II. Precautions: Non-Medical

  1. Not for Medical Care
  2. The author uses several software packages and programming languages to develop FPnotebook content
  3. For convenience, a dozen pages in FPNotebook are dedicated to quick notes on content creation

III. Technique: Viewport Navigation

  1. Mouse
    1. MMB: Tumble or Rotate
      1. Rotate viewport around the selected object (in perspective view)
    2. Shift-MMB: Track or Pan
      1. Pan the viewport left, right, up and down
    3. Ctrl-MMB: Dolly or Zoom (or use scroll wheel)
      1. Zoom in and out of viewport
  2. Frame Object
    1. Numberpad Period (.)
      1. Frame selected object in active panel
  3. Toggle Quad View (View from Top, Side, Front and Perspective)
    1. Ctrl-Alt-Q
  4. NumberPad
    1. Top View or Z-View (Numberpad 7)
    2. Opposite Side of Object (Numberpad 9)
    3. Orthographic View (Numberpad 5)
    4. Front View or Y-View (Numberpad 1)
    5. Right View or X-View (Numberpad 3)
    6. Frame or Focus Object (Numberpad Period)
    7. Camera View (Ctrl-NumberPad 0)
  5. Gimbal (XYZ Navigator, upper right corner)
    1. X - Right View (or NumberPad 3)
    2. Y - Front View (or NumberPad 1)
    3. Z- Top View (or NumberPad 7)
  6. Selection
    1. Click or Shift-Select items in the Outliner
  7. Commands
    1. Command Pop-up Menu (F3)
  8. Reference Image Technique 1
    1. Add Object (Shift-A), and select image
    2. In the Reference Image Properties Panel > Object Data, modify size (Z), opacity, offset...
    3. Orient the image plane to the proper axis (use rotation, move)
  9. Reference Image Technique 2
    1. Edit > Preferences > Add-Ins > Import Images as Planes (enable if not already enabled)
    2. File > Import > Images As Planes, and select image
    3. Select Viewport Shading to see the imported image on the plane
    4. View image in orthographic view (e.g. Right, Numberpad 3)
    5. Modify scene units (properties > scene > units > length)
    6. Resize the image plane to the proper scale
  10. Shaping a mesh to a reference image
    1. View image in orthographic view (e.g. Right, Numberpad 3)
    2. Add a mesh (shift-A) and align with the image plane
      1. Single object mesh may be set to wireframe (Properties > Object > Viewport Display > Display As)
    3. Edit mode (tab) > edge mode (2)
    4. Insert edge loops (Ctrl-R) and move the key points (most wide, most narrow) along the reference image
    5. Scale (S) the edge loops to fit the contours of the reference image
    6. Select one edge loop at a time and use Bevel (Ctrl-B, see below) to round edges

