BLENDER – Notes as I learn…

An online scratchpad of things I want to remember while learning Blender.


  • Trace Sir Les (InkScape -> SVG -> Blender Curve [extrude & mesh])
  • UV Sir Les (Front, Back, Sides)
  • Improve photoshop edge selection [curve tool trace smooth bezier, mask, grow, sharpen / blur edges..
  • Trace Sir Les (Blender Bezier – elegant, extrude, simple mesh) then seam / unwrap / UV precisely
  • Model guitar pic (Blender Bezier – half + mirror Tx, simple / elegant editable mesh)
  • Make outline (carve hole?) in Model guitar pic
  • Chrome tribeardsirles badge
  • better guitar neck – bend headstock, round edges.
  • Space – start typing for function search
  • Shift S – snap cursor to
  • Shift C – cursor to centre
  • Alt Home – set point to rotate view around
  • Z – toggle wireframe [good for selecting those hidden vertices]
  • n – extra info side panel [e.g. Mesh display, numerics for visible dimension measurements when mesh object selected in edit mode]
  • Clt-alt-Q – toggle quad view
  • Shift Ctl Alt C set origin
  • Ctl T – track first selected object to second selected
  • Alt T – clear Track
  • Shift H – hide everything else (Alt H to reverse)
  • b
  • Scene, scene – set Units [metric millimeters etc, imperial feet inches etc]
  • Glass: Material – intensity 1, hardness 473, ambient .55. Transparency (Y) Raytrace: Fresnet 5, Blend 1.25, IOR 1.55 <works a treat!>
  • Chrome: hat tip. Material: just off white, specular as is, hardness up to 511. Shading emit 0.21, tangent shading. Remove transparency, add MIRROR 0.914 Reflectivity, Gloss <1 say .845, Samples up to 250.
  • Alt C (object) convert to (Mesh from bezier curve) ? how reduce number of vertices? [Reduce Resolution while still a curve, curve shape->resolution – down from 24 to 6 worked well on first sir les trace]
  • MeshEdit basics: ctl-tab (mesh select mode), global vs normal orientation, x-ray mode (only select vertices you can see), OPT-RM loop/ring select, grow / shrink selection (ctl numpad + -). W – specials menu. K – knife, drag/click cuts and press ENTER to accept. Ctl R – loop cut (purple ring), LMB, slide, LMB to accept.
  • PIPE: Create a circle (or other shape object). Add Bezier curve 3d & Edit to basic shape -> Properties -> Geometry -> Bevel Object (set to circle / shape and bingo a pipe!)

Tracing OUTLINE cheat sheet

  • Method1: hat tip to Joe’s Makerbot for this deadly simple script:
  • Put the part on a piece of centimeter graph paper and take a picture.
  • Import the picture into inkscape, line up the scale, and trace the 2D outline of the object. Save the outline as an SVG.
  • Import the SVG outline into blender and extrude. Convert the curve to a mesh (Alt C), Go to edit mode and extrude the outline into a 3D shape.
  • Method2: from blender 3D noob to pro [using bezier curve to trace background image]
  • see “Details of the background image panel” and “Introducing the Bezier Curve” sections.
  • Method 3 from excellent Batman logo trace YouTube:  [setup includes un-check normals 2D constrain, increase resolution in curve properties (from 12 to 24) for smooth curve [*reduce before convert curve to mesh], V – vector handles on first curve to make the two handles independent for better tracing control.
  • Make sure traced path is Closed at end Alt-C (edit mode) ‘Cyclic’
  • Drill: Pan (shift MM), Zoom (MM wheel), Add first curve segment (Shift A->Curve->bezier), Edit (tab), V (handle type to Vector)
  • Sel first handle end (RM), G, make a tangent to outline (longer = more bend),
  • Sel second handle end, G, make tangent, adjust length
  • Sel endpoint, E (extrude), position new endpoint near place on outline, LM click
  • <<rinse and repeat>>

UV Mapping cheat sheet

  • Hat tip bpwebmedia for this handy youtube.
  • <<<copy from my hand written notes here?>>>
  • Two Panes [3D view, UV editor]
  • 3D view – viewport shading to “Texture” [ball next to object/edit mode selector]
  • Edit mode, select a face in a nice ortho view
  • UV editor – image -> open -> image file
  • 3D view – mesh -> unwrap -> project from view
  • UV editor – Select All [a] Size, Grab, Rotate to taste
  • Materials -> Add -> ASSIGN
  • Texture -> new, type “image or movie”, IMAGE -> picture icon -> choose image
  • Under IMAGE (Source) click on PACK IMAGE icon to bundle file into .blend project
  • MAPPING coordinates -> UV (from default generated)
  • Render!

Camera motion via Path:

  • Shift A path, edit to taste (E xtrude, S ubdivide etc)
  • Select Camera, Shift Sel path, Ctl P (follow Path)
  • Curve properties – Frames (faster / slower movement through available total anim frames) Shape->Twisting – Z up.


  • 1280×720
  • 1920×1080
  • 3840×2160
  • 5760×3240 [max on my old macbook pro]
  • 9600×5400 – too slow to render
  • 96000×54000 – well it did render but I gave up trying to save as .png file

Creative Commons License

Fang – Mike Seyfang



About mseyfang

Interruptus Digitalis
This entry was posted in education, Hobbies, phd, science, work and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to BLENDER – Notes as I learn…

  1. Pingback: Arduino – the obsession begins | a blog by Mike Seyfang

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