Working With Objects

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Add Primitive Mesh Objects /Types of Objects

Video by Neal Hirsig.

Excerpt along video:

  • (Delete default cube, change to TOP View (NumPad 7))
  • Objects are added where Cursor is located;
  • Place cursor by left click where you want to locate objects in 3DViewport; (Video mentions that orthographic view eliminates change of position in the axis this view looks "against")
  • Exact Cursor position: by entering into View Properties Panel (right, N)
  • (To Position the cursor at Global Origin point, press SHIFT+C, (or SHIFT+S and choose "Cursor to Origin" from Cursor Menu that appears))
  • SHIFT+A brings up Add Object Menu, select Mesh and choose primitive Object
  • (The Center Point of an added object is located at the chosen Cursor position)
  • When adding an object: ** a temporary panel opens in Toolbar Panel (T), that allows to adjust the initial "raw/default version" before fixing the add**
  • Hover over panel border to drag it up and adjust settings
  • Before fixed otherwise, hence by default: All objects are added "as if in Top View: oriented "z-axis for height/(Top/Down axis)",
  • Checkmark "Align View" to align to selected view.
  • Temporary adjustment panel disappears, when you deselect, select a different object or tab into Edit Mode
  • Once adding is fixed, you can transform objects via the usual transformation tools

Selecting in Object Mode

Video by Neal Hirsig

Excerpt along video:

  • Right click on an object to select it.
  • Hold SHIFT key to add other objects to the selection
  • Last selected is Active object of selection sequence (e.g. Parenting tool relies on this )

(Active/LAst selected is marked by a brighter selection line)

  • A key toggles between all - and nothing selected (deselect) (Camera and lamp too !)
  • deselect single object of selection sequence by holding SHIFT and clicking object twice, (makes object active selected by first click, and deselects it by second)
  • Select in Outliner Window: left click the object in the list, add by holding SHIFT key and left click more (last selected active object here too)
  • In wireframe mode (Z-key) is you have to click a wireframe line, to select it
  • B key, Box Select, allows you to klick and drag a box over objects to select, add by holding SHIFT key and right click, or by pressing B key again (without shift) and drag another box selection, every even partially touched object by the box is selected
  • C key allows Circle Select, can be moved freely in the scene; scroll wheel to increase or decrease circle, if object more than half in selection circle, and you left click, object is selected; Circle select remains active and you can add other objects by clicking on them, right click to stop circle selecting
  • Hold CTRL key: Lasso select, allows you to klick and drag a line/area around all objects you want to select (objects need to be more than 50 % inside lasso area)
  • Select menu in 3D Viewport Editor (bottom header)

Transforms

Moving Objects

Video by Neal Hirsig

Excerpt along video:

  • Select object by right clicking it (RMB = Right Mouse Button)
  • (To drive you wild ;), moving is called "translate" in Blender, and there is a button on the Toolbar Panel (left, press T to open toolbar) that has the same function as the far more handy shortcut:
  • G key: Grab, and move where-ever you want (it sticks to your mouse but is difficult to handle properly in perspective view)
  • Left click to confirm position
  • To restrict the movement - or translation: press G, and then, directly, X, Y or Z to restrict to the axis you want to move it along.
  • You can watch position changes in N - panel (Right 3D Viewport Control Panel ;) to the right, under "Location"
  • When you hold CTRL key, while moving the mouse, translation jumps in units, holding SHIFT key allows slower more precise movement;
  • You can move by Blender Units by clicking G, (then X,Y,Z) + up and down arrows.
  • Or you can move via N-panel "Location", by either clicking arrows, to jump, or slide by click and drag along the slider, or by entering an exact position into the field
  • Alternatively, and used very frequently, you can drag the Transform Widget Handles, the arrow-tool located at the center of your selected object - click and drag these arrows to move along the axis you have chose
  • If you select multiple objects, the Transform Widget is located in the median center of the selected objects and you can move them together
  • The transform Widget is one of three Manipulator Widgets, you can turn them on and off in the 3D Viewport header (which is at the bottom) located in the middle, by clicking the icon.

