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Blender through the wine glass

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So, I heard going from Blender to Maya is a breeze.

Well, try going from Maya to Blender? You'll need a glass of wine once you start.

I decided Maya is ... it's not in the budget. Maya is my go-to program. In most universities, Autodesk's Maya and 3DS MAX are the only programs.

Maya is great. I love it, but I decided it's time to suck it up and learn Blender. In this article, I'll take you on my journey going from Maya to Blender by creating a wine glass.

First, I created the glass in Maya Student Version 2015. It's a very basic model to create if you take these steps:

1. Go to Front View

2. Open your CV Curves Tool and draw your curve

3. Open the Surface Menu Option where you'll find an option called Revolve. This will create the geometry of the glass rotated around the curve. *Select the axis you'd like your curve to revolve around. I chose the X-axis.

Then voila! A wine glass is created.

Because this article is about me switching to Blender, I'll start from the very beginning.

1. Downloading

Ok, first let's just start with downloading the program.

It's free!

It was a simple download. It took all of 5 minutes to be ready to use.

2. Opening a New Project

OK, break out the wine glasses and uncork your bottle!

There is this mysterious cube in the scene. When creating in Maya your scene is empty. Umm...delete.

"No, you must never delete the cube!" is what I pictured Jonathan Hyde saying as the character Dr. Allen Chamberlain from film, The Mummy.

So, this is where I messed up.

Never ever, ever, ever delete the cube.

I deleted my cube, which apparently prevents you from creating anything that I know of. I'll come back to this.

3. Navigation

Now I have a new scene and a cube. I left click to select the cube.

I click, select.

I click, select.

I click, select!

I want to throw my mouse out onto a speeding highway.

I imagine this is how an Englishman would feel learning how to drive on an American road where everyone drives on the wrong side. Anyway ...

Apparently, left mouse click is NOT the object selection options. Right mouse is how you select.

When I do click the left mouse button my cursor seems to follow me everywhere I go like my shadow. The cursor is rather annoying coming from a Maya background, but I have come to appreciate it.

The location of the cursor dictates where your object created in the scene is placed. In Maya, I can click drag and create wherever I want.

Navigation in Blender may be the major reason why Maya users have problems switching over. Blender navigation is capable but it's not as intuitive for me coming from Maya.

4. ViewPort

I'm ready to create my curve for my glass, but I need to open my front viewport.

There are many great menu options in Blender. The viewports are similar to the ones in Maya. If you're switching from Maya to Blender, you won't have a problem with the viewports; although I do prefer the viewports in Maya.

5. Let's Start Creating

OK, earlier I mentioned do not ever, ever, ever delete the cube.

If you delete the cube completely you can't create an object from just vertices. The proper way I've seen in other tutorials is to delete the cube by its vertices, but not the cube. (mmmm, OK?)

It's like some philosophical message, "The cube is here but it doesn't really exist?"

I can't explain why this is.

It just is.

This part of the modeling I can do without.

After I figure out it's not a good idea to delete the cube, drawing the vertices are actually simple.

To draw the vertices, I ctrl+click left mouse button. Once I finished my curve the only problem I had was moving the vertices, which, once again, is dealing with navigating in the scene and moving objects. I use the g hotkey and the left mouse button to move vertices around.

6. Spin the Wine Glass to gold.

The curve I've created needs to be revolved into geometry. Blender has the super-cool tool called Spin that acts somewhat like Revolve in Maya.

I had trouble getting the Spin tool to work.

I couldn't find anywhere in the Spin options that allowed me to choose the axis to spin around.

My first Spin looked like a vortex to the next dimension where the Cube now resides.

After a couple of tries, I realized toggling in the viewport to the Top view and Spinning the curve actually worked. It spun a beautiful geometry in the shape of a wine glass comparable to the one in Maya.

I was pleased with my results after adding materials to the wine glass, which was easy to navigate.

Blender is worth learning if you have the time and not the money for Maya or any other software because It's Free!

The quality of Blender models is exceptional. It's a headache at first but with some time and practice, I think it'll grow on me.


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