Do you customize Blender, how much and why?

In these times when dear Cessen is in search for the Grail of The Best Default Keymap Ever, my agnostic self wondered about what is the state of customization among Blenderheads.

How important is customization for you?

How much do people adapt Blender to their work?
How often is it done?
Are those changes permanent or on the fly; both?

Did you change anything?
If so, what and why?

  • Theme? Personal, preset or found somewhere?
  • New screens or changes to defaults?
  • New/different shortcuts?
  • Did you create different startup templates?
  • How many addons, even patches do you use?
  • Did you go even further and created personal addons or even patches?
  • What else did I forget?

Lastly, is there any customization tool or extension, enhancement to existing tools that you miss?

Let’s keep it fun.

I’ll start.

How important is customization for you?
Life would be hell without it. I do not only customize for my own need but also so my co-workers and customers benefit from it.

Are those changes permanent or on the fly; both?
Most changes are long term but can be tweaked. I created a ‘config’ folder inside the 2.6x folder of Blender. This way Blender records my changes and just copying this folder to another or newer version of the program allows to work in the same environment everywhere, all the time.

Did you change anything?
Many things.

If so, what and why?

Theme? Personal, preset or found somewhere?

  • I finally went back to the 2.49 theme which seems more legible for most. Interestingly enough, the non-Blenderhead find it to be all the modern thing. :smiley:

New screens or changes to defaults?

  • It is quite hard not to: we never have enough space and monitor(s) configuration varies enormously.

New/different shortcuts?

  • A few, for the most frequent function in my line of work (millwork/cabinetmaking) and to adapt to a work related handicap. For example the Qkey is for toggling Quadview, all the time, CTRL mousewheel up and down for border and circle select respectively, middlemouse button to pan…

Did you create different startup templates?

  • I’ve seen people doing this, mostly in other programs than Blender. I’d do it for metric and Imperial if the units were even remotely usable in our program.

How many addons, even patches do you use?

  • A few, but less than I expected. ‘Blam’ comes to mind, ‘Export images to planes’ but surprisingly few.

Did you go even further and created personal addons or even patches?

  • As patches go, Freestyle. I created an in-house addon to be able to edit many objects together while not joining them permanently.

What else did I forget?

  • Well, User Preferences of course! I changed too many to remember: Trackball view rotation, zoom to pointer, pivot around selected, align to view…
  • Also settings in the interface, a few materials often used with fake user, just those I don’t want to append all the time.
  • As templates go I have a lot of basic modules in 10 x 10x 10 dimensions and a lot of different meshes for quick changes in door styles for example.

Lastly, is there any customization tool or extension, enhancement to existing tools that you miss?
I really wish that any key, if kept pressed, could act as a modifier.

Your turn.

Let’s keep it fun.

I change a couple settings to just speed up my workflow a bit (pivot around selected, and things like that). I use a few addons, when the need arises. I don’t tweak themes or anything. I typically use something pretty close to default.

There is not much point to excessively customizing Blender it is going to change next week anyway. Basically I pull down a new build every week (although I have stopped recently because bMesh is a mess).

Sometimes I will turn on a few AddOns then press CTRL-U to lock that in.
Add the -con parameter to the alias so the console windows shows up when I launch it.

I changed three things (so far):

  1. any and all buttons, when activated, are orange so they jump off the screen at me.
  2. in Edit Mode, the ‘1,’ ‘2,’ and ‘3’ keys switch from vertices to lines to faces respectively.
  3. I moved the ‘Item’ section of the ‘N’ properties side-pane to the top.

My main customisation each time i install a new version :

  • CTRL+Middle Mouse then move to rescale down every panels to fit my needs so i have a bit less scrolling to do
  • Use a Join panel to make the Timeline window on bottom to disappear
  • Disable Antialiased Font in User Preferences -> System (scaled down font in the panels + antialias would be so blurry it hurts the eyes)
  • Disabled every “Shaded” of the buttons in User Preferences -> Theme -> User Interface
  • Disable Python tooltip in User Preferences -> Interface
  • Smooth View set to 0 (i like immediate change when i click on view side/front/top) in User Preferences -> Interface
  • Enable “Prompt to Quit” in User Preferences -> Interface
  • Untick “Load UI” in User Preferences -> File
  • Lower the amount of Undo to 16 in User Preferences -> Editing
  • Enable the addons i need in User Preferences -> Addons
  • Change Undo History to ALT+U (too used to 2.49b to start learning CTRL+ALT+Z :slight_smile: ) in User Preferences -> Input

I add a Redo and Undo buttons in T panel.
A Color Management check box in Film panel in Cycles.
The Glass IOR in Cycles glass shader to 1.52.

And several changes to the interface like the title of the panels in green, of course coming from max a lot of key changes like selecting objects with left mouse and so…