I am just beginning to try to figure out Blender. Since it isn't a program that ships with a manual and the hard copy manual that is available assumes one knows certain things, I think it would be very helpful if the interface were more intuitive. I really would love to see buttons for Help, Apply, Undo and Delete. And is there a way to select certain objects out of a group? I read in the manual that you can right-click and select an object, but it doesn't bring up anything for me. Very frustrating! Now I have to get to a view in which the object I want isn't near any other so I can use the B key to isolate it. I'm sure there is a better way. Thanks for any suggestions.
Your right the interface could use some touchups to
make it a little more friendly for new users.
There is a great online book in the works check
the latest news for more info...
Also there are a couple of older docs at:
There is also the docboard's documentation, located here: http://download.blender.org/documentation/html/
And the version 2.0 manual which was very recently donated to the project, available here: http://download.blender.org/documentation/NaN_docs/Manual2.0/
It will take some time for the docboard to integrate and update these though.
For some specific answers to your questions:
I'm sure you're aware by now that Blender's interface is quite unusal compared to most applications - it may take some time to get used to, but it's not that bad, however different.
In Blender, you select objects using the right mouse button (as you would use the left button for in other software). It doesn't bring up a context menu, it just selects. A selected object is indicated by drawing the wire frame in bright pink. If 3D objects are behind each other, you can keep right-clicking in the same spot to cycle through all the possible choices.
To delete, you can usually just press the delete key on the keyboard. As for undo, the undo scheme in Blender works differently to other applications too. When you are in editmode, you can press 'U' to return the object that you're editing back to the state it was in when you entered editmode. Otherwise, there are other features that blender uses to acheive 'undo'-like functionality - Blender continually saves temporary files. You can change how often and how many revisions to save in the user preferences menu, as well as press a button to open the most recent temporary save. If you do a search on this forum or the forum at http://www.elysiun.com
(very informative site for how-to-use-blender queries) for the word undo, you should find a number of topics with information on other techniques that people use as an undo replacement.
Keep persevering, it can really pay off in the end
Thank you for your replies! I have downloaded all the tutorials and documentation that I can find. Between those and the book, I am very slowly making headway. I still cannot select an object by right-clicking - I only get a vertex selected.
I had heard Blender was a challenge, to put it mildly, even more of one than Amapi which I worked with a bit. But I intend to continue and am looking forward to all the new documentation which is being worked on.
I know there are workarounds for some of the buttons, such as undo, but it still would be nice to have them there. Then someone would be able to figure out what to do without having to check a tutorial or book.
If you're only selecting a vertex at a time, that's probably because you're in editmode (modifying the object's internals rather than the objects themselves). To leave (and also enter again) editmode, press TAB or the icon in the 3D window header that looks like 3 yellow vertices joined by edges. Then you can manipulate the objects as you wish.
If you have more questions, I'd recommend the Questions and Answers
forum at http://www.elysiun.com.
That forum is a lot busier with more people available to help answer questions.
Many thanks - that worked! I kept trying to do that in edit mode!
Sorry to waste space on learning problems - I really had only meant to make comments on the interface.
Thanks again - such a simple solution!
Since there are many beginners that have problems with the first steps of blending (and I think that most simply abandon and don't even try to request the help of the community), wouldn't it make sense to make a special blender beginner package? It would contain a good selection of a few very basic tutorials that take the user by the hand and that are put together in a nice and uniform layout, plus the package could contain all the needed links to blender, but also the documentation pages and elysiun (they could be installed in the start menu folder created by blender).
The most important thing is to put this beginner package along with every blender download link. Because new users don't know elysiun and the billions of links that exist to learn blender. We simply have to do some minimalistic marketing to publish links to the beginner package at strategic places, so that the beginners really find and can use that package.
The whole objects start in editmode thing is efficient but does confuse new people, as does the mouseclick selection combos, gestures, and the translation hotkeys(G,R,S). It never occured to me to look at the toolbox and work out the hotkeys
- but it shouldn't have to be the only way to discipher how to manipulate things.
I like the way Wings has a help menu with a bunch of pop ups to help with the way Wings does thing. If blender had one of these describing the basic concepts.
A couple of sentences on the concepts and options of each of these topics would allow people to start playing without hitting the "but things work differently" brick wall.
->Translations and Gestures
->Views, Zoom, Pan, Rotate View