Part 4: Adding, Removing, and Editing/Selecting Objects

In this fourth part of our Blender tutorial, we show you how to add and object, remove and object, and edit/select those objects.

In the previous part of our tutorial, we showed you how to move, scale, and rotate and object. The keys you learn from that are very useful as it applies to many different part in Blender. While we certainly had fun playing around with a cube, it’s time we start looking at other objects in Blender and find out what other basic shapes that are available.

Deleting an Object

Deleting an object is actually very easy in Blender. In this example, we are going to delete the default cube. To do so, make sure it is selected. After that, hit “X”. A menu will pop up asking you if you are sure you want to delete the cube.

Click on the “Delete” option to delete the cube. If you don’t want to delete the cube, then click on anything outside of the pop-up menu. If you delete the cube, you’ll be left with a mostly empty grid:

You can delete any object in the scene using this method. If you want to delete the lamp and camera, you can do so using the “X” command.

Adding an Object

Our field is looking pretty boring now. So, let’s go ahead and add an object. In Blender, objects are mostly called “meshes”. You’ll see why in a bit. First, we want to add something. So, hold down Shift and hit “A” (or, as I like to remember it, shift “a”dd).

As you can see, a menu popped up. In this case, I want to add a “Mesh”. So, I hover my cursor over the Mesh menu and a sub-menu will appear. As you can see, there are plenty of objects available. In this case, I’m going to select a “UV Sphere” (as shown above). When I click on that option, this appears:

Congratulations! You now know how to add and remove objects!

Toggling View Modes

Now, it’s one thing to add, move, and remove simple objects, but what about modifying those objects? Believe it or not, you are in one of many different view modes available in Blender. The current mode is Object Mode. More specifically, you are viewing the Solid shading Object Mode. This can be a good starting point, but not the greatest mode if you want to edit your objects (or meshes as they are more formally called). Let’s say we want to edit our sphere here. For that, you’ll probably want to go into what is known as Edit Mode. There are two ways of accessing Edit Mode. The more visual way of doing it is accessing the mode menu and selecting “Edit Mode” as shown below:

Now, when we go into edit mode, the view will actually change your UV sphere to this:

Now you can see why these objects are actually called “meshes”. It’s like there is that weird peanut sack stretched over top of it. All that is are pieces of information Blender uses to draw the object.

As you can tell, I’ve highlighted three different points of interest. The smallest circle shows a single point. This is known as a vertex. It’s basically a single point of interest. The medium sized circle shows an edge. This is basically a line that stretches between the two vertices. Finally, the large circle. This shows a face. It’s basically the space between three or more edges. You need at least three vertices to form a face.

Of course, like most main things in Blender, there is a speed key for this. To toggle between Object Mode and Edit Mode, simply hit tab. As you use Blender more and more, quickly toggling with Tab simply becomes the easier thing to do.

One thing you might notice is that you can only see the front of the mesh, not the back. While not seemingly an immediate concern, as you start editing objects, being able to manipulate more vertices becomes useful. There are two ways you can accomplish this. The first way is to turn off limit selection. This can be accomplished by simply clicking on the limit selection button as highlighted below:

You can see the end result in the UV Sphere. The mesh on the back is now visible.

The other way is to use wireframe mode. First, click on the little white sphere next to the view mode menu and click on Wireframe as highlighted below:

When you do this, you’ll see that your UV Sphere has changed to this:

The shading mode has now changed and you can see just the wire frame that makes up the UV Sphere. To quickly toggle between the Solid shading and the Wire frame shading mode, simply hit “Z”. Again, something you can more easily get used to as you use Blender more.

Editing Your Mesh

Sticking with wire frame shading in edit mode, you’ll notice that everything is selected. Let’s say you want to de-select everything. For that, you can simply press “A”. You should have nothing selected now:

(Note: If you want to select everything, tap “A” again)

Now, let’s select something on our UV Sphere. You can select something in three different ways: by vertex, edge, or face. You can toggle which mode you want to select using three buttons:

The first button circles is the vertex select mode. The second one is edge select. Finally, the third mode is face selection. With vertex select on (on by default), you can click on any vertex to select it. This is what it looks like to select a vertex in wire frame mode:

If you remember back in the previous part, you’ll remember “g”rab. In this case, you can use “G” to “g”rab and move around a single vertex. The edges will move around accordingly based on where you move it to.

