Blender Beginner Tutorial – Part 1: User Interface
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Blender Beginner Tutorial – Part 1: User Interface


If you’re a complete beginner to Blender, welcome. This video series will show you how to create this scene here, some donuts and some coffee. Whilst also walking you through some of Blender’s very basic features from a beginner’s perspective. So you’ll go from being a complete beginner, like, never having touched the software before, To understanding the very basics (of) modeling, materials, lighting, and things like that. So, I know that you are probably bursting to get started in Blender, but since this is part one I want to take 60 seconds to just quickly address what this video series will discuss and what it won’t. So, Blender can do a lot of stuff, like, too much stuff. There are a lot of features here that only like a fringe group of people will ever use. Like some people use Blender for like, visualizing MRI scans, you know and like, the stuff that they use, like, most people will never touch, so… If you’re familiar with the 80/20 rule; It’s that 80% of the results come from 20% of the actions, or, in this case, in terms of software, they come from 20% of its features, so I believe that in 3D the 20% of features that everybody uses, regardless of whether you’re in 3D printing, VR, visual effects, animation, any of that stuff, everybody uses modeling materials and lighting. And, so that’s that’s the focus of this video series It’s to help you go from being a complete noob of blender to first of all understanding the interface which is pretty important To modeling something creating a completely new shape out of something else adding materials and then adding lighting so once you’ve learned this you can then create your next first scene, so we’re going to be going through the basics and Throughout this we’re going to be also creating this scene as well So you’ll both be yeah learning blender from a new perspective whilst also working towards this final image here Of these donuts donuts and a coffee So this this is part one, so we’re going to be doing just some very very basic stuff in this video just moving around Blender and You know just showing you the very introduction of the interface but if you stick to the very end of this video Just for something fun because I know it we’re going through some dry stuff at the start if you stick to the end I’ll [show] you how to create a fiery monkey head just as a little fun thing right for the end there, so If you haven’t done it [already] [go] to blender.org Download Blender and install it. I won’t show you how to do that because I don’t want to insult your intelligence and also I’m pretty sure a lot of people have have already done that so yeah welcome to blender now if you’re itching [to] explore Blender feel free click all the buttons uh Because the good thing is is that you can’t really break it like maybe you Let’s say you change everything to the point that like even the developers alike. What did you do like it’s unrecognizable from the default Blender well if you go to file new it restores the default layout, so Blender like like you know like photoshop like if you’ve used it and then like you change Like a toolbar or panel or something like that, and you’re like Oh, no, where did it go? And so you restart the program hoping that it’ll come back again, and it doesn’t well blend is not like that so the layout isn’t like isn’t like say like like Yeah, like [it’s] saved into the file so I’m like yeah if you change the layout or whatever you can just restore it by going back to your last file or in this case the new scene so point being if you’re if you’re if you’re New [to] the software and you want to check out like all the little features in that Like feel free like click everything and then you know at the [end] of it. You know you can just yet just start up a new scene and Fine and Dandy Mmm. So uh yeah, so that’s that So after you’ve done clicking around let’s talk about what these different things are so this area right here in front of you this is called the 3D Viewport and Probably [95%] of what you do in Blender is done right here So if you’re making a character you do it here if you’re modeling car You do it here if you’re building a scene you do it here Yeah, this area here is it it does a lot? So yeah, that’s what this area is right here now on the [right-hand] side all these little buttons here These are called this is called the properties properties panel properties area and this is where you generally change information of The 3D Viewport so like for example this cube here [like] oh my goodness That’d be the wife. Oh answer that one later. Happy fine So with this cube here like say I went to the that should be on do not disturb I don’t understand the iphone ah I if you selected the Cube and you went to the materials panel And you made that color there red hey, Lo and behold. It’s made the cube red. So that’s just an example like Yeah, the stuff that you change that you do here in the 3D Viewport you can change it in [the] properties panel, [okay]? [so] that’s