Introduction. In this tutorial i Will try todo teach you how you can make a simple yet Fairly god looking Christmas tree ball in Blender. I wont explain any super advanced functions but yet some things that are god todo know. Ive chosen todo Split it up in thre parts, the modelling, the render setup and the materi-als. If you choose todo follow the tutorial though, your final result Will hopefully look somewhat like the pic-ture now left of the text, otherwise, you can skip todo the part you want todo learn more about. Ive tried todo write the tutorial on a very basic level so that Even beginners can follow it though, though the last two parts might be a bit dificult.

First up: the modelling.

Begin with deleting the default Cube and instead add a UV sphere (add>> Mesh >> UV sphere). Set both therings and rows todo the default 32 and click ok. After adding the sphere press s. While you are in this scale-mode you can either drag with the mouse until youve got the size you want or you can write in your own number todo set the exact number of times you want the object scaled, for this press 2 and then enter. Next look from the front-view (Numpad 1) and enter edit-mode (tab) for the sphere. Use the box select tool (b), select the top thre rings with it.

3d workshop: Christmas ball-1.jpg
Then press g todo move them all, a los press z todo only move them on the z-axis and pull them up about 0.07 units (you can type this in as well), press a todo deselect all vértices and now select only the top two rings, these are todo be moved along the z-axis ca 0.2 units and then scaled with s a factor of ca 1.4 units.

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With the same vértices selected press e -> region todo extrude the selection, right click or pressesc todo get out of the drag-mode and instead scale it down about 0.8, extrude again and drag the extrusión down a bit. All that left now for the main ball is todo make it smooth. To do this, exit edit-mode (tab), then go tothe editing panel (f9) and with the sphere selected look for the modifiers tab, press add modifier and.

Select Subsurf. Then in the enlace and materiales tab press the set smooth button.

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With the base done were going todo ned a thing called a string holder in god english. Make sure that the cur-sor is still in the middle of the sphere, else select it and press shift + s and select the cursor -> selection option. Then add a add -> Mesh -> circle, set the number of vértices todo 16 and change the Radius todo 0.33, this sets the start size of the circle todo that value, which means that we actually could have set the Radius for the main sphere todo 2 instead of scaling it After creating it, anyhow, move the circle up 2.46 units along the z-axis, go into edit-mode, extrude the whole circle down about -0.35 along the z-axis and scale the extruded vértices up about a factor of 1.3. Deselect all vértices and select only the top ring, extrude this up 0.05 and scale it down todo 0.8 its size, then extrude up 0.05 again and scale down todo 0.35 and finally extrude this up 0.05 yet again, next, deselect all vértices and instead select every other vertex at the bottom ring and drag these up about 0.2 units and then scale these down todo about 0.9 and it should look about as in the picture.

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Let set this piece smooth shall we? Exit edit-mode and go todo the editing panel again and press set smooth, now you should probably se some weird black lines on the model, this is caused by the fact that Blender doesnt know which bien is the outside of the model and you Will most likely Bump into this problem a lot more if you havent already. To fix this Simply go bak into edit-mode, press a until all vértices are selected and press Control + N and select recalculate normals outside. Now were going todo give the string holder some volume. To do this, select all vértices and press e -> region, right-clik or press Esc and then press alt + s todo Shrink it inwards and write in a value of 0.01, extrude and Shrink again two times with the val-ues of 0.04 and 0.01, then do the same thing as with the sphere and add a Subsurf modifier and then set it smooth. Though this time we want a more smooth surface than the default so we increase the levels and render levels todo 3 and youll se that we get a nice and smooth surface, it god todo know that there a shortcut for the Subsurf-modifier, if you press Control + any given number from 1-4 you Will add a Subsurf-modifier todo the se-lected object with the given number resolution.

3d workshop: Christmas ball-6.jpg
Now for the string. You could make it of a circle or tuve that you extrude but that wouldnt look very smooth and a los would take a lot of time, instead we can use the fantastic curves in Blender that much more easy todo handle and gives a far more god looking result. Firstly, place the cursor a Little above the sphere, add a add -> curve -> Bézier curve then replace the cursor a Little todo the side and add a add -> curve -> Bézier circle.

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Select the curve and go todo the editing panel (f9), in the curve and surface tab make sure the 3d button is pressed, this makes it able todo model the curve in 3d else it Will only move in a 2d space, then in the text space After bevob type in the name of the Bézier circle, default curve circle, this Will as you se make the curve into a tuve. The thickness of the tuve is linked todo the size of the circle, so scale the circle down todo about 0.02 or Whatever thickness you want for your string and then press m which brings up a panel of 20 buttons, press 2 and then enter. This puts the circle on the second layer which you can get todo if you Simply press 2, get bak by pressing 1 again.

