About Blender

Blender is the open source software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation and playback. Available for all major operating systems under the GNU Public License.

You can download Blender free of charge on www.blender.org. On the Blender site you will also find a gallery with cool Blender art.


Okay people, let's start off by saying I'm not a great character animator. But I promised some people to do an underwater tutorial, so here goes. We'll be building a scene consisting of an ocean floor, a dolphin swimming by, a school of small fish and some sea-bottom vegetation.

The techniques that you will learn in this tutorial include:

  • Character modeling
  • Working with nurbs

The dolphin

As a preparation, I collected some pictures of dolphins from the Internet. I recently discovered a GREAT picture database for this kind of stuff: http://www.corbis.com. Just enter a keyword and off you go. These are some of the pictures I studied:

We'll build the dolphin using a deformation lattice. Of course, it can be done in a lot of other ways aswell, but let's make this interesting for me, too, shall we?

Fire up blender, and delete the default plane in the middle of the screen. Next, hit the spacebar to bring up the Toolbox and select add>surface>sphere. A small sphere appears in the middle of the screen. Now use resize (KEY S) to make it a bit bigger, and use resize with the middle mouse button to elongate the sphere. When you're done, your sphere should look like this:

Switch to Front View (NUMPAD-1) and leave edit mode (KEY TAB). The model will now turn pink to show it's still selected, but you're not in edit mode anymore. Left-click in the middle of the sphere to bring the 3D cursor to the centre. Enter the Toolbox (KEY Spacebar) and select add>lattice. The sphere is deselected and a pink square appears in the middle of the sphereoid. Go to the EditButtons window (F9) and enter the following data for the lattice:

Before the lattice can actually affect the sphereoid, we need to attach the two together. To do this, first select the spheroid, hold shift and then select the lattice. Both should be pink now, but the lattice is brighter to indicate it's the active selection. Now we'll make the lattice the parent of the spheroid. Select CTRL-P, and a message comes up: Make Parent: Normal Parent, Lattice Deform. Select the Lattice Deform option.
First, get a feeling for the way the lattice looks. Select it, hit tab and play around with the trackball mode (push the middle mouse button and move the mouse). As you can see, the lattice consists of several layers of control vertices. Remember this when you make selections in the next step of the tutorial. It is important to use the box tool to select several vertices at once and then move then. When you've had enough, restore the front view with keypad+1.

Now we'll start building the shape of the dolphin by modifying the shape of the lattice. You'll see that the lattice acts as a 'magnetic' boundary for the spheroid - when it's changed, the spheroid will follow. Okay, so now let's start the real work. Each time you need to move a vertex, right-click to select it, hit b for box selection and drag a little box around the selected vertex. This will also select the vertices that are 'behind it' in other layers. Now hold ctrl and move selected vertices with the right-mouse button. Release the ctrl button as soon as you start moving. This ensures that you don't accidentally de-select a vertex.

In the front view, keep working untill your lattice and sphere look like this:

Now, switch to top-view (keypad-7) and re-arrange the vertices untill they look like this:

By now, we've already got the basic shape of the dolphin ready! Let's take a sneak peek. Hit keypad-5 to turn on perspective view, hit z to turn on shading and play around with the trackball option. Here's how it should look:

We're getting there, but it's not quite finished yet. Let's add some fins. Return to unshaded, orthogonal, front view (that's 'z',keypad 5 and keypad 1). I'm going to make the fins by drawing an outline and bevelling it. Hit TAB to leave the edit mode of the lattice. Place the 3d cursor above the dolphin's back (left click). Bring up the toolbox and select add>curve>bezier curve.

When in curve edit mode, you can add vertices by first selecting an endpoint of the curve, then leftclick while holding down the ctrl key. When you're satisfied, close the curve with key-c. Play around with the location and the direction of the bezier control points untill your curve looks like this:

Hit TAB to leave the editmode and F9 to go to the EditButtons screen. In there, change the Ext. 2 value to 0.15, and the BevResol value to 4. This should give you a nice, rounded fin. When you go to the right-view (keypad-3), it should look like this:

Now we'll duplicate this fin to create two other, smaller, fins. Duplicate the selected fin with shift-D. Move it away from the top and left click to place it. The position doesn't really matter yet - we'll attach it to the body later. Rotate it about 220 degrees (key r and move with the mouse - ctrl key constrains the angles), then scale it to a factor of about .6 (key s and move the mouse, ctrl key contrains here, too).

Duplicate this smaller fin and rotate it -80 degrees. Next, in the front and right view, move the three smaller fins around untill they are attached to the body in a proper way. This is how it should look (I rotated the fin on Willy's back a little bit to make it match the angle of his back):

We're almost there. As a finishing touch, we'll add to eyes. Switch to top view, use the toolbox to add a sphere. Scale it down and place it in the head, so that a little less than half of the sphere sticks out of the head. The height of the eyes should be equal to the top of the dolphin's beak and they are located a littlebit towards the back of the head.

Select the eyes, go to the MaterialButtons screen (F5) and create a new meterial. Make it black.

Next time, I'll elaborate on creating a little environment for our dolphin.

For the time being, here's a little preview of what's it going to be like:


  1. Hi, I'm trying to learn how to use blender. Do you have any tips fordoing the actual molding in the 3D space? I read the tutorial but I can't seem to make anything nice looking.
    Could you perhaps sometime make a beginners video tutorial?


  2. Your tutorials are really fantastic, but I'm having some trouble with the dolphin. It's just not working. Basically, I've made the sphere and the lattice, everything looks just like in the pics, and I've parented it too. But then when I try to move the lattice points around, the sphere doesn't follow. I'm not quite sure what's wrong... But great tutorial! How do you make such wonderful textures? I don't come close! (I actually really don't know how to make texturing work...Blender is so complicated...) Anyway, any advice on making the sphere morph to the lattice? Thanks.