Now, let’s switch to edge select mode and select an edge:

Now, the cool thing is that you can take an edge and not only “g”rab it, but also “s”cale and “r”otate it as well. This, of course, provides more freedom to edit our object. Of course, there is something better we can do in edge select mode: select a whole line. To do this, select a horizontal edge, then hold down alt and select it again. You should get something like this:

It might be a bit difficult to tell, but where the selection is white is where I actually clicked. The orange selection is what is fully selected. As you can tell, it wraps all the way around the UV Sphere. With this selection, you can “g”rab, “r”otate, and “s”cale it however you like.

Finally, let’s use the face select mode. For this next demonstration, I’m going to go immediately to the front using the number “1”. I can select a single face by clicking on it like so:

While I can use Alt+click to select a whole ring, what if I want to select multiple rings at the same time? That is actually quite simple. Simply select your first ring, then, hold down Shift+Alt and click on more rings you want to select. I’ve selected four rings in this case:

Again, all the usual methods of editing apply here.

Of course, there is another method of selection available to us. This is known as the “B”ox selection. Let’s say I want to edit just the top half of the sphere. A box edit might be more ideal in this case. Simply hit “B” on your keyboard. Your cursor will change to a small “+” sign. Next, left click and hold to draw a box around what you want to select like I did here:

When you release the left mouse button, you should see that the entire top half of our sphere is selected:

Nice! Now, let’s say I want to select a quarter of the sphere with the “B”ox selection. There are two ways of doing this. The first is to deselect everything and try and draw a box. The other method is to use the “B”ox selection to deselect faces. First, I’m going to zoom in with the mouse wheel to make this easier. Next, I’m going to hit “B”. Now, instead of selecting with the left mouse button, I’m going to select using the middle mouse button/mouse wheel button. Otherwise, the process is the same as before. When doing this, you want to be nice and snug to the edges of where you want to select like so:

When you are done, you should be left with something like this:

It can be a tad finicky to get this selection perfect. Yes, it took me a few attempts to to get it right, but it is possible as long as you zoom in a bit.

Now, wouldn’t it be cool to just paint a selection on our sphere? That is actually very possible to do. To do this, we need to use the “c”ircle selection tool. Since we are just painting a selection, we are going to switch out of wire frame mode to solid mode using “Z”.

Next, we are going hit “C” for our “c”ircle selection mode. A circle will appear around your cursor. To increase and decrease the size of this circle, you can simply use the scroll wheel. After that, we can either click individual faces or just click and drag across multiple faces. The choice is yours and we don’t have to worry about shift selecting either. When we are happy with our selection, right click to exit out of the selection mode. Here’s a fun thing I did with my face selection:

Remember, middle button/mouse wheel button will also deselect what you want to deselect. When it comes to selecting and deselecting different parts of your mesh, you have a lot of options to gain maximum control with little effort. With your selections, you can “S”cale, “R”otate, “G”rab, or even delete with “X” (menu will prompt you what specifically you want to delete in that case). There is, of course, a whole lot more you can do with that, but if you can get the basic selection process down, you are well on your way to getting the hang of Blender already!

That’s it, that’s how you can do some basic editing and adding and removing meshes!

Keyboard Shortcut Roundup

For those of you who are practising and don’t want to read through paragraphs of content to get to the keyboard shortcuts, here is a list of everything we covered in this part:

  • X = Delete (can apply to object, faces, edges, etc.)
  • Shift + A = Add (can add meshes, lights, camera’s, etc.)
  • Tab = Toggle between edit mode and object mode
  • Z = Toggle between solid mode and wire frame mode
  • A = Select All/De-select All
  • (In edit mode) Left click = Select single vertex/edge/face
  • (In edit mode) Shift + left click = Select multiple vertices/edges/face
  • (In edit mode) Alt + left click = Select a row of vertices/edges/faces
  • (In edit mode) Alt + shift + left click = Select multiple rows/edges/faces
  • B = Box Selection
    • B, then left click and drag = Select everything in the box
    • B, then middle click/mouse wheel click and drag = De-select everything in the box
  • C = Circle select mode
    • C, then mouse wheel = increase/decrease size of circle
    • C, then left click and drag = Paint select
    • C, then middle mouse click/mouse wheel select = Paint de-select
    • C, then right click = Exit circle selection mode

Below is a list of commands previously covered in other parts of the guide and mentioned in this part:

  • G = Grab
  • R = Rotate
  • S = Scale
  • Numpad 1 = Front view

< Moving and Manipulating Objects | Index | Advanced Editing, Shaders, and Modifiers >

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