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Wednesday November 30th, 2022

Blender Tips & Tricks

Blender is packed with nice-to-know features that will drastically improve your workflow. The Blender version assumed is 3.x. Some shortcuts may also note 2.9x. Windows only.

Subject

Description

  • Camera Align To Face

Shift + Numpad 7 to align camera to selected faces (you'll need reset view with say Numpad 5 afterwards and orbit scene a bit to force regular perspective again - as when in Shift + Numpad 7 mode, the camera is an orthographic type).

  • UV Editor 2D Cursor

Make use of the 2d cursor in UV editor by holding Shift and right-click (or right-click drag) to position the 2d cursor!Press the . key (not on the Numpad) to bring up the Pivot Point pie menu and choosing 2D Cursor, as it can become a handy "anchor point" for rotations and scaling UV islands for example! Press Shift and right-click (or right-click drag) to position the 2d cursor!

  • UV Editor Workspace

Need to jump between modeling and UV'ing assets? Stay in the UV workspace to model and UV using Ctrl + Space to maximize whichever view (3D Viewport or UV editor) which the mouse cursor is hovering over! This applies to any Blender window!

  • Make Selections Circular

There are a couple of ways to make a selection circular:

Method 1
Select some faces, press Shift + Alt + S and left-click drag to force selection into circular formation.

Method 2
Install the Loop Tools Add-on. After selecting some faces, right-click and choose Loop Tools > Circle to force a prime and proper circle from a selection!

Method 3
Simply perform a bevel on a vertex (using either Ctrl + Shift + B - or- Ctrl + B then V). Once you left-click to finalize the bevel, open the Bevel Operator panel located in the bottom-left corner of the viewport and adjust the Segment count as well as the Shape parameter to establish a circular shape!

  • Backface Culling & Face Orientation

One way to find inverted faces (or if you simply don't want to view the back side of face normals), make use of face orientation and backface culling. Face orientation can be found in Show Overlays while Backface Culling can be found in Material Property > Settings. From the viewport menu, choose:

  • Mesh > Normals > Flip - or -
  • Recalculate Outside ( Shift + N )

  • Beveling

To bevel a face or edge, simply press Ctrl + B. To bevel a vertex, press either:

  • Shift + Ctrl + B - or -
  • Ctrl + B then V

  • General Moving, Scaling & Rotations

  • Pressing G to move globally - double press X, Y, or Z for local transforms.
  • Press G twice to slide a vertex along its edge.
  • Pressing G then Shift + (X, Y, or Z) eliminates that axis from movement - so G then Shift + Z means moving in only the X & Y axes.
  • At anytime while the grab tool is enabled, pressing Shift + Tab constrains the movement to incremental snapping!
  • If no Transform, scaling or rotations have been applied to a mesh, pressing Alt + R resets rotation, Alt + S resets scale and Alt + G resets move.
  • Pressing R twice gives free rotation.

  • Select Element

Press L with the mouse cursor hovering over a mesh selects all contiguous shared elements while pressing Shift + L deselects it!

  • Snapping Vertices

  • Traditionally, when snapping vertices together (enable the snap tool in Vertex mode with Closest set for the Snap with feature), simply select the source vertex, press G then click-drag onto the target vertex, then release mouse button to finalize the snapping operation!

  • However, while not enabling the snap before hand, you can snap vertices together by selecting the source vertex, then while hovering the mouse cusor over the target vertex, press G and enable the snap only temporarily while pressing Ctrl and left-click! The source vertex will automatically snap to the target vertex! No click-dragging necessary!

  • Face Cleanup

Fast way to clean unwanted edges / vertices on a mesh is to select coplanar face(s) and press X and choose ] Dissolve Faces (manual re-triangulation will be required afterwards as there will be no triangles, hence the clean up).

  • Solid Wireframe Toggle

Shift + Z puts viewport into Solid wireframe mode and toggles between this and the current selected viewport mode. This is handy when you only want to view the mesh (solid wire frame) without materials or lighting!

  • Select Similar

Want to select all faces with a specific set of circumstances (say select all faces that are coplanar for instance)? Select a face and press Shift + G to bring up the Select Similar menu! Below are some simple examples...

Experiment with other features in Select Similar, as it offers more functionally that what is discussed here!

  • Duplicating & Instancing Meshes

Shift + D duplicates whatever object is selected while Alt + D creates an instance instead!

  • Joing Meshes (3D Viewport vs Outliner)

Be careful about joining meshes (multiple meshes selected and pressing Ctrl + J to merge them). In the 3d viewport, the final mesh selected becomes the final joined mesh, but if selecting meshes within the outliner, the first selected mesh becomes the final joined version!

  • Extra Modelling Features

Make use of tools like shear, shrink/fatten and other useful buttons left side 3d viewport buttons while in Edit Mode (press T to hide or unhide them)!

  • Spin Tool
    This takes a selection and spins / duplicates it in a circle centered on the 3d cursor's location! In some cases it's easier to use the spin tool instead of setting up an array modifier along with an empty object to accomplish radial arrays. Enabling the 'Use Duplicates' option only duplicates the selected element without any faces connecting them! See the online documentation for more details. There appears to be no difference between this and the alternative Spin Duplicates function!

  • Poly Build
    Starting with flat polygon (like a plane for example), selecting an edge (blue edge highlights) and click-dragging it acts as an quad extrude. Ctrl clicking from an edge or vertex extrudes a triangle while Shift clicking over a polygon or vertex (red edge highlight) deletes it! This tool is very useful for vanilla, out of the box Blender retopology!

  • Shrink/Fatten
    Allows a selection to be either grown (fattened) or shrunk down by moving vertices along their normals This comes in handy when say needing to adjust a cup handle's thickness for instance.

    Push/Pull
    The difference here is that the selection will be moved towards / away from the transform pivot point! Here is a video showcasing both options.

  • Shear
    This shears a selection on a mesh in the desired screen axis via little horizontal and vertical bar handles. See this example to better understand how this works.

  • Add Cube
    Enables the user to click drag and release a cube in the viewport (a la 3DS Max). Better yet, a cube can be added to an existing surface!

  • Circle Select Sizing

Circle Select (pressing C) size adjustment is done while holding down left mouse button and using mouse scroll wheel. Right-click to exit circle select. Circle Select is useful for 'paint' selecting elements as opposed to clicking on each one individually or marquee selecting.

  • Open Recent Files

Shift + Ctrl + O brings up the recent opened popup panel. Faster and more elegant than the traditional File > Open Recent method.

  • Inset Options

In Blender, insets have multiple functionally that goes beyond the mere inset itself! With some faces selected:

  • Press I to inset. This insets the entire selection as a single group (default behavior).
  • Press I again insets all selected faces individually.
  • Press O to inset outside the selected faces!
  • Once an inset is live, hold down Ctrl and move the mouse left or right to create inner or outer extrudes respectively!

Use inset with the Boundary option unchecked to create doorways. Beforehand, ensure that there is no capped faces beneath! After selecting face and pressing I to initiate the inset tool, you can press B while the tool is active to set the boundary option!

  • Knife Tool Features
  • Cut Through
    To cut through the whole mesh (example, from top through to the bottom via top view with Numpad 7 - the cut is view dependant), go into edge mode, press K to enter knife mode, and then C. Now start cutting... it will go through the entire mesh!
  • Note: Blender 2.9.x's cut through shortcut is  Z
  • Pause / Resume
    You can "pause" the knife tool operation at anytime by pressing E while cutting (don't press 'Enter'!) This will keep what you have cut so far and keep the tool active, allowing you to reorient your view before resuming. To resume, simply put the mouse cursor on the last cutting point and continue from there! This is easier and faster than cutting part way and hitting enter to keep what you cut and then starting a new knife operation from there!

  • Angle Constraints
    It is possible to use the knife tool to cut in constrained angles (in 45° increments). Simply ensure your face(s) is facing the camera directly (either use one of the orthographic views or with the desired surface face(s) selected, press Shift + Numpad 7 to align selection to the camera) and then press K to activate the knife tool, the press A. When you start cutting, as you move the mouse cursor around the preview knife line will rotate to match the nearest angle snap! This is handy for cutting perfect horizontal / vertical or 45° lines! Note: Blender 2.9.x's angle constraints shortcut is  C

  • Snapping
    You can snap cut the middle of an edge by either having the snap tool enabled using the Edge Center snap setting, or by simply pressing Ctrl while cutting an edge! If you have the edge center snap enabled, and you don't want to cut an edge at the midpoint, you can simply press Shift. This will now ignore snap settings!
  • Walk/Fly Mode

Shift + ~ puts you in Walk/Fly mode. Using the W A S D standard first person navigation keyboard shortcuts, you can fly around your scene (holding Shift speeds up the movement - scrolling the mouse wheel up speeds up movement while scrolling back slows it down).

Pressing Spacebar teleports the view to where the mouse cursor is located. While in this mode, tapping G or Tab toggles gravity and your meshes have instant collisions so you can walk on them too! Left click exits this mode with the view in place while right-clicking exits and places the view to where you were prior to entering this mode! Read the full info in the official documentation.

  • Scale Interface

The default interface can be modified to be enlarged or decreased to your personal preferences. There are two parts to this. One is to adjust the scale to entire global interface while the other enables you to scale individual panels!

Scale Interface Globally

  • Simply go to Edit > Preferences > Interface and adjust the Resolution Scale value! Don't forget to save your preferences!


Scale Panels

  • While hovering over a viewport panel, either press Ctrl and MMB left-click drag -or- Ctrl + Alt and left-click drag to enlarge or shrink it (if no panels are present, press T to bring the left side or N to bring the right side panels).
  • Visual Overlays

Shift + Alt + Z toggle all visual visibility of viewport overlays. This includes things like wire frames, major axis and grid floor lines, displayed statistics, highlighted selected faces, etc... Useful for seeing your model without any extra viewport information overlaid on top of it!

  • Repeat Last Action

Once you execute a feature, you can repeat it by pressing Shift + R. This will save time instead of manually repeating the last feature over and over again. Example: say, select the face of a plane and right-click and choose Subdivide. To keep subdividing, simply use the shortcut!

  • Change Blender's Theme

Either Halloween's coming, or you simply prefer a different theme. It's very simple to change. Go to Edit > Preferences, and from the left side panel, select Themes. There is a Presets dropdown menu at the very top. Simply choose your desired theme! You'll need to save your preferences to keep the change!

  • Eliminate .Blend1 Backup Saves

By default, when you save a Blender scene, an extra file which is treated as a back up file is also created (it will have the suffix .blend1). This adds unnecessary bloat, especially when committing these extra files to repositories like GIT or Perforce for example.

To eliminate this, simply go to Edit > Preferences and in the Save & Load panel, set the 'Save Versions' value from 1 to 0. Save your preferences if you don't have auto save enabled. From now on, any time you save a Blender scene, no backup files will be created!

  • Resetting Colour Values Back To Default (White)

A quick way to reset a colour wheel (or gradient) back to its default setting (white), simply hover your mouse over the wheel (or gradient) and press Backspace. Instant reset!

  • Duplicating Evenly Spaced Meshes

Sometimes there's no need for using the array modifier for duplicating multiple evenly spacing meshes. Select a mesh and press Shift + D to duplicate it (or Alt + D to instance them - in either case, do not right-click to cancel transforms nor left click to complete the operation at this point), then press G and then the axis key (X, Y or Z) for the desired axis and move the copy/instance to where you want it and left-click to finalize it.

Finally, press Shift + R (redo last operation) to constantly duplicate/instantiate the mesh with equal distance between them. This is a fast way of creating things like vents or a row of pillars that repeat for example!

  • Quick Way To Make Steps

You can create some quick steps using the bevel tool! Take a cube and select a top edge and press Ctrl + B to bevel it and make a wide bevel. With the tool still active, use the mouse wheel to scroll and create enough rounded segments to work with and left-click to finish the bevel.

In the bottom left hand side of the viewport, open up the 'Bevel' redo panel. Change the profile type to 'Custom' and in the Preset dropdown menu just below, choose steps! If there are not enough or too many steps, simply adjust the 'Segments' slider and re-choose the steps preset from the Preset menu!

  • Mesh Origin Manual Placement

You can manually transform a mesh's origin point by simply pressing Ctrl + . (not the one on the numpad). You'll notice the axis gizmo overlaying the origin. From here, you can move, rotate or even scale it. Additionally, it will snap to any snap settings you have enabled, giving you the quick flexibility of snapping the origin to whatever you need! Pressing Ctrl + . again exits manual origin placement mode.

  • Reference Images

You can drag and drop an image from Windows Explorer/Finder onto your 3D Viewport (in Object Mode only) to use as reference! This in essence becomes an empty plane object with that image mapped onto it and perfectly sized! Use the corner control points to uniformly scale the plane while the center cross is used to move it around. Being this is a reference plane, you will not be able to go into Edit Mode with it selected!

It's best to drag and drop into an orthographic view like Front, Top or Right for example as this operation is view dependant)! If you drag and drop this into the perspective view, it will align to the viewport camera and initially look correct, but once you start orbiting, it will need to have its transforms reset!

Finally, you can make them only visible in orthographic view (meaning that in the perspective view, the empty reference plane will not display)! To do this, simply go to object data properties and deselect the Perspective option within the Show In section!

  • Mirror Objects

You can mirror an object (be it a mesh, light, camera among other things) by selecting it and pressing Ctrl + M, then the desired axis key and left-clicking to finalize the mirror operation!

Note: Mirrored geometry will result in invert face normals, so be ready to correct that -Shift + N!

  • Framing Scene Meshes

Ever get lost in your 3D viewport and can't find your mesh(es)? Perhaps you zoomed out too far or just panned too far away. Pressing Home (located between the Insert and Page Up keys) will automatically frame everything in the scene! Alternatively, Shift + C will also do this as well as ensure that the 3D cursor is at world center. No matter what, there is a way to quickly find your scene meshes!

