LMB/RMB questions from a Blender newbie


#1

For the past 4 or 5 years, I have kept coming back to check the progress on Blender each 4-12 months. Blender looks so great, and has come a long way. So many cool things added, and the UI looks better and better all the time. I come back and check up on Blender because I REALLY want to start using it, and be a fan. But a few things keep holding me back from jumping in.

This time I saw that there has been added presets to ease the transition from another 3d program. I use Maya at work for mainly moving/snapping vertices alot, and generally find the Maya navigation very efficient. (v for snapping to verts, so nice in combination with d)

Looking at videos of people modeling in Blender looks very interesting. So I checked up on tons of videos this weekend, and here are the main few reason I still find Blender a bit strange.

I can’t think of any creative program that is using RMB for selecting. All 3d, 2d, text editors I have ever come across, as far as I can remember, when using computers for a long time uses LMB to select.

I still have no idea why Blender is using RMB to select in the viewport, when every other creative program is using LMB. It makes no sense. Fine you say: “you can swap them around” but that is more of a hack since then 3 button mouse mode is disabled.

Try picking up a random small item on your table. If you are right handed I bet you used your index finger and your thumb. LMB is located in fast access to your index finger. Of cause if you are left handed it makes sense to swap left and right mouse button.

Another reason I don’t understand the use of RMB is that if you click in menus and buttons on the side panel then you use LMB. If you wanted to have consistency shouldn’t it be RMB?

I would love to hear the one super argument that explains why RMB was choosen, because I have seen 5+ hours video tutorials this weekend on the Blender interface/UI and modeling, and have only seen the 3d cursor mentioned twice. If you ask me it doesn’t seem like a valid reason to go against all common usage and move the select to RMB.

Other few things I don’t get is if I want to select multiple objects, I click b and with LMB then make a box around the objects. Not using b + RMB as I would expect, but b + LMB. Most other programs would use shift+LMB. Even Word and selecting text inside this forum, and also numerical input fields inside Blender.

While its so great to see all the neat stuff being done on/with Blender, I am utterly confused with some of the navigation. Its great that there is the Maya preset now that swaps it around, but that disables 3 button mouse mode.

I really want to love Blender, but its just so complicated.


#2

Hi,

I have tried others programs and I can tell you this: in the moment that you starts using RMB to selection you will think “Why everyone doesn’t use this too?!”

Right in the beggining you will curse a lot, every Blender user does :). But with pratice you will note a huge improvement in your skills. A lot of modellers considers Blender a really fast 3D modelling program, but you can pinpoint this in the simple design choice of “RMB selection + non modal tool”.

In others apps (C4D, for example) you have a “selection tool”. Even if you going to select a single face/edge/vertex. Then you have to switch to your tool of choice, let’s say Extrude. Click anywhere, move your mouse, done. This is a modal tool, you are in “extrude mode”. There is a “knife mode”, a “inner extrude mode”, a “weld mode” and so on. If you want to extrude another face you will have to switch back to selection mode, select another face, go back to extrude mode, click and drag. Extrude/scale combo? Scale its a tool too. By now Blender users are screaming… :slight_smile:

In Blender you select with RMB, press E, drag and click. Another face? Your mouse its right there: RMB >> Tool >> drag and click. Another tool? RMB >> Tool >> click. Fast like that. the only rule? One hand in the keyboard, another hand in the mouse (Blender’s Golden Rule). Using the RMB to select it’s good for your fingers too. Work 6 hours straight in modelling using only your index finger to all operantions and the pain will start soon. MMB navigation it’s another blessing: you can rotate or pan your view (depending on you preference) with just one click and drag (and zoom with scroll, but this is a constant in others apps too).

Think about that: why Blender people doesn’t change this RMB selection behaviour long ago? Lots and lots of complains, we can asure you that. Because once the strangeness passes we realize that in the end it’s better, faster and smarter in this way.


#3

I really feel where you are coming from, mlykke - I have tried Blender a couple of times, but deleted it in hysteria from its lack of logic - at least to me… As you said, I really want to love Blender too, but I would quickly commit something close to suicide if I Was to work with it, like really work with it - lucky me, I can just delete it now, when I am fed up :slight_smile:


#4

C4d . . . Incredible usefull tool but that selection workflow its really strange too

I agree, but it concerns me becuase if an artist hurts one hand there are virtually no way to easy navigate the 3dviewport. . . so having that rule as a golden its great for producction but with no alternatives could be a serius issue.

