3.1 Editors - 3D View

3.1 Editors - 3D View
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3.1 Editors - 3D View
Editors.....................................................................................................................................................................6
3D.......................................................................................................................................................................6
Animation...........................................................................................................................................................6
Image/Video........................................................................................................................................................6
Nodes/Logic........................................................................................................................................................6
Settings...............................................................................................................................................................6
Other...................................................................................................................................................................6
3D View...................................................................................................................................................................7
Modes.................................................................................................................................................................7
Regions of the 3D View......................................................................................................................................8
Toolshelf.........................................................................................................................................................8
Properties Region...........................................................................................................................................8
Header............................................................................................................................................................8
Navigating...............................................................................................................................................................9
3D Window Header............................................................................................................................................9
View Menu.....................................................................................................................................................9
Navi Menu....................................................................................................................................................11
Select Menu..................................................................................................................................................11
Object Menu.................................................................................................................................................11
Modes...............................................................................................................................................................12
ViewPort Shading List.................................................................................................................................12
Pivot Point Selector......................................................................................................................................12
Transform (Manipulator) Selectors..............................................................................................................13
Layer Selector..............................................................................................................................................13
Lock to Scene...............................................................................................................................................13
Snap to Mesh................................................................................................................................................13
Render Buttons.............................................................................................................................................13
3D View.................................................................................................................................................................14
Perspective and Orthographic Views................................................................................................................14
Options.........................................................................................................................................................15
Rotating the View.............................................................................................................................................16
Options.........................................................................................................................................................17
Panning the View..............................................................................................................................................18
Zooming the View............................................................................................................................................18
Zoom Border................................................................................................................................................19
Dolly the View..................................................................................................................................................19
Aligning the View.............................................................................................................................................19
Align View...................................................................................................................................................19
Local and Global View.....................................................................................................................................20
Quad View........................................................................................................................................................20
View Clipping Border.......................................................................................................................................21
Example.......................................................................................................................................................22
Walk/Fly Mode.................................................................................................................................................23
Walk Mode...................................................................................................................................................23
Usage.......................................................................................................................................................23
Fly Mode......................................................................................................................................................24
Usage.......................................................................................................................................................24
Shortcuts..................................................................................................................................................24
Camera View.........................................................................................................................................................24
Camera Navigation...........................................................................................................................................25
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Align Active Camera to View......................................................................................................................25
Camera View Positioning.............................................................................................................................25
Roll, Pan, Dolly, and Track..........................................................................................................................25
Objects...................................................................................................................................................................26
Types of Objects...............................................................................................................................................26
Speaker..................................................................................................................................................................27
Options..............................................................................................................................................................27
Sound...........................................................................................................................................................27
Distance........................................................................................................................................................28
Cone.............................................................................................................................................................28
Selecting................................................................................................................................................................29
Introduction.......................................................................................................................................................29
Selections and the Active Object......................................................................................................................29
Point Selection..................................................................................................................................................29
Rectangular or Border Select............................................................................................................................30
Description...................................................................................................................................................30
Example.......................................................................................................................................................30
Hints.............................................................................................................................................................30
Lasso Select......................................................................................................................................................31
Description...................................................................................................................................................31
Usage............................................................................................................................................................31
Circle Select......................................................................................................................................................31
Description..................................................................................................................................................31
Menu Selection.................................................................................................................................................32
Select Grouped.............................................................................................................................................32
Options....................................................................................................................................................32
Select linked.................................................................................................................................................33
Options....................................................................................................................................................33
Select All by Type........................................................................................................................................34
Options....................................................................................................................................................34
Select All by Layer.......................................................................................................................................34
Options....................................................................................................................................................35
Other Menu Options.....................................................................................................................................35
Transforms.............................................................................................................................................................35
Grab/Move.............................................................................................................................................................36
3D View............................................................................................................................................................36
Transform Widget........................................................................................................................................37
Controling Grab/Move Precision.................................................................................................................37
Orientations.......................................................................................................................................................37
Other Editor Windows......................................................................................................................................38
Rotate.....................................................................................................................................................................38
Description........................................................................................................................................................39
Usage................................................................................................................................................................39
Rotation using the keyboard shortcut...........................................................................................................39
Constraining the rotation axis (axis locking)..........................................................................................39
Fine Tuning The Rotation........................................................................................................................39
Rotation with the 3D Transform Manipulator..............................................................................................40
Rotation with the Properties Panel...............................................................................................................41
Scale......................................................................................................................................................................41
Description.......................................................................................................................................................41
Usage................................................................................................................................................................42
Scaling using the keyboard shortcut............................................................................................................42
Constraining the scaling axis (axis locking)...........................................................................................42
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Fine Tuning The Scaling.........................................................................................................................42
Scaling with the 3D Transform Manipulator...............................................................................................43
Scaling with the Properties Panel.................................................................................................................43
Duplication............................................................................................................................................................44
Instancing..........................................................................................................................................................44
Duplicate...........................................................................................................................................................44
Examples......................................................................................................................................................45
Linked Duplicates.............................................................................................................................................45
Examples......................................................................................................................................................46
Procedural Duplication.....................................................................................................................................46
Copying & Linking Objects Between Scenes..................................................................................................47
Linked Library Duplication..............................................................................................................................47
DupliVerts..............................................................................................................................................................48
DupliVerts as an Arranging Tool......................................................................................................................48
Setup............................................................................................................................................................48
Rearranging..................................................................................................................................................49
Orientation...................................................................................................................................................49
DupliVerts as a Modeling Tool........................................................................................................................51
DupliFaces.............................................................................................................................................................53
Basic usage.......................................................................................................................................................53
Scale..................................................................................................................................................................55
Limitations / Considerations.............................................................................................................................56
DupliFrames..........................................................................................................................................................56
Examples...........................................................................................................................................................56
External links...............................................................................................................................................58
DupliGroup............................................................................................................................................................58
Basic Usage......................................................................................................................................................59
DupliGroup and Dynamic Linking...................................................................................................................59
Example.......................................................................................................................................................59
Making a DupliGroup Object Real...................................................................................................................59
Advanced Transformations....................................................................................................................................59
Randomize Transform......................................................................................................................................60
Options.........................................................................................................................................................60
Separate.............................................................................................................................................................61
Join....................................................................................................................................................................62
Object Origins.......................................................................................................................................................62
Moving Object Centers.....................................................................................................................................62
Transform Control.................................................................................................................................................62
Precision................................................................................................................................................................62
Description........................................................................................................................................................63
Usage................................................................................................................................................................63
With hotkeys................................................................................................................................................63
With the Transform Manipulator.................................................................................................................63
Holding CTRL..................................................................................................................................................64
Grab/move transformations..........................................................................................................................64
Rotation transformations..............................................................................................................................64
Scale transformations...................................................................................................................................64
Holding SHIFT.................................................................................................................................................64
Holding CTRL and SHIFT...............................................................................................................................64
Grab/move transformations..........................................................................................................................64
Rotation transformations..............................................................................................................................65
Scale transformations...................................................................................................................................65
Numeric input........................................................................................................................................................65
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Translation........................................................................................................................................................65
Rotation.............................................................................................................................................................66
Scaling..............................................................................................................................................................66
Numeric input via the Properties shelf.............................................................................................................66
Transform Properties.............................................................................................................................................66
Transform Properties Panel..............................................................................................................................67
Options in Object mode...............................................................................................................................67
Transform Properties Locking.....................................................................................................................68
Clear Object transformations.................................................................................................................................68
Description........................................................................................................................................................68
Clear Options....................................................................................................................................................68
Apply Object transformations......................................................................................................................69
Apply Options...................................................................................................................................................69
Proportional Edit...................................................................................................................................................70
Object mode......................................................................................................................................................70
Edit mode..........................................................................................................................................................71
Influence.......................................................................................................................................................72
Options.........................................................................................................................................................72
Examples......................................................................................................................................................74
Manipulators..........................................................................................................................................................75
Manipulator controls.........................................................................................................................................75
Manipulator Preferences...................................................................................................................................76
Choosing the Transform Orientation................................................................................................................76
Transform Orientations..........................................................................................................................................77
Our Demo Cube................................................................................................................................................78
Orientations.......................................................................................................................................................79
Custom Orientations.........................................................................................................................................82
Axis Locking.........................................................................................................................................................83
Description........................................................................................................................................................83
Usage............................................................................................................................................................84
Axis locking types............................................................................................................................................84
Axis locking.................................................................................................................................................84
Plane locking................................................................................................................................................84
Axis locking modes......................................................................................................................................86
Snapping................................................................................................................................................................87
Snap..................................................................................................................................................................87
Transform Snapping.........................................................................................................................................87
Snap Element....................................................................................................................................................88
Snap Target.......................................................................................................................................................88
Additional snap options...............................................................................................................................89
Multiple Snap Targets..................................................................................................................................90
Pivot Point.............................................................................................................................................................90
Active Element as Pivot........................................................................................................................................90
In Object mode.................................................................................................................................................91
In Edit mode.....................................................................................................................................................91
Single selection............................................................................................................................................92
Multiple selection.........................................................................................................................................92
Median Point as Pivot............................................................................................................................................93
In Object Mode.................................................................................................................................................93
In Edit Mode.....................................................................................................................................................93
Individual Origins as Pivot....................................................................................................................................94
In Object mode.................................................................................................................................................94
In Edit mode.....................................................................................................................................................95
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3D Cursor as Pivot................................................................................................................................................96
Bounding Box Center as Pivot..............................................................................................................................97
In Object mode.................................................................................................................................................97
In Edit mode.....................................................................................................................................................98
Relationships.........................................................................................................................................................99
Grouping objects...................................................................................................................................................99
Options..............................................................................................................................................................99
Select Grouped................................................................................................................................................101
Parenting Objects................................................................................................................................................101
Object Parent..................................................................................................................................................102
Object (Keep Transform) Parent.....................................................................................................................102
Armature Deform Parent................................................................................................................................104
Armature Deform Parent With Empty Groups..........................................................................................107
Armature Deform With Automatic Weights..............................................................................................109
Armature Deform With Envelope Weights................................................................................................110
Modes..................................................................................................................................................................111
Bone Parent.....................................................................................................................................................114
Relative Parenting......................................................................................................................................115
Vertex Parent...................................................................................................................................................117
Vertex Parent from Edit Mode...................................................................................................................117
Vertex Parent from Object Mode...............................................................................................................117
Options............................................................................................................................................................118
Move child.................................................................................................................................................118
Remove relationship/Clear Parent..............................................................................................................118
Hints................................................................................................................................................................118
Shading................................................................................................................................................................118
Shading Modes...............................................................................................................................................119
Shading Panel.................................................................................................................................................119
Display.................................................................................................................................................................120
Display Panel..................................................................................................................................................120
View Panel......................................................................................................................................................121
Custom Wireframe Colors...................................................................................................................................123
Layers..................................................................................................................................................................125
Working with Layers......................................................................................................................................126
Viewing layers............................................................................................................................................126
Locking to the scene..................................................................................................................................126
Multiple Layers..........................................................................................................................................126
Moving objects between layers..................................................................................................................126
3D Cursor............................................................................................................................................................127
Placement........................................................................................................................................................127
Direct Placement with the Mouse..............................................................................................................127
Using the Snap Menu.................................................................................................................................127
Numeric Input............................................................................................................................................128
Hiding the 3D cursor..................................................................................................................................128
Background Images.............................................................................................................................................128
Settings...........................................................................................................................................................129
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Editors
Bforartists provides a number of different Editor types for displaying and modifying
different aspects of data.
It is also possible to open the same Editor type multiple times to have different views
on the same data.
Read more about arranging areas
3D
• 3D View
Animation
•
•
•
•
Timeline
Graph Editor
Dope Sheet
NLA Editor
Image/Video
• UV/Image Editor
• Video Sequence Editor
• Movie Clip Editor
Nodes/Logic
• Text Editor
• Node Editor
• Logic Editor
Settings
•
•
•
•
Properties Editor
Outliner
Preferences
Info
Other
• File Browser
• Python Console
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3D View
The 3D View is used to interact with the 3D scene for a variety of purposes, such as modeling, animation,
texture painting, etc.
Navigating in the 3D space is done with the use of both mouse movement and keyboard shortcuts. They can
vary, dependand of the used keymap.
Turn on the Important Hotkeys addon to see the basic navigation hotkeys
Modes
Bforartists has a number of Modes used for editing different kinds of data:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Object Mode
Edit Mode
Pose Mode
Sculpt Mode
Vertex Paint
Weight Paint
Texture Paint
Particle Edit
The mode can be changed using the menu in
the 3D View header, or using the hotkey
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associated with that mode.
Regions of the 3D View
Toolshelf
The Toolshelf is a context-sensitive region containing tools depending on the current
mode (for example, modeling tools in Edit Mode, brush tools in Sculpt Mode...).
For more information on specific tools available, see:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Transformations
History
Creating Objects
Parents
Groups
Animation
Rigid Body
Grease Pencil
Modeling
Sculpting
Vertex Paint
Weight Paint
Texture Paint
Properties Region
The Properties Region contains properties of the active object and selected objects
(such as their locations), as well as properties of the editor itself (such as Display
settings and background images).
Note that the Properties region might vanish in the further Bforartists development.
Header
Contains various menus, buttons and options based on the current mode, such as:
•
•
•
•
•
Shading mode
Pivot options
Transform manipulator
Proportional Edit
Snapping
Navigating
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To Do
Note that the Bforartists UI is still under heavy development. The following information may not be longer
complete or valid.
More than one tool has been removed, added, and/or will find its place at another location. The whole
graphical UI may still change in further versions. Means the menu items may have another location then.
The 3D View is where you perform most of the object modeling and scene creation. Bforartists has a wide array
of tools and options to support you in efficiently working with your mouse, keyboard and numpad.
3D Window Header
The 3D View window is comprised of a workspace and a header. The header is shown at the bottom or top of
the workspace, and can be hidden if desired. The header shows you a menu and the current mode, as explained
below.
View Menu
Properties Panel
Toggles the Properties side panel
Tool Shelf
Toggles the Tool Shelf
Set Active Object as Camera
Sets the current active Object as a camera
Active Camera
Toggles between the view of the current active camera and the 3D
view camera
View Camera Center
Centers the pasepartout of the camera to fit into the 3D view
Set Restrict Render
Turns off the rendering of the elected geometry of the same type.
Example: make three cubes, select two, click Set Restrict Render,
and the selected cubes will turn off its rendering in the Outliner.
Note that this item is just available when you have an object selected
in the scene.
Restrict Render unselected
Turns off the rendering of the unselected geometry of the same type.
Example: make three cubes, select one, click Restrict Render
unselected, and the other two cubes will turn off its rendering in the
Outliner.
Note that this item is just available when you have an object selected in the scene.
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Clear Restrict Render
Turns back on the rendering of the objects
Note that this item is just available when you have an object selected in the scene.
Clipping Border...
Allows you to define a clipping border to limit the 3D view display to a portion of 3D space.
Clear Render Border
Removes the restriction to render just a portion of the screen
Render Border
Render a defined area of the screen. It's a rectangle tool.
Show all Layers
Makes all of the display layers visible.
Create orientation
Allows you to create and to use a user defined orientation
View Global/Local
Global view shows all of the 3D objects in the scene. Local view only displays the selected objects. This
helps if there are many objects in the scene, that may be in the way. Accidentally pressing
NumpadSlash can happen rather often if you’re new to Bforartists, so if a bunch of the objects in your
scene seem to have mysteriously vanished, try turning off local view.
View Selected all Regions
Zooms the 3D view to encompass all the selected objects in all available 3D views
View Selected
Zooms the 3D view to encompass all the selected objects in current view.
View All all Regions
Zooms the 3D view to encompass all the objects in the current scene in all Views
Center Cursor and view All
Zooms the 3D view to encompass all the objects in the current scene in the current view, and resets the
3D cursor back to the center of the groundgrid.
View All
Zooms the 3D view to encompass all the objects in the current scene in the current view
Duplicate area in new window
Clones the current 3D view in a new window
Toggle Quad View
Toggles a four pane 3D view, each showing a different angle of the scene.
Toggle Maximize Area
Toggle Display selected Area as Fullscreen / maximized
Toggle Full Screen Area
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Maximizes the 3D View window to fill the full screen area.
Navi Menu
The Navigation menu,in short Navi Menu, contains the tools to navigate in the 3D space
Orbit Left, Right, Up, Down, Opposite
Orbits the view in the defined direction
Roll Right, Roll Left
Rolls the view to right or left
Pan Down, Pan Up, Pan Right, Pan Left
Pans the view up, down, right, left
Zoom Border
Allows you to define the area you want to zoom in and out by a
rectangle
Zoom In, Zoom Out
Zooms the 3D view in and out
Zoom Camera 1:1
Resets the Camera zoom back to 1:1. Just available when you are in Camera
mode.
Dolly View
Dolly in/out in the View. Note that you can trap yourself with zoom when
you use this tool. Handle with care!
Center view to mouse
Centers the view to the current Mouse position.
Fly Navigation
Enter the Fly Navigation Mode
Walk Navigation
Enter the Walk Navigation
View Navigation
Enter the View Navigation. You can look around from the camera point.
Playback Animation
Starts and stops to play the animation
Scale, Rotate, Translate
Transforms the current selected object. You can scale it, rotate it, and move it.
Select Menu
This menu contains tools for selecting objects and geometry. Its content changes dependant of what type of
object is selected and in what mode you are.