the basics of that Now moving around in the 3D Viewport is done with your middle mouse button, so if you click and [hold] that in You are now orbiting. So we are now sort of rotating around 360 degrees Of your scene now this this orbiting function I remember when I first started it was very like there were times when I was like. I did that and I’m like oh What’s going on? everything is upside down, and it was like so jarring, so [thing] to remember is if you get into an area like you like. I don’t know where I am You can use the on your number [Pad] if you hit 7 that takes you to oh Actually, I just make sure I turn on my screen keys tool. So you can actually see what I’m pushing there, okay? If you hit number Pad 7 that takes you to the top If you hit number Pad 1 that takes you to the front if you hit number Pad 3 Takes you to the side ok so 7 1 & 3 [I] by the way if you’re on a laptop right now and you don’t happen to [have] a number Pad Shame on you get yourself a laptop with the number partner. I know I got a Macbook air and so if if you are on a laptop Just go to file user preferences and then underneath input click emulate number Pad and also if you wanted to emulate your like What’s it called [like] the drag? Like the number the the Middle Mouse button you [could] click emulate 3-button mouse and then you control left click And then you’ll do that, but honestly you should get a mouse if you’re using but at least get a mouse But anyways click number Pad, and then click save user settings if you’re on a laptop [otherwise], you’re fine [ok], so Look at that. So now we’re moving around we’re looking at the top view look at the front whatever now Let’s say we don’t want to have to look at the cube right now. What our focus is on is That right there, which is [the] camera well, it’s kind of annoying to bring that into focus so the way [that] you would have [a] look at that is by holding down shift and then middle mouse button dragging and Now we’re sort of moving the viewers shifting the focus to a new area now It’s kind of like weird like your first move. It’s like Oh, that’s not the center like the cameras up there now so like it’s because it’s 3d view it doesn’t really know where you’re trying to look at until you sort of by a number of Movements Find your way there. If this is making any sense at all so now we’re sort of looking at the camera there [now] if I wanted to have a look at the lamp and by the way, this is good practice Just especially as you first start go from yeah, having a look at the camera to now having a look at the lamp now I’m going down to have a look [at] the Cube here and now we’re looking at the old Cube thrilling stuff I know this is a Probably thinking like this is 3d. Oh my goodness What have I done? This is the most boring thing I know it’s boring, but it’s it’s the start you know you break off the the dry piece of bread and then underneath is the moist stuff Put that on a bumper sticker [alright], so yeah, so we’re moving around ok, so that’s that’s good practice [alright]. Good practice I won’t be checking your homework But if you can sort of just move from object to object [at] sides good [practice] now There is actually an easier way to like don’t think you have to do that for everything so say I was on this Kuban I wanted to look at that camera [over] there Well first [of] all I would select the camera which you’ll notice if you click anywhere in Blender You click you know you’re not selecting it you got this dumb little it’s called the 3D Cursor [Magic] call it dumb It has a purpose, but it’s annoying you clicking. It’s like. There’s that thing there. Why is that well? for whatever reason Blender is a little bit silly in [that] the left and the right mouse buttons are sort of flipped, okay? So default with blender to select something is right click which I personally believe is a little bit silly and I even did a whole video series explaining it and 90% of the community voted that it should be changed and from what I heard in the future it is going to be changed by Default it’ll be left click for now What I suggest you do especially as a beginner because it’ll help you just it’s just one less thing to think about is to change the default to be left click and you can do that by going to file user preferences, and then click select with left And then when you do that hit save user settings, I’ll uncheck that so I don’t have that okay And now that you’ve done that [hey] now. You can select just like you would in any other program Just makes a lot easier And you’re now ahead of the curve so that when blender does change to default to left You are already on the on the same page okay? So now okay, so we’ve selected something we select the camera if we want to have a look at that thing instead of dragging our way over there piece by piece if You hit a number-Pad? period But though now it brings that directly to the focus now. I can select the lamp now. I’m looking at the lamp now I select the cube and now I’m looking at the cube, okay? So those are some [very] basic things so we discussed in this part one which was very dry and very you know boring