Export a 2.8 .blend to 2.79b

I like Blender. I got used to the UI.

Aaaaand now here’s Blender 2.8 completely ruining production flow with a new UI that literally nobody likes.

I hate the new UI so I’m still using 2.79b.

A colleague sent a work file, but it uses 2.8, and I still use 2.79b, so you can see the issue. 2.79b crashes when trying to load the file, even when unticking load UI.

Two questions:

  1. Can I export a 2.8 file to be compatible with 2.79?

  2. If not, can I get 2.79’s not-shit UI in 2.8?

How are you just now finding out about 2.80???

Do the Donut tutorial in 2.79 and then do it again in 2.80. You should realize (for beginners at least) there’s no significant negative differences between the two.

After doing both I’ve been able to follow along with modeling tutorials and time lapses recorded in ancient Blender versions with no problem in 2.80.

You don’t know enough people.

Instead of vaguely complaining maybe you could specify what exacly is broken or missing from 2.80 that makes you hate it and we can figure out how to make it less annoying for you, if possible.

Probably not. I have had some success using Append to bring in individual objects from a 2.80 blend file. The geometry and materials (if they did not use 2.80 specific features) came in without any problems. I have not tried animation or armature though because I’m just a noob.

What exactly do you hate so much about 2.8? Maybe there’s ways to change or work around the problems you have with it but you’ve given no specifics.

Factually incorrect. I will provide some examples that are perhaps subjective, but also some that are undeniably downgrades.

Sure. I apologize in advance if this post is a little hectic and unorganized but I have a lot to cover.

Let’s begin with a little game. I like to call it “face or not a face”.

The triangle area the arrows are pointing too, is that a face or a hole? Now there’s a slight give away in that there is a tiny visible difference because, silly me, I left AO on, but no there is no face.

It’s really difficult to tell because they removed an invaluable feature - backside faces being darker. If I want to see backfaces now I have to go and turn it on in the render options. Which, by the way, while you can see the result in both edit and object mode, you can only turn it on in edit mode. Totally nonsensical. Then when you do have it on prepare to have your eyes burnt out.

It is harder to model without this and it makes me wonder if the developers even tried working with 2.8. A glaring omission.

In fact the shading has changed the colors entirely, and the decision was made to make them closer to the background color. That makes sense right? Who wants their geometry to be clear and visibly distinct from the background?

Left plane is harder to see no? And it gets worse as the angle increases. I know, I can change the background color, but guess what, I like the grey background at it’s current brightness, and I can’t change the mesh color. It’s just plain stupid to have this at default.

Texturing. Remember when you could just grab a mesh, load a texture and it appears in the viewport? You can’t anymore. You have to create a material setup just to view a texture. Not everyone is using Blender to create renders in cycles.

Speaking of which, baking. EEVEE was supposed to replace Blender Internal in every way when it comes to functions. It can’t bake. Anything. To be specific let’s take the example of baking ambient occlusion.

In 2.7 you created an image, selected the object(s) and clicked bake - instant result by the way. Now you will have to create a material and add an image texture node with the image you want to bake to, select it, then click bake. The real problem is the result. Internal did it differently to cycles and the result was a really smooth AO map. Cycles gives you this shitty noisy mess and takes a good 10 minutes to do it. I literally have to keep 2.79 installed just to bake AO (jokes I use 2.79 over 2.8 all the time).

Let’s talk UI. All those things I used all the time, you know like remove doubles, flip normals, shade smooth/flat - gone. But tools like sheer and mirroring options are there to stay? I, and I’m willing to bet most other people, use functions such as remove doubles and flip normals far more frequently. What is the logic behind this??? What’s the point?

It’s okay though, you now have your own quick favorites list. Great another key used up. Oh and joy of joys, you need to re-add them all every time there is an update. Added them in the wrong order? Tough shit you can’t reorder them without removing all those before.

But don’t worry, instead of the left hand toolbar having over 20 tools listed purely by name, we now have nameless icons that I have to mouse over to find out what they are. And the best bit is images take up more screen space, so we have less tools there! This is flat out stupid.

Sure, this looks prettier, but that’s the problem. It’s a professional tool and I don’t care what it looks like, I will always chose function over form. Seems they only cared about making it look pretty.

And what about the setting I use frequently on the footer? Well we’ve decided to spread them out across the entire width of your screen, leaving giant blank spaces in-between and moving them further away from the most likely place your cursor will be (will be working - the center):

No idea what the point is in moving them out towards the edges - oh wait it’s trying to make it look pretty again.

