Think I'll Stay With 2.79b Unless I Find A Way to Understand the 2.8 Changes in Interface

I’ve played around with Blender over the past 8 years when time permits using a few books as a guide. Started with Blender for Dummies (2005) about 8 years ago using Blender version 2.48a that was on a disc included with the book. After a short couple years time using this older interface version the 2.6 versions started with an updated interface. Being a beginner the transition was frustrating since I had never really done much with the 2.48a version except learn some very basics. I have used the 2.6 and 2.7 versions again with two more books: (1) Blender for Dummies (3rd Edition) and Blender Foundations “The Essential Guide to Learning Blender 2.6” (have purchased all three books in local retail stores).
I have spent many years practicing modeling, surfacing, texture, lighting, sculpting and other areas with very slow progress. I have figured out a lot of features in Blender through practice trial and error sometimes spending many hours figuring out some isolated effect on a finished render. My interest is more in line with still renders using Blender since I am more into graphic arts painting and drawing. Have many files of finished objects rendered over the years of practice, almost all are of no high degree of quality. Have read over the animation parts yet only tried motion with some simple objects, no human figures. I have come to like the last 2.7 series version since years of practice have lead to some use of this program. Recently 2.8 beta came out and I figured on looking into this version to discover some really big changes. I have tried to relate past learning experience from the 2.6 and 2.7 series to this latest 2.8 (recently tried the stable release).
I am beginning to believe that I am too slow in learning for this program or simply not cut out for this type of graphic arts program. The 2.8 version has me totally confused and unable to do anything, Everything learned and practiced in previous versions does not work anymore. Maybe in the future some new edition of books will be available to guide you through another learning process (notice on Amazon that a new release of Blender for Dummies is scheduled for release in December)? For me personally this is really frustrating, it’s like taking two steps backward for every step forward. I was hoping that after years of practice with the 2.6 and 2.7 versions there would be a time in the near future where I would feel comfortable moving forward on to animation, rigging, armatures, compositing and editing.
With version 2.8 I feel like it’s back to the starting line, have to even re-learn a lot of keystroke commands for navigation along with everything else. Why such drastic changes in the interface and redesign of the program? This program takes a lot of time to learn and practice let alone changing everything, leaving a person in a position of having to start all over again. Why not continue to make improvements to the interface with 2.6 and 2.7 as one option, and then if there is a good reason to change the interface radically simply start a new program with a different name for people that would prefer that interface due to similarities to other proprietary graphic arts animation programs. You could simply add: “Brought to you by the Blender Foundation” for an overwhelming new and totally different interface.

I do not have any idea what may happen with this 2.8 series in the future yet for me I will stay with the 2.79b version since I do not understand how anything works in this 2.8 version.


Hi, it need only a week to get familiar with the new interface, watch some tutorials and get used to the new shortcuts.
I still have to search sometimes but if I open 2.79 I will never go back. Check 2.49c to get the same feeling I have now.

Cheers, mib


i have skipped all blender versions between 2.49b and 2.67b. (even for professional jobs)
so, why not taking time till 2.85, when everything works fine and many 2.8x tutorials are on youtube.

But i really prefer the new 2.80 interface

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They did in fact simply add new improvements to the old interface. Although they did change a lot of things to bring blender more in line with how the industry standard apps work, the new interface works more like the old series. It’s possibly just the more striking changes that have confused you (LMB-select as default, new layers system [collections], tabs for layouts [workspaces], new active tool system, new render engine).

Once you get to learn how those new things work, everything should just click with you again because most of the other things weren’t changed.

The blender foundation has a new free tutorial series on 2.8 that explains how all these things work. I recommend taking a quick look at a few of the ones related to the changes:

I don’t know what you mean by this. You still use the number pad to switch to front view, top view, view active, etc… They only changed the recenter view around cursor shortcut from alt + f to alt + Middle Mouse Button in 2.8. If you are having too much trouble with the new keymap, you can go into the settings and change the keymap back to 2.7x shortcuts.

2 Likes Hold your cursor over the course and click view more. Chocofur has intro courses on 2.8 as well. Cheers

It’s like anything else: You have to use Blender every day to get more familiar with it. By sticking with 2.79, you’re missing out on many new features that are being implemented, and soon you’ll be left behind when new tutorials come out.

The modeling portion of Blender is pretty much the same except for a few keystroke changes. Assign tools you use frequently to the new shortcut feature – it will save you lots of time. If you can’t find something, look it up – Blender has a built-in search tool. If you still can’t get how something works, these forums have wonderful folks who are very helpful.

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If you can succeed to enable 2.7x keymap configuration, you should not feel as is.
New workspaces and active tools are disturbing, but you are not forced to use them.

What you have learned about modeling tools and Cycles render engine under 2.6 and 2.7 is still valid.
3D Viewport changed a lot. Collections instead of layers and group requires adaptation.
But understanding them is basically only effort you have to endure, to be able to work in 2.80 as in 2.79.

