Blender Knowledge Base

This page is a compilation of information regarding Blender. Since this application is free, flexible and multiplatform, it's likely going to be used. The problem is that it's also quite complex.

Beginner

Misc

  • In Blender you select with right click, rather than left click
  • Blender can be used only with the keyboard, only with the mouse and with both (the latter is recommended, although you should use mostly hotkeys)

UI

Editors and screen layouts

Blender's UI is highly customizable and is structured using editors and screen layouts. In Blender an editor can be thought of as a window inside Blender's window. It can be resized, moved around (albeit not freely, if you ever used a tiling window manager, you should get the idea) and opened/closed as you need them. The entirety of Blender's UI consists of editors. Each editor has its own purpose and functionality and may have its own shortcuts, although they are consistent for the most part. There are some exceptions with specialized functionality. For example, pressing the C key while hovering over the 3D View Editor (the context of a hotkey depends on where you hover, you don't need to click inside a "window" to focus it) brings up a circular selection that lets you select objects by drawing your selection with a round brush. Such a selection wouldn't make sense inside the Video Sequencer Editor, therefore the C key its own functionality there. A screen layout can be thought of as a preset. You can set up different layouts for different work you want to do in Blender and switch between them by holding Ctrl+Left/Right. Both, screen layouts and their editors are stored inside the file. So each file can have its own layouts, although you can (and should) set a default.

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Blender's default screen layout

When you open a fresh installation of Blender, the following UI greets you.

Each of the colored segments of the UI are a separate editor. At the top (red) you have the Info Editor. Below it (green) you have the 3D View Editor. At the bottom is the Timeline Editor. On the right you have the Outliner Editor (pink) and Properties Editor (purple). Every editor has a header (essentially a title bar), which can be either at the top (Outliner Editor and Properties Editor) or at the bottom (3D View Editor and Timeline Editor). By right clicking on the header, its position can be flipped. The leftmost button in the header allows you to change the editor type.

The Info Editor has a Screen layout selector which allows you to change the Screen layouts without hotkeys, add new and delete existing ones.

Editors can be resized by dragging from their edges. In some corners they have diagonal lines (yellow circles in the screenshot). These can be used to either flip, collapse or split existing editors. If you drag such a corner into the editor itself, you split it into two. If you drag it into another, that shares an entire edge, you collapse the editor you dragged into. This is visualized by an arrow that appears. If you drag into another editor and then drag back, you reverse the situation, collapsing the editor itself. You can't collapse the Outliner Editor onto the 3D View Editor (or vice versa), because the 3D View Editor only shares a part of its right edge with the Outliner Editor. If you hold Ctrl, you can switch any two editors.

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