Blender 2.8x Viewport Essentials (Part 1/2)


hello! Gleb here. welcome to the viewport
navigation and rendering essentials for Blender 2.80+ update for the
Hard surface modeling video course. knowing how to utilize the blender 2.80
viewport capabilities is super important for modeling and for that matter for any
kind of tasks in Blender. we’ve got a lot of useful viewport and rendering
features in Blender 2.80, I think it’s very important to familiarize
ourselves with it. 3d modeling is a visual practice
(surprise!) so viewport is where we work. every subtle change of how 3d scene is
displayed in the viewport reflects on our productivity, I guess, but thankfully
now we have a massively improved viewport, compared to 2.79 and before
that, so throughout the next few videos we’ll explore all the useful features
we’ve got. how to make use of it, where the new buttons are located and what
does it all mean. so we’ll start with the user interface
and make our way to the rendering side of Blender in the context of hard
surface modeling. so first things first, let’s start off with the layout basics –
Aidy has already outlined these features in the introductory video for 2.80. I
think we can go over it one more time and expand some sections. ok so here is
the viewport. it’s where we see our 3d scene. probably the most radical way to
change the appearance of Blender right away is to change a theme from Blender dark
to Blender light because right now there are two default themes in Blender, which
kind of makes sense to me but you still can design your own theme if you like.
personally I prefer to stick to the dark side, it’s easier on my nerves and eyes.
so at the top we have the new layout options, layout presets. we can toggle
between modeling, sculpting, UV editing and other workspaces to quickly set up
blender for a particular task, but most importantly we can create our own
layouts. that’s cool because this way we can export/import them, basically it
makes it easier to share so we can right-click, just duplicate and rename it
however we like: layout_02 (how original…) and I’m just gonna go
ahead and set up a few more windows, something like that, and we can make this
one a close-up and now if we want to import it into some other scene, we
can do it very easily, actually we can press f4 or go file, append and then
navigate to the folder with the .blend file that you probably saved by now and
go workspace, find the workspace that we previously created (this one is called
layout_02) and just append it from the library and tadaaam!
at the top we have this layout. we can quickly toggle back and forth between
various layouts by pressing ctrl+page down and control+page up like this.
okay, the next commonly used operation that I wanted to showcase is maximizing
the viewport size we can do it from the View menu, view area, toggle maximize area,
but this is clumsy, nobody does it like that. just control spacebar to maximize the
window and press control spacebar once again to get back to the previous view.
that’s a very important shortcut to remember. in modeling, especially modeling
we need real screen estate to be maximized. even on big monitors vertices
are so tiny, it’s so easy to miss. that’s why we should use every opportunity to
make real screen estate a little bit bigger. in a long run that will really
help. yeah, for example we can collapse the timeline because we don’t need it at
the moment and that will give us a few more pixels to work with.
right now I’m in the full-screen mode but by default blender launches in the
windowed mode so we have to go window, toggle full screen. if you want to win a
little bit of extra pixels for yourself, the next logical step would be to
collapse the menus on the right but we won’t go there now. all right let’s talk
about viewpoints. there are many ways of navigating around the viewport and of
changing the viewport modes. the first one is… go View, viewpoints and choose the view,
but now we also have the gizmo in the top right corner of the screen, we can
interact with it by click and dragging the gray area or just clicking on the
axis button, clicking on it once again will invert the view from front to back,
from top to bottom and so on but, obviously we can toggle between
different viewpoints by utilizing the numpad keys: 7 for the top view, control 7
for the bottom view, the opposite one, 0 for the camera (but we’ll talk about that
later) and this icon is for switching to the orthographic mode. pressing the
button once again brings you back into the perspective mode. on the numpad we
can press 5 to toggle between those modes and if you don’t have a numpad you
can still set blender to use regular number keys in the user preferences.
alright, what is also extremely interesting and intriguing is that the focal
length changes the way we see 3d models quite drastically. it’s nice to be
aware of it. actually we can change the focal length not only in the camera
settings but in the viewport settings as well and that’s where we work 99% of the
time, the viewport, and don’t worry, we’ll come back to this in a few minutes and
tweak this viewport setting. ok there is one more type of somewhat hidden
viewpoint that we can choose. it’s Align to View. we can select a few
polygons for example and go align view to active or we can use the numpad and
press shift 7 or control shift 7 to align the view in relationship to the
normal of the surface that we selected or
perpendicular to it and if for some reason you got lost in the viewport (and
that happens, that happens very often) just press the Z icon on the widget
and if you don’t have the widget press 7 on the numpad or something like that and
then press 5 to enter the perspective view and that’s pretty much the way we
rediscover ourselves. another not so well known way of interacting with the
viewport is holding alt and click dragging the left mouse button right left or
any other direction. also we can press accent grave (`) on the keyboard to bring up
the pie menu where we can choose the viewpoint really quickly, especially if
you develop a muscle memory for it. in the Preferences in the navigation
toolbar we can change the smooth view. if you don’t like this interpolation you
can just set it to 0 for instant popping into view. but for this
particular video I think we can leave it on. little clues like that make
everything slightly less confusing in my opinion. yeah let’s keep it on if you
use tablet to interact with blender you will appreciate the set of icons at the
top right corner. this is for switching into the camera mode, this is for panning
the view and that one is for zooming in and out but that’s not all, we have a few
more interesting methods of interacting with the viewport, of navigating the