Rotating Objects

Video by Neal Hirsig

Excerpt along video:

  • (Video setting: CTRL+up arrow to full screen, N-panel (3D Viewport Editor Window control panel opened) to show rotation adjustments best; Objects are rotated around pivot point, other tutorial gives details)
  • Press R key to rotate freely until you confirm by left click (little control in perspective view, multi-axis rotation)
  • Define axis by pressing R, then X,Y,Z, to define which axis to restrcit rotation to.
  • Alternatively, use numeric transform option in N-Panel, by clicking arrow of axis slider under "Rotation", or slide, or enter an exact value.
  • Clear Rotation: ALT+R or enter 0 (zero) into numeric rotation controls for all axises in Trnasform Panel
  • R, then press + hold CTRL: rotation jumps in 5° units, hold SHIFT: slow rotation for better precision.
  • Up and down arrows rotate one degree with each click
  • Use Rotate Widget, by clicking icon in 3D Viewport header ( located on bottom of window):
  • Widget indicates around which axis you rotate: click widget axis line, in any view, and you can rotate around the axis by dragging your mouse in a circle (see video); letting go of the mouse button sets the rotation. You can still hold down CTRL or SHIFT when using the manipulator widget.

Scaling Objects

Video by Neal Hirsig

Excerpt along video:

  • (Video setting: CTRL+up arrow to full screen, N-panel (3D Viewport Editor Window control panel opened) to show rotation adjustments best; Objects are scaled around pivot point, defualt around "Bounding Box pivot point; change in header -other tutorial gives details)
  • Press S key to scale complete object from center point "in all three axis directions"
  • Scale along specific axis by pressing S key, followed by X,Y, Z to set specific axis, left click to set scale
  • Alternatively press scale button in left control panel
  • Or click, slide or enter specific value in right panel controls.
  • ALT+S clears all scaling
  • Hold CTRL jumps in scale, hold SHIFT slows or restricts scale for more precision
  • Up and down arrow make scale jump in 0.1 units
  • Scale Manipulator widget, change default translator to scale by clicking on icon in header (bottom of 3D Viewport Editor Window), click and drag scales, let losse mouse button sets scale

Naming Objects

Video by Neal Hirsig

Excerpt along video:

  • Each object in Blender must have a unique name
  • Blender names Mesh.001, Mesh.002 etc. to distinguish; For you, to find them when the model gets complex:
  • give meaningful names to them
  • Name : open right Viewport Editor Window Panel, by N (Notation) key, or clicking +icon in upper ricght edge ov Viewport panel
  • Select the Object (right click)
  • Click on name in Item box in right N-panel
  • Retype the name (if Item Panel is further down, you can drag and drop it upwards in the panel stack)
  • When one single object is selected… name is noted in 3D Viewport to the right of mini axis display

Deleting Objects

Video by Neal Hirsig

Excerpt along video:

  • You can delete any object or sub-object
  • Select by right click
  • Press X key, dialogue box appears, confirm delete
  • CTRL+Z to undo delete

You can delete sub-components of a Mesh, switch to Edit Mode; (If Edit Mode is new to you, see this before going on — update link

  • Press TAB key (Tabulator, "—>I" (above left keep shift key) to enter into Edit Mode, (press A key to deselect)
  • Now select vertices, and press X key, a menu appears that alows you to choose which sub-objects to delete
  • Select vertices and note, that all faces these vertices where part of are deleted too
  • If you delete edges, it again deletes faces that where connected, original verticesselected, not deleted (CTRL+Z)
  • If you choose Edge Loop - Blender deletes edge, but combines two adjoining faces to new face

Duplication

Video by Neal Hirsig

  • SHIFT + D : selected object is duplicated in same position, in grab mode, move mouse ( to see it) and left click to confirm position
  • Or select object and press Duplicate Button in left T Toolbar panel in 3D Viewport Editor Window.
  • To constrain movement to axis press X, Y, or Z directly after dupliction
  • Duplicated object is independent (Naming !); - no action to it affects original
  • See in Outliner, by expanding object, that object and underlying Mesh Data Block have new name Blender names 001, 002, … automatically.