orbiting with Middle mouse click panning with Shift Middle mouse click Top view which is 7 front view which is one side view which is 3 or 1x run by the way just to make it interesting if you push number Pad 5 that takes it from perspective mode To orthographic mode or or back and forth like [that] which don’t if you complete beginner don’t worry about that. Yeah like oh well What’s the difference? [it’s] [just] like users of other software might be more familiar with orthographic or Vice-versa So you can switch between them And it comes in handy when you’re modeling something like the size of a building you want to get it the exact size you would Switch in and out of it like that, but anyways don’t worry about it otherwise, so yeah So seven one three to the side that to switch in and out of it to focus on something you are clicking [in] the number Pad period And we also Inverted the settings to what it should be [left-click] as as select so again. This is just part one I just want to do some very very basic stuff just to start To make things interesting I did mention that we would set a monkey head on fire man so let’s do [that] right now, so let’s delete this default Cube and I’ll just show you the next thing in blender, so to bring another object into the scene you do this by hitting shift [a] Okay, so that’s brought up this menu here which has a range of different stuff a lot of them You would never want to use really like speaker I guess that’s used for games for spheal that’s for like physics simulations and stuff the majority of what you would use is underneath mesh So these are other [softwares] sometimes call them primitives It’s just a basic object So sphere you click sphere brings in a sphere [you] can and delete you can just hit delete and then took it away I’m not sure if I address that before But anyways, so you can bring in any of these objects here another name another shortcut for delete is x by the way just hit x So you can bring in a bunch of these now right down the bottom there. There’s one called monkey Hmm. What’s the deal with the monkey Andrew well monkey is it’s kind of like [a] cult figure of blender And it’s used mostly for like material tests like you want to test a material just bring in a monkey But it now it’s still like this cult icon of blender So if you look at like some renders that people make online Like you see like a forest scene like that’s a cool forest, and then like wait a minute and you like zoom in like I recognize that Rock and It’s of course [it’s] monkey hair so like blender users try and like slip it into their into their scene It’s kind of like a little [easter] egg So that’s kind of fun, but that’s basically it it’s a monkey and for whatever reason. It’s called the Suzanne head I don’t know where that name came from Let me get a drink here for a second okay? So let’s set the Suzanne head on fire So you can do this Very very quickly if you hit the space bar which is another? Shortcut, it allows you to type in anything like maybe Select you forget them like what the keyboard shortcut [is] you can just type it in like? What’s the snap cursor to the center, and you [can] just do that? But the one that we’re going to do just for a bit of fun because I know we did some dry stuff Let’s set it on fire by clicking quick smoke And what that does is it performs a number of actions for you very quickly? [so] it created this smoke simulation based around the object that was selected which was the monkey head and now if you hit alt a Which is another shortcut it now, it’s it’s it’s rendering. It’s simulating the smoke Which is which is kind of cool, and if you really wanted to this isn’t include like this is just extra advanced stuff I’ve got a whole tutorial on fire simulation by the way if you wanted to check it out later on But in the in the physics panel here you’ve got options like you could make it like high Resolution smoke so that now it’s like you get more plumie smoke which is kind of cool. You could make it a higher resolution so it’s like a [nice-looking] smoke and also if you set select the [suzana] head and then change the smoke type to fire and smoke Hey, hey Now it’s a crazy flaming head like out of that Nicholas cage movie, what’s that one that that that? [motorcyclist] one the one that looks like the only people that enjoyed it with like the same guys that are at Nascar a Ghost rider that was and he’s like wow I love ghost rider I just scared my cat anyway that was it for part one now. [oh] Isis cussed a lot of keyboard shortcuts in this video a lot of them now if you’re struggling to remember don’t worry about writing notes Because there is a free keyboard shortcut pdf on my website, so if you click [here] [right] now Just go to the website, and then type in your [email] address and I’ll send that to your inbox So it’s a handy little guide it’s got all the common shortcuts in three pages all the common shortcuts the most artists use and it’s printer friendly so you can print it out stick it on your wall, and Enjoy, so that was part [1] hope you learned something click here to to join me in part 2 right now and let’s get into it

