September 30, 2023

September 30, 2023

September 30, 2023

Blender Tips and Shortcuts to Speed up 3D Workflow

Blender Tips and Shortcuts to Speed up 3D Workflow

Blender Tips and Shortcuts to Speed up 3D Workflow




Blender, Martial Arts and Food is all I need

Blender is a free and open-source 3D graphics program suitable for 3D modeling, sculpting, and animation. It’s one of the most accessible programs available for digital artists and it has tools and functionality on par with high-end paid software. In terms of learning it, there are various top-notch Blender courses and classes available online.

In the hands of a seasoned user, Blender is capable of producing top-notch renders and animations. The key to mastering Blender is accumulating enough experience and knowledge of the countless features that the program offers. We’ve compiled some essential Blender tips that should help you on your journey of becoming a Blender expert.

1. Repeat the Last Action

Sometimes you need to repeat the same task over and over. This might not be a problem if you have to do it three or four times, but it can cost you a lot of time if you repeat it dozens of times without knowing the proper shortcut.

Press Shift + R and Blender automatically repeats your last action. This shortcut works not only in the 3D viewport but in almost every editor and can be very helpful for modeling, shading, compositing, and animating.

Use the shortcut Shift + R to repeat the last action.

2. Get to the Current Directory

Navigating in Blender’s file browser can be really laborious, especially if your file system is as messy as mine used to be!

Quickly getting to the current directory (folder where your .blend file is stored) shouldn’t be a problem however. Just type // in the file path and Blender brings you there immediately!

Enter // in the file path to directly get to the current directory.

3. Open Data Path in the File Browser

There’s another helpful shortcut for quicker file navigation.

Hold down Alt while pressing on any data path in Blender, to quickly open it up with your default file manager.

Alt click on the file path to open it with your file browser.

4. Add Motion Blur in the Compositor

I am a big fan of motion blur. It gives a lot of realism to your renders, especially if you are using cycles.

Unfortunately enabling this feature adds a lot of render time. There is a solution, however: Adding the motion blur in compositing instead of rendering it out. Yes, this is possible!

Before you start rendering, make sure the vector render pass is turned on. In the compositor add a vector blur node, connect the depth to the Z and plug the vector into speed.

Now you can play around with the samples and blur sliders, until you are happy with the result. This motion blur is faster than rendering it directly, but keep in mind that you also won’t get the same amount of quality.

The vector pass is currently only available in cycles, but eevee’s motion blur is pretty fast anyways.

Compositor node setup and vector pass which has to be enabled.

5. Supercharge Your Blender Projects with Vagon

Often, when working on complicated Blender projects, the rendering process can feel like it’s taking an eternity, especially on a low-end device. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.

By shifting your rendering tasks to Vagon’s high-performance cloud PCs, you get to experience a significant boost in speed. It’s not just about rendering; whether you are modeling or animating, Vagon is here to provide the next-gen computing power you need, whenever you need it.

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6. Transform the Origin

That little orange point you can see when selecting any object is the origin. This point determines the location, rotation, and scale of the corresponding object in 3D space. Sometimes you need to move this origin point to a specific location.

In most tutorials I’ve watched, they do it the hard way, by first placing the 3d cursor at the desired location and then going to Object > Set Origin > Origin to 3D Cursor to place it.

A quicker variation to complete this task is to just press Ctrl and . to enter origin edit mode. Now all transformations (move, rotate and scale) you make, affect only the origin.

You can additionally enable the snapping mode to make the placement even easier. Just press Ctrl and . again to return to the normal object mode.

Transforming the origin with the snapping tool enabled.

7. Improve Render Times

The most boring and time consuming part of the 3D workflow is rendering. Fortunately there are some things you can implement to speed up this process., which is definitely worth reading. In this list, you can find tested and proven tips to reduce rendering times in Blender 3D.

8. Stay Organized

Make use of Blender’s Outline and Collections feature to make sure all the elements, cameras, and scenes are neatly accessible and indexed whenever you need to tweak them. In the same vein, make sure that everything is named appropriately and that the hierarchy between elements and collections is easily understood.

A Blender file can quickly get more and more complex as the project gets closer to completion. Stay organized and your future self and anyone else that might be working on your project files will thank you.

9. Use References

When creating 3D graphics, it’s standard practice to use 2D images as references. If you’re trying to model or sculpt something based on existing objects, find appropriate images of these that you can use to create accurate depictions of your object. Photos are also great references for when you’re trying to create a certain mood or feel in your renders.

Make use of the Orthographic views available in Blender. You can search for or even create your own 2D sketches or blueprints of the top, side, bottom, and rear views of your object which you can then import as references in your Blender file.

10. Master Modifiers

When modeling geometry, one thing users can do to speed up their workflow is to master the use of Blender’s numerous Modifiers. Two of the more commonly used ones are the Boolean Modifiers and the Mirror Modifier.

Blender’s boolean tools make creating complex geometry a breeze. It can take the combination of various basic geometric volumes and create more complex models out of their Union, Intersection, or Difference.

The Mirror Modifier effectively cuts the amount of modeling or sculpting you need to do by half. If your object is symmetrical about an axis, set up a mirror at the halfway point such that anything that is modeled or sculpted on one side is automatically copied on the other.

11. Lights as Active Cameras

You probably know that you can make a camera active, by using the shortcut Ctrl + 0. But did you know that this works with any kind object, not only with cameras?

This is especially useful for positioning and aligning lights. Make a light the active camera by pressing Ctrl + 0.

Now you can place the light out of first person perspective.

Use the shortcut RR to rotate in any direction or just lock the camera to view (N-Panel > View > View Lock > Camera to View) to place it exactly where you want. And yes, it is possible to make the default cube the active camera, I just haven’t found any practical use for that yet!

Aligning the light from first person perspective with the light/camera locked to the view.

12. Be Updated

Blender boasts a passionate and engaged community of developers worldwide. As such, it receives constant updates and upgrades. To be able to use Blender to its fullest potential, make sure that you keep up to date about the latest versions of Blender and what new features they bring to the table.

This also rings true to the hardware that you use on your machine. There are plenty of ways to maximize your use of Blender even on lower-end machines. But If your time and your budget allow, make sure you use as much RAM, CPU, and GPU power as you can afford. Or avail of cloud computing services such as Vagon to use high-end computing power at affordable costs.


Blender has several amazing features that make it not only the cheapest option available but also the go-to software for 3D graphics. You can model and animate anything on Blender, given that you’ve spent enough time testing out its different tools and various available plug-ins.

Hopefully,, the basic Blender secrets we’ve covered in this article helped give you an idea of just how robust a tool it can be. Try out the tips we’ve discussed the next time you fire up the program and see how they can enhance your workflow.

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