Written by CFrameCollisions. I changed my name from 2cool2beawesome to CFrameCollisions.
Welcome to my guide to studio modeling basics! In this guide, you will find information on primitives, solid modeling, properties, and building tips. Keep in mind this is for absolute beginners, so if your looking for a more in-depth look at studio modeling, or hope to transition to blender, this is not the tutorial for you. With that said, let’s get started!
Primitives - The Most Important Thing You Will Ever Learn
First off, I’ll begin with primitives. Primitives are the basic part types in studio. In the properties tab, they are given a part class or one of it’s sub-classes. Below is a list with pictures of each primitive.
From left to right:
- Corner Wedge*
*Can only be obtained from the advanced objects menu or from a mesh.
1Unlike most primitives, a truss part can’t be changed through solid modeling. Truss will be your least-used part.
Every primative except for a truss part and corner wedge can be obtained from either Home > Insert > Part or Model > Parts > Part. Either way, the icon for the primitive drop down looks like this:
The icon will change depending on the last part you spawned. When spawning a part, click the desired part from the drop down. This will cause it to spawn on the nearest surface, or on the Y=0 plane if there is no nearby part/baseplate.
All primitives, with the exception of the truss, can have their shape altered in the X, Y, and Z access to a limit of 2048 studs in any direction. When a truss part is altered in size, it will only create a new segment when the size of the collision box supports a whole truss segment (as seen below), one segment being 2 studs in X, Y, and Z value.
Solid Modeling - Turning Primitives Into Detailed Objects
Solid modeling is the main way to create high-fidelity objects for your game. Using the negate, separate, and union tools, you can make anything you can imagine, even if the shape you want doesn’t exist as a primitive!
To begin, you need to familiarize yourself with the model section of the top bar in studio. Below are the most important components of the model section and their roles.
Model Section Tools
Select - Allows you to select models, meshes, and parts.
Move - Allows you to manipulate the selected objects X, Y, and Z placement values.
Scale - Allows you to change the X, Y, and Z size of the selected object.
Rotate - Allows you to change the direction the selected object is facing.
Collisions - When off, allows parts to pass through each other while editing.
Union - Combines negatives and primitives. Only CSG compatible primitives can be unioned or negated.
Negate - Allows you to turn a part into a negative part. The properties of negatives will be discuss below.
Separate - Either turns a negative back into a normal part or un-combines negatives and primitives.
The most important tools in solid modeling are the ones found under the solid modeling tab. The basic concept behind Roblox’s solid modeling tools is you can use a given part to cut another part any which way you’d like, with a large amount of cutting parts being utilized and/or parts being cut at a given time.
To begin, lets talk about the negate button. Negate is a crucial aspect to solid modeling. Imagine it as a laser that does precision cuts. Negating a block turns it a transparent red. Trying to resize a negative will resize it proportionally, so if you want to resize it on a specific axis, you either have to press negate again or you have to press Separate. Both work to remove the negative effect.
Secondly is the union button. To use a negative, you position in the block you want to cut. Then, select both the object(s) you wish to manipulate and the negative part(s). Following this, press the union button. The negatives will disappear and be replaced by empty space, cut in the shape of the negative.
Union has one last function to it. You can union normal parts together to create one coherent part that doesn’t part clip with unioned neighboring parts. When unioning parts, parts of different color can go together, but the the part can only have one material. Whichever part is first selected before pressing Union will transfer it’s material to all other parts in the union.
An Advanced Note
Due to how complex the decomposition geometry of a unioned part, also known as a mesh*, can be, your game can receive significant frame reduction if physics are handled by the client, or server lag if the server handles the part physics. Disabling collisions decreases lag significantly since Roblox isn’t trying to calculate the hitbox geometry.
*Not to confuse you guys, but meshes are not always unions, and therefore can’t always be un-unioned. However, unless you’re using free models or a 3D modeling software, you can ignore this.
Properties - Changing a Parts Looks, Behavior, and More
Note in this section that I will not discuss every last property. I suggest going into studio to test out different properties on parts in different circumstances.
Properties is a crucial menu that you will need for modeling. It can be activated in the view tab by pressing properties. The panel holds a significant amount of part information, from X, Y, and Z position to the velocity an object creates. The panel will only show information when a part or mesh/union is selected
The most important two properties in my opinion is the position and size properties. These allow you to fine-tune your parts position and size in the thousandth of decimal. Note that the size property resize objects in both directions on a given axis. Ex: If you add 0.1 to a brick with a sizes of 2 on the X axis, each side on the X axis will become 0.5 studs longer.
