Modeling 101 in Blender (Box Modeling)

Hey Creators - thanks for stopping by. This article covers an introductory overview of the popular 3d Modeling application Blender. Blender is very popular with modelers and builders on Roblox and in the wider games industry, and is FREE!

When building games in Roblox using internal tooling, such as CSG models and Parts, you may notice that you are somewhat limited in your ability of creative expression within those tools, and you need greater control over shapes and form to bring your imagination to life, and that’s where 3d modeling tools like Blender come in.

Blender can look very intimidating upon first glance, so I seek to demystify the complicated UI, showing users what is important versus ignorable. Then, once you understand the important parts of the UI, you’ll make some primitive objects and move on to a small number of easy to use tools and features, unlocking your ability to model literally anything! This series will expand to include more methods and techniques on an as-needed basis.

Table of Contents

  1. Core Concepts Introduction to Blender
  2. Basic Navigation and Interface Concepts
  3. Make a Treasure Chest using Box Modeling Method
    1. Create a Cube (box)
    2. Select the Cube and Enter ‘Edit Mode’
    3. Resize [Scale]
    4. Extrude Top
    5. Bevel Edges and Weld Vertices
    6. Add Edge Loop
    7. Inset and Extrude Along Normals
    8. Add More Loops then Extrude Inward Along Normals
    9. Select and Extrude Inward Along Normals
    10. Create New Face from Selection
    11. Mirror Modifier
  4. Hotkey Appendix
  5. Continued Demonstration
  6. Conclusion

Core Concepts Introduction to Blender

Blender is a 3D modeling package with TONS of functionality. It’s open source and free to download and use to anybody - I love it. It does much more than just modeling, though, and opening it up as a new user can be intimidating. This short guide serves to introduce aspiring modelers to Blender, to enough of the internal tooling and concepts to get you up and running and making cool things!

When I was a student, I learned to model in Autodesk 3DS Max and Maya. That was back in 2006. I specialized on those platforms for over a decade as an environment modeler before making the change to Blender in 2022, and I found it very natural and easy to use once I got the hang of it. I hope to help you learn how to engage on this platform as either a new user, or someone transitioning over from another package. Let’s dive into some Core Concepts and some UI overview to give you a sense of what is important, and what you can ignore before you hop into the Box Modelling method.

Many sections here will link over to Blender’s official documentation if you’d like to dig deeper and uncover more details, but to keep things moving along, I’ll summarize the important parts.

Workspaces and Areas

Workspaces and Areas define the main bulk of the UI in Blender. They are customizable in both functionality, size, position, and features. Let’s take a closer look.

  • Workspaces
    • Workspaces are predefined window layouts, each with a specific purpose. You can toggle between various workspaces to suit different types of work you need to do, such as modeling or animating, or sculpting, etc. The will focus on the “modeling” workspace for this article
    • Each workspace is divided into several different “Areas” that contain Editors.

  • Areas
    • The Blender window is divided into a number of rectangular zones called “Areas” that can be resized to your liking and display any editor you prefer.
    • The Modeling Workspace is laid out with four Areas, showing the 3D View, Outliner, Properties Panel, and Timeline Editors.

Areas This Article will be Using:

  • Outliner
    • Organize your scene here, in a hierarchy.
    • Toggle the visibility of assets in the scene
  • Properties
    • This panel reflects the properties of your currently selected asset, through an array of tabs. Different types of selected assets will activate the different tabs.
    • Object Properties tab
      • The Object Properties tab is one to be primarily concerned with. This tab contains a dropdown called “normals” that allows you to affect the smooth appearance of the selected mesh.
    • Modifier Properties tab
      • This tab allows you to add ‘modifiers’ to our meshes. Modifiers are operations that affect a mesh’s geometry in non-destructive ways.
    • There are more tabs, but ignore them for now.
  • 3D Viewport
    • This Area is going to be the most important one for you - the 3D Viewport is where you do all of our modeling. You can create new primitive objects, transform and edit them, etc. This is the beating heart of Blender.
  • Customizing your Areas
    • As mentioned above, each Area can be customized by which type of Editor you choose, but also can be resized, split, and joined, to accommodate your needs.
      • Resize the areas by dragging their borders
      • Split an area into two by holding the cursor in an Area’s corner. The cursor will change to a cross (+), then you can click your Left Mouse Button (LMB) to activate the split. Drag the cursor from there to split the area.
      • Join areas by dragging outward from a corner. The area that will be closed shows a dark overlay.