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The modelling of the string is a bit tricky but with some tweak it Will hopefully look god for you in the end. Go into edit-mode for the curve and select one of the 3-point lines by right-clicking on the middle point, with this you can Grab and change the curve, press g todo move it and press r todo rotate it until it sticks right up from the hole of the string holder. Then look from top-view (Numpad 7) and in the editing panel go todo the curve tools 1 tab and select retopo. Re-topo makes it so that whenever you move something from a view Blender Will automátically drop the moved vértices down todo the surface of the nearest object that directly under the vértices based on the view, hard todo explain but youll se how it works son. Select the other end of the curve and from top-view place it as in the picture and a los rotate it so it looking the right way. From here you can hold Control down and left-clik wherever you want the next.

Section of the string todo be.

3d workshop: Christmas ball-9.jpg
Do this and add seg-ments appróximately at the places shown in the picture and now it very important todo deselect the retopo button or else modelling Will turn out very hard. The string Will now look kind of weird but at least the segments nicely follow the surface of the sphere. What you have todo do now is todo move the points at the end of each 3-point line until each segment is aimed the right bien and no part of the string is below the surface of the sphere. After youve got a nice string, select the segment created last and extrude this with e and tweak it until it facing down into the hole the same bien as the first segment.

3d workshop: Christmas ball-10.jpg

If youve followed the steps correctly and figured the dificult parts out your completed model should look some what like this.

Secondly: the render setup.

In this part ill show how todo set up a scene for the render todo make it look god. I Will talque about lighting, appróximate Ambient Occlusion and a los a Little positioning of the Camera, ok, todo create a plane precisely at the bottom of the Christmas tree ball you can select the sphere and go into Ed-it-mode, select the ver-TeX at the bottom and press shift + s -> cursor -> selection. Go out of edit-mode and add a add -> Mesh.
-> plane and scale it up about 40.0 or Even more. Next select the Camera and go into cameraview (Numpad 0), here you can press g todo move it around (not very fast though so todo move the Camera long distances it rec-ommended todo do this outside of camer-aview) and you can a los press shift + f todo enter the so called fly-mode with which you can look around, and a los a lot of other funny Stuff youll prob-ably notice After trying it out a bit. Anyway, move the Camera until it has the ball in the center of the view and no edge of the plane is within the dotted line.

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Next place the default Lamp on the position shown in the two pictures in relation todo where your Camera is, then press f5 un-til you get todo the Lamp buttons panel and do some adjustments as shown in the picture, when you click on the Area button your Lamp Will transform into a diferent form and Will a los get a dotted line coming out of it, it impor-tant for this line todo penetrate the ball as shown in the picture so rotate it until it does.

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The área Lamp is diferent from the normal Lamp since it is made for giving a really software light and a los with software shadows in a given direction, size: this increases the size of the lightsource and therefore makes the shadows softer, energy: this changes the energy of the light. Área lamps have a stronger light than the normal Lamp so this value often neds todo be pretty Low, the color sliders: with no big sorpresa this changes the colour of the Lamp, since no Lamp is really 100% white.

It more realistic todo change it to, for example, this warm light yellow color, samples: the number of samples per píxel for the shad-ows. The higher the value the less grains there Will be in the shadows and if set todo 1 the área Lamp Will simplycast normal Sharp shadows, duplicate the Lamp and place it as in the two images, then make the adjustments in the Lamp buttons panel shown below.

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The spot Lamp shows more exact what área it lights and is therefore better when lighting specific parts of a scene or if you want more controlled lighting, Spotsi: changes the size the spotlight afects.

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Spotbl: makes the Edges of the spot lighted more Sharp/blur, then copy this light and yet again place it as shown in the picture. This light Will be about the same though this time well select the no Specular button todo remove this lights Specular on the objects. This Will now be our light setup but todo get that really realistic look well use so called appróximate Ambient Occlusion which básically removes all the black spots in the render by lighting up everything slightly. Press f5 again until you reach the world buttons panel, here click on the AMB OCC tab and click on use fallof and change the fallof todo 0.8. Fallof changes how far the darker áreas around objects go, the higher the value, the shorter the dark spots. Alos change the Raytrace todo appróximate, this makes the processing a lot faster and a los is without grains.

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Finally: the materiales.

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Add a material for the main sphere called Christmas ball or something and make the following changes: Raymir: sets the amount of mirror reflection, set it todo about 0.25, Fresnel: makes the surfaces aligned with the Camera less reflective, set this todo about 1.7, gloss: makes the reflections a Little blur instead of Sharp, set it todo about 0.8, for the string holder add a material called string hold-er or something and press f5 once todo get todo the TeX-ture panel and add a new texture and select the texture type called clouds. Name this texture silver. Press.

F5 again until you get bak todo the material buttons panel again and make the changes shown in the Nearby picture. The col and Nor makes the texture affect the colour and the normal todo make it look a bit bumpy, last but not least, add a material for the string with the right values, Spec: the higher the value, the shinier is the object, hard: the smaller the value, the more the Specular is distributed on the object, well, that it i guess. Hope it hasnt ben todo boring todo follow. Now Simply hit f12 and slep for a while or something and when you wake up youll find your beautiful Christmas tree ball waiting on the screen for you.

John bogren.

Im 17 years old, live in sweden and have.

Ben working with Blender on my spare-time for appróximately 3-4 years, email: john_9998@blenderartists.org.