Digital Knowledge Center
Supporting UMW students with technology and digital projects
Blender is a powerful 3D graphic design tool that can be used for multiple types of projects including animation, 3D modeling, rendering, video editing and effects, game creation, and more. It is free to download and has numerous editing options.
It is extremely helpful to have a mouse when using Blender, because it is not designed to work on a trackpad. It is possible to simply use a trackpad, but it is much more doable with a mouse. It will also be helpful if you have a keyboard with a number pad on it, but it is not required; if necessary, you can adjust your settings in Blender to make your number keys act as a number pad.
It may be useful to have a list of Blender hotkeys (commands used by pressing different keys on the keyboard) easily accessible while you’re working.
Blender supports almost any image, video, or 3D file format.
Blender has some steps to take before this 3D design software is accessible to all. Most functions on the application require both mouse and keyboard function. There is a thread about accessibility where users of Blender discuss the shortcomings of the application and workarounds they have tried to make the software more accessible. Some of these adaptations include mouse recommendations and xbindkeys to allow for one handed use. There is also a recommended theme to make it more accessible to colorblind users.
Official Blender 2.90 Manual – This is the official manual on Blender’s website. It is quite lengthy, so it is recommended that you watch the Blender Beginner Tutorial series below.
Blender Beginner Tutorial Series – Blender Guru – In this helpful video series, you learn your way around Blender by making a donut. There are 4 “levels” in total, but the first level will get you started on the basics of 3D modeling.
List of Blender hotkeys by Blender Guru
Blender vs. Fusion 360
Have questions about this tool? Book an appointment with a DKC consultant!