Blender Default Settings: Preferences
Closed, ArchivedPublic


Accepted Changes

These changes have been discussed and approved by UI leads. Add your own suggestions and/or arguments for/against any items in the comments.

Continuous Grab: ON
This makes it possible to freely drag number values even if the value is close to the edge of the screen.
Also fixes issues with the number fields where they exponentially loose precision the more you drag them.
(This was previously left off by default because of an issue with Wacom tablets on OSX that is now fixed.)

Save Versions: 1
Having both .blend1 and .blend2 is a bit much when we also have autosave.

Auto Save Timer: 2mins (down from 5)

Cursor Depth: ON
More intuitive to have 3D cursor snap to surface under mouse and more useful for placing objects.

Ask to Save: ON
This is a Windows only feature, but should be enabled. It's on for OS X but quitting from the File Menu does not ask. Linux does not yet have the feature. Added task here: T37602

Mesh Option: Double Sided - OFF
Double sided geometry causes significant slow downs on most Nvidia machines, due to a bug in their driver. Until this is fixed by Nvidia double sided off gives much greater performance.

Rejected Changes

These changes have been discussed and the decision has been made to leave as is.

Auto Perspective: ON
Most of the time when switching to a side view or top view, you'd want it to be orthogonal.
Guessing perspective/ortho for the user can be problematic especially when mixing camera switching and axis-snapping, its not always possible to make a good guess, so better keep behavior deterministic & pradictable. See: T40153

MultiSample: 4
Anti-Aliasing in the 3D View improves visual clarity, and is calmer to look at for long periods of time. This is very slow on some systems rB44fe9fe17b51ec5a613ad73829efb8324f73a18e

Region Overlap: ON - the current implementation is too slow
This means that the content of views don't move around when you enable Tool (T-key) or Region (N-key) panels.

Python Tooltips: OFF - these are used by both developers and artists alike, and also essential for riggers working with drivers.
Python tooltips can be distracting for users that do not need them. But this would also force many people that do use them (approx 16% according to @Andrew Price (andrewprice)'s survey) to re-enable them. Needs more discussion and waits on improvements from T37478 before determining.

Allow Negative Frames: ON - this can cause problem with audio sync.
Proposed below, but we don't really know the pros/cons, need feedback from animation module team.

Rotate Around Selection: ON - the current method causes problems when working with large scenes and many people find it to be quite annoying.
Makes view rotation focus on selected objects.


There are a very large number of changes, so older changes are hidden. Show Older Changes

@Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) I think the performance increase is so much that its not so "arbitrary" to have mesh objects have it off by default. I read that double-sided is pretty much deprecated in modern graphics.

@Mikhail Rachinskiy (alm) @Campbell Barton (campbellbarton), making Double Sided off by default would make things more consistent and give most Nvidia users a big speed boost. I have no real problem with this.

It would be nice if we could we add something like FXAA as an option in addition to MSAA. Its way cheaper to run and similar in the look of MSAA with some minor differences, but obviously the user would have to be in GLSL mode to use it.

Also +1 for double sided off by default. That would really help Nvidia GPUs :)

FXAA is just a post process which blurs the edges so that the final picture looks blurry. Besides, I have no slowdown with MSAA even with complex scenes.
Nevertheless this discussion is not about new features, but default settings of existing ones.

@Mikhail Rachinskiy (alm), mmhm, try loading a scene with 40 million tris of raw geo and see what happens :)

I'm suggesting it because it is proven to be much faster than MSAA & figured that this was a good place to make a quick suggestion seeing as people were already talking about AA.
I have a 680gtx and Blender does slowdown substantially with MSAA x4. On a simple polysphere with 800k tris I go from 60+fps to 28fps in object mode when compared to no AA.

The fact is that MSAAx4 will kill performance on heavy scenes if enabled on by default, so I was offering an alternative solution. Nothing more.

I'm honestly glad that you don't get slowdown, but you must understand that other people may be using Blender for more intensive work than yourself so please try and be mindful of that.




Related to double-sided shading:

Solidifymodifier use "Flip normals" to change the Offsetmaterial direction.
This option is in conflict with double-sided off by default, as it is also with Backface-Culling.

