Operations

About

Camera Operations

Lock Camera View & Transform

Geometry Operations

Object/Edit Modes

  • Toggle between the 2 modes with TAB.
  • Each have their own RMB context-sensitive menu.

Object Mode

  • Use for object transformations.
  • Creating a new object in this mode creates a separate object.

Edit Mode

  • Use to make edits to geometry within selected object.
  • CAUTION: Making transformations in this mode will be made relative to the object's pivot. This is why it is recommended to make object-level transformations in object mode.

  • Creating new geometry in this mode adds it to the selected object.

Edit Multiple Parameters Simultaneously

Simultaneously edit multiple parameter values. SHIFT + LMB drag to select parameters, but without releasing LMB, and then continue to drag to edit the selected parameters.

Transformation Strategies

Quick Axis Lock

Transform with quick axis lock using MMB to cycle through axes.

2-Axes Lock

In contrast to selecting a single axis (X, Y, or Z) to lock a transform operation, using SHIFT + a specified axis (X, Y, or Z) will scale along the 2 unselected axes. In this example, SHIFT + Z is used to lock the scale transformation to the x- and y-axes.

Global To Local Transform Orientation

Enable local transformation orientations by clicking transformation action (G, R, S) and then double-clicking intended axes (X + X, Y + Y, Z + Z).

Set Custom Object Pivot

  • In Edit mode, select intended vertex.
  • Set Cursor to Active (SHIFT + S).
  • In Object mode, set Origin to Cursor (SHIFT + ALT + X).
  • Once the pivot is in the intended place, verify that Transform Pivot is set to Active Element. This option is available in the drop-down menu at to the top-center of the 3D viewer, next to the Snap icon. By default, this is set to 3D Cursor, so any transformation is still relative to the 3D Cursor.

Custom Transform Orientation

  • Select element (face, edge, point) to be used as the reference for the custom transform orientation. Once set, edits can be made relative to the custom orientation.
  • The custom transformation orientation can be removed after it is no longer needed.

Selection Strategies

Selection Management

Enable selectable toggle for collection/object to prohibit selection in viewer.

Select All Along Shortest Path

Select along shortest path using CTRL key. Applies to faces, edges, and points.

Select Sharp Edges

In Edit (TAB) mode and with Edge Select (2) enabled, Select > Select Sharp Edges to select edges exceeding specified angle in Sharpness parameter.

Checker Pattern

  • Select All (A)
  • Access Select > Checker Deselect
  • Includes options for Deselected, Selected, and Offset values.

Random

Reference video above for demo.

  • Access Select > Select Random
  • Includes options for Percent selection, Seed, and Select/Deselect action.

Selection & Back-face Culling

In Solid Display Mode, a selection does not include culled geo. Instead use Wireframe (Z)or X-Ray (ALT + Z) Display Modes to select through geo.

View Crop Selection

Using ALT + B, drag window to select visible geo relative to view plane. Toggle ALT + B to revert selection.

Mirror Selection

Make selection of vertices, edges, or faces on one side of the geometry.

Search (SPACE) > Mirror Selection.

Note that this only works if the geometry is symmetric.

Geometry Operations

Resolve Duplicate Extrusions

Strategy 1

  • If extrusion was last operation, simply undo (CTRL + Z).

Strategy 2

  1. Select all (A) or specified region of faces including duplicated extrusion face.
  2. Merge (M) > By Distance and specify an appropriate Merge Distance to merge overlapping vertices.

Strategy 3

  1. Select extruded face.
  2. Grow selection (CTRL + +) to capture doubled vertices and hidden faces.
  3. Delete selection (X).
  4. Select edge loop (ALT + LMB) around hole in geometry.
  5. Recreate face (F).

Fill & Grid Fill (Faces)

Fill

  • Select an edge in a geometry opening and fill (F) with a face. Continue to add new faces as long as bridge pair of edges are available.

Grid Fill

  • Selecting an edge loop in a geometry opening and accessing the face menu (CTRL + F) can enable Grid Fill to generate faces in geometry opening.

Mirror Edge Loops With Bevel

  1. Create a centered edge loop (CTRL + R).
  2. While it is still selected, bevel (CTRL + B) to move the edge loop out and mirror.

Bevel With Clamp Overlap

In using the Bevel (CTRL + B) with Clamp Overlap enabled, the resulting vertices that are overlapped are not merged, so note that they may need to be merged to mitigate potential overlapping vertex and edge issues.

Bisect Face Selection

Bisect a face selection using the Mesh > Bisect (also available under the Knife tool icon). Upon creation, the bisect can be oriented and positioned before applying.

