Some questions regarding fine control

Since I haven’t done anything advanced yet, this hasn’t bothered me, until now. I need to make sure things are symmetrical and all, so I need better control of things.

  1. Is there a “snap to grid” feature? I know that holding the ctrl key while moving an object will make it move the length of the grid spacing at a time, but it seems relative to the object, not the grid. This means that if I have an object aligned at say 0.86 at the X axis, and move it using the ctrl key in some direction, it will end up at say, 0.96 instead of at 0.90 as it would if it were to snap to grid.

  2. If there is, will there ever be such a feature for say, the knife tool or in general? So that you can, for example, set an option to “snap to grid” for everything in Blender. This would mean that everything in Blender would only use values that matches the closest grid value (including the knife tool).

  3. How can I change the center of an object? In some cases, the center of an object is not really in the center of an object. I know I managed to move it before, but I can’t remember what I did.

  4. Are there any other basic tricks I should know about that will make my modeling easier?

  1. In F9, Center Cursor, Center New etc…

For the rest, those are CAD functions and Blender doesn’t have them (yet). You can use the Shft-S menu to snap the 3D Cursor to the Grid and then snap Selected to Cursor.

The CAD issue has been hashed and rehashed over and over.

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  1. Try shift+s in edit mode. ctrl works this way: If you have a vert in 1.5, by moving it, it moves like … 0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 … 1 is one grid unit
  2. Select the edges/faces you want to cut and try shift+k.
  3. Centre to cursor: Editing/Mesh/Centre Cursor
    Centre to “real” centre: Editing/Mesh/Centre New
    Centre object to centre: Editing/Mesh/Centre (moves object so that centre remains in place whilst the object moves)
  4. Learn to use loops to your benefit: You can make more loops with ctrl+r. Hit p for proportional looping. Very useful at times.
    Avoid tris as much as possible and keep your meshes clean and simple.
    Study materials. You can make a lot of cool things with glass, alpha, ramp shaders, procedurals UV mapping … etc.

<edit> Remember to use shift-f to make faces easily. Just select the loop you want to be “faced” and then you can convert tris to quads by hitting alt+j.
Also, you can add new verts easily by holding ctrl down and clicking with left mouse button. </edit>

Is there a “snap to grid” feature?

Yes, but it is a two step process- Shift-s cursor to (nearest) grid and then shift-s selection to cursor. It is rather clumsy so instead i usually have the numeric entry window open (n-key) move to approximately the correct location and key in the exact value. You can also use the (draw) edge length option in the edit buttons -> mesh tools 1 panel to help locate where you want to place verts before keying in the exact value.

Question 2:

There isn’t at present, but again with the n-key panel you can select several verts and give them all the same x,y, or z value after knifing.

Question 3:

In object mode editing buttons -> mesh -> center, center new, center cursor.

Question 4:

If you just want to see how other people model I would suggest watching the “Over the Shoulder” – bishop and bathtub video at

http://www.ibiblio.org/bvidtute/

GreyBeard

Thanks everyone. I’ll definitely write down these suggestions.

Regarding the center of an object, there’s one tiny problem when the object isn’t a plane. Basically, I want to align an object according to the x and y axis (which works well). However, I want one of the surfaces relating to the z axis to align with another object’s surface at the same axis. Selecting all the vertices of said surface and setting the center of object doesn’t work, because the center of object according to the x and y axis is different than what it would be when the whole object is selected.

I suppose I could track down the z position of the surface I want to align it to, and then use the n key to manually set the z position of the other object, but isn’t there an easier way? (snap to grid would really speed up processes like these)