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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.
Blender works equally well on Linux, Windows and Mac machines. In general, transitioning from one operating system to another is seamless as long as you are working with a three-button mouse. For Mac users, working with a single- button Apple Mighty Mouse, I strongly recommend that you change your mouse settings so that your mouse operates as a three-button mouse while working with Blender. To do this, go to Apple > System Preferences > Keyboard & Mouse and select the Mouse tab. Make a few simple changes to your mouse.
Change the Dashboard area to Button 3 and change the right area of the mouse to Secondary Button. Keep the left side set to Primary Button and then close this out. You will now have a mouse with a Left Mouse Button, Middle Mouse Button and Right Mouse Button and can follow along with me using the commands that I'm giving you. Also, once your mouse has these LMB, MMB and RMB designations, it's easy to reference the mouse actions by command using the Blender Help directory.
Go to Help > Hotkey and MouseAction Reference and select the Mouse tab. You'll see all the Mouse actions listed along with the appropriate LMB, MMB and RMB designations. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you must use a single-mouse button such a trackpad on a laptop, on a MacBook, you can still navigate in Blender by using certain keys in tandem with the single-mouse button. For example, to rotate your view in Blender, you would normally click-and-drag the middle-mouse button. On a MacBook, you would add the Option key to that mouse action.
So by holding down the Option key and by clicking-and-dragging this single-mouse button, you can rotate your view in Blender. On a Windows laptop, use the Alt key. The same goes for zooming your view. With a three-button mouse, you would normally mouse-wheel or hold down the Ctrl key in tandem with the middle-mouse button. On a trackpad, however, you hold down the Ctrl and Option keys together to zoom your view on a MacBook. When using a regular three-button mouse or one with a mouse wheel, make sure to configure your mouse button correctly.
It's recommended that you use a scroll wheel and Logitech mouse, as it's very easy to configure and use with Blender. So as you can see, Blender is quite versatile and can be used on both Mac and Windows and Linux machines, desktops and laptops alike with a few simple considerations given to choosing a mouse and selecting and configuring your mouse preferences.
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