I also liked how the deselected options text was black, and selected white, as shown in this bevel modifier, and how buttons/boxes are outlined in black:

It makes it, whats the word, clearer. But no, our monotone low contrast fancy looking new scheme is more important.

Also, important point, when you read do you read right to left, or left to right? This is why we align items to the left, it makes it easy to quickly read them as we scan the options. In 2.79 they are also seperated by high contrast simple black lines. 2.8 aligns everything to the right, and uses every shade of grey under the sun making instant interpretation harder, it’s a total mess:

Going back to AO quickly - AO is extremely useful when modeling to help let you see extrusions and so on in your geomtry. Let’s take a look at 2.8 vs 2.79 - in this example we have a flat plane with a small extrusion in the center pulled towards the camera:

It’s barely visible in 2.8. I’ve played with the settings (again, it should be optimal out of the box) but can’t seem to match 2.79’s look.

Going back to UI and mouse movement, let’s take a closer look at snapping and the options.

As a result of merging options into the same panel, you now have situations where given a certain choice, other options disappear. The result is a large empty space, which will vanish if you open the menu with this as the current choice. This means that buttons now move depending on your choice which ruins your muscle memory for clicking frequently used buttons:

This is terrible UI design. They should not move. And again, look at the amount of extra screen space we are covering for no good reason compared to 2.79s more compact design:

When you use a tool, in 2.79 the options would be instantly visible in the bottom left. Not so in 2.8. Now we have to click an extra button to open them:

More importantly though, look at the positioning. Because the left bar is gone to make way for the child friendly pictures, the option menu now starts further to the right, covering more of what I am working on. Cool.

I could literally sit here for days doing this. Ultimately though 2.8 is a change designed and making it look pretty, not at professionals/skilled hobbyists who want to get shit done. Also the lacking feature set of EEVEE makes it pretty clear that they only see Blender as a tool for renders and it has screwed over those of us using it for game development to some extent.

You don’t know enough people

Or maybe you should look around more. Try googling ‘hate blender 2.8’, there’s plenty of posts on this forum outlining peoples issues, but they are becoming silent because it’s fallen on deaf ears - form over function is the new mantra.


I have heard complaints about missing the darker backside faces. I am not sure what you mean by the render options. When I want to see if I have flipped normals or identify backfaces for some reason I just turn on this face orientation option:

You can turn this on in both object and edit mode and you can add it to your Quick Favorites menu or set a keyboard shortcut to it.

Somewhat recently they added a theme option to set those colors to your liking:

This cube’s face has several holes. First screenshot has cavity on and set to screen, it does not help at all. The 2nd screenshot has cavity set to world, much more helpful.
image image

Me. That’s why I’ve been modeling in material preview mode with an HDRI background since day one of 2.80. I honestly have no clue what someone who prefers modeling in solid or wireframe likes/dislikes. When I open Blender I’m greeted with this:

I can agree with not liking the defaults. Perhaps you can change the default material shader to have a brighter object color?

I wouldn’t say you have to make a complex “material setup”. If you set the viewport to solid flat textured

then make a new material and drag and drop a texture in there and it appears on the model. You don’t have to connect it to the material node or anything. I will admit it is a bit buggy. If you drop in multiple textures you’re supposed to be able to select the texture node and whichever is selected should appear on the model but sometimes it does not work. You can still change the selected image within the active texture node though. Also if you happen to have the NodeWrangler addon installed (it ships with Blender) you can just ctrl+shift+click the desired texture node to see it.

I’m not experienced with baking. I was not aware eevee was supposed to have baking abilities. I only ever see people bake things with cycles.

They are not gone at all and I know where to find them in both 2.79 and 2.80.

Remove doubles was renamed to merge by distance. Alt+m or just m in the latest 2.9 builds.

Flip normals with alt+N then click flip. Or shift+n then click inside. The first one you can put in the Quick Favorites menu or assign your own keyboard shortcut to.

In object mode right click the object and shade smooth and shade flat are the first 2 options. IF you happen to be in right click select mode then just press the W key to get that same context menu with shade smooth and shade flat as the first 2 options.


The point is they were put in places anyone familiar with any other program with a better UI would be able to guess where to look for certain things. The vast majority of people with any experience with anything other than Blender have no problem with shade smooth being put in a right click context menu.

