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When we look into our 3D space and especially when we are modeling, we need to have some fixed reference perspectives that we can consistently go back to in order to be precise in our modeling. Our brain has to perceive this 3D space as real and it has to be able to jive with our notion of reality, so that we can model things accurately. Now, I know that we are in a user perspective here because I'm looking at our little Access Orientation icon down here in the lower left-hand corner and it's showing me the different orientation as I move the perspective around.
When I press 3 on the num pad I'm looking at the side view, but it would be nice if Blender would tell me that I was looking in the side view. So, let's turn that on now by coming up to our User Preferences and in our Views & Controls context, click on View Name. Now the name of the view is showing in the 3D view. So, now we can say that okay, now I'm looking at the right, now I'm looking at the front and now I'm looking at it how I want to look at it. As we are modeling, when we want to work on this side, we can switch to side view and then when we want to work on the front, we can switch to front view, but that quickly becomes pretty tiring to keep switching this view back and forth.
So, what I have done is create another Desktop layout that has multiple views active at the same time. If you come up here and select Desktop Screen Layout number 2-Model 4-up, we now have a Screen Layout that has four 3D views. Each of the 3D View windowpanes is oriented a different way. As you can see we have Top, Front, Right and the Camera. Each of these views is looking at the cube from a different perspective. It's almost like we have four different people in our 3D space, looking in on our view from their different perspectives.
Now we do this so that we are a lot more productive. If I want to work on this side a little bit, I can work in this window. But then if I want to hop over and work on the top of the cube, I can come over and just move my mouse over into this window and I don't have to switch the actual view around. As I move my cube in one view, it moves in all the other views as you can see, according to how I'm moving it. So, all of the views are updated and then synchronized immediately. Then when we are modeling something very precise, we want to use what's called Orthographic Mode, which is a grid type of layout where we can use and do blueprints and use blueprints as reference images to model something very precisely.
However, our eye does not see things like that and when we look through the camera, we see things from a perspective view point, which is where things are distorted the further they go away from or towards us. So to switch any view into a Perspective Mode, you just press 5 on your num pad. Now, when I look through this view, it looks a little more real. It looks a little more like the way I would see it and helps my brain perceive that this is a real cube. To switch the view back, I just press 5 again and to switch this back to the Top view, I just press 7.
Now these views are laid out the same way they are on your num pad. If you look at your num pad on your keyboard, you have the 3 here, the 1 in this lower-left position and the 7 in the upper-left. Now as the scene gets pretty complicated and I'm working in these different views, I probably don't want to be distracted by all of this other stuff that's in this scene. So to look at just this cube, I'll activate Local Mode, which is the Slash key on the keypad. Now, only this cube is shown in this view. To go back to the Global view, I just press Slash again.
Now all of these settings and views, if in case, you forget all the num pad keys or whatever, they are all in the View menu and they are listed right here for you and you can select them from here. So, as you are modeling, use these different views to get the right perspective, so that your brain can perceive this space as real. To switch to the other side, right now I'm looking at the right hand side, if I want to look at the left side, I just press the Ctrl key and hit the appropriate num pad key. So Ctrl+3 makes me look at the left side or just the 3 makes me look at the right side.
If I want to look at this cube, like as if I was underneath it looking up, I just can switch to Bottom view by pressing Ctrl+7 over here and now I'm looking up at the cube. So being able to select and change these views is essential to great modeling.
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