Today, you shall learn how to make a simple, yet appealing design in Blender-
A Die. (Not as in, Death R.I.P. but as in, a Single Dice)
Leave comments if everything went great for you!
Step 1: Introducing the Basics
With Blender, you have a boatload of options, tools, and mechanics that might seem complicated. If you don't want to read instructions (Ugh) and you want to watch the Soundless Video and learn from your eyes only, go ahead! The video is below! (Sorry for the weird name!)
For the written instruction part, I will be providing screenshots for your well being so it's easy for you to see.
To be able to create a design, you will need the program Blender Graphic Design. You can download it Here.
Once you download it, just launch and you're ready to go!
What you'll need for this project:
- A Mouse with a Scroll Wheel
- Time (About 5-10 minutes)
- Blender Graphic Design Program
BLENDER KEYS AND TOOLS
E - Extrude
X / DEL Key - Delete
S - Scale
R - Rotate
TAB - Edit/Object Mode
G - Grab
Mouse Scroll (Held Down) - Look around Object
Mouse Scroll - Zoom in/out
RClick - Back to Default
LClick - Set something in its place
CONTROL + Z - Undo
CONTROL + I - Invert
Step 2: Take a Look Around!
If you look at the top picture, this is what Blender looks like when you first launch the program.
The yellow portion, you can find on the LEFT. This controls the manual Extrusions, adding Vertices to meshes, editing, shading, and showing your history.
The red portion, you can find on the top Right. This is a small taskbar to access things you will need in this tutorial. It displays modifiers, objects, saved edges, etc. The only ones we will be focusing on today is the Object Data and Object Modifiers.
The blue portion is located at the bottom middle of your screen. Here is where you'll select faces/edges/vertices, change into Object and Edit Mode, change the Pivot Points, and much more. In this tutorial, you'll only be needing the selecting faces/edges/vertices tool, the Pivot Point tools, Viewport shading and Object Interaction Key.
Step 3: Beginning Your Die - Dividing Your Mesh
Here's the fun part!
I'm going to separate this into multiple parts and try to be as basic as I can.
Once you open Blender, you are going to use the default Mesh given to you. (Mesh = Object)
Press TAB to go into Edit Mode. Your mesh should now be highlighted.Look to the left- you should see a panel listing the topics Add, Remove, Mesh Tools, and Transform.
If you don't, make sure you're in the tools category. If you ARE in the tools category and you don't see it, make sure your block is highlighted. That should mean you are in Edit Mode.
Scroll down to where it says Add and click Subdivide. Once you click Subdivide, a box should appear with the words Number of Cuts.
Change this number to 4. Press TAB twice to confirm your mesh. Your design should match the image above.
Step 4: Adding the Number Outline to Your Die
Most die have rounded edges, or Bevels. We're going to round our die after these next few steps.
After you finish the last step, go into Face Selection Mode. You can find this by looking at the bottom portion of your program and seeing the 3 squares next to each other, each highlighting a different part of the Mesh. This is next to the Global Transformation Orientation. If this is too hard for you, then you can always press CONTROL + TAB to open up your vertices/edges/faces select mode. If you do this, make sure to select faces!
Once you're in face select mode, right click your mesh so it turns to default color, with a black outline.
Now, you can click Shift + RClick to Select the Faces on where to put your Die. Don't let go of shift, or else you'll be choosing one at a time!
If you need to rotate your mesh while clicking, you can release both Shift + RClick at the time and press the Mouse Wheel down to move it around, continuing then to select your faces. Your mesh should look something like the image above.
If you want to see ALL your die, press Z to put it into Wire Frame Mode. This will allow you to see what you've selected. Select Z again once you finish to put it back to Solid Mode.
**It doesn't matter what order you put the die numbers in, as long as It's all equal in spacing with each other**
Step 5: Scaling Your Die
After you selected the faces on your die, it's time to Extrude. Extrusion is a useful tool that is used in many desktop program. To extrude something basically means to shape something, or force something out. It's common among programs like Blender.
On the left, where you chose your Subdivision panel, you should see under Add, multiple Extrusion options. If not, make sure you're in the Tools panel and Edit Mode! (TAB = Edit Mode)
Click Extrude Individual but DON'T MOVE YOUR MOUSE! Immediately press Enter and leave it. Pressing Enter sets it to its default, so you can use it later in the tutorial.