About James Carlton

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100 thoughts on “Blender Beginner Tutorial – Part 1: User Interface

  1. Hi, I hit spaceBar but no search popup came out, only the timeline start to play. I am using the v2.80.75. TQ

  2. You are a god send! I'm beginning my journey to animation and your videos are actually helping a guy like me with c.p

  3. Thanks for this tutorial series, but i wonder when i hit space in blender 2.8, it plays animation mode and doesn't open command bar. so what i have to do?

  4. I was hoping you could redo these videos for 2.8 but show us where to find the buttons on the GUI instead of telling us the short cuts (ex. Alt a). I think the short cuts will come after we get use to where to find everything on the interface. I find all those buttons intimidating, lol, if I learned what they were for, it would feel like I'm actually learning the program. I know this is an old video but it seems a lot of people here are asking for a 2.8 for noobs. I think its because you are so easy to understand when you're teaching. Keep up the great work and know there are a lot of us that really appreciate it!

  5. Ooh wow, i didn't know about monkey head. I seen in other videos but I thought people made it or downloaded it lol

  6. Looking forward to the rework. The video that links to this link will work for 2.8. You should update that… Blender Guru – Why the NEW Blender 2.8 …

  7. @Blender Guru im just learning about Blender, because im a fan of the corridor crew, and you were a guest on their show. i appriciate you guys.

  8. "You break off a chunk of dry bread and all the moist stuff is underneath". Quite a wierd metaphor, but for some reason, it really cut deep into me. I feel like it describes my lack of work ethic and motivation to try to go out and learn new things so I can become a better person. I clicked on this video on a whim, but now I feel like I should learn blender as a thank you for exposing my deepest flaws.

  9. My space bar is set to start the animation player, what's the name of the search menu? So I can figure out what key it's bound to.

  10. how about blender 2.8 , when i use space in v2.8 it will be anim player , can u make some video or tell how to use smoke in blender 2.8?

  11. My alt + a doesn't work in blender v2.8 and the view render gives a very bad quality giff like render rather than a smooth animation.

  12. For those having trouble with the Smoke + Fire not appearing, don't select the box around the head, but the head its self.

  13. When you are simulating the smoke , what the shotcut ''Alt A'' does? and what is the new shotcut for it in the 2.8_

  14. I've been a 3ds max user for almost 20 years now and I'm looking for an alternative because I'm tired of the bloated, buggy mess it's become. Thanks so much for this.

  15. By now, someone has probably already told ya, Suzanne is the orangutan name from the end of Kevin Smith's Mallrats (and later Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back)

  16. This is amazing. I have always put of learning blender well, because it seemed so nichey, so I stuck with other programs, even writing some of them. I love it also does 2D, because that´s where most of my love is. But I´m still missing a good vector-based cartoon-renderer and a way to add on information to edges (for instance what color the line should be). I´ve been using a system I created myself, which styles lines according to lightlevel, normal direction and handles line occlusion mathematically (in stead of the Z-buffer approach). Now it´s going mainstream and with all the tools you showed, it would probably be easier to write a custom renderer for blender. Any info on that? I´m sure it can be done, but what would it entail? Is there some kind of API I could use to get started? Oh, and I just subscribed and if I can write my own renderer, I am going to support blender, definitely.

  17. i was on blender while watching this video and i accidentally learned how to duplicate (Shift+D) woohoo im learning even more stuff than the tutorial says

  18. So if you can't adjust a primitive object's parameters, like a torus, after you create it, your using a poorly designed 3d software package. This is basic quality feature to have in a 3d modeler. I don't care how many fancy realtime rendering and editing features this software might have, it's very limiting to not be able to do basic 3d stuff quickly and forgiving'ly. Blocking in stuff quickly is very important, having difficulty and frustration with that and learning to work around it a huge constant time killer that can't be compensated for with fancy features. Gota get the basics right, I'm very dissapointed.

