Blender is designed for efficiency and usability rather than for learning, so it can have a steep learning curve. This section incrementally walks through the basics of the interface and manipulating 3D objects.

After starting Blender and clicking to dismiss the splash screen, we see this default interface:


Here’s an annotated version of the default layout:


Blender’s default layout

Standard menus like File ‣ Save
3D View
Most of our work will happen in here. This is where objects are created and manipulated.
Tool Shelf
Contains recently-used tools and context-dependent options.
Used for complex scenes; we can ignore for now.
Many settings can be found among these panels
Animation timeline
Used for animation; we can ignore for now.

To make learning a little easier, we’re going to make some tweaks to the user interface.

Go to File ‣ User Preferences and click on the Interface tab. Click the checkboxes for Auto Depth and Rotate Around Selection. These will make manipulating the 3D View more straightforward.


Make sure Auto Depth and Rotate Around Selection are checked in the middle column.

See also

The Blender manual on the Interface has details about sections of the interface.