- These tips are only about modeling. Blender also does animation (so
you'll seel little objects you can't mess with -- these are the camera
- a wire-frame pyramid with up and down arrows; and a light source --
a dot with some circles around it), but that's for a diffferent file.
- If you're using a Mac, do yourself a favor and attach a three-button
mouse before you run blender -- lots of things depend on not-the-one-button
clicks, and you can emulate them with 'command' and 'option', but it
ain't worth it. Dig up that old Dell (usb) mouse.
- At startup, select the little box (it starts selected, but if you
click exhuberantly elsewhere, it might not be), press "X" a little
are-you-sure dialog pops up. Affirm it. "X" is "delete". The little
box is a sample object for you to play with. If you're loading in an
object (or importing one, e.g. an stl file), it will just get in the way.
- There are two main modes of blender -- "Edit" (for editing and
creating) and "Object" (for doing things with complete objects, like
moving them.) The tab key switches between these two modes. THE
PROGRAM BEHAVES ENTIRELY DIFFERENTLY IN THE TWO MODES. If you get
into the wrong mode, you will get frustrated fast. If things aren't
behaving like you expect, check what mode you're in.
- Define objects by selecting parts and then using "join".
- Blender has a bazillion shortcuts. These are great, once you know
what they are. Until you do, hunt up the command the old fashioned
way. There are TWO sets of use menus, one at the top left, and one
at the bottom left.
- Select an object in "edit" mode. Use right-click to select any part
of the object, then ^L (control-l) to have blender follow all the
vertices and select the entire object. You may then manipulate it;
e.g. scale, or delete.
Random other notes:
- The shortcut for "delete" is X. You'll get a popup that askes if you
want to delete faces, or vertices, and a bunch of others. You'll
probably want to delete faces.
- The shortcut for "scale" is S. You can scale an object, group of
objects, or a face (a flat polygon or circle), or a line. Play with
the startup box to learn how to mess with object parts.
- Extruding can be done with a face, and blender with keep the edges
joined to whatever they started joined to.
- If you select one part of a polygon (face), you can get blender to
select all of that face with a shift-click.
- On the far right, there's a wrench icon. This allows you to "add
modifiers" -- for instance to smooth things, or add textures, an
amazing collection. However, if you select "apply", the changes will
made permanent by REMAKING your object in a new set of polygons, which
are typically amazingly complex and impenetrable to editing. Do that
last (after you save a copy of your model.)