EEVEE and Grease Pencil are new impressive features. If you were using Blender Internal and never tested Cycles, I can understand that getting used to EEVEE will require an effort.
But EEVEE is new stuff for everybody. The whole community is experiencing this learning process.
You are not alone.
EEVEE is supposed to be less complicated to use than Blender Internal.
And you are no more discovering for the first time, what a render engine is.
You should get used to it a lot faster than you get used to Blender Internal.

Those drastic changes are made to specifically make the program simpler to learn and practice.
With those changes, you and new users are supposed to accomplish same illustration in a shorter time.

That would simply correspond to more that twice amount of work.
Blender Foundation have funds to maintain and develop only one software like Blender.

They made their maximum to accompany 2.79 users.
They created a 2.7 branch of development to merge maximum of new features into a 2.79 interface before 2.80 release.
But they will not continue that eternally.

They are currently continuing to update 2.80 manual. Community will deliver more and more tutorials with new interface. And maybe, one day, you will reconsider your ability to switch to 2.8.
But if you want to stay with 2.79, that’s fine. Blender is free software. And you are free to use release you want to use.


I fully understand the concern of the 2.8 interface. The left/right click does require a bit of adjustment. But luckily the Spacebar with config as “Search” solves all my concerns. If I dont’ recall where something is, just search :slight_smile:

But like with migration from 2.49 to 2.5 and it’s interfance redesign along with key mappings, it will take time but it is duable.

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I might be wrong but to me it seems that you are trying to learn every aspect of the program. Which would be a lot to take in even if you do have much time. Why not focusing on specific parts? Do you have a goal in mind that you want to achieve?

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What might be helpful to you is to look at it as a goal of what features you want to use. And work it back from there. Eevee for instance.

It can be overwhelming. But if you don’t have a goal and incentive, it can seem pointless to do the work.

So my suggestion would be to look over the new features again and see what interests you most. And work towards that.

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I am struggling a bit with the new 2.80 interface and the other changes that were implemented and personally I think it’s because I was a bit too cavalier about diving into 2.80.

I think you should just get stuck in there and accept the fact that the road ahead will be a bit bumpy but if you can master 2.79b then you can master 2.80, it will just take some time.


When it comes to using textures for surfacing I am totally lost. I figured out how to use earlier Blender versions of texture surfacing and get them on the surface of an object. With this new 2.8 version I have tried different trial and error approaches to figuring how to use this feature yet nothing is being discovered as a change replacement to continue using this procedure. Same problem with backgrounds, texture such as clouds and setting a sky or background blend were possible in earlier versions. Adjusting the settings for paper sky, blend sky, horizon colors, and zenith colors worked well to adjust a solid or gradient background with a texture addition. With 2.8 cannot figure out how to make these features work. The only thing I was able to find is how to set a single solid color for the background, anything else involving texturing or gradient adjustment of this solid color are a mystery if still available yet changed.

You have some interesting replies here, thanks for the time and consideration.

Yes, perhaps changing the name of the program would result in twice amount of work.

My perspective is that any graphic arts program that I have tried has the same basic end goal to produce some image in a native format along with other alternatives. What makes the programs different is the way you go about reaching that same end result. Almost every program does make improvements, yet that seems to involve some kind of add on to the basic fundamentals of the interface. Changing the basic interface in my opinion is creating a new program. Two really big adjustments from the 2.7 series to the 2.8 involve simple things like highlighting a vertice/edge/face changing from right mouse click to left mouse click. After years of the habit doing it with right mouse click I am getting memory lapses adjusting to this new change. Again the Ctrl + Middle Mouse and Shift + Middle Mouse were used for moving objects horizontally or vertically. After banging around with different key stroke and mouse combinations I did finally stumble across the change here, Ctrl+ (Numeric Pad Left and Right Arrow) and Ctrl (Numeric Pad Up and Down Arrow). Changes of this type are something you only see when changing from one program to another in other graphic arts software.

I really have no right to complain this is a free software program. I would like to consider this a suggestion. I am personally grateful to the people working on this program and providing a relatively poor person like myself a program like this that would cost over $1000 for a commercial version.

My goal with this program is nothing involving high expectations, my age would be a likely limitation for anything involving a demanding career with this type of graphic arts endeavor. I like creating still renders to export into other programs for digital painting. I would also like to create some simple animations to use on my web site art gallery of created works.
I am an older person in his mid 60’s and find Blender a good challenging mental exercise to help prevent dementia and/or Alzheimer’s. Health recommendations found in public media suggest that a challenging computer program are a good way to provide mental exercise against such disease.

Anyway thanks to all for your time and consideration responding in this forum thread.