3D Viewport Header

The Header at the top of the 3D Viewport Area has some important features and options to examine to help customize our scene display and customize various snapping and transform behaviors.

In the 3D Viewport’s header, there are 6 features that I want to draw attention to: Modes, Viewport Overlays, Viewport Shading, Snap To, Transform Orientation, and Transform Pivot Point.


Modes official documentation

The 3D Viewport has several modes used for editing different kinds of data. For example, the default ‘Object Mode’ would let you place a mesh primitive in the scene, while ‘Edit Mode’ would allow you to manipulate the geometry of that mesh. You will toggle back and forth between Object Mode and Edit Mode in the 3D Viewport frequently, using the TAB key, later in this lesson. Additionally, the user can change the mode by clicking the Mode dropdown and choosing any mode they desire.


Viewport Overlays and Shading Dropdowns

In the image below, I’ve clipped images of my preferred settings for Overlays and Shading. Every artist will eventually define their own preferences for these, but the settings I’ve chosen below are such that it optimizes for quick readability of key information and understanding of the 3D mesh.

  • Viewport Overlays Overlays
    • These are my settings because I like to have a visual reference of the floor at 0,0 on the XY plane. I use the 3D cursor, and I can always see the vert count and other stats on screen. Wireframe helps me better understand mesh topology. The rest I don’t really need most of the time so it won’t be covered here.
  • Viewport Shading
    • These are my settings, because for me, they make it easy to differentiate the meshes from the background, the highlights make it easy to see what edges are faceted, which are smooth. When I use textures, they show up.


Transform Orientation, Pivot Point, and Snap To Dropdowns

In the image below, I’ve clipped images of my preferred settings for Transform Orientation, Transform Pivot Point and Snap To settings. These settings are chosen for their applicability to the box modeling method you’ll get into in the next section.

  • Transform Orientations
    • Global is the default setting - it means that when you move objects around in the 3D Viewport, the X,Y,and Z axis will be fixed in its alignment to the 3D space itself.
  • Transform Pivot Point
    • ‘Bounding Box Center’ is the setting I tend to use the most. When doing any transformations (moving, rotating, scaling), Blender will use this setting as the basis from which those operations are used as its pivot. Pivots have different behaviors under different conditions, so if you want to learn more, click here, otherwise, I’d suggest just messing around with different pivot settings over time to intuit how they affect your operations as you learn to model.
  • Snap To
    • The Snap To dropdown lets you choose your snapping behavior. In Blender, when you are moving around vertices, edges or polygon faces, you can hold CTRL down during movement and it will cause the selection to snap to its closest element, based on whatever element you chose in the Snap To dropdown. I like to use ‘vertex’ most of the time, since they are very precise. But you can also snap to edges, faces, the grid itself and more. Again, this is a concept you’ll eventually gain an intuition for if you just mess around with these settings as you learn to model.

Using Hotkeys in Blender

When I started in Blender, I was advised to NOT change any of the default hotkeys/keybinds/shortcuts even though I was already familiar with hotkeys from another software.

This is because Blender is really built for speed already, and the setup works quite well out-of-the-box. Also, if you add plugins in the future, they are guaranteed to work as expected with the default keybindings, whereas overrides might conflict with keybinds that come in with plugins. This advice has paid me many dividends, and I pass on the same advice to you.

In the next section, I’ll cover some hotkeys you can memorize in order to activate different features, tools and modes in order to efficiently use Blender to model.

Startup Files

When you first open Blender, a splash screen appears with several options to choose from. There are several ‘New File’ choices, and also the option to load up some of your most recent .blend files. If you choose to open a New File, the system will automatically load in what is known as the “Startup File”. This is basically a file on your computer that stores all your customizations, such as the ones we performed above, for your scene and loads them up as your default setting when you start Blender.

If you get your Blender scene and configurations into a state you like, you can set that state as your default Startup settings by saving it as your Default Startup File by going to:
File > Defaults > Save Startup File.

This will lock in your settings to load up every time you start a new project.

If you would like to skip over noodling around and figuring out all of the settings for yourself, and would prefer to use my settings, like you went over above, I’ll provide MY startup file for you. To set it as YOUR startup file, just download the file from the link below, open it up in Blender (it is a .blend file) and then do:

File > Defaults > Save Startup File

And my startup file will be YOUR startup file, until you decide to make changes or revert to defaults one day.

