Box modeling for beginners
( by julien Tromeur )

Here we are going to go through a simple method for modeling : the box modeling.

The process is very simple, you start from a box, then you subdivide it and use a few simple tools to get the desired shape.

Here I wanted to model a stupid bird ( stupid and no wings..), this should take an hour or two.

Let's get started.

First, you just have to create a box :
Right-click, Create Cube

We are going to use the Universal manipulator tool in this tutorial : key Q

Subdivide the box once, and refine the mesh.

By the way, I use my own button setup for this tutorial, it's not perfect, it's just very simple, you can download it here.
Put it in your button folder (C:\Program Files\Silo\Interface\Button Setups), then load it from the Options/Button Settings menu.
Then disable the Display/Show buttons menu, now you only need to hit space to see your buttons.

Hit space, got into Face mode.

Select half of your model, just use the Middle Mouse Button while dragging to select the back faces.

( Use shift to add selections (faces, edges etc..), use shift/alt to remove selections.)

Now that you have only one half of the model go to Create/Instance Mirror, this creates a "real time mirror" of your half, every change you make on one side happens on the other side as well.

It's very useful for creating organic shapes such as heads and bodies.

Hit space and select the Edge mode, then select two edges on the bottom.

Once selected, hit space and Connect.
This creates an extra edge between the two, Connect is very useful to add geometry easily.

Select the face as shown on the left.

Here we want the manipulator to match the face's orientation, just activate the Selection/Auto Orient Manipulator tool to Normal.

Hit space and Extrude.

This is where the Universal Tool Manipulator becomes handy, just pull, scale and rotate your new face as desired, this tool makes modeling very intuitive.

Repeat last action a few times in order to get a "chicken leg".

Keep on the extruding process, try to get a basic foot shape.

One of the tools I use the most is the grow selection, it helps a lot to expand your current selection.

Once you're satisfied with the basic foot you're going to add toes.
For this we need to add geometry, we could use the connect tool between two edges, but we wan also use the split tool.
For this unsubdivide your mesh, hit space, select Split tool and just draw your new edge where you want it.
Right click or hit enter to validate your new edge.

Then just add toes like you did for the legs and feet, select a face, extrude, pull, scale and rotate as desired.


Our foot is pretty flat at the moment, let's add geometry in the middle.
Select an edge as shown on the picture, then hit space and Sel Edge ring, then hit Connect.
You now have a new egde in the middle of the foot.

Sel edge ring and sel edge loop are very handy and improve your workflow a lot, try to experiment with them to understand how they work.

Now that you have enough geometry, try to model your feet the way you want to.

Another great way to model is to use the tweak mode, in vertices mode just use crtl and your mouse to move points around.
(again experiment, that's the best way to learn the tools).

Now we're going to model the head.
But we need more geometry, just select the edge as shown on the picture, hit space and Bevel, try to keep nice proportions.

Then select the top faces and extrude as desired. (same process as for the legs).

Unsubdivide your mesh, select your head and use the Subdivision/Partial Subdivide menu.
Refine your mesh, you just added geometry to the head only.

Select the front faces and build a nose with the extrude/scale method.

Now we're going to build the eye socket.

Select the faces as shown on the picture and extrude inside the head.

You might need to create polys at this moment (missing polys on the left), just select the vertices and hit space/poly from verts.

One thing I like to do to get nice round eyes is to build my mesh around a sphere.
Just create a sphere and try to adjust your model around.

Feel free to add geometry around the eye, I used the spit tool a lot here.

Now we want to pull the head in order to get a more interesting shape for a stupid bird.

No problem, Silo has a nice soft selection mode, enable it in the Selection menu.
Once enabled, play with it using your middle mouse wheel, and ctrl and your middle mouse wheel, they change the radius and strength of your selection.

Pull vertices to get the stupid head you want.

Try to do the same with the body.

Now you can select and scale/rotate big parts of your body, try to play and give your bird big feet, a big stomach etc...

Once satisfied you can de-instantiate your half and merge the two (merge vertices).

That's it, we quickly made a stupid bird with a very simple method, with just a few tools we saw how to get interesting shapes.

Try to experiment and discover your own techniques, then maybe you'll create your own button setup that matches your needs better.