Blender 3D Beginner's Guide

Here you will learn how to use Blender 3D, how to create and start modelling a 3D object, how to use basic options and modifiers, how to save and export your creation, and more...

Getting Started with Blender, Opening, Basic Navigation, Selection

Blender is a free and open-source 3D computer graphics software used for creating 3D printed models, interactive 3D applications and more... If you want to download the software go to blender.org and download it for free. Now, for this guide to have any meaning at all, you need to install and run the Blender application.

When you first open Blender, you will see the file operations to the top, a toolbar on each side, timeline on the bottom, and the 3D view in the center. The default starting scene has a camera, a lamp and a cube.

To move around in the 3D view, hold down the middle mouse button and move the mouse, if you want to pan up and down hold Shift + middle mouse + move the mouse in the direction you want, if you want to pan left and right hold Ctrl + middle mouse + move the mouse in the direction you want, to zoom in and out use the scroll wheel.

To select an object press RMB - right mouse button, the selected object will be highlighted in orange, to select multiple objects, hold Shift and select the objects, to select everything press A also to deselect everything press A. The LMB - left mouse click moves the 3D cursor, if you add and object it will appear where the 3D cursor is. If you want to be very precise with 3D Cursor location, press N to open the right side panel and look for 3D Cursor tab. Here you can set x, y, z location of the 3D Cursor.

Can I select an object with LMB instead of RMB? Yes, you can. Go to File > User Preferences > Input > Select with > Left, Save User Settings and you're done.

I want to have a blank starting scene, how can I do that? If you don't like the default starting scene and you want it blank, just select each component of the scene by pressing RMB and after each selection press X to delete the component and confirm, now after you have the scene blank, you can go to the top, on the file operations section and select File > Save Startup File or hit Ctrl+U and confirm, you can follow the last steps to save whatever scene you want. To revert to the default starting scene, select File > Load Factory Settings and confirm.

Blender Transform Options, Adding, Deleting, Joining and Separating

You have three options to transform an object in Blender: the 3D viewport manipulators, the transform buttons in the left tool bar or the hotkeys. If you want to use the 3D viewport manipulators to translate, rotate or scale, just select one of the handles (x, y, z axis) press LMB and manipulate the object along the axis, to do a free form transformation click inside the white circle. The hotkeys are G to translate, R to rotate and S to scale, to constrain an object to a particular axis just press the hotkey (G, R, S) and follow up by pressing the axis that you wish to constrained to (hotkeys X, Y, Z), to exclude a single axis press Shift and the axis that you wish to exclude.

How to add an object in Blender? You have two options to add an object in Blender: via left toolbar > Create Tab or with hotkeys Shift + A.

How do I delete an object? Select the object you want to delete with RMB and press Delete or X > Delete. The second way to delete an object is to navigate to the Outliner view (top right toolbar), hover above the object you want to delete, press LMB and select the Delete option from the list.

How to join two objects? Select the first object, press Shift and select the second one, to join the two objects press Ctrl + J. The selection is very important, because the origin of your last selected object will be the origin of the newly created object. To separate the joined objects, press Tab to go to the Edit Mode, select a vertex (you can also choose a edge or face) and with the mouse above the selected object press L > P > from the Separate Options hit Selection.

Blender Object Mode and Edit Mode

The Object Mode is the default mode in Blender, the options menu to choose a particular mode in Blender are found at the bottom of the 3D viewport.

The Edit Mode (hotkey Tab)

The Edit Mode is the main mode to do modeling, in this mode you can add, select and delete: vertices, edges and faces. Note! Only the faces of an object will show on the final render.

Blender Basics Make Edge/Face, Merging, Extrude, Solidify, Edge Loop Slide

In Edit Mode if you select two vertices and press F you will create an edge, if you select multiple vertices and press F you will create a face. To merge two or more vertices, you need to select the vertices you want to merge and press ALT+M. To extrude vertices, edges or faces, you need to select and press E.

If you want to extrude a selection of faces uniformly you can use the solidify option. To access solidify go to Menu > Mesh > Faces > Solidify. This option is also available as a Modifier. After using the tool, you can set the offset distance in the Operator Panel, positive values offset the surface inward, negative values offset outward.

Edge Loop Slide (hotkeys CTRL+R) helps you make a cut or multiple cuts in a mesh, you can increase the number of cuts by entering a number with the keyboard or by scrolling the middle mouse wheel.

Blender Modifiers: Subdivision Surface, Decimate and Mirror

Modifiers are automatic operations that affect an object in a non-destructive way. Subdivision Surface Modifier helps you give a smooth organic look to a mesh. The Decimate Modifier allows you to reduce the vertex count of a mesh with minimal shape changes. The Mirror Modifier mirrors a mesh along its local X, Y and Z axes, across the Object Origin.

Blender Saving, Opening, Importing and Exporting Files

If you want to save your project go to File > Save, your project will be saved as a .blend file at your desired location in your computer, to open the saved file go to File > Open and choose the file you want to open. To import / export your project to Blender or from Blender to other 3D software / game engine go to File > Import / Export (popular file formats are STL, FBX, DAE).

Blender: How to copy from one project in to an other

Open both blend files, and simply copy the object from one file and paste it in to the other. Select the object in the 3D view, then with the mouse still in the 3D view press Crtl+C to copy, to past the object in to the other file press Crtl+V.


This was just a basic guide on Blender 3D, if you want to study and learn more about this 3D computer graphics software, here is the page to do that Blender 3D Tutorials & How To's (With Pictures & Video) - from this page you can browse all the Blender 3D articles published on edvog.com

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