  • Zoom Depth

Blender uses a viewport navigation point in which it uses for orbiting / zooming. This is set via mesh framing or mouse positioning. The problem arises when you want to zoom past this point to either some distant object or to a further location on a large mesh. You won't be able to because once the zoom reaches this hidden navigation point, you can't zoom in any further.

The solution to this is to go into Preferences > Navigation and enable both Depth from the Orbit & Pan's Auto sub section and Zoom to mouse position from within the Zoom panel. Now, when you want to zoom in on something far (without selecting it) or to a further spot on the current mesh, you can just zoom there! There might still be some point where the zoom will still stop. In this case, simply retry to continue zooming in further.

If you find that with the depth feature enabled you have trouble accurately orbiting around a mesh, simply frame your selected mesh and you should be fine! This can be done via View > Frame Selected from the view port menu or Numpad Period.

  • Checker Deselect

This feature deselects every other face on the mesh. Fluted pillars benefit from this by quickly adding insets and inner extrudes, or perhaps adding geometric details or a different material to chess or checkerboards for example. To do this, simply select all the faces involved and from the top viewport menu, choose Select > Checker Deselect. Within the Checker Deselect redo panel on the bottom left of the 3d viewport, adjust the Deselected or Selected sliders to achieve every nth selection (for cylinders, loop select all the side faces as opposed to box selecting them).

  • A Literal Change In Perspective!

In the event you feel that the default perspective view is not to your liking, it's pretty easy to change it. Simply press N in the viewport to bring up the right hand side panels and select the View panel. From there, it's just a matter of sliding the Focal Length variable to change how the perspective is calculated. The default is a focal length of 50mm (which is usually good enough for most people).

  • Random Selections

It's simple to be able to randomly select meshes, or faces (or edges or vertices) on a mesh. Just go into Edit Mode, and with a mesh selected, go to Select > Select Random from the viewport menu. A Select Random redo panel will appear on the lower left hand side of the view port.

Here, you can interactively adjust the Ratio and/or Random Seed values to achieve different random selections. By default, the Action mode is set to Select, which of course means it will select. But you can change this setting to Deselect as well!

  • Redo Panel

Fun fact: Pressing F9 will bring up a popup displaying the last operation you performed. So for example, let's say you just added a cylinder and left-clicked to end the operation. You can use F9 to bring back the cylinder redo panel (in the form of a repositionable popup) and readjust its settings (like segment count). Could come in very handy from time to time!

  • Loop Cut Tool

Simply hover your mouse cursor over any edge and then press Ctrl + R to invoke the loop cut tool. At this point, you get a new central edge loop, but with this tool still live, so you have some options here... if you scroll with your mouse wheel, you can increase (or decrease) the mount of evenly spaced additional edge loops.

Left-clicking finalizes the amount of edge loops and now allows you to move your mouse or tablet pen around to slide and place the edge loop(s) where you want it (right-clicking auto centers these edge loops and exits the loop cut functionality while left clicking stamps the edge loops in place and exits the tool). However, one cool additional thing during sliding / placing phase is that if you hit E, the loops will confine to the lower edge loop shape while pressing F will confine to upper one!

  • Rip & Rip Fill

Rip

In Blender, the term rip simply means breaking vertex connections. Simply select vertex / vertices or edge(s) and press V! Now the selection will no longer be connected, allowing you to move them freely. As a bonus, this also applies in the UV Editor (only applies to rip, not rip fill!)

Rip Fill

Blender also offers the ability to rip but cap the hole that would normally be left behind! To do this, simply press Alt + V!

Side Note: The rip fill operation direction will determine which side of the selected edges the mouse cursor is hovering over! Much like edge ring selections when using Emulate 3 button mouse, the cursor location matters!



• Bonus! While not considered a rip fill, you can select a vertex and press Alt + D to add a connected vertex!

  • Extrude Features

  • Click Extruding:
    You can extrude a selection by holding Ctrl and right clicking! The selection will extrude to the mouse cursor! This can come in handy when say manually modeling a tree. Selecting faces on a trunk and Ctrl right clicking off the trunk will produce the starting point of a branch. From there, simply scale the branch tip down a bit, then repeat the process to quickly finish the branch off!

  • Extrude Faces Along Normals:
    It's sometimes useful to extrude faces along their normals! The process is simple. Make a selection of faces and press Alt + E to invoke the extrude menu. From here, simply choose Extrude Along Face Normals and drag to create the extrusion process!

  • Extrude Individual Faces:
    This extrudes all faces individually along their face normals.
  • Shrink / Fatten

Sometimes you might want to slide a vertex or face along its normals. This is as easy as making the selection and pressing Alt + S and dragging the mouse! After left-clicking to finalize the operation, a Shrink/Flatten redo panel appears in the lower left hand corner of the viewport with options like adjusting the offset or enabling offset even (which provides a more uniform thickness as well as proportional editing.

  • Separate By Loose Parts

A feature that might be overlooked is the ability to separate a mesh into loose parts. This comes in handy when you need to break a joined mesh into individual meshes, and only works with disconnected fragments (no vertices between parts welded together).

To do this, simply select the main mesh in question, enter Edit Mode, choose Face Select and tap A twice to select all faces. Finally, press P to bring up the Separate panel and choose By Loose Parts. Now, all disconnected mesh fragments will be their own individual meshes!

  • Extra Primitives (Like Capsule)

Did you know that there are a few extra primitives (like the capsule) in Blender? To begin, ensure that the Add Mesh: Extra Objects add-on is installed. Then simply press Shift + A and from the resulting Add menu, choose Mesh > Round Cube. A rounded cube appears in the scene. Next, locate the Add Round Cube redo panel on the lower left hand corner of the 3d viewport, open it and from the Operator Presets drop down, you'll notice there are a few new primitives to choose from!

  • Quad View

You can easily set Blender from a single view port to the traditional quad view (which contains the Perspective, Right, Front & Top views by default) by simply pressing Ctrl + Alt + Q!

  • Select Boundary Loop

Ever need to select the open edges of a complex flat mesh? There is a fast way to selecting all them by select all edges or faces on the mesh, then in the viewport top menu, choose Select > Select Loops > Select Boundary Loop! Voila! All outer open boundary edges selected, just like that!

  • Quick Dissolve

When cleaning up meshes and you want to dissolve (instead of delete) sub selections, you can press X and choose Dissolve (insert sub-selection here: Vertices / Edges / Faces). But an even quicker way is to simply press Ctrl + X. This is faster than bringing up the delete/dissolve menu!

  • Delete Without Confirmation

When deleting a mesh in Object Mode by pressing X, you are always greeted with a small confirmation popup verifying if you want to delete it. This can become annoying and cumbersome over time! You have two options to bypass the confirmation process altogether. Either:

  • press Delete (beneath the insert key) -or-

  • go into your preferences and from within the keymap panel, search for delete. Scroll down to the Object Mode version using the X keyboard shortcut. Open this keymap panel and notice that by default, the radial button for Confirm is enabled. Simply disable this and save your preferences! From now on, when in Object Mode, there will no longer be a confirmation popup every time you use the X key to delete something!

  • Maximum Viewport Maximization
  • Pressing Ctrl + Spacebar maximizes whatever viewport section your mouse cursor is hovering over. This can be useful for maximizing the modelling viewport for example.
  • But there is a way to hide even more UI (as generally the top menu remains when maximizing views). To get maximum screen real estate, press Ctrl + Alt + Spacebar instead! This gives you the most screen space to work with (especially in the 3d viewport). Think of this as the equivalent of expert mode in 3dsMax!


Whichever shortcut you use, you have to use the same one again to return back to the previous viewport state!

  • Extrude Even Thickness

When wanting to apply a thickness to some non-manifold faces, you have two options:

  • Apply a Solidify modifier and enable Even Thickness - or -

  • With faces selected, press Alt + E to bring up the Extrude popup. Choose Extrude Faces Along Normals. At this point (with the tool still active), the extrude will look uneven. Holding down Alt will preview the even thickness while pressing S will toggle it on or off!

  • Quick Boolean Shortcuts

Here is a fast way for creating booleans: Select the "source" mesh (in this case, the cube), then press Shift + left click the "target" mesh - in this case the cylinder. Now do one of the following:

The final result will in fact mean a boolean modifier with the chosen operation will be added to the target mesh! If the Apply option from the boolean modifier dropdown is greyed out (this is particularly common with slice operations as two meshes share the same cutter), simply ensure that the target mesh is selected, and from within the Object Data Properties panel, simply click on the number representing the number of fake users: This will remove the users and from here, you should be able to apply the boolean modifier!

  • Correcting Missing Faces On Exported FBX File

There might be a time that you need to work with an existing imported fbx file (no working scene found, or starting with a mesh purchased online) in preparation for exporting into Unity, and the end result is an fbx mesh with missing faces! Here are the most common issues and their solutions to this problem:

  • Flipped Normals:
    The most likely culprit is that face normals are inverted. Ensure that the mesh normals are facing the right way (from within the top viewport menu, choose Mesh > Normals > Recalculate Outside - or Shift + N).

  • Improper Materials:
    If the above solution is not resolving the issue. then it probably has to do with problematic materials. From within the top frame of the Outliner, click on the Display Mode icon button (to the right of Editor Type). When this drop down opens up, choose Blender File, and from here, open up the Materials section. Start by eliminating one material at a time between exports to find the offending material. it might be a single one or a combination of multiple materials that is causing the problem.


Select and remove the offending materials - it might be a single one that is causing the problem (you might need to eliminate one at a time between exports to find the problematic material).

  • Vertex Grouping

Vertex groups is a great feature that allows us to "save selections" if you will. This becomes particularly powerful when dealing with certain modifiers for instance (only affecting certain verticies)! Perhaps you need to create a group to be able to apply vertex paint to, or you need to revisit a selection to tweak its thickness, or position, or use them in a modifier, etc... The list of reasons are probably plentiful!

Vertex Group Setup

Start by selecting the vertices / faces you want to group together. Do one of the following:

  • Press Ctrl + G and choose Assign To New Group from the Vertex Groups popup (this is the quicker / easier way) - or -
  • Within the Object Data Properties panel, create a new vertex group by clicking on the + button within the right hand side of the vertex group panel. This will create a default group name called Group. Next, click on the Assign button. Now, any vertices / faces are now assigned to this group.


Either way, it's a good practice to give the vertex group a more meaningful name!

Modifying Vertex Groups

Once a vertex group is set, it's possible to add / remove vertices from said group!

  • Adding to group: You can add by making a selection, and with the current group selected, simply click 'Assign' again. This will add the current selection to the complete group selection.
  • Removing from group: If there is any vertices / faces you don't want to include, deselect everything, then select only those you don't want to be included in the currently selected group and press 'Remove'.
  • Selecting and Deselecting: 'Select' will select any selections assigned to the currently highlighted group while 'Deselect' will deselect the group's assigned selection.


You can create many vertex groups, and even have some groups share some selections. Vertex groups is a powerful way to access the selections you need to make any necessary changes quick and painless!

  • Change Font Sizes

Do you feel Blender's fonts are too small? You can easily change them by going to Preferences > Themes and from within the 'Text Style' drop down, you can tweak the font size (among other font settings) from there.

  • Backface Culling

What some people might not realize is that backface culling is actually split into two different areas within Blender. Let's quickly examine how these work!

  • Solid View
    When the 3d viewport is set to this mode, the way to enable backface culling is via the shading dropdown menu.

  • Material Preview
    Simple enough. But once you switch the 3d viewport into the material preview mode, you'll notice right away that the backface culling previously set from within the solid view isn't working!


The solution here is to go into the material(s) properties in question and enable their backface culling from there!
Side note: Any new materials created afterwards will require you to go into their respective material properties and manually enable their backface culling, as materials won't have this enabled by default!

  • Knife Project

The Knife Project tool allows a mesh or curve object to be projected and cut into a background mesh (if the background mesh is not flat/co-planar), you might want to have enough face subdivisions to give enoughresolution to work with). The process is simple.

  1. First select the mesh that you want to receive the cut and go into Edit Mode. Next, from within the outliner, Ctrl + click on a non-manifold mesh that will act as the "cookie cutter". In this case, a mesh with open edges / borders.
  2. From within the top viewport menu, choose Mesh > Knife Project. Note: The viewport camera will determine the angle of the projection (think project from view), so it's best to go into an orthographic view for this.
  3. The resulting projected faces are automatically selected. From here, the creative possibilities are plentiful! If you wish to have the kinfe project go through the entire mesh, simply enable Cut Through in the Knife Project redo panel in the lower left hand side during the project operation! View the document for more details.
  • Adjusting View Through Camera / Light
  1. Select a camera or light.
  2. Press N to bring up the right-hand side panel and go into the View tab.
  3. Enable the Camera To View option from within the View Lock section.
  4. Press Ctrl + Numpad 0 to jump the view into the first person perspective of selected camera or light.
  5. From here, navigate in the 3d view to reorientate camera or light, then press Numpad 0 to exit back into normal 3d viewport view.
  • Set Camera To 3D Viewport View

If you have a camera in your scene (selected or not) and you it to match the current viewport view, simply press:
Ctrl + Alt + Numpad 0 and the camera will now instantly be set to match the view!

  • Quick Favorites

A good way to access your most frequently used features is to add them to your quick favorites! Most items in drop down menus and panels allow you to right-click on them and choose Add to Quick Favorites. When you press Q, you can see all the features you added for quick and easy access!

But this is not just limited to the 3d viewport! There is also a separate Quick Favorites (same shortcut) in the Shader Editor for instance! So if you frequently use certain nodes (like Ambient Occlusion or Color Ramp for instance), the procedure for adding them to the favorites list is the exact same! This allows you to store a series of frequently used nodes so you don't have to keep searching and applying them the traditional way!