Link to .Blend startup file (759.6 KB)

Basic Navigation and Interface Concepts

Camera Movement / Navigation

Camera Movement and Navigation in the 3D Viewport is a core concept to master when 3D modeling, and fortunately, it’s fairly easy to get the hang of. With a few gestures of the mouse, a click and some buttons to press, you can navigate the 3D scene with ease. The available ways to move through the 3D space with the camera view are as follows:

  • Pan: Shift + MMB
    • Panning moves the camera Up, Down, Left and Right on a 2d planar axis relative to where the camera is pointed by holding down Shift + Middle Mouse Button
  • Zoom: MM Scroll Wheel
    • Zooming moves the camera closer to, or further away from the point of interest by scrolling the Middle Mouse Wheel up and down.
  • Orbit: MMB
    • Orbit allows the camera to rotate around a point of interest by holding down the middle mouse button and dragging the mouse around in the 3D View.
  • Frame Selected: numpad . (Numpad period button)
    • Frame Selected, by pressing the NumpadPeriod button, moves the camera into position to focus your selected asset in the center of the screen.
  • Camera Views: ‘`’ + [F,T,A,R,L, or B]
    • Change to an orthographic camera view by pressing the backtick ‘`’ key (on the tilde key) then press F, T, A, R, L, or B to choose Front, Top, Back, Right, Left, or Bottom views.

Selection

In the 3D View, the user can select objects with the click of the mouse, or select a multitude of assets by clicking and dragging (using ‘Select Box’ style selection). By pressing the ‘W’ key, you can cycle through various selection modes, but I find ‘Select Box’ mode to be the most familiar and intuitive

  • Select Object - Single Left Click on the object.
  • Select Multiple Objects - Click and Drag to create a selection area.
    • Or/Also, hold SHIFT while clicking individual objects or elements to add those to your selection.
  • Deselect - Left Click in an empty area of the 3D Viewport

Manipulation

In Blender, the user can make all sorts of movements in the 3D Viewport. Moving an asset around in the 3D View is known as “transforming”. When using the term ‘transforming’, in this case, we are talking about moving an object around in 3D space, rotating it and changing its orientation, or scaling an object’s size. There are more nuances to understanding the greater concept of “transforms” in 3D, but these are our important aspects of it, for now.

  • Move
    • Moving an object in the Blender 3D View is done by selecting an object, and pressing ‘G’ to grab it and move it around with the motion of the mouse. Once you have selected an object, and pressed ‘G’ to move it, you can move it freely around the scene. You can also constrain that movement to a single axis by pressing X, Y or Z, respectively.
  • Rotate
    • Similar to moving, you can rotate your selection by pressing ‘R’. Doing so will allow you to rotate the object freely in all directions. Also like moving, you can press X, Y, or Z to constrain that rotation to a single axis.
  • Scale
    • You guessed it - press ‘S’ to scale (or resize) your selection on all axes. And like the others, press X, Y or Z to constrain that scale operation to a single axis.

3D Cursor

The 3D Cursor is a point in space that has both a location and a rotation. It’s used for many purposes. For our purposes in this lesson, the 3D cursor represents the location that newly created objects will appear upon creation.

The 3D Cursor can be moved around throughout the scene for various purposes, such as spawning new 3D objects at specific locations, relocating pivot points for meshes, and more. Check out Blender’s documentation to learn more, but for the purpose of this lesson, our 3D Cursor should remain at Coordinate ‘0,0,0’ aka “World Origin”

Make a Treasure Chest using Box Modeling Method

In this section, you will go over what is known as the Box Modeling Method for making 3D models. The fundamental principle here is simple - you start with a 3D cube or box, and manipulate the geometry to become more complex, ultimately, resulting in ANY object you can imagine! It’s a method of modeling that was taught to me in school back in 2006 and I still use this today! It’s a simple way to start, and it is infinitely extensible.

For our example project, you will start with a simple box and model the mesh into the shape of a Treasure Chest. During the lesson here, you will learn a handful of simple, straightforward operations that you can use in a multitude of different ways and combinations.

1. Create a Cube (box)

The first step of Box Modeling anything is to create a cube.