Read more about Selecting in the Selection chapter
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Object Menu
This menu appears when in Object Mode. And the content changes dependant of what type of object is selected.
In edit mode, it will change to the appropriate menu with editing tools.
Read more about Objects in the Objects chapter
Modes
Bforartists has a number of Modes used for editing different kinds of data:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Object Mode
Edit Mode
Pose Mode
Sculpt Mode
Vertex Paint
Weight Paint
Texture Paint
Particle Edit
The mode can be changed using the menu in the 3D View header, or using the
hotkey associated with that mode.
Object Mode
mode allows you to work with objects as a whole.
Edit Mode
Allows you to modify the shape of the object.
Sculpt Mode
In this mode your cursor becomes a tool to shape the object
The cursor becomes a brush in:
• Vertex Paint mode
• Weight Paint mode
• Texture Paint mode.
ViewPort Shading List
Allows you to change the way 3D objects are displayed in the viewport.
•
•
•
•
•
•
Bounding Box
Wireframe
Solid
Texture
Material
Rendered
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Pivot Point Selector
When rotating or scaling an object or group of vertices/edges/faces, you may want to shift the pivot point (the
transformation center) in 3D space. Using this selector, you can change the pivot point to the location of the:
•
•
•
•
•
Active Element
Median Point the average center spot of the selected items
Individual Origins
3D Cursor
Bounding Box Center
Use the Object Center to switch between transforming the entire objects, or
just the position of the objects
Transform (Manipulator) Selectors
Transform Manipulators is a widget. They allow you to scale, rotate or
move objects by grabbing (clicking with your mouse) their controls and
moving your mouse in the corresponding axis.
The widget can be oriented in various ways.
Proportional Editing
Enables proportional editing.
Snap to Mesh
This “magnet” button controls the snapping tools that help with transforming and modeling
objects.
Reset 3D View
Resets the 3D view to the default zoom, rotation and scale. Reset 3D View is an addon, and can be
disabled in the User Preferences.
Align View buttons
Align View Buttons provides you with buttons to switch the view.
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From left to right: Front, Back, Left Right, Top, Bottom. The seventh button is to switch between orthographic
and perspectivic view. Button 8 is to view from the active camera. Button 9 sets the active camera. Note that
you need to have a camera object selected to make this button activated.
Align View is an addon, and can be disabled in the User Preferences.
3D View
To be able to work in the three dimensional space that Bforartists uses, you must be able to change your
viewpoint as well as the viewing direction of the scene. While we will describe the 3D View window, most of
the other windows have similar functions. For example, it is possible to translate and zoom a Buttons window
and its panels.
Tip
Mouse Buttons and Numpad
If you have a mouse with less than three buttons or a keyboard without numpad, see the Keyboard and Mouse
page of the manual to learn how to use them with Bforartists.
Perspective and Orthographic Views
Reference
Mode: All modes
Menu: View ‣ Perspective / View ‣ Orthographic
Hotkey: Numpad5
Each 3D viewport supports two different types of projection. These are demonstrated in the Orthographic (left)
and perspective (right) projections image below.
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Orthographic (left) and perspective (right) projections.
Our eye is used to perspective viewing because distant objects appear smaller. Orthographic projection often
seems a bit odd at first, because objects stay the same size regardless of their distance. It is like viewing the
scene from an infinitely distant point. Nevertheless, orthographic viewing is very useful (it is the default in
Bforartists and most other 3D applications), because it provides a more “technical” insight into the scene,
making it easier to draw and judge proportions.
Options
Demonstration of camera view.
To change the projection for a 3D view, choose the View ‣ Orthographic or the View ‣ Perspective menu entry.
The Numpad5 shortcut toggles between the two modes. Changing the projection for a 3D view does not affect
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the way the scene will be rendered. Rendering is in perspective by default. If you need to create an orthographic
rendering, select the camera, go to the Object Data context and press the Orthographic button in the Lens
panel.
The View ‣ Camera menu entry sets the 3D view to camera mode (Numpad0). The scene is then displayed as it
will be rendered later (see Demonstration of camera view). The rendered image will contain everything within
the orange dotted line. Zooming in and out is possible in this view, but to change the viewpoint, you have to
move or rotate the camera.
See also
•
•
•
•
Render perspectives
Camera View
Camera Clipping
Camera Projections
Rotating the View
Reference
Mode: All modes
Menu: View ‣ Navigation
Hotkey: Numpad2 / Numpad4 / Numpad6 / Numpad8 / Ctrl-Alt-Wheel
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A 3D viewport’s View menu.
Bforartists provides four default viewing directions: Side, Front, Top and Camera view. Bforartists uses a rightangled “Cartesian” coordinate system with the Z axis pointing upwards. “Side” corresponds to looking along
the X axis, in the negative direction, “Front” along the Y axis, and “top” along the Z axis. The Camera view
shows the current scene as seen from the camera view point.
Options
You can select the viewing direction for a 3D viewport with the View menu entries, or by pressing the hotkeys
Numpad3 for “side”, Numpad1 for “front”, Numpad7 for “top”. You can select the opposite directions if you
hold Ctrl while using the same numpad shortcuts. Finally Numpad0 gives access to the “camera” viewpoint.
Apart from these four default directions, the view can be rotated to any angle you wish. Click and drag MMB on
the viewport’s area. If you start in the middle of the window and move up and down or left and right, the view
is rotated around the middle of the window. Alternatively, if the Emulate 3 button mouse option is select in the
User Preferences you can press and hold Alt while dragging LMB in the viewport’s area.
To change the viewing angle in discrete steps, use Numpad8 and Numpad2 (which correspond to vertical MMB
dragging, from any viewpoint), or use Numpad4 and Numpad6 (or Ctrl-Alt-Wheel) to rotate the scene
around the Z global axis from your current point of view.
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Note
Hotkeys
Remember that most hotkeys affect the active window (the one that has focus), so check that the mouse
cursor is in the area you want to work in before your use the hotkeys.
See also
• Orbit Style Preference
• Auto-Perspective Preference
Panning the View
Reference
Mode: All modes
Menu: View –> Navigation
To pan the view, hold down Shift and drag MMB in the 3D Viewport. For discrete steps, use the hotkeys
Ctrl-Numpad8, Ctrl-Numpad2, Ctrl-Numpad4 and Ctrl-Numpad6 as with rotating (note: you can
replace Ctrl by Shift). For those without a middle mouse button, you can hold Shift Alt while dragging
with LMB.
Zooming the View
Reference
Mode: All modes
Menu: View –> Navigation
You can zoom in and out by holding down Ctrl and dragging MMB. The hotkeys are NumpadPlus and
NumpadMinus. The View ‣ Navigation sub-menu holds these functions too as well. Refer to the 3D
viewport’s View menu image above for more information.
If you have a wheel mouse, you can perform all of the actions in the 3D viewport that you would do with
NumpadPlus and NumpadMinus by rotating the Wheel. To zoom a Buttons window, hold Ctrl-MMB and
move your mouse up and down.
Hint
If You Get Lost
If you get lost in 3D space, which is not uncommon, two hotkeys will help you: Home changes the view so
that you can see all objects (View ‣ View All menu entry), while NumpadPeriod zooms the view to the
currently selected objects when in perspective mode (View ‣ View Selected menu entry).
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Zoom Border
The Zoom Border tool allows you to specify a rectangular region and zoom in so that the region fills the 3d
view.
You can access this through the View menu, or the shortcut Shift-B, then LMB click and drag a rectangle to
zoom into.
Alternatively you can zoom out using the MMB.
Dolly the View
Reference
Mode: All modes
In most cases its sufficient to zoom the view to get a closer look at something, however you may notice that at a
certain point you cannot zoom any closer.
This is because Bforartists stores a view-point thats used for orbiting and zooming, This works well in many
cases but sometimes you want to move the view-point to a different place - This is what Dolly supports,
allowing you to transport the view from one place to another.
You can dolly back and fourth by holding down Ctrl-Shift and dragging MMB.
Aligning the View
Align View
These options allow you to align and orient the view in different ways. They are found in the View Menu
Align View to Selected menu
These options align your view with specified local axes of the selected object, bone or in Edit
mode, with the normal of the selected face.
Hold down Shift while using the numpad to set the view axis.
Center Cursor and View All
moves the cursor back to the origin and zooms in/out so that you can see everything in your
scene.
Align Active Camera to View, Ctrl-Alt-Numpad0
Gives your active camera the current viewpoint
View selected, NumpadPeriod
Focuses view on currently selected object/s by centering them in the viewport, and zooming
in until they fill the screen.
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Center view to cursor, Alt-Home
Centers view to 3D-cursor
View Selected
See above
View All Home
Frames all the objects in the scene, so they are visible in the viewport.
Local and Global View
Global and Local view
You can toggle between Local and Global view by selecting the option from the View Menu or using the
shortcut NumpadSlash. Local view isolates the selected object or objects, so that they are the only ones
visible in the viewport. This is useful for working on objects that are obscured by other ones, or have heavy
geometry. Press NumpadSlash to return to Global View.
This can be used to speed up viewport performance in heavy scenes, or allow you to focus on a specific object
without others getting in your way.
Quad View
Reference
Mode: All modes
Menu: View ‣ Toggle Quad View
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Quad View
Toggling Quad View will split the 3D window into 4 views: 3 Ortho views and a Camera / User View. This
view will allow you to instantly see your model from a number of view points. In this arrangement, you can
zoom and pan each view independently but you cannot rotate the view. Note that this is different from splitting
the windows and aligning the view manually. In Quad View, the four views are still part of a single 3D window.
So they share the same draw options and layers.
If you want to be able to rotate each view, you can un-check the Locked option.
However in sometimes its preferable to split the view, so each can have its own configuration.
Read more about splitting areas
View Clipping Border
Reference
Mode: All modes
Menu: View ‣ Set Clipping Border
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Region/Volume clipping.
To assist in the process of working with complex models and scenes, you can set the view clipping to visually
isolate what you’re working on.
Once clipping is used, you will only see whats inside a volume you’ve defined. Tools such as paint, sculpt,
selection, transform-snapping etc. will also ignore geometry outside the clipping bounds.
Once activated, you have to draw a rectangle with the mouse, in the wanted 3D view. The created clipping
volume will then be:
• A right-angled parallelepiped (of infinite length) if your view is orthographic.
• A rectangular-based pyramid (of infinite height) if your view is in perspective.
To delete this clipping click at the button again
Example
The Region/Volume clipping image shows an example of using the clipping tool with a cube. This will generate
a dashed cross-hair cursor. Click with the LMB and drag out a rectangular region shown in the upper right. Now
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a region is defined and clipping is applied against that region in 3D space. Notice that part of the cube is now
invisible or clipped. Rotate the view and you will see that only what is inside the pyramidal volume is visible.
All the editing tools still function as normal but only within the pyramidal clipping volume.
The dark gray area is the clipping volume itself. Once clipping is deactivated, all of 3D space will become
visible again.
Walk/Fly Mode
When you have to place the view, normally you do as described above.
However, there are cases in which you really prefer to just navigate your model, especially if it’s very large, like
environments or some architectural model. In these cases viewing the model in perspective mode has
limitations, for example after zooming a lot of panning is extremely uncomfortable and difficult, or you
apparently cannot move the camera any nearer. As an example, try to navigate to a very distant object in the
view with traditional methods (explained above) and see what you can get.
With walk/fly modes you move, pan, tilt, and dolly the camera around without any of those limitations.
View Navigation.
In the User Preferences window select the navigation mode you want to use as default when invoking the View
Navigation operator. Alternatively you can call the individual modes from the View Navigation menu.
Note
This mode actually moves the camera used by the view. This means that when you are in camera view, it
moves the active camera’‘, which is another way to place and aim it.
Walk Mode
Reference
Mode: All modes
Menu: View ‣ View Navigation ‣ Walk Navigation
Usage
On activation the mouse pointer will move at the center of the view, and a cross marker will appear...
This navigation mode behaves similar to the first person navigation system available in most 3d world games
nowadays. It works with a combination of keyboard keys (WASD) and mouse movement. By default the
navigation is in the ‘free’ mode, with no gravity influence. You can toggle between gravity and free mode
during the navigation (Tab).
To move to places more quickly you can teleport (Spacebar) around your scene. If there is an object in front
of the walk cross/aim you will move in that direction until you reach the point (offset by the ‘camera height’
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value set in the [Doc:2.6/Manual/Preferences|User Preferences window]]).
If the defaults values (speed, mouse sensitivity, ...) need adjustments for your project, in the Preferences you
can select a few options for the navigation system:
Fly Mode
Reference
Mode: All modes
Menu: View ‣ View Navigation ‣ Fly Navigation
Hotkey: Shift-F
Usage
On activation the mouse pointer will move at the center of the view, and a squared marker will appear – a sort
of HUD...
Some of the options of Fly mode are influenced by the position of the mouse pointer relative to the center of the
view itself, and the squared marker around this center provides a sort of “safe region” where you can place the
mouse for it to have no effect on the view. The more you take the mouse pointer away from the marker, the
more you pan, or track, etc.
Shortcuts
• Move the mouse left/right to pan the view left/right or move it up/down to tilt the view up/down.
• Move the view forward/backward: - WheelUp or NumpadPlus} to accelerate the movement forward.
- WheelDown or to NumpadMinus} to accelerate the movement backward.
So if the view is already moving forward, WheelDown/NumpadMinus} will eventually
stop it and then move it backward, etc.
• Drag the MMB to dolly. In this case the view can move laterally on its local axis at the moment you drag
the mouse – quite obviously, dragging left/right/up/down makes the view dolly on the left/right/up/down
respectively.
When you are happy with the new view, click LMB to confirm. In case you want to go back from where you
started, press Esc or RMB, as usual.
Camera View
Reference
Mode: All modes
Menu: View ‣ Camera ‣ Active Camera
Cameras View can be used to virtually compose shots and preview how the scene will look when rendered.
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Pressing Numpad0 will show the scene as viewed from the currently active camera. In this view you can also
set the Render Border which defines the portion of the camera view to be rendered.
Camera view provides a preview for the final rendered image.
There are several different ways to navigate and position the camera in your scene, some of them are explained
below.
Camera Navigation
There are several different ways to navigate and position the camera in your scene, some of them are explained
below.
Note
Remember that the active “camera” might be any kind of object. So these actions can be used, for example, to
position and aim a lamp.
Align Active Camera to View
Reference
Mode: Object mode
This feature allows you to position and orient the active camera to match your current view-port.
Select a camera and then move around in the 3D view to a desired position and direction for your camera (so
that you’re seeing what you want the camera to see). Now click at Align Active Camera to View to align the
camera to the current view. This also switches to the camera view.
Camera View Positioning
By enabling Lock Camera to View in the View menu of the View Properties panel, while in camera view, you
can navigate the 3d view-port as usual, while remaining in camera view. Controls are exactly the same as when
normally moving in 3d.
Roll, Pan, Dolly, and Track
To perform these camera moves, the camera must first be selected, so that it becomes the active object (while
viewing through it, you can RMB -click on the solid rectangular edges to select it). The following actions also
assume that you are in camera view. Having done so, you can now manipulate the camera using the given
commands that are used to manipulate any object.
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See also
Fly/Walk Mode
When you are in walk/fly mode, navigation actually moves your camera:
Lock Camera to View
When enabled, performing typical view manipulation operations will move the camera object.
Objects
The geometry of a scene is constructed from one or more Objects. These objects can range from lamps to light
your scene, basic 2D and 3D shapes to fill it with models, armatures to animate those models, to cameras to
take pictures or video of it all.
Types of Objects
Meshes
Meshes are objects composed of Polygonal Faces, Edges and/or Vertices, and can be edited extensively
with Bforartists’s mesh editing tools. The default scene features a cube, which is one of the many
included basic building-block shapes called Mesh Primitives
Curves
Curves are mathematically defined objects which can be manipulated with control handles or control
points (instead of vertices), to manage their length and curvature.
Surfaces
Surfaces are patches that are also manipulated with control points. These are useful for simple rounded
forms and organic landscapes.
Meta Objects
Meta Objects (or Metaballs) are objects formed by a mathematical function (with no control points or
vertices) defining the 3D volume in which the object exists. Meta Objects have a liquid-like quality,
where when two or more Metaballs are brought together, they merge by smoothly rounding out the
connection, appearing as one unified object.
Text
Text objects create a two dimensional representation of a string of characters.
Armatures
Armatures are used for rigging 3D models in order to make them poseable and animateable.
Lattice
Lattices are non-renderable wireframes, commonly used for taking additional control over other objects
with help of the Lattice Modifier.
Empty
Empties are null objects that are simple visual transform nodes that do not render. They are useful for
controlling the position or movement of other objects.
Speaker
Brings to scene source of sound.
Cameras
This is the virtual camera that is used to determine what appears in the render.
Lamps
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These are used to place light sources in the scene.
Force Fields
Force fields are used in physical simulations. They give simulations external forces, creating movement,
and are represented in 3d editor by small control objects.
Speaker
Speaker Object.
The speaker object is used to give sound in the 3D Viewport. After adding the object the various settings can be
changed in the properties editor.
Options
Sound
Mute
Toggles whether or not the sound can be heard.
Volume
Adjust the loudness of the sound
Pitch
Can be used to bend the pitch of the sound to be either deeper or higher.
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Distance
Volume:
Minimum
Minimum volume, no matter how far the object is.