But i would love to see a solution for this inside the modifier, to independently flip material direction. I think that would solve both.

@Mikhail Rachinskiy (alm), to be fair even discussing something along the lines of these features, even if its not necessarily in Blender yet, can lead to new tasks being created. Also in case you dont know of Metalliandy, he has some good "street cred" to name and his post carry some weight, at least in my opinion. He is the Admin at Eat3d and has his hands in the $100-$200 piece of software known as Knald. Depending on the type of scene you are working on, you will experience slow downs and Blender does does need a viewport rendering boost so anything that speeds it up is a good thing.

@Andy Davies (metalliandy), glad you are here. Hope you can have a hand in shaping Blender 2.7+

@Andrew Price (andrewprice):

The human eye typically sees 40-60 degrees (central angle of view).
By default Blender's camera sees at almost 50 degrees (35mm) so it's actually pretty spot on as it is.

It only makes sense to calibrate Blender's viewport to the FOV of the human eye (however you define that) if it's actually occupying the entire FOV of the human eye. But even with fairly large monitors, that is typically not the case. The viewport should be calibrated for the _portion_ of a person's FOV we expect the viewport to typically occupy.

Think of it this way: imagine the viewport is a "window" into an actual 3d world. What would that look like? To get that affect, the FOV of the viewport needs to match the portion of the user's FOV that the viewport takes up.

In other words, if the viewport only takes up 30 degrees of the user's visual field, then it should be calibrated to display a 30 degree FOV. Realistically, of course, that number is going to vary depending on a variety of factors (monitor size, window size, etc.), so we have to compromise. 45-50mm seems likely to be a decent compromise.

Please NO MultiSample: 4. Leave it as it is, because the vertices are really harder to see if the edges are anti-aliased. It looks better, but it's not so pleasent to work with that option turned on.

Just make the vertices bigger, the anti-alliasing visually shrinks them.

Are the default viewport lights being considered for change? I think they look bad, and a simple, single light is much more professional. Similarly, the defaultmaterial could stand to be a little bit darker so the specular shows the shape of your model better.

It seems everybody have agreed on Doublesided Normals OFF by default. Why decision still haven't been made?

@Mikhail Rachinskiy (alm), re: "everybody have agreed"

Its not clear who is making decisions here, @Jonathan Williamson (carter2422) didnt have a strong opinion, and I didn't see a response from any any others from UI team (billrey or brecht).

Also, note that this isn't a user preference, its a default for new mesh data-blocks.

I'm not on the UI team, but weighing in none the less: If Blender handled high polycounts better I'd leave this on, but as it's not and this setting has a profound effect on how well Blender works for my daily work, I vote for turning doublesided normals off by default.
Additionally I wonder, is this setting available to users anywhere, or must it be changed in source?

Regarding double sided I think as there is no performance gain to having it on but a vast performance gain to having it off by default we should do just that. Perhaps it will make little difference to AMD/ATI uses (from what I hear) but for Nvidia GPUs it makes a huge difference in performance. Perhaps we could have an option in the prefs to allow people to choose?

NG (NGMAT) added a comment.EditedJan 28 2014, 8:23 PM

@michael knubben (michaelknubben) yes, its available under object data in the properties panel (as a checkbox). Also doublesided is a depreciated feature in most cases i've read about. So most outside of blender"agree" that it should probably be avoided in modern cg.

@Campbell Barton (campbellbarton)

Also, note that this isn't a user preference, its a default for new mesh data-blocks.

Yes I am aware about that this change will not affect already created scenes.
You (I mean UI team) can go other way: just make this change right now and see for a negative feedback here and BA.

To all:
There is no downsides of having Doublesided Normals OFF in technical terms for any GPU.
But there is a great speed boost for NVIDIA users.

NGMAT: I don't know any way to change the defaults there, though. I've wanted to change the 'Dissolve Verts' settings in the 'Dissolve Edges' properties forever, but haven't found a way.

@michael knubben (michaelknubben) me neither. You probably can't, its a per-object thing for double-sided. So it will have to be done by one of the UI team.

