How to Use Blender for beginners: Simple Tutorial

How to Use Blender for beginners: Simple Tutorial

Blender is a 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software created in 1995. It is completely free and allows you to manage your animation project; thanks to the blender render, as well as the creation of application and game in 3D thanks to the blender game engine.

This software also offers many possibilities such as the addition of textures and reinforcement, 3D sculpture or UV unfolding.

Presentation of the interface

To explain the basic operations of modeling, we will focus on seven elements:

1: This drop-down panel allows us to choose between several modes . Here we will focus on two of them: “object mode” and “edit mode”.

2: This part allows us to change the rotation , scale or location of an object directly in the 3D view.

3: The “Add ” tab allows you to add elements such as meshes, lighting or cameras to our scene.

4: The 3D cursor is to be placed where you want to appear the element to add.

5: In this part, we can define the characteristics of our mesh (rotation, scale and location).

6: In this window, we can see all the elements that make up our scene.

7. Mesh: Editable 3D polygon of blender.

First steps

Before you begin, you have to learn how to move in the 3D view. For this, if you have a mouse, you have to press the mouse wheel and hold it down while moving it to turn your “view”.

To move rectilinearly, you must hold down shift and move your mouse by pressing the wheel.

If you do not have a mouse, you can do this via the numeric keypad on your computer: the keys 4,8,6 and 2 are used to rotate the view, as well as to move it while holding down the shift and pressing on one of these keys.

You can access the front view by pressing 1 on your keypad. For the back view, it’s shift + 1. You can access the profile view with the 3 key , and in the same way, to get the other profile, you use shift + 3. The key 7 allows to have the view from above, and whose shift + 7 the view from below.

Key 9 allows to have the view reversed to that which one has: if one has the front view, then by pressing 9, one will see the view of back.

You will notice that your basic scene has a camera:

If you press the 0 key on your numeric keypad, then you will have the view from this this camera:

Finally, the/key will center the view on the selected object and make “disappear” all the others so as to focus only on that which one wishes.

How to add a mesh

To be able to start modeling, we must first choose our starting mesh. When running the software, we notice that we already have a cube, we can choose to keep this basic cube, or add another mesh to model.


If you want to delete this mesh, just select it by right-clicking it directly in the 3D view and then clicking on the ” delete ” button on the left of the screen (or by pressing the x key on your keyboard ).

If you simply want to hide it without deleting it permanently, you can see an open eye next to the mesh name in the window at the top right of your screen (number 5), just click on this eye, and it will close, the mesh will be masked. It works with any selected element of our scene.

To go faster, you can also use the keyboard shortcut “H” to hide your selection and “alt + H” to reappear all hidden items.)

Now, we will add a mesh. To do this, there are two possible methods: We can use the “Add” tab (number 3), as explained previously, or go through the “Create” tab on the left of your screen.

Once you have chosen among the proposed meshes, a small window appears at the bottom left of your screen, it will allow you to define the basic properties of your mesh. In the following example, we added a cube:

Once our mesh is chosen, we can start modeling it.

How to shape our mesh

To edit our mesh, it is necessary to pass in “edit mode”, for that, one must open the scrolling shutter at the bottom of the screen (number 1) and choose this mode.

After doing this, we can notice that we can select the vertices of our cube. At the bottom of the window, we can see three buttons on which a different part of the cube is highlighted: a vertex, a stop and finally a face. These are different selection modes:

To select a part of your mesh, it will be necessary to right click on the points (called vertices), the edges or the faces which you wish to select. If you want to select more than one, there are several possible methods:

  • Shift + right click on all the vertices you want to select.
  • By pressing the C key on your keyboard, you will see a circle with which you can select all the desired vertices with a single click.
  • Alt + right click for the “loop” selection.

Once you have your selection, you can do several things:

To move it: For that, it will be enough to click on the arrow at the bottom of the screen as indicated on the image below, then to click on one of the arrows appeared on your selection to move it on a selected axis (x in red, y in green or z in blue) or simply press the “G” key on your keyboard to move it in space (Notes: if you want to use this second method to drag the selection along an axis, just press “G”, then on the letter of the selected axis, if you want to move it by a precise distance, just enter the distance it should be moved // if you use the first method to freely move your selection in space, then you will have to click on the white circle that surrounds the junction of the three arrows representing the axes).

