Blender is a powerful and versatile 3D software that can be used for modeling, animation, rendering, simulation, and more. However, Blender also has a steep learning curve and a lot of features that can be overwhelming for beginners or even experienced users.
In this article, we will share some tips and tricks that can help you use Blender more efficiently and effectively for your 3D projects.
Shortcuts and bindings
One of the most important things to learn in Blender is how to use shortcuts and bindings. These are keyboard or mouse combinations that can perform various actions or commands in Blender, such as selecting, moving, rotating, scaling, switching modes, etc.
Shortcuts and bindings can save you a lot of time and clicks, as well as make your workflow more fluid and intuitive.
Some of the most common and useful shortcuts and bindings in Blender are:
|TAB||Switch between Object Mode and Edit Mode|
|A||Select all or deselect all|
|G||Grab or move|
|Z||Toggle between solid and wireframe view|
|Shift + A||Add menu|
|Shift + D||Duplicate|
|Shift + Z||Rendered view|
|Ctrl + Z||Undo|
|Ctrl + Y||Redo|
|Ctrl + A||Apply menu|
|Ctrl + J||Join objects|
|Ctrl + P||Parent objects|
|Ctrl + R||Loop cut|
|Ctrl + B||Bevel|
|Ctrl + T||Triangulate faces|
You can also customize your own shortcuts and bindings in Blender by going to Edit > Preferences > Keymap. There you can search for any action or command and assign a new shortcut or binding to it.
The Blender outliner is a panel that shows the hierarchy and structure of your scene. It lists all the objects, collections, cameras, lights, modifiers, constraints, materials, etc. that are in your scene. You can use the outliner to organize your scene, select objects, hide or show objects, rename objects, group objects into collections, etc.
Some of the tips and tricks to use the outliner are:
- You can drag and drop objects to change their order or parent them to other objects.
- You can right-click on any object or element to access a context menu with various options.
- You can use the filter icon at the top right corner of the outliner to enable or disable different types of elements in the outliner.
- You can use the search box at the top left corner of the outliner to find any object or element by name.
- You can use the eye icon, the monitor icon, and the camera icon next to each object to toggle its visibility in the viewport, in the render preview, and in the final render respectively.
- You can use the collection icon next to each object to add it to a new or existing collection.
- You can use the plus icon at the bottom right corner of the outliner to create a new collection.
Blender has a flexible and customizable interface that allows you to arrange your workspace according to your needs and preferences. You can change the layout of your windows, panels, editors, toolbars, menus, etc. by dragging, splitting, joining, resizing, or collapsing them.
Some of the tips and tricks to customize your layout are:
- You can drag any window corner to split it into two windows horizontally or vertically.
- You can drag any window edge to join two windows into one.
- You can drag any window header to swap it with another window.
- You can drag any window header to detach it from the main window and make it a floating window.
- You can right-click on any window header to access a menu with options such as duplicate area into new window, horizontal/vertical split, join areas, collapse areas, etc.
- You can use the editor type menu at the top left corner of each window to change its type. For example, you can change a 3D viewport into an image editor, a timeline into a graph editor, etc.
- You can use the plus icon at the top right corner of each window to add or remove tabs with different editor types.
- You can use the arrow icons at the bottom left corner of each window to collapse or expand its header or toolbar.
The viewport is where you view and interact with your 3D scene. It is essential to know how to navigate in the viewport to move around your scene, zoom in and out, rotate your view angle, switch between different views, etc.
Some of the tips and tricks to navigate in the viewport are:
- You can use the middle mouse button to rotate your view around the scene.
- You can use the scroll wheel to zoom in and out of the scene.
- You can use the Shift + middle mouse button to pan your view across the scene.
- You can use the Numpad keys to switch between different views. For example, Numpad 1 for front view, Numpad 3 for right view, Numpad 7 for top view, Numpad 5 for orthographic/perspective view, etc.
- You can use the Numpad . (period) key to focus your view on the selected object.
- You can use the Numpad / (slash) key to isolate the selected object or collection in a local view.
- You can use the Z key to access a pie menu with different viewport shading options. For example, solid, wireframe, material preview, rendered, etc.
- You can use the F key to activate the viewport fly mode, which allows you to fly around your scene using the mouse and keyboard.
Addons are extensions that add new features or functionalities to Blender. They can be very useful for enhancing your workflow, adding new tools, simplifying tasks, etc.
Blender comes with many built-in addons that you can enable or disable in the preferences. You can also download and install third-party addons from various sources.
Some of the tips and tricks to use addons are:
- You can go to Edit > Preferences > Add-ons to access the addons panel. There you can search for any addon by name or category, enable or disable any addon by checking or unchecking its box, expand any addon to see its description and options, etc.
- You can click on the Install button at the top right corner of the addons panel to install a new addon from a file. You need to download the addon file first from its source, usually a zip file. After installing the addon, you need to enable it by checking its box.
- You can click on the Refresh button at the top right corner of the addons panel to reload all the addons. This is useful if you make any changes to an addon file or install a new addon manually.
- You can click on the Save Preferences button at the bottom left corner of the preferences window to save your addons settings. This will make sure that your enabled addons are loaded every time you start Blender.
Why is it important to use keyboard shortcuts in Blender?
Keyboard shortcuts enable you to complete actions that would usually take multiple clicks with a single key combination, saving time and making your workflow smoother.
What is the Blender Outliner?
The Blender Outliner is a hierarchical display of all the objects in your scene.
Why is it important to customize layout in Blender?
Customizing your layout in Blender can help you work more efficiently.
What are addons in Blender?
Addons are plugins that extend Blender’s functionality.
Blender is a great 3D software that offers a lot of features and possibilities. However, it can also be challenging to learn and master. By using some of the tips and tricks we shared in this article, you can improve your Blender skills and workflow, and make your 3D projects more enjoyable and efficient.