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Some useful default settings for Blender

17

Blair Willems reviews some useful settings in the Blender preferences panel that might make your life a little easier.

Blair writes:

When you first install Blender, it is generally set up pretty well with options enabled that allow new users to familiarise themselves with Blender quickly. Over time however, I have found a few small tweaks to make to the default set up, so that each time I start Blender, or create a new blend, everything is configured how I prefer it.

This post will go through each one of these options, and explain what they do and why I opt to use them. Some people will disagree with some of these, and you might have something you think I should add to this list (I have actually left off a couple I think might be useful only to a small number of people )

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About the Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.

17 Comments

  1. I agree with all the settings. On OSX there is no option like "Prompt Quit", but it is set as default, though. 
    Another default set up by me: I track the camera to an empty, so it is much easier to adjust the viewpoint, imho.

    • Have a look at Ctrl+Alt+NumPad 0. It'll match the camera to the point of view in your viewport. That way you can move around and zoom in or out until you find the image you want and then Ctrl+Alt+Numpad 0 and render. You can then adjust it with Lock Camera to View in the properties (N) panel.

      •  Yep, I use the ctrl+alt+numpad0 quite a lot, but it is a uncomfortable shortcut i must say. Fortunetly in most cases there is no need to hitting that very frequently :)

        •  In the 'View' panel of the 3Dview Properties (Nkey) I use the 'Lock Camera to View' option to be able to position the camera the same way we rotate/pan/zoom any viewport, using the same MMB shortcuts. This skips the awkward ctrl+alt+Numpad0 shortcut and the subsequent fine tuning that is always required after using it.

      •  Except, that I suspect olivertex intends this to also be used for animations - animating the "track-to" empty, or parenting it to a path, can make the camera much easier to control over time. Its what I set for default, also.

    •  I disagree with that. RMB for select in blender isn't just a apple-like beeing diffrent and nothing more behind it. Selecting with RMB is very good planned in context of usability & workflow. Why? Because you are more often dragging, moving and confirming using LMB and there the selecting with RMB is great because I dont have to worry for incidental selecting/deselecting some structures that im currently working on.

      • I love the right click select, except when on a Mac. Those stupid Mac mice only register a right-click half the time, and I don't want to use ctr-click.

        It was hard to get used to, especially when used to MAYA, but the entire interface just flows nicely.

  2. I have my own version of these, so I have a routine I have to go through everytime a new version comes out.

    While having settings and default scene saved together is sometimes practical, most times I wish there'd be some way of only saving settings without the objects in the default scene. I often discover a setting I would like to permanently change in the middle of some project, with a complex scene and other crucial settings switched away from the default. I then can't easily change only that.

    Also, what's up with the defaults for textures? I always use UVs rather than object coords, images rather than "clouds" and white tint rather than the default magenta, all of which are settings that would make much more sense than the current default.

    •  What's your routine? With a new version there comes, on the splash screen, an option to use your former settings. It doesn't last though. Better IMO is to create one folder named 'config' inside the 2.63 (adapt to your current version) folder. Blender will place your configuration choices in there. When updating (or building from SVN, or trying something at Graphicall...) one ust have to copy that folder to the 2.63 (or other version number) folder or that build to retrieve all one's settings.

      • And oh the problems this has caused in the past! Old configs can often break new versions, or cause new features to not appear, or not work... e.g. when new sculpt brushes were introduced, old configs would not allow them to be displayed. 

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