B06- Blender’s Interface
We are going to start using Blender soon. In case if you have missed the earlier posts, please visit them before you continue, specially the 2nd post of this volume. You must have the preparations done before proceeding.
To use blender, first you will have to install it. Below here I am giving you the download link for Blender:
Here, you will find options to download latest version of Blender. Currently, We have Blenders latest version – 2.73. (i.e. at the time of this writing – Feb 2015). But if you are reading this later, you may find even latest version of it. You can download Blender according to you operating system, like Windows, Mac or Linux. Once you download the appropriate version, you can install it very easily. For windows, you have to double click the downloaded installer and then it will get installed. And for Mac and Linux, its just a simple zip file. You just have to unzip it, to start blender. If you have some specific problems, you can always ask me. You can directly contact me through the ‘Leave a Reply’ section below.
Anyways, so lets assume that you have installed Blender and its now running. Once you open Blender, it will look something like this:
You will see a big image in the centre, Its called the ‘Splash screen’. Just click on it and Blender will be visible.
As we talked earlier, Blenders interface has few primary sections in it.
You will find a ‘Cube’ in the middle biggest section. This section is called the ‘3D Viewport’. Through this area, we can view the 3D objects like this cube, from various angles and also we can work on it. You will also find 3 arrows, in the centre of the cube. They are oriented towards 3 directions and even have 3 colours, red, green and blue. Right?
Q: Yes, I found it.
Also, around the cube, you will notice a grid just like graph paper. All the dimensions are calculated from this grids centre. All these things will be very useful when we start doing modeling. While working in Blender, you will have to use your key-board and mouse. Lets try looking around the cube. First, move your mouse near the cube, then click and hold the middle-button and try moving the mouse. Try it!
Can you see around?
Q: Yes, great!
Likewise if you scroll the mouse wheel, you will be able to see from closer to or away from the cube. If you Press and hold ‘Shift’ on your keyboard and then also pressed the middle mouse button, you can shift the view aside. By doing such things, you can easily look from any angle to the object and do the work.
Q: Yes, I can do it.This is very interesting.
Just on the top right of the 3D viewport, there is a big section. It’s called, ‘Outliner’.
This section shows a list of everything present in the file. So that we can keep the file organised.
Below the Outliner, there is ‘Properties’ Section.
Here, you will find all the settings and most of the tools for rendering, modeling etc. This will be the second most used section, after 3D viewport.
Blender has got several such sections, but we will talk about that later. Let’s come back to the Viewport.
Now you have learnt to navigate around the object like this Cube in viewport. The arrows in the centre of the Cube are nothing but the 3 axes of grid, namely X, Y and Z. If you click on any of the axis and drag your mouse, you can move the object. Try moving the cube on all 3 directions. Like wise you can use similar tools for modeling and animation.
Now, lets add few more shapes like this cube. First, click on one of the side slightly away from the cube. You will find a small ‘Ring’ appeared. Now look right below the menubar. You will see buttons like, ‘View, Select, Add, Object’ etc. Lets click on ‘Add’ then a menu will appear. Click ‘Mesh’ and in that click ‘Cylinder’.
You will find a Cylinder added in the viewport. Similarly you can try adding many other meshes. To move the cylinder, ‘Right-click’ on it to select it. And as usual you can grab the handles or arrows to move in any direction. Now try arranging the objects in some interesting ways and also try looking around from different angles.
In the next post, we will talk more about modeling in Blender. Till then try exploring Blender and its interface. In case of any trouble, don’t hesitate to ask me. See you next time.