At the time of writing this tutorial I am currently using Blender 2.79 and Blender 2.8 will be releasing soon so things may change slightly if you are using that version unless earlier.
I'll be showing you how to create a Quick & Easy Low Poly 3D Pixel Tree! Ready?? Okay, Let's get started!!
So first things first, you'll need 3 things, don't worry this stuff is Free. I won't be going over it as much simply just download and install and then enable or use as needed.
- Blender 3D Installed (or your preferred 3D Software)
- Download this Tree Texture I made for you (or use Krita (or Gimp) to make your own)
- In Blender I would recommend enabling the Pie Menus Addon (File > User Preferences > Search " Pie Menu ")
Go ahead and start up Blender. After opening it up you should have something that looks like my screen below.
Yours will be grey so just ignore the blue coloring, that's just a theme I have installed via the file > User Preferences > Themes if you want to change yours to something else.
Anyways so just click in the center off the middle box there to make that go away.
You should now be at a screen inside of blender with a default " Cube " in the middle.
If you don't see one you may have deleted it so just simply press " Shift + A " then, " Mesh > Cube " and add it to your scene as this is what we'll need to get things going.
Press " Tab " and go into " Edit Mode ".
Your default " Cube " should then appear highlighted with everything selected to start you off.
Now, hit " Shift + S ", press " Z " (or middle-mouse click and drag up or down) to scale on the z axis until you have something pretty tall like an elongated rectangle of some sort. This is going to be the tree trunk.
You can also hit 4 on the numpad to quickly do this after hitting the Z key.
After you're done with that go ahead and press " Shift + B " to bevel the edges slightly. I used roughly .042 in case you want to type it in again.
Doing this will bevel all the way around the model creating a nice blocky toonish-rounded look for your tree trunk's styling.
You can ignore this step if you'd rather have something a little more box-like.
Press " A, A " two times to make sure you deselect your rectangular cube that we scaled so that it's no longer highlighted and delete the top part of the geometry by pressing " Z > Wireframe " and then " B " for box selection now " Left-Click " and drag over the top part of the cube and press " X > Delete Faces " to remove it.
Since this is low poly you can leave it there but generally it's a good idea to delete any unseen geometry to cut down on your polygon counts for optimization purposes especially if you're planning on using it in a gaming project of some sort.
You can do the same for the bottom if you wish but, I would leave those there in case you want to add roots to your Tree.
Zoom out slightly with " Middle-mouse Button" to make a bit more room in your scene and press " Shift + A " to add another " Mesh > Cube ".
Press " S " then " Left-Click " to scale the Cube on all axis (don't press Z this time yet) so that it is fairly big, then bevel that the same as before.
After the cube is nice and big drag it up on the Z axis to the top where you deleted before.
If your 3d cursor isn't in the middle just press " Alt + G " to snap your beveled cube back to the center.
To save time we are going to go ahead and UV Unwrap all of this right now so that when we duplicate some of the geometry later it keeps the nicer UV's.
Click on the lines and drag out to separate your screen and switch over the second window to the " UV Map Editor "
Then you will want to hover your mouse over the cube at the top of your Tree, press " L " to select it and " U > Unwrap " to unwrap your Tree top. It will generate some triangular uvs for the top.
Deselect the top of the Tree with " A " aftewards and then do the same thing for the bottom and this will create a twisted crazy-look because of the bevel, that's fine though as this is exactly what we want for the Trunk.
Now it's time to quickly texture it with the Textures I gave you earlier and unzip it.
Switch from Wireframe Mode to Texture Mode by pressing " Z " then go to the " Materials " tab in your panel on the right side.
Make sure you are in Cycles Render. Add a " New Material " if you don't have on already then click " Use Nodes " and switch the RBG " Color " via the dot on the right of the white over to using an " Image Texture ".
Find the folder you downloaded the Textures I gave you and open it then open that in the UV Editor. It'll appear kinda strange on your tree if you've done this right but ignore that for now as we're going to fix that here in a moment.
So press " L " to select it in the 3D Editor on the left, then " L " again in the UV Map Editor on the right over the UV Map Island you unwrapped earlier that you want to select and move hit " G " to grab it then move it up over the texture square where you want and " Left-Click " to drop it there. You will also need to press " S " to scale down UV so that it fits inside of the texture square for the leaves and trunk for each. Do the same for both the Tree Top and Tree Trunk and use A to select or deselect the model object as needed.
You're pretty much done!
All you have to do now is just select the Tree Top and Tree Trunk in the 3D Editor with " L " to select it then " Shift + D " to duplicate the textured trunk and top and move it wherever you want with " G " or " R " to rotate on a certain axis to create your 3D Pixel Tree however you like...Enjoy!! :)
And don't forget to Save!!