Make it rotate: You have to click on the arc at the bottom of the screen, you will see then appear a kind of invisible sphere on which we can distinguish three arc of circles, a green, a red and a blue, which will allow you, by the same method as for the displacement, to rotate your selection around the X, Y and Z axes.

It is also possible to use the keyboard, using once more using a similar method to the one seen previously (see image below).

Change its scale: Click on the third button at the bottom of the screen, the operation is the same as for the other two options above.

The extrude r: To do this, press “E” or the “Extrude region ” button in the “Tools” tab of the window on the right (

Note: If this window does not appear on your screen, press “T”).

In vertices selection mode, you can merge the selected vertices with the alt + m key combination or with the merge tool . As you can see in the image below, it is possible to merge them in the center, the first selected vertex, the last vertex or the 3D cursor.

It is also possible to connect multiple vertices or edges selected by a face using the tool “Make Edge/Face” in the window on the left of your screen or by pressing “F”.

For the example, consider the image below: I deleted the upper face of the cube (by selecting it then pressing “X”), and I want to add a face connecting the three vertices selected appearing in orange here . So I just have to press the button provided for this purpose (“Make Edge/Face”) or use the keyboard shortcut (“F”):

You can also duplicate a part of a mesh with the ” Duplicate ” button in the left window, or by using the keyboard shortcut “shift + D” ( Note: it also works in the “Object mode” to make a copy of your mesh):

Finally, for an easier modeling, it is possible to isolate a part of a mesh so as to be able to concentrate on it, thanks to two different methods:

“H”, which allows to hide all selected vertices (to make them reappear, it is “alt + H”)

“alt + b” which allows to select a part of the screen. This selected piece will remain visible while the rest will be hidden. To make it reappear, it will again press “alt + b”.

(Note: this also works in “Object mode”)

Thanks to all these tools, it is possible to model our mesh. To make this easier, it is also possible to add an image in the background. So you can put the image of the object you want to model in order to “follow these outlines”, but we can see that in the next part. Here, we will simply learn to display an image in the background.

First of all, you need to know that in order for your image to be displayed, you must be in one of the basic views (front, side or top view -> see “First steps”). Then, to add your image, it will check the box ” background image ” in the window on the right of your screen then click on “Add image “: Then, you must click on ” Open ” and choose the image you want to put background.

Once your image is chosen, you have several options:

1: You can choose to display your image only when you are in a certain view , as you can see in the image below:

This can be used for your modeling, indeed, it will be enough for you to have several images of the same object to be modeled seen from different angles to be able to make a better reproduction by relying on drawings / photos / schemes added.

2: Here, we can see that in addition to an image, it is possible to put a video in the background. This can be useful when planning to do a 3D animation, however we will not enter the subject in this article.

3: With this gauge, you can adjust the transparency of the image.

4: You can choose to put the image in the background (” Back “) or in the foreground (” Front “).

5: Here you can adjust the position of the image.

6: You can choose to flip it horizontally and / or vertically.

7. Finally, you can adjust its size and make it rotate.


In this part, we will model an object to apply the knowledge provided by the previous part. I would also take this opportunity to introduce you to other useful tools such as the tool “knife” or “modifiers”.

So we’re going to model something simple to start with. We will use these two very fast drawings of a chipped Japanese tea cup as a front and back view. Here, for such a basic modeling, other views are useless (only one would have been enough).

So we put these two images as a background in the 3D view for the front and back views.

First of all, we will remove the base cube, for that we select it with a right click and press either the “Delete” button on the left of our screen, or the “X” key on our keyboard . Once this cube is removed, we must choose a starting mesh to model our cup.

I chose to start my modeling from a circle, so we use the “Add” button on the bottom left or the keyboard shortcut ” shift + A” and we choose ” mesh ” then ” circle ” . We then press the ” 1 ” key on our numeric keypad so that we can move to the front view.