IV. Technique: Object Transformations

  1. Tool Dialog (T toggles the dialog)
    1. General
      1. Shift-Spacebar
        1. Show a popup menu for all tools
        2. Release the keys, and then press one of the keys below
      2. When a tool is selected, the keyboard can be used to type transforms
        1. Press G (move), R (rotate) or S (scale)
        2. Press X, Y or Z to constrain to one axis (or shift-X, Y or Z for not X, Y or Z), and then
        3. Type a number (e.g. 5 or .5), or drag along that axis (use Ctrl to constrain to integers), and then
        4. Minus may be added after number to reverse the transform (e.g. rotate in the opposite direction)
        5. Press Enter to commit (or escape to cancel)
      3. When a tool is selected, the mouse may also be positioned to scale, rotate or move the object
    2. Cursor (Shift-Spacebar, release, T)
      1. Move the control point
    3. Move or "Grab" (G)
      1. Move an object
    4. Rotate (R)
      1. Rotate an object
    5. Scale (S)
      1. Scale an object
    6. Transform (Shift-Spacebar, release, T)
      1. Move, Scale and Rotate with a single tool
  2. Transform Dialog (N toggles the dialog)
    1. General
      1. Follow nearly all rotation and scale transforms with Object > Apply (Ctrl-A)
  3. Duplicate
    1. Object (Shift-D)
    2. Instance (Alt-D)
  4. Add Objects
    1. Add Menu (top left) or Shift-A
  5. Delete Objects
    1. Confirm Delete (X) or
    2. Delete without confirmation (Delete key)
  6. Transform Tool Menu (F9)
    1. Menu allows for parameter changes to a new object, or a transformation (e.g. extrude)
    2. The menu will no longer be available after the object is further modified or a new transform is applied
  7. Apply Transformations (Ctrl-A)
    1. Select which transformations to apply
    2. In most cases, apply scale and rotate transformations (location does not usually need to be applied)
    3. Failing to apply transformations may cause later geometry modification problems
  8. Outliner and organization
    1. New Collection (M)
      1. Puts selected objects into a new group (collection)
    2. Parent (Ctrl-P)
      1. Select objects and key select the main object, then press Ctrl-P > Object
  9. Pivot Point
    1. Press "." (period) to bring up a marking menu to select the type of pivot point OR
    2. Select from the drop down at screen top (next to the snapping drop down)
  10. Origin
    1. Setting Origin in Object Mode
      1. Object > Set Origin (or Right Click Object while in Object Mode > Set Origin)
    2. Setting Origin in Edit Mode (setting origin at a selected vertex, edge or face)
      1. Mesh > Snap (or Shift S > Marking Menu) > Cursor To Selected AND
      2. Object Mode (Tab) > Object (or Right Click Object) > Set Origin to Cursor
  11. Normals
    1. To see inverted normals (change to Edit Mode, Press Tab)
      1. Viewport Overlays Dropdown > Face Orientation (pink is inverted)
      2. Viewport Overlays > Display Normals
      3. Materials > Backface Culling (inverted normal faces will be hidden, as they would be in Unity 3D or other exports)
    2. To correct inverted normals
      1. Mesh Menu > Normals > Flip Normals OR
      2. Make Normals Consistent
        1. Select all faces AND
        2. Recalculate Outside (Shift-N) or Recalculate Inside (Shift-Ctrl-N)
  12. Bezier Curve
    1. Typically used with a reference image (see above)
    2. Add Object (Shift-A), and select curve > bezier
    3. Select the bezier and delete > vertices
    4. Choose the orthographic view to draw the spline (e.g. front - x)
    5. Place the starting point using the Draw Tool (Shift-Spacebar-9)
    6. Extrude (E) for each next point to place, drag the cursor to position, and click to set the point
    7. Select all points of the curve (A), then press "V" to edit the handle types, and select Automatic
    8. Use the multi-function gizmo tool to rotate, move and scale the handles
    9. Reduce the number of bezier points to the minimum number that smoothly defines the shape
    10. Use the Tools (left toolbar) such as spin and then apply shade smooth
  13. Array Modifier (Properties > Add Modifier, wrench icon > Array)
    1. Add a repeated number of instances of a selected object
    2. Choose relative (spacing based on source object size) or absolute (spacing by absolute x,y,z parameters)
    3. Add additional array modifiers to add dimensions (e.g. column, row, depth)
    4. Apply the changes as needed
  14. Recipes
    1. Sphere without Poles (alternatively, choose IcoSphere Mesh, e.g. 3 divisions)
      1. Create a cube
      2. Properties > Add Modifier (wrench) > Subdivision Surface (Catmull-Clark, 3 subdivisions) > Apply
      3. Mesh > Transform > ToSphere (1)
      4. Shade Smooth
    2. Smoothing Sharp transitions options
      1. Transform (Edit Mode) > Mean Crease (e.g. set to 0.6 to 0.8)
      2. Properties > Add Modifier (wrench) > Subdivision Surface (Catmull-Clark, 3 subdivisions)
      3. Select Edges and Edges > Bevel Edges

