Blender 2.8 Beginner Tutorial – Part 2: Interface & Navigation

– [Zach] Welcome to the second video of the Blender 2.8 Beginners tutorial where you will learn
how to use Blender 2.8 and create this juicy apple
scene here from scratch. In this video here we
will take a quick look at the user interface and
navigation of Blender 2.8 and I will show you the process on how I prepared the scene here, which we will create in
this tutorial series. You can find all the timestamps in the video description below. And if you want to follow along, you can sign up to our resource
section free of charge. And there you can
download all the resources and all the videos of
this tutorial series. You can find all the important links in the video description below. Hi everyone, Zach here for and let’s get started. For this Blender 2.8 tutorial series I’m using the currently latest
stable version, Blender 2.80. You can download this
at And if you would like to test
the currently latest version, which is still in development,
so it might not be stable but you can test all the
new features already, head over to and download and test the
very latest version there. All the links you’ll find down below in the video description. So before we get started just
one word about my system. I’m using an Intel Core i7 CPU and NVIDIA graphics card GTX 1080 Ti, and 32 gigabytes of RAM. It’s a good system, it might
not be the high-end stuff, which you can get nowadays, but it’s working great with Blender 2.8. So and just a little warning here, Blender 2.8 makes heavy
use of your graphics card. That means when you’re using
a very old graphics card or a very simple graphics card, like an onboard graphics card
on your notebook, for example, then it might be that it’s
not even possible for you to use the real-time Render
Engine in Blender 2.8. Or it might be that it’s
running relatively slow. So a relatively good
graphics card is needed to have fun with Blender 2.8. So with that said, let’s take a look at the user interface of Blender 2.8. To hide this splash screen over here, simply left click somewhere
here into empty space. And then we have Blender open. As you can see, I’ve
opened the final scene of this tutorial series. If you wanna open a project,
simply click on File, Open and then navigate to the file here, you can see all your hard drives. Over here, you can navigate the folders and then simply click on the blend file and click on Open File. So because I find it just
boring stare at the basic cube and since we want to have
a look at the navigation and the user interface,
it’s just more beautiful to look at this scene. So first of all, the
user interface of Blender is built up out of different editors. Each editor has a different purpose and they are separated by
these thicker lines over here. So, for example, we have this 3D Viewport, up here we have one editor, here this thing down
here is also an editor and we can also change each
editor to any other editor. For example, you can see in
each editor on the top left, you can see a button. And if I click on this button, you can see we have all the
editor types we can choose from. So, for example, if I click
up here on this button, the 3D Viewport is currently active. But I could change this to anything else, for example, the Compositor. Don’t worry if you don’t
know what a Compositor is, this doesn’t matter right now. I just wanna show you that you quickly can change each editor to any other editor of your choice. And this you can do for every editor, you can see here we have
the same list of editors. And we can change this to
anything else if we like. And we could even create another 3D view, which shows the same scene
just from a different angle and with another viewport shading. So for example, if I
move this bowl over here, this will also move over here. So we can basically have
the same editor type as often as we like. So let’s quickly switch
this back to the Outliner. Now let’s quickly have a look
at the default user interface. So this one here, the
big editor in the center is the 3D Viewport where we
will work like 90% of the time because here we create our objects, we paint the textures onto our objects, move them around, etc. So most of the work we do over here. Then up here we have the Outliner which shows us all the
objects in our scene. So for example, if I open this up, you can see we have a bunch of apples, we have the fabric, the bowl, the knife, some leaves here, the wooden
floor, all this stuff, and also some lamps and camera,
which we can see over here. And as you can see, I picked all these objects
into this scene collection, a collection is something
like a group or a folder where you can pick all the objects in to organize your scene. So this Outliner is awesome
to organize your scene and to have a good overview about what’s going on in your scene. Then the next important editor is the Properties editor down here, which shows you a lot of settings, on the one hand scene-related. So for example, here we can set
up the final output settings when we later on want to generate an image from our 3D scene, we can change the units over here, so everything scene related. And down here, we also
have a bunch of tips which are object-related. So for example, right now
