[WML-Source: 3DWindow.wml][TOC][Part00]


[section]The 3DWindow



[point]WindowType (IconMenu)

As with every window header, the first button allows you to set the window type.

[point]Full Window (IconTog)

Maximise the window, or return it to its original size; return to the old screen setting. Hotkey: ALT-CTRL+UPARROW

[point]Home (IconBut)

All Objects in the visible layers are displayed completely, centered in the window. Hotkey: HOMEKEY .

[point]Layers (TogBut)


These 20 buttons show the available layers. In fact, a layer is nothing more than a visibility flag. This is an extremely efficient method for testing Object visibility. This allows the user to divide the work functionally.

For example: Cameras in layer 1, temporary Objects in layer 20, lamps in layers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, etc. All hotkey commands and tools in Blender take the layers into account. Objects in 'hidden' layers are treated as unselected.

Use LeftMouse for the buttons, SHIFT+LeftMouse for extend select layers.

Hotkeys: 1KEY , 2KEY , etc. 0KEY , MINUSKEY , EQUALKEY for layers 1,2,3,4, etc. Use ALT +(1KEY , 2KEY , ... OKEY ) for layers 11, 12, ... 20. Here, as well, use SHIFT +Hotkey for extend select.

[point]Lock (TogBut)

Every 3DWindow has it's own layer setting and active Camera. This is also true for a Scene: here it determines what layers - and what camera - are used to render a picture. The lock option links the layers and Camera of the 3DWindow to the Scene and vice versa: the layers and Camera of the Scene are linked to the 3DWindow. This method passes a layer change directly to the Scene and to all other 3DWindows with the "Lock" option ON. Turn the "Lock" OFF to set a layer or Camera exclusively for the current 3DWindow. All settings are immediately restored by turning the button back ON.

[point]LocalView (IconTog)


LocalView allows the user to continue working with complex Scenes. The currently selected Objects are taken separately, centered and displayed completely. The use of 3DWindow layers is temporarily disabled. Reactivating this option restores the display of the 3DWindow in its original form. If a picture is rendered from a LocalView, only the Objects present are rendered plus the visible lamps, according to the layers that have been set. Activating a new Camera in LocalView does not change the Camera used by the Scene. Normally, LocalView is activated with the hotkey PAD_SLASH.

[point]View Mode (IconMenu)


A 3DWindow offers 3 methods for 3D display:


[point]View Direction (IconMenu)

These pre-sets can be used with either ortho or perspective. Respectively, these are the: The hotkeys combined with SHIFT give the opposite view direction. (Down View, Back View, Left View)


[point]Draw Mode (IconMenu)

Set the drawing method. Respectively: Objects have their own Draw Type, independent of the window setting (see EditButtons->DrawType). The rule is that the minimum DrawMode is displayed.


[point]View Move (IconBut, click-hold)

Move the mouse for a view translation. This is an alternative for SHIFT+MiddleMouse.

[point]View Zoom (IconBut, click-hold)

Move the mouse vertically to zoom in and out of the 3DWindow. This is an alternative for CTRL+MiddleMouse.


These buttons determine the manner in which the Objects (or vertices) are rotated or scaled.

[point]Around Center (IconRow)

The midpoint of the boundbox is the center of rotation or scaling. Hotkey: COMMAKEY .

[point]Around Median (IconRow)

The median of all Objects or vertices is the center of rotation or scaling.

[point]Around Cursor (IconRow)

The 3DCursor is the midpoint of rotation or scaling. Hotkey: DOTKEY .

[point]Around Individual Centers (IconRow)

All Objects rotate or scale around their own midpoints. In EditMode: all vertices rotate or scale around the Object midpoint.

[point]EditMode (IconTog)


This button starts or terminates EditMode. Hotkey: TAB of ALT+E .

[point]VertexPaint (IconTog)

This button starts or terminates VertexPaintMode. Hotkey: VKEY .

[point]FaceSelect (IconTog)

This button starts or the FaceSelect mode. Hotkey: FKEY .

[point]Proportional Vertex Editing Tool (IconTog)

The Proportional Editing tool can be activated with the Icon in 3D window header, or OKEY .

