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Blender Modeling [Knowledge] - Know Where Menu You Want To Do

Blender Modeling [Knowledge] - Know Where Menu You Want To Do

Blender is a versatile 3DCG software.

There are various functions, most of which can also be operated with shortcuts.

But shortcuts differ from person to person in the keymap they use, and if you try to learn a lot of shortcuts from the beginning, you will have too many to learn and your head will be full of holes.

So, in modeling with Blender in this blog, I will first focus on the menus and buttons that are displayed.


In this article, I will present some useful things to know when modeling with Blender's menus.

Just knowing somewhat about it will make the rest of the modeling work easier to understand.

Before you actually start modeling, please take a look at the Knowledge section.


*If you want to take action rather than knowledge, please read Blender Modeling [Practice].


This article corresponds to the long-term supported version Blender 3.3 LTS.


Blender's menu structure is straightforward


I feel that Blender's menu structure is arranged rather clearly when I use it.

I have the impression that the relevant functions are usually placed together. Therefore,

I want to do something like this -> I search for a possible menu location -> I find just the function I want -> I just found the function I want
There is a pattern.


Searching for items in menus takes more time than using shortcuts. But Blender is software with a lot of functions, so it is hard to learn all the shortcuts suddenly.

There is no need to focus on speed or efficiency when you are not used to it, so I would suggest using the menus at first to learn the functions and locations of the menus.

Once you have become familiar with Blender while using the menus, it is recommended that you learn shortcuts for frequently used functions or register them in your own personal shortcuts to make them more convenient.

The following is a brief introduction to the functions and locations of the menus. The main part will be an introduction to the functions frequently used in modeling.


*For more convenient use of Blender with shortcuts, see this Blender Modeling [Addendum].


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How to use the header menu

The Blender menu in this article is in Japanese. Change Blender's menu to Japanese.


The header is this area at the top of the 3D viewport.

Blender header section

The header menu is divided into clusters on the left, middle, and right. The menu is divided into clusters that seem to be somewhat related to each other.

  1. Clumps on the left... related to the mode
  2. Middle chunks...coordinate systems, pivots, snaps, proportional editing
  3. Clumps on the right...related to what is visible in the 3D viewport


There are two types of header menu display. When Tool Settings is checked in the menu item [View], the header menu will be displayed in two levels. (*Default setting is two-tier display)

Header menu is displayed in two columns when Blender tools setting is ON

During edit mode, the two-levers header menu The top row of the two columns is a bit more useful, as it displays icons for X-, Y-, and Z-axis mirrors and duplicate vertex merging.


However, the same settings for tools can be found in Tools tab in the sidebar & The same is also displayed in the Tools panel of the Property Editor.

Blender tool settings can also be changed from the sidebar and the Properties Editor

I'm sure you could use it in different situations and to your liking. The explanation in this article will be based on the header menu in the single-level display state.

Let us look at them in turn.


Mode Selection

Blender Mode Selection

This menu allows you to change the mode in which you are working.

You can select object mode, edit mode, weight paint mode, etc.

Object mode selection

While selecting an armature, you can select object mode, edit mode, or pause mode.

Armature Mode Selection


Menu by mode

Menu by Blender Mode

This is a list of menus available in the selected mode. The menu is mode-specific, so the menu contents will change depending on the mode you have selected.

Object mode menu
Edit Mode Menu
Weight Paint Mode Menu


The mode-specific menus offer every possible feature.

For example, while modeling, I wonder, "Is there a feature like this?" if you think...

  • If you want to about vertex operation, the "Vertex" menu.
  • If you want to about edge operation, the "Edge" menu.
  • If you want to about face operation, the "Face" menu.

If you look carefully inside each one, you will likely find the feature you want.

[The Mesh menu contains functions for normal, showing/hiding selected polygons, and separating selected polygons.

Functions such as duplicating and merging objects can be found in the mode-specific menu [Objects] while the object mode is selected.


In this way, various functions are available for each mode in the mode-specific menu, so when you are wondering if there is a function you want, we recommend that you first take a look at the mode-specific menu.

In some cases, displayed shortcuts are also provided in the mode-specific menus, which is quite a helpful design.


Transform coordinate system

Blender Transform Coordinate System

If you want to change the coordinate system you are working in, you can do so in the transform coordinate system.

Select transform coordinate system

Switching between global and local coordinates is used rather often in modeling. (See Switch between global and local coordinates for details.)

There is also a mode called "view coordinates," which "always fixes the coordinate axes to the screen," which is sometimes useful in modeling.


Pivot Point

Blender Pivot Points

This menu allows you to change the pivot point to be used.

A pivot point is a reference point for operations such as moving, rotating, or scaling.
Each object has an origin, but the pivot point is separate from the origin.

