Blender Tip List

  1. By using Shift+LMB to click the vertices, edges, and faces buttons in the 3D window you can select these selection types all at once rather than individually.
  2. You can use the Action Editor to control Shape Keys, rather than the IPO window or the shape key panel in the edit menu.
  3. Blender has an button in the User Preferences tab called View Name that will add a title in the 3D window telling you what view you are in.
  4. When in Edit Mode, you can hit the B key twice to get the brush select tool. While in Brush Select, LMB selects, ALT+LMB deselects, and the scroll wheel changes the brush size.
  5. When saving a file by hitting the F2 key, you can then press the + or – key on the numberpad to create incremental file names.
  6. When opening a file from a list, you can use the middle mouse button to open the file immediately rather than selecting the file then clicking Open.
  7. When entering in an object name into a text field, you can hit the Tab key to complete the name if you have used it before.
  8. Hit the R key twice for trackball rotation (rotation around all axes) of an object or mesh component.
  9. You can keyframe material settings, but not nodes. You can get around this by using keyed material settings as nodes. For example, using a white shadeless material keyed to become black and use it as the Fac in the mix node, thereby animating mixing.
  10. When using the proportional editing tool in edit mode (the button is on the 3D window toolbar) you can change the area of influence by using LMB+mouse scroll wheel.
  11. You can use the number pad’s del/period key to select an object or region of a mesh to be the center of the view and center of rotation operations. Use the Home key to exit out of it.
  12. You can change the camera’s view to your view by using Ctrl+Alt+Numpad 0. This is especially helpful when adding a camera to a new scene since you can get the camera oriented immediately.
  13. You can control the spotlight’s aim better by selecting it and then using Ctrl+Numpad 0 to set the 3D window view to the spotlight’s view.
  14. You can use the Ctrl + 1, 2, 3, or 4 key to automatically make a object get a subsurf modifier at level 1, 2, 3, or 4 in object or edit mode.
  15. Using the numberpad forward slash (/) hides everything except the selected component and centers it as well as filling up the camera view. Pressing / again unhides and returns everything to normal view.
  16. When using nodes, keep in mind that the “Normal” node globe image can be moved with your mouse to change how the normals are calculated.
  17. In the material panel of an object there is a button that says “DYN” where you can adjust the dynamics properties of the object if you are using dynamics (e.g. rigid bodies).
  18. On a laptop? Having trouble adjusting your camera view? Go to your User Preferences window, System & OpenGL section, and press the Emulate Numpad button. This will use your top row of numbers as the number pad. If you like it, remember to set this setting as the default on start up using Ctrl+U.
  19. Two unknown/under-used options are Shift+B for selecting a region and zooming into that region, and Alt+B to view only the geometry in the selected region.
  20. Shift+F is fly mode. It’s really useful in navigating the scene. Give it a try!
  21. In the IPO editor, using the K key lets you select all keys at a selected frame. Using standard Blender hot keys like G, G then Y, S then X, and Shift+D you can move, scale, and copy keys to a new location.
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