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Navigating in 3D space

From: Blender Essential Training

Video: Navigating in 3D space

Now, let's take a look at how to navigate in Blender. Navigation is done using the middle mouse button, so you really need a three button mouse in order to use Blender efficiently. Pressing down the middle mouse button and dragging will orbit the Camera. So if I drag left and right, it orbits left and right; up and down orbits up and down. If I go anywhere in between, it will just orbit around kind of in circles. Now, if you hold down the Ctrl key and middle click, you zoom, so I'm zooming in and out by moving my mouse up and down.

Navigating in 3D space

Now, let's take a look at how to navigate in Blender. Navigation is done using the middle mouse button, so you really need a three button mouse in order to use Blender efficiently. Pressing down the middle mouse button and dragging will orbit the Camera. So if I drag left and right, it orbits left and right; up and down orbits up and down. If I go anywhere in between, it will just orbit around kind of in circles. Now, if you hold down the Ctrl key and middle click, you zoom, so I'm zooming in and out by moving my mouse up and down.

Now, a lot of mice have a middle scroll wheel and you can also use that to zoom. So if I scroll my wheel in and out, again, it will zoom. If I hold down the Shift key and middle-click, I pan. So I can pan up and down, left and right just by holding down Shift and middle-click. So let's go over that one more time. Middle-click by itself orbits, Ctrl+middle-click zooms, but you can also zoom using the scroll wheel, Shift+middle-click pans.

So using these three tools we can pretty much set our view to however we want. So for example, if I wanted to zoom in on this Chair a little bit, I can just position that and pan over and position my mouse so that I have that Chair in the Viewport. Now, as we work through the scene, we may actually zoom into something, but need to see the entire scene. Blender has a number of automatic zooming options here, and those are called Align View.

So if we wanted to zoom out to see everything, all we have to do is go Center Cursor and View All, and the hotkey for that is Shift+C. So when you do that, it basically zooms out so you see everything that's in the scene, and this could be really handy if you're working and tied in one area, you want to zoom out so you can go over to another place in the scene. So again, if I zoom in, change my View, all I have to do is hit Shift and the letter C and it will always zoom out to the extent of the scene.

Now, on the other side, if I want to zoom into a specific place, one of the easiest things to do is to zoom in to an object. So if I were to go into my Outliner here and left-click on the Couch to highlight that, I could go View>Align View>View Selected. Now, the hotkey for this is Numpad. or Numpad period. When I do that, it zooms into the Couch. So if I were to move my View a little bit, select, for example, the Chair here and then click back in the Viewport to make it active and hit the period, it will zoom into that Chair.

And again, Shift+C zooms out to everything. Now, there will also be times when I will need kind of a standard Viewport here, so let's say I wanted to view the scene from the left side. Well, I can kind of approximate it, but I don't know if I'm exactly going right along the axis that creates a Left View. Well, we can do that here, again, in the View Menu just by selecting any one of these standard Views, so if wanted the Left View, I could do a Left View; if I wanted the Back View, I could do a Back View, Top View, and so on.

Now, notice how these Views here are not what we'd call Orthographic, they're not square to the camera. These are what are called Perspective Views. So you can see here what type of View we have, we have a Left Perspective View. Now, this is nice for if we want to actually view the scene, but if we want to do something more technical, such as modeling, we may need a straight on Orthographic View. Well, we can toggle that, again, in the View Menu by using View Prospective/Orthographic, and the keystroke for that is Numpad5.

So when I hit Numpad5, it toggles between Perspective and Orthographic. So if you notice the Orthographic View is the square on View, which allows us to do modeling. Now, if you notice a little bit of a pattern here, a lot of these View commands are on the number pad of the keyboard. In fact, there is a whole list of standard views on that number pad. In fact, we can see them here, if we go into View>Navigation, you can see we have a bunch of different functions here that are all based on the numpads, so let's go through some of those.

If we hit the Number 7 key, in other words, the top left of that, we get a Top View, so again, Number 7 key is the Top View. The Number 1 key is a Front View, and the Number 3 key is a Right View, and remember that 5 toggles between Perspective and Orthographic. So again, 7 is Top, 1 is Front, 3 is Right, and I can toggle Orthographic just by hitting that 5.

So I'm going to put this into Perspective View, and there's also two additional sets of keys that allow us to rotate or orbit the scene. If I hit the 4 and the 6 key on the number pad, I can orbit Left and Right. So again, if I'm hitting the 4 key I'm orbiting this way, if I hit the 6 key, I orbit this way. If I hit the 8 and the 2 key, I can orbit Up and Down, so the 8 key orbits Up, the 2 key orbits Down.

Now, if you want to zoom, the Plus and Minus keys on the keypad allow us to zoom. So if your mouse runs out of battery, you can still orbit Blender by using that number pads, so that can be really handy if you're kind of working and closing, you just need to nudge the view a little bit, sometimes that number pad is a little bit more efficient than trying to get that view with the mouse. So those are some of the basics of navigating in Blender.

