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The Window System

When you start Blender you should see a screen similar to this (the splash screen in the center will change with new versions):

Initial Blender screen

In the center of the window is the splash screen. This gives quick and easy access to recently opened Blender files. If you want to start work on a new file just click outside of the splash screen. The splash screen will disappear revealing the default layout and cube.

Every window you see can be further broken down into separate areas (as described in the section on arranging frames). The default scene is described below.

The default scene

The default scene is separated into five windows and is loaded each time you start Blender or a new file. The five windows are:

  • The Info window (shaded red) at the top. The Info window is comprised solely of a header.
  • A large 3D window (3D View) (shaded green).
  • A Timeline window at the bottom (shaded purple).
  • An Outliner window at the top right (shaded yellow).
  • A Properties window (Buttons window) at the bottom right (shaded blue).

As an introduction we will cover a few of the basic elements.

Default Blender scene and Window arrangement

The Info Window (main menu)

Info Window

The Info Window is found at the top of the Default Scene and has the following components:

  • Window/Editor Type Selector: The red shaded area allows you to change the Window/Editor Type. This region is found on every Window.
  • Menu options: The dark blue shaded area provides access to the main menu options.
  • Current Screen (default is Default): The green shaded area allows you to select different Screens. By default, Blender comes with several pre-configured Screens for you to choose from. If you need custom screen layouts, you can create and name them.
  • Current Scene: The yellow shaded area allows you to select different Scenes. Having multiple Scenes allows you to work with separate virtual environments, with completely separate data, or with objects and/or mesh data linked between them. (In some 3D packages, each file contains one scene, while in Blender, one .blend file may contain several scenes.)
  • Current Engine: The purple shaded area gives a list of available rendering and game engines.
  • Resource Information: The aqua shaded area gives you information about Blender and system resources in use. This region will tell you how much memory is being consumed based on the number of vertices, faces and objects in the selected scene, as well as totals of what resources are currently selected. This can help identify when you are reaching the limits of your hardware.

3D Window View

Icon-library 3D-Window 3D-cursor.png
  • 3D Cursor: Can have multiple functions. For example, it represents where new objects appear when they are first created, or it can represent where the center of a rotation will be.
Icon-library 3D-Window 3D-transform-manipulator.png
  • 3D Transform Manipulator: Is a visual aid in transforming objects (grab/move, rotate and scale). Objects can also be transformed using the keyboard shortcuts: (G/R/S); CtrlSpace will toggle the manipulator visibility.
  • Cube Mesh: By default, a new installation of Blender will always start with a Cube Mesh sitting in the center of Global 3D space (in the picture above, it has been moved). After a while, you will most likely want to change the "Default" settings; this is done by configuring Blender as you would want it on startup and then saving it as the "Default" using CtrlU (Save Default Settings).
Icon-library 3D-Window light-lamp.png
  • Light (of type Lamp): By default, a new installation of Blender will always start with a Light source positioned somewhere close to the center of Global 3D space.
Icon-library 3D-Window camera.png
  • Camera: By default, a new installation of Blender will always start with a Camera positioned somewhere close to the center of Global 3D space and facing it.

3D Window Header

3D Window Header

This is the header for the 3D window. All windows in Blender have a header, although in some cases they may be located at bottom of the window.

Read more about Blender headers »

Icon-library 3D-Window Editor-type.png
  • Window/Editor Type Selector: Allows you to change the type of Window. This option can be found in every window header. For example, if you want to see the Outliner window you would click and select it.
Icon-library 3D-Window 3D-transform-manipulator-options.png
  • 3D Transform manipulator options: Access to the manipulator widget is also possible by clicking the coordinate system icon on the toolbar. The translation/rotation/scale manipulators can be displayed by clicking each of the three icons to the right of the coordinate system icon. ⇧ ShiftLMB Template-LMB.png-clicking an icon will add/remove each manipulator's visibility.
Icon-library 3D-Window header-viewport-shading.png
  • Viewport shading: Blender renders the 3D window using OpenGL. You can select the type of Viewport shading that takes place by clicking this button and selecting from a variety of shading styles including simple bounding boxes and complex textures. It is recommended that you have a powerful graphics card if you are going to use the Textured style.
Icon-library 3D-Window header-layers.png
  • Layers: Blender Layers are provided to help distribute your objects into functional groups. For example, one layer may contain a water object and another layer may contain trees, or one layer may contain cameras and lights. To de-clutter the view you can turn layers on and off.

Buttons (Properties) Window Header

Properties Window Header

The Properties window displays panels of functions. Panels that contain similar functions are grouped, e.g. all of the rendering options are grouped. In the header of the Properties Windows is a row of buttons (called Context Buttons) that allow you to select which group of panels are shown. Some panels are only visible when particular Objects are selected. Panels can be collapsed by use of the small arrow left of the panel title (e.g. besides Render) and may be rearranged by dragging the top right corner.

Outliner Window

Outliner Window Header

This window lists all the objects in a scene and can be very useful when working with larger scenes with lots of items. You can choose what types of elements and how they are displayed in the header.

Timeline Window

Timeline Window Header

This window gives a timeline, through which you can scrub with the LMB Template-LMB.png.



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This is the old manual!
For the current 2.7x manual see http://www.blender.org/manual/


User Manual

World and Ambient Effects

World

Introduction
World Background

Ambient Effects

Mist
Stars (2.69)


Game Engine

Introduction

Introduction to the Game Engine
Game Logic Screen Layout

Logic

Logic Properties and States
The Logic Editor

Sensors

Introduction to Sensors
Sensor Editing
Common Options
-Actuator Sensor
-Always Sensor
-Collision Sensor
-Delay Sensor
-Joystick Sensor
-Keyboard Sensor
-Message Sensor
-Mouse Sensor
-Near Sensor
-Property Sensor
-Radar Sensor
-Random Sensor
-Ray Sensor
-Touch Sensor

Controllers

Introduction
Controller Editing
-AND Controller
-OR Controller
-NAND Controller
-NOR Controller
-XOR Controller
-XNOR Controller
-Expression Controller
-Python Controller

Actuators

Introduction
Actuator Editing
Common Options
-2D Filters Actuator
-Action Actuator
-Camera Actuator
-Constraint Actuator
-Edit Object Actuator
-Game Actuator
-Message Actuator
-Motion Actuator
-Parent Actuator
-Property Actuator
-Random Actuator
-Scene Actuator
-Sound Actuator
-State Actuator
-Steering Actuator
-Visibility Actuator

Game Properties

Introduction
Property Editing

Game States

Introduction

Camera

Introduction
Camera Editing
Stereo Camera
Dome Camera

World

Introduction

Physics

Introduction
Material Physics
No Collision Object
Static Object
Dynamic Object
Rigid Body Object
Soft Body Object
Vehicle Controller
Sensor Object
Occluder Object

Path Finding

Navigation Mesh Modifier

Game Performance

Introduction
System
Display
Framerate and Profile
Level of Detail

Python API

Introduction
Bullet physics
VideoTexture

Deploying

Standalone Player
Licensing of Blender Game

Android Support

Android Game development