  • Popular Pie / Panel Menu Shortcuts

Here is a list of some of the more commonly used pie / panel menus, their shortcuts and menu item lists they invoke:

  • Pie Shading - Shortcut: Z
    • Solid, Wireframe, Shade Smooth, Shade Flat, Rendered, Material Preview

  • Snap - Shortcut: Shift + S
    • Selection to Cursor, Selection to Active, Selection to Grid, Cursor to Active, Cursor to Selected, Cursor to World Origin, Cursor to Grid, Selection to Cursor

  • Snap To - Shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + Tab
    • Brings up entire Snap To popup panel

  • Pie Proportional Obj - Shortcut: Shift + O
    • Proportional On/Off, Inverse Square, Sphere, More, Linear, Sharp, Smooth, Root

  • Pivot Point - Shortcut: .
    • Median Point, Only Locations, 3D Cursor, Individual Origins, Bounding Box Center, Active Element

  • Orientation - Shortcut: ,
    • Gimbal, Cursor, Local, Normal, Global, View

  • View - Shortcut: ~ (Tilde Key)
    • Top, Back, Right, View Selected, Bottom, View Camera, Left, Front

  • Mode Switch - Shortcut: Ctrl + Tab (with an object selected)
    • Object/Edit Mode, Vertex Paint, Texture Paint, Edit Modes, Weight Paint, Sculpt

  • Origin Menu - Shortcut: Ctrl + Alt + X
    • Origin to Selection, Origin to Geometry, Origin to Cursor, Origin to Bottom, Origin to Center of Mass, Geometry to Origin

  • Renaming Objects

Batch Renaming
If you have to rename a bunch of objects, simply select them and press Ctrl + F2 to bring up the Batch Rename popup. Then fill in the Find and Replace text fields with what you need and viola! Any meshes containing the words in the find field will be replaced, making renaming a bunch of assets a breeze!

Renaming Individual Object
There are a few ways of renaming a single object. After selecting one, either;

  • double left-click on its name in the outliner and rename it there - or -
  • press F2 with the mouse in the 3d viewport and rename the object from the resulting Object Name popup. Pressing F2 with the mouse cursor in the outliner also sets the name up for renaming.
  • Quick Way To Make A Cage
  1. Create a plane, select all faces, right-click and choose Subdivide and press Shift + R (redo last action) a few times to give it enough subdivisions (not too many though).
  2. With all faces still selected, right-click and choose Poke. This will result in a central vertex for each face.
  3. Now right-click again and choose Tris to Quads. This will result in a grid pattern that is rotated 45°!
  4. Go into Object Mode and add a Wireframe modifier to it. Play with the Thickness option to achieve the desired look. You can even enable the Boundary option to auto cap the open edges!
  5. Feel free to further dress the cage up by applying a Bevel modifier and playing with the Amount and Segment count to give it a more stylized look!
  • Exporting UV Layouts

In Blender, It's possible to export mesh UVs. This be useful when doing paint overs in Photoshop for example (as a hand painted texture) and you need to know how the mesh UVs are layout out. You can put the exported UV images into your PSD file and use it as reference!



  1. Simply go to UV > Export UV Layout from within the top UV Editor menu.
  2. From within the save popup, notice that there is a set of options within the top right hand corner. This is where you can set the type of file, the file size, etc... If you enable All UVs, this will result in all UVs being exported (no need to manually select all UVs for this to work).
  3. The end result is the entire set of UVs exported into the file type of your choosing!


The fun doesn't stop there however! Did you know that you can export only selected UV islands instead of the entire thing? Simply ensure that Modified is enabled instead of All UVs when intending to export only what you need! This can prove useful when needing to paint over only parts of the mesh texture, serving as a way to isolate where to paint by treating it as a mask!

  • Creating A Custom Orientation

In Blender, there is a set of custom orientations within the Transform Orientation drop down from within the top menu just above the 3d viewport. The default orientations include: Global, Local, Normal, Gimbal, View and Cursor.

Chances are, one of these will satisfy your transform needs. However, there might be some situations where they don't work and as a result, creating a custom orientation based on a selection is the solution! Let's look at a simple example to illustrate this. Suppose that by accident, a trapezoid hole in the wall (to accommodate a window frame) had a misplaced vertex like so:

In this example, with the offending vertex selected, no default transform orientation will work!

The solution here would be to create a custom orientation!

  1. Select the edge or vertices that involve the offending vertex.
  2. Locate and click on the Transformation Orientation drop down located within the top viewport menu. Click on the side + button to create a new orientation.
  3. A new 'Edge' category is created below the default list! Within the panel in the lower left hand corner of the viewport, the option for Use After Creation should be enabled by default! Notice that the transform gizmo is now orientated to match the selection!
  4. Now, when transforming the offending vertex, it will follow the vector of the edge (or selected vertices) it belongs to, enabling you to easily slide it into the correct position. Once you are finished with this orientation, you can easily delete it by clicking on the X button next it!


There are many other possibilities beyond this example that can make use of custom orientations! When the need arises, rest comfortably knowing that Blender allows you create any orientation you need! As a bonus, there is another (and simpler way) to solving this issue. Please see tip #72!

  • Copying Values

When it comes to copying values from one place to another (in this example, colour swatches), instead of opening up the colour panel and copying the values, then opening another colour panel to paste them, you can simply hover your mouse cursor over the first colour and press Ctrl + C, then hover over the target colour and press Ctrl + V! This technique applies to pretty much any values you'll find scattered across Blender. It's not limited to colour info!

  • Mask Modifier

You can nondestrcively mask portions of your mesh! Simply select some mesh faces / verticies you wish to mask and create a vertex group from them (see tip#52: Vertex Grouping). Then add a Mask modifier. Choose the vertex group you created for the Vertex Group field. Now only the masked polygons should be visible! You can toggle between the mask and the rest of the mesh by pressing invert button!

  • Select Every nth Element

When it comes to making repeated offset selections, simply select the first and second element (vertices, edges or faces) on a mesh with the desired spacing in-between, then while pressing Ctrl + Shift, press Numpad + as many times as needed to replicate the nth selection (mesh topology will determine how reliable / useful this feature is)!

  • Quickly Connect Nodes

When it comes to connecting nodes, nothing is faster than simply selecting the ones in question you'd like to connect and pressing F. One thing to note about this method is that only primary "Default" inputs and outputs will be connected! This will not connect an output from one node to say, a FAC input of another for example.

  • Render Region

When dealing with complex, heavy scenes using the Cycles Rendering Engine with the viewport mode set to Rendered, it can become time consuming to tweak something (like say lighting for instance) and have Blender recalculate everything. Luckily, there's a feature called Render Region that allows calculations within a designated rectangular region.

To do this, simply press Ctrl + B and left-click drag out a rectangular region. This will be represented onscreen as a rectangular dash bordered region. From here on, only the region will be calculated. Placing the mouse cursor in the center will give you control to move the entire region around while placing it on the corners or edges will allow you to change its dimensions! To remove the region, simply press Ctrl + Alt+ B.

This doesn't just apply to viewport rendering though! Using a camera, the rendered region will only render out what the camera sees! By default, any space that isn't filled with geometry or a background will be just alpha space. If you don't want any empty space outside of the render to be included, simply go the Output properties tab and from with the Format panel, simply enable the Crop to Render Region feature!

  • Making A Camera Active

There's a few ways to make a camera among other cameras the active one. You can either:

  • Select a camera from either the 3d viewport or from within the outliner and press Ctrl + Numpad 0 -or-
  • From within the Scene Properties tab, choose your camera via the Camera drop-down menu.


It is important to note that every camera has a wire frame triangle above the rectangle which represents its FOV. When a camera is active (not to be confused with whether it is selected or not), this triangle is filled solid! Otherwise, the triangle is simply an outline (thus the camera is not active). The active camera will be used to calculate the final render - regardless to whether it is selected or not!

  • Don't Load Someone's Layout In A Blender File

Ever open a Blender file only to be greeted with a custom layout that you feel is unwanted? Luckily, Blender has your back! Let's look at an example and see how to load it without the saved layout in the file!

Here is an example of a saved file with the modelling workspace's layout reconfigured.

Start by creating a new scene by either going to File > New or pressing Ctrl + N (or by loading a different scene, as you can't try and reload the same scene using this technique). Once the new scene is up, load the file in question via File > Open (don't load via Open Recent, as this bypasses the file load window!) Once this load window is open, locate the Options (gear) icon in the very top right hand corner and uncheck the Load UI option!

Now select the file in question and load it. Notice that your UI layout remains intact instead of the version saved within the scene! This is much quicker and easier than trying to shift/eliminate layout windows to bring the UI back to what you use!

Want to make this behavior permanent? Simply go to Edit > Preferences and from within the Save & Load panel, simply uncheck Load UI and save your preferences!

  • 3D Viewport Transparencies

Displaying transparencies within the 3d viewport isn't straight forward, nor is it terribly difficult to achieve! Let's examine two different types. One using a material to make the entire mesh translucent and the other displaying a texture containing alpha information, both of which are viewed in the Material Preview viewport mode (which makes use of Eevee and by default doesn't display transparency).

• Material Transparency

  1. With the mesh selected, create a new material.
  2. Within the Setting section, set the Blend Mode to Alpha Blend.
  3. In the Shader Editor, Add a Transparent BSDF as well as a Mix Shader node. Connect the outputs of both the Principled and Transparency BSDF nodes into the Mixed Shader inputs (see screenshot) and plug the output from the Mixed Shader to the Surface of the Material Output node.
  4. Adjust the Alpha setting within the Principled BSDF node to achieve the desired opacity of the material (and thus, the mesh in question).

• Texture Alpha Transparency

  1. With the mesh selected, create a new material.
  2. Within the Setting section, set the Blend Mode to Alpha Blend.
  3. In the Shader Editor, add the following nodes: Transparent BSDF, invert, image texture and Mix Shader. Connect the image texture node to the Principled BSDF 'Base Color' input and choose a texture that has alpha information in it. Connect the outputs of both the Principled and Transparency BSDF nodes into the Mixed Shader inputs (see screenshot). Connect the 'Alpha' output from the image texture node to the 'Color' input in the invert node and plug the invert into the 'FAC' input of the Mixed Shader node, of which connects into the Material Output Node. Now the alpha texture should display properly within the 3d viewport.

Be aware that you have a few choices in the alpha blend modes. Setting it to Alpha Clip will result in solid opaque or pure transparent pixels while Alpha Blend will give smooth, anti-aliased translucent pixels.

  • Sliding vertex beyond edge

From time to time you may find the need to slide a vertex beyond the edge it is connected to. By default, after selecting a vertex and pressing G G, the vertex will slide along either of its connecting edges. But if you wanted to continue sliding the vertex beyond an edge, simply press C to disable clamping and continue dragging the vertex past the corner point!

  • Quick Circular Arrays

While you can go the traditional route of using the array modifier in conjunction with an empty object as an object offset to create a circular array, there are a few additional methods of performing one quickly and without fuss!

Method 1: Angle & Rotation
First ensure that the Transform Pivot Point is set to 3D Cursor. Place your object the distance you want from the 3d cursor to establish the radius. Next, determine how many copies you want in the circular array (example: 10). So dividing 360° / 10 = 36°. Duplicate the mesh by pressing Shift + D (or Alt + D if you want to instantiate it), and without left-clicking, type R then Z then 36 and hit Enter. Finally, hold Shift and press R as many times as needed to complete the circular array!

Method 2: Using Extrude Spin
Using the same pillar example from above, ensure that the mesh's pivot point is set to the 3d cursor's location (this can be done via Object > Set Origin > Origin to 3d Cursor). Select all verts, edges or faces on your mesh and press Alt + E (to bring up the Extrude menu) and then press S (for Spin). Voila! Instant radial array! Use the Spin operator panel to adjust the number of meshes within the array!

Side Note: This array operation is viewport dependant! While you can get creative, interesting results using a perspective view, it's best to use an orthographic view for this!

  • Offset Edge Loops

You can easily create offset edge loops (which can come in hand when modelling high subdivision meshes) by selecting edge(s), pressing Ctrl + Shift + R and left-click dragging!

  • Edge Profile Spin (lathe)

This is similar to tip #73 (array using the Extrude Spin method) in that the position of the mesh's pivot point matters. In an orthographic view (in this example, front view), start by adding a mesh vertex (press Shift + A and choosing Mesh > Single Vert > Add Single Vert - You'll need Blender's native Add Mesh: Extra objects add-on installed. Otherwise, add a plane and collapse all vertices into a single vertex and start from there), and in vertex mode, select the point and press E to extrude it.

Continue to extrude vertices to form a profile shape you want (in this case, a wine glass). Once the profile is completed, simply select all its vertices (double tap A) and from the appropriate orthographic view (in this case top view) press Alt + E then S! This will result in a 'lathed' mesh! Adjust the Steps value within the Spin operator panel in the bottom left hand corner of the viewport to give more segments!

  • Edge Creasing

When creating high subsurface division meshes, you can use edge creasing in place of additional edge loops to achieve tighter edged visuals. To do this, simply start by adding a subdivision modifier to your mesh, then with the desired edges selected, press Shift + E and left-click drag to adjust the edge creasing! Simple as that!

  • Copying Materials From One Mesh To Another

When it comes to copying a material from one mesh to another, you have a few options available! In the following examples, the teapot has no material assigned to it, and the goal is to copy the gold star material to it!

Method 1: Drag & Drop
Ensure that the material you want is selected via the Browse Material to be Linked dropdown menu, then click-drag it's material icon right onto the model in the viewport!

Method 2: Linked Materials
First, select the 'target' mesh (in this case, the teapot), then Shift + click the source mesh (the gold star, which becomes the active mesh). Finally, Press Ctrl + L to bring up the Link/Transfer Data popup and choose Link Materials!

Method 3: Copy / Paste
Finally, there's the good'ol copy and paste! Select the source mesh and then the material you wish to copy, and from the small down arrow (known as the Specials menu) located beneath the + and - buttons on the left hand side, choose Copy Material. Then select the target mesh and add a new material (by clicking on the 'New' button). Within the Specials menu arrow, choose Paste Material. Now the teapot should be gooooold!

