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Blender oddities

From: Blender Essential Training

Video: Blender oddities

One of the most common complaints about Blender is that it just doesn't look like any other application I use, and it doesn't just divide up. It doesn't have floating panels. It's just weird. There are certain things about Blender that I admit, they are strange, but you have to just understand that it was developed over a dozen years ago. The original interface concept and the way it works was developed back under the UNIX and Linux environment. So it doesn't look like a Windows application.

Blender oddities

One of the most common complaints about Blender is that it just doesn't look like any other application I use, and it doesn't just divide up. It doesn't have floating panels. It's just weird. There are certain things about Blender that I admit, they are strange, but you have to just understand that it was developed over a dozen years ago. The original interface concept and the way it works was developed back under the UNIX and Linux environment. So it doesn't look like a Windows application.

It doesn't look like an Apple application. It looks like itself. So it's kind of a unique beast in that respect. How everything is arranged with all of these windowpanes, things are strange. They may not be familiar to you. The other complication is that it is a 3D graphics image manipulation program and that's just a very complex topic to try to embody and codify in a program. There are lots and lots of different features and functions that you're not used to, if you're just used to doing word processing or working with a spreadsheet.

There is no similar metaphor for Blender and what it's trying to do. So in doing this course we've come up with a couple of things that have tripped up people right off the top when they are trying to watch this video tutorial series. One of the first things is this Buttons window here. Programs like Maya have hundreds and hundreds of these panels/ Blender has fewer of these to deal with. But one of the things that happens is, and it's a feature of Blender, is that this window is a general-purpose window that holds these things called panels.

And these panels can be arranged or floated. The issue is that they can float off the screen and you can see that this panel up here, which is the Anim panel, is actually floated way up off the screen. So if in a video, I say click the Anim panel and your Anim panel is floated up here, you're not going to be able to see it. In fact, the Render panel is like nowhere to be found. You'd be looking for the Render panels like where is the Render panel? If things happen to line up just like that, you're totally faked out, because you think there is no Render panel.

You can't find it in the list. The only real absolute way to reset this is to right-click in any empty area of the panel and select, in this case, Vertical, because these panels align vertically. If you select Horizontal, then Blender thinks you want the panels selected and arranged this way, which is really going to throw you off. The other thing that happens with these panels is they can tab over one another. That's a tabbing feature.

So now these two panels take up the same amount of screen space. Remember that 5-10 years ago, CRTs and display devices were really small and screen real estate was at a premium. A lot of things have been done in Blender to really condense everything down and make everything really tight as far as screen space goes. Nowadays, and I'm working on some 21- inch monitor with screen space, it's not that much of a consideration. But there are leftovers like this tabbing thing.

The bad thing about the tabbing thing is of course you can't see this Format panel right now. The other bad thing about tabbing is that if I minimize this panel to be able to put it away, so that I get nice stacking thing, look what happened here. The Format panel isn't even mentioned, so you wouldn't even be able to find the Format panel unless you just happen to do that. So you have to really keep track of what's where and you'll see me every now and then throughout the videos doing little bit of housekeeping to try to make sure that I don't overlap those panels, because I often lose them.

Then I'm going to go ahead and expand a couple here. When you resize the window, what Blender tries to do is it tries to proportionally resize all of these different windowpanes so that they all take about the same amount of space. When you open my exercise files, what's going to happen is your windows and panes and the contents of them won't look like mine in the video. In particular, the Buttons window thing here will be scrolled, so these options that are up here, you wouldn't be able to see.

When you open up your file, it may like down here or something like that. So this window won't look exactly the same way, and again the only real way to be absolutely sure is to reset it to Vertical, and then all of the panels will line up. Another thing that will trip some people up is when there is a File Browser or Image Browser window loaded, you may not have the same directory structure as I do. So when you open up the exercise file, even though in the video this will have some path in here, you won't have that path, because that path doesn't exist on your computer.

So it will reset to your Volume ID or on Mac it will reset to something else. Because of that, then these images that are shown in this window will be different, because it's pointing to a different folder and so the contents of that folder are different on your machine than are on my machine. Another Blender oddity is what I call the Render Carry Over. The last time or last file that I was working on when I was recording this series and I'm doing test renders and everything, I'm going to have let's say this image here.

