So your passion of creating arcane designs in corn fields is not as lucrative as you had thought? When a very pissed off Farmer Brown is chasing you with his pitch fork, it’s definitely time to think of a career change. Why don’t you add Blender 3d to arsenal of foolery and then you can send wonder into the minds of a much greater gullible audience via the internet, and not merely the local hicks. (disclaimer — please do not take these opening lines seriously).
First, Obtain Blender 3d. Go over the basics of function/navigation here: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Blender_3D:_Noob_to_Pro
In this tutorial we are going to model a UFO from a simple primitive shape, since the classic UFO design is very basic.
Part One: Model Your UFO Shape.
1. Open blender 3d and right click/delete the little annoying cube that is there by default. Then hover over the viewport area and push Number Pad 1 to go into frontal view. Below should be what you see, roughly — Empty viewport space.
2. Now, hover over the viewport and push your space bar. Then choose Add/Mesh/UV Sphere. When the options window for the UV Sphere comes up, input the values shown below.
3. The sphere should be highlighted as shown above with a pink outline. This simply means its selected. Push TAB so you may enter edit mode for this object. All of the vertices should be selected, but if they are not push A once or twice until they all turn yellow. You will see that pushing A (Select All) simply selects/deselects all vertices.
4. Scaling. We now must “scrunch” it a bit to a more UFO-like shape. We are going to do this by Scaling it on the Z Axis. Push S for “Scale” then immediately push Z “Z Axis” and then imput the value .35 (amount to be scaled) then press enter or click. You should end up with this shape:
5. Widening the Sphere. Now hold down Alt and Right Click one of the vertices across the horizontal center vertice loop. That will “loop select” your vertices. You may have to try a few times until it selects the entire horizontal loop. (Sometimes it will select a vertice path of vertices).
6. Now we are going to mess with a little thing called proportional editing. This allows your editing to effect unselected vertices depending on where they exist in your field area of editing. Click this button to an ON state like here: . This is found just below your viewport window since you are in edit mode. If you cannot find it, see picture below:
7. Proportional Editing Field: Hopefully your vertice loop is still selected. Now push S and with your mouse wheel adjust the radius of influence downward until it’s boundary is just barely below the mesh. Right click again to cancel the action. Although you’ve canceled scaling, you’ve set the size of the circle before making changes to the mesh. Examples below:
8. Creating the Saucer Shape: Again push S and immediately after push 1.4 on the number pad then click or press enter. This will scale the loop selected to this size shown below:
9. Subsurf. Cute, but still too angular. UFO’s are smooth and sleek. Go to your buttons in edit mode (F8 if you are not already there) and select from the menue “Subsurf“. Watch as your mesh smooths out with a subdivided surface (hence the word SubSurf). The mesh you are editing now appears as a cage which the subsurfed shape now follows.
10. Define the Dome. Pay attention to how Subsurf interacts with your base mesh. We are going to define the entire dome now in step ten. This will involve a few operations, so pay close attention. First push A to deselect all vertices. Now push B (Box) and drag a down from the top of the UFO selecting vertices about a quarter down the aircraft as shown below:
10a. Now we are going to extrude the dome upward. But before we do that, lets explain some things ahead of time. Extruding simply creates new geometry and elevates to desired lengths/directions. Since we are using subsurf, we must extrude in such a way that we keep the UFO properly defined. So follow the following directions very closely.
10b. Extrude Upward: Press E and select “region” then drag the mouse UP and type on the keypad .02 then click. (Don’t forget decimal points).
10c. Extrude Upward Again: Press E and select “region” then drag the mouse UP and type on the keypad .05 then click. That will elevate it a bit higher. (Do you really need another screenshot?) It should be higher.
10d. Select a Ring of Faces. Push down the “face select button” which can be found just below the viewport above the editing buttons.Now Alt Click that tiny loop you had created by extruding upward .02 blender units then click. Screenshot below.
10e. Scale Inward, Move Upward. To properly define the dome and the flow of our craft’s shell, we will do a few more operations here: Push S and move the mouse toward the craft and type in .98 on the keypad and click. After that you will find the area has shrunk a bit. Then push G (Grab) and move your mouse upward then type in .01 on the keypad. Click or press enter. Results shown below.
…now if you push TAB you will toggle in and out of edit mode. You can see the overall shape such as shown below:
Having Come This Far…Now that you are familiar with some basic functions such as extruding, scaling, etc, I will not be providing a screenshot for every step, but I will go through a number of operations and simply provide a screenshot to verify that you are on the right track. I know it seems hard, but UFO hoaxes must be created by intelligent people which no doubt you are!
11. Begin Creating Plasma Core. Yes, thats right, I called it a plasma core because its geekish and sounds cool. Enter back into edit mode by pushing TAB (do I really have to tell you?) and now choose “face select” and push down the “occlude background geometry” button. Shown here: Now on the keypad push “2″ a few times while your mouse is over the viewport thus allowing you to see other angles of the craft. Select the center-most faces and delete them. When you push delete a window will pop up. You must select “faces” to be deleted.
12. Once those faces are gone (creating a hole in the bottom of the craft) we want to select the edges only (push edges button) and then Alt Click an inner edge defining the hole thus allowing you to loop select the hole edges. Then push E (extrude) then push Z (Z axis) move the mouse UP and type in .1 on numpad then click.Try it a few times till it matches below screenshot:
13. TAB out of edit mode and in your edit buttons and select “Set Smooth” in your edit buttons, allowing the craft to become…you guessed it…smoother!
This should be what your resulting UFO craft should look like:
Now you have a completed UFO! Well, sort of. Typical UFO’s are just what they are traditionally called: Flying Saucers. We have the saucer shape, but who can be satisfied with just that! This is year 1009 man! We’ll call this tutorial complete for you, but I’ll add some things so you can download and play with a more developed UFO in our next tutorial.