COMPLETELY LOST in Blender - The untutorial (part 3 the final mix-up)

COMPLETELY LOST in Blender - The untutorial (part 3 the final mix-up)


Last time, I had found a quiet resting place in the OOP menu which is, alas, not an undo menu. But one cannot hide forever. Time to reenter the dragon-filled wasteland called Blender.

After taking a few minutes to calm down, I decide to continue on my way. I’ve got to go back to the 3D interface. I steel myself, and click the grid icon to change back to 3D. I remember that the pictures in the tutorials had more than one 3D screen, so I decide that I am going to try to make the current screen into two screens.

One tutorial says...

‘go to the SCE: scene window and get it to drop a menu so that you can choose to split the screen into two.’

Huh? Wait! I remember seeing the scene menu! But when I click there, it says ‘ADD NEW’ and below it ‘Scene’. Maybe they aren’t pointing to that button. Maybe they are pointing between the buttons. I click between the two scroll boxes and get the message ‘OK? delete current screen’.

I panic again. If I hit that button, does that mean that I need to start again? I don’t know if I can take that. Now pull yourself together. There has to be a magnifying glass somewhere to zoom in on my microscopic cube. So I click on the arrow to make the menu come back, and then I click the view button. I click one of the buttons that seems good, and now the buttons across the bottom are gone, and my current image fills the whole screen!

I leave the computer to make myself a hot cup of cocoa. My nerves are completely rattled and I feel like an idiot. This is what Blender is like when you first try it. Scary, complicated, with too many buttons and not enough obviousness.

The interface is not close enough to other known interfaces for me to guess what to do next, and the variability of the screens, buttons and everything else means that you can click one button and come upon something that you’ve never seen before.

Even if you know how to use some of the interface, you can still get lost in it and be unable to find your way back. Fall back solutions such as undo are not easily found, and many of the icons aren’t obvious.

What I need is either an easier interface, a skin that takes away options until you ask for them, or much better help.

Some time later...

So I’ve bought a book with a disk of tutorials. AHH! more tutorials. But it has files to load.

I load an image of three soldiers with guns. For some reason the head and the gun are selected. I need to rotate the image to see it better. First I select ctrl-alt and move the mouse to get a closer view (my husband reminded me of that). Using the number pad, because I know that those keys are used for navigation, I click ‘3’ and the head moves far away from the body. I click it again and the head disappears.

Hmmm...

So I look in the book for undo. There is an undo... if you are in edit mode. Was I in edit mode? I don’t think so. I’ll try anyway.

I press the alt button and ‘U’ and I get a tiny window that says:

Editmode undo history
original
edit mode
grab

I click original and the head comes back. SUCCESS! I live for small victories.

Now, how to turn three musclebound soldiers with guns into a svelte, beautiful, personal icon sans guns.

Can I delete the gun?

I am afraid.

-END-

HUH? What working in Blender really looks like.HUH? What working in Blender really looks like.

Help with learning Blender

After writing this blog, I was directed to some excellent Blender introductory tutorials.You might want to try these out.

Blender Paradise or Modeling A Cube

This starting tutorial teaches us how to make a pair of dice using Blender. Hoehrer made this after reading the first installment of this blog. I'm so honored!

Eddie's "Getting familiar with Blender" tutorial

These tutorials, translated into English, should be helpful to new users

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Comments

Rosalyn Hunter's picture

I just wanted to add another reference that someone suggested to me after the first blog.

To Those Learning 3D - by Glen Moyes

It talks about learning how to understand a 3D environment before modelling in it, as well as the limitations of technique driven tutorials.

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

This entire adventure should be retitled "what happens to people who naively expect complicated interfaces to look like fischer price, and refuse to RTFM." All of the things that confused you are described in the tutorials at blender.org. Please buy yourself some patience and read them. Blender's different interface is an advantage. Yes, undo isn't under Edit. But if it catered to UI expectations of other apps, Blender would ultimately be harder to use -- even if it might make n00bs feel more welcome at first. So it doesn't. And after taking time to learn it, reading a lot, and not panicking, I'm glad for it. I now wish other apps that do have Edit->Undo were more like Blender.

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Rosalyn Hunter's picture

Biography

Rosalyn Hunter has been on the internet since before the web was created. Born into a family of instructors, she has made it her life's goal to teach others about the important things in life, such as how to type kill -9 when a process is dead. She lives in a little house on the prairie in the American West with her husband, her three beautiful children, a cat and a dog.