Selection tips for Blender

Have you noticed how it can sometimes be difficult to select the right thing in Blender? You might for example need several clicks to select the object you want in object mode. That’s because Blender will take into consideration each object that is underneath the cursor when you click. Here are some tips that might help make selecting the correct object a little bit less frustrating:

Tip 1:
Hold down the alt-key when you right-click on an object. This will open up a selection menu which allows you to see all the objects that were under your cursor when you clicked. This will also work even when adding to an old selection, so that if you hold down shift and alt it will let you add the new object from the list to the current selection.

Tip 2:
See if changing the selection depth engine helps. You can find the option under Preferences –> System –> Selection. There you can test both “OpenGL Occlusion Queries” and “OpenGL Select” to see if one works out better for you.

Tip 3:
See if holding down the control-key while selecting helps. That will disable the depth check and select the object which origin is the closest to the mouse cursor during the click.

Tip 4:
Sometimes it can be really difficult to see the objects you have selected because the outline can be so thin. Luckily you can increase the outline width/thickness by going to preferences –> Themes –> 3D View and changing the “Outline width” property.

Blender build modifier order

Here’s how you can change the order of the build modifier:

-Take your mesh to edit mode

-Select the faces you want to effect

-Place the 3D cursor to a suitable location (if using the cursor distance option)

-Choose mesh –> sort elements –> cursor distance

-Make sure you select “faces” in the toolbar properties section (the area where temporary options for various tools appear)

-Now the build order should be based on the distance of each face from the 3d -cursor. This is perfect for quickly growing things!

How to draw freehand curves in Blender

Since 2.78 Blender has had the amazing capability to draw freehand curves. Here’s how you do it:

-Add a curve object (shift+ A –> curve –> bezier)
-Take it to edit mode and delete the default curve there
-Go to the “create” tab (in the left hand toolbar) and click “draw”
-You can now use your mouse to draw amazing freehand curves

Rendering via the VSE

Using the VSE editor to render out multiple sequences can be helpful. You can easily queue up different sequences for a single render and you can do nice effects like time remapping as well. But it’s usually recommended to use a separate scene for all the VSE stuff so that you don’t run into weird problems. The question becomes, how do you control the render settings: is it from the linked scene render settings or from the VSE scene render settings? Here’s a quick rundown:

-The resolution of both scenes will affect the outcome: if your animation scene has a resolution of say 10 x 10 and you VSE scene has a resolution of 1920 x 1080, then the image will be stretched from 10 x 10 to 1920 x 1080 and the result will be incredibly blurry. If you do it the other way around so that the animation scene has a big resolution and the VSE sequence has a smaller resolution, then you are wasting render time because Blender will render the larger number and the scale it down for the VSE.

-The sampling and light path settings will be taken from the animation scene (not the VSE scene)

-The file output location will be taken from the VSE scene

-GPU vs CPU setting will be taken from the individual animation scenes (you can render some sequences with GPU and others with CPU)

-Motion blur will (thankfully) be taken from the animation scene (the motion blur setting in the VSE scene won’t affect anything)