Blender’s interface uses a rather unique window setup. Every rounded corner marks the edges of a window in Blender. By default, Blender has three. I, and many other Sculptie artists, typically work with four.
Every window in Blender has an Outer Edge, its own Menu, and Contents. The Edges of every window can be resized, though the Menu always has to be visible. You can also change the view of the Content area. For example, you can zoom in and out, and pan through the contents of the Buttons window. (You can’t rotate it, though, since the content is 2D.)
There are several different types of windows available in Blender, however, I’ll only describe in detail the types that are relevant for creating content for Second Life and OpenSims. Here are the types, listed in the order that they appear in the menu.
Video Sequence Editor
Ipo Curve Editor
A window for browsing and using various python scripts. Some scripts assume you will use this window while others, like Domino’s Primstar scripts, use their own gui.
While you’ll probably never open this window directly, you see it any time you load, save, import, export, and append files in Blender.
This is like the File Browser, only it shows thumbnails of all image types supported by Blender. Useful if you can’t remember the name of a particular image.
For creating complex node-based materials.
This is the default window at the bottom of Blender and contains most of the options and functions for various things within Blender. The content of the Buttons Window is dynamic. It changes depending on what sort of object you have selected and what Mode you are in. This is probably the most confusing part of Blender and the development team is currently working to make it much more user-friendly in Blender 2.5 (currently in Alpha).
An organizer, showing every object, it’s assigned mesh, and the mesh’s assigned materials.
By default, this window appears as the menu at the top of Blender. This might lead to a little confusion, as it doesn’t really appear to be an entirely separate window, but watch.
Hover your mouse over the bottom edge of the menu until you get the double-headed arrow cursor, then drag that edge down. Suddenly you see a whole slew of new buttons and fields. These are the User Preferences. Kinda cool, huh?
You can try fiddling with these settings, but there’s nothing in there that’s really important for sculpting, so I won’t go through the different options here.
An editor .. for text documents within a blender file. Useful for writing production notes, todo-lists, etc.
For syncing animations to audio.
Timeline for animations, audio, etc.
Blender’s internal compositor.
The UV/Image Editor is a window that is commonly used while making sculpties for Second Life or OpenSims.
In this view you can preview sculptmaps, change the UV mapping to create more complex textures, create new texture images, save textures to the hard-drive, and other image-related functions.
The UV Image Editor is part of my default settings, shown on the right.
The Non-Linear Animation editor lets you add Action Strips to your animations (Such as adding a walk-cycle to a character moving along a path) and scale the speed of the actions.
Allows you to create non-linear animations (walk-cycles) or short actions (jumps, attacks, other actions) to an armature, which can then be used in the Non-Linear Animation Editor, or in Blender’s game engine.
For editing the flow of animation between keyframes.
Displays objects in the current scene, on the current frame.