Shawn Blanch (blanchsb)

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PolyBook 2020 - blanchsb

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  • Hi Shawn, here's an alternative way:

    Select the two verts, like this:

    Press ALT+V and immediately Enter. (This is called Rip Fill; it makes two new vertices and fills the space between them (with a face ,in this case))

    Go into Face Select Mode and select the top face:

    Then move the face back:

    If you already have a loop cut, like you have, then it's simply a matter of ALT+M > merge by distance.

    • spikeyxxx That is awesome! I was familiar with the rip, but rip-fill I did not know about. Thanks man.

      The only caveat I see is there are 2 faces on the side and top when I do that (see image below). (not a big deal if I have an edge loop to move that new face back to and then merge by distance)

      If there is a loop cut: I know if I extend all the back to a loop cut then the ALT + M should remove all those verts but I find that slightly strange those faces exist after the ALT + V instead of making an N-gon out of the side and top face. I guess because it 'rips & fills" in all directions/faces  even if the ripped verts are in the exact same place as the original verts?

      With no previously defined edge loop to go back to I get these phantom faces with no substance to them left behind.

      Either way this is much quicker (as long as I plan the edge loops to merge back to in advance). Thanks spikeyxxx.

      Thinking along these lines: I came across the BoxCutter and/or HardOps addon's from the blender marketplace. Does anyone have experience with these and can recommend for/against them? I'm not looking for add-ons to do everything for me or rob me of the basics but I can see where some specific add-ons help the workflow better. Perhaps I should make a separate post about it though.

    • blanchsb I would say, go watch this recorded livestream and judge for yourself:


    • blanchsb Hmm, not sure where those faces are coming from, but you can simply select them (in face select mode of course) and X > Delete Faces.

      I have HardOps myself and it is great for easy Booleans. Doesn't create nice topology though (it's still just Booleans!).

      Like Miranda said, watch that live stream and maybe some of the demo's you can find on the website:

      It's worth the money if you want to make those kind of things, but personally, I have hardly used it so far (you do get lifelong upgrades!)

    • ssmurfmier1985 Woah, the first 20 minutes seemed a little over my head. I will have to watch more of that later. Hard Ops looks like it would be good for hard surface modeling for sure.

      I do want to come back and look at  the Box Cutter one too.

      spikeyxxx  yeah I deleted those faces and the side vertices end up becoming disonnected from everything then, weird. BUT that is only when I do that without an edge loop to move back too. I think I understand why that is happening and just work in a way that avoids that shortcoming since ALT + M doesn't fix that problem. (a knife operation and ALT + M would though I suppose)

      Thanks for the info about the two add-ons. I will save up for them. Bank is empty after the laptop purchase and will have to wait for a few weeks. I can live without it for now. Sounds like you do too haha.

    • UPDATE! 2.90 has a new Extrude Tool:

    • It’s like they knew I wanted NGONS!

      So is the 2.9 alpha out spikeyxxx  ?

    • Yes 2.90 Alpha is out as you can see;)

      Available from or build it yourself...

    • That is amazing. 2.9 forbidden fruit tastes so good spikeyxxx  

      I like how it doesn't have an icon assigned yet haha. Thanks for taking the time to post this.

  • August 22, 2019 - Day 2: Modeling Revolver - Blockout Continued

    I only had time for the handle because I caught some of the live stream regarding the Hard-Ops add-on. I was above my head for the first twenty minutes. I did learn a little bit about boolean operators (familiar with them from Affinity Designer but not in a 3D sense). I might have too many verts on that back edge. I guess I will see when I make detail loops. I also like this random color looked option for each object. Makes it easier to focus.

  • August 23, 2019 - Day 3: Modeling Revolver - Blockout Complete & Adding Details

    After finishing the blockout, I dove into the forward piece for details alongside the tutorial. I am getting the hang of some of the topology tricks, though I am not sure I am able to do them on the fly by myself yet. Deep breaths and it will come with time.

