Modifying Meshes

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Edit Mode

While Object Mode allows you to transform, join, assign materials, overall work on a complete object

In Edit Mode, you work within a single object, on its subcompontents: Vertices, Edges, Faces and Origin.
To get into Edit Mode, select the object you want to modify by right click and press TAB -key, which toggles between Object and Edit Mode

The workflow will constantly toggle bwetween the two modes, so this is one of your most important Shrotcuts

or: change from default Object Mode from dropdown, (written) left on 3D VieportEditor Window (bottom)header, to Edit Mode

Center Point - Object Origin FEHLT !!!

Video by Neal Hirsig

Vertices, Edges and Faces

  • excerpt along video
flickr:5066069796 flickr:5066069018 flickr:5066069416

Vertices, Edges and Faces form the Polygonal Structure of a Mesh Object

( 4th subcomponent is Origin/Object Center Point (influences translation))

To work on these subcomponents and deform a selected object:

Press TAB key to get into Edit Mode and see subcomponents. (wireframe Z-key)

Choose between Vertex-, Edge- and Face Selection Mode via buttons in 3D Viewport bottomheader - see images

OR Shortcut: Press CTRL+TAB to change Mesh Selection Mode via in-screen mouse menu instead of using buttons in 3D ViewportEditor (bottom)header

Vertex: Point in Space with specific location ( see Location in N-Properties Panel (in 3D ViewportWindow))
and info about Colour Influence, Vector Normals and Texture Coordinates
Vertex Selection Mode is default mode when switching to Edit Mode - see Buttons in 3D Viewport Editor (bottom)header (see image)
Vertex Points get white when selected and show which edges they influence. (If you would delete this Vertex, these Edges would be deleted too.)

Edges: are the connection lines between Vertices
Edge Selection Mode: click Edge button besides Vertices button in 3D Viewport Editor bottomheader
To select edges ( become white) right click and transform, press ESC or right click again to deselect - left click to confirm transformation.
See in Transform Properties (N-Panel) that Edges have specific x-,y-, z-location too ( Median Point, named Median in panel too)

Faces: are a closed set of Edges) -
Face Selection Mode: click right Editmode-button in 3D ViewportEditor Window (see image), or CTRL+TAB - shortcut menu
select by rightclick on Median dot that represents face in wireframe, click face in solid shading mode - and transform
Face turns white when slected, Edges that are influenced turn yellow
Location in N-LoctionPanel is Median Point again
Faces can only be 3-sided (Triangle) or 4-sided (Quads) (try to avoid triangles generally for proper rendering of models, seek quads)
Polygon is a connection of Faces - hence Blender Mesh objects are called Polygons

Selecting Tipps

  • Press CTRL + +-key on NumPad repeatedly to extend selection to adjacent faces + by +

Add Mesh Objects in Edit Mode

Video by Neal Hirsig

  • A Mesh Object added in Edit Mode, will be part of that object : in Object Mode it forms one single object, how separated they may ever seem :)
  • When you add an Object in Edit Mode, only Mesh Objects will be provided - (and this lets you realize, that you did not switch to Object mode, when you did not intend to add an object it in Edit Mode:)
  • You can add any Mesh object in edit mode and combine them, delete parts that are not necessary - as one of many modeling strategies.

Select Vertices

(for deeper explanation of selection options, see Selecting under Working with Objects

  • excerpt along video
You will often work on the mesh of an object "inside" - rightclick-select it in Object Mode
  • TAB into Edit Mode

by default Vertex select Mode is on and all Vertices are selected

  • press A to deselect all veritces.
  • press SHIFT and right click to add to selection

when BoxSelecting press B- key, in orthogonal view, Vertices behind are selected too (see when rotating view by MiddleMouseclick+move) ( not when selceting single vertices by right click)

  • press Limit Selection button (3D Viewp. bottomheader, right besides Editselectionmodebuttons) to prevent unseen vertices (lying behind) from being selected in Solid Mode (will still be selected when in Wireframe Mode, even though Limit Selection button is on !)
  • Cirlce Select press C, adjust selection circle by scrolling mouse wheel - left click to select and right click to end/confirm selection;
  • If you hold down left mouse button after adjusting wheel in C circle select mode, , you can just drag/paint over vertices to select - very useful method
  • transformation of selected works like on object mode, most transformation tools for move, rotate and scale are available

the following headings go slightly deeper than the video explains:

Create a single Vertex and "draw" a Vertex "Line"

  • in Edit Mode you can create a single Vertex by pressing and holding CTRL and left clicking where you want to add new vertices,
  • the Vertices will be connected by Edges automatically

the added form or EdgeLine will be part of the object that you where working on in Edit Mode
To create a single line or shape this way, either delete the object you where working on or

  • add a Plane by SHIFT+A, TAB into Edit Mode, delete three of the vertices so that only one is left
  • press CTRL and click where you want to add Vertices, they will automatically be connected by Edges
  • when you release CTRL key the polygonal line is finished, you can go on to add when pressing CTRL again
  • to close the polygonal line, select the two Vertices that are not connected and press F - "fill"—command creates and Edge between Vertices.

