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Blender tips

Here are some unsorted Blender tips.

Dimensions, Units and Clipping

If you import an unknown geometry it may be difficult to manipulate or even invisible. First check its dimensions:

  • Select the object in the outliner
  • Press N to open the view property panel and open the scene properties panel
  • Set unit, scale and clip according to your geometry

Blender units

References:

Navigating

  • Middle mouse button: rotating
  • Shift+middle mouse button: panning
  • Tab: switch between object and mesh mode
  • Numpad point: Center on the selection (object or mesh element)

Circle selection

  • To enable circle selection press C
  • To change the size of selection use the mouse wheel
  • To quit the circle selection right-click
  • To select left click and to unselect middle click

Circle selection is a good companion of rubber band selection (B key).

Swap edges

Normals

Here is how to flip normals. To display normal open press N to open the view property panel and check face normals.

Strangely dimensions given in mesh mode are 1000 times the dimension of object mode.

Mesh healing

  • Select, Non manifold (Shift+Ctrl+Alt+M): Select non manifold edges or vertices (depending of the current selection filter).
  • Mesh, Vertices, Remove Doublons: Merge coincident vertices.
  • Mesh, Faces, Beautiful Fill: Remesh to avoid skin faces. Use with care.

Moving a point along an edge

  • Select the edge to move on
  • Switch the 3D manipulator to normal
  • View, align view, align view to selected, or Shift+numpad 1
  • Select the vertex to move
  • Switch the 3D manipulator to view
  • Press G, Y, Y (or X, X) and move the mouse

Trimming by filling

  • Select the edges to trim with. Most of the time they are free edges so they can be selected by selecting one and pressing shift+G (aka Similar).
  • Copy this edges to a new mesh (Mesh, Vertices, Separate or the P key).
  • Merge the edges mesh to the mesh to be trimmed (select both and press Ctrl+J or Object, Join).
  • Delete faces which are inside the trimmed zone (use circle and border selection).
  • Connect the trimming edges to the mesh using Mesh, Vertices, Merge or Alt+M.
  • Select the contour to fill using Alt+right-click or Select, Edge Loop..
  • Mesh, Faces, Fill or Alt+F

    
  

Trimming by boolean operation

Sometime it is easier to do trimming with using boolean operation, but boolean operation can only be done with at least one volume. Making a volume from a surface can be time-consuming. To do so:

  • Create missing face border edges (select both vertices and press F).
  • For each faces to create select the border edges, then press Alt+F (aka Fill). You may also make them f-gon (Mesh, Faces, make F-gon).
  • Check and fix normals and non manifold elements.


Then use the boolean modifier and clean the hole:
 

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