viewport. we can go navigation, fly or walk navigation. that’s basically a set
of first-person real time controls like in a first-person shooter or flyer you
can press WASD to navigate around actually I use the first-person mode
quite often across different software not only in Blender with an Unreal
Engine as well so that’s very convenient as for me. you can quickly activate it by
pressing shift and accent grave (`) and then regulate the speed of the movement by
using the mouse wheel. fantastic! to enter the camera view once again you
can press 0 on the numpad and as we’ve already mentioned we have the focal
length setting that we can tweak and if the camera is selected you can press G
to move it around G and Z 2 times to move it on the z axis or to dolly zoom but
actually I wanted to show one more time how to change the focal length in the
viewport because that’s where we spend our time. basically if you press N to
open the right toolbar you can change it there and even small changes from 50 to
35 millimeters will drastically change the way the model looks. 120 will make it
less prone to perspective distortions so it’s a little bit more flat representation of
various angles and surfaces and so on but I usually give it 50, it’s a nice
balance between perspective distortion and being able to actually see the depth.
again, here is the paper cut that happens so often to me and other Blender users: clipping. if you bring the camera a little bit closer to the object and
geometry stars disappearing, you can fix it by tweaking the clip start and clip
end parameters in the viewports toolbar that you can again bring up by pressing
N. it’s really a quick fix it works not only for viewports, but for all the
cameras as well and in each camera it should be set manually, so I guess that’s
something to keep in mind, especially when you import and you mesh and you
simply don’t see it because it’s too big and outside the clipping range or
something like that or too close for that matter, so these are the basic user
interface and layout settings in Blender 2.80 but we have a lot more things to go
over, so keep watching. clarity and readability of the modeling
practices, but also information about what’s actually happening in the scene,
all of these can be derived from 3d viewport. so ironically one of the key
skills in 3d modeling may be, well, organizing your viewport. so with this
mind set let’s approach the next tutorial from
Blender Hard Surface Modeling series for 2.8 version of Blender and above. today
we’re going to be talking about the organizational practices for 3d viewport
but also about balance of clarity and information, so let’s start the ball
rolling by looking at the visibility options that we have here. we have the
object types visibility menu, we can disable the certain types of objects, for
example we can disable all the meshes in the scene or all the curves, light
sources, etc. most importantly we can disable empties, because once you start
utilizing the mirror modifiers and stuff like that, that uses empty as the origin
point, the viewport gets really cluttered and once in a while we can
clean it up by disabling, say, cameras or empties. we can also disable it in the
outliner panel if we group it into layers so we always have kind of
multiple angles to look at the optimisation of our scene. we have
viewport, we have outliner, we have additional menus like the visibility
menu at the top of the screen, but we also have hotkeys and we can hide and
show objects manually, like by going into show/hide menu or just pressing the H
key to hide, that’s very fast indeed once you practice it a little bit it quickly
quickly becomes a habit, like select a few objects, ban it from existence for a
while or on the contrary select a bunch of objects by shift-clicking on them and
go Shift H to hide unselected (to hide everything else except this selected
group) and then do some modeling without having to worry about the rest of the
scene. that makes sense not only from the
standpoint of design, because the more geometry you have in the viewport, the
slower it gets. you may hit the breaking point where it no longer feels fluent
enough. okay alternatively we can toggle local view by pressing the slash key on
the numpad to isolate a bunch of objects and then slash again to exit this local
view. in my opinion that’s practically the same as hitting Shift H to hide
unselected, but when you’re in the local view you cannot distribute objects
between layers and stuff like that so I usually prefer to hide objects instead.
that’s just my habit, you may have different preferences. right at the top
of the screen next to the viewport visibility menu we have the viewport
gizmos menu. here we can unclutter the interface a little bit more or on the
contrary show a bunch of gizmos like the move rotate and scale gizmo which
probably may come in handy if you use a tablet or stuff like that or if you just want
to manipulate objects using gizmos. I usually rely on shortcuts instead,
because this way you cannot accidentally mess it up and hit the wrong arrow and
stuff like that and additionally with the hotkeys you can type in the math
expressions and easily change the axes on the fly. I think that potentially
makes shortcuts a little bit more convenient once you
get the idea of it and develop muscle memory for that matter, but no problems
there are also the visual indicators for the transform operations. now let’s talk
about overlays and from there transition to the rendering features. mmm, exciting
stuff… but first, overlays. hmm so this menu is located at the top of the screen. here
you can tweak a lot of things like you can disable the axis lines, stuff like that
and disable the floor grid altogether it’s not always clear whether it
actually helps to clean up the interface or maybe removes a crucial cue about the
distances between objects and so on, so worth experimenting with. here is the
scale of the grid and on the right subdivisions,
in case you’d like to tweak it for whatever reason. I can’t think of any particular
reason I’d like to tweak it, but anyway… potentially any element that bothers you
can be wiped out from the viewports or on the contrary added to the viewports
for that matter, maybe you like to see all origins represented as the white
dots here, maybe you just like dots or you you are a machine learning algorithm
that uses dots as tiny markers for motion tracking type of stuff… you know…
Blender is software for everyone. we should really stay open-minded.
okay the next option that we have here is face orientation that can be useful
for debugging. essentially it draws the polygons pointing towards the camera in
blue and the polygons pointing away in red. it allows you to see the back facing