  3. Ah! Parenting objects to lattices works slightly different in Blender these days. I have updated the relevant text:

    To do this, first select the spheroid, hold shift and then select the lattice. Both should be pink now, but the lattice is brighter to indicate it's the active selection. Now we'll make the lattice the parent of the spheroid. Select CTRL-P, and a message comes up: Make Parent: Normal Parent, Lattice Deform. Select the Lattice Deform option.

    It should work fine now.



  4. Henrik Solberg on

    When I press CTRL-P i don't get the question to make the parent normal or lattice deform. I just gets the question of "make parent? ok"

    I use blender on mac if that has something to say... Would love an answer

  5. Trouble! (again) on

    Hi, I've submitted before, you told me that the way parenting works has changed in 2.4.1. When I first tried the model, I wasn't using the new version, but when I read your response, I downloaded it. Now, I am having so many new problems. Could you check the tutorial to see if it still works with 2.4.1? I create the sphere and stretch it, then create the lattice, but I have two problems at this point: 1. The lattice does NOT show up in object mode at all. When I change the data inputs for its dimensions, I don't see the lattice forming as I remember seeing when I tried this before on the older version. So I switch to edit, mode, and I get the second problem. 2. In edit mode, I can see the lattice, but it's really small. The size of a lattice square isn't big at ALL; if I tripled or quadrupled the length of the lattice it might be the size of the sphere. What's going on here? Frustrated and confused, I can't wait for your response.


    P.S.: Thanks so much for your support, you are amazing!

  6. Hi AS,

    I've completely reviewed the tutorial and you were right: there were a few things that have changed with the new Blender versions. Please have a look and let me know if things are better now.


  7. Better, yes...Perfect, no... on

    Hey, that worked! You are very helpful, B@rt! But I still have ANOTHER problem (they never end!). When I parent, this time they actually stretch with one another, but as soon as I parent them, two BAD things happen: 1. The stretched sphere splits into two halves that separate and switch places, or something like that. 2. Suddenly, the lattice is smaller than the sphere (not by as much as before, but by a good distance). It's like the sphere grew a bit. Other than these two things, its ok, but when I try to get the detail of the tail (no pun intended) I just can't because there aren't any points down there. Thanks!


  8. I just tried this tutorial and it worked perfectly on a PC running Windows XP SP2, Blender V2.4.1

    I really appreciate this kind of tutorial becuase it is simple but gives the student a result that builds their confidence in their own ability to build their own models using the same methods.

    I am new to modeling and something like this really helps me out more than I can say.

    Thanks much!!!

    p.s. I am looking at this tutorial on one computer while doing the actual modeling on another so I am not Alt-Tab'ing back and forth, I don't know if that will cause any problems for anyone, but I know in other programs I have used, Alt-Tab'ing has caused problems, might be something to check out for those of you having problems.

  9. Hey Just having issues when modeling the dolphin. When I move the lattice to follow like the tutorial it deforms it, and doesnt shape the way the tutorial shows. Should I do it a little at a time, does the order make a difference? I'm stuck right after I make the lattuce stick to the sphere.


  10. Hi Krissy,

    you have to modify the lattice in editmode (press tab). When you move the individual vertices, the sphere will follow them.



  11. hey,

    the images in this tutorial aren't loading for me. it looks like the url is wrong. the images are in locations like:


    but they are actually found at


    maybe you could make a symlink from /news to / on the server as a quick work-around?


  12. Hi,

    I'm trying this tutorial and it seems very promising. The problem I've got is with modelling: this is supposed to be the creative part...
    But could there be any suggestions as to for example the size of the lattice to be chosen with respect to the size of the "dolphin"? I think this is of great importance, because with a little lattice a little movement will affect a lot.
    A littel picture with the lattice and the dolphin chosen (BEFORE modelling) could be of much help!

    Thank you very much!

  13. First off, great tutorial. Second off, I keep getting stuck on making the bezier curves add vertices.I can't add vertices by clicking the end point, holding control, and moving the left mouse button. I've tried adding more points by using the spacebar, but when I go to close the points with c, only portions of the curve close. I have the latest version of blender using a pc. Please help!

  14. MisterBubbles on

    This was a very nice tutorial. I liked it because it gave people challenge, you have to model the dolphin yourself with only reference pictures so you actually learn something. From now on I will be learning from BlenderNation and BlenderWiki only!

  15. MisterBubbles on

    This was a very nice tutorial. I liked it because it gave people challenge, you have to model the dolphin yourself with only reference pictures so you actually learn something. From now on I will be learning from BlenderNation and BlenderWiki only!



    One of those should let you see my dolphin, "Bubbles".

  16. cool the dolphin but I new to blender and got to use Blender ast the software for animation at University and i gettin a real haedache ! plz help1 your advise be the most welcom

  17. Hi Bart

    Thanks for this very nice tutorial. Simple and source for inspiration. I have a question: apparently the Lattice deformation is just computation at rendering, much like the SetSmooth. Is this possible to make it permanent, i.e. deform the mesh for real (and therefore removing teh ability to further use the Lattice)?


  18. DukeAndrey on

    Great tutorial Bart! I must admit it was hard for me at first, especially as many people have said, with the lattice, but I learned that this is a great tutorial for quickly adapting to Blender.

    Here's a render of my Dolphin (I hope to re-render it with a background)

    And here's an example of how big my lattice was. I made it just about as big as the NURBS Sphere.