  • Triangles And Quads

Sometimes you may find it more advantageous to work with polygons that are either triangulated or quad based. Switching between the two is pretty easy!

Triangles To Quads

  • Starting with a mesh that is triangulated, simply go into Edit Mode, select all faces and press Alt + J (or this can be accessed via Face > Tris To Quads from the viewport menu).
Applicable faces means quads that are split into triangles. Any non quad splitting triangles are unaffected!

Quads To Triangles

  • Starting with a mesh that is quad based, simply go into Edit Mode, select all faces and press Ctrl + T (alternatively, you can go to Face > Triangulate Faces from the viewport menu).
Applicable faces means only quads are split into triangles!
  • F2 Add-On Fill

The F2 add-on comes with Blender but is not enabled by default. It is a powerful add-on that allows you to fill gaps with polygons. Simply go into Edit > Preferences > Add-ons and type F2 in the search field. Enable the resulting add-on. Fill in holes or missing geo via selections and pressing F.

With regards to filling quads using edges, the position of the cursor matters! If two selected vertices are joined to form an edge (pressing F), then with that edge selected, if you place the cursor on the right hand side of this selected edge and press F, quads will fill up in the direction of the mouse cursor!

This add-on can also be used to merge faces! Simply select some adjacent faces and press F to merge them!

  • Random Transform

It's quite easy to apply some random transforms to a series of meshes within your scene. Simply select some meshes and from within the viewport menu, choose Object > Transform > Randomize Transform. The Randomize Transform popup will appear in the lower left hand corner. Simply play with the desired values and watch the selected meshes transform, rotation and scaling alter in real-time!

  • Array Along Curve

Arrays offer a powerful way of duplicating meshes, especially when a path is involved! In this example, We'll use a cube that will be duplicated along a spiral curve using two different methods. One that results in the cube deforming and other where it does not!

Method 1: Array with deformation

  1. Select the mesh you want to make an array from and within the Modifier Properties tab, click on Add Modifier and choose Array.
  2. Set the Fit Type to Fit Curve. From the Curve field, select the curve (by manually picking it or from the drop down list). The mesh array will now tile to be the same length as the spiral curve!
  3. Next, we need to deform this mesh along the spiral curve. Go back to Add Modifier and choose Curve. From the Curve Object field, choose the spiral curve.
  4. Finally, back in the array modifier, while holding Shift, drag adjust the amount of the Relative Offset X axis to space them out!
Notice how the cube copies deform as they follow the curve. This may be desireable in some cases!

Method 2: Array without deformation
The workflow here is similar to the version above, but with one critical difference! Instead of using the cube as the mesh for applying the array and curve modifiers to, we'll apply this to a separate parent mesh! So once again, the starting scene starts with a cube and spiral curve.



  1. Add another mesh to the scene (in this case a plane - but this can be any mesh (other than a point). Select the cube, Shift click the plane and press Ctrl + P and choose Object from the Set Parent To popup.
  2. With the parent mesh (plane) selected, go through the same process as method 1. Once done, the end result it a plane that is the array object following the spiral curve.
  3. With the parent mesh still selected, make the cube visible (and the parent invisible) by going to the Object Properties tab and from within the Instance panel, choose Faces and simply un-checking the radial boxes for both Viewport and Render in the Show Instancer section! Notice now that the child mesh (in this case, the cube) is not deforming as it follows the curve! Hide (or get rid of) the initial cube.
With the curve modifier being applied to the hidden parent mesh, the child mesh is not affected, therefore no deformation occurs!
  • Triangulate In Same Direction

When converting quads to triangles, some of the triangulated edges might be rotated against the general flow. The solution to have them all flowing the same direction is easy. Start by selecting some quad faces and pressing Ctrl + T to triangulate them. In the Triangulate Faces panel in the lower left hand side of the viewport, switch Quad Method from Beauty to Fixed. Now all triangulated edges should flow in the same direction!

  • Bisect Tool

Blender has tools that allows us to cut straight through a mesh. The knife tool can accomplish this, but is very limited, in that it only performs a cutting operation. The bisect tool by contrast, while only allowing straight cuts, allows to reposition the cut, as well as remove the top or bottom portion and fill in the hole of the remaining portion! Lets add the monkey mesh as an example and see how this works.

  1. Select all mesh faces (pressing A twice) and from within the viewport menu along the top, choose Mesh > Bisect. Left click-dragging through the mesh establishes the cut line.
  2. With the line established, the bisect gizmo allows the line to be moved and/or rotated!
  3. Within the bisect panel in the lower bottom left of the viewport, you can choose between Clear Inner, Clear Outer and whether there is a Fill applied or not!
When determining the bisect line, clicking left to right will establish Inner and Outer as opposite to clicking right to left! The Outer part always matches the direction of the yellow transform gizmo arrow!
  • Quickly Add Subdivision Levels

While you can manually add a subdivision modifier to your mesh, Blender offers six levels of subdivisions as shortcuts. Simply select your mesh and press Ctrl + 1 thru 5 with 0 representing no subdivision levels at all! It's that easy!

  • Lattice Deform

Adding a lattice to deform your mesh is pretty easy and straight forward! Let's use the Blender monkey head as a starting scene!

  1. Press Shift + A and choose Lattice from the Add popup.
  2. Scale/Move the lattice to fit the mesh in object mode! It is very important you do NOT resize the lattice in edit mode, as this will ultimately give incorrect results!
  3. Select the monkey mesh, then Shift + Click the lattice mesh. Press Ctrl + P and choose Lattice Deform from the Set Parent To popup (a lattice modifier is automatically added to the monkey mesh!)
  4. Optional: Select the lattice mesh and from the Lattice tab (), adjust the U,V and W resolution to add more vertices to the lattice for more deformation control!
  5. In edit mode, select lattice vertices and manipulate them to deform the monkey mesh!
  • Subdivide Edge Ring

Sometimes you might make a cylinder or say an arch that is too low in poly count. It is possible to not only increase the segments, but have those new segments follow the curve of the surrounding existing segments as well! Using the example scene of a pillar and arch, let's see how subdivision edge rings can solve this! Start by ring selecting the edges needed to increase in resolution.

In many cases, edge loop selections will work as well. Just be sure that matching opposite edge loops are also selected, otherwise you'll get undesirable results! From the viewport top menu, choose Edge > Subdivide Edge-Ring. In the operations panel in the lower left side of the screen, the Number of Cuts setting defaults to 10. Simply alter this to get different results (a setting of 1 doubles the segments). You might need to apply transforms to your mesh before hand for this tool to function properly!

  • Local Isolation

Sometimes a Blender scene can get rather cluttered with meshes. And with this comes the need to be able to isolate the mesh you are working on. This can be done by selecting a mesh in question and simply pressing /. This puts the scene in Local view, zooming in on the selected mesh while hiding everything else! Pressing / again brings back all previously visible meshes as well as returning the viewport view to its previous state.

  • Extras: Hiding Lights

There comes a time in a person's life when they need to hide light mesh(es), yet keep the lighting active in the viewport! Luckily, this is easily done by simply un-checking Extras from within the Overlay menu! The viewport light mesh(es) will be hidden, yet they continue to light your geometry!

  • Conform Scaling

If you have some inner edges (say a hole for example) and you want to scale these edges up while keeping them conforming to the outer edges (which are not square), simple scaling won't work! But by double tapping G and click dragging, the inner edges will scale and start conforming to the outer edges! In this state, you can press E to force the inner selected edges to more accurately conform with the outer edges!

  • Scale Cage

While not quite as flexible as a lattice deformer, Blender's Scale Cage offers a cage with a series of control points located around it to scale the selected mesh in question with ease. Simply long press the scale icon along the left hand side bar (if no icons are visible, simply press T to bring them up) and switch the scale to scale cage. Now when you select a mesh, you can scale it via the cage's control points!

Note: When click-dragging any corner control point, the mesh uniformly scales in the direction of the opposite corner!

  • Remove Node While retaining Connections

Sometimes you'll need to remove a shader node, but you'll want to keep the surrounding node connections. Instead of manually deleting the unwanted node and reconnecting other nodes back, simply select the node you want to remove and press Ctrl + X. This will automatically keep the connection between the other surrounding nodes while removing the target node!

  • Colour Field/Gradient Eye Droppers

Blender allows you to use the eye dropper when dealing with any colour fields or gradients to effortlessly choose the colour(s) you need!

Colour Field

  • Simply hover your mouse cursor over a colour field and press E. Your cursor becomes an eye dropper! Now you'll be able to click-sample anywhere onscreen and the field will be replaced with whatever colour value you click on!
* Anything in the Blender Scene. Other application windows can't be sampled.

Gradients

  • Hover your mouse cursor over a gradient and press Alt + E. Once again, your cursor changes to an eye dropper! Now you'll be able to click-sample multiple times anywhere onscreen and the gradient will automatically add any additional colour stops as needed with whatever colour values you clicked on!
* Anything in the Blender Scene. Other application windows can't be sampled.

Bonus note: If you press E over a gradient field and then click and drag, the gradient will auto populate with colour stops!

  • Interactive Primitives

Primitives aren't limited to those found in the Add popup (Shift + A). Along the left side icons in the viewport (if they're not visible, press T to bring them up), locate the Add Cube icon. This is the primitive interactive cube (by default - long pressing on the Add Cube icon reveals a small drop down of additional primitives, each with their own click and drag functionality to set up their dimensions!). Clicking on this converts the mouse cursor within the viewport to a circular grid with a fall off. In this mode, you can simply click and drag to start the width/length of the cube.

Once you left click, move the mouse cursor up or down and click to determine its height.

  • Negative Lighting

Did you know that lights can have negative power values? This is a great way to darken corners in a room for example. If exploited properly, negative lighting can be very effective and useful!

Side Note 1: The colour of a negative light matters! Other than pure white subtracts other colours differently!
Side Note 2: While Suzanne (the monkey head) puts on a brave smile, her eyes look kind of sad... scared even!
  • Muting Shader Node

One of many useful features in the Shader Editor is the ability to mute nodes! By selecting a node and pressing M, the node in question remains connected but is muted, meaning it will not be included in the node calculations!

  • Textures In Lights

Did you know that a light can use a texture to colourize (or shade) a scene? Ensure that the Cycles rendering engine is chosen and that the viewport mode is set to Rendered. Simply select the light in question, and from within the lighting tab, click on Use Node. Jump into the Shader Editor, and set it up according to the screenshot and voila! The chosen texture tints everything within the light's range! This can be additionally useful for faking shadows of tree foliage on the ground from a spot light for example. The possibilities are endless!

The light's radius setting affects how sharp the projected texture image is. Lower values are sharper while higher ones are blurrier!

  • Mesh To Blocks

Have you ever wished to convert a mesh into blocks that resemble something like in Minecraft? It's pretty easy in Blender. Simply select the mesh in question and throw a Remesh modifier on it! Then switch the modifier's mode to Blocks and play with the Octree Depth and Scale values!

  • Moving Node Multi-Outputs

Sometimes you might want to move a node output (that branches off to other nodes) to another output on the same node. It's quite simple to do! Simply hold Ctrl and click on the multi-output you want to move and drag it onto another output!

  • Measurement Display

Prototyping something in Blender and want to see some mesh dimensions? Simply select a mesh's face or edge, and from within the Overlay dropdown above the viewport, look towards the bottom and simply apply which types of measurements from the Measurement section! For proper measurement readouts, ensure beforehand that your mesh has a scale value of 1 (this can be checked by pressing N to bring up the right hand side panel and looking at View tab, make sure all scale values are set to 1. If they are not, apply scale to your mesh by going into Object Mode and choose Object > Apply > Scale).

  • Glassmorphism

What is Glassmorphism? It's a trend in user interfaces where a plane of glass (taking on a frosted look) overlays a background. This effect is quite easy to do in Blender! Our background example will be the monkey head on a platform and a thin sheet of glass (simply a beveled cube scaled thin). The methods below achieve this look and feel but each one offer varying degrees of control!

Method 1: Glass BSDF
This first version is the simplest, yet gives minimal control! Aside from the output, the Glass BSDF shader node offers the choice of microfacet distribution, colours, roughness, IOR as well as a normal input. You can read more about this shader here.

Method 2: Principled BSDF
Using the Principled BSDF node, you have more control! In addition to the first method's parameters, you can play with Metallic and Transmission values among others! Of course, you have the entire node parameters at your disposal!

Method 3: Various Nodes
This method offers the most options with the addition of Noise, ColorRamp more!

  • Image As A Plane

Unlike in Reference Images (tip #30) where a reference plane cannot be modified other than uniform scaling, it is sometimes desireable to be able to bring an image directly as a regular old fashioned plane where you can do any kind of geometric modifications to it! The real benefit here is adding an image plane without a fuss!

So instead of manually creating a material with the texture as its image, then creating a plane and assigning that material to it, simply enable Blender's built-in Import-Export: Images as Planes add-on. From now on, when you access the Images sub menu from within the Add menu (Shift + A), you'll notice the Images as Planes option. Choosing this will add a plane in the scene with an auto assigned material using the chosen image as its texture! Much faster and easier!

  • Simplify Settings

Dealing with a scene with plenty of meshes with high subdivision modifier viewport levels can really bog down your computer. By going into the Render Properties tab, enable the Simplify option and open it up to view both viewport and render Max Subdivision settings. Here, you can globally override all mesh subdivision modifiers by setting the viewport/render max value to something respectable like say 1! Now you'll be able to toggle the Simplify setting without the need to adjust each mesh's subdivision modifier values!

  • Display UV Stretching

An easy way to see if your mesh has UV distortion is to enable Display Stretch from the Show Overlays dropdown along the top upper right side above the UV Editor window. The default setting within the Display Stretch Type is set to Angle, but you can also set it to Area. Blueish tinted faces represents very low to no distortion while yellowish to orangish represents varying degrees of distortion!