polygons, useful for debugging indeed. alright let’s disable this Predator view
for now and concentrate on other stuff like wireframes for example. the first
way of switching over to wireframe display can be found at the top of the
screen among the render icons. the other way of
using wireframe shading can be found in the viewport display tab. this works on per
object basis so basically you can enable wireframe for any object and to assign
this drawing method to multiple objects at once, you can for example select a
bunch of objects then hold alt and simply click on wireframe but as for me,
I have a three button mouse emulation enabled in the Blender preferences so
that method simply doesn’t work in that particular case. another way of
approaching it would be to select a few objects then right-click the wireframe
icon and select ‘copy to selected’ and if you want to turn it off uncheck the
wireframe, right click, copy to selected again. lastly the third way of drawing
wires in the viewport would be to go over to viewports overlays and click
wireframe the slider that goes from one to zero won’t
work if the all edges checkbox is checked. so if you want to utilize the
slider you have to uncheck it and then that’s how it works.
at its maximum all edges are being drawn and as soon as you start bringing it
down, part of the edges that don’t contribute to the overall shape of the mesh will
disappear. that may or may not help to fight the visual noise caused by
wireframes all over the place. I usually just crank it up to one though,
because when you want to see wireframes you probably want to see them in their
entirety. I think it’s so important, then we can actually add it to quick
favorites and probably assign a special shortcut to it. I would opt-in for both
options. I have a little bit of the OCD for showing wireframes, I constantly toggle
back and forth. all right, what we can also do in addition to that is press
this button to hide or show all overlays at once. this is pretty useful. one more
thing related to drawing type that I really wanted to emphasize is wireframe
& the boolean objects, so let’s set up some boolean operation really quickly.
here I added the cube, the boolean modifier with a subtraction operation,
let’s eyedrop the cube and to see what’s going on behind the scenes or rather
behind the cube. we have to hide it or alternatively, we can tinker around with
the visibility type or with the display as option, we can display it as wire, that
is already pretty helpful because we can see all the changes to the geometry like
for example this bevel, but at the same time this object no longer obscures
what’s going on behind it, but if it’s too much and you want to simplify it
further more, feel free to set the display type to ‘bounds’ and this will
make Blender visualize these objects as a cube, basically as a bounding box.
well it has pros and cons. as you can see not all objects benefit really from
turning into bounding boxes but indeed the overarching theme for today for this
video is finding the right balance, finding sweet spot between showing
enough detail, enough information and having a clear and cluttered view of our
scene so what I just did is I pressed 3 to hide the collection number 3 with all
the boolean objects that I previously moved to the collection number 3. that
takes some time and mental energy to constantly remind yourself to place the
boolean meshes to the layer number 3 and so on but it totally makes sense and
it pays off in the end. all right, what other wonderful features do we have? we
can enable x-ray. it doesn’t work in all render modes, just in solid and
wireframe, so that’s something to keep in mind. so… oh goodness gracious…
I hate those lines streaking across the model. what is it?
basically that’s relationship lines, they’re useful, they show that we have
parented everything to the empty object. but I’m not sure if it looks a little
bit trashy, much better without it in my opinion. so while we are in the x-ray
mode we can see through things and then select things on the opposite side of
the object (it practically makes no sense in this example because we use the mirror
modifier so we can just select on either side of the mesh, it doesn’t make any
difference) but not everything has to always make sense. that would be boring ( ͡°Ĺ̯̿̿ ͡°).
so we can play with the x-ray intensity parameter. if we set it to 0 we will get
just outlines. that said if we have the outline checkbox turned on that mode
might be mildly useful to reveal the distribution of detail, say, where the
high-frequency details are located and where they should be located based on
the areas of interest. something along these lines. but for now I’ll just
disable x-ray and let’s move on to the other example. we still haven’t depleted the wireframe quicktips so let’s switch
over to the wireframe mode one more time and we can actually disable x-ray. wireframes can be transparent, but at the same time they can be opaque. that’s
paradoxical if you think about it. what it means for us in practice, that we can
no longer see through the wireframe object, we can no longer see what’s on
the other side and we cannot select through. it has its uses, but if you want
to treat wireframes like in blender 2.79, just enable x-ray and you will be good
to go. the intensity of the x-ray effect can be tweaked in the viewport shading
options over here. [awesome possum]. I think, we have nailed the basic useful features
of the overlays menu and at that stage of the tutorial I’m seriously
considering diverging into totally unrelated thoughts. really, all other
options like display faces and stuff like that (…show surface area) are pretty
marginal for 3d modeling, for the hard surface modeling. as for me we’re
talking about the fringe stuff here, whether to display faces and bevel
weights or not and I’m sure you’ll figure it out based on your
circumstances. one thing that is worth celebrating though is that all these
overlays work perfectly in Cycles rendered mode! (in Eevee rendered mode too, of course) but seeing all these effects including
wireframes working perfectly fine on top of the path tracing render engine that
runs in real time… that is something! maybe it’s not that big deal, but
sometimes working in a fully physically correct environment with physically
correct lights allows you to see something that you wouldn’t see
otherwise. seeing overlays on top of it gives you an additional layer of
information and combined that works wonders. we can even model in
this mode: extrude some faces and so on, how about that? We thank you for watching
and in the next tutorial we’ll explore the render engines of Blender in the
context of Hard Surface Modeling. (。◕‿◕。)

