Blender Presets being collected for

Hello, We have a problem. I have been talking with other devs about presets and the design of blender in general. There are a lot of “problems” sitting between coding the UI and users customizations. For example when you add a Mix node in most cases you just want mix-defuse-gloss not mix-none-none. So should we get rid of none-none and if so with what? We also have a lot of things like sculp brushes that we as artists use all the time but we must always make the changes ourselves to each new blender version or screen layouts (for example there is not one for sculp).

So I am starting a collection of all these improvements and cool tools, materials and settings. We want anything that would make your life easier as an artist. Please post them here. I will collect them and make one big startup file and then post that here as well. It might be included in future blender releases.

Be sure that nothing you share has images or whatever with copyrights that can not go into an open source Blender product.

If you have any questions please let me know. I look forward to seeing what comes.


PS Sorry if this is the wrong place to post but I could not find a better one.

Douglas E Knapp

One of the most stupid thing on default startup is the fact that on default screen, 3 last tabs of properties editor(textures, particles and physics) are hidden.
You can see it on almost all video tutorials. The first thing that a man will do after opening blender is resizing this area.
Except that and the fact that they were made for left handed , I think that most of screens are not that bad for a unique screen setup.

It would be stupid to add a mix node and a diffuse node and a glossy node, each time user ask simply for a mix node.
Blender should simply respect user requests.
But you can replace simple default diffuse shader when enabling shader nodes by a glossy+diffuse mix shader tree.

Here is my contribution ; My essential Sculpt Brushes. Most brushes are customized to give more smoothed and artistic results and the set includes some custom brushes like :

  • Clay Buildup (More pronounced strokes which build up along the surface) > good for blocking and hard surface…
  • Trim (A variant of scrape brush which is flattening the surface) > good for blocking and hard surface
  • Global.Grab ( Fit the whole sculpt inside the brush and you can move it with out losing details) > useful for limited transforming…
  • Global.Twist (Fit the whole sculpt inside the bruhs and you can rotate it with out losing details) > useful for limited transforming…
  • Scale (Scales everything up and down inside the brush size) > useful for limited transforming…

also instead of a cube there is a polysphere. The Dynatopo symmetry is using +x instead of -x; X symmetry is enabled by default and Dynatopo smooth is enabled by default.

Edit: I forgot one thing , the dynatopo is set to subdivide edges as default with a smaller detail size (7). This is because I use a shortcut to switch the subdivision style on the fly.

If you prefer “suddivide collapse” as default just set it in your file and save startup file, it will stay that way . Or you can set the shortcut below to set subdivision style from the popup :

Preferences / Input / 3D View / Sculpt > Create a new shortcut.

  • In the firstbox (identifier ID) paste this and press enter >


  • A new field will appear called “Context Attribute” paste this and enter >


  • Now set you shortcut I use “Shift + E” which I believe is empty by default.

Now in the viewport you can choose you subdivide method quickly…

Another suggestion
When entering sculpt mode, N panel/Display/only render, to get rid of the not useful (yet) 3dcursor.

Some quick things here:

  • Brushes can’t be exported and imported, which is a huge pain in the ass in developing a workflow or specific tools, or even sharing them with others.

  • The way Blender deletes assets and asset reference from a .blend file like Materials and Textures can be annoying, as it doesn’t give you a very clear indication of whether they are deleted or not, and you actually have to reload the file to have them removed from the available list.

  • No Sculpt default UI layout like yil7 said, that might be nice for those starting Blender.

  • Despite getting UI tabs, the UV/Image editor has very little tools accessible from it’s Toolshelf - they’re all hidden under the footer menus, which feels both inconsistent and a waste. Plus, important tools (particularly for game artists) like Export UV Layout both has no shortcut, and one cannot be assigned to it. O_O

  • Like michalis said, the 3D cursor doesn’t always has a use, and particularly in Sculpting has no use. It would be nice under Properties if you can just use a tick to hide it if you don’t need it.

  • Updated defaults for keybinds - I know it’s coming, but i thought i’d add it anyway, :smiley:

  • The default key bind to switch UI layouts in Blender for Mac OS X conflicts with the OS wide command to switch between virtual desktops (Ctrl+Left or Right). For the Mac default key bind, please switch it to something like Ctrl+Cmd.

Ill add more if i can think of them, thanks for collecting this data :slight_smile:

Thanks everyone for these ideas. I wanted to state again that I would love for you to post startup.blends here for me to work from. These other good ideas will have to be handled by codes and not presets. I do still want to hear the ideas though!

Yes you can. Just append and go to the file and then to the brush you want and click on it. OK, it would be better if you could do it with a list of them.

Oh I see, thanks for pointing that out. It would be nice to have a less convoluted way to do it though, something more direct like opening an image resource. Plus this still leaves the issue of not having an organisable and static collection of brushes without properly setting up the startup file. I dunno, maybe ill get used to and like the idea of keeping a startup file rather than having the data stored as a preference in the program?

Here’s my startup file I use. The first 3 panels are ones I’ve refined over time to suit my needs, and the other two i’m only starting to get accustomed to.