It happend to me, after several days working on 3dsmax, for a deadline, my rigth arm and hand got hurt(thats why my concern about one hand rule) I get an intuos (very expensive intuos :cry: ) and still working but hurting by working using only one finger its a true deal.

by the way if there are no many how to use 3d cursor tutorials its because. . . i dont know really, after using comercial apps for ten years the 3dcursor in blender (and the grease pencil) was an increible surprise once i get use to it. its really use full like having an easy custom pivot, mirroring area, as a central point for circular shapes during mirror modeling where you have only have of the circle. . . . i dont know. . scaling point, anchor point for testing how joints deform its really dificult to thing in an exact use because its always there…

about the rigth cliking work flow, it took me at least three months to get fully use to it, but now i think its a grat way to select. . . once you forget about using contextual menus with it.


#5

I’m sorry but I think one of two things are more likely to happen. One: I don’t use Blender. Two: I use the swap buttons mode in Blender or use some Maya preset setup.

The reasoning for this is that even just doing simple stuff as selecting files in a file window is LMB+drag to select, and them RMB+move to move files. Mark sum text before you copy/paste it, LMB+drag here also. Its a setup that is used everywhere. Even inside blender. You use LMB+drag to select in input fields. LMB to click menu buttons ect.

The reason why even Blender users curses at it is because their muscle memory is telling them its backwards.

I think I understand what you are saying here. So in Blender you are skipping the change to select mode and just select with RMB. What I don’t get is why its on RMB instead of LMB.

Been a avid gamer and working with 3d as a hobby or for real work since mid 90’ies, i’m used to doing the one hand on mouse one on keyboard. Never had bad wrist/arm issues. (Small breaks here and there is great.)

I find Maya more well thought out in the layout of shortcuts. (Been a while since I used 3dsmax/XSI, but I remember them being efficient also. )

In Maya:

4= wireframe view, 5= solid, 6= solid + textures
QWER= Select/ Move / Rotate Scale mode
F= frame selected, XCVD= grid / curve / vert snap locking.

Snapping modes can also work as you hold down v to snap to vertices, and when you release the v key it stops snapping.

As you can see the most used tools are all very neatly placed together and in a row.

Since having one hand on mouse and one on keyboard is a Blender’s golden Rule, why is TOP, FRONT and SIDE camera options on the numpad? My left hand is on the left side of the keyboard.

Same with the view/frame selection that is on the . on the numpad. In Maya its on f, super fast to click for your left hand when you are modeling and doing lots of moving/snapping.

Ofcause these are just shortcuts that I can change if I want.

We have the same in Maya:

ALT+LMB = rotate, ALT+MMB = pan, ALT+RMB= zoom

I like it how alt is my set way to change my view on the scene (or alternate the view). This is more of a personal preference if you like the one keyboard key pressed plus 3 mouse buttons, or 1 mouse button and 2 keyboard keys. Pros/cons with both.

But why is the 3d cursor on LMB then? LMB is one of the buttons people find most accessible, and most likely the one they have most experience with clicking. Most of Blender’s UI still uses LMB for selecting. Why not just have it the same with selection in the viewport and then put the 3d cursor on RMB?

I’m not mad at you or anything. I’m actually really happy to finally get some words on this from Blender users, and I’m not saying Blender should change. I’m just confused because to me its seems very illogical to do it differently to perhaps how every other 3d programs does it.


#6

I hear that the 3d cursor is awesome, and I saw it used as a neat way to control the shape of an extrude into an arc shape.

I guess thats the main issue. Since selecting/navigation is one of the things you do so much and as I use Maya at work, I would like to use the same setup when doing stuff for fun at home.