  • Fixing Beveled Corner

There might be some situations where beveling multiple edges that include an inner corner causes undesirable results. Whether you are using the bevel modifier or simply using the bevel shortcut, setting the Miter Outer to Arc will set the beveled inner corner to have an arching radius that is more often than not the desired outcome!

  • Node Groups

Node grouping is a way of categorise multiple selected nodes into a single one. This grouped node (aside from an organizational standpoint) can also be reused elsewhere in the shader editor! Creating a node group is fairly straight forward!

Simply select the nodes you wish to make a group of and press Ctrl + G. To un-group, simply select the group and press Alt + Ctrl + G. When a group is created, its title contains a group icon () that can be clicked on to open the group.

Once inside the group, you can click the Parent Node Tree curved up arrow button found along the top right hand side of the shader editor. Likewise, you can also jump in and out of node groups by pressing Tab. Pressing Ctrl + Tab will only bring you out of the group! Once the group is opened, the shader editor only displays the group nodes. Finally, it's important to note that groups should not contain input or output nodes, nor can groups be nested!

You can read more about node groups here!

  • Clipped View

It is possible in Blender to create a clipped view by simply pressing Alt + B and click-dragging a rectangular region in the 3d viewport. When orbiting/panning/zooming in the view, you'll notice that there is a "clipping frustum" based on the region that offers an x-ray/geo clipped effect on the scene mesh! Press the same shortcut again to exit this mode!

  • Cycling Proportional Mode

You can cycle through the various proportional editing modes while the tool is active! Start by making a selection on your mesh and press O to enable the proportional tool. Next, press G and while the selection is moved (don't click to finalize the move), simply hold down Shift and continuously press O to cycle through the various proportional tool's modes (not all modes are represented here).

  • Drag & Drop From Outliner

Did you know that you can drag and drop a mesh from the Outliner directly onto another mesh in your scene and it will snap to the other mesh's surface? Ensure that your mesh has a proper origin placement and apply transforms beforehand for best results!

  • Traverse Parented Meshes

When you have meshes parented to other meshes, simply select a mesh and use the [ or ] keys to navigate-select through their parent/child relationships! This could be useful when dealing with complex hierarchies where it might be easier to select one of the meshes in the chain and navigate from there!

  • Convert Mesh Selection To Convex Hull

If you have ever needed to create collision meshes for in-game assets, this just might be the tip for you! Select a portion (or the entire) mesh in question and choose Mesh > Convex Hull from the 3d viewport menu!

  • Select Pattern

When trying to select multiple related meshes (copies or instances) in a jumble of other meshes, life is easy if you do two things:

  1. Ensure that mesh base names are somewhat useful and similar.
  2. Select one of the meshes, and from the 3d viewport menu, choose Select > Select Pattern... and enter the base name of the mesh followed by an asterisk (known as a wildcard in search parlance)!

This will result in quickly selecting all meshes related by base name!

  • Adjusting Identical Node Values

You can adjust the same value in two nodes at once by selecting them, then holding down Alt and dragging said value (doesn't work if you have Emulate 3 Button Mouse enabled!) If the fields in question have different values to begin with, the difference will be maintained while changing one of them!

  • False Color

When testing out how bright a scene is, first ensure that your viewport shading mode is set to Rendered. Then simply navigate to the Render Properties tab, and from within the Color Management panel, switch the View Transform option to False Color! Any lighting effects on a mesh that is over powered will show up as shades of red! Green and blue shades are safe (not over blown!) While in this mode, feel free to go into the Output Properties tab and from within the Color Management panel, play around with the Exposure slider to adjust the scene's exposure in real time! The aim here is to try an get most objects in the green / blue part of the spectrum.

  • Center Content

A quick way to center the content in your viewport is to press Shift + C! This not only frames your scene objects, but it resets the 3d cursor to world origin as well! Optionally, you can press Home to frame content without resetting the 3d cursor!

  • Online Manual Support

You can right-click on practically any button, slider or field and from within the resulting drop down menu, choose Online Manual and it will bring you to the relevant Blender document web page regarding the item you right-clicked on!

  • Breaking Off Selections

While you can press P (and choose Selection from the Separate popup) to break a mesh selection off into its own mesh, you can press Y to break a selection off but keep it as part of the mesh it belongs to!

  • Pinning Tabs

Within the sidebar menu (press N to bring it up), you can pin any panel by right-clicking it and choosing Pin (or by pressing Shift + LMB). Now that pinned panel will show up in any tab you select! Right-click again on the panel in question and uncheck the Pin checkbox to unpin it!

  • Link/Data Transfer

Select multiple objects and press Ctrl + L to bring up the Link/Data Transfer popup. From here, you can link things like materials (see tip #77 - Copying Materials From One Mesh To Another ) or Object Data where one mesh visually becomes the same as another mesh!
The benefit here is that since all meshes involved will be linked to a singular under the hood data block, this in effect acts like an instance! So modifying one linked mesh will affect all other linked meshes as well! Additionally, you can use this menu to copy modifiers from one mesh to another among other features! Pretty handy stuff! You can read more about data blocks here!

  • Loop Cut Smoothness

When loop cutting, it is possible to give the cuts some shape by adjusting the smoothness and falloff settings in the Loop Cut and Slide operator panel found in the lower left hand viewport panel while the tool is live!

  • Mesh bounding Box

It is easy to display a mesh bounding box by simply going into the Object Properties tab and from within the Viewport Display panel, enabling the Bounds option! There is also a Display Bounds Type drop down list where you can choose from different bound type options (Box, Sphere, Cylinder, Cone and Capsule!)

  • Mirror Material

Mirror Mirror on the wall, which monkey head is the prettiest of them all? Creating a mirror is very simple! Ensure the rendering engine is set to Cycles and simply add a Glossy BSDF material with the Roughness setting of zero to whatever mesh you wish to make into a mirror (in this case, a plane that is set within a frame).

  • Remove Unused Material Slots

It's not uncommon to start building up a bunch of mesh material slots. With this comes the possibility that some slots may end up not being used. Blender offers a way to clean this up by simply going to Material Specials dropdown arrow and choosing Remove Unused Slots. Only slots that are currently used remains! This is done on a mesh per mesh basis.

  • Node Toggle Options

We know that shader graphs can become quite complex! Luckily, Blender has some node toggling functionality that can reduce the visual clutter in a manner that makes reading the graphs easier. For the sake of simplicity, the following example is nothing complex, but still illustrates the points this tip offers! For each example, only nodes that are selected are affected! So without further ado, from within the Shader Editor menu:

Input/Output Visibility

  • Choose Node > Toggle Hidden Node Sockets (or Ctrl + H) and notice that all unused node inputs and outputs vanish, leaving only used ones visible!

Options Visibility

  • Choose Node > Toggle Node Options and all checkboxes, input fields and dropdown menus are hidden!

Socket Visibility

  • Choose Node > Collapse and Hide Unused Sockets and all checkboxes, sliders, dropdown menus and the like are hidden!
  • Quick Wireframe

While with the mesh selected you can add a Wireframe modifier to convert your mesh into a 3d wireframe, another (albeit destructive modelling) way is to go into Edit Mode, select all the mesh faces and from within the 3d viewport menu, choose Face > Wireframe. This will pretty much do the same thing. Use the property panel in the lower left hand side in the viewport to play with Thickness and Offset values among others to dial in the wireframe look you going for!

  • UV Image Bounds

It is possible to prevent UV shells (islands) from leaving the UV space (be it by moving or scaling - rotations are not restricted) by going into the UV menu within the UV Editor and choosing Constraint To Image Bounds.

  • Adjust Matcap & World Space Lighting

With the viewport shading mode set to solid, the viewport MatCap lighting can be flipped by going into the viewport shading drop down menu and clicking on the small double arrow button. This will switch the matcap from left to right! Additionally, if the viewport shading is using Studio (instead of Matcap), you can enable the World Space Lighting icon and adjust the studio light rotation value to shift this lighting around!

  • Selecting Ungrouped Vertices

Sometimes it might come in handy to know which vertices are not part of a vertex group! In this example, the bottom half of the sphere's vertices are part of a vertex group. In Edit Mode, choose Select > Select All By Trait > Ungrouped Vertices. No more guessing which ones are not grouped anymore!

  • Rearrange Menu Order

Within the Properties Editor tabs (think Object Properties, Object Data Properties, Material Properties, etc...) you can rearrange panels around, changing their order! Simply click on the tail end of a panel (which contains two little rows of four dots each) and drag to reposition it!

  • Floor Constraint

In some cases when dealing with environment modelling, it would be great to be able to constrain meshes to a floor for example. To do this, start by selecting the prop in question (ensuring that its origin point is along its bottom), and from within the Object Constraint Properties tab, choose Floor from the Add Object Constraint drop down menu!

Once the constraint is added, choose the ground / floor mesh from the Target field! Now, the prop will not be able to pass through the floor mesh anymore. Furthermore, moving the ground up will result in the prop following along!

  • Quickly Find Object In Outliner

First, select a mesh in the 3d viewport. Then simply hover the mouse cursor over the Outliner and press . (period on the Numpad) and voila! Selected mesh is selected in the list!

  • Orbit View Snapping

When it comes to orbiting the view, it is possible to snap the view depending on when short cuts and left-click dragging occurs!

  • Holding down Alt then MMB before orbiting will force orthographic views (like Front, Top, etc..). Continue holding Alt and then MMB click-drag each time to change orthographic view (depending on mouse directional movement).
  • Holding down MMB, then holding down Alt and then orbiting in Perspective will snap the view to 45/90 degree angles once the view approaches angle in question! Once orbiting reaches 90 degrees, the view converts to orthographic (Side, Front, Top etc...) until orbiting again!


This even works for the Emulate 3 Button setup as well as even in this mode, the MMB acts as an orbiting function!

  • Camera Clip Start/End

Sometimes either a camera or the viewport view will clip geometry. This has everything to do with Clip Start and End settings!

Camera Clipping

  • To see how much the camera can see, select the camera and from within the Object Data Properties tab (the one with the camera icon) enable Show • Limits from the Viewport Display panel!
  • The Clip Start and End range is indicated as a line with a start and end point. Any objects that fall within these are visible to the camera. To change this range, simply adjust the Clip Start and End values from within the Lens panel!

Viewport Clipping

  • Using the red monkey head as an example, it is clipped with the view being so close! To fix this, simply press N to bring up the right-hand side bar and from within the View tab, adjust the Clip Start and/or End settings to reveal the entirety of the mesh(es) in question!

Side Note: Reducing the Clip Start value to as low as possible and cranking the End setting to be very large can have detrimental geometric rendering results in the 3d viewport! Keeping the Start and End values within a reasonable range will render geometry correctly!

  • Incrementing Files

When saving files, you can easily make use of file incrementation in the event you want to create different file versions. This can be done in one of a few ways:

  • Click on the Plus or Minus buttons on the far right side of the file name text field (which will increase/decrease version numbers by 1) -or-
  • With the mouse cursor hovering over the file name text field, press Numpad + or Numpad - to increase or decrease the file name version number (by counts of 1) respectively! Additionally, doing so while pressing Shift will increase or decrease by counts of 10 while pressing Ctrl will be affected by a factor of 100!
  • Random Mesh & Wireframe Colours

Sometimes it might be more helpful to have meshes and/or wireframes with different colours in the 3d viewport to better differentiate between them! The process is relatively easy too!

Random Mesh Colours

  • With the Viewport Shading mode set to Solid, ensure that the Color section is set to Random!

Random Wireframe Colours

  • With the Viewport Shading mode set to Wireframe, ensure that the Color section is set to Random!
  • Memory Undo Limit

If you find that the current number of undos isn't enough, you can easily change this by going into File > Preferences and from within the System section on the left hand side, adjust the Undo Steps value in the Memory & Limits area.

Just be careful not to crank this value too high, as this can result in excessive memory usage, something that isn't desirable. If you start feeling the need to go really high, this might be an indication for the need to perhaps do incremental saves instead? (see tip #133 - Incrementing Files)

  • Holdout Collection Masking

It's possible to use geometry for the purpose of transparent masking (be it in the 3d viewport or for rendering)! Start by selecting geometry for masking purposes, press M, choose + New Collection (as this masking technique requires a dedicated collection to work) and give it a relevant name. In the Outliner, from the Filter menu, enable the Holdout option. Ensure that the masked collection has this filter enabled. Finally, to see the transparency affect, go into the Render Properties and from within the Film panel, simply enable the Transparent option!

  • Area Options & Status Bar

Area Options

With regards to splitting a viewport, while you could place your cursor over a viewport corner (the cursor turns into a + symbol) and drag either across or down to create a new viewport horizontally or vertically, did you know you can also do so by hovering your cursor over the viewport bottom border (the cursor turns into an up/down arrow separated by a bar in the middle), right click and choose between horizontal or vertical and mouse clicking in the viewport to determine the split? Holding Ctrl after commencing the split snaps the split in increments!

Status Bar

Moving the mouse cursor even further down below the bottom border of the 3d viewport (the cursor becomes an arrow) and right-clicking will bring up the Status Bar where you can enable things like which version of Blender is being used as well as things like Scene Statistics, System Memory and Video Memory!

  • Bevel Clamp Overlap

When bevelling multiple edge loops simultaneously, their heights are not restricted, leading to potential overlaps! But while the bevel tool is active, pressing C while dragging multi-bevels will clamp each as they collide with one another!

  • Grease Pencil Stroke Outline

Add a camera and frame your mesh (as a camera is needed for this to work). Press Shift + A (to bring up the Add menu) and choose Grease Pencil > Stroke. This will add a grease pencil stroke in the viewport. Move this out of the camera's view, and then first select your framed mesh, then Shift + click the stroke and from the Modifier tab, choose Line Art.

From here, choose either a collection or mesh to be affected, then the type of Layer (Colors or Lines) and finally the colour itself! This stroke affect can be tweaked by playing various modifier settings as well as settings found in the Object Data properties tab (the icon looks like a swirly line with rectangular end points).