I have no problem setting Double Sided to off by default for all new objects. I personally tend to turn it off, as I have a NVidia GPU.

I've not really seen any solid arguments for keeping it on by default (other than visually nicer mesh display), so unless someone has a very good reason then I'd suggest we turn it off.

If Double Sided gets disabled, would it make sense to enable backface culling in the 3d view by default then? It would avoid the weirdly lit faces without Double Sided.

Blender Internal and Cycles render double sided so it does make things a bit less consistent, but that I wouldn't consider much of an issue. Mainly I'm concerned about it being annoying to have to flip normals during mesh modeling, or it being confusing for new users. On the other hand having some visual indication of which way the normal is pointing does have advantages too, because the normal direction does have an influence in various places and it is quite hidden, so making it more visible may be helpful too.

I can't really estimate well which of the two is better. If @Jonathan Williamson (carter2422) and @Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) think it's fine, I'm fine with it as well. I consider it more of a mesh modeling issue than a UI issue.

@Matjaž Lamut (lamoot) I don't think that backface culling should be changed tbh. It's often very useful to see geometry that is only lit from one side just so you can see that there is geometry there an that would be removed if culling was enabled. It's better to see a black face than no face at all and it is easy enough to flip/recalc normals, which is something all artists should be aware of anyway.
Double sided off should be enough I think. :)

@Andy Davies (metalliandy) : Agreed, it's good to at least see it's there, and realise it's only being lit from one side.

I also vote turning Double-sided off, by default.

But as @Brecht Van Lommel (brecht) said, we'll need a strong way to tell the user that a wrong sided face is pointing outwards. Otherwise there will be a lot of confused and angry faces after it's released.

Perhaps making the underside a black (or very dark grey) would do the trick.

In addition, I'd propose making some objects exempt from the rule, and have it double-sided by default, like the plane. The reason being that the plane is often used for mesh lighting or displaying a texture, so the rotation is rarely considered. I think making planes double-sided would prevent a lot of confusion and errors.

The main problem with double-sided off by default is: currently you can model flat objects (architectural - models, solid shapes), and not be concerned with normal flipping, it renders fine and looks fine modeling.

@andrew- prefer not to have different defaults for different primitives, issue is users will not realize the difference and start asking why a model made from a plane draws slower/differently, prefer predictable outcomes for users, if they want to change defaults they can always do so, but if we try to guess that they will do it can backfire by users thinking blender randomly draws objects differently/faster/slower.

How about a different solution: Leave double-sided on by default, but add an option in the preferences "Create objects with double-sided off", and a way to easily set all objects in your scene to double-sided off, for instance by copying this setting from the active object.

This way there will be no headache for new users, and power users will be able to easily use double-sided off.

@Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) AFAIK architectural modeling uses lots of a Solidify (and probably Boolean) modifier, which is normal dependent.

@Paweł Łyczkowski (plyczkowski) and be prepared for new tutorials "...but before we start modeling/sculpting, we need to tweak some user settings for better performance".

Did you guys ever heard someone complained about 3ds max, Maya, C4D, Softimage etc. doesn't draw doublesided normals?

@Mikhail Rachinskiy (alm) that could be because Maya and 3ds Max, draw double sided by default? ;)

@Gabriel Gazzán (gab3d) I am sorry, it seems that Maya indeed has doublesided on by default, but I am sure that 3ds Max have doublesided off since 2008 version.

I really don't understand the problem with turning off double sided to be honest. It's super obvious when a normal is pointed inward as the face already renders black and people should always be modelling with normals outwards anyway as a matter of course, unless they have specifically chosen to do otherwise on purpose.

If they don't then it is just them being lazy and if/when they get issues they should really be blaming their technique rather than Blender itself. We really shouldn't be making these choices based on poor user knowledge or technique by allowing for their mistakes because they will never learn the correct way to model by devs re-enforcing bad practice.

Rendering with double sided on and using the solidify modifier wouldn't change the results of the modifier and it would still give incorrect results if normals are pointing inward. Plus it's a easy fix to flip normals without breaking flow.

If Blenders viewport performance was better then it wouldn't be such an issue but as it stands I think it is reasonable to say that well over 50% of Blenders users are getting much poorer performance than they could be due to double sided being on by default.