17 thoughts on “Blender 2.8x Viewport Essentials (Part 1/2)

  • I am a simple Blender community member – I don't care about any of the viewport enhancements, fixes and changes the 2.8 series brought. All I care about is that you can change the "Face Orientation" colors.

  • @Gleb I've included you in my fantasy team.
    I've been designing such an ambitious software that I had to imagine what it would take to complete it. That imagination culminated to a parody of a collaboration of my heros.
    https://youtu.be/-fGbGVWdXks

  • great thanks.
    want to suggest some tutorial series or full course on fully procedural materials making tutorial series in blender 2.8 from masters like you (both).
    hope, we'll see this on this channel soon..!!!!

    after watching your HS series, I'm confident in modelling and really modelled well.
    now, want to learn to create materials and PBR texture painting. but, can't afford adobe substance bundle and my pc is not able to run those software(s) as well.
    I already looked on the internet, but, no one explains like you both explain blender.
    please consider this.

    hope for a favourable response. love you.

  • Great video. I think leaving the move gizmo displayed is great for when you're in edit mode and have a lot of vert snapping to do. Becomes quicker to hold down CTRL key while dragging on the X,Y,Z or XY, XZ, YZ handles, than using the hotkeys G, Y, CTRL, G shift X, CTRL etc.

  • 2.8 is clearly the worse update of Blender. I learned a workflow during about 10 years (since 2.49), it was always the same things with little changes, but now, absolutely everything has changed, the options disapeared or changed place, you need 10 minutes to retrieve the old options, which often doesn't have a shortcut anymore. Please break even more Blender, it's so usefull to learn 3d during 10 years and it took only 2 weeks to lose everthing. I will never use Blender 2.8 anymore. 2.79 was so great, and Blender Foundation ruined everything.

    Ps: Sorry i used this video to pass my message, was a great video as usual Gleb 🙂

  • Hello Gleb, are you and Aidy Burrows going to upload all the videos from your hard surface modelling course or are you just uploading a few but there will be some videos that you have to pay the course to watch? If every video in the course is like the videos you are uploading recently, damm that have to be a usefull course.

  • Hi Gleb! Quick question, do you teach how to animate cars in your car modeling course? If not, do you have any plans on making one?

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