Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Overview of the Blender interface, part of Blender Essential Training.
- [Narrator] Let's get started by taking a look at the default Blender interface. Now this is the interface you should see when you first open Blender. Now, if you've opened an existing file or worked with Blender before, you may see a different layout or a different interface, and that's because the layout is actually saved with the file. But just know that you always can get back to this default interface. And I'll show you how to do that in just a little bit. Now the interface is composed of individual panels. And inside each panel is what is called an editor.
And you can tell what the editors are because they have a little bit of an icon here either at the top left or at the bottom left. So if we go up here to this top left, you can see that we have this editor here. And this is called an info or an information editor. And this is really just the main menu bar of the system. And so, in this main menu bar, we have a File menu that allows us to open, close, save, and import files. We have a Render menu which allows you to render images.
We also have the ability to work with windows as well as the help system. Now, in addition to this, we have a number of preset layouts that we can use. So here we have the default layout. And if I pull this menu down, you can see we have a number of different layouts that we can use. So if I wanted to do, say, animation I could go to an animation menu system that would help me animate better. Or, if I was doing UV editing, I could go into that menu system.
Now, I'm going to go back to the default layout. Now in addition to the saved layouts, we also have the ability to select the renderer. And if you have a third-party renderer, you would see it here. And as well as that, we have some information about the current object that's selected. Now over here on the right, we have two editors. The first one, on the top right corner, is called the outliner. And this is where we have all of the objects in our scene.
So if we want to take a look at the objects by name, we can do that. Now this list is scrolling just a little bit, and that's because it's kind of tight on my screen. But I can expand that by reshaping that window. Now all I have to do is hover over the border between this editor and the next one. Left click and drag, and I can resize them. So now I've got this sized the way that I want. And you can also do this horizontally. So if I hover over this border, I can make this wider or narrower.
Now, below the outliner we have what's called the properties panel. Now this panel is somewhat context-specific. So it will change depending upon what object you have selected. So you can see that the cube here is highlighted, and that's the object that I have selected. And so, these are all the options I have for this object. Now if I select the camera, notice how these change. Now this properties panel has a number of different tabs here that you can use to affect your scene.
Now the one here on the far left is your scene data. And this is all of your rendering data. We also have render layers. We have data for the entire world. We have data for the individual object as well as things such as materials if the object has a material. Now if we go to a different object such as the camera, notice how we have different tabs. Now a camera has a specific tab for the camera which allows you to adjust things such as focal length.
Now along the bottom of the screen here we have all of our animation controls. And these allow you to create animation by setting keyframes as well as edit animation and do playback. Now finally, we have one additional editor here, and that's the viewport. Now this big window here including this sidebar is what's called a viewport. And this allows you to see the objects in the scene as well as manipulate them.
Now this is also where we can create objects. So we have along the side panel here a number of tabs that allow you to create all sorts of different objects as well. Now if we want to, we can change any editor into any other type of editor. So if I go over here to this Properties panel, you can see I can pull this down and I have any number of different types of editors that I can use. So if I wanted to, I could change this to, say, a file browser.
And that would allow me to browse my file system. Or if I wanted to change it to user preferences, I could. Or, going down here to the bottom, I can change it back to a properties panel. And I can really do that with any window in here. So if I wanted to change this here to a dope sheet, I could that or just change it back to a 3D view. So these are some of the basics of the Blender interface. And as you can see, the interface can be very configurable, but we always can get back to our default settings if we want which is what we're going to be using for most of the course.
- Navigating in 3D space
- Selecting, rotating, and scaling objects
- Using Snap to move objects precisely
- Creating mesh primitives and extrusions
- Subdividing meshes
- Creating a simple creature
- Joining mesh objects and stitching vertices
- Organizing a scene with layers, groups, and hierarchies
- Assigning glossy and reflective materials to objects
- Creating bump maps
- Creating sky and ambient light
- Understanding ambient occlusion
- Adding motion blur and depth of field
- Editing animation in the Graph Editor
- Building and animating a simple character
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 8/12/2014. What changed?
A: We added a single movie on unwrapping objects, a technique that works differently in Blender 2.7. The rest of the instructions in the course work equally well with Blender 2.6 and Blender 2.7.
Q: This course was updated on 06/20/2017. What changed?
A: The following topic was updated: using the Node Editor.
1. The Blender Interface
2. Selecting and Translating Objects
4. Advanced Modeling
5. Staying Organized
6. Applying Materials
7. Adding Textures
8. Working with Light
9. Cameras and Rendering
10. Basic Animation
11. Character Rigging
12. Rendering in Cycles
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