Blender - Mapping and MORE

Who knew that a carpenter's pencil could hold such Blender secrets :D. Well I was surprised.

A simple project with tons of tips and some important info if you are moving from an older version of Blender to a newer one.

The work flow is much like all projects. Make the mesh, map the mesh, assign the materials (in this case just one) and export.

Along the way some things to note.

When you first add some of the mesh objects (a cylinder in this case) there are options that can be chosen AT THE VERY BEGINNING. Once you move into working with the mesh those options are gone. In this case we needed a TEN sided cylinder and that was set when we added the mesh object.

You can often get the approximate size of an object by comparing it to an existing object in your scene (in this case the belt that the pencils will go into).

You can HIDE unwanted items easy.

You can EXTRUDE in a series of steps adjusting the shape and - or angle as you go along.

And here is perhaps the MOST IMPORTANT POINT in this project. Somewhere between Blender 2.64 (what I used for years) and Blender 2.73 (the current version as I make these tutorials) the mapping rules changed. It was definitely frustrating, but being a smart little cookie, I asked the folks wiser than I on the SL Mesh board. My undeclared "mentor" from all those years back had the answer and I wasn't surprised.

Here's the deal. NOW --- BEFORE you unwrap any mesh that you have resized you need to APPLY ROTATION AND SCALE.   When you do that you now get a MUCH better unwrapping than in my formerly used version. If you forget that step however, your mesh is unwrapped without PROPORTIONS which is often less than optimal.

Also of note in these slides is how to align vertices fairly easily so that you patterns follow a natural line. It takes a little time but it does get faster with practice.

The finished photo is actually one taken within BLENDER using the final texture as the opened image. 
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