My First Impressions

Hello everyone! I came here to say how awesome Blender is, but then i read the sticky about not being a fanboy, so I guess I’ll have to make this more of a critique. I think I’d just like to talk about some of the smaller things I noticed and really liked about using blender for the first time. Most of these are things that might be taken for granted by more experienced users.

Just as a disclaimer, this is the first real 3D software I’ve used, coming from a background in After Effects, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and other similar editing programs.

So here’s a list of the things I really liked:

-Splitting menus is easy and makes sense.
-You can use math inside value boxes.
-Saving a “Startup File”.
-Opening Blender is very fast.
-No need to focus interface for hotkey context.
-Tapping “Alt” does not focus the menu bar.
-Middle mouse pan and rotate.
-Copy paste values without clicking on them

And to balance it out, here’s a couple things I found frustrating:

-LMB and RMB seem to be reversed by default.
-Very intimidating to learn (so many hotkeys).

Overall I’m very impressed with how functional the interface is. I know they aren’t the same type of programs, but by comparison, something like Premiere Pro feels slow and inefficient. I’d like to end this post with a question towards people who are more experienced with this software than myself: How does Blender hold up as a replacement for other parts (besides 3D modeling) of your workflow, as a compositor, or editor versus dedicated programs like After Effects/photoshop/or Premiere Pro? I ask this after discovering the video sequence editor, and compositing windows.

Thanks for reading. I’m really excited to learn more! By the way, would anyone like to see my first render?

Hello Emloa and welcome to blender !

It’s great to see people coming to blender and enjoy it ! As you said it’s intimidating to learn, but that’s more related to 3D in general, it takes time to learn all the concepts, and 3D softwares aren’t that intuitive as Premiere or AE for beginners.
About the LMB/RMB, it’s a big subject of debate as it’s a very unconventional UI choice, but I think that it makes sense in blender . I suggest you to keep it as default and try to get used to it. At least it’s how blender is supposed to work.

Regarding to other parts of Blender : compositor , sequencer ect… they can’t fully replace dedicated applications, but lets say you need to add a bit of compositing to a 3D render, then the compositor is perfectly fine. It’s generally faster to do everything in blender without having to export all the passes.
The main limitations are quite obvious , the compositor lacks some cache/preview, so it’s hard to tweak effects animated in time, it also doesn’t have manipulators to transform some footages with the mouse in the viewer. That’s generally not a big deal , but sometime it get’s a bit annoying. You can look at Natron if you need an open source software more dedicated to compositing. Except these things, it as nearly all the tools that you need for compositing and CG integration into some video footages.

And for the sequencer, I found it work well to edit some short 3D animations or do some color grading, but it’s not really suited for true video editing.
In the other hand it as some great and unconventional features. It won’t be a replacement of AE or Premiere, but it’s worth to take a look at it.

These are great as helper tools, but if your project relies more on compositing/editing than 3D you’d better look for a more dedicated application.


World of Warcraft uses rmb select last I checked…and I do not recall anyone there complaining :slight_smile:

In all seriousness I would not mind changing to lmb select if it was 100% swapped out across all of blender, the problem at this point is that some things still do not work correctly with lmb select enabled…so as stated, you are better off with rmb(default) left active.

and welcome to the Blenderverse.

I don’t find any of that situation where change the mouse click somethings don’t work properly.

Yeah, I’ve seen this kind of crossover with other programs before. I really wasn’t expecting a 3D program to even be able to touch anything that wasn’t directly dealing with 3D models, so I’m impressed to say the least. I’ll definetly be messing around with all these tools in Blender - it’s always a good idea to have more than one way of doing something, like video editing.

I had no idea Natron was a thing, and I’ll be looking into that. I’ve wondered for a while in the back of my mind if there is an alternative to Adobe products like AE.

Hey this makes me think, and I’m sure I’m not the first one to consider this, but… I wonder if it’s possible to create an open source workflow with the same level of quality that Blender has. I know there are programs like Gimp as a Photoshop alternative, or this Natron as a compositer in place of AE, but what if there was an open source suite in the same way that Adobe has their “Creative Suite”. You know, standardization across programs, and inter compatibility, and that kind of thing. Honestly though, it seems like blender does a pretty good job of filling some of these roles already.

I switched from using After Effects to using the Blender Compositor a while ago and never looked back. But I don´t do a lot of compositing as I earn my money with 3D and not with compositing. However, for me it is more than enough. The lack of cache can be limiting, so if you have large compositing projects it might not be the right choice.

What you should check out, though is the motion tracking feature which is really, really good and easy to use.

me neither.


The blender compositor has gotten very good. Very good range of capabilities

Me too! I did find that the right click/middle click stuff was hard coded though so I swapped them in my tablet software.

Right click select makes little sense for a mouse but no sense for a pen tablet. Pressing the pen nib down to select things feels way more natural.

Oooh yes, I’ve heard good things about this and I’m very interested in 3D camera tracking. Something I’ve been really into with After Effects is is all the 2d camera tracking stuff like corner pin and mochaAE. It’s a whole lot of fun compositing things into a scene and having them stick there as if they were actually in the seen - a little bit of basic compositing and bam, you’ve got yourself a stop sign that says “Go”.

This is actually the major reason I looked into 3D software in the first place. AE is great, but it has very limited 3D capabilities without something like Element 3D; and from what I hear, even that is limited when compared to a full 3D program like Blender or Maya.