Intro: Bear Hug Ornament
In honor of the forthcoming holiday season, I decided to 3D model a special ornament celebrating brotherhood. I also decided to use two animals well-known on the snow, the polar bear and the penguin. The purpose behind that choice was specifically because both animals live at opposite ends of the earth. My main focus in creating this ornament was to celebrate how complete strangers can come together and become the very best of friends under the right circumstances.
Step 1: The Bear
This entire project was completed using Blender 3D, a completely free 3D modeling and animation software.
The polar bear was built when I applied a Smoothshift modifier to the default cube provided by Blender. After hitting the Tab key to enter Edit Mode, I extruded the top corners of the now-rounded cube to make his ears. I reduced the size of the inner squares and extruded them back, and shrank them again. I also extruded the four bottom squares to form a muzzle. After extruding the tip of the muzzle, I turned the color to black to finish his nose.
I also moved the points at the back of the head to flatten it out and make it less round. After extruding the base of the head to make the neck and body, I added two more rows of polygons with the loop subdivide tool. The subdivide tool adds more geometry to a shape if you press and hold down the Control and R keys on the keyboard.
After adding a new loop cut, I pulled out the points to give the bear a bit of a belly. This made him look more like the original design. Then I extruded him a pair of arms and legs. Each limb ended with a paw. I also included a cute little bob tail.
During modeling, I applied another Smoothshift modifier. This smoothed out the rectangular geometry of the bear.
Step 2: The Penguin
Unlike his furry counterpart, the penguin started out life in the 3D universe as a sphere, not as a smoothshifted cube. After lowering the amount of geometry the sphere possessed, I shrank it down to a reasonable size and moved it until it rested between the bear’s front paws.
After extruding the body out from the penguin’s head, I added a pair of wings. It was a little difficult to angle them so that they touched the bear’s paws. But, with some angle adjustments, I managed. The feet were another problem area. It took a long time to extrude the toes and adjust the feet to make them flat.
After I finished him, I realized that I had made the penguin too big. I scaled him down, then decided to add some color.
At the beginning of the modeling, I had switched from Blender Render to Cycles Render, to make adding the color nodes easier. By working in Edit Mode, I was able to select individual polygons and change their default colors. I made his back a dark black, his chest and face white, and his and beak and feet orange.
Step 3: The Hat
The holiday hats were fashioned from a circle, filled with the triangle fan option. The twelve triangles made the modeling easier. I started with the bear. After testing the hat covering one ear, I had found that I wasn’t too keen on that design. So, I decided to straighten the hat out shrink it down a bit, and place it directly between his ears.
The bear’s hat was a deep ruby red. For the penguin’s hat, I changed it to a nice holly green color. After scaling the hat down, I found that it was a perfect fit on the penguin’s head.
Step 4: The Eyes
As a finishing touch, I gave both animals eyes. I extruded two polygons on each face, sunk them into the head a bit, and colored the polygons black. I also added a white highlight to the eyes by extruding the furthest polygons, shrinking them down, and moving them up. I also gave them a white coloring.
Step 5: Final Thoughts
I am very proud of this ornament. To me, it is a testament to how the spirit of the season can bring the most unlikely of people, or animals, together.
And so, to all you and yours, I wish you a great and joyous holiday season.