I think they reduced the number of keys blender has assigned by default so users have more keys available to assign their own shortcuts.

Not in my experience. I have 2.81, 2.82, several versions of 2.83 and several versions of 2.9 installed. In all of them I just used the settings from the previous version.

There was a developer discussion about improving manual organization options of Quick Favorites but I have no idea when they’ll actually work on it. I have seen one user say they were working on an addon that exports your quick favorite items as python code that you can rearrange and then run to replace it. Not sure if they ever finished it.

Noobs like icons. I personally prefer buttons with text on them. In the case of Blender I can’t think of any tutorial video (and I spend far too much of my free time watching blender tutorials) that actually uses those icons. All semi-experienced blender users just user shortcuts all the time, just like in 2.79. And all but 2 or 3 things from the old sidebar (in my experience) are in predictable locations in the menus (in my opinion). Of the 13 buttons shown in your screenshot I’m pretty sure where to find 9 of them in the menu and I know the key for 10 of them.

I’d call that logical grouping, reducing clutter, making things easier to understand. “White space” is not wasted space.

The default theme of 2.80 is much darker than 2.79 so I don’t think black would be a good choice there. I have looked at all the other themes that ship with 2.80 and none of them do that either. Those lighting themes probably should. Perhaps there is a way to customize a theme to give you that behaviour. Unfortunately none of the themes seem to be exactly the same color as 2.79, they are all either darker or lighter. They should make a real 2.79 focused theme.

Your next part after that is just personal preference. But I do agree on the text alignment thing. I think I heard someone say in one of the Blender Today live streams that the devs have been debating alignment for quite some time and some decisions were never finalized but they had to get back to developing other areas to meet release dates and someday they’ll go back and finish those discussions and make final decisions.

Sadly it’s a totally new viewport engine. 2 step forwards, one step back.

It does not match the look but it does make the geometry visible in almost all situations. I set cavity to world and cranked up the ridge to 5 and valley to 100. These are overkill values. I prever a toned down version of my screenshot over both versions in your screenshot.

This is significantly more of a problem for people with the header set to be a footer. In your case the things that are always present will move up and down as the other things come and go. For everyone with the header as a header the only variability is the things that come and go at the bottom. Putting the header at the bottom of viewports in the first place and actually calling it “header” was one of the worst UI decisions in history. Allowing people in 2.80 to still put it at the bottom is also bad in my opinion. If they’re not going to properly address UI problems for people using footer menus they shouldn’t have let the header be made a footer in the new UI.

But you only have to do it once though. Once you open one of those, all other will appear in the open state. I would prefer having a dedicated panel I could dock somewhere like in 2.79.

not at professionals/skilled hobbyists who want to get shit done

Blender 2.7x was ragged on by “professionals” forever and “hobbyists” chose something other than Blender 2.7x in great numbers but that seems to have changed quite a lot since the new UI.

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Personally, I have been trying to get used to Blender 2.8 for about 4 months now and slowly getting used to it. Perhaps now about 70% comfortable using it, while for instance in 2.7 I am 200% comfortable.

But the real problem here is to re-adjust the muscle memory, which is only a matter of habit. :slight_smile:

Yeah it was sarcasm.

I don’t know anyone who models with an HDRI. More importantly though, the change is objectively worse with no benefit, so why change it? Having the option to do it another way doesn’t justify the change.

I realize I said they are gone so my mistake, but I meant gone from the ‘W’ menu. I added them to my quick favorites but tell me this: Why not let us add them to the W menu? Or let us totally customize W? My fingers naturally sit on WASD since I use it so frequently for camera movement, so you want to have as many shortcuts around there as possible. It was easier to press W then click it, but now I have to alt-n which is slower.

Yeah I hate having super high values on the AO despite it being the most visible.

A developer said of EEVEE, and I quote: ““functionally will completely replace it”. This was a lie and we have lost functions. Blender Internal could bake, EEVEE can’t, and Cycles, being a ray-tracer, gives very different and much slower results.

I cannot stress strongly enough how much worse this is for game development. I would often bake in Blender, edge maps, crevice maps, sometimes simple lighting for certain types of games. The thing is that with Cycles you get super noisy results, and you can’t even use the de-noiser on bakes. Stuff like this is so frustrating. Some people bake lighting for rendering an animation - how useful would de-noising be for them?