V. Technique: Vertex, Edge and Face Transformations (Edit Mode)

  1. Toggle between object mode and edit mode (Tab)
  2. Edit Vertex (1), Edge (2), Face (3)
  3. Delete or Dissolve with option menu (X)
  4. Selection
    1. Select All (A)
    2. Deselect All (Alt-A or A-A)
    3. Select edge or face loop (alt-click)
    4. Expand or contract selection (Ctrl Numberpad + or -)
    5. Select Mesh Linked Subgroups
      1. Press L while hovering cursor over part of target mesh
      2. Deselect by pressing Shift-L while hovering over part of target mesh
  5. Move
    1. Use the same move keyboard shortcuts as for objects as above
    2. Use snapping as with objects
    3. When constraining to an axis, pressing Z, X, or Y again toggles between local and global coordinates
      1. Constraining to normal, however, is not among the cycled modes
  6. Sliding (G-G)
    1. Allows for sliding a vertex, edge or face along the surface of other geometry
  7. Merge by Distance
    1. Removes overlapping vertices and edges
    2. Previously known as "remove doubles"
  8. Extrude (E)
    1. Extrude a face or edge
    2. Works well in combination with increment snapping
  9. Inset (I)
    1. Inset a face
    2. Press i followed by a decimal between 0 to 1
    3. Modify the transform panel parameters
  10. Insert Edge Loop (Press Ctrl-R)
    1. Modify loop number in tool parameter dialog
    2. Press 0 to center the loop cut
    3. Move the cursor to modify the line location and click or press enter to set the position
    4. Press Ctrl while dragging to move the edge loop in fixed increments
  11. Bevel (Ctrl-B)
    1. Choose edge mode, select an edge loop (alt-click)
    2. Press Ctrl-B and move the cursor up and down to expand and contract the size of the beveled area
    3. Use the mouse scroll wheel to increase and decrease the number of edges within the bevel
  12. Subdivide
    1. Subdivides the selected faces into quarters, eighths
  13. Scale
    1. Scaling face, edge or vertices to 0 forms steeples or house roofs (constrain scale to an axis)
    2. Merge by distance after Scaling when overlapping vertices and edges (see above)

VI. Technique: Materials, Lighting, Rendering

  1. Assign Material to other selected objects
    1. Select group of objects and set the key object's material the one to be source
    2. Ctrl-L > Link Material
      1. Copies the source material to all selected objects
  2. Camera Viewport
    1. Select Camera View
      1. Select Camera and then View > Cameras > Set Active Object As Camera OR
      2. Click the Camera Icon below the Gimbal (XYZ navigator)
    2. Camera Navigation
      1. Option 1: Select Camera, then M (and select View Tab) > Lock Camera to View
        1. Arrange the camera view as you would with scene navigation
        2. Remember to turn off the "Lock Camera to View"
      2. Option 2: View > Navigation > Walk Navigation
        1. Use the A, S, D, W, X keys to navigate the view
      3. Option 3: Convert the Perspective View to Camera View
        1. Ctrl-Alt Numpad 0
  3. Lights
    1. Shadows
      1. Select each light to modify the shadows that specific light casts
      2. Light Settings (Properties > Object Data Properties - bulb icon)
        1. Add Contact Shadows (and adjust) if shadow too soft near base of object
      3. Render Settings (Properties > Render Properties > Shadows)
        1. Modify shadow softness and resolution
  4. Rendering
    1. Render Engine (Properties > Render Properties - camera icon)
      1. Eevee
        1. Faster renders, but less accurate
      2. Cycles
        1. Slower renders, but more accurate
        2. Allows for optional GPU Rendering
        3. Given the same light setup, Cycles will be darker than Eevee
    2. Reflections
      1. Darker materials show reflections better than light materials
      2. Materials should have roughness decreased to increase their glossiness (may adjust specular, anisotropic)
      3. In Render Properties, check "Screen Space Reflections"
    3. Miscellaneous Options
      1. Ambient Occlusion

VII. Review: Features

  1. Advantages (features I like)
    1. Keyboard shortcuts (e.g. G-Z-1, S-X-2...)
    2. F3 Function Search
  2. Disadvantages (features I dislike)
    1. Interface differences from other software (e.g. Maya, ZBrush)
      1. Navigation shortcuts (G, S, R instead of W,E,R)
      2. Z-Up (instead of Z forward)
      3. More difficult than Maya to visualize location in 3D
      4. Need to build your own 4 panel layouts and similar
    2. Bezier Curves
      1. Limited and non-intuitive functionality (e.g. extrude to add points, cursor does not follow well)
    3. Materials
      1. Materials that are not assigned to an object are lost saving a file and reloading the file
        1. Unless you click "Fake User: Save this data-block even if it has no users"
      2. Assigning a material to multiple objects requires a link operation (why not just selection?)

VIII. Resources

  1. Udemy: Create Blender Creator Course (Michael Bridges, Grant Abbitt, Rick Davidson)
    1. https://www.udemy.com/course/blendertutorial/
  2. Blender Guru 3.0 Cheatsheet
    1. https://www.dropbox.com/s/jg4fs4i8zw5bxt7/Blender%203.0%20Shortcuts%20v1.2.pdf?dl=0

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