As it stands Max and Maya have much better viewport performance than Blender anyway so there isn't much of a comparison, although they do have some of the same speed issues with nvidia cards afaik.

@Mikhail Rachinskiy (alm) Both Maya and 3ds Max draw double sided in the viewport by default. On the render side of things, Maya does it double sided too, whereas 3ds Max does not.

Perhaps when Blender detected a certain threshold is surpassed, it could warn the user about the fact of double sided faces, offering at the same time a button to convert all objects to single sided?
Or is it too complicated to do that?

...just an idea.

Maya and 3dmax viewport is faster in general compared to blender, regardless of graphics card. So I don't know why they are being mentioned. I brought up this topic because we are talking about default blender settings, my reasoning for it being default, was that the performance hit is HUGE on nvidia cards, so huge that it should be addressed in some shape or form, even if nvidia decide to update in the future. Also makes no difference to AMD users, other than visually. Anything else is to do with blender slow viewport in general, which is another topic.

@NG (NGMAT) They are being mentioned as part of what the user could expect in terms of visual presentation of the data on the screen, as it is done by other popular applications, I think. (Though, I didn't bring the comparison to the table, anyway, so it's just an assumption.)

@Gabriel Gazzán (gab3d) so 3ds Max provide doublesided shading with backface culling enabled by default? Having doublesided shading with invisible backside of the poltygon seems kinda pointless.

I believe having a visual distinction between front and back sides of the polygon would only help beginners to understand the concept of normals and see they're own mistakes right away.
And I just want to remind you, that right now Curves, Surfaces, Text and Metaballs have Doublesided OFF by default. So if we talking about consistency for user convince, Doublesided should be OFF everywhere, or ON everywhere.

Okay it seems that most people are quite happy with Double Sided being off, and no one adamantly opposed. Let's turn it off.

@Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) has agreed via IRC to commit the change.

Is anyone against VBOs ON by default?

Please change startup.blend too, the default Cube is still doublesided.

@Mikhail Rachinskiy (alm) done rBf9a60ecacd9754f6673e2dc9775d6bb1cb89033e

re: VBO, it came up before in this thread.. I don't have a strong opinion.

@Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) Thanks!

Regarding VBOs, so far there was only two neutral opinions from the developers team, yours and Brecht's. No certain negative nor positive answer.

VBOs ON give me better viewport in non-animations and a loss of ~10% fps in playing the timeline.
I have a HD 5770.

I am not against it. :P
Just wanted to mention it.

Cursor Depth, OFF please.

In edit mode I rotate and scale the mesh around the 3d cursor often to modify a mesh, this requires the 3D cursor to be inside the mesh.
Also with the option enabled by default, the 3d cursor is limited to the outside of objects, until the user finds the option.

Ive read through all posts that may want the option on.

"More intuitive to have 3D cursor snap to surface under mouse and more useful for placing objects."
Placing objects on objects in object mode.. I dont think this a better reason.
I agree it could be useful for placing objects on objects, but only if it can be turned on and off quickly.
I dont think it should be enabled by default.
I propose adding the option to the 3D View > Properties region > 3D Cursor panel, or somewhere more useful, so it can be switched on and off easier.

"Good points, Cursor Depth is really nice to have on. Without it, the 3D cursor frequently tends to shoot off into space :)"
It doesnt shoot off in to space, it is set by the 2D plane of the view.
So usually, you set the 3d cursor in the front then side view.

"Is much more intuitive to click on a surface and have the 3D Cursor stick to it, rather than floating on the space. I've seen beginners do this expecting it to happen, until they know is an option that can be turned on."
For what reason.. Also I dont class that as valid evidence.

"Never even knew Cursor Depth or Region Overlap existed. And wow are they handy :)"
I agree its nice to know Cursor Depth exists, but I think setting Cursor Depth as default is not a good idear.

If you read senshi's post, he actually wants the option off.. I agree with what senshi said.
He was miss quoted below.

