Thu, Feb 25, 2016

Blender: generating stairs

I've been using Blender on and off for over a decade now and have been constantly amazed at the quality and scope of improvements the team have made. In the past few years I've found myself becoming more and more productive in Blender, in no small part due to the very welcome UI overhaul that came in 2.5, so I wanted to create some tutorials that will help new users get up to speed and introduce more seasoned users to shortcuts/tools they may have missed.

In this tutorial I'll show how generate stairs, of any shape, in a matter of seconds. Needless to say, when designing architectural spaces, stairs are a very common feature. Manually modeling stairs however can be time consuming. Using Blender's Remesh modifier, we can generate stairs based on an underlying mesh in seconds, all while keeping the ability to edit the shape without having to remodel each individual step.

3D View Shortcuts

For all numerical shortcuts to work on keyboards without a numeric keypad (such as Macbooks), the "Emulate Numpad" option must be checked in the Input section of User Preferences.

  • SHIFT + F

    : FPS camera controls (Tab enables physics allowing you to walk on geometry)
  • 1

    : switch to front view (hold CTRL for back view)
  • 3

    : switch to right view (hold CTRL for left view)
  • 7

    : switch to top view (hold CTRL for bottom view)
  • 5

    : switch between orthographic and perspective
  • T

    : display/hide tools panel
  • N

    : display/hide propeties panel

Edit Mode Shortcuts

  • CTRL + Tab

    : opens the mesh select menu (vertex/edge/face)
  • A

    : select all/select none

If you found this quick tutorial useful, feel free to check out my other Blender tutorials, for example low poly modeling & texturing.