    Question to the hardened veterans: One thing I noticed on this tutorial is that there are a lot of 'detail' edge loops near corners that are supposed help keep corners and details 'sharp' when using the subdivision surface modifier. Yet, in the Modeling a treasure chest course there was more emphasis on using the 'sharp' edge marking. Why the two different methods??? I would think that marking sharp would be less taxing on memory since there are fewer edge loops but perhaps that is incorrect? Does 'marking' an edge as 'sharp' stay with the model if it were to get exported for a game asset into Unity? Maybe someone can clarify this for me. Thanks. See reference image below:

    This was a good stopping point. I will work on the front face tomorrow and transition to the rest of the body if I have time.

    • blanchsb there are two methods of smoothing, one is using the subdivision surface modifier in conjunction with holding edges (widely used for high poly modeling and animated movies/VFX and such), one is the bevel method in conjunction with auto smooth and mark sharp (used often for hard surface modeling or modeling for games). It depends on your your type of project which is best to use. There’s a chapter in the ‘normal map modeling for games’ course that tells a bit more about it.

      Once you watch Lampels game creation courses you’ll also get more insight in how things will look inside Unity, since he covers importing in a couple of his courses :)

  • Hi Shawn. 

    A bit late, but for future use...

    I've found another way to 'cut' a face back!

    Enable the Addon Mesh: Edit Mesh Tools.

    With the face selected, go to Face Tools and select Push/Pull Faces:

    This does exactly what you wanted, without creating unwanted geometry;)

    • spikeyxxx Perfect!!! Spikeyxxx for the win!

      ssmurfmier1985 interesting.....I figured the bevel method would be the way to go. I’ll look into the game creation series and normal maps once I get through this set of training. Thanks.

    • spikeyxxx Wow! That Mesh Edit Tools is amazing!

      Pushing an pulling faces has never been so easy! Reminds me of my days working in SolidEdge as an engineering student.

      The only limitations with the push/pull is that it seems to only do 1 face at a time. (I'm okay with that). 

      Also using the repeat action SHIFT + R my blender crashed on the push/pull action........ it probably is a 👾 and wasn't designed for that action. This is a powerful add-on though. So glad you mentioned that!Thanks.

      There's a lot more here too such as face shapes, split and solidify, and bevel options. As a homage: here's a Spikey Orb I was able to make with very few clicks out of an IcoSphere.

    • blanchsb Glad it's helpful!

      I just 'found' this addon yesterday (I did a fresh install of my OS and all my software and then I had to change my Preferences and stumbled upon this addon and thought, let's give this a try and see what it does...).

      And yes, SHIFT+R crashes Blender...(probably should mention that to the developer, there is a nice 'report a bug' button where the addon is...)

      Thanks for the orb!

  • August 24, 2019 - Day 4: Modeling Revolver - Adding Details continued

    Revolver is looking a lot cooler. I had some fun using the Mesh Edit Tools add-on especially for the cross-hair. I am beginning to understand the detail loops workflow better but I need more practice on joining circles into the middle of objects. Once I have edge loops established between both sets of meshes it doesn't seem to hard to join them together. I am getting close to completion on this training.....

    • blanchsb How did you highlight the edges?  Is it a viewport setting?

    • williamatics My guess is turning on the ‘cavity’ option on the viewport overlays, which acts like AO and highlights the edges. You can set those to ‘screen’ or ‘world’, each has its own look. I typically use the world setting.

    • ssmurfmier1985 Miranda said it best. Although I am fond of the 'Screen' type of Cavity detection.

      williamatics It's all found in the Viewport Shading Menu in the Header. The cavity feature is by far one of my favorite little nuggets in blender 2.8. I like it so much I wish it was native to the Eevee shader. You can also adjust the exterior edge and internal edge width settings using a slider bar (say you want more pronounced outer edges but less pronounced inner edges).

      One cool thing is that you can technically render in the Workbench (LookDev) mode and send out quick renders with that enabled. 

      One question I have is: What do Specular Lighting and Depth of Field exactly do? I have toggled them various times and I don't seem to see anything different.

  • August 24, 2019 - Day 4: Modeling Revolver - Adding Details: Handle

    Wow! The hande extrusion section was a lot more rough for me than the tutorial. Somehow I ended up with a couple extra faces on the lower strap extrusion and it took a decent amount of work to flatten it even with the Loop Tools Add-On. But I am glad I had it handy or it would have been worse and I would have started the handle exercise all over again.