Oh, one final thought, what happened to the hemi light in 2.8? I liked that one for very light settings.

couple things that might help:

in the preferences, keymap section you can opt to keep the right click of previous blender versions, thats what i’ve been doing :slight_smile:

i also see from your previous post that there’s some frustration with object and world texturing. it sounds like you’ve been sticking blender internal renderer for your rendering up to this point.

blender has been slowly building up a powerful node based material system with cycles (and now eevee) over the past decade.

it can be intimidating to start, but i’d really say its worth it to take some time to learn (it actually starts feeling much easier, intuitive and flexible once you’re used to it!) and since its actually been around for a while, you can probably find some 2.6 or 2.7 tutorials to ease yourself in.

but if possible familiarize yourself with “principled” shaders, which are a bit more of a recent addition and a nice compromise with the older style of material systems (where you just plug in textures for the various material properties rather than building a complicated network of nodes)

especially if you’re in this for some good mental exercise, i think nodes are great - they have a certain “physical” quality that feels more like building blocks.

anyway, all the best of luck!

They just changed the material setup to a node based one like what you get when you press the use nodes checkbox in the old default render engine (blender internal). First select the object, open the shader editor (node editor in 2.79), then click Add menu > Texture > Image Texture to add a texture node (pressing shift + a opens the same menu under your mouse):

Next set the node to the texture you want. Clicking new creates a blank texture that has to be painted in either the image editor or 3d view:

Finally, click and drag the yellow dot on the right side of the image node to the yellow dot labeled base color on the left side of the principled bsdf node. This tells the shader to use the texture you just set for that attribute:

This node based shader system is more flexible than the old one. You can even recreate any layer based compositing setup with it (including photoshop style compositing). I posted some examples of how to do this in other, older topics. I recommend taking a look at them since I like to be thorough when I talk about this sort of thing:

Yes, they have made a lot of changes, but the bulk of the program is the same. I think the main thing that has you confused is the new default render engine. They had to delete the old one because the codebase for it was a mess (written in the mid 90s). Eevee, the new default engine, uses more modern concepts for building materials which aren’t compatible with how the old engine worked.

You have me really confused with these statements. In both 2.80 and 2.79 Ctrl + MMB zooms into your object and Shift + MMB moves to the left or right of it. They have only changed a couple of things concerning navigation in 2.8 (alt + F was changed to alt +MMB and shift + F was changed to shift + ~). I think you picked one of the alternate keymaps for 2.8. Make sure you are either using the default keymap, or the 2.79 keymap. Edit menu > Preferences > Keymap button:

While true, it’s important to note that it’s still possible not to use nodes, as Blender shows a simplified version of them in your material tab. For linear (non-branching) stuff, it’s possible (and feasible) to do everything in there.
If you add a new material in 2.8, it will have the Principled BSDF shader selected by default, which allows you to tweak almost all settings you might need, as well as adding textures to each.

I bring this up not to contradict Zanzio, but to put those who hate/fear nodes at ease: it’s still very much possible to create materials without dealing with nodes.


Think I’ll Stay With 2.79b

k ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Jokes aside, I’m sorry you’re having a rough time transitioning to Blender 2.8. I am still learning. Talent / Skill takes unrelenting persistence, so, please do not give up. Instead of trying to buy books to learn Blender, search google, watch others build things in Blender on youtube, and get in, and build something yourself, even if it’s just something really abstract and meaningless. There’s an unending amount of free content available out there to help you learn. And the most important thing, is that in any industry, you must evolve or perish… and Blender is very much leaning towards Industry use now, what with mega $million donations… so blender development is only going to speed up going forward. So, once you can accept that, and try to embrace it, you will be in a better position to learn Blender. Being an old dog that can’t learn new tricks is absolutely not the right mindset to be in (if we’re speaking honestly and frankly). Not to sound too cheesy, but your greatest enemy is yourself, so you must know when you have the right attitude or the wrong attitude.

From what I have experienced with 2.8 you will never go back if you try to save a file in the native blender format and attempt to reopen in 2.79. From everything I’ve tried files created with .blend native format will not open in any earlier version if created with 2.8. Of course I could be missing some add-on feature or work around for this problem?

I’ve created 100’s of simple objects with the 2.6 and 2.7 series. Some of these files will not open in 2.8.
Maybe if I experiment with reopening a 2.6 or 2.7 version that some of these files were created with and then export them into an alternative format they will re-open in 2.8?

Thanks for these tips. I do not believe I changed anything in the keymaps since the default settings are being used if that is what you get automatically when you first open up the program after download?

I did find what you showed me here and will try adjusting these settings. This program has a lot of stuff in it, I have always used the default settings except for a few adjustments in the add-ons.

I did double check something here and verify that the default setting after downloading the program does have this change.
You need to use the Ctril + (numeric arrow left or right) to navigate horizontally or vertically with any object you highlight in Object or Edit mode. If I attempt to use the key key mouse combination in previous versions of Shift + Middle Mouse Key or Ctrl + Middle Mouse Key in 2.8 nothing happens.

I have tried this on my home computer and at a library computer terminal running Blender from a USB thumb drive. I would conclude that if this same thing occurs they have changed the default way of accomplishing this type of object movement in the program. I will rule out that something on a computer I am using has a flaw that is causing the problem.