  • Preview in Eevee & Cycles Simultaneously

While you can only select and use one rendering engine at a time, it's possible to have two 3d viewports, each displaying the scene in Eevee and Cycles respectively and simultaneously!

Step 1: Set rendering engine

From within the Render Properties tab, set the rendering engine to Cycles.

Step 2: Add a camera

Add a camera to the scene and frame your object(s). Then press N to bring in the side bar and enable Camera to View in the View Lock panel.

Step 3: Viewport split and settings

Split your current scene into two 3d viewports (see tip#137: Area Options & Status Bar). In each viewport, go into the Viewport Shading drop down menu along the top and ensure that Scene Lights, Scene World / HDRI material sphere have identical settings if you want the most evenly comparable results! Set one viewport's shading mode to Material Preview (this will act as the Eevee viewport) and the other viewport to Rendered (this one is Cycles). Voila! You now see the scene in both engines (kind of)!

Navigating in one viewport is reflected in the other one as the camera's lock to view is applied to both viewports!
  • Node Selections

Here is a small collection of nice-to-know node selection tips:

  • Press A to select all nodes.
  • If one or more nodes are selected, quickly double tap A to deselect all.
  • With a node or more selected, press Ctrl + I to invert the selection.
  • With a node selected, press L to select Linked From.
  • With a node selected, press Ctrl + L to select Linked To.
  • If there is a group, press Shift + G to select group.
  • Press Shift + [ or ] to select another node of the same type.
  • Press Ctrl + F to find a specific node.
  • With one or more nodes selected, hold Shift + LMB on another node to add it to the current selection.
  • Billboard & Camera Constraints

A billboard is basically a plane that always faces the camera. So this tip will kill two birds with one stone. We'll look at a plane (acting as the billboard) and in turn the camera will always look at the plane! Let's use the following example to illustrate how this all works!

Make a plane as a billboard:

The plane has been rotated so it is upright with its rotation transform applied (Ctrl + A > Rotation). With it selected, go into the Object Constraint properties tab and choose Locked Track. Set the Target field to be the camera. In this case, the Track Axis is set to -X while the Locked Axis is set to Z. Your situation may differ, but this is a common setup.

Make the camera always look at plane:

With the camera selected, go into the Object Constraint properties tab and choose Track To. Within this constraint, set the Target to be the plane. Set the Track Axis to -Z while the Up value to Y.

Now, when the camera is moved in the 3d viewport, it not only locks onto the target plane, but in return, the plane acts as a constantly camera-facing billboard! Of course, settings might need to be adjusted differently depending on your scene.

  • Select All Objects In A Collection

Blender allows us to group objects into collections (you can think of these as being similar to "folders"). Start by selecting all objects and putting them into a collection (Press M > New Collection). Now with one of the meshes selected, let's see the various methods of selecting all meshes:

Method 1: Adding To Favorites
Press Shift + G (to bring up the Select Grouped menu), right-click on Collection and chooose Add to Favorites! From now on, you can access this by pressing Q and selecting the Collection item from your favorites list!

Method 2: Selecting Objects Via Outliner
You can right-click on the collection itself in the Outliner and choose Select Objects.

Method 3: Setting A Keyboard Shortcut

  1. Go into Edit > Preferences and from within the Keymap panel, open the 3D View collapsible menu. Then open the nested Object Mode menu, and then the sub-nested Object Mode (Global) menu.
  2. Scroll all the way to the bottom of this section and click on the + Add New button. This will create a new shortcut entry (titled "none")!
  3. Open this entry, and in the "none" text field, replace the text with object.select_grouped and hit Enter! The contents will be updated with the select group info!
  4. Change the actual keystrokes needed to execute this command! In this example, the shortcut was set with the Press dropdown menu to Double Click and the actual keystroke field (which defaults to "A") to be Left (by left clicking it). Of course, this is subjective. Feel free to choose what works best for you!
  5. From the Type dropdown menu, choose Collection. Don't forget to save your preferences afterwards!
So now, a simple left double-click (or whatever you chose) on a selected mesh will select all meshes within the collection in question!
  • Procedural Curvature Effect

While there is no dedicated curvature node in Blender, there is a way to set this up in the Shader Editor to achieve the curvature effect! This is useful for baking worn edges! For starters, from within the Render Properties tab, set the Render Engine to Cycles. With a material applied to your mesh, go into the shader editor and setup everything using the accompanying screenshot as reference. A few things to note:

  • Multiply node: This is simply a Math node set to Multiply, which acts as the curvature spread!
  • Dot Product node: This is basically a Vector Math node set to Dot Product. In layman's terms, a dot product basically calculates the angle between two vectors!
  • Map Range node: This takes the end result from the Dot Product and remaps the value from a range to a target range. Playing with this node's values can alter the darkness/lightness and contrast of the overall curvature effect! Invert the To Min and To Max values!
  • Optionally, you could plug a Noise Texture into the Multiply math node to generate random wear and tear within the curvature effect.
  • Aiming Directional Lights

Blender offers a few ways of changing the direction of a light. In this case, the light refers to a directional one (i.e. Sun, Spot or Area). Let's examine how this can be achieved.

Align Light To View

This info is similar to tip# 56: Adjusting View Through Camera / Light, but offers yet a different approach in this bundled tip! Frame the mesh(es) in the view and with a directional light selected, press Control + Alt + Numpad 0. The light will now align with the view!

Align View To Light

Optionally (but less favorable), with the light selected, press Ctrl + Numpad 0 (this will align the view to the light)! Then double tap R to freely rotate the light to frame the mesh(es) in question (this is more cumbersome in getting a quick accurate view however)!

Use Directional Control Point

Every directional light in Blender comes equipped with a directional control point (for the lack of a better term). This is represented by a small yellow dot along the light's line that represents its angle in the 3d viewport. Simply click-drag this point to change the light's direction!

Track Mouse Movement

With a light selected, press Shift + T, then move the mouse around. The light will rotate, constantly aiming towards your mouse cursor until you left-click to finalize the operation!

  • Show Complete Subdivision In Wireframe

When a subdivision modifier is applied to a mesh and is viewed in wireframe mode (press Z and choose Wireframe), the subdivision is "optimally" displayed. Basically, Blender is showcasing a simplified version of the wireframe. If you uncheck the optimal display option from the modifier panel however, the subdivision mesh will be displayed in all its dense wireframe glory!

  • Distribute Gradient Stops Evenly

When inserting gradient stops, it's easy to evenly space them out by simply clicking on the ColorRamp's dropdown arrow and choosing Distribute Stops Evenly!

  • Adjust Vertex Size

Blender is very customizable, allowing us to change many visual aspects. Whether it's weakening eye sight or simply a preference, among them is the ability to change the size of verticies within the 3d viewport! To change this, simply go to Edit > Preferences and from within the Themes side panel, open up the 3D Viewport dropdown and scroll all the way to the bottom until you see the Vertex Size option. Play with this to increase or decrease the size of the vertices as you see fit!

  • Camera Depth Of Field & Adjustments

Setting up the camera's depth of field is pretty easy in Blender. Simply start by selecting the camera in question and from within the Object Data Properties tab (the one with the camera icon), enable the Depth Of Field option. Next, from within the Viewport Display section, enable Limits!

At this point, you'll notice a straight line projecting from the camera and a cross hair placed along it. This is the focal point. This can be manually positioned along the camera line by adjusting the Distance value found within the Viewport Display section. But you can force the camera to focus on a specific mesh by either using the eye dropper or dropdown list from the Focus Object field! Adjust the F-Stop value within the Aperture section to really dial in how out of focus the background becomes!

  • Customize Color Picker

You can choose between different color pickers by going to Edit > Preferences and from within the Interface panel, there is a dropdown menu option called Color Picker Type in the Editors section. Choose between Circle or Square types along with a mode (Hue, Saturation, Value etc...)

  • Deleting Collection hierarchies

Ever try deleting an entire collection and everything in it by simply selecting the collection in question and pressing X, only to see the collection itself disappear but the objects within it remain in the Outliner? Frustrating, isn't it? Below are two different methods of removing the collection with everything in it (which involves deleting hierarchies!)

Method 1: Right-Click Delete Hierarchy

From within the Outliner, right-click on the collection in question and choose Delete Hierarchy! Poof! Everything inside the collection as well as the collection itself is completely removed!

Method 2: Enable Delete Hierarchy Shortcut

This is the more preferable method! Go to Edit > Preferences and from within the Keymap section on the left hand side, type delete in the search field. Scroll down until you find the Outliner category and open up the delete shortcut that is pointing to the X key. Notice at the bottom of this shortcut there is an unchecked Hierarchy radial button? Simply enable it and save your preferences! From now on, whenever you select a collection in the Outliner and press X, it is removed along with all objects within it!

  • Snap To: Popup Menu

Instead of always bringing your mouse cursor up to the Snap menu along the center top in the 3d viewport to change snap settings, it's faster to keep your mouse cursor where it is and press Ctrl + Shift + Tab. This brings up the Snap menu at your curor's location (the popup remains as long as the cursor doesn't leave it)! Don't forget that you can toggle the snap function on and off using Shift + Tab!

  • Curve Pen Tool Improvements

The following is for Blender 3.2+ only! The Curve Tool has be overhauled to behave much more like the pen tool in Photoshop or Illustrator! We'll start with a single curve point. Starting with a single point isn't necessary, but makes for a cleaner start! Begin by pressing A (to bring up the Add popup) and choose Curve > Point (you'll need to install the already included Add curve: Extra Objects add-on for this).

In the Simple Curve operator popup in the lower left-hand side of the 3d viewport, ensure that 3D is selected (2D is the default) and that the Output Curve Type is set to Bezier (assuming this is the type of curve you would like to work with) as well as choosing Vector.

With the single curve point selected in Edit Mode and the Curve Pen tool selected (left-side tool menu - if it's not visible, press T in the viewport), below are the following mouse clicks and drag behaviours that affect the new Curve Pen tool's capabilities:

  1. Simply clicking somewhere in the viewport extends the curve to another curve point that is a vector type, which is considered like a "hard corner" type! This is great for angular curves!
  2. Click-dragging somewhere adds a new point, but the new curve segment becomes more curved the more you drag the mouse cursor! This comes in handy for creating pipes or a profile of a wine glass for example!
  3. Multiple uses with the Ctrl key:
  • Holding down Ctrl and left clicking on a curve segment inserts a new curve point for further curve refinements!
  • Ctrl and clicking on an existing point removes it!
  • Finally, left clicking a new point and pausing (continue holding down mouse button), holding Ctrl and then dragging will alter this newest curve segment's curavture!
  1. Left click-dragging somewhere and then holding Shift while dragging will break the the outgoing bézier handle tangent, allowing you to create a "hard corner". This allows for creating a mix of smooth and harder curves! You can even change the tangent of one of the handles of an already established point by selected a curve point, then left click-drag one of its handle control points and start to drag, pause, hold Shift then resume dragging!
  2. Click-dragging a curve segment (or even a point) alters its curvature. This is useful for tweaking a portion of the curve!
  3. To constrain drag one of the bézier handles (along its axis) while not altering the other side, start click dragging just to get started and pause (don't release mouse button), then hold Alt and continue dragging! This will ensure the other handle's tangent is unaffected!
  4. Hold Shift and click multiple curve points to move them simultaneously.
  5. Select two open curve points and press F to close the curve!

You can read more about curves in Blender's Curve Pen Documentation.

  • UI Value Adjustments

Aside from the usual click dragging or clicking on side arrows to change a numerical text value (like those found in shader nodes, transform panels, etc...), here are some additional ways of adjusting them:

Fine-tune Using Shift Key

When you start click-dragging on a field's value, it can adjust quickly (sometimes too quickly)! But if you hold down Shift while dragging, the values adjust much slower, allowing you to fine tune things!

Mouse Wheel Scrolling Using Control Key

It is also possible to hold Ctrl and middle mouse scroll while hovering over a value! This also acts as a fine-tuning of sorts!

Snap Dragging

While click dragging a value, holding Ctrl will jump the value up/down in increments!

Beyond Slider Limits

Some sliders have soft limits, meaning there is a capped default range (from say 1% to 100%). You can go beyond this limit by simply typing a value that is less or greater than this default range! In essence, you are creating new hard limits.

Cancelling An Adjustment

While click dragging a value, if you decide to cancel this adjustment, simply right click! The initial value will be instantly restored!

Toggle Positive / Negative Values

Simply hover over a value and press - (not on the numpad) to toggle it between being positive or negative! Values of zero will not change for obvious reasons!

Adjust Multi Values Simultaneously

To adjust two or more vertically stacked consecutive text field values at once, simply click and drag vertcially from the first field to the last one. While still holding down the left mouse button, dragging left/right will cause all fields involved to adjust - or - release the mouse button, type in the new value and hit Enter! All selected fields will now contain the newest value!

Reset Value To Default

Hover over a value and press Backspace to revert it back to its default setting! In the event of related fields (like Location X, Y and Z for instance), all field values will be reset!

Expressions And Units

It is possible to enter expressions into a numerical field! For example, say you had a field with a value of 5, and you needed this value to be divided by 3, you could simply change the field's value by typing 5/3 and hit Enter. In this case, a value of 1.667 would be returned! Isn't expressions fun?!? Additionally, it is possible to mix related units within expressions, like entering 2ft/0.7km into the Location X transform field for example! The result of 0.870857 m is applied and the mesh will move this distance in X accordingly!

  • Parent To Vertex

These tips and tricks don't include tutorials (as this is a future section), but to better illustrate this tip, we will walk through the processs! While at first glance it seems strange to be able to have a child mesh parented to one or three vertices (no other amount will work) of a parent mesh, it is beneficial in the event the parent mesh deforms while the rigid child mesh(es) move along with it (as though pinned). In this example, we'll use a cloth banner with rigid bird emblems attached to it!