The Proportional Editing tool is then Available in Editmode for all Object types. This tool works like a 'magnet', you select a few vertices and while editing (grab, rotate, scale) the surrounding vertices move proportinal with it. Use the NumPad-plus and NumPad-minus keys to adjust the area of influence, this can be done "live" while editing.


You can choose between a sharp fallof and a smooth falloff.

[point]OpenGL Renderer (IconTog)

A LeftMouse Click renders the actuall view in OpenGL. CTRL-LeftMouse renders a animation in OpenGL. The rendered pictures are saves as in the DisplayButtons indicated.



The standard 3DWindow has:

[subsection]The Mouse

The mouse provides the most direct access to the 3DWindow. Below is a complete overview:


Position the 3DCursor.


In EditMode: create a new vertex.

[point]LeftMouse (click-hold-draw)

These are the Gestures. Blender's gesture recognition works in three ways:

[point]MiddleMouse (click-hold)

Rotate the direction of view of the 3DWindow. This can be done in two ways (can be set in the UserMenu):

[point]SHIFT+MiddleMouse (click-hold)

Translate the 3DWindow. Mouse movements are always corrected for the view direction.

[point]CTRL+MiddleMouse (click-hold)

Zoom in/out on the 3DWindow.


Select Objects or (in EditMode) vertices. The last one selected is also the active one. This method guarantees that a maximum of 1 Object and 1 vertex are always selected. This selection is based on graphics (the wireframe).


Extend select Objects or (in EditMode) vertices. The last one selected is also the active one. Multiple Objects or vertices may also be selected. This selection is based on graphics too (the wireframe).


Select Objects on the Object-centers. Here the wireframe drawing is not taken into account. Use this method to select a number of identical Objects in succession, or to make them active.


Extend select Objects. The last Object selected is also the active one. Multiple Objects can be selected.

[point]RightMouse (click-hold-move)

Select and start translation mode, the Grabber. This works with all the selection methods mentioned.


The numeric keypad on the keyboard is reserved for view related hotkeys. Below is a description of all the keys with a brief explanation.


LocalView. The Objects selected when this command is invoked are taken separately and displayed completely, centered in the window. See the description of 3DHeader->LocalView.


Copy the rotation of the active Object to the current 3DWindow. Works as if this Object is the camera, without including the translation.


Zoom in, zoom out. This also works for Camera ViewMode.


Center and zoom in on the selected Objects. The view is changed in a way that can be compared to the LocalView option.


Toggle between perspective and orthonormal mode.


Force a complete recalculation (of the animation systems) and draw again.


View from the current camera, or from the Object that is functioning as the camera.


Make the active Object the camera. Any Object can be used as the camera. Generally, a Camera Object is used. It can also be handy to let a spotlight function temporarily as a camera when directing and adjusting it. ALT+PAD_0 Revert to the previous camera. Only Camera Objects are candidates for 'previous camera'.


Top View. (along the negative Z axis, Y up)


Down View. (along the positive Z axis, Y up)


Front View. (along the positive Y axis, Z up)


Back View. (along the negative Y axis, Z up)


Right View. (along the negative X axis, Z up)


Left View. (along the positive X axis, Z up)


Rotate using the turntable method. Depending on the view, this is a rotation around the X and Y axis.


Rotate using the turntable method. This is a rotation around the Z axis.


Translate up or down; corrected for the view.


Translate up or down; correct for the view.


This list contains all the hotkeys that can be used in a 3D window. EditMode hotkeys are described in the following paragraph.


All Objects in the visible layer are displayed completely, centered in the window.


Select the next Object Key. If more than one Object Key is selected, the selection is shifted up cyclically. Only works if the AnimButtons->DrawKey is ON for the Object.


Extend select the next Object Key.


Select the previous Object Key. If more than one Object Key is selected, the selection is shifted up cyclically. Only works if the AnimButtons->DrawKey is ON for the Object.


Extend select the previous Object Key.


(To the left of the 1KEY) Select all layers.


Revert to the previous layer setting.


Select All / deselect All. If any Object or vertex is selected, everthing is always deselected first.


This is the AddMenu. In fact, it is the ToolBox that starts with the 'ADD' option. When Objects are added, Blender starts EditMode immediately if possible.