Maximum
Maximum volume, no matter how far the object is.
Attenuation
How strong the distance affects the volume.
Distance:
Maximum
Maximum distance for volume calculation.
Reference
Reference distance at which volume is 100%.
Cone
Angle:
Outer
Angle of the outer cone in degrees. Outside this cone the volume is the outer cone volume (see below).
Between the inner and outer cone the volume is interpolated.
Inner
Angle of the inner cone in degrees. Inside the cone the volume is 100%.
Volume:
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Outer
Volume outside the outer cone.
Selecting
Introduction
Selection determines which elements will be the target of our actions. Bforartists has advanced selection
methods. Both in Object mode and in Edit mode.
Selections and the Active Object
Bforartists distinguishes between two different states of selection:
Unselected object in black, selected object in orange, and active object in yellow
• In Object mode the last (de)selected item is called the “Active Object” and is outlined in yellow (the
others are orange). There is exactly one active object at any time (even when nothing is selected).
Many actions in Bforartists use the active object as a reference (for example linking operations). If you
already have a selection and need to make a different object the active one, simply re-select it with
Shift and Left mouseclick
• All other selected objects are just selected. You can select any number of objects.
Point Selection
The simplest form of object selection is to click at it.
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To add to the selection, use Shift-LMB on more objects.
If the objects are overlapping in the view, you can use Alt-LMB to cycle through possible choices.
If you want to add to a selection this way then the shortcut becomes Shift-Alt-LMB.
To activate an object that is already selected, click Shift-LMB on it.
To deselect an active object, click Shift-RMB one time - and hence two clicks if the object isn’t active. Note
that this only works if there are no other objects under the mouse. Otherwise it just adds those to the selection.
There appears to be no workaround for this bug.
Rectangular or Border Select
Reference
Mode: Object mode and Edit mode
Menu: Select –> Border Select
Description
With Border Select you draw a rectangle while holding down LMB. Any object that lies even partially within
this rectangle becomes selected.
For deselecting objects, use MMB or Border Select again with holding Shift.
To cancel the selection use RMB.
Example
Border selecting in three steps
Border Select has been activated in the first image and is indicated by showing a dotted cross-hair cursor. In the
second image, the selection region is being chosen by drawing a rectangle with the LMB. The rectangle is only
covering two cubes. Finally, in the third image, the selection is completed by releasing LMB.
Notice in the third image, the bright color of left-most selected cube. This means it is the “active object”, the
last selected object prior to using the Border Select tool.
Hints
Border Select adds to the previous selection, so in order to select only the contents of the rectangle, deselect all
with A first.
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Lasso Select
Reference
Mode: Object mode and Edit mode
Menu: no entry in the menu
Hotkey: Ctrl-LMB
Description
Lasso select is used by drawing a dotted line around the pivot point of the objects, in Object mode.
Usage
While holding Ctrl down, you simply have to draw around the pivot point of each object you want to select
with LMB.
Lasso select adds to the previous selection. For deselection, use Ctrl-Shift-LMB.
Lasso selection example
Circle Select
Reference
Mode: Object mode and Edit mode
Menu: Select –> Circle Select
Description
Main selection menu
Circle Select is used by moving with dotted circle through objects with LMB. You can select any object by
touching of circle area. It is possible to dynamically change the diameter of circle by scrolling MMB as seen in
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pictures below. Deselection is under the same principle - MMB. To cancel the selection use RMB or key Esc,
Circle selection
...with huge circle
Menu Selection
The selection methods described above are the most common. There are also many more options accessible
through the Select menu of the 3D view.
Each is more adapted to certain operations.
Select Grouped
Reference
Mode: Object mode
Menu: Select –> Grouped
There are two ways to organize the objects in relation to one another. The first one is parenting, and the second
is simple grouping. We can use these relationships to our advantage by
selecting members of respective families or groups.
Options
Select –> Grouped in Object mode uses the active object as a basis to select all
others.
Available options are:
Children
Selects all children of the active object recursively.
Immediate Children
Selects all direct children of the active object.
Parent
Selects the parent of this object if it has one.
Siblings
Select objects that have the same parent as the active object. This can
also be used to select all root level objects (objects with no parents).
Type
Select objects that are the same type as the active one.
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Layer
Objects that have at least one shared layer.
Group
Objects that are part of a group (rendered green with the default theme) will be selected if they are in one
of the groups that the active object is in.
Object Hooks
Every hook that belongs to the active object.
Pass
Select objects assigned to the same render pass. Render passes are set in Properties –> Object –>
Relations and can be used in the Node Compositor (Add –> Convertor –> ID Mask.)
Color
Select objects with same Object Color. Object colors are set in Properties –> Object –> Display –>
Object Color.)
Properties
Select objects with same Game Engine Properties.
Keying Set
Select objects included in active Keying Set.
Lamp Type
Select matching lamp types.
Pass Index
Select matching object pass index.
Select linked
Reference
Mode: Object mode
Menu: Select –> Linked
Selects all objects which share a common data-block with the active object.
Options
Select –> Linked in Object mode uses the active object as a basis to select all others.
Available options are:
Object Data
Selects every object that is linked to the same Object Data, i.e. the data-block that specifies the type
(mesh, curve, etc.) and the build (constitutive elements like vertices, control vertices, and where they are
in space) of the object.
Material
Selects every object that is linked to the same material data-block.
Texture
Selects every object that is linked to the same texture data-block.
Dupligroup
Selects all objects that use the same Group for duplication.
Particle System
Selects all objects that use the same Particle System
Library
Selects all objects that are in the same Library Library (Object Data)
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Select All by Type
Reference
Mode: Object mode
Menu: Select –> Select All by Type
The types are Mesh, Curve, Surface, Meta, Font, Armature, Lattice, Empty, Camera, Lamp, Speaker.
With this tool it becomes possible to select every visible object of a certain type in one go.
Options
Select All by Type in Object mode offers an option for every type of object that can be described by the ObData
data-block.
Just take your pick.
Select All by Layer
Reference
Mode: Object mode
Menu: Select –> Select All by Layer
All by Layer selection menu
Layers are another means to regroup your objects to suit your purpose.
This option allows the selection of every single object that belongs to a given layer, visible or not, in one single
command.
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Options
In the Tool Shelf –> Select by Layer the following options are available:
Match
The match type for selection.
Extend
Enable to add objects to current selection rather than replacing the current selection.
Layer
The layer on which the objects are.
Tip
Selection of Objects
Rather than using the Select All by Layer option, it might be more efficient to make the needed layers visible
and use A on them. This method also allows objects to be deselected.
Other Menu Options
Available options on the first level of the menu are:
Select Pattern...
Selects all objects whose name matches a given pattern. Supported wildcards: * matches everything, ?
matches any single character, [abc] matches characters in “abc”, and [!abc] match any character not in
“abc”. The matching can be chosen to be case sensitive or not. As an example house matches any name
that contains “house”, while floor* matches any name starting with “floor”.
Select Camera
Select the active camera.
Mirror
Select the Mirror objects of the selected object eg. L.sword –> R.sword.
Random
Randomly selects unselected objects based on percentage probability on currently active layers. On
selecting the command a numerical selection box becomes available in the Tool Shelf. It’s important to
note that the percentage represents the likelihood of an unselected object being selected and not the
percentage amount of objects that will be selected.
Inverse
Selects all objects that were not selected while deselecting all those which were.
(De)select All
If anything was selected it is first deselected. Otherwise it toggles between selecting and deselecting
every visible object.
Less
Decreases the selection
More
Increases the selection
Child
Select the child objects in the hierarchy
Parent
Select the Parent object of the hierarchy
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Child Extended
Select the child objects in the hierarchy
Parent Extended
Select the Parent object of the hierarchy
Transforms
Transformations refer to a number of operations that can be performed on a selected Object or Mesh that alters
its position or characteristics.
Each object can be moved, rotated and scaled in Object Mode. However, not all of these transformations have
an effect on all objects. For example, scaling a camera has no effect on the render dimensions.
Basic transformations include:
• Grabbing (moving)
• Rotating
• Scaling
These three transforms are the three big ones however more, advanced transformations can be found in the
Advanced Transformations section.
For making other changes to the geometry of editable objects, you should use Edit Mode.
Once you’ve added a basic object, you remain in Object Mode.
The object’s wireframe should now appear orange. This means that the object is now selected and active.
Grab/Move
Reference
Mode: Object Mode, Edit Mode, and Pose Mode for the 3D View; UV/Image Editor Tools, Sequence Editor,
Dopesheet, and Graph Editor for other specific types of Grab/Move operation.
Menu: Context Sensitive, Object Based –> Transform –> Grab/Move
In Object Mode, the grab/move option lets you translate (move) objects. It also lets you translate any elements
that make up the object within the 3D space of the active 3D viewport. Grab/Move works similarly here as it
does in the Node Editor, Graph Editor, UV Editor, Sequencer, etc.
Options and other details will be discussed in their respective sections.
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Translation Display
While Grab/Move is active, the amount of change in the X, Y and Z co-ordinates is displayed at the bottom left
corner of the 3D View window.
3D View
There are 2 ways to Grab/Move in 3D View:
• Using shortcuts and combinations of shortcuts.
• Using the Transform Widget helper. This can be toggled from the Translation Widget in the header of the
3DView.
Transform Widget
Translation Widget
In the default installation of Bforartists, this is the Transform Widget. It is active by default. You can use the
widget by holding LMB over it and dragging in the 3D view.
Note
This behavior can be changed using Release Confirms in the User Preferences, so that a single RMB drag can
be used to move and confirm.
Controling Grab/Move Precision
In addition to the Axis constraint options listed above, Bforartists offers options to limit the amount of the
transformation in small or predefined steps.
Shift
Slow translation mode. While still in the grab mode i.e. after G is pressed, holding down Shift reduces
how quickly the object moves and allows extra precision.
Ctrl
This activates snapping based on the snapping constraint which has been already set. You may not be able
to enable every snapping option in all cases.
Ctrl-Shift
Precise snap. This option will move the object with high precision along with the snapping constraint.
X/Y/Z + decimal number
This option limits the transformation to the specified axis and the decimal number specified will be the
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magnitude of the translation along that axis. This decimal number is displayed at the bottom left corner of
the 3D view window as it is entered.
• Hitting Backspace during number entry and deleting the number removes the numerical
specification option but the object will remain constrained to the same axis.
• Hitting / during number entry switches the number being entered to its reciprocal, e.g. 2 / results
in 0.5 (1/2), 2 / 0 results in 0.05 (1/20).
• The axis of movement can be changed at any time during translation by typing X/Y/Z.
Orientations
There are 5 standard orientation references for all transformations. You can find out more about transform
orientations here.
Orientation choice menu
Each mode is a co-ordinate system in which transformations can be carried out. These orientations can be
chosen from the pop-up menu to the side of the controls which toggle and select the transformation manipulator
widgets.
If you have changed the orientation to something other than Global, you can hotkey your chosen axis of
orientation by hitting the relevant axis modifying hotkey twice instead of just once. Hitting the axis modifying
hotkey three times reverts back to Global orientation.
Numerical Entry Display
Other Editor Windows
In other editors such as the UV/Image Editor, Sequence Editor, Dopesheet and Graph Editor, the Grab/Move
Operations are used to move objects or elements - the difference from 3D View is that only two axes are used usually X and Y. You can use many of the same Grab/Move hotkeys in other editor windows and they will
work much the same way as they do in 3D View. Rotating and scaling also work in certain editors as well.
Tip
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Moving an object in Object mode changes the object’s origin. Moving the object’s vertices/edges/faces in Edit
Mode doesn’t change the object’s origin.
Rotate
Reference
Mode: Object and Edit modes
Menu: Object/Mesh/Curve/Surface ‣ Transform ‣ Rotate
Description
Rotation is also known as a spin, twist, orbit, pivot, revolve, or roll and involves changing the orientation of
elements (vertices, edge, face, Object etc) around one or more axes or the element’s Pivot Point. There are
multiple ways to rotate an element which include:
• The keyboard shortcut
• The 3D manipulator widget
• The Properties menu
Basic rotation usage and common options are described below. For additional information, you may wish to
read the Transform Control and Orientation pages which provide more information about options such as
Precision, Axis Locking, Numeric Input, Snapping and the different types of Pivot Point.
Read more about Transform Control Read more about Transform Orientations
Usage
Rotation using the keyboard shortcut
The hotkeys vary, dependant of the chosen keymap, For the current standard hotkeys see the Important Hotkeys
addon.
The amount of rotation will be displayed in the bottom left hand corner of the 3D window.
Rotation values
Constraining the rotation axis (axis locking)
Rotation can be constrained to a particular axis or axes through the use of Axis Locking. To constrain rotation,
the following shortcuts can be used:
• Rotate Hotkey, then X: Rotate only along the X Axis
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• Rotate Hotkey, Y: Rotate only along the Y Axis
• Rotate Hotkey, Z: Rotate only along the Z Axis
Axis locking can also be enabled by pressing the MMB after enabling rotation and moving the mouse in the
desired direction e.g.
• Rotate Hotkey, move the mouse along the X axis, MMB: Rotate only along the X Axis
Fine Tuning The Rotation
Precise control can be had over rotation through the use of the Shift and Ctrl keys to limit rotation to
discrete amounts. You can also enter a numerical value in degrees to specify the amount of rotation after after
initiating a rotation transformation.
• Hold Ctrl down while performing a rotation to rotate the selected element in 5 degree increments.
• Hold Shift down while performing a rotation to rotate the selected element in 0.01 degree increments.
• Hold Shift-Ctrl down while performing a rotation to rotate the selected element in 1 degree
increments.
• Press Rotate Hotkey, type in a number and press Return to confirm.
• Press Rotate Hotkey twice to enable Trackball rotation.
Tip
Orientation dependant rotations
By default, all rotations happen around a Global Orientation. You can change the rotation orientation by
pressing the axis key twice. For example, pressing R, X, X will by default set rotation to occur around the local
orientation.
Read more about Precision Control Read more about Numerical Transformations Read more about Transform
Orientations
Rotation with the 3D Transform Manipulator
Rotation Transform Manipulator
In the 3D View header, ensure that the Transform Manipulator is enabled (the red, green, and blue triad is
selected). Set the manipulator type to rotation (the highlighted arc icon shown below).
• Select your element with RMB.
• Use LMB and drag any of the three colored axes on the rotation manipulator to rotate your object along
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that axis. You can also use Shift, Ctrl or numeric input with the 3D manipulator widget for further
control.
• Your changes will be applied when you release LMB or press Spacebar or Return. Your changes will
be cancelled if you press RMB or Esc.
Read more about the 3D Transform Manipulator
Rotation with the Properties Panel
Rotation transform properties panel.
Rotation values can also be specified in the Properties panel (N) by altering the degree value in the rotation
slider of the Transform panel. Rotation along particular axes can be enabled or disabled by toggling the padlock
icon. The rotation mode (Euler, Axis Angle, Quaternion) can also be set in this panel from the drop down box.
Scale
Reference
Mode: Object and Edit modes
Menu: Object/Mesh/Curve/Surface ‣ Transform ‣ Scale
Description
Pressing the Scale hotkey will enter the Scale transformation mode where the selected element is scaled
inward or outward according to the mouse pointer’s location. The element’s scale will increase as the mouse
pointer is moved away from the Pivot Point and decrease as the pointer is moved towards it. If the mouse
pointer crosses from the original side of the Pivot Point to the opposite side, the scale will continue in the
negative direction and flip the element.
Read more about Pivot Points
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Basic scale usage. From left to right, the panels show: the original Object, a scaled down Object, a scaled up Object and a
scale-flipped Object.
There are multiple ways to scale an element which include:
• The keyboard shortcut
• The 3D manipulator widget
• The Properties menu
Basic scale usage and common options are described below. For additional information, you may wish to read
the Transform Control and Orientation pages which provide more information about options such as Precision,
Axis Locking, Numeric Input, Snapping and the different types of Pivot Point.
Usage
Scaling using the keyboard shortcut
The hotkeys vary, dependant of the chosen keymap, For the current standard hotkeys see the Important Hotkeys
addon.
The amount of scaling will be displayed in the bottom left hand corner of the 3D window.
Scale values
Constraining the scaling axis (axis locking)
Scaling can be constrained to a particular axis or axes through the use of Axis Locking. To constrain scaling, the
following shortcuts can be used:
• Scale Hotkey, X: Scale only along the X Axis
• Scale Hotkey, Y: Scale only along the Y Axis
• Scale Hotkey, Z: Scale only along the Z Axis
Axis locking can also be enabled by pressing the MMB after enabling scaling and moving the mouse in the
desired direction e.g.
• Scale Hotkey, move the mouse along the X axis, MMB: Scale only along the X Axis
Read more about Axis Locking
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Fine Tuning The Scaling
Precise control can be had over scaling through the use of the Shift and Ctrl keys to limit scaling to
discrete amounts. You can also enter a numerical value in Bforartists Units (BU) to specify the amount of
scaling after after initiating a scale transformation.
•
•
•
•
Hold Ctrl down while scaling to scale the selected element in degree 0.1 BU increments.
Hold Shift down while scaling to scale the selected element in very fine increments.
Hold Shift-Ctrl down while scaling to scale the selected element in 0.01 BU increments.
Press S, type in a number and press Return to confirm.
Tip
Orientation dependent scaling
By default, all scaling happens around a Global Orientation. You can change the scaling orientation by
pressing the axis key twice. For example, pressing S, X, X will by default set scaling to occur around the local
orientation.