Game Dev Startup R2.blend (515 KB)

Default 3D View - Used for most modelling work. Instead of the default where the outliner and properties sit in one column, i gave them two separate columns to greatly reduce the amount of scrolling I need to do, as well as being able to see lots of objects and options at once. The width of the Properties panel is wide enough to accommodate all property tabs/category buttons. Although the 3D view can potentially be considered small, depending on the screen size and resolution used, if I need more space to model or use the space in detail, I will normally use Shift+Space to maximise the panel to focus on what i’m working on.

Reference View - Used for detailed modelling, where i have a secondary, smaller view setup to give me a different angle of my work. Particularly for sculpting, it helps me evaluate my model at different angles at the same time. The UV/Image Editor is for any reference imagery i may need to work with. A smaller properties panel has been added so I still get access to modifiers and other object visualisation tools.

UV Unwrap - What the title says, the space is divided almost in half for both the UV/Image Editor. The properties panel i recently added on this layout mainly for tagging and selecting materials on an unwrap, as when i export to UE4, i can treat different Material IDs with different textures.

Compositing - I’ve only recently touched upon this kind of work, but it still seems useful. Its a near identical layout to the Default 3D View where the Properties and Outliner panel are given large amounts of space, but the main area is divided between the node editor and 3D view.

Storyboard - Recently added as i’ve been sketching animations using the new Grease Pencil tools. It simply features a large 3D view area, with both a Timeline and Dope Sheet editor underneath it. I use the Timeline for large scale panning and the Dope Sheet for small scale panning and editing of the Grease Pencil animation.

Appending brushes is still a pain in the ass. For one thing they all come in without fake user flags, so you have to go flag each one individually. Then of course they save with the local blend rather than a more global context, bloating file sizes. Managing brushes is just really tedious and slow.

I’m hoping the asset management project in the works addresses some of it, but I don’t know what the target goals for that are.

Agreed and I don’t know ether but this might get you there or at least the links on the end.

The devs, as always, are hard at work on these problems.

Mine isnt hidden xD (jokes jokes my screen is supah wide)

FYI, I created a patch for the 3D Cursor option, but the idea has been rejected for good reasons.

Presets? or Startups? take a look at my everyday Startup and default “look and feel” of Blender, I’ve tweaked a lot of things, concerning sculpting UV Mapping, etc.

startup.blend (1.34 MB)

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this a few minutes ago, and saw that you now have another patch up to add this in, thanks a lot for making this :D. I’m actually surprised though the 3D Cursor doesn’t have it’s own panel under 3D View properties which you can use to hide and show it, among other things.

Every time a dev adds a new thing to the program it becomes more complicated. This means that unless we can address this complication with good UI design the program becomes more and more newbie unfriendly. KISS in a great thing in a program but very hard to keep with something as complicated as 3d software. Blender, being opensource needs to keep bringing in newbies but at the same time we want to keep the pros happy. This can be quite hard and sometimes choices need to be made. With luck we make the right ones.

Heh, you’re welcome :slight_smile:

There are quite a few reasons against having a checkbox for the 3D Cursor. In fact, there are dozens of possible options for the Display panel, like toggles for groups, object types, … The question is just: Which ones are worth to have? In case of the 3D Cursor, I don’t think it is tbh. You can easily click it “out of the view” or turn on “Only Render” to get rid of it. Also, Campbell pointed me on possible debugging issues a user could occur. E.g. if someone who isn’t aware of the feature opens an unfamiliar .blend and he can’t see the cursor he’ll think it’s a bug or so. Same if he accidentally disables it. So you see, it’s not that easy. It’s sortof comparable to colored wireframes: Implementation might be - or at least sound - easy, but can be a can of worms if it’s not done thoughtfully.

However, as you’ve seen I’ve already started working on the alternative, which is hiding the cursor in paint modes (Sculpt Mode, Texture Paint, etc). I think this proposal is much more solid and even easier to use.

Yeah, even simple things can be a UX minefield, i understand why. I agree that the proposal you’re making seems solid, and I look forward to seeing it :slight_smile:

I’ve really been wanting this. I half agree with what ideasman says about it. I agree that it can be confusing for new users, but there are a lot of times where I just want the curser locked and hidden. It gets in the way and I usually don’t want it just out of the frame somwhere. I prefer to keep it in the center when I don’t need it somewhere else. The only render doesn’t work for me because I also want to see some of the objects that aren’t rendered, such as empties and lamps.

Would it break down the code to have an option in the user preferences to be able to hide it? That way the people who want the option can have it, but when the file is passed along, it gets hidden depending on what the persons preferences are.

I do agree that brushes are a pain sometimes - I turned in a bug report about experience I have had of losing my brushes kept in my start up file due to blender reverting to the brushes available/in use in an older file. Once opened, I have lost even the default new fill brush and my own customs and have to append them from a recent file. I hadn’t noticed this before since this is the first time I have saved them in my startup - I used to always keep a brush library file and append form that. It would be cool to be able to export and import a Brush Set, similar to Object Groups. I am not keen on the addon that opens a brush folder and appends that, since that only has to do with brush texture images and not the procedural and stroke settings held in the blender brushes.

Either this is a very bad choosen example or you don’t know much about blender at all. Not sure what kind of improvement, if any, blender could expect from you.