Below you can find tutorials and design notes used during the training sessions of the project.
The tutorials and notes shared below come from existing sources that provide their content openly. We do not claim that we developed this content from scratch, we just share the resources used – and in some cases we accompany them with our own notes, as discussed during the lessons.
In the case of own notes, there are some of them that don’t necessarily follow the correct “theory” but they work in practice, which is what we wanted to achieve in these lessons.
The structure of this page starts with some technical requirement for the models to work with the GAD Game and then follows a series of tutorials based on Blender (which was the chosen software for the development of the 3d models). We’ll also briefly introduce some other software and services that greatly helped this process.
How to use the gad game
In order to have the best possible experience with the GAD Game, you can follow the guides and videos below that will help you navigate the available options, choose and save a model, as well as understanding the feedback of the quizzes.
GAD Game Requirements for 3d designs
In order for a 3d model to be uploaded on the GADGame, we need to follow these requirements:
Preferred format for loading 3d models to the GAD Game, because it is written in binary making it faster to read and write
Amount of polygons used Estimated 35.000 to 40.000 polygons although these are not set numbers and depend on many factors
3 to 8 Mb
Preferrable size of exported 3d models
In other words:
A 3D model with 30K polygons and 2K texture/normal resolution under 8 megabytes is suitable for GADGame
Also, keep in mind, that for designs on a beginner level, these requirements do not change the process for creating a 3d model. The issue would arise mainly in models created by professional designers who can create more detailed and polished models.
3D MODELING BASICS
During the trainings, there were 2 sessions that were dedicated to the basics of 3d modeling. These are the sessions 2 and 3 which you can access their presentations and bibliography in the page “Training Sessions“
Below you can find some of the definitions of the basic concepts around 3d modeling:
These are the basic building blocks of 3D models. A vertex is a point in 3D space, an edge is a line connecting two vertices, and a face is a flat polygon made up of three or more connected edges.
general steps to create your 3d model
WORKING WITH BLENDER
Creating a mesh from scratch
- Open Blender and create a new project by selecting File > New or pressing Ctrl + N on your keyboard.
- By default, you should be in Object Mode. Go to “Scene collection” pane (generally on the top right side of the workspace), go to each element and press Delete on your keyboard to remove them
- Now that the 3d panel is empty (aka “3d Viewport”), select the Cube object from the Add menu by pressing Shift + A and selecting Mesh > Cube.
- You can manipulate the cube by selecting it with your mouse (left-click on it) or using the “Scene Collection” menu, and then using the Transform tools in the left side of the 3D Viewport, you can move, scale, and rotate the cube using the arrows, squares, and circles respectively. As a beginner, use mainly the tools from places 3 to 6 (move, rotate, scale and transform)
- To edit the mesh, switch to Edit Mode by selecting the drop-down menu at the top of the 3D Viewport (which says “Object Mode”) and selecting Edit Mode.
- In Edit Mode, you can add and manipulate vertices, edges, and faces. For example, to add a vertex, select a face of the cube and press Ctrl + RMB (Right Mouse Button) to create a new vertex. (Learn more about its use here)
- To add an edge, select two (unconnected) vertices and press F. To create a face, select three or more (unconnected) vertices and press F. You can select vertices, edges, and faces by pressing Ctrl+LMB (Left Mouse Button) on them. (For more check out this post)
- To extrude a face or edge, select it and press E. You can then move the extruded edge or face using the Transform tools.
- To delete vertices, edges, or faces, select them and press X or Delete on your keyboard.
- When you’re finished creating your mesh, switch back to Object Mode by selecting it from the drop-down menu at the top of the 3D Viewport.
- Now you can also check the polygon count of your design on the bottom right corner of your workspace which will look like this
Cube | Verts: n/n | Edges: n/n | Faces: n/n | Tris: n | Objects: n/n | n.n.n where n is any number and "Cube" can also differ or mention "Collection"
- Export your design from the menu on the top left File > Export
To add detail to your model, you can use a variety of techniques and tools, such as subdividing, sculpting, and adding modifiers.
- To subdivide your mesh, select the entire mesh in Edit Mode by pressing A, then press RMB and select Subdivide. By default it will divide each face in half. At the bottom left side there is now the Subdivide window which you can open to change the settings and divide your model more times. This will add more vertices and edges, allowing you to create more complex shapes and details.
- To sculpt your mesh, switch to Sculpt Mode by selecting it from the drop-down menu at the top of the 3D Viewport. You can then use tools such as the Grab, Smooth, and Inflate brushes – among others – to manipulate the mesh and add detail. To learn more follow this guide.
- To add modifiers to your mesh, select the mesh in Edit Mode and select the Add Modifier button on the Properties panel (below Scene Selection). You can then choose from a variety of modifiers, such as Subdivision Surface, Bevel, and Solidify, to add detail to your mesh. To learn what each modifier does, follow this guide.
Once you’ve added the desired level of detail, switch back to Object Mode by selecting it from the drop-down menu at the top of the 3D Viewport.
You can then add materials and textures to your model to further enhance its detail and realism.
- To add a material, select the mesh in Object Mode and select the Materials tab (the second to last icon that is a red-sh sphere) in the Properties panel. You can then add a new material and adjust its properties, such as its color, shininess, and transparency. To see how it looks, open either the preview option within the Materials tab, or change to Viewport shading “Material Preview” option (3rd sphere on the top right corner of the 3d viewport).
- To add a texture, select the mesh in Object Mode and select the Texture tab (last icon that looks like a red-ish checkerboard) in the Properties panel. You can then add a new texture and choose from a variety of texture types, such as Image or Procedural. To learn more about applying textures and different ways of working, click here.
- Finally, you can render your model to see the final result. Press F12 on your keyboard to render the current view.
Creating a mesh from reference image
There are many ways to create a mesh, such using photo reference to design the model, or editing existing models that are freely available.
The second option is relatively easy to work with since you already have a model that you learn to manipulate.
For the option of using a reference image, the process is very similar as above with the difference being that in a way you “trace” the design. We will only focus here on adding the image and positioning it in a way that you can start tracing.
Open your Blender project and select the object you want to trace by left-clicking on it in Object Mode.
Press Shift+A and go to Image > Reference.
- In the pop-up window, select the image you want to use as a reference for tracing.
You can adjust the placement and scale of the image by changing the X/Y Offset and Size values. To do this you just select the image. You can also change the Opacity value to make the image more transparent if necessary.
If you want to add a second image for another view, repeat steps 3-5 for the second image.
Once you’ve added the images, switch to Orthographic View by pressing 5 on your keyboard’s numpad, and then either 1, 3, or 7 to switch to the front, side, or top view, respectively.
In the 3D Viewport, you should now see the images as a background reference for tracing your object.
Select your object and switch to Edit Mode by selecting it from the drop-down menu at the top of the 3D Viewport.
Use Blender’s modeling tools to trace the design of your object as already mentioned, using the images as a reference.
Once you’ve finished tracing your object, you can delete the background images simply by selecting them with your mouse and pressing Delete.
The guidelines below are also provided in Italian, Spanish and Greek in the form of pdf documents. The translated parts refer to the guidelines, excluding the names of the buttons and functions, so that there is no confusion when working on the Blender environment.
To access the multilingual versions of the step-by-step guides, click this button
Below you can also find a series of tutorials and additional resources to help you with clarifications and more functionalities not covered in the above guidelines.
Blender Studio > Trainings
Blender 3.2 Reference Manual [English]
Blender 3.2 Manual de Referencia [Espanol]
Manuale di Riferimento di Blender 3.2 [Italiano]