Read more about Precision Control
Read more about Numerical Transformations
Read more about Transform Orientations
Scaling with the 3D Transform Manipulator
Scaling Transform Manipulator
In the 3D View header, ensure that the Transform Manipulator is enabled (the red, green, and blue triad is
selected). Set the manipulator type to scale (the highlighted square icon shown below).
• Select your element with RMB.
• Use LMB and drag any of the three colored axes on the scaling manipulator to scale your object along
that axis. You can also use Shift, Ctrl or numeric input with the 3D manipulator widget for further
control.
• Your changes will be applied when you release LMB or press Spacebar or
Return. Your changes will be cancelled if you press RMB or Esc.
Scaling with the Properties Panel
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Scale values can also be specified in the Properties panel (N) by altering the amount value in the scaling slider
of the Transform panel. Scaling along particular axes can be enabled or disabled by toggling the padlock icon.
Duplication
There are two types of object duplication, being Duplicate and Linked Duplicates which instance their objectdata.
Instancing
Each Bforartists object type (mesh, lamp, curve, camera etc.) is composed from two parts: an Object and
Object Data (sometimes abbreviated to ObData):
Object
Holds information about the position, rotation and size of a particular element.
Object Data
Holds everything else. For example:
Meshes:
Store geometry, material list, vertex groups... etc.
Cameras:
Store focal length, depth of field, sensor size... etc.
Each object has a link to its associated object-data, and a single object-data may be shared by many
objects.
Duplicate
Reference
Mode: Edit and Object modes
Menu: Object –> Duplicate
This will create a visually-identical copy of the selected object(s). The copy is created at the same position as
the original object and you are automatically placed in Grab mode. See the example below.
This copy is a new object, which shares some data-blocks with the original object (by default, all the Materials,
Textures, and Ipos), but which has copied others, like the mesh, for example. This is why this form of
duplication is sometimes called “shallow link”, because not all data-blocks are shared; some of them are “hard
copied”!
Note that you can choose which types of data-block will be linked or copied when duplicating: in the User
Preferences, Editing Page.
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Examples
The mesh Cone.006 of object Cone.002 is being edited. The mesh’s Unique data-block ID name is highlighted in the
Outliner.
The cone in the middle has been (1) link duplicated to the left and (2) duplicated to the right.
• The duplicated right cone is being edited, the original cone in the middle remains unchanged. The mesh
data has been copied, not linked.
• Likewise, if the right cone is edited in object mode, the original cone remains unchanged. The new
object’s transform properties or data-block is a copy, not linked.
• When the right cone was duplicated, it inherited the material of the middle cone. The material properties
were linked, not copied.
See above if you want separate copies of the data-blocks normally linked.
Linked Duplicates
Reference
Mode: Object mode
Menu: Object –> Duplicate Linked
You also have the choice of creating a Linked Duplicate rather than a Duplicate; this is called a deep link. This
will create a new object with all of its data linked to the original object. If you modify one of the linked objects
in Edit mode, all linked copies are modified. Transform properties (object data-blocks) still remain copies, not
links, so you still can rotate, scale, and move freely without affecting the other copy. Reference (Duplicate
Example) for the discussions below.
Hint
If you want to make changes to an object in the new linked duplicate independently of the original object, you
will have to manually make the object a “single-user” copy by LMB the number in the Object Data panel of
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the Properties Window.
Examples
The object Cone.001 was linked duplicated. Though both these cones are separate objects with unique names, the single
mesh named Cone, highlighted in the Outliner, is shared by both.
The left cone is a Linked Duplicate of the middle cone.
• As a vertex is moved in Edit mode in one object, the same vertex is moved in the original cone as well.
The mesh data are links, not copies.
• In contrast, if one of these two cones is rotated or rescaled in object mode, the other remains unchanged.
The transform properties are copied, not linked.
• As in the previous example, the newly created cone has inherited the material of the original cone. The
material properties are linked, not copied.
A common table has a top and four legs. Model one leg, and then make linked duplicates three times for each of
the remaining legs. If you later make a change to the mesh, all the legs will still match. Linked duplicates also
apply to a set of drinking glasses, wheels on a car... anywhere there is repetition or symmetry.
Procedural Duplication
Reference
Mode: Object mode and Edit mode
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Panel: Object settings
There are currently four ways in Bforartists to procedurally duplicate objects. These options are located in the
Object menu.
Verts
This creates an instance of all children of this object on each vertex (for mesh objects only).
Faces
This creates an instance of all children of this object on each face (for mesh objects only).
Group
This creates an instance of the group with the transformation of the object. Group duplicators can be
animated using actions, or can get a Proxy.
Frames
For animated objects, this creates an instance on every frame. As you’ll see on this topic’s subpage, this is
also a very powerful technique for arranging objects and for modeling them.
Copying & Linking Objects Between Scenes
Sometimes you may want to link or copy objects between scenes. This is possible by first selecting objects you
want to link and then using: Object ‣ Make Links ‣ Object to Scene.
This makes the same object exist in 2 different scenes at once, including its position and animation data. You
can tell this is a multi-user object by the blue color of its center-circle
If you don’t want the objects to be shared between the scenes, you can make them Single-User by using: Object
‣ Make Single User ‣ Object.
Further information on working with scenes can be found here.
Linked Library Duplication
Reference
Menu: File –> Link Append
Linked Libraries :Linked Libraries are also a form of duplication. Any object or data-block in other .blend
files can be reused in the current file.
Hint
• If you want transform properties (i.e. object data-blocks) to be “linked”, see the page on parenting.
• Material Transparency will not display when instancing dupli-groups; this is a known limitation of
Bforartists’s view-port.
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DupliVerts
Reference
Mode: Object mode
Panel: Object –> Duplication
Duplication Vertices or DupliVerts is the duplication of a base object at the location of the vertices of a mesh. In
other words, when using DupliVerts on a mesh, an instance of the base object is placed on every vertex of the
mesh.
There are actually two approaches to modeling using DupliVerts. They can be used as an arranging tool,
allowing us to model geometrical arrangements of objects (e.g. the columns of a Greek temple, the trees in a
garden, an army of robot soldiers, the desks in a classroom). The object can be of any object type which
Bforartists supports. The second approach is to use them to model an object starting from a single part of it (e.g.
the spikes in a club, the thorns of a sea-urchin, the tiles in a wall, the petals in a flower).
Note
Download example .blend file
You can download a file with the examples described on this page. In this .blend, the first example, a monkey
parented to a circle is on layer 1; while a tentacle parented to an icosphere is on layer 2.
DupliVerts as an Arranging Tool
Setup
A monkey head and a circle
All you need is a base object (e.g. the tree or the column) and a pattern mesh with its vertices following the
pattern you have in mind. In this section, we will use a simple scene for the following part. We’ll be using a
monkey head located at the origin of the coordinate system as our base object and a circle at the same location
as our parent mesh.
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Dupliverted monkeys
First, in Object mode, select the base object and add the circle to the selection (order is very important here),
and parent the base object to the circle. Now, the circle is the parent of the monkey; if you move the circle, the
monkey will follow it.
With only the circle selected, enable Duplication vertices in the Object panel–> Duplication –> Verts. A
monkey head should be placed at every vertex of the circle.
The original monkey head at the center and the parent mesh are still shown in the 3D view but neither will be
rendered. If the placement and rotation of your monkey head is odd, you might need to clear its rotation.
Rearranging
If you now select the base object and modify it in either object or edit mode, all changes will also affect the
shape of all duplicate objects. You can also select the parent mesh to modify the arrangement of the duplicates;
adding vertices will also add more base objects. Note that the base objects will inherit changes made to the
parent mesh in object mode, but not in edit mode - so scaling the circle up in object mode will enlarge the
monkey head, while scaling the circle up in edit mode will only increase the distance between the base objects.
Orientation
Orientation enabled, orientation +Y
The orientation of the base objects can be controlled by enabling Rotation in the Duplication panel. This will
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rotate all base objects according to the vertex normals of the parent mesh.
To change the orientation of the duplicated objects, select the base object and in the Object –> Relations extras
panel change the Tracking Axes.
Output of various orientations:
Negative Y
Positive X
Positive Z, up X
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Note
The axes of an object can be made visible in the Object –> Display panel. To display the vertex normals of the
parent mesh, tab into edit mode and enable this function in Properties –> Display panel where you can also
resize the displayed normals as necessary.
DupliVerts as a Modeling Tool
Very interesting models can be made using DupliVerts and a standard primitive. In this example, a simple
tentacle was made by extruding a cube a couple of times. The tentacle object was then parented to an icosphere.
With dupli Rotation enabled for the parent mesh (the icosphere), the orientation of the base object (the tentacle)
was adapted to the vertex normals of the parent mesh
(in this case the tentacle was rotated -90- about the X axis in edit mode).
A simple tentacle set to smooth
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Tentacle dupliverted onto the parent mesh
Rotation enabled to align duplicates
As in the previous example, the shape and proportions of the arrangement can now be tweaked.
To turn all duplicates into real objects, simply select the icosphere and Object –> Apply –> Make Duplicates
Real. To make the icosphere and the tentacle a single object, make sure they are all selected and go to Object –>
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Join
DupliFaces
Reference
Mode: Object mode
Panel: Object –> Duplication
Duplication Faces or DupliFaces is the capability to replicate an object on each face of a parent object. One of
the best ways to explain this is through an example illustration.
Note
Example .blend file
Download the .blend file used for the examples on this page here
http://wiki.Bforartists.org/index.php/:File:Manual-2.5-Duplifaces-Example01.blend
Basic usage
A cube and a sphere
In this example we will use a UV sphere with an extruded “north pole” as our base object and cube as our
parent mesh. To parent the sphere to the cube, in Object mode, first select the sphere, then select the cube (order
is very important here), and finally parent it.
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Duplication Faces applied to the cube
Next, in the Object context’s Duplication panel, enable Faces. The sphere is duplicated one for each face of the
cube.
Note
Inherited properties
The location, orientation, and scale of the duplicated child(ren) matches that of the faces of the parent. So, if
several objects are parented to the cube, they will all be duplicated once for each face on the cube. If the cube
is subdivided (in Edit Mode W), every child will be duplicated for each face on the cube.
Both the parent object and original are displayed as editable “templates” in 3D view, but neither is rendered.
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Scale
Scale enabled
Top face of cube scaled down
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By enabling Scale for the parent object, the scale of the child objects will be adapted to the size of each face in
the parent object.
Thus, by rescaling the face of the parent object, the size of the duplicated object will change accordingly.
Limitations / Considerations
The positioning of the duplicated geometry relative to the face is dependent upon the position of the child
objects relative to the duplicator’s origin. This can lead to some visual artifacts in the editor as the geometry of
the original objects overlaps or intersects with the duplicates. One workaround is to move the origin of the
duplicator mesh off of the plane of the faces.
If the geometry of the children is not symmetrical then the orientation of the face (as determined by the order of
its vertices) could matter. As of 2.70 Bforartists does not have tools which allow you to adjust the ordering of
the vertices on a face.
However, there is a workflow that lets you control for this. Make a single square and enable the Duplication /
Faces so you can see the duplicated geometry in your editor window. If the orientation is not what you want,
rotate the face until it is how you want. Typically you want to do the rotation in Edit mode, not Object mode,
but this is not a hard rule.
Once you have the orientation correct, Duplicate the face and move the duplicate where you want it. Repeat this
process until you have enough faces. Since it is common for these faces to butt up against one another, your
geometry will have lots of duplicate vertices. Use the Remove Doubles button in the Tools panel.
DupliFrames
DupliFrames is a tool to duplicate objects at frames distributed along a path. This is a useful tool to quickly
arrange objects.
Examples
Settings for the curve
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Add a Bezier Circle and scale it up. In the Curve menu under Path Animation enable Follow and set Frames to
something more reasonable than 100 (say 16).
Settings for the object
Add a Monkey. In the Object menu under Duplication enable Frames and disable Speed.
Note
Speed
The Speed option is used when the parent-child relationship is set to Follow Path (see below). In this example,
the monkey will then travel along the circle over 16 frames.
Parenting
To parent the monkey to the Bezier circle, first select the monkey then the curve (so that the curve is the active
object) and Ctrl-P. Select the monkey and reset its origin.
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Orientation tweaks
You can now change the orientation of the monkey by either rotating it (either in Edit mode or Object mode) or
by changing the Tracking Axes under Animation Hacks (with the monkey selected). The arrangement of
monkeys can, of course, be further enhanced by editing the curve.
To transform all monkeys into real objects, first Make Duplicates Real. All monkeys are now real objects, but
still linked copies. To change this, Object ‣ Make Single User ‣ ObjectData` then choose All.
Note
There are many alternatives to Dupliframes. Which tool to use depends on context.
• To use a small curve as a profile and a larger curve as a path, simply use the former as a Bevel Object
to the latter.
• To arrange objects along a curve, combining an Array Modifier and a Curve Modifier is often useful.
• Dupliverts can be used to arrange objects, for example, along a circle or across a subdivided plane.
External links
• Bforartists Artists: Dupliframes in 2.5
DupliGroup
Reference
Mode: Object mode
Panel: Object –> Duplication –> Group
Duplication Group or DupliGroup allows you to create an instance of a group for each instance of another
object.
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Basic Usage
• Create a number of objects and group them by
• selecting them all,
• Group them by menu item Object / Group
• eventually rename your group in Object –> Groups
• Create a DupliGroup by
• adding another object, say an Empty,
• in Object –> Duplication enable Group, and
• select the name of your newly created group in the selection box that appears.
DupliGroup and Dynamic Linking
See Appending and Linking to understand how to dynamically link data from another .blend file into the
current file. You can dynamically link groups from one blend file to another. When you do so, the linked group
does not appear anywhere in your scene until you create an object controlling where the group instance appears.
Example
• Link a group from another file into your scene, as described in Appending and Linking.
From here, you can use the easy way or the hard way:
• The easy way:
• Select Add –> Group Instance –> [name of group you just linked].
• The hard way:
• Select Add –> Empty, and select the empty that you added.
• Switch to the Object context, and in the Duplication panel, click Group.
• In the dropdown box that appears next to Group:, pick the group that you linked.
At this point, an instance of the group will appear. You can duplicate the empty, and the DupliGroup settings
will be preserved for each empty. This way, you can get multiple copies of linked data very easily.
Making a DupliGroup Object Real
Say you want to make further edits on an DupliGroup instance:
Simply select your DupliGroup and convert the DupliGroup into regular objects that can be transformed and
animated normally.
Note
Note that if the DupliGroup was linked from an external file the Object Data (mesh, materials, textures,
transforms) will also still be linked from the original group. However, the various object’s parent-child
relationships do not carry over.
Advanced Transformations
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Randomize Transform
Reference
Mode: Object mode
Menu: Object ‣ Transform ‣ Randomize Transform
Randomize transform options
The randomize transform tool allows you to apply random translate, rotate, and scale values to an object or
multiple objects. When applied on multiple objects, each object gets its own seed value, and will get different
transform results from the rest.
Options
Random Seed
The random seed is an offset to the random transformation. A different seed will produce a new result.
Transform Delta
Randomize Delta Transform values instead of regular transform.
Randomize Location
Randomize Location vales
Location
The maximum distances the objects can move along each axis.
Randomize Rotation
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Randomize rotation values.
Rotation
The maximum angle the objects can rotate on each axis
Randomize Scale
Randomize scale values.
Scale Even
Use the same scale for each axis.
Scale
The maximum scale randomization over each axis.
Separate
Reference
Mode: Edit mode
Menu: Tool Shelf, Tools Tab, Mesh Tools
At some point, you’ll come to a time when you need to cut parts away from a mesh to be separate. Well, the
operation is easy.
To separate an object, the vertices (or faces) must be selected and then separated, though there are several
different ways to do this.
Suzanne dissected neatly
Selected
This option separates the selection to a new object.
All Loose Parts
Separates the mesh in its unconnected parts.
By Material
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Creates separate mesh objects for each material.
Join
Reference
Mode: Object mode
Menu: Tool Shelf –> Tools, Edit Panel, Join button
Joining makes one single object from all selected objects. Objects must be of the same type. Origin point is
obtained from the previously active object. Performing a join is equivalent to adding new objects while in Edit
mode. The non-active objects are deleted and their meshes added to the active object, so that only the active
object remains. This only works with editable objects containing meshes and curves.
Object Origins
Each object has an origin point. The location of this point determines where the object is located in 3D space.
When an object is selected, a small circle appears, denoting the origin point. The location of the origin point is
important when translating, rotating or scaling an object. See Pivot Points for more.
Moving Object Centers
Object Centers can be moved to different positions through 3D View window –> Transform –> Origin:
Geometry to Origin
Move model to origin and this way origin of the object will also be at the center of the object.
Origin to Geometry
Move origin to the center of the object and this way origin of the object will also be at the center of the
object.
Origin to 3D Cursor
Move origin of the model to the place of the 3D cursor.
Origin to Center of Mass
Move origin to calculated center of mass of model.
Transform Control
Transform controls can be used to modify and control the effects of the available transformations.
Precision
Reference
Mode: Object and Edit modes
Hotkey: Ctrl and/or Shift
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Description
Holding Ctrl during a transform operation (such as grab, rotate or scale) will toggle Transform Snapping.
When the Snap Element is set to Increment, this allows the transformation to be performed in fixed amounts.
