Using Interaction Modes
Blender provides different ways to modify objects in your scene (such as modeling, texturing, sculpting, and posing), called Interaction Modes. By default, when you work in Object Mode, you are able to move, rotate, and scale; Object Mode essentially allows you to place objects in a scene. Probably one of the most useful modes is Edit Mode, which you use to edit ObData. You would use Edit Mode to model a mesh, access its vertices, edges, and faces, and change its shape, for example.
You can find the Interaction Mode menu on the 3D View header (see Figure 3.4); the options it displays depend on the type of object you have selected. For now, I focus on the Object and Edit modes. You’ll learn about the other modes throughout the rest of the book.
Figure 3.4 The Interaction Mode selector. On the left are the options available when a mesh object is selected; on the right are the options available when an armature is selected.
You use Object Mode to create and place things in your scene (even animate them if you aren’t using armatures, which are Blender skeletons used to animate characters and deform objects). In Edit Mode, you can perform modeling tasks on the mesh. You can quickly switch between these modes without having to access the selector by pressing the Tab key on your keyboard.
When you select an armature, you use Edit Mode to access the bones inside it and manipulate them. Pose Mode is available as well; it’s the mode you’ll use when animating a skeleton. (For more information, see Chapter 11, “Character Rigging,” and Chapter 12, “Animating Your Character.”) If you select a mesh, you have access to modes such as Sculpt, Texture Paint, and Vertex Paint, as shown in Figure 3.4.
As you can see, a lot of options are available, and depending on what you want to do at any point in time, you just have to select the right Interaction Mode for the actions you want to perform.