  19. Jean-Paul posted:
    Is this possible to make it permanent, i.e. deform the mesh for real (and therefore removing teh ability to further use the Lattice)?

    I've been wondering the exact same thing. Can someone please explain how to make the dolphin into it's own independent mesh? Like where it's not bound by the lattice. I've tried everything I can think of, but I can't get it to work.

  20. In the past I have used 3ds max and I was wondering do you have to make a box to build evreeything in when you are making a level for a game cause I wanna make a game. Thanks. And could you E-mail me telling me how to if you jave to. Ok thanks. O ksee ya.

  21. To DKW and Jean-Paul: In Blender 4.1 if you select the dolphin in Object mode and go to the Editing tab, under "Modifiers" you can select "Make Real" next to the Lattice deform modifier. This should be it :-)

  22. BAtangPalaboy on

    i started using blender 3 days ago so im not a plain noob LOL and to those people having problem with shaping the dolphin, like if the sphere turned out to be some huge iregular mesh. Just try adjusting its size.While the lattice is selected, Hit N and adjust its XYZ size, i assumed that you know that when you select the mesh it will show you its ariginal shape and not the modeled shape. Just remeber, the tutorial said to model it until it looks like the one in the image, no one knows the size of the sphere he is using anyway, right? ;P while when you create lattice all of the sizes of lattice are the same for you and me. lol... thats all..and also im using v4.1 of blender

  23. you mean 2.41 :P and you can just use the S key to scale instead of the N key and messing around with XYZ.

  24. I finally figured out how to make it into an independent mesh!

    You have to select the dolphin in Object mode and hit Alt-C (Convert Object Type) select the only choice (Convert To Mesh), and you've got it! Of course, you also have to do that with the fins, as they aren't initially independent meshes either. And you might wanna assign a new Material to the dolphin so it won't turn black (the same color as the eyes).

  25. Actually, I think you were right about the "Make Real" thing. What you do is just click Make Real, then Apply, and it's a separate mesh... I think.

  26. Hi Bart

    lovely tutorial.thanks.
    meaning to learn basic animation Ive tried to asign Ikey to the lattice (hoping to achieve a simple up&down movenment of the tail) but it didnt work. tried to lock both, child an parent. nada. tried to convert the nurbs to mesh and the dolphin spurted a huge tail and his snot has shrunk. Im at a loss here and Ill appreciate your help. or anybody's

  27. not really but thnx. my problem is that Blender does things it does not suppose to...like not maintaining the shape of the surface after converting it to mesh. (and its not that it returns to its original sphere, it something in between, like a horrible mutated dolphin freak...)

  28. This tutorial is a lot more thourough than others I've tried. Great job, but I have one question. I'm using a mouse without a middle button, so how do I elongate objects?

    Thanks for the tutorial,

  29. nice... I didn't appreciate trying to figure this stuff out until I was done. I actually like how you left us to figure out how to shape the dolphin w/the lattice. BTW, I'm a complete noob n I did it. I figure it shouldn't be that hard for anyone w/any knowledge or experience in 3DS or Maya. Anyways... nice tutorial.

  30. Yey! I made a diseased dolphin!

    Great tutorial, but it took me a while to realise the importance of the initial size of the lattice compared to the sphere.

  31. Hey Bart,

    This is a great tutorial, however; I just have one question.

    After creating the model, with fins and eyes included, do you recommend any method for joining all elements together as one?

    I would like to create an environment for my dolphin, but when I try to move the body, I end up just moving each individual piece, and not the entire model (Fins, Eyes, etc..).

    I have tried Ctrl+J to join all elements, but when I use this method, certain objects dissapear.

    Just wanted to see if you had any suggestions, as I am a N00b!

    Thanks so much!


  32. Ok i am a noob but i want to learn to model 3d.

    Im sure i can do this just that im stuck at changing my sphere into an enlongated sheroid. I just cant figure out how to change it

  33. @DOM
    hey guys to elongate the shape what you do is hit S to scale it. now the entire thing will be sizing but to size it on only 1 dimension you just hit the corresponding letter! so S then X and you will only be sizing it along the X axis! Hope this helped. Bye now!

  34. need some help here??when i click ctrl P it just ask me to make parent or not and did not gave me the chance to choose between Normal Parent and Lattice Deform. So I had to choose the normal parent and i don't seem to have the green lines that the picture have in the part where u have to shape the dolphin and also i do not have as many vertices....can someone please help me??

  35. hey im useing a laptop and i dont know how to middle click or if there is any other way besides middles clicking. if anyone has an i dea that would help a lot

  36. Ugh, I use to have the same problem when I first started, but you know where the Green Bar is in Blender that says "www.blender.org 242"? Well, drag that bar down, go into "view and Controls" and enable "emulate 3 button mouse" now you have mmb functionality whenever you hold down alt+left mouse button :)

    PS - you can also emulate Numpad for switching between different views (front, side, top) in the "System and OpenGL" tab

  37. Ok, I found a big reason why the tutorial didn't work for alot of people, including myself till I played around with it a bit.

    To get the lattice distortions to look like what he has in the tutorial, befor you start moving the verticies and before you make the lattice the parent, be sure to re-size the lattic to be the same size as the sphere or your morphs will be all off. I hope this saves you all the frustration it put me through trying to figure this out.

    Good tutorial otherwise!

    -Lord Demos

  38. new to blender love it!!

    As far as the problem with applying the transformation and dicarding the lattice I found:

    1- panels --> modifiers --> apply

    2- switch to object mode

    3- toolbar/actions bar (not sure official terminology) --> object --> parent --> clear parent -->clear parent and keep transformation

    I think that whenever you have child/parent objects you can always go intot object mode, deselct everything but the child object and move it away from the parent... that breaks the link.... but if you move the parent object they will stay attatched......
    Now if I could only figure out how to give color and texture to my object I would actually be getting somewhere... (maybe)...

