I have done several complete Blender tutorials here on GameFromScratch on using Blender including this one and this one that take you from complete beginners to reasonably fluent. Taking the next step however can be quite tricky. So I’m going to do a series of quick and simple tutorials showing how to accomplish a specific task in Blender. Keep in mind, this shows one way of doing things, not necessarily the right way. These tutorials assume you already know how to operate Blender, so if you do not, be sure to check out one of the two earlier linked tutorials.
There is now a video version of this tutorial available here.
Modeling a Low Polygon Sword
In this tutorial I am going to model the entire thing as a single mesh. You could of course model it component by component if you preferred.
Start with the default Blender cube.
Switch to edit mode, insert an edge loop (Ctrl + R), apply immediately.
Switch to Polygon editing mode (CTRL + TAB + 3), select the left most face and delete (X) select Vertices:
Now go into modifiers, add a Mirror modifier. Select the appropriate axis to mirror along (Y in my case)
This puts us back to having a cube again:
Now, still in edit mode, select everything (A), then scale along X then Z axis ( S-X, then S-Z ), so your shape looks like this:
Select the end face (non-mirrored one) and extrude ( E ) it several times.
Now switch to the side view, then apply a Bend (Shift + W), like so:
This presents a small problem, our vertices left the mirror axis:
The easiest solution is to select the top vertices, then in properties (N), manually set the mirror axis value to 0, then repeat for the bottom vertices.
I’m going to be extruding the sword blade out next, but first I want the edge to be flat so the blade extrudes cleanly. This is easily accomplished in a non-intuitive way... select these edges:
Then scale 0 along the axis you want to align. This can be accomplished with S+Z+0, aka, scale 0 along the Z axis, with the following result:
Easy enough... now we need to make a few edge cuts so we have a nice extrude-able blade. First make a pair of loop cuts like so:
By the way, when making your edge cut (Ctrl + R), before right clicking to commit you can use the wheel mouse to make multiple evenly spaced cuts. Or new edge loops are a bit two far apart when evenly spaced, so move them closer together. With both newly created loops still selected, simply scale on the X axis (S+X) and move the two edge loops closer together. Then add another edge loop at the edge, like so:
Now simply extrude our newly created polygon a couple times:
Grab the top most edge to make things pointy...
Now taper the edge however you like your sword to look:
Finally we need a hilt... Everything we need is in place already... If you look at the bottom of the sword, it should look something like this:
First less flatten the one polygon (S+Z+0) like we did with the blade, just this time with the single polygon selected:
If you prefer the look, you could have flattened the entire bottom of the sword. Next scale along the X axis, then move it slightly down the Z axis:
And time for more extrusions...
Now move and scale things until it looks like you want...
TADA... one low polygon sword in about 3 minutes time. Of course you probably want to add a bit of detail here and there... Mostly this can be accomplished with bevels (CTRL + B), for example using a bevel we can add so detail to the hilt or handle should we wish, like so:
After loop cutting in and beveling whatever additional detail you wish into the model, leave edit mode and apply the Mirror modifier: