Have you ever wondered how to edit groups of vertices (or faces, edges) at one time to create smooth, round, or sharp falloffs? No? Well after this you'll know how to do it anyway. Blender's Proportional Editing mode is a form of Soft Selection, with plenty of options to tune the results.
1) In Blender, create a plane, TAB into Edit mode, and subdivide it several times, until you end up with a grid of vertices to work with (Press A to select all, then press W and choose subdivide).
2) Turn on Proportional Editing by selecting "On" from the Proportional Editing menu on the 3D header. You can also use the "O" key. (You will only see the Proportional Editing item while in Edit Mode.)
Once Proportional Editing is activated, you'll have access to the Falloff menu.
3) Choose a falloff type, such as Smooth.
4) Select one vertex in the center of the subdivided plane. Press G to grab and Z to constrain to the Z axis.
At this point you'll notice a circle of influence drawn around your mouse cursor, and your mouse wheel
will set the size of the Proportional Editing influence. Notice the brush size change as you move the mouse wheel in one direction, then the other.
As the brush size increases, so does the area of influence.
5) Left click to confirm.
Try the other Falloff modes and note their effect.
- Smooth: A gentle curved falloff decreasing in influence out from the center.
- Sphere: A spherical falloff out toward the edge of influence.
- Root: Very similar to Sphere, but with a peak at the center.
- Sharp: Basically the opposite of smooth, starting off very steep toward the center and becoming more gentle toward the edge.
- Linear: Direct falloff from the center with no curve. Produces an even peak.
- Random: Each vertex within the circle of influence is given a random falloff factor. The randomization is different each time it is used.
- Constant: All vertices within the influence area move 1:1 with the selected vertex. All vertices outside the influence do not move at all.
You may also want to try selecting multiple vertices at once and take note of the effects from various falloff types.
Activating "Connected Mode" from the Proportional menu will limit the influence to vertices that are linked
to the selected vertex. When "On" is used, any vertex within the area of influence is affected, regardless of whether it is linked.
Use the O key to toggle Proportional Editing on and off. Use ALT+O to toggle between "On" and "Connected" modes.
Proportional Editing will help you save time modeling, and assist you in modeling organic surfaces, or anything where moving multiple vertices in a variety of ways is desirable.