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Initial Blender 101 Design Task
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This task makes use of existing features - T50901, T53047, T47345 - to propose the design for an initial Blender-101 template.

This proposes an unambitious template in 2.8, to have a heavily simplified Blender we can use as a starting point to iterate and work on the design.

For reference there is a much more involved design document by Mike Pan, there are concepts here which we may try to work towards still.

Default Layout:


  • Create a stripped down interface, similar to the current startup.blend:
    • No timeline.
    • No outliner
    • Many panels/options removed.
  • The following changes from the default:
    • On-screen manipulators for the 3D view.
    • Tools the user can select between (cursor, selection, transform)

Open Topics:

  • Ideally a library system for material & object presets will be included in this template, this will be added once the asset engine is merged into 2.8 branch.
  • We may need to show the outliner by default, depends how layers work and if it's reasonable to hide them from users - for simple workflows.

View Navigation Manipulator

As shown in the design, this video shows the navigation manipulator. - now committed to 2.8x branch.



Event Timeline

Consistency: Switch Grab and Rotate in the view manipulators.
Unclear as what functionality will work and what not. Or is this the real bare minimum without any users/use cases in mind?
But as you mentioned the asset manager might solve some basic use cases as adding an object and changing materials.

Swapped Grab/Rotate,

As for what functionality works - only basic operations.

A 3D printing template will likely be built ontop of this, which will have more practical purpose.

This template could be used for teaching children 3D for example, for designing this I think we need people who have used Blender with children to contribute.

Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) lowered the priority of this task from Needs Triage by Developer to Normal.Dec 6 2017, 1:36 PM

I would say that it will be nice to have this template A LOT brighter. If that's for B3D101, this is usually a pain of displaying the screen on projectors, they are always too dark. So, please consider the color close do Blender 2.4+ at least, to help with the visibility too.

Could we reserve the tabs space to enumerate "Higher function" activities such as "3D Printing", "Modeling", "Coloring/texturing", this with a towfold purpose:
1- Looking ahead a nice ux flow:

  • User clicks tabs->"Coloring/texturing"
  • tabs->Coloring/texturing expands info banner
  • predominant button on the info banner reads something to the effect of "use this mode"
  • User clicks tabs->info banner->use this mode
  • info banner retrieves,, tabs->"Coloring/texturing" is now in selected tab mode(colored diferently?)
  • All the other panels cascade content relevant to the activy tab selected for the active object
  • User starts using "Coloring/texturing" tools and properties
  • goto previous while N
  • User clicks tabs->"Sculpt"
  • tabs->Sculpt expands info banner
  • predominant button on the info banner reads something to the effect of "use this mode"
  • User clicks tabs->Sculpt->info banner-> enable baking controls
  • User clicks tabs->info banner->use this mode
  • info banner retrieves,, tabs->"Sculpt" is now in selected tab mode(colored diferently?)
  • All the other panels cascade content relevant to the activy tab selected for the active object
  • User starts using "Sculpt" tools and properties

2- The relation between the tabs and the panels content will be a clear demonstration of one of Blender's main interface core concepts; the interdependence between user selections and "screen content / options available".

These "Higher functions" are the "views" this project is aiming for, and imho, a good starting point for a template god class.

Looks like the right time to propose a splash screen ui launch for simplified workspaces like:

I´m already creating .blend files switching workspaces for application templates (thank you so much guys for the initial help).

But I´m eagerly waiting to create (implement) a stripped UI for Blender (I assume experimental 2.79 or 2.8?).

I wrote all the information I could get about the application templates here:
if anyone is interested in making a follow up on this.

I´m definitely looking forward to use a minimal.blend startup file to be launched as preset from the splash screen. For example, I'd like to be able to *HIDE* the dynamics tab on the property menu; and also on the side T bar.

In this possible splash screen am proposing there could be a clickable image to a <live url> for the official Blender galleries. This way we make sure the amateur user of Blender gets inspiration day after day with each launch. The splash screen should directly guide the nouvelle user to use Blender in a minimal UI and also start Blender with a custom keyboard key set.

Hi Campbell,

I was playing around with the navigator manipulator. My first thoughts (knowing it is still WIP)

Unclear icon for Ortho/Persp, perhaps we need two different one, and on hover being able to see the other state icon
When hovering the white color is very in your face. Other areas in blender use just a bit of a lighter color (see hovering over an Control. Perhaps that will make it more pleasant.
Also the white cube is very in your face.
When grabbing in camera mode, currently it is possible to move the camera out of the viewport. Also hard to get it back to the center. Should we disable it. Or when enabling camera move it to the center again?
making the pyramids selectable on its whole (more consistent)

based on adjustments I can also think that when users are using the navigation manipulators that they will rendered more transparent. And when dragging the widget is currently hidden. Showing it might give the user more idea about what he is doing.

Great start!

@Jeroen Bakker (jbakker) committed some of your suggestions rB01850f0928c58bab4258c2db94057bb8101523fe

Agree the camera could be clamped within window bounds, would rather handle this separately since it's not closely related to the widget.

Regarding the ortho/perspective icon - it's just place-holder.

I was planning to have manipulators use monochrome vector icons since they scale better and could be supported with a 2d polygon which gets tessellated at run-time.

@Piotr Arłukowicz (piotao) - yes, we could use a brighter theme.
although not sure of rationale of doing this _only_ for projectors.

Theme colors can be changed any time so am not really concerned about this.

@Carlos Santana (oneliner) - you mention tabs for different workflows.
This sounds like something work-spaces are meant to handle.
Very roughly it seems workspaces can be used in a similar way to what you describe.


@David (activemotionpictures) - check blender-lite and blender 101 templates, they already create a stripped down UI.

Including hiding tabs as you mention.

As for the splash screen - your design highlights the need for something more descriptive than items in a menu.

For now I rather not focus on the splash (before more basic parts of the template are working),
but think more information about the template (a description at least) would be good.

Update: @Dolf Veenvliet (macouno) is looking into the design for Blender 101 (a simplified Blender template).

Once the design is created I'll work on this more, for now I'll be checking on how we can use @Bastien Montagne (mont29)'s work from the asset manager branch from since it's an important component.

Where can I download this application template and how do I run it on 2.8.3? or at least, how do I get to see it? Please, I´d like to implement some of my current UI on it and hide some of the interface as well. Thanks. URL?