  1. In the 3D Viewport, hover your mouse anywhere and press SHIFT+A, which will bring up a context menu.

  2. Hover the mouse over the context menu and navigate to Mesh > Cube

  3. A Cube mesh will be created at coordinate position 0,0,0

  4. The new mesh will be present in the Outliner Area

  5. The Cube’s properties will be displayed in the Properties Tab

  6. A Common Options menu will appear in the bottom left corner of the 3D Viewport that says “Add Cube”

  7. Click on this to expand it, and it will display various properties related to the creation of the cube that can be immediately modified such as Size, UV’s, Alignment, Location and Rotation.

Note: you can always reposition the 3D Cursor by hovering over the 3D Viewport and pressing SHIFT+S to bring up a radial option view, and select ‘Cursor to World Origin’ which is always 0,0,0.

2. Select the Cube and Enter ‘Edit Mode’

As mentioned earlier, the default mode of the 3D Viewport is “Object Mode”. While in object mode, select the cube you created in the previous step. Upon selection, you’ll notice the highlight/outline around the cube changes from a black outline to a yellow outline to indicate it is the “Active Object”. With the cube selected, change to “Edit Mode” by pressing the TAB key - this mode allows you to modify the geometry of the mesh.

Once you have selected the cube and entered ‘Edit Mode’, notice that there are three different Edit Mode Selections: Vertex, Edge and Face. To learn more about these core/fundamental concepts of how the structure of a mesh is built, follow this link.

To begin modifying the geometry, first you’ll have to select its vertices, edges or faces by pressing 1, 2, or 3, respectively. Each of these selection submodes will allow you to select and modify the mesh’s vertices, edges or faces.

3. Resize [Scale]

A treasure chest is wider than it is tall, so you’ll want to deform this mesh cube into a more rectangular shape. To do this operation, there are three features to take advantage of: selecting all the vertices, scaling the mesh on a specific axis, and snapping those vertices incrementally along the grid so you can have perfect precision with our resize.

  1. In the earlier 3D Viewport section, you learned about the Snap To dropdown, and in this step, you’ll start using it. Navigate to the Snap To section in the header of the 3D Viewport and change the dropdown to “Increment” and check the box that reads “Absolute Grid Snap”.

  2. With these settings enabled, when you start scaling the mesh, it will snap incrementally to the grid precision

  3. With the cube still selected, and in ‘Edit Mode’, press ‘1’ to enter ‘Vertex Selection’ mode and press ‘A’ to ‘Select All’ vertices.

  4. Press ‘S’ to Scale the mesh, then press ‘X’ to constrain the scaling operation to the X axis only [so you only increase the scale on the X axis, making it wider] and drag the mouse sideways to resize.

  5. While sliding the mouse, hold the CTRL button down to activate the Snap To functionality. You’ll notice the vertices no longer scale smoothly, and instead they snap incrementally to exact locations along the grid.

  6. Left click to finalize the action once the cube is 4 units wide.

4. Extrude Top

The next step is to extrude some more polygons out of the top of the mesh so you can model out the top section of the treasure chest. Each selection sub-mode (vertex, edge, face) has a version of extrude functionality - the most commonly used extrude is Extrude Faces, activated in the face selection submode.

  1. With the mesh selected, press the ‘3’ key to enter the face selection sub-mode.

  2. Select the face on top of the mesh by clicking it with LMB (Left Mouse Button).

  3. Press ‘E’ to Extrude Face

  4. Alt-right click anywhere in the 3D Viewport to show the context menu and choose ‘Extrude Faces’

  5. With the Extrude Faces function active, hold CTRL (to enable Snap To Grid) and drag upward for 1 unit.

  6. LMB click to complete the action.

5. Bevel Edges and Weld Vertices

Next, you will add some more geometry to our mesh by beveling the edges on the top of the box. Bevelling allows you to create chamfered or rounded corners on geometry - it is an effect that smooths out edges and corners.

  1. With the mesh selected, press the ‘2’ key to enter the edge selection sub-mode.

  2. Select the front and back edges on the mesh.

  3. Press ‘CTRL+B’ to activate the Bevel tool, and drag the mouse down to enlarge/reduce the offset of the bevel so the beveled edges cross through each other (don’t worry about that, you’ll fix it in the next steps. Click ‘LMB’ to complete the actions.

  4. Alt: right click anywhere in the 3D Viewport to show the context menu and choose “Bevel Edges”

  5. In the bottom left corner of the 3D Viewport, a Common Options dialogue will appear that says ‘Bevel’. Click on it to expand it and check to enable the ‘Clamp Overlap’ option box. This will constrain the edges so they do not overlap one another.

