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7 Blender Features All Beginners Need to Know

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By RegusMartin   |   Watch
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Published: August 19, 2014
Over the last year using Blender I've found some really useful shortcuts and features. so I though I would compile a short list of some of the most useful ones that I use almost everyday. This article is geared towards beginners but more experienced users could find they missed a few of these. Enjoy!


1. Hover Copy/Paste

This one is the best of them all, if you read any of this read this! If you hover over a value or color and press CTRL C it will copy the value! No need to click on it and select it, just hover!

3 by RegusMartin

2. Random Node

The random node is an output from the "Object Info' node found under the "Input" folder. The random node has unlimited possibilities. In the example I linked the random output to a color ramp node with 3 colors, then plugged that into an emission shader. And as you can see it randomly selects one of the colors for each object. Using the color ramp you can set any amount of colors for any amount of objects!

Random Node by RegusMartinUntitled by RegusMartin



3. Progressive refine

Ever since I found out about progressive refine I never went back. Under the "Performance" tab in the "Render" panel, there's this little check box. If you check it, instead of rendering each tile to make a full image, it renders the entire image one sample at a time. Which means if you set the sample count to 5000 then you can wait till you can't see any more noise(At 1200 samples) and then stop the render! Believe me this is a huge time saver!

Prgresive Refine by RegusMartin

4. Render border

When your using cycles you often want to use the preview renderer. Now when you got to rendered view most likely your computer starts to get sluggish.and for good reason! Its trying to render your entire scene in realtime! now to make this much faster just go to The "dimensions" tab and click the check box "Border" now you'll see that if you go to camera view (CTRL ALT NUMPAD 0) its only rendering inside the camera! and if you press CTRL B you can drag a box around any area to render. Also the other check box "crop" will crop your render size to the border you have made.

Eiffel-tower by RegusMartin

5. Transparent Background

One thing that I commonly need is a render with a transparent background. There are many way to do this. but this way only involves one click. Under the film tab there is a check-box called, you guessed it! "transparent"! check that and on all your renders it will replace the sky with transparency.
Screen by RegusMartin

6. Matcaps

Matcaps are perfect for sculpting and previewing you're mesh in a render-like preview. To use them Press N to bring up the properties panel and scroll down to the "shading" tab and click "Matcap" then click on the Matcap and there will be a list of 24 unique Matcaps. Currently there is not a way to show custom Matcaps. But there is a workaround that allows you to. Ben Simonds explains how to do so Here
12 by RegusMartin

7. Lock Interface

This feature is for speeding up renderings. There is a small lock icon in the render panel. It locks the interface when you hit render so that Blender doesn't need to use memory for running the UI. I haven't tested to see how much time it actually saves on render times, but I'm sure it could add up in large renders or animations.
Studio by RegusMartin
© 2014 - 2019 RegusMartin
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Comments39
anonymous's avatar
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RegusMartin's avatar
RegusMartinStudent Digital Artist
No problem :) Thanks for reading!
red-creations's avatar
Thank you for sharing. :)
RegusMartin's avatar
RegusMartinStudent Digital Artist
Glad to do so :)
BrentOGara's avatar
BrentOGaraHobbyist Digital Artist
Nice info! I didn't know about Lock Interface, Random, or Hover Copy! Thanks for the info :D
RegusMartin's avatar
RegusMartinStudent Digital Artist
Thanks! And no problem! 
BrentOGara's avatar
BrentOGaraHobbyist Digital Artist
:D
Dakin87's avatar
Dakin87Hobbyist Digital Artist
Really helpfull !
RegusMartin's avatar
RegusMartinStudent Digital Artist
Thanks :D
MobileForce's avatar
Thank you! very useful, especially Lock interface, transparent, and progressive refine.
RegusMartin's avatar
RegusMartinStudent Digital Artist
glad it helped you!
DazInABlender's avatar
DazInABlenderHobbyist Digital Artist
Can you make this available for download, please? I'd like to have it for offline reference.
DazInABlender's avatar
DazInABlenderHobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you
omer242's avatar
Nice tips. Thanks!
RegusMartin's avatar
RegusMartinStudent Digital Artist
No problem!
LoByteSo's avatar
LoByteSoHobbyist Digital Artist
Cool, thanks a lot! :-)
RegusMartin's avatar
RegusMartinStudent Digital Artist
Thanks :)
hsoJ95's avatar
hsoJ95Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for these excellent tips! :)
RegusMartin's avatar
RegusMartinStudent Digital Artist
No problem! 
rsomat's avatar
rsomatProfessional Filmographer
Thanks now I know three new things and I'm not a beginner, Great article :)
RegusMartin's avatar
RegusMartinStudent Digital Artist
Thanks!
marcClintDion's avatar
That Object Info->Random node in combination with a color ramp is exactly what I've been looking for to tint leaves.  Thanks that's so easy and perfect for what I want.   I had no idea that's how it works, I expected that it would output integer values(1, 2, 3, etc...) and because of that I could not get it to work,  that is really cool!
RegusMartin's avatar
RegusMartinStudent Digital Artist
Yeah, its a great feature! I though it was imported to show how to use it with the color ramp since I know a lot of users "know of" the feature but not how to use it. I've used it for leaves before myself. works perfect!
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