Special Case Material:

  • Materials are generally shared by all objects they are assigned to, in case you want to change the material of a duplication, delete the copied material(s), that is/are shared by the Original, (and eventually others) , and create a new one - simple changes would affect all objects that the material is assigned to.
  • Linked Duplicate: ALT +D - here the copy is a clone and all mesh transformations will affect both original and clone, here original and clone share one Mesh Data Block.
  • To unlink a linked duplicate, press U -> opens Make Single User Menu, select "Object & Object" Data.
  • To convert duplicated objects into linked copies, select all objects you want to link, press CTRL + L (Make Links Menu) - this applies the date of the last selected object (active) to all selected.

More about concerting and unlinking in BlenderNewbies post "How To Convert Duplicated Objects Into Linked Duplicates


Mesh Smoothing

Video by Neal Hirsig

Excerpt along video:

An curved objects' mesh is composed by bordering polygons, faces, which you can see better in wireframe - these facets that define an object, are flat.
The more subdivided or finer the mesh is, the smoother it looks - in fact smothness is only simulated in mesh modeling, the underlying faces themselves would still be flat.
But more faces increase the size of your file - you will constantly try to minimize the amount of vertices / faces for best render results.

Blender provides a smoothing tool, that procedurally smoothes the mesh visually without changing the underlying mesh:
Press "Smooth" button in left Toolbar panel (T to open and close) - to remove optical smoothness for render and display, press button "Flat" underneath.

  • To apply smoothing to selected faces, instead of entire object:

Apply "Smooth" to object in Edit Mode, with just those faces selected, that you want to be smoothened

  • alternate way to smooth partially: set Angle via "Auto Smooth" function

Press Object Data Context tab of Properties Editor Window (right lower) , Button/Tab shows triangle with brighter vertices.
In "Normals" Panel, checkmark "Auto Smooth" - set the angle in the slidecontrol underneath (type, slide or click arrows) defies that all faces above this angle will not be set smooth in the render. ( In display the complete object is set smooth, but when rendering, only angles lower than set will be smoothed.)


Empty Object

Video by Neal Hirsig

Excerpt along video:

An "Empty Object" is a non-renderable modeling-help object, representing a point in space.

  • To add it press SHIFT + A and choose empty from Add-dropdownmenu.

It is represented by an axis icon, and has location, rotation and scale functions, though non-renderable.
It is an often used as placeholder or proxy object, mostly as parent to other objects.

  • Video shows an example of

Parent : select Empty as last in series (active) and press CTRL+P - often used in animation to move several objects by Empty in animation process
Reference Object: position an empty at a specific, e.g. vertex you will need often ( SHift+S - snap cursor to vertex, then
Constraint System: example "Track to" Camera constraint: select Camera -> click chain icon "tabbutton" in Properties Editor W. -> add Track to from dropdown - set Empty as target: after defining orientation, camera perspective /view will follow Empty when moved.

  • Can be duplicated and one Empty can be parent of another

Parenting Objects

Video by Neal Hirsig

Excerpt along video:

"Parent-Child" relationship is a transform relationship between objects:
A form of grouping, where parent object controls location, rotation and scale of subordinated/restrained ;) objects
Select object that shall be parent of selection sequence last, to make it active selected object (brighter colour)
Then press CTRL+P and confirm making last selected object parent to those selected before

When parent object is moved, scaled, rotated: children move, scale and rotate with it
But children can still move/scale/rotate on their own.

In Outliner children are listed as grouped under the name of parent object ("within" parent object data)

As Parenting is a kind of grouping - SHIFT+G ( - opens Group Selection dialogue box ) facilitates handling the group.

Changes in transformation (location, rotation, scale) to the parent will be stored in parents' data block and applied to children.

To remove an object from parenting group: press ALT+P
Dialogue box offers clearing options:

  • Clear parent will by default remove all transformations that parent has affected to removed child, or children, (if parent object itself is cleared, to all children ) - they will be where they where and look how they looked before they where made child
  • Or choose Clear and keep Transformation
  • And Clear Parent Inverse - which keeps unclear to explanators :)

Joining Objects

Video by Neal Hirsig

Select objects to join and press CTRL+J

  • In Outliner Window, you see: joined as one Object named after active object (last selected)
  • In Edit Mode you see you can work on them as one object - all vertices available for editing

(You can remove parts you have joined from the new single object in edit mode, see "Separate Objects" - next heading)


Separating Objects

Video by Neal Hirsig

Excerpt along video:

Separate selected sub-components form object - in Edit Mode (TAB key toggles between Edit and Object Mode )
(Edit Mode is the mode to work within an selected object only and transform only parts of it, intead of the whole object)

Select the parts of the object you want to remove, to make them a separate object
Press P in Edit Mode and choose from menu: Selection, By Material or By Loose Parts


Text Objects

Video by Neal Hirsig

Excerpt along video:

Text Objects are special curve objects.

