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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.
In this video I'll explain all the major functionality that's available in Blender through all the different window types just to really kind of touch on each one so that you are aware of what's there and what it does and what it's used for. So the first one is the User Preferences window. Hover over the border and click- and-drag to resize the window. People usually visit right off the top of the bat in order to talk about how they want to view and setup their basic controls and their basic mouse actions.
You have edit methods that enable Undo, which is also very handy. We have the Language and Fonts. We support international fonts as well as changing the native language of Blender so that all of your prompts and menu options are in your native language. We also have Themes that we'll be setting up a little later on. Auto Save, there is a special video on that as well as configuring Blender to make the maximum use of your computer.
And then also if you want to save objects or save files in a specific directory or a specific location on your computer, you can do that here in the File Paths. Click-and-drag to resize this window back. The 3D View is the most commonly used modeling viewport. It provides a window into your 3D space. Now, this particular layout has four different 3D views, but each of them are in a different perspective. Going this way, we have the camera view, the side view, the front view and the top view.
So each window can operate independently or can be locked in sync to the other windows. Usually, when you make a selection or make a change in one window, the change is automatically reflected in the other windows in real-time. So even though you are making a change over here in one windowpane because it has some affect on something else in some other windowpane, the changes are all synchronized and coordinated. The Buttons window is almost on every Desktop layout and it provides a window into all of the different properties in some of the tools that are commonly available in Blender.
This Properties window as I like to call it, has a bunch of panels. Those panels can be expanded and collapsed by clicking on the little arrow. And the arrow changes to a down arrow when it's expanded or a right facing arrow when it's collapsed. You can also rearrange these windowpanes just by clicking-and-dragging on the windowpane. Sort of like a tear-off function. Now, you have to be a little careful with some of these panels because if you drop one panel on top of another one, Blender will tab them and now I have a Window panel that actually has two tabs and that's simply to save up some space.
When you collapse that kind of tabbed window, the active panel is the name that's shown there. So if you can't find for example, the SSS panel it might be tabbed behind another panel. The File Browser window comes up when you just go File > Open, one of your windows will change to a file browser. And this is the browser window that you use to locate assets and other blend files, and image files and texture files on your computer.
It has a couple of things, one is the P button moves up a level in your directory tree and this selector visits all of the drives, the hard drives, devices that are on your computer, your documents and your desktop settings. As well as every time you save a blend file then Blender can, if you configure it in the User Preferences, save the name of that and then provide you with most recently used list. There is scrollbar here on the right. If I had more files in this folder then it could fit in the display and the File Browser indicates the kind of file by a little colored box here.
I can change and sort to things by the time or by the size, by clicking on the selections down here in the header. Any windowpane can be brought to full screen by either clicking this Full Screen icon, in which case then this window expands to fill all of your available space or by pressing Ctrl+Up key I can toggle any windowpane between full and windowed size. The UV Image Editor is kind of a really neat file because I can use it to open any kind of image file on my computer and also then do some paintings.
So there is like a mini paint program built into Blender as well. I can also then use the UV Image browser to display the latest render result. So if I'm over here on the Mac and I click the big Render button or on Windows or Linux machines press F12, I get the current render and then I can use the UV Image Editor to display that result. Blender also has an Image browser that allows you to see thumbnails and select images that you are going to be using.
Blender also has an Outliner that allows us to examine the contents of the scene and as we select an object over here in the Outliner, we also see it's selected over here in 3D View. We have a Search function where we know the name of what it is we are looking for, we can simply search for it and we can also restrict the view of this Outliner to say for example, show me only things that are of the same type of this object. So in this case I have two mesh objects, one is Cube and another is a Floor.
I can expand and collapse information about these objects by clicking the little expand and collapse arrows as well. When we get into Composting and Sequencing, we are going to have what's called the Timeline window, which I'm showing down here at the bottom. This Timeline window allows us to scroll forward and backward in our animation in time, as well as it has VCR controls here that allows us to play our animation, fast forward and skip to the very end and skip back to the beginning. We can also set the range of our animation here in these controls.
To set any control you just simply click into the number field and you can type the number in using your keyboard if you want or you can also just click and then drag to the left or the right and then you will change that way. The IPO window, which is probably the most commonly used in animation, allows us to set and control Bezier curves that control the motion of each object. The IPO window operates on a series of channels. So if I key the location of this object now these channels come up and I can select these channels very simply.
The Action Editor is used to combine series of actions together in order to create reusable types of motions and then the NLA Editor combines those actions and sequences them into a complete animation that we can then render out. The Sequencer is used to sequence a series of video strips together into a final composite output and a Text Editor is available to both edit text that we can later then convert to a object in the scene or just to keep notes and keep a time card about what's going on in your project and document notes and comments about the project.
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