Holding Shift during a transform operation will transform the object at 1/10th the speed, allowing much finer
control.
The magnitude of the transformation can be viewed in the 3D window header in the bottom left hand corner.
Releasing Ctrl or Shift during the transformation will cause the movement to revert back to its normal
mode of operation.
Note
The snapping behaviors described on this page only apply when Increment Snap is selected.
Read more about Window Headers
Usage
With hotkeys
Press the navigation hotkeys, and then hold either Ctrl, Shift or Ctrl-Shift.
With the Transform Manipulator
Hold Ctrl, Shift or Ctrl-Shift and click on the appropriate manipulator handle. Then move the mouse
in the desired direction. The reverse action will also work i.e. clicking the manipulator handle and then holding
the shortcut key for precision control.
Read more about the Transform Manipulator
Tip
Combining with other controls
All of the precision controls detailed on the page can be combined with the Axis Locking controls and used
with the different Pivot Points.
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Holding CTRL
Grab/move transformations
1 Bforartists Unit - shown at the default zoom level.
For grab/move operations at the default zoom level, holding Ctrl will cause your selection to move by
increments of 1 Bforartists Unit (1 BU) (i.e. between the two light grey lines). Zooming in enough to see the
next set of grey lines will now cause Ctrl movements to occur by 1/10 of a BU. Zooming in further until the
next set of grey lines becomes visible will cause movement to happen by 1/100 of a BU and so on until the
zoom limit is reached. Zooming out will have the opposite effect and cause movement to happen by increments
of 10, 100 etc BU.
Read more about Zooming
Rotation transformations
Holding Ctrl will cause rotations of 5 degrees.
Scale transformations
Holding Ctrl will cause size changes in increments of 0.1 BU.
Note
Snapping modes
Note that if you have a Snap Element option enabled, holding Ctrl will cause the selection to snap to the
nearest element.
Read more about Snapping
Holding SHIFT
Holding Shift during transformations allows for very fine control that does not rely on fixed increments.
Rather, large movements of the mouse across the screen only result in small transformations of the selection.
Holding CTRL and SHIFT
Grab/move transformations
For grab/move operations at the default zoom level, holding Ctrl-Shift will cause your selection to move
by increments of 1/10 Bforartists Units. Holding Ctrl-Shift at any zoom level will cause the transformation
increments to always be 1/10 of the increment if you were only holding Ctrl.
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Rotation transformations
Holding Ctrl-Shift will cause rotations of 1 degree.
Scale transformations
Holding Ctrl-Shift will cause size changes in 0.01 BU increments.
Numeric input
Numeric input in the 3D window header
Using the mouse for transformations is convenient, but if you require more precise control, you can also enter
numeric values. After pressing one of the navigation hotkeys, type a number to indicate the magnitude of the
transformation.
You can see the numbers you enter in the bottom left hand corner of the 3D window header. Negative numbers
and decimals can be entered by pressing the minus (Minus) and period (.) keys respectively.
Translation
To move Objects, vertices, faces or edges select the element, press G and then type a number. By default and
with no other key presses, movement will occur along the X-axis. To confirm the movement, press Return or
LMB. To cancel the movement, press Esc or RMB. If you mistype the value, press Backspace to cancel the
current entry and retype a new value.
To enter numeric values for multiple axes, use the Tab key after entering a value for the axis. e.g. To move an
Object, one (1) Bforartists unit on all three axes press: A navigation hotkey, let's say W for move, 1, Tab, 1,
Tab, 1. This will move the element one unit along the X-axis, followed by the Y-axis and then the Z-axis.
You can also combine numeric input with axis locking to limit movement to a particular axis. To do so, press a
navigation hotkey, let's say W for move, followed by X, Y or Z to indicate the axis. Then type in the transform
amount using (0 - 9) followed by Return to confirm. Pressing X, Y or Z will initially constrain movement to
the Global axis. Pressing X, Y or Z again will constrain movement to the orientation set in the Transform
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Orientation setting of the 3D window header.
Read more about Transform Orientations
Read more about Axis Locking
Rotation
To specify a value for clockwise rotation, press navigation hotkey for rotate, (0 - 9), then Return to confirm.
To specify counter-clockwise rotation press navigation hotkey for rotate, Minus, (kbd:0 - 9), then Return to
confirm. Note that 270 degrees of clockwise rotation is equivalent to -90 degrees of counter-clockwise rotation.
Scaling
Objects, faces and edges can be scaled by pressing the navigation hotkey for scale , (0 - 9), then Return to
confirm., Scaling transformations can also be constrained to an axis by pressing X, Y or Z after pressing the
navigation hotkey for scale. Essentially, scaling with numeric values works in almost identical
fashion to translation. The primary difference is that by default, scaling applies equally to all three axes. e.g.
pressing the navigation hotkey for scale , 0.5, Return will scale an Object by 0.5 on all three
axes.
Numeric input via the Properties shelf
Transformations can also be entered through the Transform panel on the Properties shelf.
It is also possible to enter numeric values for each transformation using the Transform panel found on the
Properties shelf. The Transform panel can also be used to prevent transformations along particular axes by
clicking the lock icon.
Transform Properties
Each object stores its position, orientation, and scale values. These may need to be manipulated numerically,
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reset, or applied.
Transform Properties Panel
Reference
Mode: Edit and Object modes
Menu: Object ‣ Transform Properties
The Transform Properties section in the View Properties panel allows you to view and manually/numerically
control the position, rotation, and other properties of an object, in Object mode. In Edit mode, it mainly allows
you to enter precise coordinates for a vertex, or median position for a group of vertices (including an
edge/face). As each type of object has a different set of options in its Transform Properties panel in Edit mode,
see their respective descriptions in the Modeling chapter.
Options in Object mode
Transform Properties panel in Object mode.
Location
The object’s center location in global coordinates.
Rotation
The object’s orientation, relative to the global axes and its own center.
Scale
The object’s scale, relative to its center, in local coordinates (i.e. the Scale X value represents the scale
along the local X-axis). Each object (cube, sphere, etc.), when created, has a scale of one Bforartists unit
in each local direction. To make the object bigger or smaller, you scale it in the desired dimension.
Dimensions
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The object’s basic dimensions (in Bforartists units) from one outside edge to another, as if measured with
a ruler. For multi-faceted surfaces, these fields give the dimensions of the bounding box (aligned with the
local axes - think of a cardboard box just big enough to hold the object).
Use this panel to either edit or display the object’s transform properties such as position, rotation and/or scaling.
These fields change the object’s center and then affects the aspect of all of its vertices and faces.
Transform Properties Locking
The locking feature of the Location, Rotation and Scale fields allows you to control a transform property solely
from the properties panel. Once a lock has been activated any other methods used for transformation are
blocked. For example, if you locked the Location X field then you can’t use the mouse to translate the object
along the global X axis. However, you can still translate it using the Location X edit field. Consider the locking
feature as a rigid constraint only changeable from the panel.
To lock a field, click the padlock icon next to the field. The field is unlocked if the icon appears as (
), and it is locked if the icon appears as (
).
Clear Object transformations
Reference
Mode: Object mode
Menu: Object ‣ Clear ‣ Clear Location/Clear Scale/Clear Rotation/Clear Origin
Description
Clearing transforms simply resets the transform values. The objects location and rotation values return to 0, and
the scale returns to 1.
Clear Options
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Clear Transformation menu
Clear Location
Clear (reset) the location of the selection. This will move the selection back to the coordinates 0,0,0.
Clear Scale
Clear (reset) the scale of the selection. This will resize the selection back to the size it was when created.
Clear Rotation
Clear (reset) the rotation of the selection. This will set the rotation of the selection to 0 degrees in each
plane.
Clear Origin
Clear (reset) the origin of the Child objects. This will cause Child objects to move to the coordinates of
the parent.
Apply Object transformations
Reference
Mode: Object mode
Menu: Object ‣ Apply ‣
Applying transform values essentially resets the values of object’s position, rotation, or scale, but does not
actually do anything to the object. The center point is moved to the origin and the transform values are set to
zero. In terms of scale, the scale values return to 1.
To apply a transform select the Apply sub-menu from the Object menu and select the appropriate transform to
apply
Make Duplicates Real unlinks linked duplicates so each duplicate now has its own data-block.
Apply Options
Apply Transformation menu
Apply Location
Apply (set) the location of the selection. This will make Bforartists consider the current location to be
equivalent to 0 in each plane i.e. the selection will not move, the current location will be considered to be
the “default location”. The Object Center will be set to actual 0,0,0 (where the colored axis lines intersect
in each view).
Apply Rotation
Apply (set) the rotation of the selection. This will make Bforartists consider the current rotation to be
equivalent to 0 degrees in each plane i.e. the selection will not rotated, the current rotation will be
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considered to be the “default rotation”.
Apply Scale
Apply (set) the scale of the selection. This will make Bforartists consider the current scale to be
equivalent to 0 in each plane i.e. the selection will not scaled, the current scale will be considered to be
the “default scale”.
Apply Rotation and Scale
Apply (set) the rotation and scale of the selection. Do the above two applications simultaneously.
Apply Visual Transform
Apply (set) the result of a constraint and apply this back to the Object’s location, rotation and scale. See
the following post for more detailed discussion: Apply visual transform.
Make Duplicate Real
Make any duplicates attached to this Object real so that they can be edited.
Proportional Edit
Proportional Edit is a way of transforming selected elements (such as vertices) while having that transformation
affect other nearby elements. For example, having the movement of a single vertex cause the movement of
unselected vertices within a given range. Unselected vertices that are closer to the selected vertex will move
more than those farther from it (i.e. they will move proportionally relative to the location of the selected
element). Since proportional editing affects the nearby geometry, it is very useful when you need to smoothly
deform the surface of a dense mesh.
Note
Sculpting
Bforartists also has Sculpting that contains brushes and tools for proportionally editing a mesh without seeing
the individual vertices.
Object mode
Reference
Mode: Object mode
Menu: Via the icon in the header indicated by the yellow square in the below image.
Proportional editing is typically used in Edit mode, however, it can also be used in Object mode. In Object
mode the tool works on entire objects rather than individual mesh components. In the image below, the green
cube is the active Object, while the red and blue cubes are located within the proportional edit tool’s radius of
influence. When the green cube is moved to the right, the other two cubes follow the movement.
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Proportional editing in Object mode.
Edit mode
Reference
Mode: Edit mode
Menu: Mesh ‣ Proportional Editing and via the highlighted icon in the below image
When working with dense geometry, it can become difficult to make subtle adjustments to the vertices without
causing visible lumps and creases in the model’s surface. When you face situations like this the proportional
editing tool can be used to smoothly deform the surface of the model. This is done by the tool’s automatic
modification of unselected vertices within a given range.
Proportional editing in Edit mode.
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Influence
You can increase or decrease the radius of the proportional editing influence with the mouse wheel WheelUp /
WheelDown or PageUp / PageDown respectively. As you change the radius, the points surrounding your
selection will adjust their positions accordingly.
Influence circle.
Options
Proportional Editing tool.
Falloff menu.
The Proportional Editing mode menu is on the 3D View header.
Disable
Proportional Editing is Off, only selected vertices will be affected.
Enable
Vertices other than the selected vertex are affected, within a defined radius.
Projected (2D)
Depth along the view is ignored when applying the radius.
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The difference between regular and Projected (2D) proportional option (right).
Connected
Rather than using a radius only, the proportional falloff spreads via connected geometry. This means that
you can proportionally edit the vertices in a finger of a hand without affecting the other fingers. While the
other vertices are physically close (in 3D space), they are far away following the topological edge
connections of the mesh. The icon will have a grey center when Connected is active. This mode is only
available in Edit mode.
Falloff
While you are editing, you can change the curve profile used by either using the Mesh ‣ Proportional
Falloff submenu, using the toolbar icon (Falloff menu), or by pressing Shift-O to toggle between the
various options.
Constant, No Falloff.
Random Falloff.
Linear Falloff.
Sharp Falloff.
Root Falloff.
Sphere Falloff.
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Smooth Falloff.
Examples
Switch to a front view (Numpad1) and activate the grab tool with G. As you drag the point upwards, notice
how nearby vertices are dragged along with it. When you are satisfied with the placement, click LMB to fix the
position. If you are not satisfied, cancel the operation and revert your mesh to the way it looked before with
RMB (or Esc).
You can use the proportional editing tool to produce great effects with the scaling (S) and rotation (R) tools, as
A landscape obtained via proportional editing shows.
A landscape obtained via proportional editing.
Combine these techniques with vertex painting to create fantastic landscapes. The final rendered landscape
image below shows the results of proportional editing after the application of textures and lighting.
Final rendered landscape.
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Manipulators
Reference
Mode: Object and Edit modes
In combination with axis locking, the normal Transform commands, can be used to manipulate objects along
any axis. However, there may be times when these options are not adequate. For example, when you want to
translate a single face on a randomly rotated object in a direction perpendicular to the face’s normal. In
instances like this, Transform Manipulators may be useful.
Manipulator options in the Window Header.
Transform manipulators provide a visual representation of the transform options and allow movement, rotation
and scaling along any axis, mode and orientation of the 3D view. The manipulator can be enabled by clicking
on the axis icon from the manipulator options portion of the window header or via the shortcut key CtrlSpacebar.
There is a separate manipulator for each Transform Command. Each manipulator can be used separately or in
combination with the others. Clicking with Shift-LMB on multiple manipulator icons (arrow, arc, box) will
combine manipulator options.
Manipulators can be accessed in the header of the 3D View window:
•
•
•
•
•
Axis: Enable/disable the manipulators.
Arrow: Translation.
Arc: Rotation.
Box: Scale.
Transform Orientation menu: choice of the transformation orientation.
Manipulator Options
Manipulator controls
• Holding down Ctrl constrains the action to set increments. Holding down Shift after you LMB the
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manipulator handle will constrain the action to smaller increments.
• Holding down Shift before you LMB click on one of the handles will cause the manipulator action to
be performed relative to the other two axes (you can let go of Shift once you have clicked). For
example, if you Shift then LMB the Z axis handle of the translate manipulator, movement will occur in
the X and Y planes.
• When in rotate mode, LMB on the white circle (largest circle around the rotation manipulator) will be
equivalent to pressing R.
• When in rotate mode, LMB on the grey circle (small inner circle at the center of the rotation manipulator)
will be equivalent to pressing R twice. This will start trackball rotation.
Read more about constraining transformations Read more about axis locking Read more about trackball
rotation
Manipulator Preferences
Manipulator preferences.
The settings of the manipulator (e.g. its size) can be found in the Interface section of the User Preferences
window.
Size
Diameter of the manipulator.
Handle Size
Size of manipulator handles, as a percentage of the manipulator radius (size / 2).
Hotspot
Hotspot size (in pixels) for clicking the manipulator handles.
Choosing the Transform Orientation
Reference
Mode: Object and Edit modes
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Transform Orientation options.
You can also change the orientation of the Transform Manipulator to global, local, gimbal, normal or view
from the Transform options menu. The image below shows a cube with the rotation manipulator active in
multiple transform orientations. Notice how the manipulator changes depending on the orientation selected
(compare A with F).
Similarly, notice how when normal orientation (F and G) is selected the manipulator changes between Object
mode and Edit mode. The normal orientation manipulator will also change depending on what is selected in
Edit mode i.e. the orientation is based on the normal of the selection which will change depending on how
many and which faces, edges or vertices are selected.
Transform manipulator orientation options.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Standard cube in default top view with global orientation selected
Standard cube with view rotated and global orientation selected
Randomly rotated cube with view rotated and global orientation selected
Randomly rotated cube with local orientation selected
Randomly rotated cube with gimbal orientation selected
Randomly rotated cube with normal orientation selected
Randomly rotated cube, vertices selected with normal orientation selected
Randomly rotated cube with view orientation selected
Transform Orientations
Reference
Mode: Object and Edit modes
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Transform orientations selection menu.
Orientations affect the behavior of Transformations: Location, Rotation, and Scale. You will see an effect on the
3D Manipulator (the widget in the center of the selection), as well as on transformation constraints (like axis
locking). This means that, when you press the navigation hotkey for move and X, it will constrain to the global
x-axis, but if you press the navigation hotkey for move-X-X it will constrain to your Transform Orientation s
x-axis.
Alt+Space Menu.
The Orientations options can be set on the 3D View’s header (or “footer”, since it is at the bottom of the view
by default), or with Alt-Spacebar or through the Orientation menu in a 3D view header.
In addition to the four built-in options, you can define your own custom orientation (see Custom Orientations
below).
Our Demo Cube
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To demonstrate the various behaviors, we add some colors to the default cube, rotate it -15º along its local z- and x-axes,
and we scale its “y” face down.
Please note two things:
• The “Mini-axis” in the lower-left corner, which represents the Global x/y/z orientation.
• The “Object Manipulator” widget emanating from the selection, which represents the current
Transform Orientation.
• If you click on one of the axes of the Manipulator with LMB, it will allow you to constrain
movement to only this direction. An example of a keyboard equivalent is the navigation hotkey
for move, Z, Z.
• If you Shift-LMB click, it will lock the axis you clicked on and allow you to move in the plane
of the two remaining axes. The keyboard analogue is the navigation hotkey for move, ShiftZ, Shift-Z.
Orientations
Global
Global.
The manipulator matches the global axis.