Retopology Operations

Setup & Workflow

  1. Enable f2 Add-on. Information noted in section below.
  2. Enable Snapping (SHIFT + TAB).
    1. Snap To > Face.
    2. Enable Project Individual Elements.
  3. Create object to serve as retopo mesh: a plane suffices.
  4. Select object serving as retopo mesh.
  5. Enable Object Properties Tab > Viewport Display > In Front.
    1. This is to have the retopo mesh on top of the high-poly mesh. It is much more effective than X-ray model.
    2. IMPORTANT: Verify this option is disabled after retopo operations are complete.
  6. Navigate to the Outliner > Filter (icon) and enable the Selectable icon under Restriction Toggles.
    1. This enables objects to be defined as selectable or not in the Outliner.
    2. Disable selection (arrow icon) for the high-poly mesh in the Outliner.
      • This locks the object from being selected during retopo operations.
  7. In Modifier panel, add the following modifiers:
    1. Deform > Shrinkwrap
      • For Target, select the high-poly mesh object from the drop-down options. If object is not already set to non-selectable, then eyedropper icon can be used to select the high-poly mesh object.
      • This conforms retopo operations, such as new edge loops to the high-poly mesh.
    2. Generate > Mirror (For use with symmetric retopo operations)
      • Enable Clipping.
      • This aligns retopo mesh at the mirror plane in such a way that it cleanly joins mirrored mesh.
      • If necessary, Merge option can be adjusted to refine vertices merging at mirror plane.
  8. Set a material for the retopo mesh in the Material panel for clarity between underlying high-poly mesh and new retopo mesh.
    1. Viewport Display > Color
    2. This is the color to define the retopo mesh in the viewport.
  9. IMPORTANT: Once retopo operations are complete, verify that Object Properties Tab > Viewport Display > In Front is disabled.

f2 Add-on

This is a built-in add-on that "Extends the 'Make Edge/Face' functionality." Note that it is not enabled by default.

  • Edit > Preferences
  • Search: f2

Sculpting Workspace Management

User Interface

Brush Menu

Drag sculpting brush menu to view all brushes and names.

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Brush Settings

Advanced

Front Faces Only

Enable to affect only vertices facing the viewer. This can help to prevent collapsing of the mesh on itself.

Dyntopo

Similar to Sculptris Pro in ZBrush.

Detail Size

The smaller this value, the higher the resolution.

Detailing

  • Relative Detail
    • This is the default setting that is relative to the brush and detail size.
  • Constant Detail
    • Constant setting relative to world space.

Remesh

Similar to Dynamesh in ZBrush.

Verify Dyntopo is not enabled to utilize Remesh.

Voxel Size

The smaller the size, the higher the resolution when Remesh is enacted.

Symmetry

Mirror/Radial

Options available for each of the 3 axes.

Modifiers

Multiresolution (Subdivision Levels)

The Multiresolution modifier can be enabled to apply subdivision levels throughout the mesh to be sculpted. Reference the link for more information about the modifier.

The following shows the Multiresolution Modifier enacted to enable high resolution sculpting with a tablet and pressure sensitivity.

Brushes

Settings & Notes

Blender BrushZBrush EquivalentNotesFavoriteHotkey
Draw
Default Standard
Clay
Clay Strips
Clay Buildup
Increase brush Tip Roundness to soften edges. Set to 0.75.
1 (Custom)
Inflate
Inflate
Crease
Pinch
2 (Custom)
Flatten
Trim Dynamic
4 (Custom)
Scrape
Trim Dynamic
Similar to Flatten
Grab
Move
3 (Custom)
Elastic Deform
Move Elastic
Sort of like a soft transform
Snake Hook
Snake Hook
Smooth
Smooth
Default Strength is too high. Set to 0.3.
SHIFT + LMB

Tablet Settings

Wacom Cintiq

The use of a tablet is a good solution for sculpting in Blender. The following settings work well for my tablet, which I use in tandem with a keyboard solely for sculpting. All other operations are with the use of a keyboard and mouse.

Within Blender, I have both Radius (F) and Strength (SHIFT + F) linked to the tablet pressure sensitivity by enabling the table icons to the right of each parameter, as shown below.

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Rigging

Settings

Display In Front

For objects occluded by other objects in the 3D view, Object Properties > Viewport Display > In Front can be enabled for visual clarity.

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Local Axis Display

To display the local axis for each bone in an armature, select the armature object, then navigate to Object Data Properties > Viewport Display > Axes. This differs from displaying the object's own axis, which is accessed via Object Properties > Viewport Display > Axis. Note that with armatures, its Object Data Properties > Viewport Display also includes the option to display In Front.

Armature

Reset Bone Alignment

Select bone/s to reset alignment, or all bones, followed by ALT + R to reset them.

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Parent Mesh To Armature

Parent mesh to armature with CTRL + P and select from the available options, such as Automatic Weights.