"Cursor Depth really does not belong in the Preferences, as the user can prefer to put the cursor inside an object or on it's surface according to what he is doing at the time. So it can change frequently during one modeling session for example."
I agree, I think it would be better in the 3D View > Properties region > 3D Cursor panel, or somewhere more useful.
"But atm, this setting to off feels more natural - the user did not activate any options, so why is the cursor sticking to an object's surface, and not going where he clicked?"
I agree.. Off feels more natural.

VBO's On IMHO. There doesnt seems to be any downsides to this really.

Any consensus on AA yet?

@koil (koilz) - Thats minority opinion. Most of the people are happy with Cursor Depth enabled and it probably won't change for now. Debate on this can be raised after 2.70 release, when regular users gives us feedback.
Also I agree that this option should be in 3D cursor properties but that will be separate task.

@Bartosz Moniewski (monio)

Thats minority opinion.

I'm interested what do you base this on.

On this topic. To be accurate:
6 positive votes (after adding mine here)
1 neutral (@Jonathan Williamson (carter2422))
2 negative (you and @koil (koilz))

Will be great if this option go to cursor properties but for now we voted to have it enabled in 2.70. If you don't like it you can just disable it, thats idea of user setting, right? ;)

@Bartosz Moniewski (monio) I may have missed a few, but doing a cmd+F search for "cursor depth" finds me:




Regardless, a lot of people agree this option should be moved to a quick toggle, possibly in the footer. Since even seasoned Blender users (see Andrew Price's comment) didn't know this preference existed, how can we expect new users to find it?

I fear that the frustration of a new user not getting the cursor to go where they're clicking could be major turn-off for them. I know it would be for me; I would feel incredibly frustrated if I "can't even get the cursor to do what I want" in a complex 3D program.

Additionally, if I had to make a hard-choice between on or off (which is essentially what we're doing here for at least the first period of most new users) I feel like this feature is less essential than being able to properly being able to set the cursor. It may be cumbersome in some cases, I admit, but I feel it's easier to work around no cursor depth with snapping tools and "cursor to X" tricks than the other way around.

I would therefore like to propose putting off switching this preference to on until the toggle has been moved to a more easily accessible location.

My bad, but you and Campbell ware writing "CURSOR DEPTH: ON" in bold and this looks like actual voting, like everyone in this topic did. I thought descriptions below was just secondary things. ;)
Then turn this OFF. More important we all agree that this option needs its place in 3d cursor properties.

Ah, I can see how that could cause some confusion, my apologies! I'll be using just the feature name as headers in the future to prevent this. =)

re the cursor depth having both a preference option and a toggle in the 3d cursor properties panel, could we also have a shortcut key mapped to it?

Vote for Cursor Depth: ON

Could I propose to change the Image type Empty object defaults, If it is not too late?

The default Offset X and Offset Y settings set to 0 which places Empty's origin on the corner of an image, which make it difficult to rotate and scale.
I want to propose to set these settings to -0.5 which places Empty's origin right on the center of an image.

Here is simple gif animation to visualize the issue:
open in new tab to see the animation

+1 to the changing of the Image type Empty defaults to @Mikhail Rachinskiy (alm)'s suggestions above. :)

Also +1 from me; center-based manipulation feels far more natural i.m.h.o.

well, to be honest, now that I think of it twice...
I guess it depends on what purpose you have them image for.
if it is for holding a blueprint, and you need to scale it up/down, I guess it'd be more practical if a "known" border stays in place, such as the lower left/right. because if the origin is at the center, you'd have to scale it and then move it back into position afterwards.

@Gabriel Gazzán (gab3d),

It really depends on if people are using concept art/reference or as you say a blueprint. I would assume that we have more regular artists vs arch viz peeps so I would still think the change would be a good one.


well, I was really thinking about character model sheets, when I said "blueprints". I'm no arch/viz guy.
usually front and side views from model sheets have a common "ground plane" that would remain fixed when scaling the pictures, if the origin was at their bottom edge.
as Empties are created (by default) at the world origin, it should be just loading the images, scale them up/down a bit and off you go.

@Gabriel Gazzán (gab3d),

I would still say your request is valid. I'm an env artist and all the concepts/blueprints I use need to be centred in Blender before using them. :)

Is there a Text Editor Preferences thread? I know it's startup.blend business rather than User Pref, but still would like to throw them here.