  6. Increase the ‘Segments’ field to ‘6’.

Then, clean up your geometry by welding together any vertices that are overlapping the same location as any neighboring vertices.

  1. With the mesh still selected, press the ‘1’ key to enter vertex selection submode.

  2. Press ‘A’ to select all vertices

  3. Right Click anywhere in the 3D Viewport to open the context menu and navigate to Merge Vertices > By Distance.

  4. A Common Options dialogue will appear in the bottom left corner of the 3D Viewport that says “Merge by Distance.

  5. Enter ‘0.01’ into the field. This will merge any two or more vertices that are less than 0.01 units apart into a single vertex, giving you a nice clean mesh.

6. Add Edge Loop

Now that the main form of the treasure chest is created, add some more edge loops to the mesh to give yourself more resolution to work with to create metal edging. To add loops of edges to a mesh, use the Loop Cut and Slide tool.

With the mesh still selected, press ‘CTRL+R’ to activate the Loop Cut and Slide tool.

  1. Hover the mouse over the center of the mesh, where the existing edge loops run horizontally.

  2. A yellow loop will appear perpendicular to those existing edges. Click ‘LMB’ to commit that preview, and a new edge loop will be added to the mesh. The preview edge loop will then turn orange, and orange vertices will be highlighted along that loop as well.

  3. Move the mouse back and forth, and notice that the loop can be slid around inside of the edges you just chose. Click RMB to commit this choice and center the new loop between your existing edges.

  4. Alternatively you can click LMB to commit placing the loop anywhere along the area.

  5. Notice in the bottom left corner of the 3D Viewport a new Common Options dialogue has appeared, labeled ‘Loop Cut and Slide’

  6. Change ‘Number of Cuts’ field to ‘2’. This will apply an additional edge loop, equidistant along the selected area.

Now that you’ve added two new edge loops, and they are still selected (highlighted in orange) press the ‘1’ key to convert that Active Selection from edges to vertices. You’ll notice the individual vertices become highlighted in orange now, along with the edges and faces between them, which will become shaded orange to indicate that those areas are now selected as well.

Much like the first step in this lesson, use the scale tool, constrained to the X axis to slide these vertices away from one another and toward the edges of the treasure chest, so that we can set up some edges to extrude.

  1. With the edges still selected, press ‘1’ to enter vertex selection sub-mode.
  2. Press ‘S’ to scale the vertices, and press ‘X’ to constrain that action to the X axis only.
  3. Drag the mouse outward to slide the vertices outward from the center of the mesh, toward the edges.
  4. When your vertices are near the edges, press ‘LMB’ to commit the action.

7. Inset Faces and Extrude Along Normals

Now that you have created some new edge loops along the front, back, top and bottom of the chest, inset the faces on the sides of the chest mesh and extrude (Extrude Faces Along Normals - Blender 4.1 Manual) a similar distance from the outer edges, to create some areas that will become metal edging.

  1. With the mesh still selected, press ‘3’ to enter face selection mode.
  2. Select the faces on the left and right sides of the chest (those that face the +X and -X directions)
  3. Press ‘I’ to activate the Inset tool, and drag the mouse inward to inset the selection to about the same distance as the loops you created in the previous step.
  4. Click ‘LMB’ to commit.

Then, using the Extrude Faces Along Normals tool to push those faces inward to create a small depression.

  1. With the inset faces still selected, click ‘RMB’ to show the context menu and choose ‘Extrude Faces Along Normals’
  2. Drag the mouse sideways to push the faces inward slightly toward the center of the mesh.
  3. Click ‘LMB’ to commit.

8. Add More Loops then Extrude Inward Along Normals

Next, add some more loops to the horizontal plane of the box to represent the metal edging that runs around the base, and around the center of the chest.

  1. With the mesh still selected, add more loops by using the Loop Cut and Slide tool, once again, by pressing CTRL+R.

  2. The yellow preview edge will appear along the horizontal plane of the chest when you hover the mouse over that axis.
    * Notice that the yellow preview follows the shape of the geometry perfectly, and is not perfectly horizontal.
    * Click LMB to commit, then navigate to the Common Options Dialogue in the bottom left corner and change ‘number of cuts’ to ‘2’.

Now, flatten out those edge loops and move them into position so they can become the metal edging for the center and bottom of the chest.

  1. Once you have made two new edge loops, select the bottom edge loop with one click by holding ALT+LMB on any edge of the loop. This will select the entire loop.

