Multiple Newbie Questions

I’m having trouble finding answers to some of these questions. I’ve been following many great tutorials exploring blender, and I like to learn the most proper/common way of completing individual things. Forgive me for these questions lol Any tutorials you think that would help would be wonderful.

Scenes/linking files:

Maybe I’m over-thinking it, and somehow cant find lengthy info on it. How do people commonly set up their scenes? Lets just say I want to make a rather large city. Will it just be one big city on one file, or do you divide the city up into multiple files and link them into one? What about models that you make such as a phone or desk, do you make several models that you’ll use on a project into one big file and link them or make individual files of their own?
Now, what if you have two large cities? would those be two separate files?

Animation/simulation/Game engine

Now for this example, I have a character. Lets chop off his leg, how would I even do that? Do I have to make another version of him such as his leg missing in order to do so? Or lets just say I want his eyes to change color or even a different shape later in a short film, how do you accomplish things like this?

There’s a cup of coffee on the table, it drops and shatters on the ground and coffee splashes everywhere. How does one normally approach this?
Makes me question about the game engine, is it common for people to use the game engine to record an animation involving physics?


When do you do this? Is this a nice way to actually make a character, or would it be more like a sketch. Modelling a character as usual vs sculpt mode, are either beneficial over the other or is it more of a preference thing?


I’ve seen things like tree generators etc. Are they okay to work with or can they honestly just get sloppy at times? Would most people suggest to just make a tree from scratch?

Viewing problem

I don’t really have problems navigating on blender but there is just one thing… This usually happens when I’m messing with the camera… Lets have the cube in the middle of the grid, I can go inside around etc… but the problem comes when it feels like I’m attached to the camera after messing with it (note: I’m not in camera view). I can zoom away as far as I want but I can’t zoom in like I could before, like there is some kind of range attached to camera. When I reload the file the problem is gone.

I know one person won’t answer all these so I’ll mark the questions off as they are answered. I’m sorry that I wrote so much, and thanks for any help in advance.

hi, lots of questions!
obviously such questions can’t be answered generically and you’ll probably get a dozen different answers for each question, but this is kind of how i approach such things,
a big city scene i would make a low poly city for long shots, basically just a collection of cubes textured with building textures images, and use it for flyovers. similar to Andrew prices system how-to-create-a-city
then i would create a more detailed street, as a setting for my characters to interact.
for the objects in a scene i will generally make an “Assets” file which has all my cups and phones and guns etc which i will then Append to the scene as required. i dont link object files as a linked object cant be manipulated in the same way as an appeneded object i would save linking for textures.

for your example i would duplicate the character and seperate the leg into a seperate mesh object then model the wound and then animate the charachter as normal. at the point of wounding i would finish the render and swap the charachters and add the severing as a new animation and splice the two shots together in the video editor.

i try to avoid too many liquid sims as my computer is old and senile so i cant really comment on animating a cup of falling liquid, i justknow its possible :confused:
i dont use the game engine at all but i know people do use it for animating physics.

sculpting is how you get a really detailed model, its something you take your time over and just enjoy creating something, and now the masking brush has been included and supports image masks its getting close to being as awesome as Zbrush and with the dynamic topology addon it will be really quite good!
one you have a sculpted model you can either texture it to create a single image or re topologise it it make it a lower poly model which you can then bake the detail and use the more useable model in animations or games…

they can be good unless your looking for a specific look on a model then they can be used to grate a base to model from or just not used
dont mess around with the camera.

well do, but if your getting problems it will be better for you to ask specifically in a seperate thread so the answers can be focussed on the problem,

Scenes/linking files:
It gets more easy if you have a plan - script. Citie or two… Are you going to see them from far above? From outer space? If closer, it wouldnt fit into one shot. So you do not need to model any separate buildings, lamp poles to see two cities in a one frame. See this video to get overview of asset management for one of the latest big blender projects.

Animation/simulation/Game engine
Yep. Resources. Limits.
But we could have changed plan: Closeup of elbow pushing cup. Camera away; hero looks at opening window. Sound of cup hitting the floor. Camera still on window, turns to the floor where some parts of the cup still move…
No more need for heavy on computing simulations. You get the idea.

Could be subject on it’s own. Could be applied to subdivided cube to get the shape you need to. It’s just a toolset to help to get some result. Use it.

Again, if your artwork is some tree i would say - model, sculpt, make it unique. Make your art.
If you need some trees to be somewhere in your scene and they do not bear much importance- use tools available to get job done fast.
You could use generators to come up with some different use, say, make veins by growing ivygen…

Viewing problem
Try hitting dot key, zero key on numpad. Use 3d cursor as a pivot to rotate camera around some object. Use double keytaps - rr, gg to move camera.
User preferences, Interface - check Zoom To Mouse Position, Rotate Around Selection - that might help too.

Yes many questions and still have more but trying to find out on my own lol. Thank you both for the detailed replies and that was great link by the way.