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Configuring the desktop for an efficient workflow

From: Blender Essential Training

Video: Configuring the desktop for an efficient workflow

Computer graphics workflow involves going through a number of different kinds of activities, and Blender supports those different activities by giving you a set of desktops that you go through called Screen Layouts. If you come here and click and drop this list down, you'll see five default screen layouts that come with the vanilla, generic version of Blender. This set provides the core window types for each of those activities. You select these windows simply by clicking on and selecting them from the menu and then your desktop will change to that particular layout.

Configuring the desktop for an efficient workflow

Computer graphics workflow involves going through a number of different kinds of activities, and Blender supports those different activities by giving you a set of desktops that you go through called Screen Layouts. If you come here and click and drop this list down, you'll see five default screen layouts that come with the vanilla, generic version of Blender. This set provides the core window types for each of those activities. You select these windows simply by clicking on and selecting them from the menu and then your desktop will change to that particular layout.

So each layout is a set of streams that goes with a particular kind of activity that you're performing. Each window has a windowpane. For example, in the Animation layout when we're dealing with animation we have a five windowpane layout. If you hover your mouse cursor over the border of the window, your mouse cursor changes to a left right arrow, and you can resize the windowpane that way to scale it up or give yourself more space.

This is a windowpane here, which is called the 3D View windowpane, and each kind of window is indicated in the lower left-hand corner, by default, if the windowpane header is at the bottom of the windowpane. Selecting that then can change this windowpane to be any kind of window type. Over here we have an IPO window that is used in animating an object. Down here we have a Timeline window that is used to scroll through the timeline of the animation.

Down here we have what's called the Buttons window. But notice now here on this Buttons window that the header is at the top of the windowpane. You can also hide the window header, for example, here in the Material Desktop Layout. We've gone ahead and hidden the window headers so that they don't take up a lot of screen space. Each window type may have a context associated with it or a mode associated with it. So, for example, in this Buttons window we have a couple of contexts.

Here is the Shading context, the Object context, the Editing context, and finally the Scene context. So these are like sets or layers of different panels or controls all contained within this one window. Within like this 3D window here, we have a couple of different modes and switching into each mode invokes a different area or specialty of Blender and allows us to do different things within this one window type.

Since these windows are sort of rectangular ways to split up the desk space into multiple windows, you can split any kind of window by coming up to the window border and right-clicking to popup a menu. When you do this, now you have a popup menu to say I want to hide the header, in this case, or I want to split the area. If you just click, the window will be split into a virtual window and you can slide your mouse, in this case, left and right, or if this was a vertical split, you would go up and down.

To split the window when you click again, you now have two windows, and you can resize these windows as well. If you line up the vertical bars, or in the case of a horizontal bar, depending on which ones you want to combine, you can join windows, by again, coming to the window border, right-clicking and now you have the option to join these two areas. When you click on the Join Area, then a big arrow shows you, do I want to take this top window and merge it into the bottom one or reverse and merge the windows from the bottom one up with the top one? When you do that, then the window resizes to be one complete window.

So by performing these actions, you can split the desktops up into any number of windows of any kind that you want. This list of layouts is not fixed, you can add your own desktop by simply clicking Add New, and then you can choose to start with a duplicate of this desktop or start with a completely empty desktop and then start splitting from there. You can delete a desktop just by clicking the X there. That deletes the desktop after you confirm that you want to, in fact, really delete the screen.

Now I have created a couple of customized desktops for this exercise and for this title. So to open up a file, you simply come over here to File > Open, click on this Selector button here and go directly to your desktop. Now you will have a richer set of desktops to choose from and to build your expertise on. Finally, you can save this desktop layout and, in fact, any Blend file as your default start up by simply in any place pressing Ctrl+U on the keyboard.

That saves the current Blend file as your user default set of desktops and whatever content happens to be in there, in this case, upon confirming that I want to save my user defaults, now every time I start Blender, will have this set of desktops here, these nine sections, as well as a scene that contains a cube and a couple of lights set up in a very standard manner. So that's the overview to getting used to starting with Blender, and maybe a little bit of uncommon interface that Blender uses, because we are going to be working in a very complex environment, but gives you a way of providing you with multiple views and multiple types of windows so that you can work very effectively and not be spending a lot of time switching windows or layering windows or staking them and docking them and undocking them and all of that stuff that wastes a lot of time.

In this case, the Blender user interface is well contained within one nice rectangular area.

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This video is part of

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Blender Essential Training

131 video lessons · 24972 viewers

Roger Wickes
Author

 
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  1. 12m 5s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
      58s
    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
      14s

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