When using the Global orientation, the orientation’s XYZ matches world’s XYZ axis. When this mode is
selected, the local coordinates of the object are subjected to the Global coordinates. This is good to place
objects in the scene. To constrain an axis, press G and the desired axis. To constrain to a local axis, press
the desired axis two times. The difference between Global and Local, is more noticeable when you have
an object in which the origin is not located at the exact center of the object, and doesn’t match the Global
coordinates.
Local
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Local.
The manipulator matches the object axis.
Notice that, here, the Manipulator is at a slight tilt (it is most visible on the object’s y-axis, the green
arrow). This is due to our 15º rotation of the object. This demonstrates the difference between local
coordinates and global coordinates. If we had rotated the object 90º along its x-axis, we would see that the
object’s “Up” is the world’s “Forward” – or the object’s z-axis would now be the world’s y-axis. This
orientation has an effect on many parts of the interface, so it is important to understand the distinction.
Normal
Normal.
The z-axis of the manipulator will match the normal vector of the selection.
In Object Mode, this is equivalent to Local Orientation, in Edit Mode, it becomes more interesting.
As you see, the light blue lines indicate the faces’ normals, and the darker blue lines indicate the vertex
normals (these were turned on in the N Properties Panel under Mesh Display ‣ Normals ‣ Face and
Vertex). Selecting any given face will cause our Manipulator’s z-axis to align with that normal. The same
goes for Vertex Select Mode. Edge Select is different–A selected Edge has the z-axis aligned with it (so
you will have to look at the Manipulator widget to determine the direction of x and y). If you select
several elements, it will orient towards the average of those normals.
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A great example of how this is useful is in Vertex Select Mode: Pick a vertex and then do the navigation
hotkey for move, Z, Z to tug it away from the mesh and shove it into the mesh. To make this even
more useful, select a nearby vertex and press Shift- the navigation hotkey for rotate
to repeat the same movement—except along that second vertex’s normal instead.
Gimbal
Gimbal.
Gimbal’s behavior highly depends on the current Rotation Mode (accessible in the N Properties Panel in
the 3D View, in top section, Transform).
XYZ Euler
The manipulator handles are aligned to the euler axis, allowing you to see the discreet XYZ axis
underlying the euler rotation, as well as possible gimbal lock.
Axis Angle
The x, y, and z coordinates define a point relative to the object origin through which an imaginary
“skewer” passes. The w value is the rotation of this skewer. Here, the Manipulator’s z-axis stays
aligned with this skewer.
Quaternion
Though Quaternion rotation is very different from the Euler and Axis Angle rotation modes, the
Manipulator behaves the same as in Local mode.
View
View.
The manipulator will match the 3D view:
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Y:
Up/Down
X:
Left/Right,
Z:
Towards/Away from you.
This way you can constrain movement to one View axis with the navigation hotkey for move-X-X.
Custom Orientations
Reference
Mode: Object and Edit modes
custom orientation
You can define custom transform orientations, using object or mesh elements. Custom transform orientations
defined from objects use the local orientation of the object whereas those defined from selected mesh elements
(vertices, edges, faces) use the normal orientation of the selection.
The Transform Orientations panel, found in the Properties Panel, can be used to manage transform orientations:
selecting the active orientation, adding and deleting custom orientations.
Renaming a Custom Orientation
The default name for these orientations comes from whatever you have selected. If an edge, it will be titled,
“Edge,” if an object, it will take that object’s name, etc. The Toolshelf (T in the 3D View) allows you to rename
the custom orientation after you press Ctrl-Alt-Spacebar.
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Figure 1.
The technique of creating custom orientations can become important in creating precise meshes. In Figure 1, to
achieve this effect:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Select the object’s sloping top edge
Create a Custom Orientation with Ctrl-Alt-Spacebar and rename it “Top Edge”.
Select the objects’s bottom, right edge.
Extrude
Cancel the extrusion’s default movement by pressing RMB or Esc.
Hit G to reinitiate movement.
Hit the navigation hotkey for scale-Z to constrain to the “Top Edge” orientation.
Axis Locking
Description
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Axis locking
Transformations (translation/scale/rotation) in Object and Edit mode, as well as extrusion in Edit mode) can be
locked to particular axis relative to the current transform orientation. By locking a transformation to a
particular axis you are restricting transformations to a single dimension.
Usage
A locked axis will display in a brighter color than an unlocked axis. For example in the image to the right, the Z
axis is drawn in light blue as movement is constrained to this axis. This example can be achieved in two ways:
• Press the navigation hotkey for move to enable translation, press Z to constrain movement to the Z-axis.
• Press the navigation hotkey for move to enable translation, move the mouse in the Z
direction, then press MMB.
Axis locking types
Axis locking
Reference
Mode: Object and Edit modes (translate, rotate, scale, extrude)
Axis locking limits the transformation to a single axis (or forbids transformations along two axes). An object,
face, vertex or other selectable item will only be able to move, scale or rotate in a single dimension.
Plane locking
Reference
Mode: Object and Edit modes (translate, scale)
Hotkey: Shift-X, Shift-Y, Shift-Z or Shift-MMB
after moving the mouse in the desired direction.
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Plane locking
Plane locking locks the transformation to two axes (or forbids transformations along one axis), thus creating a
plane in which the element can be moved or scaled freely. Plane locking only affects translation and scaling.
Note that for rotation, both axis and plane locking have the same effect because a rotation is always constrained
around one axis. Trackball type rotations cannot be locked at all.
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Axis locking modes
Axis locking modes
A single key press constrains movement to the corresponding Global axis. A second key press of the same key
constrains movement to the current transform orientation selection (except if it is set to Global, in which case
the Local orientation is used). Finally, a third key press of the same key removes constraints.
For example, if the current transform orientation is set to Normal, pressing the navigation hotkey for move to
start translation, followed by Z will lock translation in the Z direction relative to the Global orientation,
pressing Z again will lock translation to the Z axis relative to the Normal orientation. Pressing Z again will
remove all constraints. The current mode will be displayed in the left hand side of the 3D window header.
As can be seen in the Axis locking modes image, the direction of the transform also takes into account the
selection. Sections A and B show Z axis locking in Global and Normal orientations respectively. C and D show
the same situation with face selection, E and F with edge selection and G and H with vertex selection.
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Note that using a locked axis does not prevent you from using the keyboard to enter numeric transformation
values.
Snapping
There are two types of snap operations that you can use in Bforartists. The first type snaps your selection or
cursor to a given point while the second type is used during transformations (translate, rotate, scale) and snaps
your selection to elements within the scene.
Snap
Reference
Mode: Object and Edit modes
The Snap menu (also available from the 3D header in both Object and Edit mode (Object ‣ Snap and Mesh ‣
Snap). This menu provides a number of options to move the cursor or your selection to a defined point (the
cursor, selection or the grid).
Selection to Grid
Snaps the currently selected object(s) to the nearest grid point.
Selection to Cursor
Snaps the currently selected object(s) to the cursor location.
Cursor to Selected
Moves the cursor to the center of the selected object(s).
Cursor to Center
Moves the cursor to the center of the grid.
Cursor to Grid
Moves the cursor to the nearest grid point.
Cursor to Active
Moves the cursor to the center of the active object.
Transform Snapping
The ability to snap Objects and Mesh element to various types of scene elements during a transformation is
available by toggling the magnet icon (which will turn red) in the 3D view’s header buttons.
Magnet icon in the 3D view header (red when enabled).
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Snap Element
Snap Element menu
Volume
Snaps to regions within the volume of the first Object found below the mouse cursor. Unlike the other
options, this one controls the depth (i.e. Z-coordinates in current view space) of the transformed element.
By toggling the button that appears to the right of the snap target menu (see below), target objects will be
considered as a whole when determining the volume center.
Face
Snap to the surfaces of faces in mesh objects. Useful for retopologizing.
Edge
Snap to edges of mesh objects.
Vertex
Snap to vertices of mesh objects.
Increment
Snap to grid points. When in Orthographic view, the snapping increment changes depending on zoom
level.
Note
In this context the grid does not mean the visual grid cue displayed. Snapping will use the resolution of
the displayed grid, but all transformations are relative to the initial position (before the snap operation).
Snap Target
Snap target options become active when either Vertex, Edge, Face, or Volume is selected as the snap element.
These determine what part of the selection snaps to the target objects.
Active
Moves the active element (vertex in Edit mode, object in Object mode) to the target.
Median
Moves the median of the selection to the target.
Center
Moves the current transformation center to the target. Can be used with 3D cursor to snap with an offset.
Closest
Moves the closest point of the selection to the target.
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Closest
Median
Active
Additional snap options
Object mode
Edit mode
As seen by the red highlighted areas in the image above, additional controls are available to alter snap
behaviour. These options vary between mode (Object and Edit) as well as Snap Element. The four options
available are:
•
Align rotation with the snapping target.
•
Project individual elements on the surface of other objects.
•
Snaps elements to its own mesh.
•
Consider Objects as whole when finding volume center.
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Multiple Snap Targets
Multiple snapping targets.
Once transforming a selection with Snapping on (not just with the Ctrl key held), you can press A to mark the
current snapping point, then proceed to mark as many other snapping points as you wish and the selection will
be snapped to the average location of all the marked points.
Marking a point more than once will give it more weight in the averaged location.
Pivot Point
Reference
Mode: Object mode and Edit mode
Menu: Droplist in the header of the 3D view
The pivot point is the point in space around which all rotations, scalings and mirror
transformations are centered. You can choose one of five Pivot Points from a dropdown list in the header of any 3D area, as seen here in (Pivot Point modes). The pages
below describe each Pivot Point mode in more detail.
Note that even if the above examples use meshes, the same rules apply for other types
(curves, surfaces...) as well.
Active Element as Pivot
Reference
Mode: Object mode and Edit mode
Menu: Select from the following icon in the 3D window header
The active element can be an Object, vertex, edge or a face. The active element is the last one to be selected and
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will be shown in a lighter orange color when in Object mode and white when in Edit mode. With Active element
as Pivot set to active, all transformations will occur relative to the active element.
Read more about selecting different Pivot Points
Display of active elements in Object mode is shown on the left of the image where the active element (cube) is a lighter
orange. Active elements for vertices, edges and faces in Edit mode are displayed in white and are shown on the right.
In Object mode
When in Object mode, rotation and scaling happen around the active Object’s center. This is shown by the
figure to the below where the active Object (the cube) remains in the same location (note its position relative to
the 3D cursor) while the other Objects rotate and scale in relation to the active element.
Rotation and scaling with the cube as the active element.
In Edit mode
Using the active element as a pivot point in Edit mode may seem complex but all the possible transformations
follow a few rules:
• The pivot point is always at the median of the active element(s).
• The transformations occur by transformation of the vertices of the selected element(s). If an unselected
element shares one or more vertices with a selected element then the unselected one will get some
degree of transformation also.
Let’s examine the following examples: in each case we will see that the two rules apply.
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Single selection
When one single element is selected it becomes automatically active. In the image below, you can see that when
it is transformed its vertices move, with the consequence that any adjacent element which shares one or more
vertices with the active element is also transformed.
Edit mode and only one element selected.
Let’s review each case:
• Faces have their pivot point where their selection dot appears, which is where the median of their
vertices is.
• Edges have their pivot point on their middle since this is always where the median of an edge is.
• A single Vertex has no dimensions at all so it can’t show any transformation (except translation, which is
not affected by the pivot point).
Multiple selection
When multiple elements are selected they all transform. The pivot points stay in the same place as what we’ve
seen above, with only one exception for Fgons. In the image below, the selected elements have been rotated.
Edit mode and multiple selections.
•
•
•
•
For Faces the transformation occurs around the selection dot of the active face.
Edges also keep the same behavior with their pivot point at their median.
Fgons behave exactly like faces.
There is a case for Vertices this time: the active Vertex is where the pivot point resides. All other vertices
are transformed relative to it.
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Median Point as Pivot
Reference
Mode: Object mode and Edit mode
Menu: Select from the following icon in the 3D window header
The Median Point can be considered to be broadly similar to the concept of Center of Gravity (COG). If we
assume that every element (Object, face, vertex etc) of the selection has the same mass, the median point would
sit at the point of equilibrium for the selection (the COG).
In Object Mode
In Object Mode, Bforartists only considers the Object centers when determining the median point. This can lead
to some counterintuitive results. In the Object Mode median points image below, you can see that the median
point is between the Object centers and can be nowhere near the Objects’ mesh.
Median points in Object Mode. The Median point is indicated by the yellow dot.
In Edit Mode
In Edit Mode, the median point is determined via the part of the selection that has the most elements. For
example, in the Median points in Edit Mode image, when there are two cubes with an equal number of vertices,
the median point lies directly between the two cubes. However, if we subdivide one cube multiple times so that
it has many more vertices, you can see that the median point has shifted to the region with the most vertices.
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Median points in Edit Mode. The Median point is indicated by the yellow dot.
Individual Origins as Pivot
Reference
Mode: Object mode and Edit mode
Menu: Select from the following icon in the 3D window header
In Object mode
Rotation around individual origins.
The Origin of an Object is shown in the 3D view by a small orange circle. This is highlighted in the image to
the right by the red arrow. The origin tells Bforartists where that Object is in 3D space. What you see in the 3D
view (vertices, edges etc) is what makes up the Object.
While the Origin is equivalent to the center of the Object, it does not have to be located in the center of the
Mesh. This means that an Object can have its center located on one end of the mesh or even completely outside
the mesh. For example, the orange rectangle in the image has its Origin located on the far left of the mesh.
Now let’s examine Rotation around the individual origins.
• The blue rectangle has its Origin located in the center of the mesh, while the orange rectangle has its
Origin located on the left hand side.
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• When the Pivot Point is set to Individual Origins, the center of each Object (indicated by the red arrow)
remains in place while the Object rotates around it in the path shown by the black arrow.
In Edit mode
In Edit mode, setting the Pivot Point to Individual Origins produces different results when the selection mode is
set to Vertex, Edge or Face. For example, Vertex mode produces results similar to setting the pivot point to
median and Edge mode often produces distorted results. Using Individual Origins in Face mode produces the
most predictable results.
Rotation of individual faces with the pivot point indicated Rotation of grouped faces with the pivot point indicated
by the image text.
by the image text.
As can be seen in the images above, faces that touch each other will deform when rotated when the pivot point
is set to Individual Origins. Faces that do not touch will rotate around their Individual Origins (their center).
Scaling with non-touching faces.
Scaling with touching faces.
Groups of faces and Fgons can be scaled without their outside perimeter being deformed. However, the
individual faces inside will not be scaled uniformly.
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Modeling with faces and individual origins as the pivot point.
Once you are aware of its limitations and pitfalls, this tool can save a lot of time and lead to unique shapes. This
“anemone” was modeled from a 12 sided cylinder in about 10 minutes by repeatedly using this workflow:
extrusions of individual faces, scaling with median as a pivot point, and scaling and rotations of those faces
with Individual Origins as pivot points.
3D Cursor as Pivot
Reference
Mode: Object mode and Edit mode
The 3D cursor is the most intuitive of the pivot points. With the 3D cursor selected as the active pivot point
(from either the Window Header or via the . hotkey), simply position the 3D cursor and then do the required
transformation. All rotation and scaling transformations will now be done relative to the location of the 3D
cursor. The image below shows the difference when rotating an Object from its starting position (first panel) 90
degrees around the median point (second panel) and 90 degrees around the 3D cursor (third panel).
Read more about selecting different Pivot Points
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Rotation around the 3D cursor compared to the median point.
Bounding Box Center as Pivot
Reference
Mode: Object mode and Edit mode
Menu: Select from the following icon in the 3D window header
The bounding box is a rectangular box that is wrapped as tightly as possible around the selection. It is oriented
parallel to the world axes. In this mode the pivot point lies at the center of the bounding box. You can set the
pivot point to bounding box with the , hotkey or via the menu in the Window Header. The image below shows
how the Object’s Bounding Box size is determined by the size of the Object.
Read more about selecting different Pivot Points
Relationship between an Object and its Bounding Box.
In Object mode
In Object mode, the bounding box is wrapped around the Object and transformation takes place relative to the
location of the Object center (indicated by the yellow circle). The image below shows the results of using the
Bounding Box as the pivot point in a number of situations.
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For example, images A (before rotation) and B show rotation when the Object center is in its default position,
while images C (before rotation) and D shows the result when the Object center has been moved. Image E
shows that when multiple Objects are selected, the pivot point is calculated based on the Bounding Box of all
the selected Objects.
The grid of four images on the left (ABCD) shows the results of Object rotation when the pivot point is set to Bounding Box.
The image to the right (E) shows the location of the Bounding Box pivot point when multiple Objects are selected. The pivot
point is shown by a yellow circle.
In Edit mode
This time it is the ObData that is enclosed in the bounding box. The bounding box in Edit mode takes no
account of the Object(s) centers, only the center of the selected vertices.
The effects of rotation in different mesh selection modes when the bounding box is set as the pivot point. The pivot point is
shown by a yellow circle.
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Relationships
Relationships describes everything around interaction of objects. Grouping etc.
Grouping objects
Grouped objects
There can be many objects in a scene: A typical stage scene consists of furniture, props, lights, and backdrops.
Bforartists helps you keep everything organized by allowing you to group like objects together.
Group objects together without any kind of transformation relationship. Use groups to just logically organize
your scene, or to facilitate one-step appending or linking between files or across scenes. Objects that are part of
a group always shows as light green when selected; see image (Grouped objects).