Select Pivot Point

From the Pivot Point menu, you can change the position of the pivot point, which is the operation reference, to the object's origin or the object's midpoint.

One Blender-specific feature can use the 3D cursor position as a pivot point, which is quite useful if you know how to use it.



Blender Snap

Snap function menu.

Snap is a very useful feature when used well.

Click the icon on the left side of the snap menu, and the icon will turn blue. This is the state in which the snap function is turned on; note that it will not snap unless it is turned on.

Snap function ON


Click the icon to the right of the snap menu to bring up the snap settings menu.

The two most commonly used are snapping to grids marked "incremental" and snapping to "vertices".

Incremental (grid) and vertex snap menus


The "Absolute Grid Snap" in the Incremental menu allows different snapping depending on whether it is turned on or off. For example, when moving, the difference in snapping is as follows.

When absolute grid snap is OFF ↓

When absolute grid snap is OFF

When absolute grid snap is turned on ↓

When absolute grid snap is ON


Also, in the "Influence" item of the snap settings menu, there are buttons for movement, rotation, and scaling (scale), but even if the snap function is turned on, those with the influence turned off will not snap.

If you want to snap the image in terms of movement, rotation, and scaling, turn on all the influence items.


When using the Move tool in Grid Snap, the movement is usually in increments of 1m, but by holding down the Shift key while moving, the movement can be in increments of 0.1m. (*Shift can also be used for rotation, etc.)


Proportional editing (Soft selection)

Blender proportional editing (software selection)

Proportional editing is a feature similar to Maya's soft selection.

Click on the icon to the left of proportional editing, and the icon will turn blue and proportional editing ON.

Proportional editing ON


Unlike Maya's soft selection, the area of influence is not visible until it is actually moved, but the area and shape of the influence can be adjusted after it has been moved.

Move with proportional editing ON

The area affected by proportional editing can be changed by scrolling the mouse wheel while grabbing the gizmo.

Change the range of Blender proportional editing (soft selection) with the mouse wheel

Even after you have determined the area of influence, you can change the area of influence as many times as you like from the size of proportion size area while the operator panel is out.

Operator panel after proportional editing move


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Object Type View

Blender Object Type View

Elements in the 3D viewport can be shown/hidden and selectable/unselectable by object type.

Object type view Show/hide Toggle selectable/unselectable

Clicking on the eyeball symbol to close it hides the target object in the 3D viewport.

Clicking on the arrow symbol makes the target object unselectable in the 3D viewport.

Whereas the outliner's eyeball mark allows a fine selection of target objects, the object type view is for all objects of the same type.


Viewport Gizmo

Blender 2.8 viewport gizmo

Gizmo-related menu.

Click on the blue icon to turn it OFF, and the gizmo-related display in the 3D viewport will disappear. Click again to display it again.

Viewport gizmo OFF state


When you open the menu, it looks like this, but I have not yet mastered the contents of this menu.

Viewport Gizmo Menu

*The arrows (gizmos) that move objects have disappeared! They don't show up! - In this case, the cause may be this button is off. Click the icon to turn it ON & the gizmo will appear.


Viewport Overlay

Blender viewport overlay

The appearance of objects displayed in the 3D viewport can be almost managed with viewport overlays.

For example, you can show/hide grid floor planes, show/hide XYZ axes, overlay wireframes, and even show back-facing polygons.


And the content of the viewport overlay changes depending on the mode.

Note that the contents are displayed for each mode: object mode, edit mode, weight paint mode... and so on.

Viewport overlay menu in various modes


The Statistics section, which allows you to display polygon counts and other information in the 3D view, is also located in the viewport overlay.

Display of Blender polygon count


Note that you can turn off all informative elements displayed in the 3D viewport by clicking on the blue icon in the viewport overlay itself.

If the information element is too much, you can try turning it off.


Transparent display

Blender Transparency

Toggles the transparent display of objects.

For more information, Use transparent display to select the back side as well. Please check.


Shading in 3D View

Shading in Blender 3D View

This menu is for shading objects in the 3D viewport.


Select a shading from the four icons and click the ▽ on the far right to open the options menu corresponding to the currently selected shading.

Wireframe display

Blender Wireframe Display

Solid display (flat and textured displays are also available here)

Blender solid view (flat and textured views are also available from here)

Material preview display

Blender material preview display

Render display

Blender Render Display

*Render display has to do with rendering settings, so advanced settings must be made property editor.


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How to use the toolbar

The toolbar is this.

Blender Toolbar

The position & appearance of the toolbar can be changed. *For details, see Customizing the Position & Appearance of the Toolbar (formerly Tool Shelf)


There are three things you should be knowledgeable about when using the toolbar.

