A common object type used in a 3D scene is a mesh. Blender comes with a number of “primitive” mesh shapes that you can start modeling from. You can also add primitives in Edit Mode at the 3D cursor.
Note about planar primitives
You can make a planar mesh three-dimensional by moving one or more of the vertices out of its plane (applies to Plane, Circle and Grid). A simple circle is actually often used as a starting point to create even the most complex of meshes.
In order to facilitate the modeling, the best solution is to imagine what primitive type suits better for your model. If you will model a cuboid, the best solution is to start with a primitive cube, and so on.
These options can be specified in the Operator panel in the Tool Shelf, which appears when the object is created. Options included in more than one primitive are:
- Generate UVs
- Generates a default UV-unwrapping of new geometry. This will be defined in the first UV Layer (which will get added if needed).
- Radius/Size, Align to View, Location, Rotation
- See Common Object Options.
The standard plane is a single quad face, which is composed out of four vertices, four edges, and one face. It is like a piece of paper lying on a table; it is not a three-dimensional object because it is flat and has no thickness. Objects that can be created with planes include floors, tabletops, or mirrors.
A standard cube contains eight vertices, twelve edges, and six faces, and is a three-dimensional object. Objects that can be created out of cubes include dice, boxes, or crates.
- The number of vertices that define the circle or polygon.
- Fill Type
Set how the circle will be filled.
- Triangle Fan
- Fill with triangular faces which share a vertex in the middle.
- Fill with a single n-gon.
- Do not fill. Creates only the outer ring of vertices.
A standard UV sphere is made out of quad faces and a triangle fan at the top and bottom. It can be used for texturing.
- Number of vertical segments. Like the Earth’s meridians, going pole to pole.
Number of horizontal segments. These are like the Earth’s parallels.
Rings are face loops and not edge loops, which would be one less.
An icosphere is a polyhedra sphere made up of triangles. Icospheres are normally used to achieve a more isotropical layout of vertices than a UV sphere.
- How many recursions are used to define the sphere. At level 1 the Icosphere is an icosahedron, a solid with 20 equilateral triangular faces. Any increasing level of subdivision splits each triangular face into four triangles.
Subdividing an icosphere rises the vertex count very high even with few iterations (10 times creates 5,242,880 triangles), Adding such a dense mesh is a sure way to cause the program to crash.
Objects that can be created out of cylinders include handles or rods.
- The number of vertical edges between the circles used to define the cylinder or prism.
- Sets the starting height of the cylinder.
- Cap Fill Type
- Similar to circle (see above). When set to none, the created object will be a tube. Objects that can be created out of tubes include pipes or drinking glasses (the basic difference between a cylinder and a tube is that the former has closed ends).
Objects that can be created out of cones include spikes or pointed hats.
- The number of vertical edges between the circles or tip, used to define the cone or pyramid.
- Radius 1
- Sets the radius of the circular base of the cone.
- Radius 2
- Sets the radius of the tip of the cone. which will creates a frustum. A value of 0 will produce a standard cone shape.
- Sets the starting height of the cone.
- Base Fill Type
- Similar to circle (see above).
A dough-nut-shaped primitive created by rotating a circle around an axis. The overall dimensions can be defined by two methods.
- Operator Presets
- Torus preset settings for reuse. These presets are stored as scripts in the proper presets directory.
- Major Segments
- Number of segments for the main ring of the torus. If you think of a torus as a “spin” operation around an axis, this is how many steps in the spin.
- Minor segments
- Number of segments for the minor ring of the torus. This is the number of vertices of each circular segment.
- Add Mode
Change the way the torus is defined.
- Major Radius
- Radius from the origin to the center of the cross sections.
- Minor Radius
- Radius of the torus’ cross section.
- Exterior Radius
- If viewed along the major axis, this is the radius from the center to the outer edge.
- Interior Radius
- If viewed along the major axis, this is the radius of the hole in the center.
A regular quadratic grid which is a subdivided plane. Example objects that can be created out of grids include landscapes and organic surfaces.
- X Subdivisions
- The number of spans in the X axis.
- Y Subdivisions
- The number of spans in the Y axis.
This is a gift from old NaN to the community and is seen as a programmer’s joke or “Easter Egg”. It creates a monkey’s head once you press the Monkey button. The Monkey’s name is “Suzanne” and is Blender’s mascot. Suzanne is very useful as a standard test mesh, much like the Utah Tea Pot or the Stanford Bunny.
In addition to the basic geometric primitives, Blender has a number of script generated meshes to offer as pre-installed add-ons. These become available when enabled in the User Preferences (filter by Add Mesh).