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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 powerful facility for working with text. You'll find that in compositing and titling and doing a lot of work with text. So let's go ahead and click on Layer 2 here and that kind of clears everything out since nothing is on Layer 2, so that we have a pretty clear workspace to work from. Come up here and click-and- drag down our User Preferences. If we select Edit Methods and Aligned to View, then when we add the text objects, they will be aligned to the Camera view. To add text, we just either poke in 3D view or press Space, Add and Text.
The text object comes in. We're going to tab into Edit Mode and now we can change this text to whatever it is that we want to say. So we'll type in Hello World and press Tab to exit. Now we can position this text wherever we want, just by grabbing it and we can rotate it. If we want to make it bigger or smaller, we can scale it by pressing G, R or S, just like any other object. So let's go ahead and bring the camera back into view here by Shift-clicking on Layer 1 or just holding the Shift key and pressing the Tilde key, so now all of the objects are here.
If we switch to Camera view by pressing 0 on the keypad, we can now see that the text is within our Camera view. Another way, instead of just manually entering text is to use the Text Editor. So we just go Text > Open and this window changes to a File Browser where we can then navigate to your exercise files and click on the Opening.txt file. It's just the simple text file. This might be ad copy that you've gotten from the copywriter that you want to add to the scene.
Once we have the text loaded, we can automatically convert this text to an Object menu by clicking on the Edit menu and selecting Text to 3D Object. Now we have two options. We can convert each line of text to a separate object that we can then move around and position independently or we can take this entire text object and create it as one object. I'm going to go ahead and select one object per line here. Now I have four lines of text, but I have four separate objects that I can select, move, grab, scale independently and position them wherever I want them to be.
Those are the basic controls for text, but there is also a lot of more finer controls to change the appearance of the font and like that. So with the text object selected, if we come over here to our editing buttons, I'm going to right-click and resize this to be a vertical, so we can see these panels. We have a Font panel for a text object. From here we can change the font that is used. This is a default built-in font that Blender comes loaded with. Based on your operating system, within Windows, your operating system fonts are located within your C:\Windows\Fonts directory.
So we're going to go ahead and click P a couple of times to come up to our root directory C:\Windows and then select Fonts. On your Mac systems, it's going to be, if you'd go all the way up to your Volumes directory and select then, Macintosh Hard Drive and then under there, select the Main Library folder and then your Fonts folder, contains all of your fonts. Here we're going to use the Antiqua font. So you just left-click on a selected font and then click Select Font.
Now that font is loaded in here. So for every other object that we want to be in that same font, we can simply click the right-hand side, Up/Down Selector arrow and just pick that font from the list. We can also pack this font into the Blend file. If we're sharing this with other people, then we can click this little Package icon and pack this font into the file, so that when we sent it over to them, if they don't have this particular TrueType font file on their computer, it will be packed inside the Blend file.
We can also change the Justification and make it centered. I'm going to go ahead and switch here to Solid view, so you can see maybe the font a little better. I have to get rid of that cube. We can add a curve, and enter the name of the curve here then the text will curve around and not be square or straight. We can change the size manually here instead of scaling it. We can change the interline spacing if this was multiple lines of text. We can change the sharing or make it more italicized.
We can also create text frames over here to have frames of text and then layout frames like if we were laying out a multicolumn ad copy. We can also then down here, give that font a little depth because it is working in 3D and I'll scroll around in here, so you can kind of see we're making the font deeper. We can also add a bevel and make sort of softer, rounder look and increase the resolution of that bevel to make it finer and smoother.
That's a brief overview of working with text in Blender, and as you can see, you can create any kind of text object, three-dimensional, three-dimensional and arrange them in your 3D composition.
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