Blender O' Blender Why do you taunt me?

Blender is great, and I love the fact it is a video editor as well as 3D modeling!

I’ve been taking lots of classes and tutorials for Blender, and I am pretty comfortable, but the interface is something that keeps coming back to bite me. To be more specific, when you move something in the interface, and it can’t be undone.

For example, I am currently in the video editor, how do I switch back to 3D modeling? I am sure it is a little button or menu hidden somewhere, but where is it? Can I do that? I am sure they predicted some will use their software for both.

What about when I am in the video editor, and I move a panel to dock and take over a portion of the screen? Where did the other panel go? Some sites suggest restarting, but why? Why can’t I get that panel back?

Is the Blender UI an utter and total mess, or is it just me?

You are not alone in thinking that about blenders UI.

I think that they are planning a overhaul of Blenders UI

I really hope so, they ignore allot of deeply ingrained convetions.

  • Right clicking to select.
  • Critical menu buttons (switching the UI layout) dissapearing or MOVING when you click them.
  • Ever-changing context menu.

I could go on, but man, I want to love Blender but it’s hard.

Yeah the UX/UI team has some awesome plans for Blender but they need more devs.

They are strongly considering a Kickstarter for the UI overhaul. Last I heard ofc.

If they do I will be one of the first to fund that Kickstarter.

Here is another better example, let’s say you are using the video editor and you want to reduce the playback quality of the buffer preview window. In most software, you just change it, with Blender you:

  1. Select each clip, and for multiple cuts you need to select those as well, even on the same clip.
  2. Go to its properties and select check “Proxy / Timecode”.
  3. Check the quality amount. Make sure this is the same for every clip, otherwise redundant.
  4. Select the clips, including individual cuts.
  5. Click “Strip”.
  6. Click “Rebuilt Proxy and Timecode Indices”.
  7. Go up to the preview window.
  8. Click “View”.
  9. Click “Properties”.
  10. Select the “Proxy Render Size” option, and makes sure it matches the percentage you selected below or the preview will be messed up.

Really? As opposed to selecting the preview percent in the buffer window? Some will defend this by saying it “gives you control”, but it’s only burning time. If you need different preview qualities, you STILL have to set it in the buffer properties panel, which is the exact same thing you need to do with a normal editor, minus 9 of the steps above.

For changing from the video editor you can click the button next to help at the top, that will give you a list of preset workspaces. Or you can click the buttons to the bottom left of each window and there’s a drop down for every editor.

I don’t really use the video editor anymore so I don’t know how it works now but for what you want to do it’s probably easier to write a simple python script. You can hover over buttons to see the python command for it or right click and choose online python reference, that will take you to the api.

… if only Epic donates to Blender foundation again, maybe we can hope that Blender UI/UX will see lots of improvement :slight_smile:

Thank god i’ve read through a lot of books on blender where i can to a point customise my workspace and navigate with ease

er since when has blender had an UI, its all hotkeys , eg very hard for old forgetful people :frowning:

my wall is to small for a printed cheat sheet.

yes i do hope for someday when blender gets some buttons :wink:

Hotkeys are great, and I have that cheat-sheet as well. However, buttons greatly assist in the learning process, and there is no reason the hotkeys can not be listed by them, but it goes way deeper. Like my example above is a useless layer of complexity buttons or not.

Yeah and to add to that, trying to remember the different hotkeys for multiple programs is a P.I.T.A!!!

hit “Space” and search for the thing you want to do. helps me to get around in Blender every now and then I use it.

Yeah, for now we must use our cheat sheets (or remember hotkeys) when using Blender - UI needs a major overhaul, but the idea was there long time ago and was declined :frowning:
… It will be ~2.5 years now, and nothing changed.

I don’t see why you’re blaming Blender if you’re not customizing hotkeys/work space. If you’re using UE4 you can set up both UE4 and Blender to use the same hotkeys, that will make things a bit easier.

Anyway the next major version is supposed to be the workflow update so it will probably be a bit nicer for newer users. Although it’s still in the early planning stages.

Bad UI design is still bad UI design. It doesn’t matter how customizable is when it break many well established conventions. Look at my example above, that is asinine. That feature is a cool one, to be able to set multiple playback qualities for clips, but you STILL have to set it in the properties panel, which means you might as well just have it auto adjust all clips when you switch that like every other video editor. It is bad design.

Why would you need to do that? It sounds like you’re something wrong. I tested this right now with a bunch of clips, select everything, check proxy/timecode, 25% (or whatever), set selected strip proxies, rebuild proxy and timecode indices and finally change the proxy render size in the viewport. This took like 10 seconds. Hardly the major issue you’re making it out to be. If you think something is bad design/a bug you can report it on

Since version 2.5, Blender’s UI is one of the best in the industry. Just wait until you find yourself in front of one of AutoDesk’s “cram it in a corner” GUIs with 3 levels of nested tabs, or even ZBrush :slight_smile:

Blender’s UI consists of panels. Panels can be split in two and they can be merged. What you probably did was accidentally merge two panels.

The important part of a panel is this: blender-panel-control.png

As you probably already know, you can click on the button to toggle what you see in the panel.


How to merge and split panels:

  • Split: Click and drag the corner handle into the panel to split it into two panels
  • Merge: Click and drag the corner handle out of the panel to merge it into the neighboring panel
  • Clone: Hold shift, click and drag the corner handle to clone the panel into a new window (for multi-monitor use)

How to revert to default panels

If you think you messed up your Blender window and can’t remember how it was, do this:

  1. Open a .blend file that has the UI arrange the way you like it (or blank for default UI)
  2. On the sidebar of the file browser, untick the “Load UI” checkbox:

Get out of here, the ui is at least tolerable. Blenders problem is that it tries to be a lot of things and therefore its clunky as hell. I don’t even know why they implemented a game engine into blender, what next a daw???

It has a video editor in it, I was shocked when I learned about this. I think it should be a totally separate application. It would be the first really good video editor for Linux.