Why ?

Hi Guys,

I think Blender is a cool app. and that It has a lot of potential. But I wonder …


  1. does it not have a collection of simple easy to use primitives like (2D) Rectangle, n-sided 2d shape, Helix, Text, … (3D) Torus, Chanfered Cyl/Box, …

  2. does it always create objects parallel to the current view, unlike making it parallel to a plane of construction like XY plane, which would makes it so predictable.

  3. does it not have simpler working interface like… for eg. 3dsmax has.

  4. why does it not have parametric objects with parameters like length, width, height, length segments…

  5. does it not refer to rules of Usability ( very important) while designing its UI. things like affordance, hierarchy of layout, consistency, etc…

As much as I want to learn this software, its interface is driving me crazy.

I would like to have a clear guide to all aspects of its use. I have been thru the video tutorial for this apps available on the net.

hope somebody helps me on this…

Ps.: please let us not start a flame war on blender and other main stream apps.

what i intend is to post & share productive tips and tricks that will make this software more usable. and hope that the creators of this app will take notice.

Welcome to Blender and Blender Artists,

  • 2d Rectangle = Mesh-Plane

  • Helix (don’t know … but someone here more experinced with modelling can probably tell you how to quickly create the same effect (possibly the “spin” or “screw” modelling tools ?)

  • Text - is under the Add Text menu …

  • Torus - Nurbs Donut

  • Cyl = Add Mesh-Cylinder

  • Box = Add Mesh-Cube

If you want an XY plane, switch to the front view. Since you’ve already noticed that it creates the object parallel to the view, how is it not predictable ?

Oh boy, you’re setting yourself up on that question … no comment

Select an object, open the Object/Properties dialog

Frankly I’ve never heard of those terms, I just use the software :slight_smile:

The interface is different. That’s a fact. So is Houdini’s, if you want a “weird” interface check that out… or Poser … or Modo … or …Zbrush or …or After Effects with it’s million little icons or …

If you want it to work just like Max, it isn’t going to sorry, it is what is. … but it’s literally changing every day.

There have been many “user interface” threads here.

You’re not going to be able use ANY complex digital-arts package without reading the manual … at least not getting too far past the basics.

Where exactly is it driving you crazy? … Ok RMB to select (you can change that to LMB in the preferences, but it will affect other ops like how you zoom and move the view for instance

If you have more specific questions ask away. Most of us are happy to help new users

But frankly you’re off to a poor start with you’re rather “whiney” … "why doesn’t it … … do … .this … this … this

Sounds like you’re in a big hurry to change the software before you even learn the basics. It’s plenty “useable” at the moment, though it can always be improved.


Hehe, I was hoping you would reply before me but I have to add my usual refrain:

If all apps stuck to ‘convention’ we’d still be using cmd or dos. Blender was a concious step away from the 2D (windows, heirarchical popup boxes) layout you refer to and tried to address the 3D paradigm thru the UI, so it’s different. It takes a while to get your head around but eventually you’ll get it and you’ll see how much faster it really is.


For me, blender made a lot more sense once I learned to split the single front-on view into four windows, with top, front, side and camera angles (going anticlockwise from top left respectively). The ability to split / define views had completely slipped by me until I read a tutorial somewhere that required it and said how. Go to the edge of a view/window so that your mouse pointer changes tp push’n’drag resize arrows. Right click at this point. You should see it ask whether you want to split the view. make four views and get the “traditional” viewpoints in them. This will lessen your need to zoom around all the time triung to get new shapes to “face” the right way when created.

Blender does have the base mesh shapes, but effective modelling is not done in trying to stick them together. It’s a better approach to use extrude etc to create a new mesh that really is the shape of what you want. This was kind of a mistake I made when first using Blender.

You should slow down and actually learn to use the application before getting upset about it not being like [insert your favorite 3D app here]. Read the response given by Mike_S carefully. You’ll find that Blender does everything you said that it doesn’t do, you just need to learn how. It’s easy…it’s just not click-and-go. Neither is any other serious 3D app.

I have some tutorials geared towards beginners and, there are many other sites as well.

Good Luck.

Welcome to Blender and blenderartists and if you don’t want to start a flame war, I’d suggest asking questions before offering advice about how to improve a program you apparently haven’t much tried yet :wink:

I’ve been using Blender for almost 18 months. It’s the only 3D app I’ve ever used. On the other hand, I’ve worked with 2D graphics apps, almost daily, for around 16 years yet these days I find myself trying to apply Blender’s shortcut keys to Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Clearly there’s something powerful about this “little” freebie - though I haven’t bothered to assess it in terms of GUI “law”.