#7

The 3D Cursor it’s a really nice feature and I confess that when I was learning Blender it was a pain in the ass. But now it’s really difficult to model something without the little bugger. :slight_smile:

Blender shortcut layout was trying to be mnemonic:

g = grab (move)
r = rotate
s =scale
e = extrude
a = select/deselect all
b = box selection
c = circle selection
m = move to layer
ctrl+m = mirror
alt+m = merge
l = linked
f = face (create)
k = knife
h = hide
d = draw mode

Of course there is a limit to this, so in the end we have to live with p = separate, for example, but a lot was covered :slight_smile:

I agree about the muscle memory stuff. Blender it’s pretty alien if compared to others apps and after some hours of use I have issues trying to select things with RMB and deleting them with “x”. But I found difficult to use this as a argument because it works really well. In my experience select with one button or the other it’s irrelevant. Can’t say about other users of course.

If some dev work in a good LMB behaviour thing we’re cool with that. More Blender people = more fun (except for Autodesk). But at the moment there are so much things happening in Blender and so many people don’t have issues with the actual tool that there is no real motive to not use Blender.


#8

What I really love about Blender is that it is more or less community driven, users are the programmers and other 3D apps could really learn from that. So many talented people are contributing to the software, which is so amazing.

But if you look at the big picture, I think that the only thing Blender really is competitive at is the price - none can argue with the price of free software. Usability of blender is sadly a different story.


#9

When I was learning blender the whole RMB thing was very weird but now it’s second nature. As useful as the 3D cursor is I don’t think it deserves to be on the LMB. However it does mean my RMB get’s a good work out.

Also to add to Mordachai list if you hold RMB and move the cursor it moves the selected objects (the same as using g). When the object is moving you let go of the RMB.


#10

Why wouldn’t you set the mouse to left-click to select, and then activate three button emulation? That way you can select stuff with a left-click, and use <alt>, <alt>+<shift>, <alt>+<ctrl> to orbit, pan and zoom the view. That’s what I do.

Although the ‘three button mouse emulation’ checkbox is greyed out when left selection is active, it still works. At least, for me.


#11

Really, that’s all old hat by now. Usability is arguably no worse than other 3d apps (in my opinion easier to learn than Lightwave and Maya, from my own experience). And the price factor is much less important - I choose to use several 3d apps, and my favourite at this point is Blender. We are now evaluating Blender as the main animation app in our pipeline for an animation series, as well as a bunch of commercial applications, so far I see no problems using Blender. There is the question of the renderer, but again, alternative renderers are available for Blender.


#12

Hello,

Right now, I’m quite the noob in reguards to Blender–I’ve been working with Poser, Bryce, Carrara, the now-defunct RayDreamStudio, dabbled a bit with DazStudio. I’ve heard scores of folks singing the praises to Blender & watched several of the tutorials that have really impressed me with the versatility of Blender.

So I’m really looking forward to making use of those great features like fire, smoke, liquids, physics, etc that are unfortunately so lacking in the other programs I’m working with.

But I’ve got just one small problem that’s really giving me a headache over Blender (& I know for a fact that it has to have a very simple solution for the simple reason being that I’m really having a hard time finding threads on numerous Blender forums to even mention it:blush: )…

…I’ve only got a two-button mouse…

…so how can I revolve my director’s camera about the scene that so many of you do so effortlessly with the MMB???

Hopefully, the rest of Blender’s learning curve won’t be quite as steep, but I’ve REEEAALLYY need to get up over this one little fricking mile-high cliff face:banghead:

Thanks in advance!

Ryuu


#13

…I’ve only got a two-button mouse…
In the File / User Peferences / Input, seelct the ‘Emulate 3 Button Mouse’ tickbox, then Ctrl+U to save as your default
Alt+LMB =rotate
Shift+Alt+LMB = pan
Ctrl+Alt+LMB = zoom


#14

Oh, that should be immensely helpful!

saving this page for frequent reference!

Thanks, Richard!


#15

in the moment that you starts using RMB to selection you will think “Why everyone doesn’t use this too?!”

You shouldn’t be so sure about it.
I’ve been using blender for years, and even though i am very used to right click select, I find it to be a pointless change.

in the moment that you starts using RMB to selection you will think “Why everyone doesn’t use this too?!”

There is no difference in speed whether you are using RMB or LMB in Blender. I do not understand how you can see one. A click has the same execution speed no matter which click it is.
Want to use a click counter and have a race? I’ll be pressing only left, you will be pressing only right, and lets see who got more clicks in a given time…

Using the RMB to select it’s good for your fingers too. Work 6 hours straight in modelling using only your index finger to all operantions and the pain will start soon.