"Apply size/rot". The rotation and dimensions of the Object are assigned to the ObData (Mesh, Curve, etc.). At first glance, it appears as if nothing has changed, but this can have considerable consequences for animations or texture mapping. This is best illustrated by also having the axis of a Mesh Object be drawn (EditButtons->Axis). Rotate the Object and activate Apply. The rotation and dimensions of the Object are 'erased'.


If the active Object is automatically duplicated (see AnimButtons->DupliFrames or AnimButtons->Dupliverts), a menu asks "Make dupli's real?". This option actually creates the Objects.

If the active Mesh Object is deformed by a Lattice, a menu asks "Apply Lattice deform?". Now the deformation of the Lattice is assigned to the vertices of the Mesh.


Border Select. Draw a rectangle with the LeftMouse; all Objects within this area are selected, but not made active. Draw a rectangle with the RightMouse to deselect Objects. In orthonormal ViewMode, the dimensions of the rectangle are displayed, expressed as global coordinates, as an extra feature in the lower left corner. In Camera ViewMode, the dimensions that are to be rendered according to the DisplayButtons are displayed in pixel units.


Render Border. This only works in Camera ViewMode. Draw a rectangle to render a smaller cut-out of the standard window frame. If the option DisplayButtons->Border is ON, a box is drawn with red and black lines.


Centre View. The position of the 3DCursor becomes the new centre of the 3DWindow.


CentreZero View. The 3DCursor is set to zero (0,0,0) and the view is changed so that all Objects, including the 3Dcursor, can be displayed. This is an alternative for HOMEKEY.


Convert Menu. Depending on the active Object, a PopupMenu is displayed. This enables you to convert certain types of ObData. It only converts in one direction, everything ultimately degrades to a Mesh!

The options are:


Copy Menu. This menu copies information from the active Object to (other) selected Objects.


"Add Duplicate". The selected Objects are copied. The settings in the UserMenu (Duplication/Linking presets) determine what DataBlocks are also copied or are linked. Blender then automatically starts Grab Mode (see GKEY).


"Add Linked Duplicate". The selected Objects are copied. The DataBlocks linked to Objects remain linked. Blender then automatically starts Grab Mode (see GKEY).


Draw the (texture) Image as wire. This option has a limited function. It can only be used for 2D compositing.


Start / stop EditMode. Alternative hotkey: TAB.


Fly Mode. Only from Camera ViewMode. The mouse cursor jumps to the middle of the window. It works as follows: (Be careful when looking straight up or down. This causes confusing turbulence.)


Sort Faces. The faces of the active Mesh Object are sorted, based on the current view in the 3DWindow. The leftmost face first, the rightmost last. The sequence of faces is important for the Build Effect (AnimButtons).


Grab Mode. Or: the translation mode. This works on selected Objects and vertices. Blender calculates the quantity and direction of the translation, so that they correspond exactly with the mouse movements, regardless of the ViewMode or view direction of the 3DWindow.

Alternatives for starting this mode:

The following options are available in translation mode:


Clear location. The X,Y,Z locations of selected Objects are set to zero.


Insert Object Key. A key position is inserted in the current frame of all selected Objects. A PopupMenu asks what key position(s) must be added to the IpoCurves.


Join Objects. All selected Objects of the same type are added to the active Object. What actually happens here is that the ObData blocks are combined and all the selected Objects (except for the active one) are deleted. This is a rather complex operation, which can lead to confusing results, particularly when working with a lot of linked data, animation curves and hierarchies.


Show (as) Keys. The DrawKey option is turned ON for all selected Objects. If all of them were already ON, they are all turned OFF. #->$11


A PopupMenu asks: "OK? Show and select all keys". The DrawKey option is turned ON for all selected Objects, and all Object-keys are selected. This function is used to enable transformation of the entire animation system.



Local Menu. Makes library linked objects local for the current scene.


Select Links menu. This menu enables you to select Objects that share links a DataBlock with the active Object. Use this function to obtain an overview of the sometimes quite complicated linked structures Blender can create.


Make Links menu. This menu is used to copy links between the active Object and selected Objects. Only the links (the references) are copied; the contents of the DataBlocks involved are not changed. The result of this operation is easy to see in the OopsWindow.



