Took a break from the rank beginner tutorials to have some fun being creative with the basic building blocks. I’m always going to make aliens, and I’ve been doing it for more than a quarter century. Aliens, robots, cyborgs, and monsters. Green is also my favorite color. I’ve always loved ’em. This one’s greeting us, uuuuh, sort of. Next I’m going to attempt a UFO to put in the background.

So, again, these are elementary techniques anyone could learn inside a week, if not a day or two, or in a day if you are really committed and maybe get an early start.

If you saw my last post, I’ve just started learning Blender (OK, relearning the basics, as I never really got that far before], and working my way through some tuts. It can get a little confusing at times, but it’s loads of fun, and so different from my more usual digital painting approach. Here, I don’t even use my drawing tablet.

And the real glory of it is looking at a character from multiples angles, rather than just the one. I also fashioned a whole body for it.

50’s fins!

And another view, just because I can:

Its left hand looks like it’s on backwards. What have I done?! And looks like I accidentally lowered the feet.

I gave him — or rather her? — those backwards sort of chicken legs that are all the fashion among mechs these days. Her head has vintage rocket fins on it. OK, okay, it’s not supposed to be a robot, but the challenge was to make it with the basic building blocks I learned so far, and that doesn’t include any organic sculpting, or rounded forms beyond the sphere, cylinder, and cone. Yeah, it’s kinda’ cute. I was going for the child’s toy look.

Dramatic lighting!

I played with a couple lights, and messed with the reflectivity of the surfaces. There’s some weird/cool shit that just happens when you are working. For instance, I was working on the feet from a side view, and decided to arrange the toe pads in a fanned row:

if you like this screen shot better than the alien, just keep that to yourself.

Here’s the feet from the bottom view, and before I’d created the arms:

I”m ready to make a frog.

And here’s the finished feet. I got a little fancy with them.

It has 4 toes but only 3 fingers. Why not?

The joints have Tinker Toy written all over them. My next tutorial is actually making a mech, so, this is probably the last time I’ll let myself get away with such a simple mechanism.

The joints are one sphere inside another, and their stems are extrudes faces.

I made the suctions cups from cones, with a little extruding, sizing, and depressing.

I have no idea what my UFO is going to look like, or how I’m going to position it in relation to the alien, or how I’m going to light it.

For those interested in playing with Blender — which is FREE forever — they key is just starting off with some good tutorials. There are lots on YouTube. Right now I’m doing a course I paid $15 for, but is usually $195 (COVID prices?). It’s this one: Blender Character Creator v2.0 for Video Games Design Course. There are over 12 hours of instruction, and you learn how to make characters, including using organic sculpting, and to rig them and animate them… At this point, I’ve only finished the real basic stuff about how to use the tools.

We made this stick man, and I used what I learned to make the alien.

It’s gonna’ get a lot more sophisticated. Let’s see if I can make it through the whole course, or at least through all the sculpting parts (I’m not really interested in animation]. So far I can recommend this course — and it looks like it’s the only one needed to get quite far — but there could be some snafu’s down the road. I can’t really recommend it until I’ve finished it.

Stay tuned for my attempt at a UFO for the background.

~ Ends

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4 replies on “Basic Alien in Blender 2.83.3

  1. Alien who has come to our planet, not just hanging out in their own backyard? Gotta have an opposed thumb, or a claw to get a hold of stuff. Grabber claws. Can’t build a spaceship without one. Or multiple ones. Why two legs and two arms? Spiders and beetles. Grasshoppers. Scorpions. Lobsters. Who says the head has to be on top? Starfish don’t. What the heck are those creepy crawly millipedes all about, or worms or jellyfish? Crazy fish forms like flounders with both of their eyes on the same side of their head? Snails, snakes, horny toads. How weird here on earth and worse yet in the ocean depths. Maybe peanuts are really aliens, pineapples are pretty strange. Even artichokes. Palm trees. Sea urchins. Oysters. You are right. Without a spaceship you can’t be sure your guy really is an alien.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right, of course.

      Wasn’t trying to make an original and feasible alien here, but just practicing using beginning techniques for the digital sculpting program, Blender. So, for example, because I’m using simple, hard shapes, the alien looks more like a robot (and a sea creature). It’s not about the concept, just about applying techniques.

      Also, as I mentioned in the post, the alien has 4 toes on each foot, but only 3 fingers. In other words, I fully acknowledge that it’s not about accuracy or functionality as a real creature. I only cared that it look plausible in a “kid’s toy” sort of way. I thought about opposable thumbs and decided not to go that complex on a beginner model. These hands are a reference to the classic “War of the Worlds” film from 1953, I think, where the aliens just have the 3 suction cup fingers. They might be more flexible than ours.

      That said, I like the retro-feel. But I could certainly attempt a realistic, feasible alien at some point, in which case your suggestions are very good. And that’s generally much more the direction I would go. (This is a refreshing detour, though).

      Thanks for sharing your ideas.



  2. This is so cool, Eric! I actually downloaded Blender after your last post, but admit I haven’t had time to play with it yet. I have some ideas for a public art project and I need 3-D images to create a presentation!


    1. Thanks. Blender is free, but it requires a pretty decent computer to run smoothly. I couldn’t use it on my 8-year old laptop without it overheating.

      The key to learning it is to find some beginner tutorials and work through them and just enjoy the learning process until you have enough knowledge to make what you need.

      One thing that happens when you are learning a new program is you accidentally hit a short-cut key, or something, and you can’t figure out what the hell happened. Fortunately, there are big Blender communities online where people can quickly answer newbie questions. Also, in the comments under videos people will address common problems they might encounter.

      I like Grant Abbit’s tutorials, but there are lots of others.

      Good luck if you get around to working with Blender.


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