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Blender is a powerful open-source tool for 2D and 3D graphics, full-on animation, compositing, and post-production. It is used to create movies and special effects, even in HD. In Blender Essential Training, Roger Wickes offers new Blender users a thorough explanation of its interface, tools, and features. He also demonstrates practical techniques and shows how to access the online and openndash;content resources of this amazing tool. Specific 3D techniques covered include navigating in 3D space, using cameras and lights, and rendering. Roger demonstrates how to rig, animate, and composite a character over live action. Exercise files accompany the course.
Blender has a very dense user interface. Everything is clickable and all hotkeys are active, but the hotkeys are a little different maybe, depending on the window that you happen to have your mouse cursor in. In general, the biggest thing is that the right-click is the Select function by default. So if I just hover my mouse cursor here over the lamp, and I right-click, I select that lamp. If I right-click over this ground plane, then I've clicked and selected the ground plane.
When I left-click, left- clicking is activating something. So if I left-click here under the Rotation X field, I'm actually clicking in and starting to edit this field. The middle mouse button functions to, in the 3D View, pan or scroll or rotate in a turntable kind of fashion, the display. If it's over here in a window that has more information on it that can be displayed within the size of the window, then the middle mouse button acts to pan the window.
The mouse wheel, both on the Mac and on Windows, serves generally to zoom in and zoom out, so you can zoom in closer by mouse-wheeling up and zoom out by mouse-wheeling down. Now I should point out that this left and right selectability will change based on your user preferences. Your User Preference window is always at the top of your screen and you just can reach up there and pull it down to resize this window to reveal all of the user preference settings and customizations that you can make.
There's just a ton of these and I'm only going to go over a few in this particular video. But right up here you can see where we select with and Right Mouse is enabled. If we click left mouse, now for your user interface, every time you want to select something, you simply left-click on the object and instead right-clicking does the activation. If you're using Blender on a laptop that doesn't have a middle mouse button, you can click this to enable a three-button mouse and then you'll use the Alt key instead.
Normally, the middle mouse button, as I've said, rotates the view. Other 3D graphics packages sort of have the default user customization to pan the view. So now when I come over here and I middle-mouse-click, I'm going to pan the view, which is essentially like sliding your viewport and not actually rotating it around in a turntable kind of a fashion. Now I just described that using their mouse wheel rolls in and rolls out, you can invert that of course and you can also use what's called the Smooth View Mode, which is now when I come in here and I press keypad 3, instead of just jumping from view to view, I can increase this let's say up to a couple of hundred milliseconds.
Now I have more of a smoother transition from view to view. Blender also supports a pen tablet. I have one here by the Wacom. It plugs in and it's essentially used as a mouse, but because it's a pen tablet, it has some pen sensitivity. In certain modes when I'm doing certain things like texture painting, over here in the Buttons window, I'll go ahead and expand this panel and realign it vertically to size these panels up, you'll see these P buttons next to Opacity, Size, Falloff and Spacing.
If I enable one of those, let's say Size, now depending on how hard I'm pressing on the pen, the size of the area, that the pen effects will increase. Normally, you operate on certain objects by invoking some sort of a hotkey, but Blender also has what's called a Gesture System, which means that if you simply gesture with your mouse, you will invoke some sorts of operation to perform. So, for example, if I just left-click and drag my mouse rapidly to the right and then let up, I've told Blender that I want to grab the particular object that I've just done.
So now I'm moving this object around. If I want to drop this in place, I would left-click. If I want to abort the operation, I just right-click. It puts it back where it found it. Other gestures include a circle, so if I just click-and-drag in a circle, I've told Blender that I want to rotate the current object. So those cover the basic mouse operations. I should note that everything is clickable and Blender does not come up with a popup box that says are you sure you want to do which you just did? No, we assume that when you do something, it's what you wanted to do.
We're going to get into the undo system and all that kind of stuff, but there are a lot of pop-ups that will interfere with your workflow.
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