Meet Michael E.! He’s teamed up with instructor Shawn as part of Game-U’s New York Accelerate program. In honor of Shark Week, Michael put his modeling skills to work creating a 3D shark. Check it out!
Using Blender, a powerful 3D modeling and animation program, Michael applied geometric transformations and a variety of modifiers to a primitive shape (examples of primitives include spheres, cones, cubes, and others) in order to model the shark’s fundamental features. Like a traditional artist, Michael worked from a reference image and selected the primitive, a cylinder, that came closest to matching the shark’s much more complex form. A primitive’s network of geometric vertices, edges, and faces is called its mesh, which can be transformed and modified to produce custom geometry. By scaling the cylinder wider, adjusting its edge loops, extruding fin shapes from its main body, and applying subdivision surface and mirror modifiers to fine-tune its appearance, Michael produced a fishlike shape ready for the next phase of the modeling process.
Manual transformations can only take a model so far. After completing the shark’s geometric foundation, Michael switched to Blender’s Sculpt mode to work with brushes that modify meshes using carefully tailored algorithms. For instance, using Grab, Michael pulled the shark’s pointed teeth out of the mesh just like a sculptor might pinch small pieces of clay out of a larger mass. Michael also applied the Deepen brush to carve out gills, eyes, and other features found on his reference image. Still more brushes, like Crease, helped soften or sharpen these features to create a polished look. The last step? Rendering! Instructor Shawn set up Michael’s model in Blender’s rendering engine to show off the finished product.
Well done, Michael! Thanks for sharing not only your 3D modeling skills, but also your enthusiasm for Shark Week. We’re excited to see you learn how to master Blender. Let us know when your shark is printed!