I have the camera selected, and that means that I see all
the camera settings down here. But if I select an apple, you can see these icons down here change and also the settings
inside might change a bit depending on what object
type you’re selecting. So for now, just keep in mind that basically everything
we need to set up we are doing over here
in the Properties editor. Then down here we have the Timeline, which is important for
animation and simulations. We will use it at one point later on when we do the cloth simulation and a widget body simulation
to fill the bowl with apples. But other than that, we
won’t cover animation in this tutorial series. So that means most of the time, we don’t use this Timeline down here. So this is a default user interface. But as shown before, we
have a lot of other editors which are important for other tasks. But we don’t have to change
all these editors here manually if we want to texture
our objects, for example, we can use the workspaces up here. So here we have a bunch of workspaces, which are important for different tasks. So for example, I want to model something so I can change over to
the modeling workspace. And then you can see the layout
of our editors is changing. And also the Viewport shading that means how the 3D scene is displayed. And also the mode we are in. As you can see up here,
we are now in Edit Mode. If I go over to Layout, we
are automatic in Object Mode. So and then, for example, if
I want to do some UV editing, I can switch to the UV Editing workspace, texture painting we can do in the Texture painting workspace, material creation we can do later on in the Shading workspace, then we have one workspace for animation, rendering, compositing, and so on. And we can add even more if we like. So there are even more presets. And we can also duplicate the current one and create our own,
let’s get back to Layout. And most of the time in
this tutorial series, we will use these workspaces. But at a few points, we will adjust the user interface
a little bit to our needs, because we can change the position and count of the editors we
have in our user interface. So for example, if I want
to have another 3D view, I can simply go to the frame
of the current 3D view, right-click and click on Split Area. Now I have this preview line, I can even go to other
editors, as you can see. If I don’t want to split
anything, I simply hit Escape. And if you wanna split the view, you can simply left-click here. And now you can see this current 3D view was separated into two 3D views. As mentioned, this is
still the same scene, I can move stuff around
and see it in both. But then we can do funny things like show one editor from
the camera perspective. And in one other editor, we
can move this objects around. This we will do later on. Then, if you for example,
need another editor instead of second 3D view, you can also click on
this button up here again, and, for example, change
this to the UV Editor. And then you have this UV Editor here and can work in your 3D scene
and also see the UV layout of your objects you’re
currently working on. If you don’t know what a UV layout is, don’t worry, we will cover
this later in the series. So we can not only split
editors vertically, we can also split them horizontally. So if I right click on a vertical
line, click on Split Area, I can also split this window over here and maybe change this to the Compositor. So as you can see, we can flexibly change the user interface. Certainly we can also
change the size of an editor by moving this around. And certainly we can also remove windows. So if I right click on an
edge here, click on Join Area, I can easily join two windows. So now we are back at the
default user interface. So that means later on, we
don’t need the timeline. So we can right click on the
edge here, click on Join Area, move this arrow down here and
then left click to remove it. We moving an editor doesn’t
mean that we delete it and everything we have created
with this will be deleted. It’s just hidden in the background. And at any time we can get it back. So that means if I split
this here once again. And for example, at UV Editor, you can see that
everything which is in here will stay in here because
it’s saved in this blend file so we don’t lose it. So let’s join this once again. Now let’s have a quick look
at the header of our editors. So each editor has a header. This menu bar up here, also over here. And here on the left, we
always have some menus, which contain all the tools and functions which we can use for this specific editor. That means if you are
looking for a certain feature related to the 3D view and
the mode you’re currently in, then simply take a look at these here. For example, under View
you find everything which is related to navigation. Under Select, you find everything which is related to selecting objects. Then in the Add menu,
you can add new stuff. And in the Object menu,
you can execute operations for changing the object. Here you, for example, find
the Copy and Paste function or to Delete objects. Depending on what editor you are in, certainly these menus change, up here, but you can see we can still
find them in every editor. Let’s get back to Layout. So in some editors on the