Create a Face / filled "free hand" 2D-shape by Vertex painting

  • see above to create open polygonal EdgeLine
  • select the two end vertices you want to connect by an Edge and press F - this will close the 2Dshape
  • to fill a trinagle or Quad shape, press F with all Vertices selected
  • To fill a more complex polagonal shape, press ALT+F - this will fill the shape with daces, but create triangles, which you have to avoid for proper rendering
  • press ALT+J to improve this Mesh: remove Edges to avoid triangles and create quads, but this might still create imperfect fills for rendering

Select Edges

  • Basic selection behavior for Edges same as for Vertices, see above

  • Excerpt along video

For Edges, Loop Selection and Ring Selection are important, video shows on Sphere, start repeats selection behaviour for add to, Box, Circle..

Loop Selection: ALT + rightclick - selects Loop of Edges

Ring Selection: ALT + CTRL + rightclick - selects ring of Edges

Edge Menu (If you forget shortcuts:) select Edge and press CTRL + E - displays Edge Menu - choose form there

Slide selected Loop within subdivided Object: CTRL+E -> select Slide - you can reposition an Edge Loop or a single Edge within a mesh

..again transformation tools - move, rotate and scale can be applied to selected edges.

Selecting Faces

  • Excerpt along video
  • Basic selection behavior for Faces same as for Vertices, see above: CTRL +TAB for selection mode mouse menu..
  • B Box Select and C Circle select: selects faces behind too
  • -> turn on "Limit Selection" button in 3D ViewPort bottomheader right besides select mode buttons to prevent from selecting faces lying behind

Loop Selection: ALT + rightclick - selects loop of faces,

  • press on left and right side to select horizontal, top and lower area of face to select vertical loop of faces.
  • ..again transformation tools - move, rotate and scale can be applied to selected faces.

Selecting Tipps

  • Press CTRL + +-key on NumPad (repeatedly) to extend selection to adjacent faces + by +

Vertex-, Edge-, Face- key-Menu and Search

Video by Neal Hirsig

Shortcuts again, but very helpful and easy to remember

The mouse-menus display a lot of functions related to either

  • Vertices: CTRL+V
  • Edges: CTRL+E


  • Faces: CTRL+F

Video adds:
Spacebar: Search, type in keywords - as you need to know some keyboard shortcuts before, a good point to mention this :)
keyword tipps:

  • Camera - align view to camera
  • View - long list

Extrude Part 1

  • Excerpt along video

Extrusion is a common modeling method - TAB into Edit Mode:

  • Press E and selected is extruded in gab mode, move mouse to place
  • Extrude makes an attached extraction: duplicates selected subcomponents in grab mode, connected via edges (extrude vertices) or faces (extrude region)
  • by default extrusion is constrained to selection normal (runs fro origin through selection)
  • hit X, Y, or Z
  • left click to place
  • right click and ESC cancel extrusion
  • Free ( individual extrusion, no constraint) SHIFT+E
  • Extrude Individual Button: left T Toolbar 3DViewport b.header: allows you to extrude neighbouring vertices individual, which would otherwise automatically be connected by faces, as two neighbouring vertices are extruded as face, or seen as region. Similar with edges.

No constraint for Extrude Individual function.

(N.H. states that when escaping from an individual vertex extrusion, the influence ( see selection) of vertices seems to be lost (yellow shine on influenced edges govne, CTRL+Z undo to reestabslish)

  • set length of extrusion by entering number for Blener Units
  • when extruding Faces, the faces are not duplicated, but set foward along extrusion path

Extrusion Part 2 - Modeling Techniques

  • Excerpt along video

It will be more helpful for you to see this video again than to read a transcript,

1st Part: shows how to model objects by by multiple E commands transforming extrusions (scale, or rotate) and close extrusions by CTRL+V - Merge command, for e.g. closing a circle, before confirming/ending extrusion

2nd Part: For organic looking Mesh Models subdivide e.g. a cube and apply a subdivision modifier and play with extrusion, rotations and scele of extrusion eg. Video mentions LoopCut and SSLide command too.

