The Blender interface, the rectangular application window provided by your operating system, is divided up into many rectangular window frames. Each of these may contain different types of information, depending upon the window type.
Each frame operates independently of the others, and you can have the same type of window in many frames. For example, you may have several 3D Views open but each looking at the scene from a different perspective. You can split, merge/join and resize frames to suit whatever you are working on. You can also arrange some frames to show with or without a header, to save screen space (see this page).
Window types are broken up by functionality:
- Scripts window – User interface for running Python scripts that extend Blender functionality.
- File Browser – For storage and retrieval, especially of .blend files.
- Image Browser – Search your computer for images, seen as thumbnails.
- Node Editor – Process/enhance images and materials.
- Buttons Window – Panels that configure objects and set/select options.
- Outliner – Helps you find and organize your objects.
- User Preferences – Customize Blender to your work style and computer.
- Text Editor – Keep notes and documentation about your project, and write Python scripts.
- Audio Window – See sound files and correlate them to frames (synchronization).
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- Timeline – Controls for animation playback.
- Video Sequence Editor – Assemble video sequences into a filmstrip.
- UV/Image Editor – Editing of UVmaps; edit and paint pictures.
- NLA Editor – Manage non-linear animation action sequences.
- Action Editor – Combine individual actions into action sequences.
- Ipo Curve Editor – Manage animation keys and their inter/extrapolation.
- 3D View – Graphical view of your scene.
You can select the window type by clicking the window’s header leftmost button. A pop-up menu displays, showing the available types, see (The window type selection menu) above.
For further details about each window type, click on its hyperlink above or visit the windows reference section.
The default Blender screen layout is shown below:
Three window types are provided in Blender’s default screen:
- 3D View
- It provides a graphical view into the scene you are working on. You can view your scene from any angle with a variety of options (see these pages for details). Having several 3D Views on the same screen can be useful if you want to watch your changes from different angles at the same time.
- Buttons Window
- It contains most tools for editing objects, surfaces, textures, lights, and much more. You will need this window constantly if you don’t have all of the hotkeys memorized. You might indeed want more than one of these windows, each with a different set of tools (a different context/sub-context).
- User Preferences (main menu)
- This window is usually hidden, so that only the menu part is visible – see this page for details. It’s rarely used, though, since it contains global configuration settings that – once saved – don’t need to be changed that often. However, the header is frequently used because it provides the only access to a full File menu and to the Add menu.