Cool things in Blender that aren't so obvious


in 2.5 there is the new “Duplicate in new window” which makes dual monitors useful.


I’m not sure if this has already been mentioned, but you can transform vertices to a spherical shape by pressing “ALT”-“SHIFT”-“S”. This is very useful if you need to extrude a round shape and don’t want to use booleaning. If you got enough vertices, this works just fine.


Another trick:

Learn to draw (traditional art) and your blender work quality will increase a lot (modeling and texturing).


That’s the oldest and greatest trick dear fellow Blender user.


Update: I turned this explanation into a free downloadable PDF tutorial that is more complete with some illustrations and some extra precautions that you have to have in order not to loose your marked sharp edges and/or marked seams.

You can see and/or download it here in Deviantart:

Or here in Mediafire:

Once there in Mediafire you can find it in the Tutorials folder.

I was looking for a way to do this in Blender a long time ago and I couldn’t find how to do it then one day I realized a very simple way and it’s very, very useful. Read it carefully, it looks long but you can really learn it fast and it can be used very, very fast:

     You can reset the pivot point (object Origin) of an object not just to those 3 alternatives of the [b]Object/Transform[/b] menu which are:
     [b]Geometry To Origin[/b]
     [b]Origin To Geometry[/b]
     [b]Geometry To 3D Cursor[/b]
     To reset the pivot point to any exact location/rotation that you may want arbitrarily make sure that you are in object mode and create a new plane with the [b]Add Object Menu/Add Mesh/Plane[/b] then position that plane to the exact location where you want your other object's pivot point ([b]Origin[/b]) to be and then rotate that plane in any axis that you want to the desired rotation angles. Remember that the newly created plane can be anywhere and that means anywhere inside or outside the older object. This is a very good way because a new plane's default rotation can be 0 in all 3 axes (x, y and z) and it is an object that is very easy to manipulate and control toward the desired new Origin position and rotation.

     When you are happy with your new pivot point (Origin) position/rotation right mouse click your original object then while holding [b]Shift[/b] (for multiple object selection) right mouse click the newly created plane and then press [b]Ctrl+J[/b] to join the two selected meshes. Notice that the newly created plane has to be selected last always.
     Once they are joined press the [b]Tab[/b] key to enter [b]Edit Mode[/b] then make sure that you are in face select mode ([b]Ctrl+Tab+3[/b]), make sure that everything is deselected first then select [b]only[/b] the newly created plane and delete it by using the [b]Del[/b] key and then selecting [b]Face[/b]. Your old object pivot point has now become the newly created plane's pivot point and Bingo!
     [b]A few caveats:[/b]
     The disadvantage of this is that your old object will become [i]the new object [/i]and therefore you may have to do a few things like for example rename it to give the new object the old name it had but it is a very, very useful thing no matter what. Materials are not usually a problem cause the newly merged object will retain the multiple materials assigned to the older one.
       I'm quite experienced with Blender now (I can model a helluva lot of things) but I'm not a full expert in it yet and you have to be careful that if you have for example animation keys assigned to the old object that you don't loose that or anything like that and I'm not up to date with the current Blender in the animation department and with a few other things! And I don't know if Blender provides an easy way to assign all those properties of the older object to the new one so be careful with this. Save before you try.
       But this is something that you will usually use while modeling anyway and then when you are done with that you can proceed to animate and assign keys and that sort of thing. Use it in the modeling stages of your mesh before you start doing anything else with it. Just learn how to use this and when to use it and it has been invaluable to me in many occasions.
     If anybody knows a simpler way to do this and with so many changes in the new Blender 2.5x and newer versions it wouldn't surprise me if there was an easier way to do so, if there is, please post it here for everybody. That's all.



Important correction![/b] - The previous file that I uploaded was the wrong one and it had only 1 page. It was supposed to have 5 pages. Now this is the complete version. It also has now a Spanish version here:


¡Correción importante! - El archivo anterior que había cargado era el incorrecto y solo tenía 1 página cuando se supone que tuviera 5 páginas. Esta es la versión completa.

Español - Hay otra versión de este tutorial en Español en mi galería en Deviantart. Puede encontrarla aquí:


Wow, I’ve learned so much reading this.

I love Blender 2.4x, the hidden interface makes it so instinctive. I’ve used clunky3dsbabelmax for a decade, and that old version of blender I started learning is like a dream come true. All the operations I had to go through lots of little windows and modifiers to achieve are practically all available to me from the keyboard in Blender 2.49b.