Rapid Extrusion and "Painting Objects"

3rd Part: Like Vertex Painiting, Extrusion works for any selection in Editmode with CTRL + left click to where you want to extrude - more control when in orthographic view. Video shows extruding a circle to a tube.

Similarily ( as with Vertex Drawing) you can "Paint Objects" - by pressing CTRL + left cliki when selected a complete mesh object in edit mode - seems to duplicate e.g. sphere wherever you click with CTRL pressed, but is one object in Outliner.


  • Excerpt along video

Spin extrudes a sub-object selection about a pivot point in a variable amount of intermediate (rotation) steps.
Sometimes referred to as Lathe-tool, as often used to spin a shape by 360° and form an object by this.

  • center of spin is 3D cursor
  • axis (that selection is spun around) perpendicular to view
  • you can adjust steps (of subdivision, amount of elements produced by spin)
  • set details in temporary spin controls menu in T Toolbar left in 3DViewpW. , once you leave edit mode, spin control menu in T Toolbar is gone
  • and spin angle
  • or center point
  • if you create closed object via 360°, remove double vertices by CTRL+W (Specials Menu) - Remove doubles

Spin Duplicate

  • Excerpt along video

Rotate or spin duplications of an object around Center Point

  • In Edit Mode, select object to spin duplicate
  • position 3D cursor
  • spins around axis perpendicular to view (you see spin rotation as circle)
  • press Spin Button in T Toolbar
  • in temproary spin adjustment panel, checkmark "Dupli" to create duplications, instead of extrusion
  • set rotation and steps

Create closed shape:
*example column: spin part of surface, here greek grooved column, 360° and close spin:

  • adjust Center Point to align vertices and close shape
  • press CTRL+W to remove doubles


  • Excerpt along video

Video makes it easy to undestand, transcript limps after :)

Screw tool adds an x- +z- translation to spin extrusion, creating screw/shell/spiral-shaped mesh structure

  • operation must be generated in Front View
  • subcomponent election must contain open poly-line (at least 2 vertices forming an Edge)

Blender localizeds open poly-line to calculate translation in steps to create screw

  • if you screw a closed shape you need to add an open poly-line (easier to undertand operation when positioned in center of screw object (here), but can be positioned anywhere
  • 3D cursor is center of spin/screwrotation again
  • Press "Screw" Button in T left Toolbar panel ( 3D ViewpEW)
  • spins in spiral vertically shifted by the height of the open poly line
  • by default: one turn (360°) and 9 segments
  • temporary Screw adjustment panel in T Toolbar allows you to set amount of turns, steps (segments/subdivision)
  • height of turn defining object was screwed to, to delete it select one face of it - X
  • inclination of polyline defines inclination of screw shape too ( in front view: difference in x-position of start and end) : spiral opens along extension of inclination while adding one height elemt for each turn creating a tapered object

Proportional Editing

  • Excerpt along video
flickr:5073201845 flickr:5073797186

variable selection - combined with a variable falloff effect

  • works in Object and Edit Mode
  • subdivide shape to deform by Proportional Editing
  • activate Proportional Editing via 3D Viewport bottomheader dropdown - additional dropdown to define falloff shape appears
  • Shrotcut O-key to toggle between active and off
  • before you transform selection, adjust influence size of falloff by scrolling mouse wheel
  • move and confirm by lefclick
  • 2nd part: Rotation transform
  • select parts of a (highly) subdivided object,
  • press R to rotate
  • here: linear falloff
  • and increase falloff to include complete object - it will deform in a smooth spiral rotation, as the selection rotates and the rest is connected in falloff - see video
  • 3rd part: Scale Transform with Proportional Falloff
  • select a loop of e.g. a sphere
  • press S and adjustfalloff influence - when you scale, you can still adjust the scrollwheel/influence
  • the adjacent faces are scaled in a smooth decrease corresponding with the chosen fallff type
  • leftclick to confirm

method frequently used to bend and twist an object

  • 4th part:

rough modeled mouth object shows that a single vertex selectend and small move-transform smooth and bend into shape by influence area

5th part: Object mode
example objects in a row, here columns,; middle object selected, falloff to linear - moving middle object adjusts others in falloff shape

  • 6th part: Connected Proportional Editing - Shortcut ALT+O

circle of influence is restricted to connected topography of mesh structure

  • adjust influence circle to emcompass complete extension of mesh you want to smooth - albeit other parts are emcompassed by circle, only connected faces are influenced.

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