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Author Topic: Blender Beginners: the Interface, moving and selecting  (Read 718 times)

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Offline kat

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Blender Beginners: the Interface, moving and selecting
« on: June 13, 2017, 11:03:44 PM »


Trying to understand Blender's confusing Interface and why it wants you to right-click all the time instead of using left-click like other 3D applications?. Watch the following videos to find out why - it all depends on what you're doing. This may seem counter-intuitive but once this is understood Blender can be used quickly, efficiently and effectively to make any type of content.

- A first-look, first-use overview of Blenders Interface.
- Using Blender for the first time - keyboard and mouse control.


Offline kat

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A first-look, first-use overview of Blenders Interface
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2017, 11:07:31 PM »
[duration: 2:00 mins] A first-look, first-use over-view of Blender and its confusing Interface. Blender is incredibly confusing for new users because it seems to work in a completely different way to other applications. The above video provides a brief over-view of Blender Interface and what each area is.


Transcript (E&EO)
Quote
On starting Blender a splash screen appears centered over the main interface displaying a number of useful options; a quick-launch "Recent" list to previously open projects and a list of "Links" to other Blender related resources.

To exit and gain full access to the Interface left-click anywhere on-screen or press Escape.

Running along the top of the application is the 'Info' Header.

To the right are the 'Outliner' Editor and 'Properties' area.

And running along the bottom is the 'Timeline' Editor.

Occupying most of the screen is the 3D View and Tool Shelf.

At the bottom of most areas is a 'Header' which contains menus, buttons and options related to the view and current activity, they are CONTEXT SENSITIVE, so tool availability changes based on the task being performed. This affects the Header, the Tool Shelf and Properties sidebars.

This essentially means each AREA has a dedicated region for buttons, menus and other functions, and a larger region within which a majority of work is performed, the type and significance of which depends upon the TASK to which each area is dedicated.

Creating a simple animation for example, the Cube is manipulated in the main area of the 3D View whilst its position is marked to the main area of the Timeline, with further control and modification also being possible using the options and setting available in the Properties area.

Here the same animated cube can given additional properties, its size changed, its surface coloured or modified. The results from which can be rendered at different sizes, or exported to different third-party formats.

This interdependence, the way Blender breaks projects down into Editor-specific tasks, is fundamental to Blenders flexibility as an application.

Offline kat

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Using Blender for the first time - keyboard and mouse control
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2017, 11:27:19 PM »
[duration: 4:00 mins] A second look at Blenders confusing Interface and how mouse and keyboard are used together. Blender is confusing, the buttons don't work the same way as other applications making it difficult to use. The above video covers the basics of MOUSE and KEYBOARD control and how they work within Blender.


Transcript (E&EO)
Quote
Interacting with Blender relies on using keyboard and mouse, often simultaneously.

The programs differs from other application however because what each keyboard press or mouse click actually does varies depending on the task performed; click-holding the middle mouse button for example rotates the 3D View when the mouse is moved but slides other editors side to side or up and down. This means Blenders controls are largely CONTEXT SENSITIVE, their function changes depending upon what the user is doing.

With this in mind, looking at a standard three-button mouse;

- using the LEFT mouse button selects, highlights or otherwise activates various panels, properties, options and settings so they can be changed by either left-click dragging values or input boxes, or simply by typing new values.

- using the MIDDLE mouse button manipulates the views and editors, typically rotating , as with the 3D View, or translating the workspace of an Editor along the horizontal and virticle plain. The MIDDLE mouse button is the main input control used to navigate editor workspace.

- using the RIGHT mouse button selects data and objects in preparation for further manipulation or modification.

This division between left and right buttons is important to defining CONTEXT, essentially that left button selects/activates various PROPERTIES, OPTIONS and associated VALUES, right button selects OBJECTS & associated DATA. With middle manipulating the views and editors.

These basic functions can then be further augmented using the SHIFT, ALT (Alternate) and CTRL (Control) keys, independently or in combination, SHIFT plus mouse button, SHIFT plus CTRL plus mouse button, and so on, each group performing a slightly different function, or variation of a core task based on context; used in conjunction with the middle mouse button for example all three can be used to manipulate some aspect of the 3D View, Shift translates the view, Alt snaps rotation and Ctrl magnifies.

Looking at Blenders default layout with this information in mind, in the main 3D View the MIDDLE mouse button ROTATES the Scene when held as the mouse is moved, DRAGS the Scene side-to-side. top-to-bottom when used alongside SHIFT, and ZOOMS when combined with CTRL. This scheme differs slightly for other editors and panels as the MIDDLE mouse button DRAGS without the use of SHIFT.

Using the RIGHT mouse button in the 3D View selects individual objects as they are clicked and groups of objects when used alongside SHIFT. Similarly in the Timeline and other editors, different data OBJECTS can be selected individually, or as part of a group, again using SHIFT. Linear selections are also possible combining ALT with RIGHT clicking depending on the task and editor, SHIFT here allows multiple linear group selections - for example selection a row of faces in Edit Mode or a set of keyframes.in the Action Editor.

Using the LEFT mouse button in the 3D View workspace is limited to repositioning the 3D Cursor or manipulation widgets associated with other Editors and areas, or loop selecting objects when combined with CTRL. Beyond this, LEFT clicking a property, option or value initiates the editing process of the highlighted value when used in the main Properties, tool and information editors and areas. LEFT clicking also modifies the appearance of the User Interface when click-dragging the border between areas.

Finally each action or operation is confirmed by releasing the mouse button pressed, pressing ENTER or LEFT clicking elsewhere on-screen, or cancelled by RIGHT clicking, changing a Materials diffuse colour or choosing the edge across which a loop-cut is placed for example, can both be confirmed pressing ENTER or LEFT clicking, or selectively cancelled using RIGHT click.

 

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