    Thanks for the tutorial


  39. i dont understand what he means to use resize to make it a bit bigger, and use resize with the middle mouse button to elongate the sphere. i dont know hoe to elongate it

  40. i was heveing trouble with shapeing the sphereoid, but i realised the lattice was bigger on the images. thanx for the explanation anyway lord demos even tho i didnt see it.

  41. Hy...
    i've make at first the latice, after that i've did the sphere...
    This way is right for me...I can't do it following the steps of this tutorial, so i've decided to do it in a different way!

  42. I am using Blender V 2.43, and I follow the steps with adding the sphere, but I cannot add the lattice. It tells me, when I try to add it, modifier is disabled skipping apply. What can I do?

  43. Hi!
    I am new to blender (less than a day...). Came to it in desperation to find the "right" tool for a project: an interactive, multiplayer, on-line CQB (close quarter battle field), where players have to organise an assault on the ambassador's house against baddies. Hostages are there too...
    In short, a kind of "DOOM" game, but where the "targets" (friend or foe) are random, and the player(s) is (are) the "SAS" team.
    The structures are designed in AutoCAD2007, 3d solids. Converted in 3ds format with 3ds max 8. Loads in blender... (that is a first after a lot of trials on other programs. THANKS!)
    The targets must have human form (avatars) AND animated (H-ANIME). They must respond to shots.
    On top of this, I need sound and chat (or, better, VERBAL chat).
    Do you think it is feasible with blender?
    I have spent four months "trialing" many programs, doing all tutorials before to realise I wasted my time.
    (You can have an idea of the project at http://www.skytargets.com, Phoenix-Dodge-City game.)
    In the meantime, I'll give more go to your tutorials. Thanks to them, but could they not be included in the download? Hard to be on-line for help every keypress...

  44. could you create a tutorial for more advanced modeling like a car
    also a tutorial on scripting to make games usin blender would be nice

  45. brilliant tutorial :)

    but some things are wrong in the tutorial: when you make the surface sphere you should make it small before you add a lattica. size the sphere with (S) to smaller. once you did that I think you have to subdive your sphere because otherwise you get the same nose as me :p it is not detailed enough. you can go to edit mode when you have selected the sphere and on the right side there is "subdivide". then add the latic on the way given at the tutorial.

    easier selecting the verticles: only use border select (B) and (G).

    gonna make it again when I am back from holidays.

  46. This is getting hard when you need to make the shape of the dolphin, I am totaly lost in this part, I am not able to do a dolphin shape with the vertice. There is probably something i don't understand... I can only get a deformed big balloon shape, the nose of the dolphin and his tail, this is mostly what I don't understand how to make them.

  47. Sylvia Trilling on

    Thanks, Bart. I just started with Blender this weekend and I have been near tears with frustration, but your tutorial was good and the thing actually worked. PHEW!

  48. hey...looks good, but am having problems.

    I have only gotten up to making the lattice, (i'm not sure if this problem was posted, only read through March 2006 or so in posting) and pressing F9 to go to the buttons window, I cannot find what is shown. ""
    I see the grid of buttons in the upper-left, although none of the rest!

  49. Hi. I hope anybody can help me. I tried to built the dolphin. But when I want to add first the sphere, the programm closes itself every time. The same happens if I try to add a surface. I don’t have a chance to do anything. Does anybody know where the problem is?? I have even reinstalled the program. But it did not help.
    If I start blender, there always comes an error: only built-in modules are available. some scripts may not run. continuing happily.

  50. do you have Python 2.4 installed? That might be the reason, 2.5 is NOT compatible with Blender yet

  51. yes, i have just installed python 2.4 now. and the error message from starting blender is away. but blender still closes itself if i try to add a nurbs sphere. It seems that I just have this problem in adding a surface. and there in adding NURBS surface, NURBS tube, NURBS sphere and NURBS donut. what can I do??

  52. Hi. I can't make a rounded fin. There's not Ext. 2 value (BevResol there is), I can only find Extrude and by decreasing that I get a thicker fin, but it's not rounded. Can anyone help?

    This tutorial is great! I just need a way to get rounded fins...

  53. great ,i only heard lattice is used for creating animations,now i knew it can be used for mesh modelling too.thanks for the tutorial..

  54. There must be something wrong here.
    I did everything as the tutorial stated. I even used the screenshot as a background, so I could move the latices's vertices to the correct positions. I ended up with the same lattice, but with a bizarre shape (the sphere) that doesn't look like a dolphin.

    I noticed in the first screenshot the camera is in a different position/rotation than the default one. Maybe something was done but not mentioned?
    Or maybe something has changed in the latest versions of Blender?

  55. Right I've improvised with the dolphin cause the directions you give don't correspond with whats on screen. There must be an easier way to model! Now on the fin you say ext.2 does that mean extrude in the curve and surface buttons? There are no faces on my fin just a shaded outline!! whats the story there??

  56. Okay, I just had to jump in here, because I *DID* get my dolphin to work. I'm using Blender 2.4.4.

    Here are the changes from the tutorial:

    The lattice shows up INSIDE the sphere. I had to resize the lattice to exactly match the sphere BEFORE making the lattice the parent. Then it worked.

    For bevelling the fin's edges - these are the settings that worked for me:
    Extrude: 0.05
    Bevel Depth: 0.13
    BevResol: 4

    These are the only things that I had to do different to get it to work with this (as I write this - the latest) version of Blender.