  19. Can you please tell me where the options for giving a new Torus more sections after it is created in Blender 2.8 are??? This tutorial is useless without that knowledge.

  20. I always wanted to learn Blender. When I was studying graphics we were using 3DS MAX but it's really expensive so I try to learn blender but I couldn't understand interface 🙁

  21. the 2.8 version just came out and you did not show the non short cut paths for the the shortcurts so i cant do anything

  22. SERIOUSLY? I subscribed to your channel because of your excellent intro to Blender 2.8, but really, it will take you no more than a couple of minutes to ADD A COMMENT to translate the new 2.8 commands to deal with this old tutorial – ie. WTF IS ALT-A???? How about:
    Blender 2.7. Blender 2.8
    Alt-A = Whatever the fuck it is???
    etc
    etc

    I suggest anyone new check out Grant Abbitt's tutorials, which are lagging behind with key information https://youtu.be/7MRonzqYJgw

  23. I found out about you on Corridor Crew and I am so excited to try your tutorials! Thank you so much for the free content!

  24. If you don't just click straight through the setup screen it gives you the option to set space as search on first install.

  25. 와 검색끝에 ……..블랜더를 알게 되었고 그러다 여기 까지 왔는데 ………. 한글자막 까지 나오다니 ㅠㅠ !

  26. Heyo just wanted to say that i really want to get into blender and another Youtuber Suggested you so um yeah i just wanted to say this is really gonna help me unless its outdated idk oof

  27. Which version are you using right there?? I'm using the 2.8 one and I'm confused on where things you used are 'cause the layout is completely different

  28. I start Blender yesterday for the very first time because o saw the new and fresh UI from 2.8 version.
    First impressions between old UI and the new one was, for me "as a complete noob", a big fresh smile. It feels more easy to understand and look for the options.
    I am in the Architecture field as ArchViz. I need snap tools. Real measures and dimensions to build from architecture sections and drawing plans. I hope Blender could bring some new improvements to my workflow as i mainly use Rhino since long time but it felt missing some power modeling tools and add-on. A nice scatter would be very nice in Rhino to build exterior Scenes, Trees, grass and that stuff. Unfortunately Rhino is missing that kind of stuff.
    I would love to learn 3DS max, but the interface felt complicated and the mechanism hard to achieve without have to much time to spend and learn it properly. Selecting, moving, extruding, trimings and stuff like architects do it was a real trouble coming from Rhino that have a nice workflow about it. Or it was because i get used to Rhino and now it felt hard to achieve another workflow.
    After all we all want the same. A fast learning curve, nice workflow, stable softwares, great final results without spending a lot of time learning it.
    I give a try to Blender, but somehow i think i will need to keep learning 3DS.
    Thanks for the tutorials. I hope i can achieve the same results.
    PS: this tutorial is from the older Blender UI and for "beginners" is complicate to find tools on new 2.8 UI.

  29. Complete noob here..at 14:22 hit "Alt+A" to render smoke, no smoke shows up , instead the yellow wireframe box around susanne just turns black. Anyone have a suggestion to fix? Thanks. Otherwise, very much enjoying your tutorial although it doesn't completely Jive with my newest download 2.8 version.

  30. 14:09 to watch quick smoke,instead of “alt a” use the space bar in blender 2.8

    I have both 2.79 and 2.8 opened in both my monitors

  31. I imported a model I made in a different software to blender and the textures don't show up on the model is that due to the interface or do I have to add them back in

  32. blender guru – *creates amazing tutorials for blender, an extremely complicated and amazing 3d modeling program, that he completely understands and can create photorealistic images that can take weeks to build and render

    Also blender guru – “this is supposed to be on do not disturb, I don’t understand the iPhone.”*

  33. Can I ask you about something you guys? I did it as this youtuber said. But somehow, as soon as I changed the flow type from smoke to fire+smoke then the animation stopped. Does somebody know the reason? Cause I have no idea at all…

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