left, and on the right side, you can find these little arrows. If you click on them, these
additional menus pop up. On the left, we have the toolbar which contains important tools related to the mode you’re currently in. That means, for example,
if I change to Edit Mode, you can see I have a bunch of more tools. You can also left click and hold when this double arrow appears
and move this to the side to see the name of the tools,
which can be quite useful. Let’s switch back to Object Mode. And if you wanna see the settings of the tools you have selected here, simply click on this button
here in the Properties editor. And then you can see depending on what tool you have selected, it will show you additional options. On the sidebar on the other hand, you can find some additional information for the object you have selected. As you can see here, here we
can see the Location, Rotation and Scale of the current selected object. But we can also find some
other information here in these tabs, which
we might use later on. To close these menus, you can simply left click
and hold on this edge here, move this to the inside. Or you press the shortcuts
T for the tool shelf, and N for the sidebar. So you can see not every editor has these tool shelf and sidebar. But in some other editors as
you can see here, for example, in the UV editing
workspace in the UV Editor, if I press here T and N, you can see we also have this
tool shelf and the sidebar. With that said, when I use a shortcut, this will only work in the editor my mouse cursor currently hovers above. So if I press T, you
can see the tool shelf of this UV Editor’s opening and closing. But over here from the 3D view, it’s not. But if I have my mouse over
here and press T and N, you can see I’m only
affecting the 3D Viewport. So whenever you press a shortcut and realize it’s not working, just take a look where
your mouse cursor is and then move it back to the editor you’re currently working on. Let’s get back to Layout. Depending on the mode you are in, you can also press right-click and then you have this context menu with some important tools and operations which might be important for
this mode you’re currently in. I’m always talking about modes, some of the editors have different modes, as I showed you before. For example, if I click up here, you can see the 3D Viewport
has a bunch of modes. And depending on what task
you’re currently working on, you can change it to other modes. For example, in Object Mode, we are moving objects around,
placing them in our scene. And if we later on want to
change the shape of an object, we select the object and go
to Edit Mode, for example. Then we have access to
the shape of the object and edit this. For a texture painting later on, we also have a different mode, but we won’t touch all
of them in this tutorial. Let’s go back to Object Mode. So most of the time we
work in the 3D Viewport. And depending on what task we are doing, we might change the
appearance of the viewport to, for example, be able
to see the model better when we’re modeling something or to see the textures,
or to see the lighting. And here the viewport
shading comes into play, up here, we have these four bowls. This one here is the
Wireframe Viewport Shading. As you can see, now the whole
scene appears as wireframes, which is quite useful sometimes if you quickly want to
see through some objects. Then we have this Solid Viewport Shading which is perfect for modeling if you wanna edit and model your objects or just move objects around. Then we have the LookDev
Viewport Shading which is perfect if you quickly want to adjust
your textures and materials because you can see that we
can see all the properties of the materials with all the reflections and all the stuff. And then we have the
Rendered Viewport Shading. That means if you set up
a lighting in your scene, and just wanna see how the
final scene looks like. So we see all the textures, all the materials, all the lighting, the nice real-time shadows
and stuff like this. This Rendered Viewport Shading depends on what render engine you have selected. So if I go over here, you can see the EEVEE real-time
render engine is enabled. But we can also change this to the Cycles Render Engine, for example, which we will learn more about later. So let’s quickly go over to
the LookDev Viewport Shading. And as you can see, we have
a bunch of objects here. These rectangles are lamps. This thing here is a camera. And certainly in the final
image, in the final rendering, we won’t see all these things, we won’t see these lines from
the viewport with the grid, we won’t see this circle thing
here, which is the 3D cursor. So if you, for example, have the Rendered
Viewport Shading enabled, sometimes you just wanna see
how the final scene looks like without all these helping objects. And for that, you can simply
disable the Viewport Overlays by clicking on this button. Then you just see the final scene without all these helping objects. So then we have the Viewport Gizmos, for example, if I select an
apple here, use the Move tool, then you can see we have this arrows here, which help us to use this
specific tool we have selected. But if we wanna hide