When I open up the next file and I haven't shut down Blender and everything, Blender remembers that render and tries to bring that in and shows that sometimes in an UV/Image Editor, when it is set to be showing the render result or the result of a viewer node or something else like that. If you haven't done that, then you won't see this image. This image is not really that important. During the course of the exercise, we'll be generating our own images, but just don't let it throw you off that when you first open up the Blender file, you may not get the same image that you see in a render result or a viewer node.

The other thing as we get in to compositing, and I realize that's way down there in Chapter 8, but I want to go ahead and mentioned it now. When you first open up an exercise file, which has a Render Noodle in it, and this is called a Render Noodle inside the Node Editor window, you're not going to see these thumbnails in your display, because the noodle has not been executed. You always need to press E to execute the noodle. When you do that, then it will read in those images. It doesn't actually read it in until it needs it.

Now there is one bug that is known on Macs with NVIDIA cards. The Apple driver's not quite up to snuff. So these thumbnail images will not appear for love nor money. There is nothing you can do to get them to appear. That's just a bug in the driver, and if you own an Apple with an NVIDIA card, we ask that you write to Apple and ask them to update their driver for that card to the latest OpenGL standard. Otherwise, if you're running like a Windows box and you have an NVIDIA card, chances are it will run just fine.

So please take all of these things that I've said about the floating panel here, the Render Results or Carry Over Results and these directories and keep them in mind as you're using Blender to make sure that you're not tripped up by these things and that you can carry forward with the exercise and get to know and learn and love Blender as much as I do.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Blender Essential Training
Blender Essential Training

