’t add too much because this can, at some
point, destroy the geometry. And you can also play
around with the width so that this fits perfectly over here. Then let’s go back to the Select Box tool. Let’s move this up a bit, and let’s also select
this whole loop over here, and do another bevel. But you don’t always have to use the tool, you can also press Ctrl-B
to enter the bevel tool. And the cool thing is,
when you use the shortcut, you can also scroll your mouse wheel to add loops in between. So now basically we don’t have this harsh edge over here on the knife now this is a long smooth bending, and if you like you can do
the same thing over here, Ctrl-B, maybe don’t add too
much cuts, maybe just two. Now let’s hide the two empties here and check how this looks without X-Ray. I think this looks quite nice. So let’s select this. Right click, Shade Smooth, and now you can see
this looks kinda weird. And there are basically
two ways to fix this. On the one hand, you could go down here to this little mesh icon, go to Normals, and click on Auto Smooth. Then, only faces with a certain angle to each other will be smoothed, and angles which are above this, as here for example, just
get a very sharp edge. But I still wanna have a
little bit of bevel over here. So I keep Auto Smooth
enabled, this is important, but I go over to the modifiers
and add a bevel modifier. The bevel modifier adds this nice little beveled edge over here, and I can also change the width if I like. If you hold down Shift
while changing this, you can change this more precisely. So I just want to have a very tiny edge, and I wanna have this look more roundish. So what we can do, we can
enable Harden Normals. As you can see, this adds this very nice, smooth looking shape. But this only works well if
you have Auto Smooth enabled. As you can see, if this is
disabled, this looks ugly. So let’s get back to the modifier, and you can see that this edges over here, will also be beveled. And this looks also weird, we wanna have a very smooth, flat surface over here, and to change this, we can basically set the limit method to angle, and then again, only angles which are above
30 degrees will be beveled. And in this case, these
up here won’t be beveled. And now we have this
very tiny beveled edge, which later on reflects
the light very nicely, and then the whole thing looks beautiful. So, let’s call the object knife blade, and there’s one thing we need to do, because right now, if I select the handle and move it around, the
blade just stays where it is. But since the object here
uses Subsurf Modifier, and this use a bevel modifier, I can’t simply join those two objects which I have done with
the stem and the apple. So what we do instead, we
leave both objects separated, but we parent them. Parenting means, we
basically stick one object to another, but they are still separate. So in order to do that, select the blade, then with Shift, the handle, right click, go to Parent and click on Object. Now, over here in the hierarchy, you can see that the blade
is now inside of the handle. That means if I select the handle and move it around, or rotate this, the blade sticks with this handle. But if I select the blade,
I can still move it freely. You can see this dotted
line which is connected to this handle so it will
always move along with it. Let’s undo this. And, if you want to unparent something, you basically select this, right click, go to Parent, and then
click on Clear Parent. Alright, now we have a nice
knife and a nice apple, and we can also delete the
two reference images here because we don’t need them anymore. Make sure to save this blend file. Okay guys, now you have
a rough idea on how to create hard surface objects in Blender. If you enjoyed this video, make
sure to Like and Subscribe, and leave a comment below. And if you want to get
notified for future videos, make sure to ring the bell
underneath this video. In this video we just
scratched the surface of all the modeling
tools we have in Blender. If you want to learn more
about this modeling tools and get a deeper look on
all the settings and options we have, make sure to
check out our comprehensive Blender 2.8 Launch Pad
course where we will learn all the important things
about all these tools, and also make use of them while creating this nice animated car scene. If you want to learn more, check the link in the video description. Thanks a lot for watching, guys. Now check the next video
where we’ll create the bowl, the wood planks, and then use these as collision objects for a
simple cloth simulation to create this piece of fabric. I will see you there, good bye. (rocket whooshes)

27 thoughts on “Blender 2.8 Beginner Tutorial – Part 4: Hard-Surface Modeling”

  1. Attention! Please protect your fingers 🧤, we will model a sharp knife! ⚠️🔪 🍎😜
    ⇨ Blender 2.8 Hotkey PDF and Project Files (email required): https://cgboost.com/resources/

    ⇨ Blender 2.8 Launch Pad course: https://academy.cgboost.com/p/blender-2-8-launch-pad

    CHAPTERS

    00:00 – Introduction

    00:43 – Setting up reference images in Blender

    04:08 – Knife handle preparation

    07:16 – Knife handle modeling

    12:45 – Knife blade modeling

    17:37 – Edge Beveling & Auto Smooth

    19:24 – Parenting objects (grouping)

    20:58 – Outro

  2. Zach, please do some tutorials how to make tree with leaves, bushes and grass 🙂 I need it for my game project, and I have no clue how to make it realistic

  3. Excellent! Thank you! The behavior of the loop tool is odd though, only allowing the mouse wheel to be used to add more cuts when you use the shortcut – same with the bevel tool.

  4. Hi! I'm following the tutorial, but I don't know why my object turn completely white when I click on the Viewport Shading icon (using Eevee). No matter what I change, the object stays full white. Can you help me? Check the screenshot here > https://imgur.com/a/2KfUC4l

  5. I noticed bevel modifier don't work if I make the knife edge by copying a surface from the handle, detach it by pressing "p" and extrude it. only works if I create a new cube. Is this a bug?

  6. Love your tutorials and always watch them although I know that stuff already.
    But what I really don't get is why you are scaling in object mode in the first place. A beginner might not remember why they get weird results e.g. with the bevel because of the nonuniform scale. Mentioning it is important, but then IMHO it is better to just tell people not to scale in object mode at all. It is as easy and quick in edit mode without having to remember to apply the transform.

  7. Hi zach, you mention the software pixplant. Is that a good software in your opinion to make seamless textures like: tiles, bricks, … or are there better options? I also need to make different sizes and colors of joints between the tiles and bricks.

    ps: I found an other YouTube channel of you looking for pixplant tutorials 😀

  8. If parenting does what's displayed in the tutorial, isn't it too much of a burden? What if you don't remember which objects are "loose" then accidentally manipulate them instead? How is that much different than just selecting two objects next to each other?

  9. Hi thank you for your very sharp knowledge and Knife. I have a question when we added the bevel modifier to the blade and set the limit method to angle have we to tweak the angle value ? to exclud other edge from the modifier affect ?

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