In this tutorial we will demonstrate the Blender skin modifier to create base meshes. We build a simple tree using this modifier.
I want to start with the simplest 3d object possible: One vertex. To create one vertex in the center you can add a plane:
Select the whole plane in edit mode then (A key) and press Alt – M key to merge the selected vertices. Then choose At Center:
The result is one vertex in the center of the plane which is the point 0,0,0. With this vertex selected add the skin modifier:
Now your vertex looks like a cube, you can see a thick mesh-like geometry around it but actually it is not a mesh. Use the E key and extract the vertex a few times:
you can select each vertex and do new extractions. Even subdivision can be made for selected vertices:
But the shape is rather rough, so let’s add a subsurf modifier to it:
There is one special thing when it comes to scaling: Select a vertex, press Ctrl + A key and move the mouse. This is the method to scale the branches for the selected vertex:
Also other operations like moving or rotating vertices are possible:
When your shape is defined you can turn the object into a real mesh by first applying the skin modifier and then the subsurf modifier.
To tweak the shape you can use proportional editing for example or later on add sculpting to the tree to make it look more realistic, perhaps a little bit like this: