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Affinity Photo and Blender


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Hey, no problem. If you have any more questions, feel free to kick them my way.


Oh, another nice thing to keep in mind is that if you don't know the hotkey for something (or a hotkey doesn't exist), you can search for the command and execute it just by hitting the spacebar, and typing what you're looking for. For example, if you want to perform a bridge, all you do is hit space, type "bri", and you'll see "Bridge Edge Loops" pop up in the menu. I found that to be one of the nicer things about Blender.


edit: Oh, you'll probably be tempted to switch the select button from the right mouse to the left. I greatly suggest against this, since doing so breaks a few actions in Blender.

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Hi James, first off I use a three button mouse not an apple magic mouse or whatever they're calling them now. :-) and I've attached a couple of screens of my personal preferences for some of this stuff.


Secondly, I don't know everything there is to know with Blender but I know mostly what I need to know for the sort of stuff I use it for.


- I use the option key to orbit, mouse wheel or option and control keys to zoom and option and shift keys to pan.


- If you have a full keyboard with a number pad use period key to zoom to object, 1 for front view, 3 for right side, 5 for an ortho/perspective view toggle, 7 for top, 0 for render view. Use option plus these same numbers for alternates views.


- pay attention where your cursor is as Blender behaves differently with the cursor over different editors types.  For example the option, control and "q" keys toggle a four view viewport. If your cursor is over the top view and you hit the same key combo it will expand the top view the full size, if it's over the perspective view and you hit the same key combo it will expand the perspective view to fill the 3d view... etc...


- I agree with Renzatic re not switching the right select to left. After a few hours in Blender it will feel right and it won't screw up some of the actions you'll likely want to use down the road.


- "a" key is a selects all /deselects all toggle in every mode. Tab will pop you into edit mode, tab again will pop you back into object mode.


- Find a good video on the interface, for dealing with the windows and the different editor types in the headers and footers.


It sounds complicated and weird but it won't take long to get it, and when you do you'll find that you'll be flying. It's designed to be light weight and fast. 



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Here are a few more short cuts that I should have mentioned...  oh and the cycles render engine will give you a more physically accurate render than the blender internal renderer


- so over the 3d view "z" toggles between solid and wireframe, shift z will get you a preview render view


- f12 will render, f11 will show you your last render, f3 will save your render


- control and tab over the 3d view will pop up a small window for selecting edges, faces or vertices


- letter o will toggle proportional editing on or off (like a soft selection) and uses the mouse wheel to control a ring of influence, see the 3d view footer for options on that


- also in the footer are the widget controls for scale, rotate, move. You can turn them on or off here.


- g key to invoke the move command (screen space)


- g plus y will move only in the y direction, g plus x and z same


- g shift y will move in the x z directions only, g shift z will move in the x y, etc...

(you can also in the 3d view, shift select the x, y or z arrow head on the widget itself to disable that direction as you drag it around...


I could go on...  I suggest you go through each one of these and see for yourself how it works :-)

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OK, info overload, but I appreciate it guys. I transferred my TextEdit notes over to Notes (Apple's note taking app) because it can include pics (i.e., Kevin's screenshots). Thanks for the advice about Left select vs. Right select. I caught that option in one of the videos—I confess I changed it immediately from the default of Left, but you guys say Nein! I hear and obey.

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Hehe, at least in the beginning. I applaud your willingness to take this on. The idea is basically to try to embrace the Blender setup by going all in. It's actually easier that way. It's also easier if you don't have any prior 3d experience but we know that's not the case here, modo-man. ;-)


Yes it does look like a lot to take in, when I decided to commit to finally learning Blender (after a few attempts) I tried to do a little each day or watch a video each day, little by little it sticks and you get used to seeing the layout each day and so on. Any 3d package is a complex, deep application, with a myriad of levels and features.  It helped that I was in the position of not having to learn it in a hurry so I the pressure was off.


There is more that I don't know and won't ever need to know for what I use it for. :-)

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Thanks for the encouragement. I just hope I can endure the valley of pain, I really HATE that place. I suffered a bit learning Affinity Designer and Photo, and still I reference videos and the help system. I'm just used to doing things Adobe's way (I'm on old CS5).


Free time is the thing, but I'll try to stick with the Blender videos—I have Lynda.com.


I forget who mentioned it above, but yes I do have a full size keyboard and I don't use Apple's silly mouse, I have a corded Logitech M500. I also have an old Wacom Intuos3, which apparently isn't supported in Sierra, so I'm still on El Capitan.


You're so right, 3D is tough to learn. First was Ray Dream Studio (don't laugh), then LightWave, then Modo. I'm kinda assuming Blender will be not-as-tough because of my 3D experience. Maybe I'm delusional. Here's hoping.

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Blender will be easier for you to learn because of your previous 3D experience. At their core, both programs are fundamentally the same. You're edge sliding, subdividing, extruding, bridging, and moving around vectors on tris, quads, and ngons. The big hurdle isn't having to relearn everything from scratch, you already know the basic functions. The hurdle is figuring out how your new program performs them, which is a much lower jump to make.


Just do what I did: start out whipping together low poly environments, and slowly your way up from there.


And also cuss a lot.

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Blender will be easier for you to learn because of your previous 3D experience. 

Yes and no.


Some things, basic concepts of 3d for example will definitely be more familiar to you than someone coming from zero 3d experience and learning everything from scratch.


But in the same way as it is "unlearning" Adobe's ways and methods as compared with Affinity's apps, so it is usually harder for someone with another 3d application's experience to come to grips with Blenders ways and methods. You're re-wiring your brain so to speak. Just keep an open mind James and you'll do fine.That Crown Royal bottle you did in Modo visually illustrates you've definitely got the goods. ;-)

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Yeah, your workflow will be different, even if the bare basics are the same.


The one thing that took me the most time to get used to was how Blender makes a tool immediately active the moment you hit its hotkey. Like say you want to do an edge bevel. In Modo, you select your edge, hit B, then a little manipulator handle pops up that you can drag about to get the desired effect. Once you're done, you drop the tool with spacebar. It's much more up front in Blender. As soon as you hit Ctrl-B, the tool is ON. Any move you make with the mouse will start beveling that edge, which you commit by hitting the left mouse button when you're done.


During those first few days with Blender, it felt absolutely spastic to me. I hated it. But I stuck with it, and now actually prefer it. It feels looser, but it's much quicker to execute once you get used to it.

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Good point Renzatic, yes sometimes working in Blender feels like you're working without a net, but in a intuitive, creative way. ;-)


I really like that direct, hands-on approach especially for blocking out stuff, modelling and sculpting. 

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I'm chuckling. You guys pinpoint exactly my fear of Blender (or any new software)—rewiring my brain. I got very comfortable with Adobe and resented their forcing me to learn AD. And yeah, there was a slow down and cussing and LOTS of videos. LightWave to Modo wasn't so bad because they're similar, but oh my god did I pull my hair out. And that's the agony I'm afraid of; Blender NOT being like Modo—stupid, I know. I'll try to stick with Blender for a few reasons: it's free, it's additional 3D knowledge under my belt, and learning anything new is always good for my brain.

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