Banner Setup
Start by making an elongated, multi segmented plane that is rotated 90 degrees and apply all transforms (by pressing Ctrl + A and choosing Apply All). In Edit Mode and with Vertex Mode, Select the two top end verticies and assign them to a vertex group (see tip#52: Vertex Grouping).

With the banner still selected, go to the Physics Properties tab, click on the Cloth button, and set the Vertex Mass value to something like 10 kg (feel free to experiment). Scroll down, open the Shapes panel and from Pin Group, select the vertex group we just created! Place the bird emblems (or whatever you wish) into the proper location on the banner. Repeat the following for each bird emblem mesh (or whatever you mesh are using):

  • Select the emblem, then Shift click the banner.
  • Press Shift + Z (wireframe mode), then go into Edit Mode, and with Vertex Mode, select three vertices on the banner that is closest to the emblem mesh and press Ctrl + P. Click Make Vertex Parent from the resulting popup.

Finally, press A and choose Force Field > Wind. Rotate the wind so that it is facing the banner and set its strength to somethihg like 100 (again, experiment). Play the simulation (depening on how your Blender app is configured, it might be the Spacebar or Shift + Spacebar). Notice that the bird emblem meshes move along with the deforming cloth banner in the wind!

  • Purge Orphan Data & Clean-Up

When working on Blender files, it is not uncommon for unused data-blocks pointing to meshes, materials, images and whatnot to start piling up. This can add unnecessary bloat to the file size!

To clean this up, go to the Outliner and switch its Display Mode to Orphan Data (its icon truly is a heart breaker!) The Outliner will now list the applicable sections containing orphaned data. All that's left is to simply click on the Purge button found at the very top right hand side of the Outliner UI! All unused data-blocks that can be purged will show up in a purge popup asking to click on it to proceed! You may proceed!

Additionally, you can clean up things by going to File > Clean Up where you will find a host of unused and recursive data-blocks, linked data-blocks and local data-blocks!

  • Join Nodes With Node Wrangler

If you haven't already installed the included add-on Node Wrangler, you really should! It offers plenty of functionaly (too much to go over here). But this tip involves qiuickly joining two nodes together. Simply hold Ctrl + Shift and right-click drag from one node to another! They will be joined automatically using the appropriate joining node!

  • Bevel Intersection Types

Normally, while performing a bevel operation (Ctrl + B) with some added segments (by scrolling the mouse wheel), corners use an Intersection Type called Grid Fill (which is to say, corners are rounded and nicely filled in a grid fashion). But what you may not realise is that while the bevel tool is active, you can toggle this intersection type by pressing N (which will set the intersection type to Cut Off!) Notice the corners become, well, cut off! This is all reflected in the Bevel operator panel on the lower left hand side of the viewport.

  • Multiple Selection Modes Simultaneously

Did you know you could be in more than one selection mode (vertex, edge or face) at the same time? Simply hold down Shift and click on the modes you want! This results in faster mesh editing as you don't need to manually jump around into any specific mode!

  • Copy Modifiers

Blender makes it possible to copy individual or all modifiers from one mesh to another!

Copying A Single Modifier

First select the target mesh (the one you want to copy a modifier to), then Shift select the source mesh (the one with the applied modifier in question). Go to the Modifier Properties tab and from within the modifier you wish to copy, click on the small down arrow button and choose Copy to Selected. The target mesh will now have this modifier applied to it (in this case, the SimpleDeform modifier)!

Copying All Modifiers

As with copying a single modifier, start by selecting the target mesh and Shift selecting the source one. Then press Ctrl + L to bring up the Link / Transfer Data popup and choose Copy Modifiers. All modifiers from the source mesh are applied to the target one!

  • Display Origin On All Meshes

Normally you would have the mesh origin visible only on the currently selected mesh. But it's very easy to display them on all meshes in the scene! Simply go to the Show Overlays dropdown menu along the top of the 3d viewport and enable both Origin and Origin All (Origin needs to be enabled for Origin All to work!)

  • Quickly Adjust Light Power & Radius

With a light selected, instead of heading over to the light Object Data Properties tab to adjust its power or radius, simply right-click in the 3d viewport instead! The two top options listed from the Object Contex Menu are Adjust Light Power and Adjust Light Radius (the second option will be Adjust Sunlight Angle in the even a Sun light is selected). Once you select one of these options, simply drag your mouse left or right to increase or decrease the power/radius respectively (left click to finalize the operation)!

  • Cycle Through Workspaces

You can manually click on a workspace to switch from one to another, or you can simply press Ctrl + PgUp or Ctrl + PgDown to cycle through them!

  • Swap Viewport Positions

With the mouse cursor placed at a top viewport corner that is adjacent to another viewport (the cusor itself turns into a small cross), simply hold down Ctrl, left-click and drag into the other viewport right next to it. The cursor will change to two small diagonal boxes with a swap arrow inbetween them! Left click and voila! Both viewports have now swapped positions!

  • Hiding, Unhiding And Isolating Meshes / Selections

Blender offers a lot of control over hiding, unhiding and isolating meshes or sub-selections. Regardless to whether you are in Object or Edit Mode with a selection:

  • Pressing H hides it.
  • Pressing Alt + H unhides it.
  • Pressing Shift + H isolates it (hides everything not selected).


Other things to note:

  • While modifying isolated parts of geometry, things like subdivision, loop cuts, etc.. will not affect hidden faces! So it is important to be mindful about this!
  • Pressing Tab to go back into Object Mode with hidden / isolated faces will display the full mesh! You'll quickly be reminded when you go back into Edit Mode that there is hidden elements!
  • Don't forget that you can use Local Mode (by pressing / or Numpad /). This is only useful in isolating an entire mesh (even with a sub-selection).
  • Switching Meshes In Edit Mode

You can remain in Edit Mode and jump from one mesh to another! Simply click on the small dot icon next to the mesh's name in the Outliner. That mesh will now be selected while remaining in Edit Mode! Ctrl + clicking on a mesh name's dot adds a mesh to the selection!

In this example, faces were selected on both meshes for better clarity of being in Edit Mode!

  • Correct Face Attributes

Normally, when you modify geometry (say move some veritices or faces), its UVs get distored. Luckily, there is an easy way to prevent this! You can enable Correct Face Attributes by going to the Active Tool and Workspace Settings Tab > Options panel or the Options dropdown found at the top of the viewport (next to the Auto Mirror and Auto Merge Vertices buttons).

  • Change World Viewport Colour

You can change the world viewport background colour by first going to the Viewport Shading menu, changing the Display to Solid, then changing the Background section to World. Finally, from within the World Properties tab, change the Viewport Display panel's Color value to see the effect in the viewport!

You can also change the viewport background by simply choosing Viewport from within the Background section and changing the colour value from there!

  • Change Icon Colours

Did you know you can change the tab icon colours? Go to Preferences > Themes > User Interface > Icon Colors. Here, you will see a series of colour fields, each representing an individual (or portion) of the tab icons! Feel free to experiment and release your inner UI customization desires!

  • Change Shadow Colour

You can easily change the colour of a mesh's cast shadow! First select the mesh in question and apply a material (via the Material Properties tab by pressing the New button). Then head on over to the Shader Editor. Add the nodes and connect them as illustrated in the screenshot below. The important thing to note here is that the colour of the shadow is driven by the Transparent BSDF node's colour value!

  • Customize Mesh Display In 3D Viewport

Meshes and their bounds (think bounding box) can be customized. Simply select the mesh and from within the Object Properties tab, open the Viewport Display panel. Here, you'll see options for how the mesh is displayed from within the Display As drop down menu. These options include: Bounds, Wired, Solid and Textured.

Just below this is the Bounds option (which needs to be enabled via the radial button) that controls the visual representation of the mesh's bounding box. The Display Bounds Type here include: Box, Sphere, Cylinder, Cone and Capsule.

Changing the mesh display can come in handy if your scene is filled with many high poly objects that would otherwise be a viewport burden from a performance perspective!

  • 3D Cursor

The 3d cursor is a point in 3d space that can be used as temporary reference/offset in which Blender tools can make use of it! When adding a primitve mesh to the scene for example, it makes use of the 3d cursor's location as its point of origin! The 2d cursor (the 3d cursor equivalent from within the UV Editor) can be used as an offset of sorts when say scaling a mesh's UVs (see tip#2: UV Editor 2D Cursor).

Displaying The 3D Cursor

Simply go the the Overlays menu at the top of the 3d viewport and enable the 3D Cursor radial button! You could add this to your Quick Favorites (see tip#58: Quick Favorites) for convenience!

Moving The 3D Cursor

You can easily place the 3d cursor anywhere in the viewport by holding Shift and right-clicking (or right-click dragging)!

Additionally, there are presets available via the Snap menu by pressing Shift + S! This pie menu has several options like Cursor to Grid, Cursor to World Origin and Cursor to Selection to name a few! These options really allow you to quickly and eaily make the most out of the 3d cursor's placement!

Using The 3D Cursor As Reference/Offset

The beauty of the 3d cursor is that you can use it as a reference point for transformations for example! You can enable the snap tool (say setting it to vertex snap) and snapping the 3d cursor to any of your mesh's verticies! In turn, pressing . (not the Numpad period) brings up the Pivot Point pie menu. Choosing 3D Cursor sets the Transform Pivot Point mode to make use of the 3d cursor. From this point, all transformations will be affected via the 3d cursor!

  • Select Edges by Sharpness Value

Blender allows us to select edges according to the sharpness angle threshold value! From with the 3d viewport with a mesh selected in Edit Mode and with Edge as the select mode, go to Select > Select Sharp Edges. In the Select Sharp Edges redo panel in the lower left corner of the viewport you can play with this threshold to your liking! This is handy to either mark the selections as sharp edges or as seams for UV editing when dealing with non-organic, hard edged meshes!

As seen above, reducing the angle threshold will increase the number of edges selected!
  • Fillet / Chamfer Curve Points

Blender cannot bevel points on a curve using the traditional bevel shortrcut, but there is a way! First ensure that the included Add Curve: Curve Tools add-on is installed (from within the Add-ons side panel selected within Preferences, search for curve and enable it from the list).

Once enabled, select a point on a curve and press N in the 3d viewport to bring up the right-hand side bar. Within the Edit tab, you'll notice the Curve Edit drop down that hosts a chunk of curve tools. Clicking the very top option (Fillet/Chamfer) will bring up the Bezier Points Fillet redo panel in the bottom left-hand side of the viewport. Choose between Round and Chamfer to get rounded or sharp bevels respectively while the Radius simply adjusts the size!

  • Copy All To Selected

It's possible to copy values from one mesh to another. Simply choose one of the meshes in your scene and do some sort of rotation for example (it isn't restricted to this of course - there are plenty of other values that can be copied as well), then box select other meshes (or if you manually select others, ensure that the mesh's transform you modified is the active mesh while the others are selected), and from the rotation section within the Object Properties tab, right-click over a rotation value and choose Copy All to Selected! All selected objects should now share the complete rotation values of the original mesh!

  • Hiding Edge Markings

Sometimes you might not want to see overlayed sharp or seam edge markings in the viewport. With a mesh selected and in Edit Mode, simply go to the Viewport Overlays menu along the top of the 3d viewport and from within the Mesh Edit Mode section, simply toggle on/off any of the options (Crease, Sharp, Bevel, Seam)!

First image has all markings visible. Second and third image has sharp and seams invisible respectively!
  • Material Offset

Modifiers that contain a Material Offset value drives the material index that will affect what the modifier does. For instance, a wireframe modifier's material offset will apply whichever index its value is pointing at onto the wireframe mesh itself!

  • Panoramic Camera

Creating a 180° panoramic image in Blender is pretty simple! First, from within the Render Properties tab, set the rendering engine to Cycles. Next, add a camera to the scene and with it selected, go to the Object Data Properties tab and switch the Lens Type to Panoramic and the Panorama Type to Equirectangular! Within the Output Properties, Adjust the Format Resolution / Aspect Ratio to your liking.

Finally, press Numpad 0 to go into the camera view (the position and framing of the camera is important as this impacts the end result!) and ensure that the viewport's shading mode is set to Rendered! Now your camera will view the scene in all of its panoramic glory!

This modified scene was made starting with the Cube Diorama scene and using its asset browser!
  • Free Keyboard Bindings

You can find out which keyboard shorcuts are used/unused. First start by going to Preferences > Add-ons and from within the dropdown menu along the top, choose Development! From the list of add-ons, enable Development: Is Key Free.

To be able access to this information, you'll need to switch a viewport to the Text Editor. From within this editor, click on the small side arrow along the right hand side of the viewport to bring up the sidebar. Click on the Dev tab and open the Is Free Key panel. Here you can search for keys in the search field (including enabling specific modifier keys)!

  • Relaxing Verticies

There are two types of relaxing; verticies on the actual mesh, or via UVs in the UV editor!

Relaxing Mesh Verticies
Go to Edit > Preferences and from the Add-ons panel, search for mesh and ensure that the Mesh: Edit Mesh Tools add-on is installed!

In Edit Mode with some mesh vertices selected, do one of the following:

  • Choose Vertex > Relax from the top 3d viewport menu -or-
  • Right-click and choose Relax from the contextual menu.


During the operation, there is a relax redo panel in the lower left side of the viewport where you can adjust the Relax Iteration value to increase or decrease the smoothness accordingly!

Relaxing UV Verticies
From within the UV editor, simply select the Relax tool, use the open/close angle brackets to size it (or press F and drag then click), adjust the strength slider along the top of the UV editor viewport (or press Shift + F and drag then click) and simply paint on the UVs to relax their vertex positions!

  • 3D Viewport Axis

The viewport axis can be found in the upper right-hand corner of the 3d viewport. By default, it is displayed as Interactive Navigation, meaning you can click on the coloured axis circles that represent the axis as a way to quickly reorientate your view (circles with the axis letters represents the positive directions on the grid while the matching coloured circles without any axis letter represents the negative direction).

But this isn't the only display option! If you go to Preferences and from within the Viewport section, you can change the way the viewport axis is displayed. Simply change the 3D Viewport Axis dropdown menu to either Simple Axis for a simpler, non-interactive version or Off if you don't care to see it in the first place!