  2. Make the edges completely flat on the X and Y axis by using the Scale tool.

  3. Press ‘S’ to activate ‘Scale’ and press ‘Z’ to constraint the scale action to the Z axis only.

  4. Press ‘0’ to zero out the edge, making all edges the same on the Z axis.

  5. Press ‘ENTER’ to commit.

  6. Move the edge into position along the bottom of the box.

  7. Change your Snap To setting from ‘Increment’ to ‘Vertex’ so you can snap this edge loop to the vertices at the bottom of the chest.

  8. With the bottom edge loop still selected, press ‘G’ to move (grab) the edge loop, and press ‘Z’ to constrain that movement to only along the Z axis.

  9. Move the cursor down while holding CTRL. Move the cursor toward a corner of the box until the edge snaps to the same height as the top of the metal trim you started on the edges of the box.

Repeat this most recent process for the upper of the two edge loops you created in this step, except instead of snapping this to the vertices above, simply move it into position just below the top of the chest, using your artistic judgment.

Select and Extrude Inward Along Normals

Next, select the ring of innermost faces in the body of the treasure chest. Carefully deselect the faces that represent the metal edging and then extrude those faces inward, along the normal.

  1. With the mesh still selected, press 3 to enter face selection sub-mode.
  2. Holding down the ALT key, click on the upper or lower edge of any of the innermost faces on the treasure chest, which will automatically select the entire ring of faces around the object.
  3. Deselect the faces that represent the metal edging by holding SHIFT and clicking them one at a time.
  4. Extrude the remaining selection inward by right clicking to bring up the context menu and choosing Extrude Along Normals. Drag the mouse inward slightly to create a slight indentation to match that of the sides you indented in previous steps.

9. Create New Face from Selection

Add the metal strips between the arches of the lid on the sides of the chest by deleting the faces that span the area at the bottom of the lid arch and using New Face from Selection
to connect the new faces between those new openings.

  1. With the mesh still selected, press 3 to enter face selection sub-mode.

  2. Select the long, thin face on one side of the chest, below the arches of the lid, then hold SHIFT and additionally select the two very small faces that attach to it laterally, and press the DELETE key.

  3. A context menu will appear, choose ‘Faces’ to delete the faces you have selected.

  4. Next, press ‘2’ to enter edge selection sub-mode. Select the two small edges along the open faces along the arch and press ‘F’ to create a New Face from Edges, and a new face will appear between those selected Edges.

  5. Repeat this process for the remaining edges across the gap created earlier in this step to create the metal banding across the bottom of the arch along the side of the chest.

10. Mirror Modifier

Lastly, you’ll need to add a mirror modifier to the mesh to mirror the work you’ve done on one side to the other, and to ensure you have a perfectly symmetrical treasure chest.

  1. With the mesh still selected, press TAB to leave edit mode, swapping to Object Mode.

  2. Navigate to the Modifier Tab in the Properties Panel, click the ‘Add Modifier’ Dropdown and choose Mirror Modifier.

  3. This applies a modifier to the mesh that effectively ‘mirror’ one side of the model to the other side.

  4. Select the following options in the Mirror Modifier in the Modifier Section of the Properties tab.

  5. Set Axis to X. This chooses the X axis as the axis which the modifier will mirror across.

  6. Set Bisect to X. This cuts the model in half and stitches it together along the central seam, ensuring there is no overlapping geometry from the operation.

  7. Set Flip to X. This toggles which side will be mirrored to the other.

  8. Apply the Mirror Modifier to the mesh by clicking the down-arrow on the Mirror Modifier tab and choosing ‘Apply’.

Voila! That concludes our intro to box modeling in Blender!

Hotkey Appendix

Below is a quick reference sheet that covers most of the hotkeys and actions in this lesson.

