In a lot of tutorials the authors start out with a custom shape that they don't explain how to make. By custom shape I mean something that isn't based on one of the primitive shapes, so no extruding, etc. A good example of what I mean is something like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QY7iJmqsJf8 when he shows the bullet he made but didn't show how. I am also curious as to how to go about this with more complex shapes, like for example highly detailed models.

I apologize if this is a very easy to answer question, but all of the tutorials I can find talk about advanced automatic features and completely skip the actual modeling which is what interests me most right now.

To clarify, I am NOT talking about just subdividing something.. I am asking how to make shapes from scratch like seemingly almost everyone is able to do in a minute or two.

Thank you for reading and I appreciate all responses because I have a lot to learn.

  • $\begingroup$ Go check Blender Guru's modelling tuts. They are amazing. :) $\endgroup$ – Rogue Lotus 4 Oct 24 '17 at 4:49

That's more or less how it's done. You model them, starting from a primitive.

For example, to make a bullet you might start with a cylinder or circle (ShiftA>Mesh) and then extrude (E) and scale (S) to top ring repeatedly, finally merging it into a single vertex (AltM):

enter image description here

Note that you must be in Edit mode in order to edit the underlying geometry of an object (you can toggle edit mode quickly with Tab).

For more complex models, you might use a different primitive. For example, most round objects (e.g. bowl) can be started with a circle, while for a more free-form object you might use a plane or even a single vertex:

This is a rather sloppy example, especially as I could have used a circle as the starting mesh, but I think you get the idea.

There are many great tutorials on modeling in blender (look around on youtube etc.), here's a list of some good resources.

Another thing you can do is watch modeling time-lapses like this one.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Thanks a ton for that second .gif as it makes sense. I apparently was very mistaken as to how things work and appreciate the responses from everyone! $\endgroup$ – JustaCookie May 20 '14 at 2:39

almost everyone is able to do in a minute or two

That's wrong. Most models you might encounter in videos are either really easy to do (the bullet as explained in the answer by gandalf3) or the video of their making is speedup (can take up to 30 hours and more).

So how do you model these detailed things? I think a good tutorial to start with may be this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LADw_gBQJI . Now of course this is not top-notch but I guess you can learn something from it already.

So maybe you noticed that the guy had a reference image placed in the background (irony: it's very subtle). This is often/always? used. Even when designing game characters or the-like you will have a concept art. That will allow you to use the picture as a reference to the look you wanted to give your model and speeds up the process. Modeling from scratch without concept art requires skill, training and a good 3d-visualization and is definitly more exhausting than modeling from an image. A second skill you should develop is a sense for the "looks" of an object. Rotate your camera a bit and try to visualize the current state of the model. Now you should - in general - ask yourself "Does it look natural?". This requires experience and doesn't come from itself so just "get to it" however the outcome may look, you'll do better next time.

Learning modeling is a process and doesn't end.

Also most tutorial videos might use models found on blendswap.com (you have to register though), just for a hint.


Here is the only way I have found to do what you actually asked:

Create a plane. Delete all its vertices. Then Ctrl+L to draw new vertices. Select the vertices you want and hit F to make a face.


User2853325, the way you word your question suggests that have not yet attained a very high degree of competence using Blender. If you were facile with the software, you realize the paradox in the following excerpt from you question:

To clarify, I am NOT talking about just subdividing something.. I am asking how to make shapes from scratch like seemingly almost everyone is able to do in a minute or two.

The fact is that subdividing something is an essential technique used in making a mesh "from scratch". An alternative to the animation in Gandalf3's answer, where he extruded the top ring of a cylinder, and scaled it in, would be to take a closed cylinder primitive, select all of the edges on the top, subdivide the edges twice, and pull the new rings up to the desired point.

I'd suggest that you review my answer to this Blender Stack Exchange question. I'd also suggest that at this stage in your investigation of Blender that you look more for tutorials that are at a "basic" level; while the preceding video in the tutorial is labeled "basic" the Blender Cookie website, the video to which you link is rated"intermediate"; if you found the video through a search on Youtube (as contrasted with finding it from the CG Cookie website, you might want to include the word "basic" in your search parameters.


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