Staging Area

Mouse Basics

Right-Click Right-click (also referred to as RMB for [R]ight [M]ouse [B]utton) selects a given object. Hold down Shift to select additional objects.
Left-Click Left-click (also referred to as LMB for [L]eft [M]ouse [B]utton) “does” stuff: works the transform manipulators, sculpts, paints, etc. (If you pause to think about it, these button assignments make sense, since you’re going to be doing a lot more LMB clicking to make little edits, and making many fewer RMB selections… probably.)
Middle-Click Middle-click (done by treating the the scroll wheel as a button and clicking with it on most mice) allows you to drag the view around the currently selected object. This is a free, unconstrained view rotation. Often useful for taking a quick look at things from another angle.
Scroll Wheel The scroll wheel zooms in and out in the current view.

Navigating the View

Camera Angles

Keypad 0 View through the camera.
Keypad 1 View from the front (looking along the Y-axis). Note that holding down the Control key and typing Keypad 1 (Control + Keypad 1) shifts the view to looking along the negative Y-axis — i.e. from the back.
Keypad 3 View from the right (looking along the X-axis). Control + Keypad 3 views from the left (negative X-axis).
Keypad 7 View from the top (looking along the Z-axis). Control + Keypad 7 views from the bottom (negative Z-axis).

View Adjustments

Keypad 4 Rotate the view counter-clockwise around the selected object.
Keypad 6 Rotate the view clockwise around the selected object.
Control + Keypad Arrows Pan the view in the direction of the arrow. Not all keypads are marked with arrows:

  • Keypad 4 is ←
  • Keypad 6 is →
  • Keypad 8 is ↑
  • Keypad 2 is ↓
Keypad Period Zoom and center the view to maximize the view of the currently selected object.
Keypad 5 Toggle between perspective and orthorgraphic (map) views.

Selecting and Manipulating Objects


A Select [A]ll objects in the scene in Object Mode (or all vertices in the object, if Edit Mode). If any objects are already selected, pressing A once will deselect everything, and pressing it a second time will select everything.
B Select objects with a [B]ox. Switches to a marquee selection tool, draw a box around the objects that you want to select.
Shift + Right-Click Add more objects to the current selection


N Show the details window in any 3D view. The contents of the details window vary depending on the mode and on which object is selected.
Spacebar Brings up the “Spacebar Menu” which provides a contextual set of options, depending on what object(s) are selected. Use this for quick access to adding objects and complex object editing options.


G Translate (move or “[G]o”) the selected object freely in the current view. Type G and then move the mouse. Left-click to “put down” the object.
S [S]cale the selected object uniformly in all dimensions. Type S and then move the mouse. Left-click to “put-down” the object.
R [R]otate the selected object in the current plane of view. Type S and then move the mouse. Left-click to “put-down” the object.
Control + Any Transform Holding down the Control key while doing any transformation (using the transform manipulators or the keyboard shortcuts above) while lock you into moving at “even” increments (5 degrees of rotation, 1 unit of movement, etc.). The exact numeric value of the transformation is shown in the lower-left corner of the 3D view pane.

Editing Objects

Shift + D [D]uplicate the currently selected object. Type Shift + D and then move the mouse. Left-click to “put-down” the object.
W With two objects selected in Object Mode, W brings up the boolean modeling options. In Edit Mode, W brings up the subdivide options.
Tab Toggle between the two most recently selected modes (say, Object Mode and Edit Mode). Control + Tab will cycle through all available modes.


I [I]nsert a keyframe for the selected object. Choose the type of keyframe from the menu.

February 8th, 2011

Posted In: Handouts

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