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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 get organized in Blender. Probably the first place that you need to get organized is in the Outliner. This is a great interface into your scene. Now, we've used the Outliner just a little bit in this course. The thing that you know how to do is to select objects by name. So for example, I can click on the Chair and select it. I can left-click on the Couch and also select it. Now, before we go too deep into this, let me go ahead and expand this window here so that we can get a full look at the Outliner.
Now, if you notice here we have individual entries for each of these objects and clicking on them selects the object, and also notice, when I click it, the selected object actually has a little circle around it that tells me it's selected. Now, next to it, I have this little +/-. So if I were to select the Couch and hit the Plus sign, you'll see that I've got more options underneath here. If I were to hit the Plus sign on this little vertex thing, you'll see that this is actually the geometry of the object and attached to that geometry I have the Materials.
Actually, I have two Materials; one for the fabric of the Couch, the other for the Legs. If you go down here, you'll see that I also have some Vertex Groups for this object as well. So each one of these entries can contain kind of subheads or additional information about this object. So if I hit the Minus signs, I can collapse them all. Now, another thing you can do in the Outliner is you can name and rename objects.
So for example, if I were to select the Floor, I could right-click over it and hit Rename, and then I could type in a new name. Let's call it Rug. When I do that, you'll notice how it resorts this list. Rug goes a little bit further down. That's because this is an alphabetic list. Now, another way to rename it is to Ctrl+left-click, and that just gets you instantly into that Rename, and I can hit Floor, just type in the name again, and you'll see it resorts that list.
Now, along the top you'll see we have a couple of menus here. The first one is the View Menu, and this basically shows whether or not these columns here Show, these are called Restriction columns, and we'll get to those in a little bit. And then we can also do what's called Show Active, which is actually everything in the scene is active right now. And probably the most important one is we can Show or Hide the levels of the Outliner. So let me just show you what this does. When I hit Show/Hide One Level, it expands every single one of these.
So it's like it hit the Plus sign on every single one and it expanded all of those. Now, I can get to this more quickly by hitting the Plus sign on the number pad, and when I do that, it expands it a little bit more. Now, if I want to collapse it, all I have to do is hit the Minus sign on my number pad. So I hit minus sign once, it collapses it one level, hit minus sign the second time, it collapses it to where we were. The third time, it collapses it to just the scene.
Now, we can have multiple scenes in Blender; we'll get to those in just a little bit. So I am going to go ahead and expand this scene and see everything that's in there. Now, the second option is a Search Menu. So we have some Search options; we can do Case Sensitive or not, or we can just type something into this Search Menu. If I type in Chair, you can see that the Chairs show up. Now, this brings me to another thing that I need to talk about and that's naming scheme.
This search box only works if you know what the names of the objects are. So as you start building objects in Blender, be sure to give them logical names, because that way you can get to them very easily using the search box. If you have a really complex scene, you may be scrolling through your Outliner quite a bit trying to find those objects, but a really good naming scheme allows you to search them very easily. Now, let's take a look at this column here; this is called the Restrictions column, and what it does, it restricts Blender from doing certain things.
Now, this first column is visibility in the Viewport. Now, it's only visible in the Viewport itself. So if I were to click off both of those Chairs, they would become invisible in the Viewport, so I can't see them. But, and this is important, they do show up in rendering. So if I were to do a quick render of this image by selecting Render>Render Image, or just hitting F12, then I can see how the render shows up.
Now, even though these objects are invisible on my Viewport, they are visible in the Render. So that can actually clear up a lot of confusion, and you'll say, well, my scene looks like this, but it's rendering differently; go ahead and take a look, make sure that the objects aren't just hidden. Now, another way to hide objects is through the Object Menu. So if I were to right-click on this Chair and go into Object Menu, go up to the top here, you'll see I have a Show/Hide option.
So if I wanted to I could just Hide Selected. Now, what it does is it hides the object and it also just clicks that option off in the Viewport. And I have some additional options here, so I can show the hidden objects. And another really cool thing is that if I select one object or a couple of objects, I can hide the unselected objects. In other words, I can hide everything but the objects that I'm looking at.
Now, this can be a really great way to isolate certain parts of your scene. So again, I'm going to go ahead and just Show Hidden. Now, remember, all of this works just in the Viewport; it doesn't render. So if we want things not to render, we actually have a column for that as well, and that's this far right column where you have all of these cameras. So if I were to turn these off, that means the objects themselves won't render. So if I turn off the Chairs, hit F12 to Render, you'll see that the Chairs don't render, even though they're showing in the Viewport.
Now, this can be used very effectively to isolate certain parts of your scene. If you wanted to render certain parts and leave other parts unrendered, you can do that. It's a great way to do a simple type of render layers functionality. There's a lot of things that you can do with this Render option here. So I am going to go ahead and turn those back on. Now, the last one is this middle column, and this basically just turns selection on or off. In other words, it restricts me from selecting the object.
So if I were to click off the selection for the Chairs, I could select the Table, I could select the Floor, but when I click over the Chairs, I can't select them. If I were to hit A to Select All, it selects everything here. In fact, you can see it here, all of these options have little circles around them, which means they are all selected except for the Chairs. So that's, again, another great way to control your scene and keep it organized.
If there is an object there and you really don't need to select it, just go ahead and turn it off here and that way you won't be accidentally selecting the wrong thing every time. So those are some of the basics of the Outliner, and we'll continue to go deeper into the Outliner as we work our way through the course, but hopefully this will give you a much clearer view of how the Outliner works.
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