The 3D Canvas User Interface

Before I start the next part of the tutorial I think I’ll write a bit about the 3D canvas user interface as it is quite
different to the other tools out there and takes a bit of getting used to.
 
A lot of people coming from other tools generally have a hard time controlling the view and objects.
 
The type of item selected is controlled by the top two tools on the right hand menu bar object mode or face/edge/point mode
Multiple selection can be achieved for face/edge/point mode by holding down the ctrl key.
 
The next thing to mention are the "widgets".
In the perspective view these appear as 3 coloured axes with shaded triangles and as 2 axes in the orthogonal view.
 
The widget on the bottom left left controls the view point in the scene.
t1c1
Dragging the mouse over the triangle on the left widget adjusts the view position.
Dragging the mouse over one of the axes on the left widget changes the view angle.
There is also a rectangular "zoom" area next to this widget.
 
Another (simpler) way to control the view is to drag an object with the middle mouse button (or mouse wheel) held down. This
rotates about the selected object axis. Middle mouse dragging over the base grid zooms the view.
 
The widget on the bottom right or the viewport applies operations to selected objects/faces/edges/points.
t1c2
This widget has 2 triangles per pair of axes.
 
The triangles nearest the axes join/centre controls the position of the selected object/face/edge/point in the selected plane.
Similar move operations can be applied to the selected item using the left mouse button drag on the scene for the X/Z plane
and the right mouse button drag for the Y plane.
 
e.g. select the top face of a cube and right mouse drag to move it up.
The outer triangle controls the scale of the selected o/f/e/p in the selected plane.
 
Dragging the mouse on one of the right widget axes, rotates the selected item.
 
It really takes a bit of time to get used to these widgets and they are also affected by the orientation mode (buttons on the top menu) so it is worth taking a bit of time to practice these on simple objects to see what they all do.
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