  • Lasso Select

Holding down Ctrl while right-click dragging will create a lasso selection! Once the mouse button is released, any mesh(es) with their origin points within the lasso area will result in those meshes being selected! This can come in handy when you need to make a selection among scattered meshes, as this can be quicker than manually adding selected individual meshes one at a time! Holding Ctrl + Shift while right-click dragging will deselect any mesh(es) within the lasso!

  • Extrude Repeat

Blender allows you to make repeated extrusions quite easily using a single operation by selecting whatever you wish to extrude, pressing Alt + E (to bring up the Extrude menu) and choosing Extrude Repeat. In the Extrude Repeat redo panel in the lower left hand side in the 3d viewport, you will need to adjust the X, Y and Z Offsets as well as the Steps value!

  • Edge Bevel Weight

Did you know it is possible to have multiple various bevel widths using a single bevel modifier? Start by applying a bevel modifier to your mesh. Increase the Amount value to the maximum the mesh can hold. Why? Because in the steps that follows, any bevels you create can only be as large as the amount setting (but can be smaller). By making this value big, you are giving yourself some extra bevel padding space (this will make sense soon enough).

Next, set the modifier's Limit Method dropdown menu to Weight. At this point, all the bevels on the mesh should disappear! This is because the modifier now requires some edge weights for bevelling! Go into Edit Mode and select a set of edges, press Ctrl + E (to bring up the Edge menu) and choose Edge Bevel Weight and start left-click dragging to set that bevel! Rinse and repeat, selecting another set of edges and doing another edge bevel weight click-drag operation and so on. You can create a wide variety of bevels, all using the single bevel modifier on the mesh!

  • Stereoscopy

Creating stereoscopic images in Blender is quite simple. Start by creating two cameras that frame the scene differently. Change the names of the cameras so that they have the suffix using _L and _R respectively. In the Output Properties tab, enable Stereoscopy! Select a camera, go into the Object Data Properties tab and play with the Convergence Plane Distance and Interocular Distance values! You should notice that the 3d viewport has shifted red and green channels!

To view both cameras simultaneously, head back over to the Output Properties tab and from within the Stereoscopy section, switch from the default Stereo 3D mode to Multi-View!

In this example, both cameras have extreme views. Ideally, there would be more subtle differences between them to create more accuarte left and right views!

You can check out the stereoscopy online documentation for more information!

  • Pivot Location Only

It is possible to use rotations to only affect the location of a mesh. With a mesh selected, press . (not on the numpad) to bring up the Pivot Point pie menu. Here, you'll notice an option called Only Locations (it contains a checkbox as this is a toggle feature).

By selecting this, any rotation to the mesh will not affect its rotation but rather its position! So if you then choose 3D Cursor after toggling on Only Locations for example and start rotating the mesh, its position will rotate using the location of the 3d cursor as its center point! Selecting two or more meshes and setting the pivot point to something like Bounding Box or Median Point will result in those meshes positions rotating around the selections central point!

  • Collection Visibility Toggle

When dealing with collections, it is possible to quickly hide/unhide them by noting a specific order of a collection within the outliner and pressing Shift + that collection number! So for the example, if you wanted to hide the entire second collection in the list, simply press Shift + 2! The same shortcut toggels that collection's visiblity!

  • Principaled Volume

The Principaled Volume node can add a volumetric effect in combination with scene lights! Start by going into the Shading workspace and switching the Type of data to take shader from: (the small dropdown menu in the upper left hand corner) from Object to World. Then press Shift + A and choose Shader > Principaled Volume.

This will add that node into the shader editor. Simply plug this into the Volume input of the World Ouput node. Adding light(s) creates a volumetric fog effect! Each light has a Volume slider that can increase or decrease its own fog-like effect! You can further tweak the volumetric effect by going into the Render Properties tab and adjusting values from within the Volumetrics panel!

It's worth noting that the distance the camera / viewport camera is to the lights will affect how bright the scene is!
  • Lofting Shapes/Geometry

It's possible to loft shapes in Blender. Simply create some shapes, attach them into a single mesh and with all vertices or edges selected, simply press Crtl + E (to bring up the Edge contextual menu) and choose Bridge Edge Loops. From the lower left-hand redo panel, there are plenty of options at your disposal in controlling how the loft is affected! It is important to note here that if the total number of vertices in each shape varies from one another, the lofted end result will not look good. It is highly recommended to ensure that each shape's total vertex count is identical to each other for best results!

Shapes with various vertex counts results in improper loft visuals!


Keeping identical vertex counts looks much better!


Adjusting different values for things like Number of Cuts, Interpolation and Smoothness can give varying results!

You're not limited to lofting shapes however. It is even possible to loft the end pieces of a non-manifold mesh as well!

  • Flipping Image

Did you know you can flip an image in the Image Editor? Simply go to Image > Flip and choose either Horizontal or Vertical! Of course, you're not limited to flipping, as this menu also allows for things like Invert, Resize, Reload and even Replace among other options!

  • Follow Active Quad

When dealing with curved mesh (like say a pillar arch for instance), it is possible to quickly generate straightened UVs! A checkerboard pattern was used in the Base Color slot of the material to see how things look initially and afterwards.

Start by selecting all the faces on the arch (or other curved meshes) and Shift + click on a specific face (ideally as square as possible) to create an active selection. From within the 3d viewport, press U and choose Reset from the UV Mapping dropdown menu. Not doing this can have unwanted results later on! Next, Press U once again and this time choose Follow Active Quad, and in the resulting popup, simply click Ok! Notice that within the UV Editor, the arch's UV island is now straightened out!

Follow active quads won't work well with any faces that are not quads!
  • Pack Resources

By default, any external files like textures for instance is not included when saving your scene! But there is a way to ensure that textures do come along for the ride! Simply go to File > External Data > Pack Resources. Now when you save the scene, any eligible external files (like textures) will be included in the blend file! It's important to note that not all external files can be packed in (such as movie clips).

If you want to ensure that all current and future eligible external files get included, choose File > External Data > Automatically Pack Resources instead! Either way, you'll know when something is packed by noticing the packed icon next to the file path name!

  • Display Normals

It's quite easy to display the direction of normals in Blender. First start by going into Edit Mode. Then, from within the Show Overlays dropdown menu, navigate to the bottom. Here, you'll find the Normals section. There are three togglable buttons, each for displaying vertex normals, split normals and normals respectively! It's possible to toggle the visibility two or all three at the same time!

  • Copy Attributes

Blender offers an included add-on that allows to copy attributes from one mesh to another! Start by going to Edit > Preferences and from within the Add-ons panel, search for "copy" and enable Interface: Copy Attributes. From a scene with two (or more) meshes, first select the mesh(es) that you wish to have an attribute copied to, then finally Shift click the mesh that you wish to copy attributes from (this mesh becomes the active one while the other mesh(es) are selected). Then simply press Ctrl + C and choose the attribute you wish to see copied via the Copy Attributes menu! Any attribute chosen will be reflected in the selected mesh(es)!

  • Copy Objects From One Blender To Another

Wth two versions of Blender open, you can copy an object from one Blender scene (select the object in question and simply press Ctrl + C), then simply jump into the other Blender app and paste into that scene (Ctrl + V). Any location, rotation and scale values are respected in the pasted object!

  • Collection Instance

When you press Shift + D to duplicate a mesh, the overall scene triangle count increases, while instancing meshes (Alt + D) does not! It is possible to put mesh(es) into a collection and use that as an instance (which can be reused without adding more triangle bloat!)

With the desired mesh(es) selected, press M to bring up the Move To Collection popup, choose New Collection and create a new collection. Press Shift + A, navigate to Collection Instance and from the dropdown menu, choose the collection you just created. Notice in the Outliner that there is a newly instanced collection! With this new instanced collection selected, simply duplicate it. There will be no added traingles to the scene!

  • Constraint Moving/Scaling Using Middle Mouse Button

After pressing G or S to move/scale a selected object, you don't have to constrain to an axis by then pressing the relevant axis button! Alternatively, you can press and hold the middle mouse button and depending on which direction you drag the mouse will determine which access the movement will be constrained to! Releasing the middle mouse button once the constraint is established continues to lock the object's movement/scale along that axis!

The dotted white line while pressing MMB follows the mouse movement. Once this line is closer to another axis, the constraint will switch to that axis!
  • Wireframe/X-Ray Combo Toggle

You can toggle between the last non-wireframe viewport display mode used and Wireframe/X-Ray mode by simply pressing Shift + Z!

  • Bridge Faces To Create Tunnel In Mesh

The Bridge Face tool is quite versatile, allowing you to connect two separate faces on the same mesh. Plenty of features are availble from adding many cuts and twisting the connection, changing its interprolation, smoothness and profile shape among others!

Selecting two non contiguous faces on a mesh, right-click and choosing Bridge Faces does exactly that (with plenty of options!)

But there is another common use for the Bridge Face tool, and that is to create a tunnel in the mesh! Start by selecting two faces on a mesh (normally opposite of each other) and then right-click and choose Bridge Faces. You'll be left with a tunnel through the mesh, bridging where the two selected faces use to be!

  • Convert To Mesh Applies All Modifiers

There are a few ways to apply all modifiers, ranging from manually applying each to installing the included Modifier Tools add-on (which provides extra functionality above the modifiers list - like Apply All. See here in the Useful Add-ons section). However, you can simply select a mesh with some modifiers on it, right-click and choose Convert To > Mesh! All modifiers are instantly applied!

  • Adding Save Versions

When saving a file, type in the file name then click out of the file name text field. The text .blend should be automatically appended to the file name. Now press numpad + or - which will add or subtract a numerical value respectively in the file name (right before the .blend part)! Holding Shift + numpad + or - increases / decreases by 10 while holding Ctrl + numpad + or - increases / decreases by 100!

  • Twisting Curves

It's possible to twist curves! To do this, simply select a point on a curve (in this example, a simple path curve has a curve containing three circles applied as a bevel) and with proportional editing enabled, press Ctrl + T then left-click drag the mouse to add the amount of desired twist to it! The result gives a twisted bunch of cables!

  • Bridge Edge Loop For Semicircle

To create a semicircle as part of a boxy object, you could select some edges and bevel them with a clamp and enough segements (see tip# 138: Bevel Clamp Overlap), but here's a different way! Start with a rectangular box with the top face deleted for instance. In Edge mode, select a set of opposing edges, right-click and choose Bridge Edge Loop. In the redo panel located in the bottom left-hand side of the 3d viewport, set the Number of Cuts to have enough segments for rounder definition, and finally change the Interpolation value to Blend Surface! There you have it! An easy semicircle for a machine part or the foundation of an arc for architecture!

  • Instancing On Vertices

One neat way of using instancing is to have instances of a mesh placed on another mesh's vertices (it will all make sense)! In the example below, the goal is to add rivets along a fixed distance inside the surface of a panel. So alongside said panel, create a rivet (in this case, a simple UV Sphere).

  1. Select the face(s) of the panel in question and duplicate it by pressing Shift + D, then right-click to cancel its transforms. Then press P and choose Selection to make it its own mesh. With this duplicated panel's face(s) selected, go inset to the desired amount by pressing I. Once the inset is established, press Ctrl + I to invert the face selection and press X and choose Delete Faces. We'll call the faces that remain as the insetted panel.
  2. Next we need to ensure that the origin points of both the rivet (which is assumed to be in its center) and the insetted panel are in the same location. If origins are not visible, go into the Viewport Overlays drop down menu and ensure that the Origins radial check box is checked. With the rivet mesh selected, press Shift + S and choose Cursor to Selected. Next, with the insetted panel selected, go to Object > Set Origin > Origin to 3d Cursor.
  3. Next, select the rivet, then hold Shift and click on the insetted panel, press Ctrl + P and choose Object (Keep Transform).
  4. Now for the instancing part! Head over to the Object Properties side panel and from within the Instancing panel, click the Vertices button. Now an instance of each rivet is placed centered along each vertex of the insetted panel! The beauty here is that you can add or remove vertices along the insetted panel's edges and the rivets will add or subtract accordingly! To make each rivet their own mesh, select the insetted panel, press Ctrl + A and choose Make Instances Real!
Adding or subtracting veritices along the insetted panel's edges will affect the distribution of the rivet meshes!
  • Volumetric Rays Using Geometry

It's quite easy to create volumetric rays! To begin with, ensure that the rendering engine is set to Cycles. Next, select the glass mesh in the window , duplicate it (Shift + D) and right-click to cancle its transforms. Press P > Selection to make them their own object. With their faces selected, extrude them (press E) inwards into the room and lower them so that they pass through the floor. This will result in "geometric beams".

Assign a new material to this mesh (go into the Shader Editor and hit the new button at the top) and delete the Principaled shader node. Press Shift + A to bring up the search feature, look for and choose the Emission node. Finally, plug this node's output into the Volume input of the Material Output node! You can adjust the Emission node's strength and colours to your liking! There you have it, quick and easy geometry based volumetrics!

  • Auto Mixing Nodes

With the included Node Wrangler add-on (you'll need to enable it from within the Preferences > Add-ons panel), it's possible to select two nodes that you wish to mix together and press Ctrl + 0 (zero). Node Wrangler will know what mixer to use automatically and connect all nodes together!

  • Auto Position One Mesh To Another

A quick way to move one mesh into the same position as another is to first select the target mesh (the one you want moved) and then press Shift and select the source mesh (the one you want to move the target mesh to) and finally press Alt + A!

  • Dissolve Using Face Split & Tear Boundaries

When it comes to dissolving vertices (Ctrl + X), there are a few options in the lower left hand side redo panel. Here's a quick over view of those options:

Face Split

Dissolving vertices can result in larger, uneven n-gons. The Face Split optiion limits the dissolve to using corners of faces that are connected to vertices.

Tear Boundary

This option splits off face corners as opposed to merging faces!