Add Text objects by SHIFT+A, choose "Text" from menu

  • Text is by default added in Top View and flat with the letter "Text"
  • Tab into Edit Mode - and you can rewrite the text as in a text editing program by deleting"text" via Backspace key and writing your text.
  • left and right arrow keys move cursor within text
  • pressing SHIFT + using arrow keys allow to select letters
  • Object Data Icon in Properties Panel Window (right lower) displays F for Font when text selected - press it to open Text controls
  • Change default name "Text" in Font name box
  • To change font, scroll to "Font" panel: by default Blender adds text in "Bfont" -> click folder icon, opens File Browser -> locate fonts on your Computer -> leftclick select and click "Open" button, text has new font
  • change font that is loaded to Blender Scene by clicking "Browse ID Data" (tooltipdescription) Icon - the white icon to the left of the Font name in Font Panel
  • Font size can be adjusted by slider control underneath
  • Italic angle can be adjusted by "Shear" controler besid size
  • By default there is no word-wrap, as default text box has no preset dimensions: scroll to Text Boxes Panel and define dimensions of Box in Dimension field/slide control - when increasing from zero via slider, line appears that corresponds to with controls in Blender Units - size it according to your desired word-wrap
  • Once the box dimension is defined, you can adjust Text alignment in Paraghraph Panel: by default it is aligned Left, change to Right or Center
  • Justify extends spaces between words to fill Text Box dimensions
  • Flush extends spaces between leter to dimension of Text Box
  • Character spacing, word spacing and line spacing can be adjusted by slidecontrolers underneath align buttons
  • Text can be Offset along x- and y- axis via slidecontrols besides

As you are in Edit Mode, open Toolbox via View Menu ( 3D Window) instead of T-key (you would simply add a t to the text otherwise):
Copy, Cut Paste Buttons here do not correspond with your computer,

  • to import text, press "Text" in bottomheader and select "Paste File" to open File Browser and locate Textfile on your computer, by clicking "Paste Text" Button contents of selected File will be part of Text Object in Edit Mode
  • Place cursor and press Enter to force character return
  • Now you can use Toolbox Buttons: To Upper and To Lower will force entire text to upper or lower case, but for Bold of Italic the association must first be added to your Blender File
  • Underline: select via SHIFT + arrow keys and press Underline - Thickness and position can be defined via font panel slidecontrols
  • To give dimension to the text (3D), extrude it via Geometry Panel -> Modification -> Extrude slidecontrol in Properties Editor
  • to set text to one line again remove dimension of text box
  • To bend text:
  • In Object Mode: snap Cursor to text object (SHIFT+S -> Cursor to Selected)
  • Add an Bezier Curve (SHIFT+A -> choose Bezier Curve), name it; (Subdivide it in Edit Mode)
  • Select the curve by click in "Text on Curve"-box in Font Panel to assign it - text now conforms to curve
  • Select curve object and adjust in Edit Mode
  • Same is possible with a Circle -> add Bezier Circle ;
  • Works on x-y-plane
  • Many Modifers available for use on Text object: click Modifier Icontab in Properties Panel (wrench)
  • Video example: bending via Simple Deform Modifier: change Mode via dropdown to "Bend" and adjust Factor Setting along x-y-plane.
  • To bend around x-z, or y-z-plane, you need Curve Modifier
  • Add Bezier and name, rotate it to other plane (xz, yz)
  • Add Curve Modifier to text and enter name of Curve Object
  • Adjust in x- -z buttons to define if flat around curve, or standing
  • Like all curve objects, text can be converted to Mesh Object
  • Density determined by Resolution setting located in Shape Panel - by default 12, quite high - set to 6
  • Convert via ALT+C - choose Mesh from Curve.. Object

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