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By now you should be getting comfortable navigating the 3D viewport of Blender, manipulating objects, changing your view to suit your needs, and generally be itching to make something more interesting.
I thought it would be fun to do a tutorial where we start tossing things around and I hit on the idea of launching Robyn into the air and trying to get him to land into a basket.
While playing around with this idea, I was also working on the Domino tutorial and Rex sent out a link to this guy who demonstrated how you could knock over dominoes increasing in size until you get to some pretty big extremes.
So I thought.. why not combine these two things and build a MASSIVE domino chain that would cause Robyn to launch incredibly high? Can we do it in Blender? Then can we make it LOOK like a blueprint? YEAH! Let’s try it! Let’s start with creating the dominoes in this tutorial, then we’ll work on some fun rigid body dynamics and get Robyn LAUNCHED, and finally we’ll make it look all “blueprinty”!
Enjoy the tutorial!
Pie Menu, Blender documentation on the Pie Menu Addon
Blender 101 – Modifier Encyclopedia, Tutorial on all the Blender Modifiers from Blender Guru
Getting nice bevels in Blender, Nimble Collective Tutorial on making sure your bevels work correctly in Blender
Since we’ll be switching between various views as we model, it’s important to be able to do it as efficiently as possible. Usually hotkeys will fill this need, but in Blender the default hotkey for switching to particular viewpoints is on the numpad (and I don’t have a numpad), I’ll need to make a quicker way to do this. I could make a new hotkey.. but instead I’d rather introduce you to one of my favorite Blender Addons – the Pie Menu!
For those of you used to Maya, these are very similar to Marking Menus.
Now to switch between your camera angles you can use the [kbd]q[/kbd] hotkey and simply choose an angle. Sweet!
There are a few new hotkeys we are introducing in this tutorial:
SHIFT A – Brings up the Add menu to add objects to your scene.
x– Delete selected objects.
s – Scale selected item.
q – Bring up a Pie menu to allow you to change your 3D Viewport.
TAB – Bring up a Pie menu to allow you to select between various interactive Modes.
CTRL b – Bevel Selected Items
Scale: Depending on where you place the mouse when you hit s it will either be easy or difficult to scale the object. Try having your mouse placed towards the edge of the object when you scale. It will make for an easier experience!
Bevel: With the Bevel tool, it behaves much better when you hit CTRL b while your cursor is near the origin of the object. Pretty much the exact opposite of scale.
Before creating any model, it’s a good idea to look at reference or artwork to make sure you’re building it to be as accurate as possible. If we do a search for domino on google, we’ll get a full range of image results:
I found one image which works well for our scene, as it has a really high quality front view.
There are two ways you can use the reference within Blender. First, you can have it displayed in your viewport tied to particular orthographic views (i.e. one image for the front, one for the side, etc). Second, you can bring in your image as an object in 3D space to work with. I prefer the second method, but we’ll show both.
To use the reference we’ll need to add it to our 3D View, but we want to do it from the Front View.
If you prefer to work in a perspective view, you’ll need to add your image as an actual object in your scene. Blender has a very handy way to do it – you essentially create a node and tell it to display itself as an image! Imagine Maya’s locators.. but with more display options!
Add an empty to your scene.