these gizmos, as well, we can simply click on this button to disable all the gizmos. And if I disable both of them, then I have nothing in my scene anymore, I just see the final result. If you click on these
little arrows down here, you can see you have a
bunch of additional settings for the Viewport Gizmos, also
for the Viewport Overlays. And even for, for example, if I go to the Solid Viewport Shading, if I click on this arrow, we
have a lot of settings related to the Solid Viewport
Shading, for example. But yeah, as you can see,
these are a lot of settings. And we won’t take a look
at all of these here. If we need anything, we will use it while we work on our scene. So a lot of talking
about the user interface and the viewport. Now let’s finally learn how we can navigate in the 3D Viewport. For that, let’s quickly switch over to the Solid Viewport Shading to better understand what’s going on here. In order to navigate the 3D Viewport, we have these gizmos over here. First of all, to rotate the view, simply left click and hold
on the circle somewhere. And then you can rotate
the view, as you can see. If you click on one of those axes, you also have direct views, we will learn more about
this in another video. Let’s rotate this again. Then with this magnifier,
we can zoom in and out, so simply left click and hold on this and then move your mouse up and down. And with this hand symbol,
left click and hold and then you can move your
mouse to pin the view. So, if you don’t like to
use this gizmo up here, you can also navigate using
your mouse and your keyboard. For that, it’s important that
you have a three-button mouse that means mouse with a mouse wheel. If you don’t have that, if you’re, for example, using
a notebook with a trackpad, I will show you in a second how you can emulate
this three-button mouse. So first of all, if you click
the middle mouse button, so if you click on your
mouse wheel and hold and then move the mouse,
you can rotate your view, it’s the same as left-clicking
over here and move this. Then if you hold down Shift
+ Middle mouse button click and move your mouse, you can pin the view. And by simply scrolling the mouse wheel, you can zoom in and out. Or you use Control +
Middle mouse button click and then move your mouse up and down to have a more smooth zooming in and out. So sometimes it appears
when you’re moving around, your camera gets stuck at any point and there’s a quick solution
to get out of these. I’m pretty sure you will
experience this at some point. If this happens, simply
left click select an object and then simply press the
Period button on your keyboard on the numpad, that’s
important, not the period which is located by the
letters, this won’t work. And this centers the view
and also the selected object. And now if I navigate around, this is centered, as you can see. And this is a feature I use all the time, which makes navigation in
Blender much more convenient. So this is something you should remember. And if you don’t have a numpad, simply go to View and
click on Frame Selected. So when you don’t have a
numpad or a three-button mouse, you can emulate this. For that, simply go to Edit, Preferences, then this window pops up and here we can adjust
some of the preferences. So general settings for Blender. And as soon as you change anything here this will be saved automatically. That means if you close
and reopen Blender, all the settings you have
changed here will stay intact. So here let’s go to Input and
if you don’t have a numpad, you can emulate the numpad. And if you don’t have
a three-button mouse, you can emulate the three-button mouse. So in Blender, the numpad numbers and the numbers above the
letters are two different things. However, if you use emulate numpad, the numbers above the letters become the numpad numbers basically. Later on you will learn
how to use the numpad for changing views, for example, but this we will learn while we go. And if you, for example,
use notebook with a trackpad and no middle mouse button, you can emulate the three-button mouse. So instead of middle mouse button click, you press Left Click + Alt. So if I now Left Click + Alt, you can see that I also can rotate. With Control + Alt + Left
Click, I can zoom in and out and with Shift + Alt + Left
Click, I can pin my view. So, in my case, I don’t need
that, so I disable that. And the second thing I wanna
show you here, go to System. And here under Memory Limits,
we find the undo steps which are set to 32 by default, let’s click in here and
change the number 256 which is the maximum undo steps we can do. So if you press Control + Z
later on to undo something, you can do it 256 times. Or if you wanna redo anything, you can press Control + Shift + Z. So a lot of talking but
I think this is necessary to just get a rough idea of
how the user interface works. So before we now start
to create the 3D scene, I wanna give you some insights about how I prepared the scene. And what my process were
to get to the final idea for the 3D scene we are creating
in this tutorial series. So first of all, my initial idea was I wanted to create an example scene for this beginner tutorial series, which is simple enough so
that beginners can follow. But on the other hand, it