Access Weight Paint With Armature Control

To access Weight Paint mode while maintaining access to bone selection and controls, select armature and mesh, then access Weight Paint mode. Within Weight Paint mode, select bones with CTRL + LMB.

Naming Convention

General

Attempting to name a bone with the same name as an existing bone will result in the current bone being named with a suffix of .001.

Mirrored Bones

Suffix matching pairs .L and .R (note the dot before each capitalized letter). Other conventions are noted as available in the following reference link.

Animation Settings

Frame Properties

Navigate to Output Properties (panel) > Dimensions to specify the frame properties, including Frame Start, End, Step, and Frame Rate.

Keyframe Operations

Set Keyframes

Duplicate Keyframes

Select keyframe, duplicate (SHIFT + D) and drag to new time.

Keyframe Properties

Adjust keyframe interpolation (T) and handle types (V) in the Graph Editor, using the many available options.

Exporting geo and animation for import into game engine as FBX will automatically crop animation timeline to last keyframe regardless of length of timeline in Blender file.

Misc Strategies

Shape Keys

When exported as an FBX file, these shape keys (morph targets) can be accessible in the respective game engine, such as UE (Morph Target Import To UE).

UV Mapping

Preface

Mesh Prep

Verify that the mesh intended to be UV mapped does not have any active modifiers that would adversely impact the UV mapping process. These could include modifiers such as Mirror, Subdivision Surface.

UV Edits

Select Islands (Shells)

In the UV Editor, enable the UV Selection Mode: Island icon at the top left corner. Another option is to hover the mouse cursor over an island and click L to select the island.

Align Shell

Select an edge intended to aligned either horizontally or vertically.

Tex Tools (N) > Align Edge

Display UV Stretch

Access the Overlays icon at the top right corner of the UV Editor.

UV Editing > Display Stretch

Options include by Angle or Area.

Split & Stitch

Select edges to split along followed by Split Selection (ALT + M).

Select edges to stitch along, followed by Stitch Selection (ALT + V).

Edge Peel Tubes

For tube-like geometry, select edge loop to serve as seam.

In UV Editor, Tex Tools (N) > Edge Peel

This is only really beneficial with tube-like geometry.

Transfer/Apply Texel Density

Input specified texel density in UV Editor > Tex Tools > Texel numeric field.

Or use eyedropper icon next to Texel numeric field to acquire texel density from selected object.

  • This stores the texel density value in the numeric field.

Select object that is intended to acquire the specified texel density, then select UV Editor > Tex Tools > Apply.

Texturing

Normals

  • Normal format used by Blender is OpenGL.
  • Substance Designer
  • Normal (node) > Normal Format > OpenGL

Modifiers

Overview

Modifiers are reliant on an object's pivot point.

Apply Modifier

In the drop-down arrow icon for each modifier is the option to apply the modifier and its current parameter settings to the object. This will integrate the modifier into the object's geometry and remove the modifier from the Modifier Stack.

Generate

Solidify

Thickness

Set to specify thickness for a selected surface/s.

Multiresolution

Level Viewport, Sculpt & Render

Note the mode that is currently active (Object, Sculpt). Subdivisions may show in Sculpt Mode, but not in Object Mode if Level Viewport is set to 0 or a different subdivision level than what is defined in the Sculpt parameter.

  • Sculpt
    • Specifically targets the visualization of the specified subdivision level when in Sculpt Mode.

Subdivision

  • Delete Higher
    • Deletes subdivision levels higher than the currently visible subdivision level specified in the Sculpt parameter.

Subdivision Surface

Levels Viewport & Render

Verify that the appropriate value is set for each or both parameters, specifically when intending to Render at a different subdivision level than what is set for the Levels Viewport parameter.

Deform

Lattice

Setup

This modifier requires that a Lattice object be input into the Object parameter to be used.

  1. Create a Lattice object (SHIFT + A) and size to encapsulate the intended object.
  2. In the Object Data Properties panel for the Lattice object, specify the Resolution of the lattice.
  3. Select the object to be modified and add a Lattice modifier.
  4. For the Object parameter in the modifier, use the eyedropper to select the intended Lattice object.
  5. The Lattice object can now be manually edited (in Edit mode), functioning as a lattice (cage) for the object to which the Lattice modifier was applied.

Physics

Cloth

Sample Workflow

  1. Mesh Preparation
    1. Even distribution of faces throughout mesh.
  2. Subdivision Modifier
    1. Set to Simple to preserve creases.
  3. Cloth Modifier
    1. Increase Vertex Mass and Pressure.
    2. Set Collision Collection to collection intended to collider with cloth object.
      • Collision objects in this Collision Collection need to have Collision Modifiers applied to them.
  4. Play animation (SHIFT + SPACE) to run cloth simulation.

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