    Great tutorial even with the changes in Blender.

  57. Great tutorial!! I managed to create the dolphin on my first day with blender.

    @Bobbo: I had the same problem with the fins and solved it by using a bezier circle instead of a curve.

  58. The first thing I want to say is GREAT TUTORIAL!!! The second thing is a problem: if you have trouble with the lattice, SELECT THE LATTICE AND PRESS CRTL-P


  59. when i try to select the lattice and the cube,nothing happens.
    and if i try to parent the latice, it says "error,must select three or more vertices to parent"

    what am i doing wrong?

  60. Hi,
    First thank you for the tutorials they are great, but i have trouble doing the second fin, i have been over it about 20 times.
    I'm new to this so if there is any help it would be appreciated.
    I want to model aquariums so the fish is a good way to start.
    thanks Linda

  61. i get as far as resizing with s key for the first resize but obviously there is a step missing as the second s step to resize combined with middle mouse key dose nothing ??? is it just me or have i missed somthing already

  62. um ya im actually on a PC and I have the same problem as Henrik and bart. pretty plz help! or maybe the problem is that you are working with a different version or something because i dont get the other options besides "make parent" wen i press ctrl+P

  63. Hi

    Can someone tell me how to animate things in Blender? E.G. a dolphin or just tell me how to get a ball moving up and down.
    Ps. I think this toturial is great!

  64. Hello guys
    well i too has the problem (with the parent thingy)..

    n hey i figured it out..

    use the right kinda sphere. Use
    [B] NURBS sphere [/B] and not icosphere or any other sphere options..

    With this you will get a smooth look without having to use subsurf or selecting set smooth option...



  66. Bobbo, if there are no faces it's possible that u didn't close the fin with the points.. if u do that and try to extrude it will do work...


  67. 2.45 blender is what im using. problems iam having. other then my own fault at not understanding blender, great tutorial !

  68. ok to better describe my problem, when i make the sphear, the box around it, doesn't fully connect. an edge will be missing on a side. no matter how much i try to mess with it, one side will be missing an edge. Does this make a difference ?

    also when i go to shape and move the points around and such, it really doesn't do what it should. it gets worse and worse the more i try to give it the shape i need. what values should i put ? They may be the problem. THank You.

  69. Pretty dolphin =)... Had a wee bit dilemma with 2.45 blender at first myself - with lattice and sphere. Tutorial says to make a sphere, modify it, and then add lattice. But when I did it that way the lattice thing was real tiny. After a while of wondering, got the dolphin finally made then by: 1) make a nurbs sphere, 2) make a lattice 3) resize lattice to same size with the sphere... 4) select sphere then lattice, CTRL+P and Lattice Deform, 5) tinker around until dolphy's ready! :)

  70. Now a problem though which I've yet not found a solution (the mesh, "Make Real")... If I do by (a shameless quote:---
    To DKW and Jean-Paul: In Blender 4.1 if you select the dolphin in Object mode and go to the Editing tab, under "Modifiers" you can select "Make Real" next to the Lattice deform modifier.
    Doing that has an interesting effect... but not quite what I'd have expected - the dolphin got way oddly warped in form! =\ meh... how to do it without screwing the dolphy to resemble an aeroplane instead a dolphin?!

  71. I just started using Blender. It looks so cool. But if tutorial
    i go to it tells me to use a middle mouse button. I DON'T HAVE A MIDDLE MOUSE BUTTON! What can i use besides a middle mouse.
    I can't elongate the spehere.

  72. Wow Thank you for the tutorial i have tried making this many times but this is the first time I ever finished. Until i realized that the lattice has to be bigger then the sphere could never get it to work. But i did end up with a pretty decent dolphin and i can kindof understand how to use blender for making shapes now! THANK YOU!

  73. a little problem on

    im jsut stucked at the 2nd step: «resize with the middle mouse button to elongate the sphere.» its just not working.... somebody can help me?

  74. I used an IcoSphere instead of a NURBS Sphere. I really don't see the point of using a NURBS object if you are not gonna use its own control points but instead you are using a lattice. I also found out that the resulting topography of the dolphin would be more simple with the IcoSphere (because with the NURBS Sphere many many lines connect to one single point in the sides of the dolphin, creating some kind of vortex that may cause errors in rendering).

    If somebody thinks I'm mistaken, please correct me and enlighten me, cause I'm not really a pro at this.

  75. @Minh: be sure you enter 'editmode' first by selecting the lattice and pressing tab. Only then will you be able to select and modify individual vertices.

  76. Help plz....
    Im trying to do this tutorial and I think im following it the way it should be but im stock!

    Ok, im stock at the part wherein you'll start building the shape of the dolphin by modifying the shape of the lattice. I cant seem to select and edit the lattice...what should i do???

    btw, im using version 2.45...

  77. I really cant edit or even select the vertex of the lattice even though im in different views and in edit mode...

    what suppose to be the problem???

  78. Ok sorry for posting too much..

    right now I was able to select the different vertex of the lattice and edit it, but my problem now is that the spheroid doesnt follow to any changes i made to the lattice...

    what should i do???

  79. awesomeprog on

    i didn't know what was i doing, the sphere kept showing up in a cube and nothing worked out.


  80. i started using this blender just yesterday without knowing anything about animations or what.... but i think im learning now

  81. hi

    ok... so my vertex points remain inside the mesh.... resulting in a big blob rather than the shape of a dolphin...

    any suggestions please??