What I will fairly safely assume too, is that if I were to convince my bank manager to give me a loan so I could buy 3DS or Maya, I would struggle to learn them and wonder why on Earth they don’t work like Blender. Should I therefore slam the coders of those apps for not delivering a sensible, functional GUI?

I addition to Mike’s notes, there’s nothing stopping you saving your own library of favourite primitives and appending them as you need. Or even saving one of each on layer 20 of your default scene so they are there in every new file you create.

As Mike said though, Blender isn’t perfect and some things could be done differently and better. Luckily, each and every one of us can request such changes and if no one bothers to code them we can learn to code and do it ourselves. Changes are happening constantly with significant cvs updates occurring at least monthly and new releases two to three times a year - and the upgrades don’t cost you a cent.

General comments on Blender

I worked on 2D app. for a long time - where you need to do top - side front view and sometimes isometric representation but those are not in a 3D world only 2 Dimensions world - This is how the world has evolved- Because it is only since the begining of the 80’s that PC’s are available in home and small commercial business at reasonnable price ect…

He has the same feeling that i had when i began about 1.5 year ago?

The learning curve of Blender is a difficult one no doubt about it

The 3D world is not easy to describe in any program
But it would defintively not hurth to have more primitives available in Blender.

Blender is very powerfull
But it is not user friendly yet - may be one day who knows !

So old your horse and take the time to learn the 3D world and how Blender represent this world.
after a while you will begin to get the feeling of it and where to find and do things faster.
So Praticee - Practice - Pratice - its the only way to learn

Tanks & Salutations

hey buddies…

I thank u all for ur feedback…

I admit that my prejudice & experience in use of ease with another app must have biased my approach to a new software like blender.

I shall try my best to understand the nuances of this wonderful piece of code before commenting and hope that certain usability concerns would be addressed in near future.

Special thanks to everybody who contributed responded to this query.

With due respects to all my fellow artists, still some uncertainties…
I have been biased to think of a rectangle as a spline curve and hence find it difficult to visualise it in form of a Mesh-Plane.


things like, if a nurbs donut could stand for torus… I wonder what about mesh modeling… maybe i do not wish to use nurbs… just thinking about flexibility.
Thanks for giving me a new way of looking at this app.


Add -> Curve -> Bezier Circle
Press V
Rotate 45 degrees (press R 45 <enter> for quickest result)

There you have your spline based rectangle :slight_smile:

It’s quite flexible… add your nurbs torus, set your desired resolution in the edit buttons (F9), then press Alt-C -> Convert to mesh.
One drawback I noticed is that the so converted torus doesn’t have an even distribution of segments (i.e. faces are different sizes). You can however just as quickly create a torus from a mesh circle using the SPIN function. (well, maybe not -that- quickly… :wink:

I admit, though, that premade menu selections for this kind of stuff wouldn’t hurt, and true parametric objects would be neat.

Donut and torus

for maximum flexibiiity for Torus of all kind
try the Bourque Script


Download the script and try it - you will like the flexibilite and how easy to create all king of torus shapes.


Hi there and welcome to the blender community! :smiley:

We are used to people not getting the hang of the UI at first. But trust us, it’s extremely versatile once you learn how to use it. You’re able to arrange all windows the way you want them and any window can be any window type (UV editor, 3D view, buttons window…) and you can change most details of the interface in the user preferences window (you have to enlarge it to see the options).
Blender originally being an in-house product, makes it lack user friendliness indeed. It was never intended for a broad audience, but we have many people (some as young as 14!) on these forums who are quite capable with Blender (just check the Gallery :))
I have a map for all hotkeys in object mode and edit mode for your ease (those are urls, yes the new forum design is sucky in some places…)
I admit, you just gotta love Blender, but to many it’s the only legal opportunity they’ll ever have at 3D. Not to mention many nice things have been made with Blender (one of them being Elephants Dream. Yes, that’s another url).

We hope you’ll overcome the initial difficulties with Blender. The first steps are the toughest.

Keep on Blendin! :wink:



Number 3: The reason you probably don’t think Blender has a simple user interface is because it’s mainly hotkey based. If you’ve seen one of @ndy’s modelling tuts, you will see that for most of the time his cursor is in 3d view

hey charles,
thanks a ton for the shortcuts sheets. it will immensely help me understand this app.

And i don’t think other 3D apps have anything like Suzzane! :stuck_out_tongue: But seriously, these are all very good points.

Welcome to the forums, and best of luck learning this software, will.smith.75 (THE Will Smith?!?!?!)