If I thought other software had a better UI then I’d use that.

I get your point here with regards to the extra items appearing below and increasing size on a footer but not header, but the reality is this wasn’t an issue in 2.79 - footers worked fine because they didn’t cram it all into one menu so they could have a bunch of empty space.

Also, I forgot some stuff which really bugs me. The collection system - the box with all the dots made is so easy to see what layer(s) I’m on. I like having more layers but that ui element will be missed.

The other big thing is that left click and drag acts as box select using right click to select. I use the 3d cursor a lot and I’ll move the mouse to where I want it and click - if I have even the slightest bit of mouse movement it’ll do a tiny box select and just deselect everything instead of moving the 3d cursor. Again it’s just Blender 2.8 making everything more difficult it any way it can.

There is an addon that brings back something like that.

I was a big fan of the many youtube intro templates made in Blender a few years back. Almost all of them required blender internal at least a little (often a lot). I assume a lot of people in that scene are just as angry. Blender devs should consider porting the most needed functions of blender internal to a plugin system like how cycles is so people who still need it can get back at least some of it in 2.80

To answer this, there are a few things to consider. The main question to ask is “what is the content of that work file and what do you need from it?” If it is a fluid sim or it involves a noise or wave texture, you will certainly have issues.
See: https://www.blender.org/download/releases/2-82/#compatibility

Next, as @thinsoldier said, appending or linking from the file may bring you varying levels of success - depending on whether any 2.8x specific features are used. If you need to know how to do that in 2.79, here’s the applicable manual page: https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/2.79/data_system/linked_libraries.html#append-and-link

The last course of action would be to have your colleague export the file to a format 2.79 is capable of importing, but you then run the risk of some major drawbacks. Some export formats don’t support all the features of a .blend file. Some “bake” data in irreversible ways that won’t be able to be edited once you save it back. See some of the recommendations on the formats available for import here: https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/2.79/data_system/files/import_export.html#importing-exporting-files

Let me know if you have any questions!

You can expand the toolbar by dragging.

Screenshot from 2020-05-23 10-48-45

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You can select everything in 2.8, copy with ctrl+C and paste ctrl+v in 2.79.
Not a fan of 2.8+ too.

Can I expand it and have just the text names and not the icons? If I have the text the icons are unnecessary.

Has this been 100% successful for you? I’ve been doing this too and everything seems to be working perfectly except that lines don’t turn orange when selected (or when the lines vertices/face are selected). Haven’t noticed any actual consequence of this beyond the visual error though.

Forgot to mention in the early days of 2.80 I saw a video where the user had blender setup like this so they could more easily see which layer/collection they were on:

But i don’t see the need for it since we also have this thing in the 3d viewports that tells you which collection is active:


I’ve spent much of the afternoon doing this. I see many many complaints from people unaware that there is an option to use the 2.79 keys in 2.80. Lots of complains about the transform widget becoming a tool instead of being a toggleable overlay - something the devs listened to and added an option for. Lots of people unaware that you can set custom keys. Lots of people who hate the radial menus but refuse to actually try them. People who see radial menus as a source of instability in Maya and assume they will cause more crashes and visual ui glitches … without having actually tried them in Blender before complaining. Someone complaining that they will never be able to use the radial menus quickly because they’ll never remember the positions of the options, then in the same conversation insulting a 10+ year Blender user who said they still have not memorized any 2.79 shorcuts that involved 3 or 4 keys simultaneously. Lots of people saying “well if you’re going to change ABC anyway you should change it to my personal preferance of LMNøP instad of XYZ because I feel very strongly about my personal preference and the devs are STUPID”. Lots of people unaware that the ~ key can be used to switch views ( There is a real problem that lots of international keyboard layouts do not have this key ). Lots of people claiming certain things don’t work at all only to have every comment tell them it works fine and nothing about it has actually changed. LOTS of people totally unaware that they can choose good old right-click-select. There are even people losing their shit over the recent switch from alt+m to just m, lol. Show me a post from someone who actually tried using 2.80+ thoroughly before making a calm and thoughtful post.


Oh look, he’s a professional as well, or at least he claims to be. (I am aware some of his complaints have been addressed). One extremely common complaint I see that you brushed over is the monochrome UI lacking color. Not something I like either.

I think my own post was pretty decent though - perhaps not too well thought out, I put it together in a bit of a rush. I mean hell, you clearly like/prefer 2.8 but even you agreed with at least a few of my complaints.

