NAVBAR->HomeIntroductionBasic editingQuick-start guide

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Getting started with 3D

Blender start-up

Click to enlarge

Installation done? Then you're ready for take off.

Start up Blender as described in the installation section. Start-up should be finished within a few seconds.

What you see is the contents and window layout of the $HOME/.B.blend file. This file is a regular Blender file and is the default file that loads automatically on start-up. A user can create his own default windows, pre-set Materials, models, directories, etc. You can save the user defaults at any time by pressing CTRL+U.

Quick-start guide pt 1

3D view manipulation

The largest window is the 3DWindow. It displays a Mesh plane (the square), a Camera and a 3Dcursor.
  • Click with LeftMouse in the 3DWindow. The 3Dcursor moves to this location. The 3Dcursor is important to indicate where new Objects appear and for rotating and scaling purposes.
  • Click, hold and move MiddleMouse in the 3D window. This is the 'trackball' style view rotation. Try this (click-hold-move) at different locations in the window to get used to the TrackBall method.
  • Try the same while holding a SHIFT key. SHIFT+MiddleMouse is view translation.
  • CTRL+MiddleMouse is for zooming in and out.
pan and zoom header buttons
The translation and zoom options are also available as buttons in the header of each 3DWindow; press and hold these buttons with LeftMouse, and move the mouse.

All view-related commands are located in the numerical pad.
  • For rotation: PAD_2 PAD_4, PAD_6, PAD_8 (note the arrow keys in these keys!).
  • For translation, hold SHIFT while using PAD_2 PAD_4, PAD_6, PAD_8.
  • PAD_PLUS and PAD_MINUS are for zoom in and zoom out.
If you get lost in 3D space or want to display everything currently visible, press HOME or the header button with the little house.

View pre-sets

The standard pre-sets 'Top', 'Front' and 'Side' view are also available via the numerical pad
  • Top view: PAD_7.
  • Front view: PAD_1.
  • Side view: PAD_3.
(Note the 'logical' location of the keys in the numerical pad).

The view selected is indicated in the header button.

View modes

The 3DWindow has three modes for viewing:
  • Orthonormal, the basic view mode for modeling.
  • Perspective. Use the PAD_5 key to toggle Perspective and Orthonormal view mode.
  • Camera view: press PAD_0. You can get rid of view mode this by invoking any view command.


layer header buttons

Blender layers are used to organize work and control visibility. Each Object has a layer setting, Scenes and 3DWindows have layers as well, to determine which Objects are visible.

Currently, there are 20 layers available. Press MKEY to move an Object to a certain layer setting.

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