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Overview of the Blender interface

From: Blender 2.6 Essential Training

Video: Overview of the Blender interface

Let's get started by taking a look at the default Blender interface. Now, this is the interface you should see when you first open Blender. Now, if you've opened an existing Blender file, you may see a different layout or a different interface, that's because the layout is actually saved with the file, but just know that you can always get back to this default interface, and I'll show you how to do that in a little bit. Now, the interface is composed of individual panels, and inside each panel is what's called an Editor, and you can tell what the Editors are because they have an icon either on the top-left corner, such as this, or at the bottom-left corner, such as here.

Overview of the Blender interface

Let's get started by taking a look at the default Blender interface. Now, this is the interface you should see when you first open Blender. Now, if you've opened an existing Blender file, you may see a different layout or a different interface, that's because the layout is actually saved with the file, but just know that you can always get back to this default interface, and I'll show you how to do that in a little bit. Now, the interface is composed of individual panels, and inside each panel is what's called an Editor, and you can tell what the Editors are because they have an icon either on the top-left corner, such as this, or at the bottom-left corner, such as here.

Now, those little icons in the corner tell you what type of Editor it is. So let's go to the very top-left corner here, and we see this little icon here with the letter I in it. In fact, if we left-click on this and pull this down, you can see these are all the different types of Editors we have, and the one we're using here at the top of the interface is called the Information window or the Info window. Now, this window is pretty straightforward, it just has a File Menu, which allows us to Open, Close, Import, and Export files.

It also has what's called an Add Menu, which allows us to add objects into the scene, such as Meshes, Armatures, Cameras, Lights, pretty much whatever you want. We also have a Render Menu, and the Render Menu allows us to render images or animation. And we also have a Help Menu, which brings up web-based help from Blender. Now, next to this we have our Layout Menu. Now, as you can see, we're on the Default Layout. If I go over here just to the left of this, you'll see I have a pull-down menu, and this actually allows us to choose whatever type of Window Layout is appropriate.

Now, these are just some of the presets that come with Blender, but you can also make your own. So for example, if I was using Animation, I could just click on this and it would reconfigure the Windows so that it was easier for me to animate. If I was working with UV Editing, again, it would change the Window Layout. Now, let's go ahead and go back to our Default Layout. If you can't find the Default Layout, we can always reset Blender to get to this.

So all I have to do is find the File Menu and just do Load Factory Settings. Once we do that, it loads all default preferences and it basically resets the package. Be careful when you do this, because if you have custom hotkeys set up, it will revert them back to the original settings, so just be aware of that. Again, along the top of the Information window, we have a Scene Menu here, this is just a pull-down menu, allows us to select different scenes. We have a place where we can select which Renderer we're using, and if you have plug-in renderer, it would show up here.

And then we also have basically an Information Panel here, which shows us the Version of the Blender and information about the object that we have selected. Now, along the right side of Blender we have two Editors. The first one here on top is called the Outliner. The Outliner is basically a list of everything in the scene and it allows us to choose whatever objects we want just by clicking on them. Now, if you notice here, I'm having to scroll up and down through the Outliner window because it's kind of sized a little small. We can resize any one of these Editors simply by clicking over the edge and dragging.

So if I put my cursor over the bottom edge of the Outliner, left-click and drag, you can see how I can expand it so I can see everything in the scene. We can also expand it horizontally, so if I left-click and drag over this window here, I can actually drag this open as well. Now, this brings us to the Properties Panel, which is the one below the Outliner. And you'll notice how this window is contextual; it changes a little bit depending upon the object that we have selected. So for example, if I select the Cube, I get a number of different icons here.

In fact, let me bring this out a little bit so we can see all of these. So you'll see a number of different buttons here, and each one of these buttons is a tab. So this one here allows us to see the Render properties; this one here shows us Scene property, if we want to see properties about the object itself, and this will change depending upon what we have selected. So these are basically just properties attached to whatever we're working with. So in this case we have Materials, because it's actually a physical object; if we're working with a Camera, well, Cameras really don't have Materials applied to them, so this will change.

Now, along the bottom we have a Timeline, this is where we can scrub animation, we can also set keyframes and do playback. Now, above here is this really big window and this is called a 3D View. And the reason it's a 3D View, well, it's because this is where we see our 3D objects. This is really the main part of Blender, this is where we can do most of our work; we can do modeling, animation, rendering, a lot of that happens in this 3D View.

Now, if you haven't noticed, we can actually take these icons that tell us what type of window it is and actually change the type of Editor that we're working with. So as you can see here, we're working with a 3D View, but if I want to, I can change that into any other type of Editor. So if I wanted to I could change this to a really big Outliner or I can change it into what's called a DopeSheet. So I can change these into pretty much anything that I want. But I'm going to go ahead and change this back to a 3D View.

So those are some of the basics of the Blender interface. As you can see, the interface can be very configurable, but we can always get back to our default settings, which is what we're going to be using for most of the course.

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This video is part of

Image for Blender 2.6 Essential Training
Blender 2.6 Essential Training

94 video lessons · 23091 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 NEW
      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) NEW
      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) NEW
      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) NEW
      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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