Options
Creating a Group
Look in the Object menu / Group submenu
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Naming a Group
Naming a Group
All groups that an object has been assigned to are listed in the Object Properties Panel ‘s Relations panel.
To rename a group, simply click in the groups name field. To name groups in the Outliner window, select
Groups as the outliner display from the header combo box, and Ctrl-LMB click on the group name. The
name will change to an editable field; make your changes and press Return.
Restricting Group Contents via Layers
The cluster of layer buttons attached to each group determines from which layers the group objects will
be included when duplicated. If your group contains objects on layers 10, 11 and 12, but you disable the
layer 12 button in the group controls, duplicates of that group (using the Dupligroup feature) will only
show the portions of the group that reside in layers 10 and 11.
Appending or Linking Groups
To append a group from another .blend file, consult this page. In summary, File ‣ Link / Append Link
Select a .blend file and, and then the group.
Removing Groups
To remove a object from a group, under the object context button, open the “Groups” pane. Find the name
of the group from which you wish to remove the object, and click the x to the right of the group name.
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Select Grouped
Reference
Mode: Object mode
Menu: Select –> Grouped
Select objects by parenting and grouping characteristics. See Select Grouped for more information.
Parenting Objects
When modeling a complex object, such as a watch, you may choose to model the different parts as separate
objects. However, all of the parts may be attached to each other. In these cases, you want to designate one
object as the parent of all the children. Movement, rotation or scaling of the parent also affects the children.
To parent objects, select at least two objects (select the Child Objects first, and select the Parent Object last),
and press Ctrl-P. The Set Parent To dialog will pop up allowing you to select from one of several possible
different parenting types. Selecting one of the entries in Set Parent To confirms, and the child/children to parent
relationship is created.
The last object selected will be the Active Object (outlined in light orange), and will also be the Parent Object.
If you selected multiple objects before selecting the parent, they will all be children of the parent and will be at
the same level of the hierarchy (they are “siblings”).
The Set Parent To pop-up dialog is context sensitive, which means the number of entries it displays can change
depending on what objects are selected when the Ctrl-P shortcut is used.
For non-inverse-mode, press Shift-Ctrl-P instead. This creates an alternative parent-child-relationship
where child-objects exist entirely in the parent’s coordinate system. This is the better choice for CAD purposes,
for example.
Moving, rotating or scaling the parent will also usually move/rotate/scale the child/children. However
moving/rotating/scaling the child/children of the parent will not result in the parent moving/rotating/scaling. In
other words, the direction of influence is from parent to child and not child to parent.
In general when using the Ctrl-P or [3D View Editor Header > Object Menu > Parent Menu] entires to parent
objects, the Child Objects can only have one Parent Object. If a Child Object already has a Parent Object and
you give it another parent then Bforartists will automatically remove the previous parent relationship.
Bforartists supports many different types of parenting, listed below:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Object
Armature Deform
Bone
Curve Deform
Path Constraint
Lattice Deform
Vertex
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• Vertex (Triangle)
Object Parent
Object Parent is the most general form of parenting that Bforartists supports. If will take selected objects and
make the last selected object the Parent Object, while all other selected objects will be Child Objects.
Object (Keep Transform) Parent
Object (Keep Transform) Parent works in a very similar way to Object Parent the major difference is in
whether the Child Objects will remember any previous transformations applied to them from the previous
Parent Object.
Since explaining this in an easy to understand technical way is hard, lets instead use an example to demonstrate.
Assume that we have a scene consisting of 3 objects, those being 2 Empty Objects named “EmptyA” and
“EmptyB”, and a Monkey object. See figure 1.
Figure 1 - Scene with 2 Empties and a Monkey, no parenting currently active.
Figure 1 shows the 3 objects with no parenting relationships active on them.
If you select the Monkey object by RMB click and then Shift-RMB click “EmptyA” object and press Ctrl-P
and then select Object from the Set Parent To pop-up dialog box. This will result in “EmptyA” object being the
Parent Object of the Monkey object. With only “EmptyA” selected rotating/scaling/moving it will result in the
Monkey object being altered respectively.
Scale the “EmptyA” object, so that the Monkey becomes smaller and moves to the left a little. See figure 2.
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Figure 2 - Scene with Monkey object being the Child Object of “EmptyA”. “EmptyA” has been scaled resulting in the Monkey
also being scaled and moved to the left.
If you select only the Monkey object by RMB click and then Shift-RMB click “EmptyB” object and press
Ctrl-P and select Object from the Set Parent To pop-up dialog box. This will result in “EmptyB” object being
the Parent Object of the Monkey object. Notice that when you change the parent of the Monkey the scale of the
Monkey changed. See figure 3.
Figure 3 - Scene with Monkey object having its a parent changed from “EmptyA” to “EmptyB” and the resulting change in
scale.
This happens because the Monkey object never had its scale altered directly, the change came about because it
was the child of “EmptyA” which had its scale altered. Changing the Monkey’s parent to “EmptyB” resulted in
those indirect changes in scale being removed, because “EmptyB” has not had its scale altered.
This is often the required behaviour, but it is also sometimes useful that if you change your Parent Object that
the Child Object keep any previous transformations it got from the old Parent Object; If instead when changing
the Parent Object of the Monkey from “EmptyA” to “EmptyB” we had chosen parenting type Object (Keep
Transform), the Monkey would keep its scale information it obtained from the old parent “EmptyA” when it is
assigned to the new parent “EmptyB”; See Figure 4.
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Figure 4 - Scene with Monkey object having its a parent changed from “EmptyA” to “EmptyB” using ‘Object (Keep
Transform)’ parent method.
If you want to follow along with the above description here is the blend file used to describe Object (Keep
Transform) parenting method:
File:Parent_-_Object_(Keep_Transform)_(Demo_File).blend
Armature Deform Parent
An Armature in Bforartists can be thought of as similar to the armature of a real skeleton, and just like a real
skeleton an Armature can consist of many bones. These bones can be moved around and anything that they are
attached to or associated with will move and deform in a similar way.
In Bforartists Armature Object Types are usually used to associate certain bones of an Armature to certain parts
of a Mesh Object Types Mesh Geometry. You are then able to move the Armature Bones and the Mesh Object
will deform. See figure 5.
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Figure 5 - Armature Object Bone associated with another Mesh Object, as the bone move the Mesh deforms similarly.
Armature Deform Parenting is one of the most flexible ways of associating Bones in an Armature to another
Object, it gives a lot of freedom but that comes at the price of a little complexity, as there are multiple steps
involved in setting up Armature Deform Parenting such that deformations are actually carried out.
Bforartists has several different ways of Parenting an Armature to an object, most of them can automate several
of the steps involved, but all of them ultimately do all the steps we describe for Armature Deform Parenting.
Using the Armature Deform Parenting operator is the first step in setting up the relationship between an
Armature Object and it’s Child Objects.
To use Armature Deform Parenting you must first select all the Child Objects that will be influenced by the
Armature and then lastly select the Armature Object itself. Once all the Child Objects and the Armature Object
are selected press Ctrl-P and select Armature Deform in the Set Parent To pop-up dialog. See figure 6.
Figure 6 - Set Parent To dialog with Armature Deform Parenting option highlighted.
Once this is done the Armature Object will be the Parent Object of all the other Child Objects, also we have
informed Bforartists that the Bones of the Armature Object can be associated with specific parts of the Child
Objects so that they can be directly manipulated by the Bones.
At this point however all Bforartists knows is that the Bones of the Armature could be used to alter the Child
Objects, we haven’t yet told Bforartists which Bones can alter which Child Objects or by how much.
To do that we must individually select each Child Object individually and toggle into Edit Mode on that Child
Object. Once in Edit Mode we can then select the vertices we want to be influenced by the Bones in the
Armature. Then with the vertices still selected navigate to [Properties Editor > Object Data Context > Vertex
Groups Panel] and create a new Vertex Group with the same name as the Bone that you want the selected
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vertices to be influenced by.
Once the Vertex Group has been created we then assign the selected vertices to the Vertex Group by clicking the
Assign Button. By default when selected vertices are assigned to a Vertex Group they will have an Influence
Weight of 1.0 This means that they are fully influenced when a Bone they are associated with is moved, if the
Influence Weight had been 0.5 then when the bone moves the vertices would only move half as much. See
figure 7.
Figure 7 - Properties Editor > Object Data Context > Vertex Groups Panel with Assign Button and influence Weight Slider
highlighted.
Once all these steps have been carried out, the Bones of the Armature Object should be associated with the
Vertex Groups with the same names as the Bones. You can then select the Armature Object and switch to Pose
Mode in the [3D View Editor Header > Mode Select Button]. See figure 8.
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Figure 8 - 3D View Editor Header > Mode Select Button] set to Pose Mode, with Armature Bone highlighted in Cyan and
effecting the Mesh Object
Once in Pose Mode transforming one of the Bones of the Armature that has been associated with vertices of an
object will result in those vertices also being transformed.
Armature Deform Parent With Empty Groups
The Armature Deform With Empty Groups parenting method works in almost the same way as Armature
Deform parenting with one difference. That difference is that when you parent a Child Object to an Armature
Object the names of the bones in the armature are copied to the Child Objects in the form of newly created
Vertex Groups, one for each different deforming armature bone name. The newly created Vertex Groups will be
empty this means they will not have any vertices assigned to those Vertex Groups. You still must manually
select the vertices and assign them to a particular Vertex Group of your choosing to have bones in the armature
influence them.
For example if you have an Armature Object which consists of 3 bones named BoneA, BoneB and BoneC and
Cube Mesh Object type called Cube. If you parent the Cube Child Object to the Armature Parent Object the
Cube will get 3 new Vertex Groups created on it called BoneA, BoneB and BoneC. Notice that each Vertex
Group is empty. See figure 21.
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Figure 21 - Cube in Edit Mode showing the 3 created Vertex Groups after it was parented using Armature Deform With
Empty Groups to an Armature with 3 Bones named BoneA, BoneB and BoneC with the Vertex Group Panel shown. All the
Vertex Groups are empty.
Bones in an Armature can be generally classified into 2 different types:
• Deforming Bones
• Control Bones
Deforming Bones - Are bones which when transformed will result in vertices associated with them also
transforming in a similar way. Deforming Bones are directly involved in altering the positions of vertices
associated with their bones.
Control Bones - Are Bones which act in a similar way to switches, in that they control how other bones or
objects react when they are transformed. A Control Bone could for example act as a sliding switch control,
when the bone is in one position to the left it could indicate to other bones that they react in a particular way
when transformed, when the Control Bone is positioned to the right, transforming other bones or objects could
do something completely different. Control Bones are not directly used to alter the positions of vertices, in fact
Control Bones often have no vertices directly associated with themselves.
When using the Armature Deform With Empty Groups parenting method Vertex Groups on the Child Object
will only be created for Armature Bones which are setup as Deforming Bone types. If a Bone is a Control Bone
no Vertex Group will be created on the Child Object for that bone.
To check weather a particular bone in an armature is a Deforming Bone simply switch to Pose Mode or Edit
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Mode on the armature and select the bone you are interested in by RMB it. Once the bone of interest is selected
navigate to [Properties Editor > Bone Context > Deform Panel] and check if the Deform tickable option is
ticked or not. If it is the selected bone is a Deforming Bone, otherwise it is a Control Bone. See figure 22.
Figure 22 - 3 Bone Armature in Edit Mode with 2nd bone selected with [Properties Editor > Bone Context > Deform Panel]
displayed an ticked, indicating the bone is a Deforming Bone.
Armature Deform With Automatic Weights
Armature Deform With Automatic Weights parenting feature does everything Armature Deform With Empty
Groups does with one extra thing. That extra thing is that unlike Armature Deform With Empty Groups which
leaves the automatically created Vertex Groups empty with no vertices assigned to them; Armature Deform
With Automatic Weight will try to calculate how much Influence Weight a particular Armature Bone would
have on a certain collection of vertices based on the distance from those vertices to a particular Armature Bone.
Once Bforartists has calculated the Influence Weight vertices should have it will assign that Influence Weight to
the Vertex Groups that were previously created automatically by Bforartists on the Child Object when Armature
Deform With Automatic Weights parenting command was carried out.
If all went well it should be possible to select the Armature Object switch it into Pose Mode and transform the
bones of the Armature and the Child Object should deform in response. Unlike Armature Deform parenting you
won’t have to create Vertex Groups on the Child Object, neither will you have to assign Influences Weights to
those Vertex Groups, Bforartists will try to do it for you.
To activate Armature Deform With Automatic Weights you must be in Object Mode or Pose Mode, then select
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all the Child Objects (usually Mesh Object Types) and lastly select the Armature Object; Once done press
Ctrl-P and select the Armature Deform With Automatic Weights from the Set Parent To pop-up dialog.
This method of parenting is certainly easier setup but it can often lead to Armatures which do not deform Child
Objects in ways you would want, as Bforartists can get a little confused when it comes to determining which
Bones should influence certain vertices when calculating Influence Weights for more complex armatures and
Child Objects. Symptoms of this confusion are that when transforming the Armature Object in Pose Mode parts
of the Child Objects don’t deform as you expect; If Bforartists does not give you the results you require you
will have to manually alter the Influence Weights of vertices in relation to the Vertex Groups they belong to and
have influence in.
Armature Deform With Envelope Weights
Works in a similar way to Armature Deform With Automatic Weights in that it will create Vertex Groups on the
Child Objects that have names matching those of the Parent Object Armature Bones. The created Vertex Groups
will then be assigned Influence Weights. The major difference is in the way those Influence Weights are
calculated.
Influence Weights that are calculated when using Armature Deform With Envelope Weights parenting are
calculated entirely visually using Bone Envelopes. See figure 28.
Figure 28 - Single Armature Bone in Edit Mode with Envelope Weight display enabled. The gray volume around the bone is
the Bone Envelope.
Figure 28 shows a single Armature Bone in Edit Mode with Envelope Weight activated. The gray semi110
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transparent volume around the bone is the Bone Envelope.
Any Child Object that has vertices inside the volume of the Bone Envelope will be influenced by the Parent
Object Armature when the Armature Deform With Envelope Weights operator is used. Any vertices outside the
Bone Evelope volume will not be influenced. See figure 29.
Figure 29 - 2 sets of Armatures each with 3 bones, the first set has all vertices inside the Bone Envelope, the second did not.
When the bones are transformed in Pose Mode the results are very different.
The default size of the Bone Envelope volume does not extend very far from the surface of a bone; You can
alter the size of the Bone Envelope volume by clicking on the body of the bone you want to alter, switch to Edit
Mode or Pose Mode and then pressing Ctrl-Alt-S then drag your mouse left or right and the Bone
Envelope volume will alter accordingly. See figure 30.
Modes
Modes are a Bforartists-level object-oriented feature, which means that the whole Bforartists application is
always in one and only one mode, and that the available modes vary depending on the selected active object’s
type - most of them only enable the default Object mode (like cameras, lamps, etc.). Each mode is designed to
edit an aspect of the selected object. See the Bforartists’s Modes table below for details.
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Mode selection example (mesh object).
You set the current mode in the Mode drop-down list of 3D View header (see Mode selection example (mesh
object)).
Warning
You can only select objects in Object mode. In all others, the current object selection is “locked” (except,
to some extent, with an armature’s Pose mode).
Modes might affect many things in Bforartists:
• They can modify the panels and/or controls available in some Buttons windows’ contexts.
• They can modify the behavior of whole windows, like e.g. the UV/Image Editor window (and obviously,
3D View s!).
• They can modify the available header tools (menus and/or menu entries, as well as other controls...). For
example, in the 3D View window, the Object menu in Object mode changes to a Mesh menu in Edit
mode (with an active mesh object!), and a Paint menu in Vertex Paint mode...
We won’t detail further more modes’ usages here. Most of them are tackled in the modeling chapter, as they are
mainly related to this topic. The Particle mode is discussed in the particle section, and the Pose and Edit modes
for armatures, in the rigging one.
Note
If you are reading this manual and some button or menu option is referenced that does not appear on your
screen, it may be that you are not in the proper mode for that option to be valid.
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Figure 30 - Single Armature Bone with various different Bone Evelope sizes.
You can also alter the Bone Envelope volume by selecting the Bone you wish to alter and switching to Edit
Mode or Pose Mode, then navigate to [Properties Editor > Bone Context > Deform Panel > Envelope Section >
Distance field] then enter a new value into it. See figure 31.
Figure 31 - [Properties Editor > Bone Context > Deform Panel > Envelope Section > Distance field] highlighted.
Altering the Bone Envelope volume does not alter the size of the Armature Bone just the range within which it
can influence vertices of Child Objects.
You can alter the radius that a bone has by selecting the head, body or tail parts of a bone while in Edit Mode,
and then press Alt-S and move the mouse left or right. This will make the selected bone fatter or thinner
without altering the thickness of the Bone Envelope volume. See figure 32.
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Figure 32 - 4 Armature Bones all using Envelope Weight. The 1st with a default radius value, the 3 others with differing Tail,
Head and Body radius values.
You can also alter the bone radius by selecting the tail or head of the bone you wish to alter and switching to
Edit Mode, then navigate to [Properties Editor > Bone Context > Deform Panel > Radius Section] and entering
new values for the Tail and Head fields. See figure 33.
Figure 33 - [Properties Editor > Bone Context > Deform Panel > Radius Section] head and tail fields highlighted.
