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This page contains Debbie's notes on the basics of Blender: the Interface, Shortcuts, Selecting Objects, Transforming Objects, Moving Objects, Adding and Removing Objects, Adding Modifiers, Creating Diffuse/Specular materials, UV Unwrapping, Lighting, Camera Positioning, and how to render with Cycles (Blender's ray-trace based production render engine).

More elaboration on specific things:


It is best to use Blender on a computer with a numpad and a three-button mouse, as many functions are best accessed using Shortcuts, and all 3 buttons of your mouse will be used.


  • If you have a laptop without dedicated numpad go to Blender User Preferences > Input.
  • Blender User Preferences SHORTCUT is Cmd ,


  • Alternatives: If you don't like emulating the numpad in this way, there are also alternative methods of accessing those shortcuts, such as by installing scripts such as this 3D_Navigation virtual numpad emulator which will show additional button options in the Tools section.


  • If you don't have a 3 button mouse, go to Blender User Preferences > Input.
  • Blender User Preferences SHORTCUT is Cmd ,


  • Selecting 'emulate mouse' will mean that you can simulate the middle mouse button if you press the Alt key while using the left mouse button.
  • But please get a three-button mouse.


Blender snapmenu.png Snap Menu Shift-S

Editor Types, Views, and Modes

Blender has a context-dependent interface - the Editor Type and Mode that you are in (and where exactly your mouse is hovering) will affect what the shortcuts will do!

Customising your Editor Type

Using the Mouse in Different Modes

Using Shortcut Menus in Different Modes

List of Shortcuts

head1 head2 head3
A accesskey-ep-form-save s
B accesskey-ep-edit-institution e

Editing Objects

Selecting Objects

Transforming Objects

Moving Objects

Adding and Removing Objects


Blender Modifiers


UV Unwrapping




Transparent png

alpha channel


Properties Editor > Render Context > Output Panel

Choose RGBA so that the alpha from the renderer is saved in the png

Properties Editor > Render Context > Film Panel

Check Transparent so that the World background is transparent.

Cloth modifier

Cloth modifier 1.png Cloth modifier 2.png Cloth modifier 3.png Cloth modifier 4.png Cloth modifier 5.png