  1. Toolbar contents vary by mode.
  2. If a tool has a "▽" mark in the lower right corner, another tool can be selected by long-pressing it.
  3. After using the tool, The use of the operator panel is also important

It is easiest to understand this area by using it, so I want to see it in Blender Modeling [Practical].


How to use the sidebar

The sidebar is this one.

Blender Sidebar

If it is not displayed, press N key to display it.
(If you are using an industry compatible keymap, press Ctrl+] to display)

*For details, see Toggle Show/Hide Sidebar (formerly Property Shelf).

The tabs you will see most often while modeling are "Items" and "Tools".



Blender Sidebar Items

When in object mode, the item tab in the sidebar displays information about the object's position, rotation, scaling (scale), dimensions, etc. It is similar to Maya's channel box.

When manipulating objects, sometimes you want to specify movement or rotation numerically. In such cases, you can enter numerical values directly in the sidebar.


When entering numerical values on the Item tab to move or rotate an object, the

  • To put the same value in all xyz, drag the three columns and enter
  • To put the same value in multiple objects, Alt+Left click and type
  • To put the same value in xyz of multiple objects, Alt + drag to enter

This is a method called It is a little useful to remember.


Also, unnecessary translation, rotation, and scaling values in the finalized 3D model can cause problems later on.

In particular, the final value of scaling should ideally be (1, 1, 1).

When the model is complete, check the sidebar to see if any values remain to be worked on.




Blender Sidebar Tools

The Tools tab in the sidebar displays information about the tool in use.

Some tools allow you to set tool-specific options. When in edit mode, the ▽ option item will be displayed.


Turning on the X, Y, and Z buttons in the Mirror section allows you to move vertices based on the X, Y, and Z axes, respectively.

Check Automatic Merge to automatically merge overlapping vertices in the same location. Use with snap feature. You can snap the vertices together. You can sew vertices together.


In addition, information in the Tools tab of the sidebar can be found in the header menu, as well as the tool settings that appear in the It can also be viewed from the Tools tab of the Property Editor.



Views in the Blender Sidebar

The views in the sidebar allow you to set the focal length and other settings for the 3D viewport.

For more information, see Changing the Focal Length of a 3D Viewport , Change the start of the 3D viewport range Please check.


How to use the operator panel

The operator panel appears in the lower-left corner when you add an object or use a tool.

The operator panel is a panel that allows detailed settings for the most recently performed operation.

Blender Operator Panel


The contents of the operator panel will change according to the objects you add and the tools you use.

The operator panel allows you to change the size & number of vertices after adding a sphere cylinder etc object. For example, after cutting with the loop cut tool, you can change the number of divisions & smoothness.

We will look at specific usage in Blender Modeling [Practice].


Note that the operator panel is temporary and may inadvertently disappear.

In such a case, you can redisplay the last operator panel by going to the menu at the top of Blender and selecting Edit→Adjust last operation.

Redisplay of the Blender Operator Panel

Some options, such as when using tools, may not be adjustable in the redisplayed operator panel.


*If the operator panel does not appear, click on [View] in the header menu & check [Adjust last operation] to make it appear.

Display settings for the Blender Operator Panel (adjusting the last operation)


How to use the Property Editor

This is the Property Editor.

The property editor is an important editor that can be used for various settings anyway.

Blender Property Editor

It is a bit like Maya's attribute editor.

Each of the vertical icon tabs allows for various settings such as to render, scene, material, and modifier.

Difficult to explain how to use the Property Editor in a few words, so we will start with the most commonly used parts through Blender Modeling [Practice], we would like to look at the most frequently used parts at them a little at a time.


Summary: Find the functions want from the menu quite helpful


In this article, we have tried to give a brief overview of the functions and locations of the menus that are often used when modeling.

If you have some knowledge of these things, I think it will be easier to understand when you actually do the modeling work.

Even though it may seem like you use many menus while modeling, it is a little bit if you categorize the most frequently used menus by location.

  1. Header
  2. Toolbar
  3. Sidebar
  4. Operator Panel
  5. Property Editor


In addition, in Blender, the "tooltip" explanation display function is turned on by default.

Tooltips can be turned on/off from Edit → Preferences → Interface

Displaying Blender Tooltips

If you hover the cursor over a menu item and wait a moment, a tooltip will appear, so you can somewhat understand its function by looking at the menu item name and the tooltip.

Most of the descriptions in the tooltips are also displayed in Japanese, so if you read them, you can understand a little of what they say. If you can understand even a little, you will feel like you can use the tool.


Now that the knowledge section is over, I would like to show you how to actually try modeling with Blender in the Blender Modeling [Practice].



Go to Practical section!


If you want to use shortcuts & add-ons to improve your work efficiency, please Please also refer to the article Blender Modeling [Addendum].

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