I’ve always used blender using the average split 4 view method (top, front, side, 3d). This has the disadvantage of having much smaller windows in which to do details work. I never use the ctrl+uparrow to switch to full screen as the key combination is such a pain in the arse (tohupuu3 has shift+space, please let it into BF!). When I used Maya I found the 3d view much easier as it had manipulators but mainly because the turntable rotation was so much easier to use as it had a locked vertical axis.
As I`m not stuck on a laptop (PC is in a container on its way to Australia) I’ev got a 1024x768 screen so the 4 view thing is unusable. I really need to find a way to make the 3d view work. What do other people use? If you use a single view whats your workflow? What rotation model do you use? What pills are you on to stop turntable driving you mad?
For the single-window workflow, the numeric keypad is invaluable. I understand that this may be difficult with a laptop, but I think there’s a workaround.
I use the trackball rotation model and am quite fond of it (reminds me of orbit viewing in XSI).
i always use a special 4 panel setup: one big 3d view, the button panel below, the two smaller views on the side have the 3d camera and an optional view usually the IPO panel or so.
and rotation model the orbiting one (no idea how blender calls it, i call it like that in my apps ^_^).
the big 3d view and buttons window on the bottom [as was the default in many blender releases]
when I do any coding, animating, or uv mapping I split the 3d view in half and make the right half my text/action/ipo/image window…
though I wish I had a bigger display regardless, I could put buttons and all sorts of cool stuff there
one view is usually enough for me
for laptops the fn key or emulate numpad in the options to get numbered views back.
transform goodies and new manipulators in 2.37 may alleviate your navigational problems
Usually a 3d window and a buttons window, unless animating or UV texturing, then a third window is added for ipo curves or the UV map view.
When just plain modelling, ctrl + UPARROW, for total full screen 3d view.
Thanks for the replies folks. It’s much how I was planning to work with the 3d view + buttons window and struggling with trackball rotation. I guess I’ll get used to it.
I do pretty much exactly what z3r0 d does. On my laptop, I use the middle mouse button trick almost exclusively to rotate around the scene. shift + mmb to move the view. But at the same time I have the number buttons to go to side, front, top, ect. if I ever get lost in the scene %|
Split window, 3d | 3d with buttons underneath. Usual top | side views for the 2 3d windows, which I flick between the top front side views constantly.
I tend to use perspective mode only for working on objects that aren’t visible in ortho mode, but work in ortho mode the rest of the time.
I find 1600x1200 split to two gives me the space I need to work well. Three windows or more makes things too small to work well.
Depending on workflow, I use the screen setups to help with anims etc.
Quite fond of the full screen mode and flick to it when I need to see everything at once.
I almost always work with a split 3D view. One as front/back view, the second as side. Very rarely do I work from the top. I can’t stand have 4 workspaces do to space limitations. Just to fricking small.
Blender has got to have one of the most flexible GUIs I’ve ever seen in any application.
Right now I’m using 6 windows. Find a lot of flexibility by slighty changing view sizes depending on what I’m doing. Should probably use the SCR modes more, but havn’t gotten into the habit.
The bulk of the screen is top row with 3 windows - divided into 2 main view windows and a small schematic view on the right. I like working in top and side view (reference photos) and can shrink one 3d view or go to full screen if I’m tweaking points. The schematic window lets you quickly select objects, materials, lamps, meshes for editing, etc with a single click. You can even switch to an object in a different scene.
Then I have one 3d view that runs the length of the screen - shrunk down so that only the header is visible. I use that to quickly change between vertex,edge,poly selection since those buttons are out of view in my two main view windows (wish the headers could all be tied together in some Gobal manner, most of the header functions are window exclusive). Need to find hotkeys for selection modes.
The bottom row is a very thin buttons window (right click on background and choose horizontal to shrink menus to window size), and a tiny 3d view in camera mode. My bird’s eyeview to to see where objects are in my scene at a glance.
Long post, and thats just modeling setup. But shows how nice Blender’s window system works. Beauty by simplicity.