How to Mirror Objects in Blender To Create a Kaleidoscope Effect

January 12, 2020

Example of mirrored objects in Blender 3.0

This tutorial which show you how to mirror objects in Blender to create a kaleidoscopic effect. This tutorial requires some basic knowledge of Blender such as adding and deleted objects, and adding modifiers.

Here is a copy of the blender file that is created in this tutorial using Blender 3.1.

1. Position the Camera

I like to position my camera so it points at the objects directly along the Y axis.

  1. In the Outliner select the camera.
  2. Move the cursor over the viewport and press ‘n’ to bring up the viewport properties.
  3. Under Transform – Location, set the X and Z to zero. The Y location can be adjusted later to adjust the view zoom.
  4. Under Rotation set the X to 90º and the Y and Z to 0º.
  5. In the viewport click on the camera icon to view through the camera. You should find yourself look directly at the front face of the cube.
Positioning the camera to view directly along the y-axis.
Positioning the camera to view directly along the y-axis.

2. Add Object to be Mirrored

This demo will use the Suzanne / Monkey object however you can always follow these steps with your own object. 😉

  1. Select and delete the default cube
  2. Add the monkey object.
  3. With the monkey selected go to Object – Shade Smooth.
  4. With the monkey selected go to Modifiers tab, click on the Add Modifier field and select Subdivision Surface.
  5. For the subdivision properties – Levels Viewport, I like to set this to 2 for a slightly smoother view of the model in the viewport.

3. Add Empty for Mirror Point

  1. Add an Empty – Plain Axes object (It works well if this is at the 0,0,0 location). In the Outliner you might want to rename this object ‘Mirror Point’ or similar.

4. Add Mirror Modifier

  1. With the monkey selected add the Mirror modifier.
  2. The most important thing here is next to ‘Mirror Object’ click on the eye dropper tool and then click on your empty object in the outliner. This will align the mirroring to be relative to the empty.
  3. Now if you click and drag on your model in the viewport it should be mirrored on the X Axis.

5. Adjust the Mirror Modifier Settings

This is up to you, but I usually prefer to mirror on both the X and Y axis’. I also like to use the ‘Bisect’ option. This basically means that as the object passes over the axis it is not visible in that area.

Example mirror modifier settings in Blender
Mirror Modifier settings to mirror and bisect on the X and Y axis relative to the camera

6. Fix Distorted Edges

You may notice that the edges where the objects meet are distorted.

Example of distorted edges where mirrored objects join
Example of distorted edges where mirrored objects join

This is a result of the mirror modifier being applied below the subdivision modifier. To fix this simply click and drag the mirror modifier panel / section to be above the subdivision modifier.

Example modifier settings in Blender showing mirror above subdivision
Example showing the mirror modifier above the subdivision modifier to resolve distorted edges.

Hopefully now your object is mirrored and ready to mess around with. Of course you will mostly like want to do things like add materials, tweak the lighting, and add an animation sequence to your mirror object or objects. You may want to checkout some of my other Blender tutorials which show you how to create looping spinning animation sequences.

Otherwise please feel welcome to get in touch via if anything is unclear.

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