Blender Tips and Key-Bindings

Since I came to Blender from Unity, up axis is Z in Blender, not Y.

Tip: Keep Backface Culling option selected (you will see it in Viewport Shading). This will avoid problems of flipped normals. This is also a nice optimization feature. Note that this will affect objects that have no thickness. Like a plane. This will also affect inside of an object. This will make the inside of an object invisible.

Also, to cancel a previous action, just hit mouse right click, right after that action.

When adding 3D curved objects like Cylinder, Cone, keep the segments as powers of 2, like 8, 16 or 32. This tends to give the best results as it holds the form and in general is easier to model. Like with 16 segments, just model on 4 segments and duplicate that on the other 12 segments.

Key Bindings

Rotation – Middle Mouse
Pan – Shift + Middle Mouse
Zoom – Ctrl + Middle Mouse (or use the Scroll Wheel)
Pie-Menu for camera (choose different orthographic views) – Tilda Key
Add new objects – Shift + a
Select an object – right mouse button click
Switch Between Object-mode and Edit-mode – Tab
Context-menu – Mouse right-click. As the name suggests, context-menu is context sensitive. For example, in Edit mode, with face selected, it will show a face contest menu.
Select a component – Mouse left click
Select/De-select multiple components – Shift + Mouse left click
Select everything (edit mode) – a
De-select everything (edit mode) – Alt + a
Grow Selection (edit mode) – Ctrl + (ctrl and then plus)
Reduce Selection (edit mode) – Ctrl – (ctrl and then minus)
Duplicate object – select object to duplicate + shift + d
Separate part of object – select part of object to separate + p
X-Ray mode – Alt + z
Wireframe mode AND X-Ray mode – Shift + z
Rendered camera view – 0 (numpad zero)
Show/Hide properties panel – n
Show/Hide tools panel – t

Move 3D cursor – shift + right-mouse click (this movement is unconstrained)
Move 3D cursor (constrained with pie-menu options) – shift + s
Move (grab) an object – g (g+x for moving along x axis..g+x+ctrl for moving along x axis with snapping.. and so on .. g+x+10 for moving 10 units along x axis) (g+shift+x for moving along everything but x axis.. and so on).
rotate an object – r (r+x for rotating along x axis..r+x+ctrl for rotating along x axis with snapping.. and so on .. r+x+23 for rotating 23 degrees along x axis) (r+shift+x for rotating along everything but x axis.. and so on)
Scale an object – s (s+x for scaling along x axis.. and so on .. s+x+5 for scaling along x axis by 5) (s+shift+x for scaling along everything but x axis.. and so on)
Isolated Select on an object (also called Local view in Blender) – numpad forward slash key (you can de-select “Frame-selected” in Keymap settings if you don’t want camera angle to change.. default behavior is to zoom in on isolated selected object)

Verts = Vertices (Vertex is a point where edges meet. vertices, vertex, vert, or point — all mean the same thing in blender)

tri = 3 vertices

poly = n vertices (where n can be any natural number equal or higher than 3 {3, 4, 5, …}

face = poly

In modeling and game industry, we generally reduce the polys to tris for consistency. Note, tris is also a special case of poly where the number of vertices is 3.

In Edit-mode you can edit the individual object i.e. you have access to the components to the object to change them.

In Object-mode, you make changes to object as a whole, like moving it. In this mode, you don’t have access to the object’s internal components.

Shader Vs Texture Vs Material

A shader conveys fundamental properties that determine how light interacts with the object. How well, for example, does it reflect, refract or transmit light and what is the primary/overall color we perceive it as. Usually applies uniformly to an object (in contrast to textures). You could say it’s the DNA of a material.

A texture is a (possibly random) pattern used to alter existing characteristics of an object+shaders in a controlled way. This may have a purely color-based effect (e.g. change overall brightness by multiplying in a monochrome gradient) but just as often affects non-color properties (e.g. control glossiness with a roughness map, using it as a mask that highlights/emphasizes some parts of the surface over others). Textures can even have a tactile/physical effect (e.g. modifying surface elevation via a displacement map).

A material is just a particular selection of shaders and textures. A container of them, if you like.

When creating a new Material, you will be mainly changing few options:

  1. Base Color
  2. Metallic (this most often is 1 or 0 value. 1 when its metal. 0 when its non-metal)
  3. Roughness – (between 0 and 1) Determines how shiny the material will be. The lower the value, the more mirror like it will be.
  4. Transmission – (between 0 and 1) Transparent or not transparent.

Also, for 99% of the cases, PrincipledBSDF shader will be just fine.

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