After so long in oblivion, this is my first Blender tutorial for Beginners. The Christmas and New Year festivities prevented me from taking care of the blog, but I’m back, ready to start with the right foot this new stage of my life in x3dRoad.
This is the first chapter of a Blender Beginner’s Guide that I intend to make on my website, for complete novices, with a marked accentuation in the area of Architecture, as I’m an architect by profession and I’m fascinated by the 3D Design World, the part of my career in which I have more experience.
Blender is a free and extremely fascinating program to perform 3D works such as Digital Art, Short and Feature Films (Movies), Animations and Architectural Visualizations (ArchViz). The later is the part that interests to Architecture professionals like us.
Even in its better days, the fact that Blender’s license is free and open-source has made many people ignore it and belittle it thinking that it is crass and of short intellectual development. Quite the opposite. The Blender Foundation team has been struggling for years to produce a 3D software that was available to everyone and can compete face to face with extremely expensive software such as AutoCAD, 3ds Max, Maya and many others.
In this new version of Blender, the 2.8, a new renderer called Eevee has been added to the software, and it is destined to be a real competition for the famous V-Ray of Chaos Group (which by the way, I love V-Ray).
Before starting the class, I would like you to download the latest version of Blender in the link below. Select version 2.8 (or the most recent one). It’s less stable than version 2.79 because it’s in beta state, but it’s also the newest one.
You don’t need to install it, just select your operating system (Windows, Linux or MacOS), download it, and unzip it in any folder on your computer (NOT in Program Files!). Open the folder, locate Blender’s app and click on it to start (you can also create a shortcut on the desktop).
When you run it for the first time, Blender will ask you to decide in which way you want to select objects, using a left click or using a right click. Those of us who have been using Blender for a long time probably will select the right click. But if you feel better selecting objects with the left click, just select it.
The software will also ask you to choose the action to take when you press the spacebar, in this case select “Tools”.
Now click anywhere on the screen to start.
At first, Blender’s default interface is a little bit intimidating and aggressive (yes, yes, I know, I also went through the same frustrating thing). But don’t worry, in this tutorial I will explain each part of it.
Click on the image below to see better the numbers of each area.
Blender and the parts of his face1The number 1 corresponds to the 3D Viewport. This is where you will do most of the work in Blender, mainly modeling, editing and texturing 3d objects directly. 2The number 2 is pointing to the objects that appear by default in the 3D Viewport when you open Blender. Those are, from left to right, the initial camera, the cube and the default light. 3The number 3 is covering the entire Properties area. This area is extremely important because here you will find the main functions of the program such as Render, Materials, Textures, etc. 4Region number 4 is covering what is known as the “Outliner”. It’s where you will see all the objects and collections created in the scene. You can make a search there and sort objects by type as well. 5The new Blender gizmo is marked by the number 5 in the image. It represents the 3 Cartesian Axis in a typical Blender scene. Namely, Axis X, Axis Y and Axis Z. 6The four icons that are pointed by the number 6 are important tools for the 3D Viewport. From left to right, if you click on the first icon, that one of the mesh, Blender will give you an orthogonal or perspective view. The second icon will take you to the active camera view. Click on the third icon, the hand icon, and without releasing your click move the mouse to the place you want on the screen and you will move the view. The fourth icon is for zoom in and zoom out in the view. Click on it and without releasing your click, move the mouse down to zoom out and up to zoom in. 7The number 7 is a bar that contains several tools such as Visibility and Selection of Collections and Objects in the scene, as well as different types of texturing objects in the scene. 8The top bar at number 8 contains Blender contextual menus, different types of predesigned and functional workspaces, and the part in where you can create scenes and layers. 9The small bar at number 9 contains important tools for Transform Orientations, the Snaps (Magnets), Proportional Editing and the Pivot Point part. 10In this bar you can see the “Object Modes” and the context menus of the 3D Viewport in where you will find tools to view, select, add and edit new objects in the scene. 11Here, you see many other important tools such as Select, Transform, Move, Rotate and Scale objects in the 3D Viewport. The last 2 icons are for making notes and measurements in the scene. 12The Animation Bar is at number 12 in the image. It contains all the basic tools to make animations and edit them directly from the 3D Viewport of Blender. 13The Status Bar is at the very bottom of the interface and provides a lot of valuable information about the tool that is currently active in the scene, among other things.
We’ve finished getting to know the first part of Blender’s interface, in this Blender Beginner’s Guide written for absolute starters.
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