  • "Wrap" option for search: Please oh please, enable this by default in the Find panel.
  • "Syntax Highlight": The main use for the Text Editor is usually scripting, having this by default means immediate readability!
  • "Line Number": No real reason other than I use it all the time to know where I'm standing in a script, and it just takes a few pixels.

I always forget to enable "Highlight Line", which I love when scrolling around the script, but it might cause noise to others.

A little late, for 2.70
but I think it´d be good to raise the Undo steps by default.
AND also to allow a highr number of them as maximum.

Not sure if this is the right place, but:

Currently Auto Perspective does not work on viewport snapping (pressing alt while orbiting). My feeling is that it should, but I thought I'd get your opinions.

Hi guys, where there any talks on the lamps? it doesn't seem clear to the user what the values relate too... yesterday I turned up a spot/area light to something ridiculous like 100000 to get the right brightness, will this be addressed? please direct me to right task if this is the wrong place.

@Pablo Vazquez (venomgfx) +1 for text editor changes (but maybe some non python devs would disagree).

@Gabriel Gazzán (gab3d) no strong opinion on undo steps.

@michael knubben (michaelknubben) tested and autoperspective + snapping works here, this kind of thing should be reported as a bug.

@NG (NGMAT), This thread is about defaults, your post is IMHO off topic.

@Campbell Barton (campbellbarton): With the prominence of the "Run Script" button + "Register" option in the header, and Format/Templates menus, I'd say that the Text Editor is already leaning towards Python scripting by nature. Other than rare notes, I haven't really seen it being used for something else than .py startup scripts (on production files, to override settings and so on) or operators to be run in the blend file.

+1 to have Wrap for search, Syntax Highlighting and Line Number turned on as default on the Text Editor.

Campbell: Are you absolutely certain? I've tested it on multiple setups, including just now on someone elses pc with a freshly downloaded Blender. It doesn't switch to ortho, but maybe that's intentional?
That's what I thought at least, and I'd propose that it should change to ortho.

@michael knubben (michaelknubben) - Your right, its not switching to ortho.

Think this should be kept as-is since the view can be rotated so you snap to an axis with the view 90d rotated - which would't be set to an axis view...

Best report this stuff as separate issues, This thread is noisy enough without bugs being reported here too which may end up needing discussions of their own.

@Pablo Vazquez (venomgfx) - point well made, unless someone gives good reason not to do this Ill change after 2.70 release.

Undo Steps:
Definitely for raising the allowed number of steps.

I have a question:
Is it possible to exclude "select"-steps (object/bone/vertice...etc) from the undo history and only take real edit tasks in account? (with a checkbox)
The most time i am running out of steps is because the selection jumps through the mesh and eats my history.

@Karja Krähwald (karja) Absolutely no! Without undo selection we will have start over again if we select something wrong or search for accidentally selected things.

Yes, no implementation without checkbox. Was a spontaneous idea and i am still curious about what other people think of it.
I guess for my current workflow it would fit very nicely, but cant tell for sure.

One thing I really want to change is the simpify option...Why on earth is set by default to 6 subdivisions? if I activate this is because my computer can't handle too much poligons so I expect to be on 1 or 2 max...

Hi guys...

A late comment... only because I only just switched to 2.70a.

I have to wonder why Auto perspective has been switched on by default. I see way more arguments against than for in this thread.

Personally I don't mind the view switching to ortho whenever I go into a top/side/front view. But... whenever I middle mouse away from that view it switches me to perspective view (also if I was in ortho before going into top view)... which actually... I never want. So I now have to hit num5 all the time (to return to ortho view)... really.... way often.

I also agree with multiple people above that already mention blender guestimating what users want is a a crappy idea.

@Dolf Veenvliet (macouno), Auto-Perspective has been turned back off in 2.71.


yeah that was completely my bad!

I think what happened was...
I downloaded 2.70a... and didn't use my "previous settings" so it was switched on.
Then downloaded 2.71 and DID use previous settings so it was still switched on.

shees... sorry... good job guys!

Suggested changes have been applied to master, archiving.