Category Action Hotkey
Basic Navigation Pan SHIFT + MMB
Zoom MMB Wheel Up/Down
Orbit MMB
Frame Selection Numpad .
Camera Views `
X-Ray View Toggle ALT + Z
Selection Select Object LMB Click
Select Multiple Objects LMB Click + Drag / LMB Click + Shift LMB Click
Manipulation Move G
Rotate R
Scale S
Creation Add (new object to scene) SHIFT + A
Editing Toggle Edit / Object Mode TAB
Selection Submodes Vertex 1
Edge 2
Face 3
Transform Snapping Hold CTRL during transform
Edit Mesh Extrude E
Extrude Along Normals (no hotkey, right click menu only)
Bevel CTRL + B
Merge Vertices M
Loop Cut and Slide CTRL + R
Inset I
New Face from Selection F
Duplicate Selection CTRL + D
Dissolve Selection CTRL + X
Delete Selection DELETE

Continued Demonstration

Using the same tools and methods from this lesson, the video below continues to iterate on the treasure chest mesh to add more detail and personality. See if you recognize and can reproduce some of the techniques applied here. Experimenting is key to learn and internalize these modeling techniques.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve learned some of the most important aspects of using Blender, learning parts of its core UI, experimented with various principles, tools, and modeling features to create a simple treasure chest, feel free to continue forward on your own! This lesson only scratches the surface of what is possible with modeling in Blender, but the tools demonstrated here are among the easiest to use and most powerful.

The best thing about this short lesson in Box Modeling is that these handful of operations (bevel, inset, loop, extrude, and basic manipulations) combined together can help you craft almost any form you can imagine.

Don’t get discouraged while learning, it can take some time to memorize the various hotkeys and operations but once you do, it becomes MUCH easier to express your own creativity within, and then bring your creations onto the Roblox platform!

More tutorials like this will come, diving into more demonstrations, new ways of creating, and more advanced techniques for modeling, unwrapping, incorporating new combinations of the above techniques, adding more mesh primitives, and more!

Thank you so very much for joining me. I hope you look forward to more! NEVER GIVE UP!

82 Likes

Oh I thought Box Modeling was always just you look at something e.g. an image in the background and then start with a box or 2D Plane. Well, I guess it’s the same thing without image.

I always question Topology though.

:thinking:

8 Likes

You’re correct! Box modeling is starting with a cube! IN this case, we just happened to model a treasure box haha

10 Likes

I also see that there’s some very cool epic settings enabled like “Cavity”.

But I don’t think it’s specifically mentioned, but shown.

image

11 Likes

I never expected blender tutorials to be in dev forums, I usually assumed that people were going elsewhere as this is basically separate from roblox , glad to see that dev forums is showing more for resources outside of roblox.

13 Likes

There are many tutorials for topology, I can list you some if you want. But a basic idea for topology is to have only squares or rectangles and nothing else. If you see something else like a triangle or a pentagon or any polygon, you would have to make it into a square no matter what.

That’s how I would explain topology to be, and it’s important if you are going to be using any modifiers. Also, modifiers can improve topology! For example, the remesh modifier, the subdivision surface modifier, and some more.

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Smoothing can appear different based on Topology as well.

Some tutorials show ways to isolate topology to prevent loop cuts from going through the entire model. They actually seem to tell you to only do it if needed.

Some also just use the knife tool to correct it :thinking: I think it works. You can also make straight lines with the knife tool.

 

There’s also this concept where; you just make a 3D concept sketch of a model, aka. you just put in a bunch of random unorganized squares, booleans and etc. just to shape and visualize the model.

And then you make a clean version based on the sketch. It’s some professional’s workflow that I’ve read once on Artstation.

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Before going like a pro into Blender beginner tutorials, like those from the “donut guru” or any other YouTuber who jumps into implementing things directly, I recommend starting with the Blender documentation. Take some time to read about Blender and practice what you learn. This approach builds confidence in your understanding rather than simply following along without knowing why certain actions are taken. Personally, I always start by learning about modifiers and familiarizing myself with every workspace I’ll frequently use. After that, YouTube tutorials can complement your learning. However, I find that Blender 4.1 Manual is one of the most useful resources available. Good luck!

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This is a basic tutorial but where would I need to learn about textures? Like for example if I wanted the wood to look more realistic? is there a setting for that in Blender or would I need another program?

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Typically, making a wood material for use in real time games like Roblox you’ll need to make textures, which Blender does not do.

You’ll want to learn about PBR Materials, and the 2d textures that plug INTO these materials inside Studio, in order to make nice materials.

This doc can provide an overview of how PBR materials and their textures come together in Studio.

Once you understand that, the next part of your journey will be to learn to create textures! You can learn to do that in apps like GIMP, Photoshop, Substance Designer, or Material Maker, and more. It’s a deep rabbit hole, so you’ll have to do a little research on those programs on your own - that is, until I write some tutorials on making textures in those applications!

It might be a while before those get written though… but there are TONS of free resources out there on the web to get you started now!

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