But I do see how using altering mouse buttons when working may be less tiring for your index finger (Select (Right), use tool (Left), select again (Right), use other tool (Left)…) But is that really so much tiring that it’s worth alienating users with it? It really takes less brain power to use only one button.

(and zoom with scroll, but this is a constant in others apps too).

Most programs use middle mouse to navigate, no?
This is, though irrelevant to the Rclick question.

Think about that: why Blender people doesn’t change this RMB selection behaviour long ago?

  1. Because Blender devs are goofy at UI design.
  2. Because Blender devs are stubborn.
    Simple answer. Atleast that’s my take on it.

Because once the strangeness passes we realize that in the end it’s better, faster and smarter in this way.

No no and no.
“better” is personal preference and everyone got their opinion on this.
Faster - no it’s not. Clicking the left mouse button is as fast as clicking the right.
Smarter - No way.

i dont know really, after using comercial apps for ten years the 3dcursor in blender (and the grease pencil) was an increible surprise once i get use to it. its really use full like having an easy custom pivot, mirroring area, as a central point for circular shapes during mirror modeling where you have only have of the circle. . . . i dont know. . scaling point, anchor point for testing how joints deform its really dificult to thing in an exact use because its always there…

But is it really that important that it deserves to be on the most primary/Important button of the whole computer user input? Definitely no.
The cursor is used only once in a while, maybe even once in a session, not every step like you would expect from a tool on the most primary button on the computer…

Tried Left click select for a while and found some flaws:

  1. When the transform manipulator is on, it gets in your way when trying to select. Using Right click avoids this.
  2. To much left clicks for drag move + confirm.
    … that’s it…
    Other flaws are personal:
    Since I am used to Right click select, i naturally hold my index finger on the middle mouse button, so I have to jump it to left click. But that’s only something because of muscle memory…

I am really not sure which one is a better default. But I lean toward Left click more. With left click as default, there would be no more threads like these. They do pop up once in a while…


#16

I come from a background of Multigen-Creator, then later Maya and I am used to LMB to select so I just change the mapping in the User Preferences of select to LMB.

~John


#17

Honestly I think the LMB selection system is pretty strange, but like all things in Blender, once you get used to that and the innumerable hotkeys, you will be able to work so fast it’ll look like you’re typing a letter or playing StarCraft. :stuck_out_tongue:


#18

Yeah, I think the LMB/RMB issue is still one of the biggest stumbling blocks to new and old users alike. I have used Blender in conjunction with my main 3d apps for many years, and have used the LMB select option for as long as it has been available, but it is till clunky in many ways.

For instance you still need to scrub the timeline with RMB, which becomes cumbersome when selecting keys in the dopesheet with LMB and then scrubbing with RMB. Hope this can be rectified at some stage. I guess it all ties into the Blender 3d cursor system which I am not a fan of (yes blasphemy :wink: )

The dominance of the 3d cursor system ties up either LMB or RMB which really should be used for more important things such as , ideally LMB for selection and RMB for context sensitive menus. I know this is against the “Blender way”, but it should at least be an option, especially for users that want to use Blender in a pipeline and jump between different apps. I do use standard Blender navigation/hotkeys , but just change the LMB option.

As I don’t really model in Blender, the only time I really use the 3d cursor is to move the object center. An interactive method of moving the center would be a godsend! Blender now feels so cutting edge with Cycles,scultping,tracking,compositor etc. but so primitive on the other hand with some of the above mentioned workflow issues. Hopefully they will get more attention soon, rather than just the sexy features :wise:


#19

The dominance of the 3d cursor system ties up either LMB or RMB

You can assign any key you want for the cursor.
But the cursor is so relatively rarely used, it doesn’t deserve to be on the mouse.

LMB for selection and RMB for context sensitive menus.

Hows about box select for Right, + modifiers for other selection methods? And left is for Select and drag… Or something like this…


#20

Heh; just recently there were complaints that the interface upgrade was holding up all the sexy features! Can’t win! :slight_smile:

I agree though; the upcoming improvements, especially the materials and render improvements with Cycles, are necessary and very welcome but after their bedded down there are a few workflow issues that could do with a review.