Blender is the free open source 3D content creation suite, available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License.

The user interface

  • follows the Golden Rule of Blender, which is to "keep one hand on your keyboard and one on your mouse".
  • is non-standard, but is a very consistent system. This allows the same functionality in completely different situations.
  • is divided into three parts.
    • The top segment is the "Info Window", which displays Blender information and scene statistics.
    • The midde segment is the "3D Window", which is used to create/modify a scene.
    • The bottom segment is the "Buttons Window", which is used to edit a variety of scene settings (materials, lights, etc.).

Learn more about the basic principles behind the Blender user interface at User Interface Tutorial.

Learn more about the functionality of the different windows used by Blender, including the context-sensitive Buttons Window at Windows Tutorial.

"The 3D window is where you will spend most of your time in Blender. In this window, you can rearrange the objects in your scene, edit their individual vertices (the points that make up an object), define animation, add lights and cameras." (3D Window Navigation)

Default Camera Controls

  • Mouse
    • Right-button: Selects an object
    • Hold Middle Button: Rotation
    • Hold SHIFT, then, Hold Middle Button: Translation
    • Hold CTRL, then, Hold Middle Button: Zoom
  • Number Pad
    • 0: Camera View
    • 1: Front View
    • 2: Rotate Down
    • 3: Side View
    • 4: Rotate Left
    • 5: Orthogonal/Perspective View Toggle
    • 6: Rotate Right
    • 7: Top View
    • 8: Rotate Up
    • .: "." (dot) focuses the view on a selected object.
    • /: "/" (slash) hides/unhides all non-selected objects.
  • Keyboard
    • HOME: Reset view
    • Z: Wireframe/Solid View Toggle
    • SHIFT+Z: Real-time Lighting Toggle (NOTE: If no lamp has been defined, the world will be completely dark.)
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