still should look really nice and impressive in the end. After thinking about it a while, I remembered that I
created a still life scene back in 2014, if I remember right for a beginner workshop I held in Germany. And this scene besides other thing also contained a bowl with
apples and other foods, which from my perspective
today, doesn’t look cool at all. However, this was one inspiration I got. And then I remembered that in 2016, I created an animated scene with a wooden box full of vegetables, also for a beginner
workshop I held in Germany. And I really liked the idea to put something like this
into a tutorial series. However, the wooden
box with the vegetables would be a bit too much
stuff to create for a series. So the series would be even longer. Then I thought about it how I
can simplify the whole thing. And I basically came back
to the still life idea with just a bunch of apples. So I had the basic idea in mind. And then I searched on
Pinterest for apple photography. And I found some really nice images which I put together in a Pin Board. And then I don’t took one image and exactly recreated this in 3D, I just took inspiration
from different images and put them together
as my own final idea. In the end, I didn’t had a concept image or anything like that, I just started to create the scene in 3D and iterated on it until I
had a finished scene I like. That means I created the full scene before I even started
to record the tutorials. In this way, I knew exactly where the object should be placed, what settings I wanna use
for all these textures and materials, and so on and so forth. So I can keep these tutorials
as short as possible and put only important
information into these videos. So in general, it’s really
important to understand that it takes time to create a 3D scene. And it won’t be perfect,
just by the first try, you have to iterate on that,
you have to change your models, you have to change your
lighting and texturing. So iterate as much as possible. And also ask your friend, colleagues or in online groups for feedback. And if you get some valuable feedback, implement it into your
scene, and iterate again until you have something
which you really like. But don’t waste too much time
in tweaking small things. Because in the end, it’s also important to finish your project,
and then start the next one and make it even better with all the things you have learned. So when it comes to
creating something in 3D, don’t just rely on your mind. The number one thing you
need always are references, whether it be photos you find online, or you took on yourself, whether it be real objects
you can held in your hand, or maybe concept drawings for objects, which maybe don’t exist in the real world. But you need references to understand how objects interact with each other, how the proportions are, how
the materials look like, etc. So for my scene, it was relatively simple. So I grabbed some apples, I grabbed a knife and some other objects. And then I could measure these objects so I know exactly how big they are. I know how the surface looks when I want to create
the materials later on. I took some photos of the objects which we will use as textures later on and adjusted them to my needs
in Photoshop and PixPlant, which are my tools to quickly create some
textures out of photographs. But in this tutorial series, we concentrate on the 3D part only. That means I won’t show
you how to adjust textures in Photoshop or other image editors. There are many online libraries of free textures to download, I highly recommend And in the video description below, I also listed you some other sites where you can download free textures. Here’s a small tip for better learning, don’t simply follow and recreate everything I will show
you in these tutorials, to better learn and understand how you can use all the tips and tricks and workflows I show you
onto your own projects, add your own twist to the scene. So, for example, you could
create a similar scene but instead of apples, you use pears, or bananas, or something like that, or add some additional
objects to the scene. So play along with all the techniques and tips and tricks I will
show you so that you understand how to apply all of that
to other projects, as well. But certainly if you’re just starting out and this is too complicated for you, it’s totally fine to also
just follow this tutorial. So guys, now you have a rough idea on how Blender’s user interface works, how you can navigate in Blender and how to prepare a 3D project. If you enjoyed this video,
make sure to like it, subscribe and tell your friends about it. And let me know in the
comments section below if this is your first try to learn Blender or if you have some experience already. By the way, if you like what we are doing and want to get deeper
into learning Blender, check out our online courses
at, there you’ll also find the
Blender 2.8 Launchpad course which is an in-depth and
very comprehensive course on getting into Blender 2.8,
which you might enjoy as well. Thanks a lot for watching guys,
now click on the next video where we will learn how to
model the apple for the 3D scene and I will see you there. Goodbye. (subtle electronic music)

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