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Blender is a powerful open-source tool for 2D and 3D graphics, full-on animation, compositing, and post-production. It is used to create movies and special effects, even in HD. In Blender Essential Training, Roger Wickes offers new Blender users a thorough explanation of its interface, tools, and features. He also demonstrates practical techniques and shows how to access the online and openndash;content resources of this amazing tool. Specific 3D techniques covered include navigating in 3D space, using cameras and lights, and rendering. Roger demonstrates how to rig, animate, and composite a character over live action. Exercise files accompany the course.
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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