Primitives are simple polygon objects that are the root of all 3d models – Everything starts off as a primitive shape, usually a cube or plane, and is built up from there.
Some examples of primitive shapes include Cone, Sphere, Geosphere, Pyramid, Cube, Tube, Cylinder, Torus, plane and the good old teapot (The teapot was the perfect object for early developers to test out light rendering).
To create a primitive shape, go to the command panel and ensure the ‘create’ tab is selected. Click on the type of object you wish to create, before holding LMB and dragging to scale it along the X and Y axis. (Will vary if you are using orthographic) Clicking will place it, then move the mouse up/down to adjust the depth of the object.
I had a play around with just spawning things in and transforming them, and this was the end result.
By pressing M you can open the material editor. The material editior is a node based system that allows the user to create materials for their models. Along the left are the different types of material you can create. We created a standard material to keep things simple. Double clicking on the material node will allow you to edit it. From here you can change the diffuse (Colour) Specularity (Shininess), Glossiness, Opacity, Self illumination and so on. Once you have created a material, you can drag the node from the right of the material to your desired object, or select the object you want to apply this material to and click ‘Assign material to selection’ in the top left. Generally, you will want to make a grey material, and assign a black outline to the object via the command panel to make your objects easier on the eyes, without the distraction of textures when your focus is the model. This is known as greyboxing, and allows the user to focus on modifying the object, with simple lighting. Along with changing setting via double click, you can also click and drag one of the inputs on the left of the material to change it. For example, you can drag out the diffuse pin, let go, select bitmap and import a texture from the computer that will be used on the material instead of a solid colour.