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Blender 2.8 has landed!!

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Blender 2.80: User Interface

Blender has a revamped user interface, to make it easier to discover and use its many features.

Shortcut Keys

As Blender's functionality has expanded over the years, the number of available shortcut keys for new features and users to map their own has become too small. For that reason a number of shortcut keys were changed to make often used functionality accessible quickly, while assigning fewer shortcut keys by default so users can map their own.

The following keymaps are available:

  • Blender: default keymap, designed for efficient work in Blender (list of modified shortcuts)
  • Blender 2.7: keymap with as few changes as possible compared to earlier versions
  • Industry Compatible: keymap based on typical shortcuts in other 3D apps (overview of shortcuts)

Left Click Select

Blender now uses the left mouse button for selection by default. The keymap for left click select has been re-done in a way that can make it useable across all Blender features, including the new tools in the toolbar. The updated left click select also works with Emulate 3 Button Mouse, which a lot of laptop users use. You can now fully use Blender with a one-button trackpad or with pen input.

It works as follows:

  • Left click to select (hold shift or ctrl to extend or remove selection).
  • Right click to open a context menu.
  • With the default Box Select tool, drag to make a box selection, and use Shift or Ctrl to extend or remove.
  • Shift-RMB to set the 3D Cursor from any tool, or switch to the 3D Cursor tool and simply click.
  • W key always returns to the Box Select tool.

Note that we will continue to support right click select, for its efficiency and health advantages when using a keyboard and mouse.

New Theme and Icons

Blender has a redesigned look and feel with a new dark theme and modern icon set, designed to let you focus on your artwork rather than distracting UI elements. The icons are now coloured by the theme, so that we can always ensure that they are readable against bright or dark backgrounds.

For users that prefer a light user interface theme or other variation, various theme presets are available when setting up Blender for the first time, and in the user settings.

Context and Quick Favorites Menus

Throughout Blender, there is now a right-click context menu, which provides quick access to important commands in the given context.

Additional, a new Quick Favorites menu (Q key) is available to gather your favorite commands. By right-clicking on buttons and menus, any command or menu can be added to this popup menu.


When starting a new file, there is now a choice between multiple application templates:

  • General: 3D modeling, shading, animation and rendering.
  • 2D Animation: grease pencil based 2D drawing and animation.
  • Sculpting: simple setup to get started with sculpting.
  • VFX: motion tracking, masking and compositing for visual effects.
  • Video Editing: for using Blender as a video editor.

For each template a different startup file can be saved.


Workspaces provide a screen layout for specific tasks like modeling, sculpting or texture painting. They are available as tabs at the top of the window.

Each template provides a default set of workspaces which can be customized. New workspaces can be created, or copied from one of the templates. It is also possible to append workspaces from any .blend file with File > Append. Workspaces can be deleted by right clicking on them.

Multiple workspaces can be opened at the same time, with Window > New Main Window. Then each window can be set to its own workspace, scene and view layer. Each workspace can also have multiple child windows with Window > New Window and View Area > Duplicate Area into New Window in each editor.

Each workspace has an associated object mode, that is automatically activating when switching to that workspace.

Tools and Tool Settings

The 3D viewport has a new toolbar on the left. The new tools in the toolbar are different from existing commands, in that they are activated and stay active until changing to another tool.

Their settings are displayed in a bar at the top of the Window. For tools with more detailed settings (like sculpt brushes), the same tool settings are also available in the Tool tab in the Properties editor.

Some addons will be available as new tools in the toolbar. Others will be moved to tabs and panels in the sidebar on the right of the 3D viewport.

Adjust Last Operation

For tweaking the settings of the previously applied operation, editors now show a panel in the bottom left corner.

These are different than the tool settings in the top bar and properties editor, which control what the next operation does.

Status Bar

At the bottom of windows there is now a status bar. This bar shows:

  • Information about what mouse buttons and keys do for each editor, mode and tool, and it updates as you hold modifier keys.
  • Messages and progress indicators for tools and jobs.
  • Scene statistics.