  82. oh I love this tutorial it helped me so much in learning! Is there one for making shoes? I really want to learn how to make those

  83. Help! Please! on

    I need help. I've made the sphere, and I resized it just a little with SKEY. But I don't get it when you said, "resize it with the middle mouse button, and it should look like this."
    I used the middle muse button to try and resize it, but all it does is move the camera! I'm not completely sure what your saying. All it does is move the camera. So far my dolphin just looks like a sphere.

    (I have the newest Blender)

    Thanks, -SR

  84. HI!
    Firstly, great tute bart! absolutely luv it!

    now for all those guys n gals who cant "resize with the middle mouse button"- u hav 2 press the s key and HOLD the middlemouse button and DRAG it along the axis u want it to be resized to. In this case drag it horizontally. and dont foret to resize the lattice from both the TOP and the FRONT side or else it'll be really difficult to mould ur dolphin.

    and "serious noobs" should start wid sum other tutorial or a basic interface tutorial to get a hang with the controls.

    at mike, cuz "F9 does'nt do anything" that's probably cuz ur already in edit mode, so just select the lattice, look at the interface panel below, and alter the values as b@rt says.

    And if u want to animate, u can check out the "Pawn In A Hurry" tutorial, which gives a pretty gud idea on how to animate, using the "insert key" option.

    If u still hav a problem, u can post a new mesg, tho i cant help u much wid bugs.

  85. Well, great tutorial, frankly, I was quite pleased with my finished result. I cant put a picture here thought...

  86. Lattice Trouble on

    I made the lattice and the sphereoid like in the tutorial but when i try to stretch parts of the lattice it does not wrap around the outside of the dolphin like in the pictures, does the shape of the lattice really matter or what?

  87. Hello Bart, very nice tutorial
    I have one problem though, i cannot make the tale, when i resize the last vertices it rezises almost the whole doplhin, and i cannot subdivide the vertices properly so i could isolate that one and make a proper tale that wont affect the form of the dolphin
    I can subdivide it but it wont subdivide the middle lower vertex and it wont enable me to do a proper tale too :S
    Its really frustrating being able to do the whole dolphin except the tale :S
    Hope you know whats wrong

  88. Ok I got stuck in the second bit, where you said "and use resize with the middle mouse button to elongate the sphere."

    The middle mouse button rotates the camera.. I am so confused :(

  89. Ok, now I'm stuck in the bit where you start changing the shape, in the picture the dolphin has a green box around it, mine doesn't. Do you move the cube in the center to change the dolphin or do you move the actual pink shape from the outside?

  90. I am with Vinny. I can't exactly figure out how to fill the fins/put faces on them. I'm sure it's the simplest thing in the world to do with vertices or whatnot, but this IS only like my 3rd day with blender. My dolphin came up great... just has hollow fins....

  91. Hi, I finally managed to shape the form of the dolphin using a lattice surrounding the spheroide. I'm sorry to say that in your guide it is not clearly stated that the lattice has to surround the spheroid ;) Cya

  92. hey everyone, i seem to have the weirdest problem, i got the dolphin looking all fine and all but when i render it, the fins become like triangular and not smooth like in the 3d editing window...... any help with this :D Thnx. gr8 tutorial btw

  93. ok i finished this and i got the 2.47 and if u have problems like not being able to shape the dolphin correctly and all that stuff u got to learn to do improvise like if you have a hard time with the tail create a new NURBS sphere and shape the tail out of that. if you have a hard time with the fin then instead of creating a curve create a benzir circle then shape it out(this will help out if your fin is hollow). o and if your fin looks triangular and not smooth then remember to incrase the bevrelol to at least 4. also for me the lattice was useless cuz you can shape the dolphin out of the circle. and also dont use the size option to shape the dolphin lol it will just end up bad. and when your finished remember to add texture to the dolphin to make it look good. keep an open mind and dont push yourself to follow every step to the word.

  94. Could someone do a tutorial about how to model and change the forms, like to get the dolfin, I cold'nt do it... when I moved the "lattice" it moved the whole gigure.

  95. Hello :)
    Very good tutorial, great thing to start with. After a lot of trying I made it!

    Thanks again for a very great tutorial

  96. Good tutorial. One minor thing: when editing the bezier curve I had to rotate it from the X-Y axis to the X-Z axis. In front view (Num 3) with the curve selected press 'r' for rotate and then type 90.

  97. i cant make anything... and how do i make a vortex(dot) have at least 2 lines out of it and the dot at the end of 1 of the 2 lines have a line conecting to the ether dot of the 2?

  98. Eureka! with the second attempt with your awesome tutorial, my dolphin is ready to swim - now on to armatures and whatever else it takes!!! Blender is so complex and interesting, your tutorials using the hot keys make it a breeze. I'm on day 4 and im learning the menus and such. Your tutorials are so well written, after a few attempts on some I am able to totally complete and understand them. -

  99. I didn't read all the comments, but I'm putting a hint that helped me making the dolphin : BEFORE parenting the lattice and the spheroid, make sure that the lattice is at the same size as the spheroid, meaning the is to be spheroid inside the lattice and tangent to it.
    There, I hope it will help newcomers. Anyway thanks for the tuto !

  100. Wow, this is hard...I'm going to have to really work at this...

    It's a nice tutorial, but I thibk it's a bad idea to do it at four in the morning. :-)
    ^^^^---LOL, typo...I need some coffee...

  101. I just started modeling, first thing: I really like this tutorial, and I managed to get the dolphin but when pressing Z to view the model blender did not respond, when I pressed Z a couple more times everything was deleted. Also Blender does not respond to my NUMPAD... any suggestions?

    Using Windows Vista Home Premium, SP1.

  102. Great Tutorial. i seem to have everything looking good. how do i view it? i can't seem to get off of the net view.

    Also when are you doing the next part of the tutorial?


    ps. This is the very first thing i have tried, so good teaching.