    The screws taught me that sometimes it is better to extrude some faces as opposed to 'cutting' other faces back. Extruding the outer flat-head round part to make the flat-head slot was much easier than cutting the flat-head slot, mainly because I had already made the screw head somewhat rounded so cutting faces back proved to be troublesome. The tutorial training saved the day there.

    New shortcut keys learned today as well: F9 (context menu for last action), and Ctrl + Spacebare for toggle full screen. Huzzah! Also I kinda like seeing one side in edit mode and the other in object mode. 

  • August 25, 2019 - Day 5: Modeling Revolver - Completion

    I finished the tutorial and tried the hammer on my own without watching first. It turned out decent I think!

    Here's the overall look after completing the back end.

    Then as a celebration I added a lattice modifier to all of the gun parts and made it look just a tad more stylized and added some stylized shading. I am happy I took this course because my detail loop modeling skills took a nice boost.

    Next steps from here: I will begin working on my game character gun. (Much more simple of a concept hopefully). Details to come....

  • August 26, 2019 - Day 6: Game Asset Creation - Shooter Gun

    Shooter Gun is what my son Owen affectionately called my pistol I just finished. So we're gonna roll with that for the first game asset creation.

    Inspiration Context: My ultimate goal (one day in a far off future time) is to create a turn-based strategy game with silly-yet lovable characters. Simple mechanics. So I drafted up my first teams for the game 2+ years ago and they have been burning a hole in my soul telling me to complete them. 

    Shooter-Gun Backstory: First team up is the WarHogz. A group of zany pig (and not so pig) characters. The first of which that I drew up and also created in 3D was Pot Belly Porker. He is my avatar on this site after all. Well now it is time to do him some justice and make his 'shooter gun'. Then following this it will be appropriate to move onto Hambo's Bacon8r Inifite-Cyclical Pump Action Shotty.

    Reference #1: Initial Image for artistic reference: Shooter Gun is wielded by Pot Belly Porker on the top left.

    First thoughts are: "hmmm..... yeah but kinda basic and blocky, but a good first pass. I like the shape of the barrel and the strap, the rest can be improved upon."

    Reference #2: Pot Belly Porker in 3D. (WIP for better modeling days to come). He doesn't have all the proportions 100% yet but he's close. It is required that shooter gun strap onto Porker's arm/hoof. Keeps it silly and zany when he fires because there is no trigger for this thing.

    Requirement to make shooter gun be strapped to hoof/arm

    Reference #3 & 4: Blaster Styles to pull inspiration from. I will also add a requirement to have a site reticle for 'aiming'.

    Simple yet Stylized - but no trigger

    That's it for requirements and inspiration for now. Time to get blendin. Any additional reference or ideas are definitely welcome.

    Overview of requirements:

    Stylized look


    Needs a strap

    Site Reticle

    No Trigger

    Lo-Poly style (optional but desired)

  • August 28, 2019 - Day 7: Game Asset Creation - Shooter Gun

    I have a basic blockout done. Not sure hoe much more detail I am wanting to get into for this since I want to keep things simple for the main shape.

    Next part is figuring out the reticle and making things tie together better.

    Question to the veterans: Is it better to make separate objects or 1 single object? Many gun game assets I see in quick examples shown around CG town are typically 1 model. I'm thinking more in regards to when I want to get different colors/materials/shaders. Should I 'Divide and Conquer' or 'Stick together'???

    • Hi Shawn, it really doesn't matter that much; just do what makes you feel comfortable.

      As for color, materials and shaders, one object can have as many different materials as you want, so no need to consider that...

      What does matter is the modifiers. One object can only have one modifier stack.

      Think logically. If you make a human for instance, you can make the hands and even the fingers separate objects, but (at least to me) that wouldn't make sense (in normal cases). If the person is wearing a hat, it he/she always wearing it or maybe hangs it on a hook or whatever...You get the point;)

    • Yeah that makes perfect sense spikeyxxx. I hadn't thought about modifier contribution. Very important as well.