The statusbar can be optionally be hidden by dragging it down or from the Window menu.

Properties Editor

The properties editor was reorganized to have buttons mainly a single column layout. Panels can also have subpanels now, which more advanced and less commonly used settings collapsed by default.

Presets have been moved into the panel headers to save space.

Next to each property, we now have 'decorators', little indicators that describe the current state of each property, so you can see if it is animated, a keyframe, is driven, linked or overridden.

Properties that point to objects and bones (e.g. constraint targets) now have a new 'Jump To Target' right click menu option that selects the target object/bone.


The Preferences window has been re-designed with a vertical source list, and a more organized Properties-like layout using panels and subsections. Many related options, which were previously scattered, have been grouped together in panels. The Theme section in particular is now more structured and flexible, making use of the adaptive layout system.


In 2.8 we now have the concept of popovers, which allows us essentially add a panel that spawns as a menu. This allows us to group related features together in a way that can stay out of the way when you are not using them.

For efficient access to single options, hold down the mouse button when clicking on the popover and release it over the option you want to change.

Pie Menus

We now include a set of pie menus by default, to make more efficient use of the keyboard to group related features. Pie menus are fast because you can use them via a gesture. Hold the key, swipe in a direction, and release. Over time, users can gain muscle memory in order to quickly repeat actions.

In the default keymap, pie menus are used for Orientation (,), Pivot (.), viewport (~), shading (z), Snap (Shift-S) and Proportional Editing Falloff (Shift-O)

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I have been really looking forward to this program release. Please give it a few days. Apparently the download servers have been swamped.

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That is sweet!  Been thinking about getting into Blender a bit.  In Oculus Rift, you have these "homes", like a digital construct before you launch a game.  They've been improved over the years, now you have all sorts of new features and you can even import objects that you make in Blender, or Unity, etc.   You can use these objects like decorations around the digital home.

Would be fun to learn Blender!

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Well done. Great stuff. I am looking into the development of training workshops for VR content creation using Blender. This version just made the job easier to deliver to a wider demographic.

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I know,and its A-FUCKING-MAZING! I've been using Blender for almost 10 years, and this release is the single most anticipated one in history. An amazing real-time render engine, hundreds of toolls for modelling, animating etc. This software can produce industry-quality results (used in Jurassic World and others) and is completely open source. Epic Games granted them 1.2 million dollars a few weeks back and UbiSoft Animation is working on adopting Blender as their main DCC software. I've used it for hobby projects, blueprints, school assignments, you name it. If you want the best free 2D/3D-creation package, give Blender a try.


I also hear that downloading 2.8 from Steam is a breeze since they have way more bandwith.

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On 8/2/2019 at 8:07 AM, Acro1 said:

I also hear that downloading 2.8 from Steam is a breeze since they have way more bandwith.

Patience is a virtue.  I would never recommend to anyone to download a non-game from Steam.  I could list the reasons, but it's pretty obvious that one program being dependent upon another that force updates it is NOT acceptable.  This is the case for a number of utility programs that can be downloaded for free, and also from Steam.  NEVER use Steam if you can avoid it, if you simply want proper control over your programs.

Here's a negative review from a Blender user on Steam who was very happy with the old version 2.79 user interface and was very upset that Steam force-updated him to a version he did not want.  Like anyone, if you are used to a program, it's best to research the next version first and evaluate if it's time to change over so you can wait for any plugins you use to update, or in case there will be an added learning curve that would derail any existing projects or workflow:


451 products in account
18 reviews

Not Recommended
2,878.6 hrs on record

Blender is great,but DON't download the steam version.
They just updated it from 2.79 to 2.8 without asking, breaking all my plugins and everything.
Seriously, whichever brain dead moron decided on this should be fired.
Download it from their website and dont run the steam version.


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