  103. I'm having extreme problems figuring out how to make the lattice the same size as the spheroid. Please give me a spoon-feed on this one. It is a beginner's tutorial after all. ?!?!?!

  104. Barry Copirhoenw on

    Hello Ive got through everything exept what value you have to the set the fins to i cant find it know where it is or what its short for i think ive got the latest one cause i got it a couple days ago so you have to set the value to .15 but i cant see anything like that can you tell me what its short for or where it is or if it was taken from blender due to problems?

  105. I'm having a problem with the step to add a bezier curve. Every time i move to front view and try to add it, it will only work on the top view (x,y axis). I've tried switching views and re-adding it along with adding it into the top view and rotating it around the x-axis so that it would be on the z,x axes (front view, numpad 1) and i still can't get it to work in the correct view. Any ideas?

  106. Everything worked great, besides the rounding of the fins. It set the value to 4 but nothing changed... I don't know why. That's kind of sad I think...

  107. hey, whoever runs this blender thing. i think blender is awesome i was just wondering if i could make me an army guy with a gun. if u could make one then send it to me i couild work a bit on it, o and by the way howdo i make an army dude? thanx=\

  108. commen faire pour suprimer le plan par defaut ?
    et est qu il y aurai un tuto pour blender pour fair un dinosaure?

  109. commen faire pour suprimer le plan par defaut ?
    et est qu il y aurai un tuto pour blender pour fair un dinosaure?

  110. Hello, this is a great tutorial... But I have know idea how to modify the shape of the lattice. (stretch it and stuff into the shape of a dolphin)

    and my spheroid doesn't look like the one up there... its in 3D form.. how can I get it to have the lines?


  111. Hello,
    I have modelled the dolphin like you said and he looks nice, but when I add a bezier curve te make a fin
    I only can work with it in the top view so that the fin lays flat on the dolphin, it seems to me the you have to work with the bezier curve in the front view but it doesn't work.
    Help please.

  112. Hi, Good tutorial but i have a problem and was woundering if you or anyone could help me...

    I put the vertex's at the same points as you have in your picture but the sphere does not look anything like yours... please help!


  113. coopermr

    Hey, i had the same problem, but if you press the "Z" key it will go to lines, then press again to go back to 3D

    ps:Good luck with the dolphin^^

  114. Hi everyone!
    I'm a begginer using Blender 2.48a and I have no idea how am I supposed to get the lattice problem working. I try to resize the lattice to match the sphere but no matter what I don't have the lattice deform option, could someone lend me a hand?

    I know it must be annoying for the good people making tutorial that every sub-version forces them to update, thanks guys.

  115. Found out! Now for the lattice you must go to the sphere's properties and make "add modifier"->lattice, you put the name of the lattice and you're good to go.

  116. Nice tutoria and I understand the idea behind thisl, but after I've parented the sphere to the lattice the deformations dont work as described.
    Either they don't deform anything, or the deform at unpredictable places. It's the third time now.
    But I'll keep trying, this is the 5th or so blender tutorial I have to give up because suddenly something is missing in the interface, something don't work etc. And I do know how to navigate the basic interface.
    I know blender is changing all the time which is probably why but it's very frustrating.

  117. OK me again I got it working (My own fault as usual)

    Maybe you should emphasiz that the lettice should surround the sphere ?

    Maybe it's obvious, but I couldnt really tell..my lattice popped up far from the dolphin
    and I thought that it should just stay there (remember I'm a noob).
    Anyway it works and thanks again for this tutorial.

  118. Great tutorial!!! TNX
    Anyone who have problem with filling FINs enter Edit mode of fin and press CKEY(helped me)


  119. Can anyone help me ?? I have a probleme with the fins in the edit-mode i cant create new vertex pls help My version is 249.2 THX in advance

  120. I had a little problem getting the lettice to look right so I cheated a little. I split my screen and saved the pic from this page. Then in camera mode I set the pic. as a background image. this helped me set the points I needed.

    The only other problem I has was with the BEZIER curve. I couldn't move it in the z axes. So I improvised.

    I used a UVcube sub devided it twice and did a rough shaping. Then I applied a sub surface (catmull-clark lvl2), then applied it. Next I applied a lettice over it and parented it. With this I was able to get the look I wanted.

    Thanks a lot.

  121. hello...
    when im opening the tool box (by hiting space) add> im don't seeing the lattice key....
    please help

  122. I didn't understand athing . The part with ball that you need to change is impossible to do, 'cuz you directly showed how to do it,without any help before. Man,there is no good tutorial everywere here...

  123. Um... I need help with lattice on

    I need help. When I try to add the lattice, it is only a tiny square. And when I try to make a parent, I do exactly what you said. I pushed ctrl-p, clicked "lattice deform", but it didn't do anything. Please help me!!!

  124. Hi Bart. I noticed you had mentioned you will give a part II to this tutorial so that we can put together the environment like the picture at the end. Otherwise excellent tutorial: the only thing I would update is that the lattice is supposed to be resized. Thanks!

  125. Thats too hard!! on

    Its too hard!! i can't doo that... =( its soooooo difficult to get "modelled" the lattice so the sphere take form as a dolphine =(=(=( I quited in the 3rd step =O Im pretty good at blender.... But.. I can't do that....=(=(=(=(=(=(=(=(=(=(=(=(=(=(=(=(=/=/=/=/=/=/=/=/=/=/=/ :(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:{:{:{ =O=O=O=O=O=O=O


  126. hi, in need help with the fin, i cant get it 3D. wenn i do its 'negative' 3D, meens, its ähm, curved inside (I have no idea how i can say it on english, I'm swiss, I hope You understand it.)