The first thing we will do is move our circle so that it is placed on the “bottom of the cup”. To do this, we will click on the blue arrow and move it down, or press “G”, then “Z” (to specify that we want to move the mesh on the Z axis) and move the mouse to down until our mesh is placed on the bottom of the cup. Once our mesh is placed, we notice that it is not wide enough:

We must expand our mesh with the keyboard shortcut “S” and move it with “G” to center it.

(Note: so that you do not need to rotate the mesh, I slightly turned the background image -> see above)

Once our circle is in the right place, we can move into the ” Edit mode “. We will first select all the vertices of the circle (if it is not already done) then extrude it, pressing ” Extrude Region ” or the ” E ” key, upwards, so we press the ” Z ” of our keyboard to extrude it on the Z axis, then we correctly place our new selection at the junction between the “foot” of the cup and the part where it begins to expand.

Once this step is done, repeat the operation: Extrude up on the Z axis:

As you can guess, then we will have to expand this part, so use the ” S ” key on our keyboard (Note: the cup is round, there is no axis to choose for the change of ladder).

We repeat until we have the shape of our cup:

Once we have that, we notice looking down our object, that our cup has no bottom. we will then select all the edges constituting our starting circle by making a “right alt + click ” on one of them (Note: It is not necessary to be in the selection mode of faces) then add a face:

Once our bottom added, we notice that it misses the crack on our cup. We will then go in the back view, and pass the reference image in front of the object so we can see the location of the crack on our mesh (we can also reduce the opacity of the image):

We will have to “cut” this crack in our mesh. To do this, we will use the tool ” knife “, mentioned above, thanks to that, we will be able to trace the contours of our crack on the mesh, for that, we press either on ” K ” or on the button ” knife “on the left of the screen then we trace the contours of our crack:

Once this line is satisfactory, press the ” Enter ” or ” Space ” key to validate and you will see that new vertices, edges and faces are appended to form your carving:

So we will go into face selection mode, and select all those that are part of the crack, then press ” X ” and ” faces ” to remove these faces, like this:

Once this is done, our cup is split. However, we can notice that it has no thickness. So we go into object mode and we will add a “modify” that will allow to add this thickness: ” solidify “. So we click on the small adjustable wrench in the window on the right, then on ” Add Modifier ” and we choose ” solidify “.

That’s it, our cup is now over!

Summary of important keyboard shortcuts

For a faster and enjoyable use of the software, it is better to know some shortcuts keyboards.

Shortcuts in “Object mode”

Table 1. Object Mode

A shift + Add an item of your choice to the scene.
X Deletes the item from the selected scene (mesh / camera / lamp …).
shift + D Duplicate the element of the selected scene.
alt + B Selects a part of the screen that will remain visible while the rest will be hidden, or will reappear the hidden part if you reuse this shortcut for the second time.
H Hides the element of the selected scene.
alt + H Returns all previously hidden items.
G Move the selected item.
R Rotate the selected element.
S Change the size of the selected item.
AT Selects all visible elements of the scene if none were selected or deselects all selected elements.
ctrl + J If you select two separate meshes and then press ctrl + J, then these two meshes will only be one ( Note: the name of this new mesh in the top right window will be that of the mesh that was selected last and whose outline appeared in yellow ).

Of course, this is only a very small list of the most important orders.

Shortcuts in “Edit mode”

Table 2. Edit Mode

X Deletes selected faces, vertices, or edges.
G Move the selection.
R Rotate the selection.
S Change the size of the selection.
H Hides the selected vertices, faces, and edges.
alt + H Returns the previously hidden vertices, faces, and edges using the “H” keyboard shortcut.
alt + B Selects a part of the screen that will remain visible and the rest will be hidden, or will reappear the part hidden by the previous use of this shortcut.
shift + D Duplicate the selection.
E Extrude the selection.
F Links selected vertices and / or edges with a face or edge.
alt + M Merge multiple vertices.
K Tool “Knife” that allows to “cut” in your mesh.


So you have just discovered the basics of 3D modeling with Blender, of course, this software offers many other possibilities that will unfortunately not be explained in this article.

You will be able to add materials and textures to your mesh, put them frames so you can animate them, make a small animated 3D movie with the Blender render, or develop a video game thanks to the blender game engine.

This software offers many possibilities, for you to discover them. I hope for myself that this little clumsy tutorial will have been useful and wish you a good continuation.