Move to Layer. This hotkey calls up a menu that can be used to view or change the layer settings of all the selected Objects. If the selected Objects have different layers, this is 'OR'ed in the menu display. Use ESC to exit the menu. Press the "OK" button or ENTER to change the layer seting. The hotkeys (ALT+)(1KEY, 2KEY, ... - 0KEY) work here as well (see 3DHeader).



These buttons allow the user to enter numbers for the position, rotation and dimensions of the active Object. Use ESC to exit the menu without changing the Object. Press the "OK" button or ENTER to assign the changes to the Object.


Clear Origin. The 'Origin' is erased for all Child Objects, which causes the Child Objects to move to the exact location of the Parent Objects.


Make Parent. The active Object becomes the Parent of the selected Objects. All transformations of the Parent are now passed on to the Children. This allows you to create complex hierarchies. As part of the 'Make Parent' operation, an inverse of the Parent transformation is calculated and stored in the Child Object. This inverse may make it seem as if all transformations remained unchanged after Make Parent was executed. Depending on the type of Object, special Parent relationships can be selected.


Clear Parent. All selected Child Objects are unlinked from the Parents. A PopupMenu asks you to make a selection:


Rotate mode. Works on selected Objects and vertices. In Blender, a rotation is by default a rotation perpendicular to the screen, regardless of the view direction or ViewMode. The degree of rotation is exactly linked to the mouse movement. Try moving around the rotation midpoint with the mouse. The rotation midpoint is determined by the state of the 3DHeader->Around buttons.

[point]XKEY , YKEY and ZKEY

While in rotation mode, these keys switch to a global axis rotation around the corresponding axis.

Alternatives for starting rotation mode:


Clear Rotation. The X,Y,Z rotations of selected Objects are set to zero.


Size mode or scaling mode. Works on selected Objects and vertices. The degree of scaling is exactly linked to the mouse movement. Try to move from the (rotation) midpoint with the mouse. The midpoint is determined by the settings of the 3DHeader->Around buttons.

Alternatives for starting scaling mode:

The following options are available in scaling mode: Terminate Size mode with:


Clear Size. The X,Y,Z dimensions of selected Objects are set to 1.0.


Snap Menu. This menu offers a number of options for precisely specifying the position of Objects or vertices. Tip: use the PopupMenu hotkeys 1KEY, 2KEY, etc. to select the options.


Texture space mode. The position and dimensions of the texture space for the selected Objects can be changed in the same manner as described above for Grab and Size mode. To make this visible, the drawing flag EditButtons->TexSpace is set ON. A PopupMenu asks you to select: "Grabber" or "Size". Faster hotkeys: T-1 or T-2.


Make Track. All selected Objects are given a rotation constraint directed at the active Object. The type of rotation and which axis is up and which one is directed at the Track Object are specified in the AnimButtons.


Clear Track. The tracking is turned off for all selected Objects. A PopupMenu allows you to maintain the current tracking as the rotation in the Objects.


Single User Menu. Use this menu to manage the (multi-) user structure. These operations only work on selected Objects and the DataBlocks that are linked to them.


Start or exit VertexPaint Mode.


Object-Image Aspect. This hotkey sets the X and Y dimensions of the selected Objects in relation to the dimensions of the Image Texture they have. Use this hotkey when making 2D Image compositions and multi-plane designs to quickly place the Objects in the appropriate relationship with one another.


Write Videoscape. The selected Mesh Object is saved as an ASCII file. Use the FileWindow to enter a file name. Blender adds the extension ".obj" to the Videoscape file.


Erase Selected. All selected Objects are deleted from the Scene and, if they are not linked to other Scenes, they are released. The ObData and other linked DataBlocks remain.


DrawMode Solid ON/OFF. This is Zbuffered with the standard OpenGL lighting.


DrawMode Shaded ON. This drawing mode, which is Zbuffered and Gouraud shaded, approaches the way in which Blender renders as closely as possible. It shows the situation from a single Camera frame.


Turn DrawMode Shaded ON and force a recalculation of DrawMode Shaded.
-cw- Last modified: Tue Oct 24 13:47:34 CEST 2000