    Ps. you should write that the lattice must be bigger then the Sphere, when you try it with the little cube-lattice, its impossible, maybe thats the Problem of the people up there /\

  127. SO ANNOYING!!... when i was shaping the dolphin in side and top view the dolphin would go pink from time to time(the same color as the vertices i was working on) and made the shaping that much more tedious. If i switched to object mode and clicked A it would be deselected(and go black again) and it would patch the problem. However, it wasnt long till it would happen again... sheesh. Sad part is i never figured what was causing it.

  128. im stuck right at the start.. as soon as i get the sphere up it says to add latice.. but all that comes up is the nerbs or something

  129. Im having problems with the fin... i add a bezier curve and add some vertices (i dont know why, but you told me :|) and when i try to "manipulate" it, it only sort of rotates the edges

  130. So different question, is there any way to move the vertices on the y axis? cuz i want to make it wider on the bottom than the top for a better look

  131. Hi dear, I think I am to too late for your tutorial, but Its very interesting, I like it.
    *Me, I am beginner coming from scratch, very interested for animation and I was downloaded blender 2.49b, how can I follow your step? How can I use it? Can you help me, please?

  132. Hi, I think I am to too late for your tutorial, but It’s very interesting, I like it.
    Ø Me: I am beginner coming from scratch, very interested for animation and I was downloaded blender 2.49b, how can I follow your step & How can I use it? Can you help me? please?

  133. Hi, I think I am to too late for your tutorial, but It’s very interesting, I like it.
    Ø I am beginner coming from scratch, very interested for animation and I was downloaded blender 2.49b, how can I follow your step? How can I use it? Can you help me, please?

  134. great tutorial, but not for an absolute beginner like me to get it right in one go. I am learning a lot though, and I must add, to see a nice looking dolphin appear on my screen ir great, and very inspiring :) It has got me over my fear for 3d. I had a promo copy of blender in 2001, and never learnt how to use it! Thanks a lot for your help!

  135. HEY !!
    im trying to make the dolhin but i get stuck at one point and thats when you select the lattice and the spheroid, i cant seme to select them together. I hold shift down but nothing happens and when first tap tab and then i do it again but nothing happens :'(

    so please help :3


    p.s. : i am a noob in blender :P

  136. Thank you very much for this tutorial. I made it from the second try, when i made lattice bigger than sphere. Thanks, you helped me alot.

  137. Hi! Nice tutorial!
    I have a simple qustion. I have to objects that both have pink outlines and i cant seem to just highlight one of them. I have tried everything, ungrouping (though its not grouped..) right clicked on one object and so on...

    So happy for a response!


  138. How do you switch in between objects, like if add another object you cant go back to the previous one you were working on,

  139. Bart,
    Great tutorial. I just had a few questions:

    1. How do the parts combine into a solid model (body, fins and eyes), is there a method other than using CNTRL P ? (I'm using ver 2.47)
    3. Is there a way to remove the lattice without loosing the dolphin's shape?
    4. What's the best way to animate the dolphin?

  140. Frank is a nooB on

    My middle mouse button is for rotate. I can't even find a resize so I get stopped at the very beginning. Help me in getting the functionality to work :)

  141. hi, I have the same problem as anirudh wrote about in the 16h of oktober. I cant even get the sphere. If I hit "add - surfase - sphere, there is a sphere but it is more like an UVsphere................whats the problem?

  142. Hay I am having problems with the lattice. When I look at your pics it looks like the lattice is out side but when I make the lattice it's in side. Do I have to shape it from the inside or out side? I don't get it... Please help me out

  143. Thanks for the great tutorial! Although I had some problems with the bezier curve, it all turned out well. Great starters tutorial!

  144. Really nice help but I'm having trouble with the curve thingy I just cant get it I got the modeling thingy and all I need now is how to do the fins

  145. Hey. I started this tutorial, but I couldn't continue because im working with an hp laptop and dont have a middle mouse button. What can I do instead?

  146. hey look i am stuck, i cannot manipulate the sphereoid too look like a dolphins head, i honestly am getting truly agitated with not being able to do this tutorial this would be me third tutorial. and this is the only one that has cause me this much bother. i am at the stage with in the tutorial where i must shape the dolphin (the 5th pic down). i am in edit mode with wire-frame activated i have made the parent and selected deform lattice. the orange and yellow frame that surrounds the sphereoid; is still active, and not green as it is in your diagram. and as i have stated before i cannot get the dolphin to take shape; though i figured out how to make a submarine, lol (me thinks i got the door prize). please please i beseech thee or indeed any one else to help to move forward with this project. and i have the latest Blender. this brick wall i have hit hurts thank you muchly

    Torestorm-the noob ;)

  147. @Torestorm

    I'm not sure what I'm to describe is the solution to your problem, but I'll write this since I couldn't for the life of that poor dolphin go through this without figuring out a missing step (that I couldn't see anyway). Doing it exactly like the tutorial says and shows in the initial lattice vertex modifications would result in a bigger, longer, deformed chunk of nonsense entity. I'm amazed how most people got through it without asking for help.

    Anyway, this is how I figured and realized it should be:

    Do NOT LEAVE the LATTICE in it's create-time size. Instead, BEFORE making it parent of the spheroid make sure to SCALE IT such that it kind of forms a bounding box around the spheroid. Now you should make sense out of actually shaping the spheroid into what was meant to be.

    Someone correct the the tutorial please.

  148. I save and still have the tutorial page! that is one awesome tutorial that show me how to use sub div modelling and hair simulation on blender before 2.41! I remember after read the tutorial I search the hair add on :D

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