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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 the basics of the 3D View window. Now, this is the window that you're going to be using the most in Blender. Now, the 3D View window is really this area of the screen. You can see here at the bottom-right corner we have this icon here, it says 3D View, and then that goes all the way diagonally up to this corner here. 3D View window is our 3D Viewport, it's where we can rotate, we can zoom, and so on. But let's take a look at what surrounds this before we get into actual navigation.
So if you notice here we've got a panel that's on the left side of this window, this is called the Object Tools Panel. Now, this allows us to Translate, Rotate, Scale objects, as well as do some additional tools. Now, this window will change a little bit depending upon what object you have selected. So if we go over here to the Outliner, and I select the Chair, you'll see that we have one set of tools; if I select the Camera, you'll see that these tools change just a little bit.
As with all panels, this Object Tools Panel can be scaled. So I can scale it to the right, or if I push it all the way to the left I can make it disappear. Now, when I make it disappear, you'll notice a little plus sign shows up here, and if I click on that, it allows me to get that Object Tools Panel. Now, if we go over to the right side, you'll see we have another plus sign and under this is what's called the Properties Panel, and this allows us to do things such as Transforms and change the Camera View, and so on.
And just as with the Object Tools Panel, I can scale this and I can make it disappear just by dragging it to the right. Now, along the bottom we actually have a menu and some additional buttons, and we're going to go through a lot of these buttons, but let's start with this one here, and this is our Viewport Shading button, and this tells us how we're actually shading this particular 3D View. So let's go from the bottom to the top, if I select Bounding Box, it turns everything into boxes, and this really just shows you a very rough approximation of where things are in the scene, but it will render very fast.
So if you have a very complex scene, this can actually help you scrub in real-time. A little more detail, we go up to Wireframe, and this gives us the Wireframe version of the scene. Then we have the Solid View of the scene, which is basically just solid shading, so we can actually see the objects as they're shaded. And then if we have textures on our objects we'll see a Textured View, and this will actually put the photographic textures that we have applied into the scene.
I'm going to go ahead and put this back on Solid, and let's take a look at some of these other menus here. Now, this one here we have a contact- sensitive menu called the Object Menu, and this can change to the Edit Menu or other menus just depending upon what mode we're in and we'll get to that in a little bit. We have a Select Menu, which allows us to select objects and, most importantly, we have a View Menu. Because this is a 3D View, this allows us all sorts of control about how we view the scene.
So the first one I want to do is one here at the top and it's called Toggle Full Screen. Now, if you notice here to the right of all of these we have a hotkey, and in this case Toggle Full Screen has the hotkey of Ctrl+Up Arrow. So if I toggle it from here, you can see my 3D View goes to Full Screen, all the other panels disappear. If I hit Ctrl+Up Arrow again, it comes back, so this is really just a toggle; so Ctrl+Up Arrow to make it big, Ctrl+Up Arrow to shrink it back down again.
Now, another one that's another toggle is called Toggle Quad View, and hotkey for this is Ctrl+Alt+Q. So when I Toggle Quad View, it actually brings up four Viewports in this one 3D View. So in the top-right we have a Perspective View, then we have Orthographic or Drafting View, so we have a Top, Front, and Right View. Now, this can be very helpful when you're modeling and you need to get very precise views of your scene. Now, again, this is a true toggle, so if I hit Ctrl+Alt+Q, it will bring it back.
Now, notice how it brought me back to a different Viewport than I went in as. So if I use Ctrl+Alt+Q to toggle back to my Quad View, let me show you a little trick here. When it toggles back to a Full View, it's going to toggle back to wherever the mouse is located. So if my mouse is over the Perspective window, it toggles to Perspective. If I'm over the Top Orthographic window, it will toggle to Top Orthographic. So just be aware of that as you go back and forth between these, your mouse position is important.
So these are some of the basics of the 3D View window. Now, remember you can resize the panels on either side of the screen and also change the shading. We're going to get into navigation in the next lesson.
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