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SillyCow

Blender keyboard input

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I'm trying to create some simple road assets which can seemlessly connect.

Before I tried to use Blender, I've used 3D studio.

In 3d studio I could use the keybaord to enter values for any transformation.

I could also edit the tranformation after I've made it, for example with scaling:

I can scale the road's width (x-axis) by 2.

Then when I see that the road is too wide, I can edit that previous scale and set it to 1.5.

 

With Blender all I've found is the press "S X 2" sequence. Which is not very good for interactive editing. And also I don't see how later I can look at that road and figure out that it was scaled by 2. Also no idea how to change the scale after it's been made.

 

When I look at the blender forums, some people actually suggest that you don't do precision transforms by keyboard input, but rather wing it by using the mouse. This seems preposterous. While a lot of artistic work can be done by "eyeing it", how am I supposed to stuff like structures this way?

 

I realize that 3ds is better, but I really want to use blender, because I like supporting open and free. This seems like basic functionality, is there something that I am missing here?

 

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I realize that 3ds is better, but I really want to use blender, because I like supporting open and free. This seems like basic functionality, is there something that I am missing here?

Yes, there is still a lot you are missing here. When it comes to modeling Blender is as good as 3ds Max or even better.

Pleased to see you putting some effort in learning.

 

In Blender press the N-Key to bring up the transform menu, or pull on the small plus tab on the upper right. This will reveal the transform tab. 

ZzmXJwd.png

 

You should then see the transform properties, if you don't: scroll up the Transform menu by hovering the mouse pointer over it and rolling the mouse wheel, the properties are at the top.

Jwf5rRp.png

 

Here you can manually type in the properties, the properties are fixed and based on the world, so typing 10 into the X value of location will set your object at (10,0,0) in the world.

To move relative just type in +x or -x: that is if you type +10 after the original value the object will move that much. (10+2,0,0) = (12,0,0)

 

To change the same value for more than one object, type in the value and then Hold the Alt-key when hitting Enter or Left-Clicking the mouse to confirm the change.

The Alt-key works for any property that the object share.

doOrBfF.png

 

The system is smart so when using Metric or Imperial units, you can type +10cm to move 10cm; it also doesn't matter witch one you use Blender will accept all measurements.

If however you use Blender Units or None you will get an error when you type +10cm.

 

If the Metric or Imperial units is on, and you use the widget, you can then use the =-key(equal sign-key) to activate smart mode, while transforming to type in 10cm and move 10cm.

To snap object to the Grid, hold down the Ctrl-key this will force your model to transform relative to the grid.

 

Double tapping the G-key in Edit mode will activate edge slide.

Double tapping the R-key in object or Edit mode or Object mode will activate Trackball.

Using S key to scale, you can use Shift-key + Axis to exclude it from scaling. "S Shift+X 2" will scale in the Y and Z axis.

 

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any questions related to Blender, no matter how small.

 

When I look at the blender forums, some people actually suggest that you don't do precision transforms by keyboard input, but rather wing it by using the mouse. This seems preposterous. While a lot of artistic work can be done by "eyeing it", how am I supposed to stuff like structures this way?

They probably meant that in Blender object are made relative to the grid or it's own proportions, this is done by design as it's the most common way of working for 3D modelers.

There isn't really any "eyeing it", if I wanted a cube that was ten meters long and eight meters high I would hold the Ctrl-key -> G-key to grab and move an edge ten meters on the X axis then move it eight meters on the Z axis.

 

This way is faster and just as precise as typing values.

 

I recommend starting here: https://www.blender.org/manual/

Blender hides it's tools, you will need to find them.

 

And watching some beginner tutorials just to see how Blender works.

If you are a experienced artist look for Blender Crash courses.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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Thanks for the great post!

That's what I needed.

I assume it's my fault for assuming I could jump straight in the deep end with my knowledge of 3ds max.

 

Does blender have a transformation stack, where I can modify previous transforms? ex: Edit Vertex in object --> Scale --> Taper  --> Scale again. And then I want to undo(delete) the "edit  vertex" operation and replace it with something else.

Edited by SillyCow

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I remember how hard it was for me when I started Blender.

Blender is designed as a small and powerful 3D modeling tool, that is why it doesn't have as many pre-made resources and is so small to download. Sticking with it's theme Blender is designed to be all about the 3D model and the 3D modeler.

 

After using Blender for a few years, you will mostly be modeling in a screen like this.

oKn51tw.png

Just hover your mouse on the 3D screen and press Ctrl-Up , this is Blender with the training wheels removed, it's designed to use as little menus as possible; instead you will use gestures and shortcut keys.

 

First Undo is basic Ctrl-Z, Redo is Ctrl-Shift-Z. For the undo history it's : Ctrl-Alt-Z, when you make a change you will lose any thing above that history.

xnEjocx.png

Next is Repeat, to repeat the last action use Shift-R. For a repeat history use F3-key.

 

Last is the most powerful tool in the history, the Redo Tool. The redo tool will allow you to change the last action made.

It can be found in the lower left corner or by using the F6-key.

s7CEMEk.png

 

Combining the Redo with the Repeat command will allow you to create lots of different things from the same bases.

 

The redo command can also be used to change things you just added into the scene, for example if you add a circle you can use the redo to change it's vertex count.

 

 

I assume it's my fault for assuming I could jump straight in the deep end with my knowledge of 3ds max.

A lot of how 3ds Max works will differ greatly from Blender, that is because in Max the interface is part of the workflow, in Blender the interface is in the way.

I know it's strange, however Blender will allow you to do things much faster and will make it feel like you are effecting the model directly.

 

The only down side to Blender is that it doesn't have spline modeling in the way Max does, there are people working on it however spline modeling depends a lot on layers and the interface, so it clashes with the way Blender was made.

However there is hope, some of the projects look promising and adapts spline modeling to Blender's style. 

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