The basic modeling tools
The following are a selection of modeling tools that are common to most 3D applications.
Insert Edge Loop (Mesh Tools / Insert Edge Loop
). This tool divides a loop of polygons into two sets, via an edge loop
Extrude (Edit Mesh / Extrude
). Here here every other polygon in a cylinder has been extruded to produce a crude gear.
Extrude (Edit Mesh / Bevel
). Here all edges of the gear have had extra geometry added. This acts to smooth those edges. The key adjustable value is the 'Segments', which governs the amount of polygons added to the edge. In the first bevel only one segment has been added. In the second, two have been added.
Extrude (Edit Mesh / Bridge
). In order for Bridge to work, the two objects need to be combined into one, by first selecting them both, then Mesh / Combine
. Thereafter, the two facing edges can be bridged. The Bridge options box offers the option to smooth the bridge, which is particularly useful for when the two edges are not facing each other (as shown in the bottom example pair).
Duplicate (Edit / Duplicate
or Command D
). Duplicates the selected object (only works in object mode
Duplicate may be followed by Duplicate with Transform (Edit / Duplicate With Transform
or Shift D
). This duplicates the duplication... creating an array.