Furniture modeling tutorial: Using the Solidify Modifier
The new Solidify Modifier added to the Blender 3D 2.50 development is making a huge success among 3d artists, and it will be indeed a great tool for anyone who ever tried to work with poly modeling using curved surfaces. Without the Solidify modifier or script, we have to work with extrudes based on the full volume of an object, editing faces of a primitive shape. This is not a problem, until we end up with lots of vertices and edges to work with, for simples operations.
To show the benefits of a tool like this, I will demonstrate how we can apply the modifier to curved shapes based only in flat planes, to create curved and elaborated geometry. In my previous article I only mentioned curved walls, but now the target object will be a chair. It`s again a simple model, but shows a practical application of the modifier.
The first step showed at the video is the creation of the chair structure, which is made basically from a plane extruded and deformed to take the shape of the chair. All curves in the chair structure are created with the Spin tool in Blender 3D. Notice that we can access the Spin tool in Blender 2.50 from the search box, just press the Spacebar and start typing the name of the tool you want to call.
With the structure created, the same process is repeated for the chair seat. Notice that everything is based only on flat planes, which are quite easy to control and adjust. When all parts of the chair are created, we only have to check if the normals of the faces are pointing in only one direction, and apply a Solidify modifier to it.
Right after the modifier is applied to the object, we can see the flat shapes turning into something with a tridimensional form. With the other options available at the modifier panel, we can add creases and other details to the chair. Since it`s a modifier, other tools can be stacked to the modifier list like bevel and create even more details to the model, like a chamfer on the edges of the 3d model.
The best thing about a modifier is that we can turn it off at any time or remove from the list. As we can see, the Solidify modifier is useful not only to create walls, but for furniture modeling too.