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This course provides an overview of modeling, animating, and rendering 3D graphics in the open-source software Blender 2.6. Beginning with a tour of the Blender interface, author George Maestri shows how to create and edit basic objects, work with modifiers and subdivision surfaces, and apply materials and textures. The course also demonstrates lighting 3D scenes, setting up and using cameras, animating objects, and assembling basic character rigs.
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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