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Blender 2.8 Beginner Course: Essentials

  • 06 December 2018

Introduction


Hello everybody! What you can see here are the first four videos to the Chocofur Blender 2.8 Absolute Beginners Course - something we wanted to create for people completely new to Blender or 3D aplications at all! The course will be divided into chapters focusing on different aspects of 3D. What you see below is the Chapter 1 - Absolute Essentials, covering the topics such as Blender 2.8 installation, basic navigation around the interface and some first 3D view transformations. I really hope you're gonna like this course and become a new member of the Blender user's family :-)

01. Installation and Interface

To install Blender at the time of making this video, all you had to do was going to blender.org site and just downloading a zip file with the aplication packed inside. This might or may change a bit over time, but the installation process with Blender was always very easy.

Course Part 01 Shortcuts:


● Middle Mouse Button → Rotating in 3D viewport
● Middle Mouse Button + Shift → Paning in 3D viewport
● Numpad 1, 3, 7 → Change between Front, Right and Top views
● Numpad 5 → Change between Perspective and Orthographic display modes
● T Key → Open a toolbar on the left
● N Key → Open a toolbar on the right
● N Key + Ctrl → Create new Blender file / restart Blender

In the video we've mentioned that having a NumPad (numeric keypad) may be essential to your work. It's not that important while you're still learning the very basics of Blender (which would be the first 20 videos of this course at least) but having a keyboard with numeric layout will be very practical later on the way. If you're a Mac user, you can also buy a separate NumPad that can be attached using the USB cable.

02. Object Selection and Transformation Gizmo

Selecting the objects in Blender 2.8 is now much more intuitive in comparison to the previous versions of the software. You can just use left mouse click to do that, and it works exactly the same as in any other computer aplication. Once you have your object selected, you can activate one of the transformation tools: move, rotate or scale (I introduce the tools in the next video). These three tools are the most commonly used options in Blender - understanding and getting comfortable with using them is one of the most important things you should learn as Blender beginner!

Course Part 02 Shortcuts:


● A Key → Select everything
● AA Keys → Deselect everything (what also works is Alt + A Key)
● B Key → Selection Box
● B Key + Middle Mouse Button → Deselection Box
● C Key → Selection Circle Tool
● NumPad , Key → Center View around selection
● Shift + C Key → Center View (around all visible objects)

The strange name "gizmo" probably originates from the word "gadget". According to Wikipedia: A gizmo is a gadget, especially one whose real name is unknown or forgotten.

03. Moving, Rotating and Scaling Objects

Our third video covers the three most important and commonly used operations in Blender. As for now we're only practising using the simpliest models, however you'll soon learn the true power of these tools (actually, you can jump directly to video 11 if you really want to know :-) ).

Course Part 03 Shortcuts:


● G Key → Grab object and move it around
● R Key → Rotate object
● RR Keys → Freelt Rotate object
● S Key → Scale object
● Tab Key → Jump down the settings list
● Tab + Shift → Jump up the settings list

Precise Rotation

What was not mentioned in the video is the fact you can move, rotate and scale the objects precisely using keyboard shortcuts only. All you need to do is just type the exact value you'd like to be applied to the transformation. An example could look the following:

R Key → X Key → 90 - that operation would activate the Rotation tool, next lock the rotation to X axis only, next rotate the object by 90 degrees.

S Key → Z Key → 0.5 - that operation would activate the Scale tool, next lock the scaling to Z axis only, next the height of the object would be decreased by the value of 0.5, which is 50%.

04. Adding, Deleting and Duplicating Objects

In this part of the course we'll learn a bit more about the other bacis objects available in Blender, how to combine them together and populate the 3D scene by duplicating our creations. By finishing this part you'll be actually able to create very easy, nice looking 3D environmets - a first milestone on the way to becoming a true Blenderhead :-)

Course Part 04 Shortcuts:


● X Key → Delete object
● Shift + D Key → Duplicate object
● Shift + A Key → Add new object
● Ctrl + Z Key → undo operation
● Ctrl + Shift + Z Key → redo operation

Be careful when duplicating!

Sometimes you may duplicate the object by pressing Shift + D keys, but change your mind afterwards. When you simply press the Escape key after the Duplicate operation was executed, a copy of the selected object will still be created! Remember to delete it by pressing the X key in order to avoid unwanted objects hiding around your 3D scene.

Conclusion

If you're new to Blender or 3D graphics in general, I know these four videos might be a lot. The entire concept of virtual 3D space and object transformation might seem abstract at first, yet the more you practise the more you'll get familiar with them. Remember that learning 3D graphics is exactly the same as learning any other skill - it takes time and practise. You've only watched approximately 40 minutes of this course and already created your first, very simple 3D models! Good job with that!

Keep on Blending and see you in the next chapter :-)

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