Now, we're going to change our Pivot Points. If you look on the bottom near where you selected faces, look all the way to the left. You should see two circles entwined with each other.
Select this and click Individual Origins so that when you scale it, the entire mesh doesn't scale on itself.
Now here's the fun part. You're going to Scale it. To Scale, press S and move your mouse towards the middle Slightly, just enough for a small ring of the regular Mesh to be left.
Now you're going to Extrude it again. On the left panel, select Extrude Individual and pull in towards the Mesh just Slightly- Just going in the mesh a tiny bit. Your creation should look somewhat like the image above.
If you mess up, don't worry- CONTROL + Z will Undo whatever you did. Remember that you can Press and Hold your Mouse Wheel, Scrolling it to Zoom in and out for a better view.
Step 6: Saving Your Vertices (You Can Skip This Step- Its Not AS Important!)
This step is mainly for saving your vertices and coloring your die- but coloring your die is a whole different process that is much more difficult. You can skip to Step 7 if you'd like.
Select your Edges tool next to the Faces tool on the bottom, or press CONTROL + TAB and select Edges there. The numbered dots should only be highlighted now.
All the way on the Right, is a large panel of a bunch of unnecessary information. The only info you need is on that small tab near the top- where you see a picture of a Blue Wrench and a Upside Down black Triangle (They look like horns!). Select the Upside-Down triangle. (See Image Above)
Once you select the triangle, you're going to open Vertex Groups and press the Plus button to the right. The word Group should appear. Left click the word Group until it highlights, and backspace it. Enter the word Black and select the Assign button.
Press the Plus button again and you should see the word Group.01, or something similar. Before you do anything here, click CONTROL + I to highlight everything besides the dots. This is the Invert key.
Back to where it says Group.01, repeat the steps above, but name it White. Select the Assign button once done.
Step 7: Rounding & Smoothing Your Die
If you skipped the last steps, make sure you press CONTROL + I to highlight everything besides the numbered dots. If you want to see how it looks like in Wire-frame mode, press Z. (Make sure to press Z back to go back into edit mode!)
If you look on the bottom, there should be a small panel that says what Mode you're in. (If you're in Edit mode, it should say Edit Mode.) Select this and change back to Object Mode.
Look all the way on the right- you should see a large panel. Almost to the top is a row of objects, one of them being a Blue Wrench. Select this Wrench and click Add Modifier.
Once you click that, there should be columns worth of Smoothing tools- but you're going to press Subdivision Surface which is under the second Column, that says Generate. It's all the way at the bottom.
Once you choose this, you should see something that says View and Render. Change the View to 2 and the Render to 3.
If you now zoom in on the Mesh with your Mouse Wheel, you should see a little blocky-ness around the edges. This is an easy fix, if you look all the way to the left panel where you did your Extrusion.
You shouldn't see Extrusion anymore because you aren't in Edit Mode- but what you should see is a Shading Panel. The Shading Panel should have 2 options - Smooth and Flat. Select Smooth to Smoothen out the edges. Your mesh should match the image above.
Step 8: Rounding the Edges to Make It Look Realistic!
This is my FAVORITE part!
You should now go into Edit Mode by pressing TAB. Almost everything should be highlighted now.
Press CONTROL + TAB to select Vertexes, or go down to the Vertices button by Faces and Edges and select it there.
Hold Shift and Right click to select all the outer points of the die, they should be highlighted in a black/blue color. If you need to rotate your mesh to select the bottom also, let go of Shift + Right Click and hold down your Mouse Wheel to turn the Mesh around. You should have selected 8 Vertices on your Die. Look at the image above for reference!
Below on your bottom panel where you previously changed the Pivot Points (The two circles entwined with each other), Change that Pivot Point to Median Point.
Now you're going to press S and Scale it outwards a bit, giving it a 3D feeling. You're almost done!
Step 9: Voilá! Your Die Is Complete!
Select TAB to exit Edit Mode and now,
*drum roll* You're done! Congratulations! You made a die! If you want to save this die, select File all the way on the top and click Save As to save it somewhere in your Desktop Area.
This project was intended for school, a project for a global event called Makerfaire which we will present at later in January for my Tech Class. Happy Holidays!
If you are an experienced person with Blender Graphic Design and you want to color/texture your die, click this video!
If there's anything you don't understand, feel free to leave a comment with your question!