Another helpful thing the properties can do is edit the color of voxel terrain assets. For example, if you want your water in-game to be darker, you can click the terrain item in the explorer under workspace, go to the properties tab, and go to the water color option. The other assets can be edited from a drop down menu in the properties menu.
Helpful Tips - Plugins and More
I’ll start off this section first with increment recommendations. Increments are what describe how far an object will move when moving your mouse a given distance. For most cases, the movement Increments you will use the most is 0.1 and 0.05 studs. This size allows for precision and detail while maintaining a manageable movement size. The most common rotation increment you will use is 5 degrees, though I often use 1 or 2 for small details.
How to Edit Increments
Next, I’ll discuss plugins. Plugins are add-ons to the basic studio experience with the intent of making your life easier, from building to UI design to scripting. Here I will solely describe building plugins.
To start downloading plugins, go to the plugin tab, and click manage plugins. From here, you’ll be brought to the plugin management page. Click find plugins to start exploring and downloading some.
Below are plugins organized by use…
Building Suites - Useful Takes and Revisions of Studio's Modeling Tools.
F3X (https://www.roblox.com/library/144950355/Building-Tools-by-F3X-Plugin) - My personal favorite.
qCmdUtl (https://www.roblox.com/library/142314093/qCmdUtl-Streamlined-building) - A little less beautiful, but still very helpful.
Ease of Building- Lighting, Organization, and More!
CSG Primitives (https://www.roblox.com/library/232792970/CSG-Primitives) - A cool plugin that gives you access to a range of primitives and options. It’s includes items such as torus’s and half circles.
Quick Build (https://www.roblox.com/library/232792970/CSG-Primitives) - A simple plugin that allows you to spawn the basic primitives, excluding corner wedges and trusses, at your camera location. Very convenient for reducing movement time.
Camera Light (https://www.roblox.com/library/163874890/Camera-Light) - Working in a dark space? Then you need this plugin. Camera light attaches a light to the camera so you can see while building.
Zeph’s Thumbnail Maker (https://www.roblox.com/library/285250726/Zephs-Thumbnail-Maker-1-1) - Got a model to publish? Zeph’s plugin allows for the creation of a thumbnail and publishing all in one convenient plugin.
To Do List (https://www.roblox.com/library/181608742/To-Do-List) - I’m not going to insult your intelligence on this one.
Light Editor (https://www.roblox.com/library/1223999426/Light-Editor) - Allows you to easily edit lights. Great for editing lights that are inside rather complex models.
Geometry - The Plugins Sent From Heaven
PowerFill - GapFill & Extrude (https://www.roblox.com/library/2613864560/PowerFill-GapFill-Extrude) - This plugin allows you to fill the gaps between parts in your workspace with other parts. I absolutely love this plugin.
Beveler (https://www.roblox.com/library/243077623/Beveler) - It’s cool, but honestly kind of unneeded.
Stravant - ResizeRealign (https://www.roblox.com/library/165534573/Stravant-ResizeAlign-Fixed) - Resizes selected parts so they touch in a specific designated way. A really helpful plugin.
Wedge Edge (https://www.roblox.com/library/234946364/Wedge-Edge) - Surrounds a given part with wedges and corner wedges at a editable size.
Others - Security and More!
The first two are virus scanners.
Ro-Defender (https://www.roblox.com/library/142273772/Ro-Defender-Plugin-v8-7) - Scans game for viruses.
Backdoor Scanner/Remover (https://www.roblox.com/library/2658217401/Backdoor-Scanner-Remover) Scans models for exploits.
Stravant - MaterialFlip (https://www.roblox.com/library/166951203/Stravant-MaterialFlip) - Allows you to flip the direction of a material.
Part to Terrain (https://www.roblox.com/library/261634767/Part-to-Terrain) - Exactly how it sounds.
Render Settings (https://www.roblox.com/library/393398335/Render-Settings-Plugin) - Quickly change studios render settings without having to go to the studio settings menu.
ThreeDText (https://www.roblox.com/library/2273628561/ThreeDText) - Pretty good.
Show Decomposition Geometry (https://www.roblox.com/library/414923656/Show-Decomposition-Geometry) - More on the advanced side. Allows you to see the decomposition geometry of your meshes and unions. You probably won’t need this.
Instance Counter (https://www.roblox.com/library/1526552798/Instance-Count) - Allows you to keep track of the number of different part types that exist in your world.
Hope this tutorial was helpful to you guys. I spent over four days editing and building it, as I’m pretty busy irl, so I hope you guys found it useful. I know when I first started I stumbled around blindly, trying to figuring stuff out, and a tutorial would have been very nice.
Anyways, have a great time and good luck in your endeavors as a Roblox Developer!