What is that Lifeboy crosshair icon thingy actually for?

The red and white circle with the crosshairs on it that positions itself where ever you click your cursor, what does it do? Why is it there? There must be a reason for it but none jump out at me. The getting started videos never mention it. Is it actually useful?

That “thingy” is called 3D cursor, and it is used for:

  • Placing objects. When you add a mesh it is placed wherever 3D is cursor currently located.
  • Transformations. 3D cursor may be used as pivot point.
  • Editing: e.g. Spin tool spins around 3D cursor.

See manual for more :slight_smile:

At least now I know it’s there for something, it was starting to get on my nerves. Blender’s very different, but it’s starting to make more sense.

Also check out this 3d cursor addon:
http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Extensions:2.6/Py/Scripts/3D_interaction/Enhanced_3D_Cursor

Very handy, and works with Blender’s snapping tools.

Blender is quite different. When I started using Blender (coming from Maya) the 3D cursor was one of those things that needed some getting used to. It’s great that Blender is starting to make some more sense to you. One of the most important things you can do learning Blender is getting to know the hot keys. When I started learning Blender it was sort of frustrating until I started to remember the hot keys. Remember you can always press the space bar over the 3D view and bring up the search box to find a function (and it’s hot key). Even having used Blender for some time now I still use the search box from time to time, it’s one of those little features that makes a huge difference.

@Herbert123
No luck in version 2.65.9. In what version you use this addon?

Pro tip: press Shift-C to center the 3D cursor in the scene. Got me through hell :wink:

Another common use for the 3D cursor: change the location of an object’s origin (see the Object menu > Transform > Origin to 3D Cursor.

It means you can snap the cursor to a specific vertex or collection of vertices in Edit Mode, then switch to Object Mode and relocate the origin. Comes in very handy sometimes.

I agree it was strange getting used to it, but when I started relearning Maya earlier this year, I really-really missed it. The only way to get a sort-of work-alike in Maya is to buy an addon (don’t remember which) and I really didn’t have the budget for that.

So cool, I came back and found all these different answers, spent a bit of time testing them out. I’m seeing it now. Thanks blenderpeople.

And this means they have WRITTEN the manual now?? ( and unless they have done MASSIVE updates the Blender Wiki does not count since last time i checked 3/4 of the 2.6 manual was backlinked to the 2.4 version or had TO BE WRITTEN on the page)

I am not quite sure I understand your comment, sir. You seem to think you are in a position to be owed something. Well, you are wrong. If you are not satisfied with the quality of current Blender documentation, you could always participate and help update it accordingly.

SHFT S is one of my favorite menus

Another one to write down and memorize, thank you.

Its not that i am “owed” anything but its a bit hard to help update things when

1 i would have to know the information in question
2 those that do actually know seem to think that the information in question is “Top Secret Burn Before Reading”
3 the video “tutorials” are 98% useless for getting details (or are completely useless)

I would be happy to help edit the sections on UV painting and Animation if i could get somebody to teach me.

Good response, roberttux. I’ve felt this frustration myself and it does, at times, seem almost impossible to find the information.

@Stan Pancakes: Recommending that someone help with documentation when they don’t know the software doesn’t make sense to me. Funny. You seem like a reasonable guy other than this one comment. :slight_smile:

Shortcut key for many functions is the first letter of the function/menu name. Sure they are used with combination of ctrl/alt/shift/other keys and there are differences in different modes, but it still helps to remember them.

For example, letter S was mentioned.
S = Scale, Shift+S = Snap, Ctrl+S = Save, Alt+S = Scale along normals (edit mode), Alt+S = clear Scale (object mode), Alt+shift+S = to Sphere, Ctrl+alt+shift+S = Shear

Those are the shortcuts for letter S that I can remember on top of my head without opening Blender. Similar pattern repeats in other keys. It’s not necessary to remember all of them but if you remember the most used ones, you’ll be quite quick.

Thanks :slight_smile:
Trying to stay that way, I’ll elaborate: helping with documentation doesn’t necessarily mean documenting the whole Blender. One can always update or write sections about functionality one’s familiar with. Or collect a series of advices/help/tutorials one has found during one’s learning of the software to e.g. propose to include said advices/help/tutorials into documentation.
And even if that is not possible, then locating missing/incomplete/incorrect sections and reporting them to bug tracker in my opinion also counts as helping. As opposed to making aggrevated remarks about “them who didn’t write documentation”. Don’t you think?

To return back on track a bit: 3D cursor, which is the subject of this thread, is documented in the manual.

Last I checked, 2.6 manual has documentation about animation. (There’s also a complete rigging DVD somewhere around youtube, or can be purchased from BF, but that has little to do with documentation :slight_smile: ). UV painting as in “Vertex Painting” is also in the 2.6 manual. UV Painting as in “Texture Painting” - alas, those pages are absent, but 2.4 manual has them, and while UI may have changed, principles haven’t.

which is my problem beginning with an already UV mapped OBJ how can i
1 sort out brushes that are different shapes (and not “fuzzy”
2 get the painting to actually apply (and be saveable)

Oh and there was a lot of work done so the “principles” have in fact changed

as to animation im working with the SL bvh format (which seems to have issues with Blender)


as a challenge to the Blender Elders (or any handy Olde Pharts) i will host myself as part of the Bad Wolf Ballet project a set of tutorials if somebody would like to teach me/help out. We will be using blender-2.65-r54641-win32 as the platform and the Makehuman base.obj as our model.

UV texture painting and general mesh editing will be covered primary tutorials will be TEXT with videos as supplements.

Email me directly with the subject Bad Wolf Ballet if you want to help out.

What’s there to sort out? Assuming you’re talking about Texture Painting, there are only 6 brushes, no need to sort anything out. Now fuzzyness is controlled by a brush curve, while custom shapes can be applied via textures.

2 get the painting to actually apply (and be saveable)

Texture paint is saved into currently assigned texture (as in assigned via Edit Mode/UV editor). So saving is the matter of pressing F3 in the editor. Not 100% sure about Vertex Painting, but I get an itchy feeling it’s possible via baking.

Oh and there was a lot of work done so the “principles” have in fact changed

Hmm… Unwrap model. Make sure your unwrap has no overlapping areas. Assign new texture. Switch to texture paint mode. Paint your texture. Switch to object mode. Save your texture. What changed?

as to animation im working with the SL bvh format (which seems to have issues with Blender)

Yes, I saw your thread about BVH. I myself know nothing about it, but as I mentioned earlier, if you find some tricks/tips/caveats in working with the format it may be worth it to submit links to them to the wiki, or at least to the devs to look at them and see if they’re worth including links to.


as a challenge to the Blender Elders (or any handy Olde Pharts) i will host myself as part of the Bad Wolf Ballet project a set of tutorials if somebody would like to teach me/help out. We will be using blender-2.65-r54641-win32 as the platform and the Makehuman base.obj as our model.

UV texture painting and general mesh editing will be covered primary tutorials will be TEXT with videos as supplements.

Email me directly with the subject Bad Wolf Ballet if you want to help out.

You may want to extract that into new thread in, say, discussions forum so more people would see this.

Well, dang! Now I’m seeing both sides of this.

Is there a howto guide for contributing these types of things to the wiki/documentation?

If so, can someone please provide a link?

If not, could someone please write up a brief guide?