      I was wondering more along the lines of performance as well. Maybe jgonzalez would be better suited to answer to that being the unity mentor

  • Needed to take a "life" break this weekend since my & wife's family are in town for our daughter's baptism. I'll get back into the modeling come Monday. I have been thinking about adding in some kind of liquid/bubble in the middle of the gun and make the ammo be more of an energy ammo (like plasma or something). Still tinkering with the idea but the break is giving me time to reflect on it some more. Will post more on Monday. I am kind of partial to the Omolon liquid ammo look from destiny 2 and want to incorporate something similar but slightly silly.

  • September 2, 2019 - Day 8: Game Asset Creation - Shooter Gun cont...

    I came back with a refreshed mind after family visits were over. 

    Went back to work on the Shooter Gun, deleted some geometry, and added Lt. Porker for size reference.

    Need to think more about the handle since, it's not really needed I want it to be there as a prop if anything. 

    Added a bubble port on the side and am thinking some green bubbly slime of similar for the contents on the inside. 

    Still need to add the strap, reticle, and work the handle some more.

    I added some detail geometry on the top and will probably work on transitional geometry between the two objects for the top and bubble on the side. But for now this is what I got completed.

    Shooter Gun WIP 2

  • September 8, 2019 - Day 9: Game Asset Creation - Shooter Gun Wrap-up

    I got the reticle and band created and did some wrap-up work for the handle and bubble. It is looking as complete as I think it should.

    The only thing left for me to figure out is, how do I add a slimy-juice mixture with varying sized bubbles kind of stuck like Jello (I'm thinking of 'flubber'-like material).

    Anyone have any ideas how to make the green bubble on my gun look a little more like this image? I supposed I could make an image texture and 'paint it'.

    • Are you doing the bubbles in blender or in unity or ue4?

    • louhikarme I was hoping on creating the bubbles in blender but the game will eventually go in Unity. I can do it there instead later I suppose.

    • not sure how to do it in unity, but in ue4 i'd most likely do that with mixing different textures together and then have them move creating movement. and actually you could do this in blender aswell.

      create black and white textures or create procedural ones. that has different sizes of bubbles and other details you want, blend them all together with color inputs and then animate. in ue4 that would be panning the textures. also since i don't know how unity does procedural textures, you might need to create those afterall.

    • Ok that makes sense to me. Thanks louhikarme  Kaj! I have Amplify Shader Editor in Unity so I'll take a look and consider whether I want to do this in blender or unity.

      One of my weaknesses right now it getting my models exported properly to unity with all of their textures/materials I have created in blender. I know there is a better way to do it but once I finish animating Lt Porker here I will post some questions on how to do that more efficiently.

  • October 21, 2019 - Day 10: Game Asset Creation - Raraku Character from Team UnMask'd

    It's been quite a few weeks since I have posted. I had to take a break from posting but am back now. Been busy working on my next couple of characters. I submitted on to the modeling challenges live stream. His name is Raraku (a.k.a. Scratch in the Maori tongue). He is one of the indigenous tribal full-body-mask wearers of UnEyeland. 

    While modeling I was using subdivision surface modifiers because I am still learning modeling and am not overly confident in my lo poly modeling style yet. So I made Raraku in his high poly version first, as seen below:

    Raraku - High Poly

    After receiving feedback and modeling advice I was reminded that the model was too high poly for a mobile app. but he looks pretty decent. Thankfully all my modifiers were still active so it is super easy to go back to lo-poly haha.

    However it can still be optimized because it makes 19k triangles at the end of the day. I got some tips and tricks to make the leaves a single plane with a texture on it (which cuts down on faces a lot since it is duplicated 8 times, cutting down 1 faces cuts down 8 in total). Half of that 19k is the leaves haha. And I can cut down on the faces for the arms and legs. There really is no need for that many faces on the slender sections.

    I still have to learn about baking better to get high poly detail on a lo poly model and perhaps it may even not be needed.

    This character will be zoomed out on a battle-field in chess-style combat so I did an overview of what he looks like in his low poly mode below:

    Lo Poly Zoomed Out with a free-style effect.

    Man all that work and I hardly notice all of the sharp and jagged edges. But some of my more fine detail headaches in high poly mode also went away (time not-well spent haha). But I have a high poly model for advertising and showing him off now.

