The learning curve

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The learning curve

Post  Roygee on Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:22 am

Hi all Smile

Just starting out learning, although a long-term user of Hexagon and Carrara, plus a good few other tools - I have a million questions, so will keep this open as I travel the learning curve.

I've watched many tuts, but don't recall these being shown.

Firstly, been messing around getting the feel of things - did a render, but can't for the life of me find a way to get back to the working viewport - don't want to save the render, just dump it and go back.

Secondly, is there any way of changing the viewport to a lighter colour - I find it difficult working on a black background.

Thirdly, is there a way of activating back and side grids - all I get is the floor grid.

Those will do for now - will rally appreciate any assistance

Cheers Smile

Roygee

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Re: The learning curve

Post  Dobi on Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:24 pm

Hey there Roygee and welcome! Smile

Roygee wrote:Firstly, been messing around getting the feel of things - did a render, but can't for the life of me find a way to get back to the working viewport - don't want to save the render, just dump it and go back.
Hitting Escape once works for me (twice if rendering's in progress). Other way to do it is just to use the Editor type menu to change back to 3D view. That's the small icon with two arrows that stays on the lower/upper-left part of any of your subwindows.

Also, if you're rendering fullscreen, there's a button saying "Go to previous" on the top of your screen.

Roygee wrote:Secondly, is there any way of changing the viewport to a lighter colour - I find it difficult working on a black background.
Hit Ctrl+Alt+U and go to Themes. THere you can find a couple of presets and you can also edit the colors of Blender however you like.

Roygee wrote:Thirdly, is there a way of activating back and side grids - all I get is the floor grid.
I don't know if such grids exist as an option. All you can do is hit N when your mouse is over a 3D View window, go to the Display tab and see what you can change on the grid settings. For me, my Perspective viewport doesn't have any grids because I find it easier to work this way.

Hope this helps.

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Re: The learning curve

Post  Roygee on Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:28 pm

Thanks, Dobi - got most of that and set to Hexagon, which brings me to more familiar territory Smile

Haven't found side and front grids - these can be a nuisance, but also handy at times.

On the subject of rendering, I see an option "Engine", which is unelectable - I guess this refers to external render engines, plenty of time to find those later once I have the basics.

Another question, please - where are the good edge tools hidden - such as extract around, extract along, edge extract, connect edges/verts, loop- and ring-select, chamfer,

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Re: The learning curve

Post  Dobi on Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:28 pm

Well, I think I've got a video just for you. Smile

But first, you should really take advantage of the menu that pops-up when you hit space while your mouse is over a 3D view window. You know, it has a search feature - you just type-in a keyword for a tool you're looking for and if there's anything with such a keyword it will be indexed in the menu.

Something else you could check-out is the Blender Cheat Sheet by Andrew Price. It's a pdf with the most important hotkeys in Blender. You can print it and put on your desk, hang it on a wall or something. It's not anything great, not even half-good, but you can check it out anyway, doesn't hurt. The thing is just out-dated. It's like from the mid-2.5x days, I think. Things have changed since then and I don't find it useful for what it is.

Now for the video:

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Now, that's a video that you should 100% watch. Seriously! I've been recommending it to everyone I knew since the very first time I saw it! Watch it and remember every word said!!! Razz

As for the render engines, I've got Blender Render as well as Cycles and Blender Game. You should have them too.

Oh, and here are some crazy beats for you. Razz It's important to get the message of the video. Very Happy
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That's another really nice video for beginers that I found a while ago. It's really awesome 'cuz you can save it on your portable mp3 player, plug in your headphones and listen to it loop while sleepin'. I mean seriously, it's that awesome! Laughing

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Re: The learning curve

Post  Roygee on Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:46 am

Thanks a lot for the link to the Bmesh vid - that helped a lot. Ah yes, the Blender refrain Smile

Found the manual is very thorough, has an up-to-date cheat sheet and links to appropriate vids in each section - if only I could download the whole manual to study in my free time instead of online.

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Re: The learning curve

Post  Roygee on Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:37 am

OK, after much reading and watching tuts, I've started my first Blender project, retopoing a creature I made in Sculptris - if I can figure out how to do this, I'll post a pic.

Anyhow, my first question. Bumbling along quite nicely - now I need to work on the underside. With X-ray on I see right through the base model, so having difficulty following the contours. With X-ray off, I don't see the part of the mesh I'm working on.

I guess what is needed is to hide or cull backfaces, but can't find a command to do that. Or is there some better method.

Appreciate any help Smile

PS - nope, can't figure how to post an image - please help with this as well

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Re: The learning curve

Post  Dobi on Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:28 am

When you're writing a post reply, there's a button with a picture of a tree and a floppy disk on it. Can't miss it, it's the 15th icon from left to right. Use it to upload your image. Then after you get the direct link, Copy-Paste it into your Post Reply and put it betwean [img] and [/img] tags.

And I didn't really get you question... You know you can switch to Bottom view with Ctrl+Num7, right?

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Re: The learning curve

Post  Roygee on Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:40 am

Thanks, Dobi - think I have the image posting - will test.

OK, my problem - it's not about navigating - when I am working on the underside of the base mesh in X-ray mode, the underside of the base mesh becomes invisible and I can see the underside of the top part f the retopo mesh I'm building, which makes following the contours of the base mesh difficult. If I turn off X-ray, parts of the mesh I'm building are buried in the base mesh.

I've since found the "cull backfaces" tool, but that is no help. What I need to do is make half the base mesh and some of the retopo mesh temporarily invisible - any idea on how to do this?

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Last edited by Roygee on Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:44 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Insert image)

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Re: The learning curve

Post  Dobi on Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:13 am

Now, to be honest, I got no big idea about how you can really get by this without seperating meshes, as I've never had the need to retopo anything and so I've never tried it myself. :s Someone else here would be better in helping you with this one...

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Re: The learning curve

Post  Radialronnie on Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:43 am

Alt-B -> select the area you're working on. This'll temporarily mask out unneeded areas. To get them to reappear, press the hotkey again.

Good luck!

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Re: The learning curve

Post  Roygee on Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:51 pm

Thanks so much, Radialronnie- that works a treat Very Happy

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Re: The learning curve

Post  Roygee on Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:17 am

Hi there - some more questions to help me along the curve Smile

First - convert tri's to quads - according to the manual, and I have done this previously when trying to learn Blender - hit Alt-j to convert tri's to quads. In this version, that does nothing.

Another method is to select adjacent tri's and hit f - that works, but if the whole mesh is tri's, it's a long process.

Second - is there a method of quickly identifying anomalies? Such as in Hexagon, you can select "not 4-sided" and a number of other anomalies and it will highlight them.

Third - I've followed a lot of tuts on retopo - some start off with selecting "Mesh", then "Retopo" and off they go. In others they go through a whole series of settings - "snap to", "faces", ""shrinkwrap" etc. before starting modelling. It seems the older ones select "Retopo" - my version 2.63a doesn't have a Retopo option, Is this something that was removed - seems a backward step - or is there an add-on I'm missing?

I've completed my first Blender project - retopoing this model I made in Sculptris - pretty happy with the result - the colours are only placeholders. Found that is seems to work better the higher the density of the mesh.

Appreciate any help Smile [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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