Here's a quick video to demonstrate how to easily redesign a 3D model by using a Lattice Modifier. Using a lattice will allow you to make significant changes to the shape of your model without sacrificing the integrity of the mesh topology. You can push, pull, stretch and twist your model with ease.
Here are the basic steps:
- Start with a model loaded into Blender.
- Add a Lattice object to the scene.
- Position it to encompass your model (or part of your model).
- Subdivide the lattice as needed using the U,V, and W parameters.
- Parent your model to the lattice as a Lattice Deform.*
- Manipulate the lattice object to reshape your model.
- Apply those changes.
- Delete the modifier.
*(An alternate way to attach the lattice to your model would be to select your model, add a Lattice Modifier, and type in the name of the lattice object in the "Ob" field.)
You can also use a Lattice Modifier during the modeling process to achieve a shape that would otherwise be difficult, and continue modeling your object afterwards.
Lattices can also be used for animation but, that's beyond the scope of this demonstration.
Definitely spend some time exploring the many benefits of Blender's Lattice Modifier. Also, be sure to check out a very similar tool called the MeshDeform Modifier (new in Blender v2.46). This serves the same purpose as a Lattice except that you're not limited to a basic grid-shaped cage. The MeshDeform Modifier allows you to use another mesh of any shape as the cage!
Watch the demo. UPDATE - Faster loading video!:
(MOV, Length - 2:49, Size - 11.5MB, Res. - 800 x 600, No Audio)
Download the zip file.