131 video lessons · 25178 viewers

Roger Wickes

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 12m 5s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. Using Blender's full capabilities
      4m 16s
    4. Getting and installing Blender
      3m 8s
    5. Mouse and keyboard differences on the Mac
      2m 27s
  2. 1h 6m
    1. Blender oddities
      7m 38s
    2. Introducing the User Interface, Console, and Render windows
      3m 8s
    3. Configuring the desktop for an efficient workflow
      6m 27s
    4. Using the mouse and tablet on a PC or a Mac
      5m 7s
    5. Acquiring keyboard skills
      7m 38s
    6. Window panes and types
      7m 53s
    7. Exploring the default scene
      5m 53s
    8. Setting themes, UI colors, and user preferences
      4m 0s
    9. Understanding how to safeguard your data with autosave and backups
      6m 52s
    10. Appending and linking assets
      7m 27s
    11. Using the open-source movies and assets
      4m 18s
  3. 2h 7m
    1. Working with objects in 3D space
      6m 24s
    2. Navigating 3D views
      4m 23s
    3. Understanding Blender modes
      1m 51s
    4. Understanding meshes
      2m 8s
    5. Editing a mesh
      3m 28s
    6. Using the Mirror modifier
      2m 55s
    7. Working with Vertex groups
      2m 35s
    8. Using Bézier curves
      3m 52s
    9. Working with text objects
      5m 23s
    10. Using reference images
      3m 38s
    11. Modeling boots by extruding circles and joining meshes
      8m 59s
    12. Applying the Mirror modifier to duplicate the boot and rotate
      1m 58s
    13. Modeling a helmet with NURBS and the Boolean modifier
      7m 14s
    14. Modeling a belt and pants by making a compound object from multiple primitive objects
      3m 51s
    15. Modeling legs by using edge loops and the Knife tool
      6m 9s
    16. Modeling a chest and arms using edge loops
      5m 30s
    17. Stitching the shoulders and neck
      5m 13s
    18. Modeling hands with the Proportional Editing tool
      9m 4s
    19. Linking vertices to create knuckle joints
      4m 7s
    20. Reinforcing modeling basics to create the face, eyes, nose, and ears
      13m 6s
    21. Appending and linking assets
      3m 54s
    22. Sculpting basics
      3m 3s
    23. Using the Subsurf modifier to smooth
      2m 34s
    24. Parenting
      2m 7s
    25. Working with groups
      2m 1s
    26. Understanding the endless possibilities for editing mesh with modifiers
      2m 37s
    27. Duplicating objects using the Array modifier
      1m 54s
    28. Modeling a set
      7m 52s
  4. 39m 41s
    1. Lighting overview
      4m 25s
    2. Using the Omni lamp
      4m 50s
    3. Working with the Area lamp
      2m 57s
    4. Using the Spot lamp
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Sun, Sky, and Atmosphere lamps
      4m 51s
    6. Using the Hemisphere lamp
      2m 3s
    7. Working with Ambient and Radiosity lighting
      7m 34s
    8. Lighting with three-point and other multipoint lighting rigs
      5m 30s
    9. Understanding shadows
      3m 22s
  5. 1h 21m
    1. Realism overview
      2m 56s
    2. Creating a world in less than seven days
      6m 36s
    3. Applying ambient occlusion
      3m 47s
    4. Working with basic materials
      3m 24s
    5. Working with node materials
      4m 27s
    6. Applying Pipeline options
      2m 51s
    7. Painting vertices
      3m 13s
    8. Using shaders
      7m 59s
    9. Using mirrors
      4m 41s
    10. Working with transparency
      4m 28s
    11. Using halos
      2m 40s
    12. Simulating with Subsurface Scattering (SSS)
      4m 26s
    13. Applying textures
      9m 34s
    14. Mapping image textures to an object to create a decal
      4m 19s
    15. UV unwrapping
      4m 54s
    16. Applying multiple materials to a single object
      3m 31s
    17. Painting in 3D
      4m 14s
    18. Using bump maps
      3m 14s
  6. 1h 25m
    1. Understanding animation
      4m 14s
    2. Keyframing objects
      6m 15s
    3. Keyframing materials
      3m 14s
    4. Creating Shape keys
      2m 28s
    5. Creating Facial Shape key animation using reference video
      2m 12s
    6. Animating by combining Shape keys
      2m 53s
    7. Working with lattices
      3m 37s
    8. Using hooks
      1m 30s
    9. Working with Vertex groups
      2m 33s
    10. Creating armature objects
      3m 44s
    11. Mirroring armatures for bilateral creatures
      3m 43s
    12. Attaching mesh to the armature by way of skinning
      5m 7s
    13. Posing a character
      4m 43s
    14. Using inverse kinematics
      4m 29s
    15. Creating a walk cycle with inverse kinematics
      6m 34s
    16. Completing the walk cycle
      3m 49s
    17. Limiting range of motion and degrees of freedom
      3m 47s
    18. Managing actions using the Action Editor
      3m 52s
    19. Blending actions together using the Non-Linear Animation Editor
      4m 34s
    20. Tracking
      3m 2s
    21. Following a path
      2m 21s
    22. Mimicking an existing animation
      3m 47s
    23. Using the grease pencil
      2m 56s
  7. 50m 43s
    1. Understanding particle systems
      2m 20s
    2. Working with game engine physics
      3m 52s
    3. Spewing particles
      7m 25s
    4. Guiding particles
      3m 43s
    5. Creating reactions and collisions with particle systems
      3m 15s
    6. Creating hair and fur
      4m 25s
    7. Grooming hair and fur
      3m 26s
    8. Jiggling and squishing soft bodies
      3m 43s
    9. Simulating cloth
      6m 10s
    10. Simulating fluids
      5m 47s
    11. Using boids to simulate swarms, schools, and flocks
      6m 37s
  8. 21m 29s
    1. Using Render controls
      6m 18s
    2. Radiosity
      3m 31s
    3. Stamping text on video
      2m 32s
    4. Setting up test renders
      4m 43s
    5. Rendering image sequences
      4m 25s
  9. 1h 5m
    1. Viewing node thumbnail images on certain Macs
      1m 31s
    2. Overview and integration
      2m 12s
    3. Render passes and layers
      4m 27s
    4. Using Input nodes
      6m 22s
    5. Using Output nodes
      3m 54s
    6. Working with Color nodes
      4m 29s
    7. Color mixing and layering
      3m 27s
    8. Using Distort nodes individually and in combination
      7m 15s
    9. Using Vector nodes
      6m 46s
    10. Creating effects with Filter nodes
      8m 49s
    11. Using Converter nodes
      6m 7s
    12. Chroma keying with Matte nodes
      6m 15s
    13. Understanding node groups and reuse
      4m 17s
  10. 38m 43s
    1. The Video Sequence Editor (VSE)
      11m 47s
    2. Integrating audio
      3m 31s
    3. Using VSE Greenscreen and other plug-ins
      5m 40s
    4. Integrating the Compositor with the VSE
      7m 50s
    5. Layering and splicing video
      6m 18s
    6. Speeding up and slowing down sequences
      3m 37s
  11. 5m 26s
    1. Putting it all together: Captain Knowledge visits lynda.com
      5m 12s
    2. Goodbye

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