Note
If you alter the Bone Envelope volume of a bone so that you can have it include/exclude certain vertices after
you have already used Armature Deform With Envelope Weights, by default the newly included/excluded
vertices won’t be effected by the change. When using Armature Deform With Envelope Weights it only
calculates which vertices will be affected by the Bone Envelope volume at the time of parenting, at which point
it creates the required named Vertex Groups and assigns vertices to them as required. If you want any vertices
to take account of the new Bone Envelope volume size you will have carry out the Armature Deform With
Envelope Weights parenting again; In fact all parenting used in the Set Parent To pop-up dialog which tries to
automatically assign vertices to Vertex Groups works like this.
Bone Parent
Bone parenting allows you to make a certain bone in an armature the Parent Object of another object. This
means that when transforming an armature the Child Object will only move if the specific bone it is the Child
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Object of moves. See figure 34.
Figure 34 - 3 pictures of Armatures with 4 Bones, with the 2nd bone being the Bone Parent of the Child Object Cube. The
Cube is only transformed if the 1st or 2nd bones are. Notice altering the 3rd and 4th bones has no effect on the Cone.
To use Bone Parenting, you must first select all the Child Objects you wish to parent to a specific Armature
Bone, then Shift-RMB select the Armature Object and switch it into Pose Mode and then select the specific
bone you wish to be the Parent Bone by RMB selecting it. Once done press Ctrl-P and select Bone from the
Set Parent To pop-up dialog.
Now transforming that bone in Pose Mode will result in the Child Objects also transforming.
Relative Parenting
Bone Relative parenting is an option you can toggle for each bone. This works in the same way as Bone
parenting with one difference.
With Bone parenting if you have parented a bone to some Child Objects and you select that bone and switch it
into Edit Mode and then translate that bone; When you switch back into Pose Mode on that bone, the Child
Object which is parented to that bone will snap back to the location of the bone in Pose Mode. See figure 37.
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Figure 37 - [Single Armature Bone which has a Child Object cube parented to it using Bone parenting. 1st picture shows the
position of the cube and armature before the bone is moved in Edit Mode. 2nd picture shows the position of the cube and
armature after the bone was selected in Edit Mode, moved and switched back into Pose Mode. Notice that the Child Object
moves to the new location of the Pose Bone.
Bone Relative parenting works differently; If you move a Parent Bone in Edit Mode, when you switch back to
Pose Mode, the Child Objects will not move to the new location of the Pose Bone. See figure 38.
Figure 38 - [Single Armature Bone which has a Child Object cube parented to it using Bone Relative parenting. 1st picture
shows the position of the cube and armature before the bone is moved in Edit Mode. 2nd picture shows the position of the
cube and armature after the bone was selected in Edit Mode, moved and switched back into Pose Mode. Notice that the
Child Object does not move to the new location of the Pose Bone.
Vertex Parent
You can parent an object to a single vertex or a group of three vertices as well; that way the child/children will
move when the parent mesh is deformed, like a mosquito on a pulsing artery.
Vertex Parent from Edit Mode
In Object mode, select the child/children and then the parent object. Tab into Edit mode and on the parent
object select either one vertex that defines a single point, or select three vertices that define an area (the three
vertices do not have to form a complete face; they can be any three vertices of the parent object), and then press
Ctrl-P and confirm.
At this point, if a single vertex was selected, a relationship/parenting line will be drawn from the vertex to the
child/children. If three vertices were selected then a relationship/parenting line is drawn from the averaged
center of the three points (of the parent object) to the child/children. Now, as the parent mesh deforms and the
chosen parent vertex/vertices move, the child/children will move as well.
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Vertex Parent from Object Mode
Vertex parenting can be performed from object mode, This is done like regular object parenting, Press Ctrl-P
in object mode and select Vertex or Vertex (Triangle).
The nearest vertices will be used from each object which is typically what you would want.
See:
1. The small cubes can each be automatically parented to a triad of nearby vertices on the icosphere using
the “Vertex (Triangle)” in the set parent context menu.
2. Reshaping the object in edit mode then means each of the cubes follows their vertex triad parent
separately.
3. Re-scaling the parent icosphere in object mode means the child cubes are also rescaled as expected.
The parent context menu item means users can rapidly set up a large number of vertex parent relationships, and
avoid the tedious effort of establishing each parent-child vertex relationship separately.
Note
It is in fact a sort of “reversed” hook
Options
Move child
You can move a child object to its parent by clearing its origin. The relationship between the parent and child
isn’t affected. Select the child object and press Alt-O. By confirming the dialog the child object will snap to
the parent’s location. Use the Outliner view to verify that the child object is still parented.
Remove relationship/Clear Parent
You can remove a parent-child relationship via Alt-P
The menu contains:
Clear Parent
If the parent in the group is selected nothing is done. If a child or children are selected they are
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disassociated from the parent, or freed, and they return to their original location, rotation, and size.
Clear and Keep Transformation
Frees the children from the parent, and keeps the location, rotation, and size given to them by the parent.
Clear Parent Inverse
Places the children with respect to the parent as if they were placed in the Global reference. This
effectively clears the parent’s transformation from the children. For example, if the parent is moved 10
units along the X axis and Clear Parent Inverse is invoked, any selected children are freed and moved -10
units back along the X axis. The “Inverse” only uses the last transformation; if the parent moved twice, 10
units each time for a total of 20 units, then the “Inverse” will only move the child back 10 units, not 20.
Hints
Outliner view
There is another way to see the parent-child relationship in groups and that is to use the Outliner view of the
Outliner window. Image (Outliner view) is an example of what the Outliner view looks like for the (Parenting
Example). Cube A‘s object name is Cube_Parent and cube B is Cube_Child.
Shading
Shading Modes
Shading refers to the way objects are drawn and lit in
the 3D View.
Rendered
An accurate representation using the selected
Render Engine and lit with the visible scene
lights.
Material
A fast approximation of the applied material.
Some effects, such as procedural textures may
not be shown.
Textured
Shows meshes with an image applied using the
mesh’s active UV Map. For Cycles materials, the
image is the last one selected in the Node Editor.
For other render engine’s, the UV Map’s applied face texture will be shown.
Solid
The default drawing mode using solid colored surfaces and simple lighting.
Wireframe
Objects appear as a mesh of lines representing the edges of faces and surfaces.
Bounding Box
Shows only the rectangular boxes that outlines an object’s size and shape.
Except for Rendered, these shading modes are not dependent on light sources in the scene. Instead they use a
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simple default lighting adjusted by the Solid OpenGL Lights controls on the System tab of the User Preferences
window.
The viewport shading controls the appearance of all objects in a scene, but this can be overridden for individual
objects using the Display panel in their Object Properties.
Shading Panel
3D Viewport Shading Panel.
The shading panel in the Properties Region provides additional control over
the way objects in the 3D view appear.
Textured Solid
Display assigned face textures in the Solid shading mode. (Not
available in the Cycles Render Engine)
Matcap
A selection of preset shader effects, (overriding regular materials)
which can help visualize your models while editing or sculpting,
without having to set up complex materials first.
Backface Culling
Only show the front side of faces. Use this to find faces flipped the
wrong way, especially when exporting to programs that use single
sided drawing.
Depth of Field
Simulates a camera’s focal blur effect in the 3D viewport. Only visible
in a camera view. Control the effect using these options in the
Properties Tab of the active camera: Focal Length, Sensor Size, Focus Object or Focus Distance, and
Viewport F-stop.
Ambient Occlusion
Improves the realism of the viewport image by simulating the darkening effect that occurs in crevices and
corners. Typically such effects are rendered at higher quality, but this is a quick real-time preview which
can help when modelling or sculpting.
These settings control the AO effect.
Strength
A higher number makes the corners darker.
Distance
How far out of the corners does the effect extend.
Attenuation
How strongly the effect attenuates with distance. Increasing this makes far away surfaces contribute
less to the effect. Use this to get rid of some banding artifacts.
Samples
The number of samples used for the effect. Low numbers produce a grainy effect, but the actual
number used is squared so use high numbers with caution.
Color
Color of the effect, can be modified to give a different feel, from ambient lighting to dirt/rust.
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Display
Display Panel
Only Render
Displays only items that will be rendered.
This can be is useful to preview how animations look without being distracted by rigs, empties, lights &
cameras.
Useful to enable with OpenGL Render.
Outline Selected
If disabled, the pink outline around your selected objects in Solid / Shaded / Textured draw types will no
longer be displayed.
All Object Origins
If enabled, the center dot of objects will always be visible, even for non-selected ones (by default,
unselected centers might be hidden by geometry in solid/shaded/textured shadings).
Relationship Lines
Controls whether the dashed parenting, constraining, hooking, etc., lines are drawn.
3D Cursor
Shows or hides the 3D cursor.
Groundgrid
Shows or hides the whole grid. This also affects the orthogonal views like Top View
Grid Floor
If disabled, you have no grid in other views than the orthographic top/front/side ones.
X Axis, Y Axis, Z Axis
Control which axes are shown in other views than the orthographic top/front/side ones.
Lines
Controls the number of lines that make the grid in non-top/front/side orthographic views, in both
directions.
Scale
Control the scale of the grid floor
Subdivisions
Controls the number of sub-lines that appear in each cell of the grid when you zoom in, so it is a
setting specific to top/front/side orthographic views.
Toggle Quad View
Toggles the four pane 3D view. Read more about arranging areas
View Panel
The View Properties panel lets you set other settings regarding the 3D view. You can show it with the View ‣
View Properties... menu entry.
Lens
Control the focal length of the 3d view camera in millimeters, unlike a rendering camera
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Lock to Object
By entering the name of an object in the Object field, you lock your view to this object, i.e. it will always
be at the center of the view (the only exception is the active camera view, Numpad0). If the locked object
is an armature, you can further center the view on one of its bones by entering its name in the Bone field.
Lock to Cursor
Lock the center of the view to the position of the 3D cursor
Lock Camera to View
When in camera view, use this option to move the camera in 3D space, while continuing to remain in
camera view.
Clip Start and Clip End
Adjust the minimum and maximum distances to be visible for the view-port.
Note
A large clipping range will allow you to see both near and far objects, but reduces the depth precision.
To avoid this:
• increase the near clipping when working on large scenes.
• decrease the far clipping when objects are not viewed at a distance.
When perspective is disabled only the far Clip-End is used, very high values can still give artifacts.
This is not specific to Bforartists, all OpenGL/DirectX graphics applications have these same
limitations.
Examples:
Model with no clipping artifacts.
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Model with clipping artifacts.
Mesh with artifacts in edit-mode.
Local Camera
Active camera used in this view
Render Border
Use a Render Border when not looking through a camera. Draw a border region will automatically enable
this option.
Custom Wireframe Colors
Reference
Mode: Object mode + Wireframe mode or Solid mode
Menu: Properties Editor > Object tab > Display panel
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Sometimes it is useful to give
objects in the scene different
colors to have a better way to
divide them visually. When you
have a complex building with
different parts for example
Bforartists comes with the ability
to set up custom wireframe colors
per mesh object. You can activate
them in the Properties Editor in
the Object tab in the Display
panel.
The custom wireframe colors is
meant for theWireframe mode.
But you can also use it in Solid
mode. There just the outline
shows in the custom color then.
But you can show the wire at an
solid object by ticking the Wire
checkbox. Best in conjunction
with Draw all Edges. Or not all
edges might be drawn.
The custom wireframe colors just
shows up in Wire mode and in
Solid mode. In all other modes it
does not show. Even when Wire
is ticked.
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The wireframe color dropdown box allows you to choose between different
pre defined wireframe colour sets.
The custom color set allows you to customize the
colors. Switch to Custom Color set. Then click at one
of the three colors below to open the color picker.
Layers
Reference
Mode: Object mode
Panel: Relations (Object context)
Menu: Object ‣ Move to Layer...
3D scenes often become exponentially more confusing as they grow more complex.
Sometimes the artist also needs precise control over how individual objects are lit, and does
not want lights for one object to affect nearby objects. For this and other reasons below,
objects can be placed into one or more “layers”. Using object layers, you can:
• Selectively display objects from certain layers in your 3D view, by selecting those
layers in the 3D View header bar. This allows you to speed up interface redrawing,
reduce virtual-world clutter, and help improve your workflow.
• Control which lights illuminate an object, by making a light illuminate only the
objects on its own layer(s).
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• Control which forces affect which particle systems, since particles are only affected by forces and
effects on the same layer.
• Control which layers are rendered (and hence, which objects), and which properties/channels are made
available for compositing by using render layers.
Armatures can also become very complex, with different types of bones, controllers, solvers, custom shapes,
and so on. Since armatures are usually located close together, this can quickly become cluttered. Therefore,
Bforartists also provides layers just for armatures. Armature layers are very similar to object layers, in that you
can divide up an armature (rig) across layers and only display those layers you wish to work on.
Working with Layers
3D layers differ from the layers you may know from 2D graphics applications as they have no influence on the
drawing order and are there (except for the special functions listed above) mainly to allow you to organize your
scene.
When rendering, Bforartists only renders the selected layers. If all your lights are on a layer that is not selected,
you won’t see anything in your render except for objects lit by ambient lighting.
Groups and Parents are other ways to logically group related sets of objects.
Viewing layers
Bforartists provides twenty layers whose visibility can be toggled with the small unlabeled buttons in the Layer
Management panel in the Tool Shelf. To select a single layer, click the appropriate button with LMB; to select
more than one, use Shift-LMB - doing this on an already active layer will deselect it.
Locking to the scene
By default, the lock button directly to the right of the layer buttons is enabled. This means that changes to the
viewed layers affect all other 3D Views locked to the scene - see the navigating the 3D view options page for
more information.
Multiple Layers
An object can exist on multiple layers. For example, a lamp that only lights objects on a shared layer could “be”
on layers 1, 2, and 3. An object on layers 3 and 4 would be lit, whereas an object on layers 4 and 5 would not.
There are many places where layer-specific effects come into play, especially lights and particles.
Moving objects between layers
Object context selection.
The way to change a selected object layer is via the Relations panel, in the Object context.
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Layers in Object context, Relations panel.
You will then see the layer buttons in the Relations panel - as before the object can be displayed on more than
one layer by clicking Shift-LMB.
3D Cursor
The 3D Cursor is simply a point in 3D space which can be used for a number of purposes
Placement
There are a few methods to position the 3D cursor.
Direct Placement with the Mouse
Positioning the 3D cursor with two orthogonal views.
Using LMB in the 3D area will place the 3D cursor directly under your mouse pointer.
For accuracy you should use two perpendicular orthogonal 3D views, i.e. any combination of top (Numpad7),
front (Numpad1) and side (Numpad3). That way you can control the positioning along two axes in one view
and determine depth in the second view.
To place the 3D Cursor on the surface of geometry, enable Cursor Depth in the User Preferences
Using the Snap Menu
The Snap menu (Shift-S or Object/Mesh ‣ Snap) will allow you to snap the cursor in the following ways:
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Cursor to Selected
Snaps the cursor to the center of the current selection.
Cursor to Center
Snaps the cursor to the origin of the scene (location 0,0,0).
Cursor to Grid
Snaps the cursor to the nearest visible grid lines.
Cursor to Active
Snaps the cursor to the active (last selected) object, edge, face or vertex.
The Cursor to Selected option is also affected by the current Pivot Point. For example:
• With the Bounding Box Center pivot point active, the Cursor to Selected option will snap the
3D cursor to the center of the bounding box surrounding the objects’ centers.
• When the Median Point pivot point is selected, Cursor to Selected will snap the 3D cursor to
the median of the object centers.
Numeric Input
The 3D Cursor panel of the Properties shelf.
Hiding the 3D cursor
The 3D cursor is very handy. Several operations are performed by using the
3D cursor. New objects gets created at the 3D Cursor location. You can
place it around and snap elements to it, and so on.
But the visual part is sometimes very disturbing. You can hide it in the
Properties sidebar in the Display section.
Background Images
Reference
Editor: 3D View
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Panel: Background Image
A background picture in your 3D view is very helpful in many situations: modeling is obviously one, but it is
also useful when painting (e.g. you can have reference pictures of faces when painting textures directly on your
model...), or animation (when using a video as background), etc.
Note
Background images are only available for orthographic views.
Settings
The panel has two subtabs. Settings and Align. They are closed by default.
Axis
Choose which views the image is visible from. This is helpful when you have several reference images
from different views (e.g. top, front and side).
Data Source
The source of the background image.
Image
Use an external image, image sequence, video file or generated texture.
Movie Clip
Use one of the Movie Clip data-blocks.
Opacity
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Controls the transparency of the background image.
Front/Back
Choose whether the image is shown behind all objects, or in front of everything.
Stretch/Fit/Crop
Controls how the image is placed in the camera view.
Stretch
Forces the image dimensions to match the camera bounds (may alter the aspect ratio).
Fit
Scales the image down to fit inside the camera view without altering the aspect ratio.
Crop
Scales the image up so that it fills the entire camera view, but without altering the aspect ratio (some
of the image will be cropped)
X/Y
Position the background image using these offsets.
In orthographic views, this is measured in the normal scene units. In the camera view, this is measured
relative to the camera bounds (0.1 will offset it by 10% of the view width/height)
Flip Horizontally
Swap the image around, such that the left side is now on the right, and the right now on the left.
Flip Vertically
Swap the image around, such that the top side is now on the bottom, and the bottom now on the top.
Rotation
Rotate the image around its center.
Size
Scale the image up or down from its center.
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