Let’s not forget the first thing I quoted from you, and ultimately what caused me to make such a long post:

I think at this point it’s pretty clear there are. Maybe you think it’s better ‘overall’, and fine, to each there own.

Maybe you could just get used to 2.8. It really wasn’t that hard for me. It really is in many senses better. It is a little confusing knowing that the entire UI was revamped, but honestly, I bet it was for the better. You should look at Andrew Price’s tutorial on where everything is in 2.8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtUQNMV50Hc

That’s one of the first ones I read. Throughout the years long conversation was a lot of people having knee jerk reactions that fit in what what I described.

Do we really consider 2.79 to be colourful? Do we really want our dcc apps to be colourful? Do we not use dark/monochromatic apps other than Blender all day every day (krita, photoshop, zbrush, 3dsmax, after effects, premiere, lightroom, etc…) There are brighter coloured themes you can switch to or customize.

Because 2.8 is more likeable. I don’t hate 2.79. There are many things from 2.80+ I miss when I have to open 2.79 but I’m not very stubborn and dogmatic. If there’s something better in 2.79 or if there’s a real problem in 2.80 I can objectively look at the complaint and agree. But the vast majority of complaint posts make blanket statements with very few details and then claim “Blender is moving in the wrong direction”.

there’s no significant negative differences between the two

I could name several hundred significant negative differences between Blender 2.79 and Maya or even Modo v3… until I found a tutorial that really clicked with me and I spent some more time with Blender. Now I honestly could not tell you a single thing, forget negative or positive, I mean I could not tell you a single THING about Maya right now because my brain dumped all knowledge of that shit like a bad burrito. I only used 2.79 long enough to complete the donut tutorial, to teach someone else to complete the donut tutorial, and to make a few crappy renders of scenes and characters ripped from old video games. From summer 2018 to today 90% of my Blender time has been in 2.80 but when I do need to open 2.79 I still remember pretty much everything I had learned. I cannot say the same for those few times I accidentally clicked the maya or zbrush icon, lol.

I do think 2.80 is better overall but I also do not think 2.79 is that much worse (while fully understanding how someone who has never seen blender can initially think it is the single worst user interface ever conceived) and therefore I can’t really see your point of view of 2.80 being so much worse than 2.79. I strongly prefer 2.79 and 2.80 over maya and eevee has nothing to do with it. eevee doesn’t make up for anything on a mac with weak gfx just like arnold doesn’t make up for maya crashing every time I rename a light object. /rant

I truly do hope that some die hard 2.79 fans can put some money together and keep the 2.79 version going for at least a few more years. There are a lot of people out there who’d like to get into 3d but it will be a few more years before they can get hardware that works as good with 2.80 as it does with 2.79. I recently converted a few max and modo users who were using very old macbooks. One can only use 2.79 and the other one tends to have both 2.79 and 2.80 open simultaneously.

There has been some movement in this area for 2.90. Many checkboxes have been made left aligned but not anything else. Some things are slightly less “space-wasting”: https://wiki.blender.org/wiki/Reference/Release_Notes/2.90/User_Interface. No improvement on unnecessary nesting/grey-shading of sub-sections though.

Right, but that’s not what you said is it? You said there are no significant negative differences between 2.79 and 2.8, and we’ve established there are.

I think it’s a bit much to expect people to post significant well thought out in depth posts about what they dislike. Partly because it’s largely a waste of time, very few people will read it, but also because it’s just so many small things. I mean look at my post, took me a while and I could have gone on for quite a bit longer. The Blender Internal is a big thing, but when it comes to the UI it’s all these tiny details. Many people simply see a complete overhaul no benefit, so what was the point? For example, the snapping menu screenshots I posted and all the other buttons down there. Menu pop-ups larger, buttons further apart, and more crammed into them resulting in more mouse movement. It’s little stuff like that. Combine it with every other small detail and people just make it clear they don’t like it. It’s change for the sake of change.

No I don’t think it needs to be colorful. Used carefully and sparingly (like 2.79 - no, I don’t consider it to be colorful) color can draw your attention to certain things and helps distinguish between things. That aside, I just find having some color easier on the eye. The monochrome styling in 2.8 is just that - it’s a style and nothing more. Perhaps this is more of a personal preference than anything else we’ve discussed, to my eye the new style is not as comfortable (for lack of a better word) to use.