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Advance Interface Topics in Blender

 ·   ·  ☕ 4 min read

This is kinda a manual for new Blender user which I compiled up when I was learning Blender.

First of all, when you’re switching from Maya, you’ll find the interface a bit alien. Blender has an option to behave like Maya, but in long run, that’s not gonna be productive.

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The Basics

Right-click selects any object. MMB rotates the scene (we’ll se pivot point later in the post). Shift+MMB+mouse movement pans the scene. Ctrl+MMB up and down zooms and zooms out of the level.

G is for grabbing the poly, S for scale and R for rotate. In all of three functions, pressing x, y and z constrains the transform, scale and rotate. Right clicking and grabbing also move the poly. But there is another kind of rotation which is activated when R is pressed twice. Use it and feel it. You can also shilft select an axis and then grab to constraint to that axis.

The Navigation

Numpad 5 switches between perspective and orthographic view of the camera, no matter what view you are in. Numpad 1 goes to Front View, 3 to the Right, 7 to the Top. Pressing Ctrl while pressing those will take to the remaining counterpart of them, that is, Back, Left and Bottom. If you do not choose to hold on Ctrl, press 9 after one of those keystrokes.

2, 4, 6, 8 will rotate the camera over the center axis. Numpad dot (.) will focus on the selected object, whereas pressing Home will focus the entire scene.

Additionally, pressing Shift+F takes to Fly Mode. When you press it, additional controls will be available in the status bar. In a nutshell, it takes to game mode and camera can be navigated with W, A, S, D. When in fly mode, see the statusbar for more info.

Pressing Ctrl+Alt+Q brings to quad view. Press again to return to perspective mode.

The Layout

Press T and toggle the sidebar (hold Ctrl and scroll), press N and do the same with another window which shows properties of the selected object.

Blender's Scripting Layout
Blender's Scripting Layout

Ctrl+Left/Right switches between various predefined window layout.

Go to the top-right of the layout component, the arrow pointer will turn into a crosshair, pull it to left to create new window. You can use that window for anything, just select from lower-left menu. To delete newly created window, just go to that crosshair section again and collapse it to opposite side.

Working on a dual monitor? Press Shift while on crosshair section, and it will pop out, fly it to another monitor. And when Ctrl is kept pressed, the window will swap. Also, there is a Maya like Ctrl+Space feature, but that is mapped to Shift+Space, it expands viewport.

Creating Stuff

Shift+A pops up Add menu, where you can add various kind of elements in the scene.

Add Menu
Add Menu

Press Z to switch between display modes, like textured, wireframe, shaded et cetra. Although g gives you a hand to grab, using Shift+S will give you snapping menu, which can be used to snap object according to various parameters.

Different Modes

You can switch between different editing modes while working with an asset. Have a look below:

Editing Mode Specific Context Menu
Editing Mode Specific Context Menu

If you change into another editing mode, the context menu would also change to give you extra commands for that specific mode.

Other than editing mode, you can also go to other viewport shading mode.

Switch to different viewport shading mode
Switch to different viewport shading mode

Next to that is pivot point menu:

Pivot Point Menu
Pivot Point Menu

Pivot point helps in navigation and modification of objects.

That’s enough for a Interface topic now. Without going out of scope, we should stop here. Feel free to add more in comments and I’ll mention it in here. Also, please subscribe to the blog feed by entering your email address below.

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Santosh Kumar
Santosh Kumar
Santosh is a Software Developer currently working with NuNet as a Full Stack Developer.