Go ahead and practice navigating through the scene. We're going to really need to get our navigation skills up to speed as we dive deeper into Blender. So once you get the hang of it, it is pretty simple.

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This video is part of

Image for Blender Essential Training
Blender Essential Training

94 video lessons · 26529 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
      28s
    3. Downloading Blender
      34s
    4. Notes on Blender 2.7
      2m 8s
    5. Using Blender on a Mac
      42s
    6. Using Blender on a laptop
      36s
  2. 30m 32s
    1. Overview of the Blender interface
      6m 6s
    2. Understanding 3D view windows
      5m 23s
    3. Navigating in 3D space
      6m 35s
    4. Configuring user preferences
      6m 24s
    5. Creating custom layouts
      6m 4s
  3. 32m 29s
    1. Selecting objects
      6m 12s
    2. Moving objects
      4m 35s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 48s
    4. Scaling objects
      2m 16s
    5. Understanding transform orientation
      3m 53s
    6. Changing an object's origin
      5m 27s
    7. Selecting pivot points
      3m 22s
    8. Using Snap to move objects precisely
      3m 56s
  4. 49m 18s
    1. Creating mesh primitives
      6m 36s
    2. Selecting vertices, edges, and faces
      4m 48s
    3. Editing mesh objects
      7m 39s
    4. Proportional editing
      3m 52s
    5. Sculpt mode (Updated for 2.7)
      5m 3s
    6. Sculpt mode
      4m 45s
    7. Working with edges and edge loops
      3m 42s
    8. Extrusions
      5m 18s
    9. Smooth shading objects
      2m 23s
    10. Subdividing meshes
      5m 12s
  5. 50m 31s
    1. Working with modifiers
      5m 52s
    2. Working with subdivision surfaces
      3m 48s
    3. Creating a simple creature
      7m 54s
    4. Symmetrical modeling with the Mirror modifier
      8m 21s
    5. Joining mesh objects
      3m 37s
    6. Stitching vertices
      4m 52s
    7. Finalizing a simple creature
      4m 48s
    8. Creating text
      3m 29s
    9. Boolean tools
      2m 59s
    10. Vertex groups
      4m 51s
  6. 22m 36s
    1. Using the Outliner
      8m 22s
    2. Using layers
      4m 30s
    3. Creating groups
      2m 48s
    4. Working with scenes
      4m 2s
    5. Creating hierarchies
      2m 54s
  7. 54m 26s
    1. Assigning materials to objects
      8m 4s
    2. Diffuse shaders
      6m 47s
    3. Working with specularity
      5m 56s
    4. Using the Ramp Shader options
      9m 45s
    5. Additional shading options
      2m 37s
    6. Creating reflections
      8m 29s
    7. Adding transparency and refractions
      6m 49s
    8. Subsurface scattering
      5m 59s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Adding a simple texture
      6m 11s
    2. Using bitmaps
      6m 53s
    3. Mapping textures in the UV Editor (Updated for 2.7)
      7m 43s
    4. Mapping textures in the UV Editor
      8m 28s
    5. Using UV projections
      5m 56s
    6. UV mapping a character (Updated for 2.7)
      6m 35s
    7. UV mapping a character
      6m 11s
    8. Fine-tuning UV mapping
      6m 7s
    9. Creating Bump and Normal maps
      3m 15s
    10. Displacement mapping
      3m 48s
    11. Using the Node Editor
      4m 59s
  9. 53m 9s
    1. Adding lamps to a scene
      8m 44s
    2. Fine-tuning ray-trace shadows
      4m 32s
    3. Using spot lamps
      4m 20s
    4. Fine-tuning buffer shadows
      6m 19s
    5. Using Hemi lamps
      2m 32s
    6. Working with Area lamps
      5m 17s
    7. Creating sky and ambient light
      4m 49s
    8. Adding background images
      3m 19s
    9. Creating sunlight
      6m 6s
    10. Ambient occlusion
      7m 11s
  10. 30m 8s
    1. Working with cameras
      4m 47s
    2. Creating camera targets with constraints
      3m 43s
    3. Render properties
      5m 7s
    4. Rendering animation
      5m 13s
    5. Adding motion blur
      4m 10s
    6. Creating depth of field
      7m 8s
  11. 32m 30s
    1. Understanding the Timeline
      4m 3s
    2. Animating objects
      6m 26s
    3. Animating properties
      4m 0s
    4. Editing animation in the Graph Editor
      8m 36s
    5. Using the Dope Sheet
      4m 53s
    6. Path animation
      4m 32s
  12. 39m 59s
    1. Facial animation using shape keys
      4m 40s
    2. Understanding armatures
      6m 2s
    3. Fitting an armature to a creature
      7m 23s
    4. Deforming a character with an armature
      3m 49s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      3m 53s
    6. Controlling the hips and body
      2m 1s
    7. Animating in Pose mode
      2m 47s
    8. Creating a test animation
      9m 24s
  13. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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