Blender Tutorial #2

'Hello World' meet 'Sphere'

For this tutorial, you will need to have the Hello World Mesh object from the previous tutorial Tutorial #1: 'Hello World'; if you have not yet done Tutorial #1, please do so now.

Modeling of the previous tutorial, in this tutorial we will add a sphere that will interact with out Mesh object. We will integrate some physics and have the sphere crash down on our Mesh object. If you have your Hello World Mesh object ready, make sure to check its position in the inspector is set to 0, 0, 0.

Hello 'Sphere'

First, create a new Sphere object by pressing SHIFT + A, followed by M (for Mesh), and U (for UV Sphere). S\elect your new sphere object (right-click!) and on the inspector under Object properties (the little orange cube), change the position of your Sphere object to 0, 0, 3 (under Transform > Location).

Now make sure you have the Sphere object selected and click the very last tab, the Physics tab, which shows a little bouncing ball. Note: if you do not see this tab, you can expand your inspector window by dragging its left border further left! Click Rigid Body to give your Sphere object some weight and make sure that its Type is set to Active. Also make sure Dynamic is checked and Animated is unchecked.

Next, select your Hello World text Mesh object and again navigate to the Physics tab. Also apply a Rigid Body property and set its Type to Passive. This will make sure that your Mesh object will not be subject to gravity in Blender's physics engine, and effectively not fall through the floor (position 0 on the Z-axis).

Finally, you can press the play button on the bottom panel, or press ALT + A, to have Blender calculate the physics of the Sphere object falling on your Mesh object. As you play back, Blender is effectively building the animation. In following runs, it will have calculated what it needs for this animation and therefore it will be easier next time to play back. For a simple falling sphere this does not matter too much, but for making more complex animations and physics simulations, this is a very nice feature.

By Martin