Part 6 - Learning to bend
When modeling jewelry, it is important to remember that most jewelry made today are not made with straight lines, 90 degree angles and sharp edges. Most jewelry designs are made of curves, circles and soft angles. It is important that we as modelers using Blender 3d, learn to bend options to meed the requirements of the designs we make.
Watch the video here...
How to Bend Blender Objects
We need to start off slow. Bending objects in Blender is relatively easy, and once you practice a bit, you will discover just how simple it really is. However, before you start grabbing objects in your 3d view window and try to bend them, there are some things that we have to cover first. We’ll call them the Prerequisites.
So, before you go bending any of the objects you can add to the screen, lets talk about which ones work best. Long objects work better for bending, especially when it comes to making jewelry designs.
In the example to the right, we’ve added a cylinder, and scaled it up along the z-axis. If you’ve watched the video, you’ll already know that if you don’t add any loop cuts to your design, it won’t bend.
To add loop cuts to an object, you first have to be in ‘Edit’ mode.
You can toggle between edit and object mode in blender by pressing the ‘TAB’ key. With that said, the following procedures are use to modify the object and ready it for bending…
- With the Object selected, press the ‘TAB’ key to enter Edit Mode
- While in Edit Mode, press “CTR-R’, this will add a loop cut to the center of the object.
- you can either type in a number on the keyboard, i.e. 50 to add 50 loop cuts, or use your mouse scroll wheel to add or remove as many loop cuts you wish.
- Once you have all the loop cuts you want, press the enter key twice, or the left key twice to make the look cuts permanent.
Playing with the Bend Tool
I am going to pass on a little tip. I tend not to work in perspective viewing when I use the bending tool. I look to have a straight forward or side view. If you are working in perspective 3d viewing, you will end up bending your model in ways you can’t imagine, nor be able to undo if it gets out of hand.
Remember the following numeric keypad buttons…
“1” will put you into “front” view
“3” will put you in “side” view
“7” will put you in “top” view
Press the “1” key on the numeric keypad, or select “top view” from the view angle menu.
Note that the 3d cursor is located at the center of the model. If you move your mouse cursor to the top of the object, you can then begin using the bend tool
Press the “Shift-W” key, and you will notice that a line is drown from the 3d cursor to the mouse cursor. This line represents the strength of the angle you wish to bend your object. Move your mouse cursor around and play with the bending of the object.
“Left Click” to save the changes of the bending
“Right Click” to cancel those changes
Remember, if you make a mistake, press the “CTR-Z” key to cancel the last command. The more you press “CTR-Z”, however, the farther back you go in your model changes. Don’t get carried away, you can’t undo an undo!
Practice Makes Perfect
Of course, any object in blender 3d can be bent or curved. You just have to keep in mind some objects bend better than others.
Don’t forget, you have to remember to have enough loop cuts in your model to allow for bending. You have to be in “Edit” mode to perform the bend function. Don’t forget the more loops, the better the details.
Give it a shot, and practice as much as you can, and try to re-create the 4-prong head that I created in the video. We’ll be using this method to create some different styles in the one of the next parts of this course.
If this helped you, great. If there are any questions you have, please let me know.
Thanks guys, and happy modeling.