Notes from the Underground or QUIRKS by DOLLPARTZ
Up until version 2.46. (originally here I said 2.26 ... can you believe it)
Observations on Blender 3d.
Who knows where this is going? Actually I can see where it's going, to hell! It's a notepad of quirky things I had have encountered and that I feel might give a newbie some trouble (some are bugs, really, design flaws perhaps, and some may be that I don't understand what I'm talking about). It's taken on a negative slant which is not what I intended at the start, which is why I called it quirky. Now it's more painful things ... Removed some of the more basic quirks cuz they are just too basic.
If I'm missing something, or I'm wrong, let me know. Seeing as nobody knows about the site this is unlikely.
If this site gets completely neglected by me in the future, you should know I had Blender 2.46 when I wrote this. Cuz by the time you read it they could have changed everything.
This is a rich field of discussion no doubt.
1) Themes -- Or as some would call it, the appearance. Click the ADD button in the User preferences window and start a new theme, and change some things, the background, or the vertex size or whatever, say you spend an hour. Then you look over and there's no 'save theme.' Yet it appears in the list now, named 'new user theme,' in the list with default and rounded themes--is it saved?!
Hopefully you don't assume it is saved, because it isn't!! To save it you have to make it yer default by clicking FILE/Save default settings (or Ctrl U) and it becomes yer default.
* I've discovered since that under the FILE/EXPORT there is a 'Save theme as a python script' option. As advertized, this saves it as a script. Then you must put it in yer scripts folder by hand (when I first saved it it appeared in my C:\ directory). Once it's placed in the scripts folder, it'll then be available in yer scripts menu under 'themes.' When you click it, it'll load in yer klaidoscope of colors (or whatever you picked) and the theme will appear as current theme in the User Preferences. As before, however, it's not saved in that list and will disappear next time you start Blender unless you save yer settings as default settings.
** As of now, my method to save theme is to save settings as default settings. The script is saved too, just in case. I don't wanna have to pick colors again.
I use a theme that is very colorful. It looks something like this:
Enough with gray! I could find no way to remove that gray L on the right window or that would be gone as well. Ok, ok, it's becoming a mania ... Seriously, though, I'm glad I took the time to pick new colors, as I know colors affect me strongly. Here's another look (have you ever seen a tutorial that was with hand-picked colors like these):
Let me compare Blender's bevel on a box to a chamfered box in 3ds Max. The #1 green box in the image below is Blender with a recursion ... (note there's a script in Blender called Bevel Center). The wire frame version below makes it clear what the structure is. The #2 chamfered box is 3ds Max with a similar number of segments.
Note how the green one has a sharp little bump! This can be fixed in this case cuz there's actually 3 vertices there at the same location--all I needed to do was merge them. Then it looked ok.
Of the other two blocks, #3 is 3ds Max with more segments, and #4 is Blender with more recursions. Notice in #4 lines showing. Meanwhile #3 from 3ds Max looks really good. I don't know how to get rid of those lines in #4.
The wireframe view shows how Blender uses a different geometry for the corner than 3ds Max chamfered box.
You can make yer own 3ds Max style bevel corner by using an eighth of a sphere and extruding. Make sure the segments are double the rings. See below.
Lotta experience with this HELL! Specifically here the import or export of OBJ files.
1) The Window of Nothingness: Whether an import succeeds or fails, right afterwards yer rewarded with the whole script window blanked into nothingness. Which means if you enter a filename that doesn't exist you get an error and the whole window blanks, and you have to start again and pick file, and then import, and then obj again from menus before you can type another file name. Typing the file name wrong three times in succession is known technically as 'the keyboard breaker.'' This white-out also occurs when the import succeeds and God help you if you forget what you just did. And where is a hot key for import/export ... could really use that, wow.
2) Dance! Or at least type '.obj' for me: Import a file. It shows '*.obj' as default file name. Overwrite that by typing in the file name, ie 'test' but leave out the '.obj' and ... yer sunk. Can't import. Yet the button has on it 'Import a Wavefront OBJ' ... This means I can't quickly type the file name, I have to type over the '* or type '.obj' on the end of it every time. Of course as soon as I start typing '*.obj' disappears which means I have to type '.obj' myself. Annoying.
Meanwhile, want consistency? Won't get it. When I export a file, I don't have to put '.obj' on the end, it will save it with that extension.
3)Default directory morass: Enter a file directory for default directory to look for textures under User Preferences. Suddenly you get import errors on OBJ files that imported fine before with the default directory blank. Leave it with no default directory, and you can import the object ok again! This is nasty cuz it doesn't report it can't find textures. It just says error. I assume it treats default directory as the only directory but I dunno for sure. .
When I export it defaults to one directory, when I import it defaults to another. I don't see import/export default directories in preferences. The import directory stays at Blenderfoundation/Blender, which is a huge pain in ass because I never import from that directory! The export directory can change around. What I did to change it around I don't know.
Often the render default directory doesn't seem to be respected. I got it set, but when I hit F3 to save a render, that's not the directory that is offered sometimes. This time it's the export directory! If you don't export or import this weird stuff probably doesn't happen.
HELP HOT KEY REFERENCE
1) The search option. Suppose you want to know if you can separate some bones belonging to an existing armature into a new armature. Suppose you search for 'armature' in the hot keys reference--quite understandable given this feature is called 'Separating armatures'. Well, what comes up? 6 things but not what you are looking for.
Side notes. If you search 'separating' nothing at all comes up. If you search for 'armatures' instead of 'armature' nothing comes up. If you click the letter P button, assuming already you know it involves that letter, Ctrl-Alt-P (what it really is) is not listed. So, basically you have no chance of finding out the hot key for 'separating armatures' using the hot key reference search, or the letter keys..
When ya click the X to close the render window nothing happens if the render isn't finished. To abort the render and close the window you hit ESC and then click the X. It seems like nothing but still I make the mistake all the time of clicking X before render is done.
ARMATURE OR BONE?
If yer in EDIT mode and you add an armature (from top bar menu ADD), you don't actually add a new armature, you add a bone to the armature yer currently editing.
If yer in OBJECT mode and add an armature, it creates a new armature.
HOW TO DELETE SOUND BLOCKS
Where added by using the drop down menu. The ones opened in the sound block button panel. Need to look into more. * I think I know how, I have to use Data Browse, but I haven't tried it yet, it's probably similar to deleting actions from the action drop down..
If I open something and don't save it later, it doesn't appear in the list of recently opened later. Only recently saved appear on Open Recent.
SOLID OPENGL LIGHTS
Suppose you go into User Preferences and System& OpenGL. On the left is GL light preferences. Pick bright red for the left-most top box. This'll bath yer objects in bright red in the viewing window, of course. Now pick New to start over. You'll find yer added objects bathed in bright red again though you did not save these settings as default ... Also in the GL settings the red will no longer be shown in the left-most top box!
No worries though, cuz if you quit and re-start Blender the red will go away.
By the way these things can be useful ... I sometimes find areas in shadow I wanna edit, and fiddling with these lights enables me to remove all shadow when editing.