My contribution is Shift+Ctrl+C with a face selected offers that face’s orientation as a new orientation system. (or view/Transform Orientations/Add while a face is selected but who has the patience for that? lol just hit shift ctrl c) You can shift through them with Alt+Space.

When editing armatures, if I have bones set at 45 angle or w/e odd angle like for the arms, I rotate the armature to 45 while it’s in object mode and edit it flat that way, then reset the rotation and it’s back how it was.


There are so many things that haven’t been mentioned in here. Addons! The 2.5 series has heaps of addons that aren’t enabled in the shipped binary. File>user preferences (or ctrl+shift+U) and go to the addons tab.

The most useful addon I have found is the ‘loop tools’. This is under the mesh menu on the left, or you can search for it using the searchbox up top. Enable it and press ‘w’ to see a new ‘loop tools’ menu item there. Use ‘bridge’ to fill the gaps between edge loops. This has a few limitations but it is one of the most time saving features I have found.

Set custom hotkeys by right clicking on any menu item and selecting ‘create shortcut’. I use ctrl+b for bridge (default is bevel but just right click that in the ‘w’ menu and select ‘remove shortcut’).

Ctrl+U to save user settings - this includes enabled addons and custom hotkeys.

Ctrl+R to cut along a face loop, mousewheel to change the number of edgeloops you want to make.

Shift+E for edge tools menu and use ‘edge slide’ to move an edgeloop along its perpendicular edges (give it a go).

Alt+D in object mode to make a data linked duplicate of the selected mesh, then when you go into edit mode on either mesh and make changes, they will be updated to every data linked mesh. Great for instancing or modular pieces.

More addons include the ‘cogs’ and ‘pipe joints’ addons for extra meshes to help speed up certain modelling projects. They are awfully highpoly and if you work in lowpoly for games like me then you just have to delete a few edgeloops: alt+RMB on an edge to select the edgeloop, x>delete edgeloop to delete the edgeloop and bridge the affected faces.

There’s so much more, I assumed everyone knew all these…


If you link a file you can create a proxy by pressing ctrl-alt-p


Quick vertex welding

  1. Turn on auto-merge editing (Mesh menu)
  2. turn on Snap - vertex - closest.
  3. select and drag vertex
  4. while still dragging vertex, press and hold Cntl
  5. Drag to desired vertex.

They will automatically be welded. :slight_smile:

Quick edge extrusion

  1. Select vertex or edge.
  2. Hold cntl and click left/right mouse button (whichever you have setup for your default), where you want the new vertex/edge to be.

The new vertex/edge will appear in correlation to your viewing angle. Also it will follow the flow and attempt to blend the previous edge angle.

If you Shift and Cntl, it will not blend angles of the previous edge.

I hope that makes sense.


You can make a skeleton, out of Rigid bodies linked with 6dof joints,
then animate with Torque+forces

I will get a tutorial on doing this up eventually :smiley:




In the combositor:

-If you have you backdrop image you can move that using ALT+ Mid Mouse Button. (you need a viewer node ofc)

  • you can connect the viewer node with any other node by using the shortcut SHIFT+CTR+Click on the node you want to connect with the viewer. :cool:


Just a bit of clarification…

It’s the ‘+’ key on the keypad that expands selection.

The ‘+’ on the number row of the keyboard (coupled with Ctrl) zooms in; ‘-’ zooms out.


Two things I use a lot:

Ctrl + Shift + Alt + C

Move the object origin (orange dot) to the position you want (to 3D cursor) without moving the 3D model.

It has to be done in object mode, not in edit mode.

For example, you made a house separated in various objects, and you realize you moved the model in object mode, doing this you will move the origin too, to restore object origin, press Shift + S > Cursor to Center, then press Ctrl + Shift + Alt + C > Origin to 3D cursor.

Numpad / (numpad divide)

Instantiate an object fast. If you press again, all the remain objects will be showed again.

For example, you want to focus on a specific object that is close to other objecs and dont let you see that object completely, the usual way would be, hide all other objects and leave the one you want, pressing the eye icon at the object list in the Outliner (by default at top-right), or select the object you want and hide all other objects with Shift + H.
To do it faster and make sure you only see that object, pressing / in the numpad will only show that object, its like blender move the object to a temporary layer.


-If you have you backdrop image you can move that using ALT+ Mid Mouse Button

blender tutorials


A video editor. Quite hidden, quite worth noting - until recently, probably the best free video editor.