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Blender Tutorial

by Dave Jarvis
Last Updated: (none)
Blender Version: 2.43

Image Tracing

This tutorial shows how to trace an image to create 3D meshes.


  1. Press CTRL-x then Enter to delete current scene.
  2. Press Del then Enter to delete the cube.

Traceable Object

  1. Find an image to trace.

    Random Bottle Image

  2. View » Background Image...
  3. Click Use Background Image.
  4. Click Load.
  5. Find the image to trace then load it.
  6. Adjust the Size until the entire bottle is visible (e.g., Size: 3.50).


  1. Click Poly to convert the Bezier Curve into a set of vertices.
  2. Press r then z then 90 then Enter to rotate the vertices.
  3. Press g then x to edit the location of the vertices.
  4. Move the mouse until the vertices align with the edge of the bottle.
    Hold CTRL and SHIFT alone or together for more control over the location of the vertices.

    Aligned Vertices

  5. Press w then Enter to create more vertices by subdivision.
  6. Do it again.
  7. Press a to deselect all the vertices.
  8. Click RMB to select a single vertex.
  9. Press g to move the vertex into position.
  10. Continue until the vertices are aligned with the bottle's edge.
    Use more vertices for the complicated parts (like the mouth and neck) than for the simple parts (like its lengthy side).

    Mouth Contour Vertices

  11. Delete vertices that add no detail to the shape of the bottle.

Create Model

  1. Click Use in the Background Image panel to hide the bottle.
  2. Press Tab for Object mode.
  3. Press NUM1 for a side view.
  4. Press CTRL-w to save your image; the next step cannot be reversed.
  5. Press ALT-c then Enter to create a mesh from the curve.
    This step cannot be reversed. If you want to change the curve of the bottle, you will have to reload the file you saved in the previous step. Consider saving under a new name from here on.
  6. Press Tab for Edit mode.
  7. Press a to select all vertices.
  8. Change Degr: to 360.00.
  9. Change Steps: to 30.

    Mesh Tools Settings

  10. Click Spin.
  11. Press NUM7 to view the bottle.
  12. Click Set Smooth.
  13. Press F12 to render, ESC when finished viewing.

    Rendered Bottle

    The stark black line that divides the top half from the bottom half is caused by a duplication of vertices where the extruded spin meets up with itself. Rem Doubles, as instructed below, will fix this.

Finishing the Mesh

The bottle has no thickness. The bottle has no bottom. The bottle isn't finished yet, 'til we solve those problems.

Bottle Bottom

  1. Press NUM1.
  2. Press Tab.
  3. Press a to deselect any vertices.
  4. Click the Limit Selection to Visible icon:
  5. Press CTRL-Tab then 2 for Edge select mode.
  6. Click SHIFT-RMB along the bottom edge.
  7. Press SHIFT-G then 1 to select edges of a similar length.
    It is possible that other edges are the same length as those along the bottom, but unlikely. Rotate the bottle around to verify only the bottom edge is selected. Press NUM1 when finished.

    Selected Bottom Edge

  8. Press SHIFT-F to create a face (the bottle's bottom) by joining the selected edges.

Bottle Thickness

  1. Press NUM1.
  2. Press NUM6 12 times, to look into the bottle.
  3. Press CTRL-Tab then 1 for Vertex select mode.
  4. Press a to select all vertices.
  5. Click Rem Doubles to remove the doubles.
  6. Press . to change Pivot to 3D Cursor.
  7. Press NUM7.
  8. Click the Limit Selection to Visible to disable it (so that the inner thickness-giving bottle will appear when added).
  9. Press e then Enter then Enter again to extrude (but not move) the inner bottle.
  10. Press s then x then .9 then Enter.
  11. Press s then z then .9 then Enter.
  12. Press b.
  13. Click and hold RMB then drag it over all vertices except those along the bottom.

    Selected Inner Bottle Bottom

  14. Press g then y then .1 then Enter to move the bottle's inner bottom up a notch.


  1. Press F5.
  2. Click Add New.
  3. Change Col to: R 0.333, G 0.733, B 0.267.
  4. Change Spe to: R 0.467, G 0.667, B 0.400.
  5. Change Alpha (transparency) to: A 0.350
  6. Click the Shaders tab; values:

    Ref: 1.000
    Spec: 2.000
    Hard: 511
    Tralu: 1.00
    Amb: 0.500

  7. Click the Mirror Transp tab; values:

    Click Ray Mirror.
    RayMir: 0.20
    Depth: 5
    Fresnel: 1.00
    Fac: 1.25
    Click Ray Transp.
    IOR: 1.37
    Depth: 5


Add a plane, change its texture. Rotate, scale and give a texture to the bottle. Add a little red cube for interest. Enable Ambient Occlusion (F5 then the World buttons icon). Render at will.

Rendered Bottle with Mottle

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