    I learned a lot and Raraku is my first character after some intense training on live streams and on my own. My journal content took a dip but my skills took a boost. At the end of the day I learned some valuable lessons. 

    Onward to working on Raraku's Rock Friend: Whakato (Stomping masked friend).

  • October 21, 2019 - Day 10: Game Asset Creation - Whakato (Thud) Character from Team UnMask'd

    This week I focused my training efforts on recreating yet another character from team UnMask'd. His name is Whakato (loosely translated to "Thud"). As one of the full-bodied mask wearers this character formed his mask from the large hulking stones on the rugged shores of UnEyeLand. The sheer weight of this mask empowers the wearer to super human strength although movement is still quite awkward thus his movement distance is quite limited. Whatako inflicts damage mostly by falling on top of his enemies. His stone is unyielding grant him high attack power as well as extra armor at the cost of movement.

    Here's the reference image: I made this 5+ years ago. Thinking that I wanted to see some arms, I decided against it after going 3D. I'll explain why. I also rethought the feet.

    When I got the model up and a rough block out done I realized that the sides are much too flat and don't mesh well with a flat back. So I decided to give him some "detachable" ears that the character's arms are fused into. The arms will still come out but they weren't going to be doing any punching so I thought attaching them to ears would be a humorous endeavor to show some emotion during animations when moving or being hurt or dying.

    The large feet did not look good no mater how much I tried to get them to look like the 3D picture. Instead I made some more detailed rock feet that his feet have fused to. The feet will retract into the lower part of the mask while the ears will rest at the sides. I'm thinking he will totter and teeter back and forth on these little feat.

    That's it for this week's training and experience building. I think I am going to do one more mask and then work some more official training from the CGCookie coursework.

  • November 29, 2019 - Day 11: Game Asset Creation - Maki Maki (Primate) Character from Team UnMask'd

    Man it has been a month already. I had 2 cars with problems and a bunch of mechanics tools and youtube. So I bit the free-time bullet and had to fix them. In the meantime I got marginal work done on Maki Maki.

    It spent the rest of this weekend finishing him. I really liked copying the face reference from my sketch all those years ago. I think I nailed it. 

    And I kept him quite low poly.

    Maki MakiEdit Mesh

    Next up is the 'id' character. All the previous ones drew their strength from their masks. The 'id' draws it's strength from the wearer. Allowing the mask to levitate. My more creepy of the characters.

  • Been almost a year since my last polybook posting. Not that I have been slacking. Just working on the backhoe project for a while.

    I bought the Blender Bros mech course to learn more of the hard surface workflow just to stretch my wings in other modeling directions while I wait anxiously for the next blender collab project to go underway.

    Here's my progress on Mech 1 (beginners mech). I finished basic blockout and am working the bevels on most of the boolean cuts. IT's painful to look at such bad topology yet watch it come out mostly clean on the other side.......wierd, haha. HardOps and BoxCutter sure do have some very fun uses though and I want to learn them better to take advance of workflow improvements.

    This is one reason I am using this workflow, to stretch more modeling muscles in unique ways.

  • Additional detailing work on the leg joints and chain gun

  • Some more level 3 detailing on the legs. I ended up using Fluent - Power Trip for the twisted-shielded wire array connection, it's super fun to play with curves and fluent makes the basic setup pretty darn easy so I can enjoy the more creative part.

  • Small side comment today. I got to talk to Grant Abbit in a livestream on Discord while they were doing a live-Q&A on their new kickstarter project from with drawing for game design (link here for anyone interested).

    I can't say how cool it is to talk with your hero's. Grant and CGCookie have really pushed me to work on the stuff that I find therapeutic and fun in life. I get to check that box off now!

  • Took a break from the robot today to make some assets for a work flow-diagram for our test cells on the hardware we use for DAQ.
    This is going onto a 2D paper but I just couldn't help make them on my own because 'The Google' pictures just didn't quite cut it for me.
    I have a few more things to make but I think this is coming along quite nicely so far!

    • Here's the final systems layout that I put together (no labels but you get the idea):

      I used the Desktop Monitor/PC/Keyboard, Network Icon and the YOKOGAWA and Gas Chromatograph from other sources but all of the custom monitor images are done by me along with everything else. I think it turned out pretty nice!