The Blender 101 Project and You!

What and Why?

With the upcoming 2.8, Blender is going to be an amazing tool for artists. However, not everyone is a professional working in a studio environment. Many are casual users. Some use Blender just for 3D printing, some to make models for games, and some just want to teach their young kids the basics of 3D. For these users, Blender’s all-in-one approach poses a huge challenge.

The Blender 101 project is about making Blender usable for everyone. Using features that’s going to be available in 2.8 such as Workspaces, Templates, and some good ol’ coding, we aim to achieve the goal of ‘Blender for every occasion’.

Just like how the new Workspaces in Blender 2.8 will optimize the interface for specific tasks(such as modelling, animation, sculpting and compositing), Templates will go one step further, transforming Blender into very focused applications that do specific things really well. Possible candidates for templates include:

  • Blender Simple
  • 3D Printing
  • Games Creation
  • CAD

The template will be something that the a user can select from the splash screen of Blender:


By selecting a template, every aspect of Blender can be changed, including:

  • User preferences
  • Addons
  • Color schemes
  • Input maps
  • Units
  • Interface layouts
  • Manipulator widgets
  • Pre-built 3D assets and presets

Because Templates could be potentially big in size (since they may contain pre-made assets), they can be made available as separate downloads, and loaded into Blender like an addon. Some templates can be bundled in the default install. This is to be decided later.

Blender Simple

An ideal candidate for template is a massively simplified Blender. This template will strip down the interface to the bare minimum, encouraging inexperienced users to explore a 3D program without worrying about the consequences of making a mistake. The target audience for this are kids under 16 years old, or people who has absolutely no experience with computer graphics. The expectation is that one day, they will be able to ‘graduate’ to the full Blender without having to relearn a new interface.

Blender for 3D Printing

Even as 3D printing is gaining popularity, preparing a model for printing is still a complex and highly technical process. Together with Aleph, we want to make this process as simple as possible. The 3D printing template will have the bounding box and measurement units all setup, ready for you to create or cleanup your model. The template will also have the ability to carry out sanity checks on the model to ensure its printability.

Blender for Games

Blender is an ideal content creation platform for game engines such as Unity and Unreal. However, currently Blender doesn’t have a focused interface for game makers. If we can work to remove functionalities that’s irrelevant to game designers, and provide basic shaders and assets that are compatible with modern game engines, artists will have a much easier time creating content in Blender.

Keep in mind that because these templates are still running the same Blender under the skin, the files they create will be interchangeable. For example, one can always bring a model created in Blender Simple and retopologize it in the full version.

These are just some ideas for what the 101 project could bring. Our goal is not to ‘dumb-down’ the interface and pose artificial restrictions, but rather to optimize the interface for everyone’s individual needs.

After all, as Leo Tolstoy might have once said, “All happy blender users are not alike.”

Please leave your ideas or suggestions as reactions to this article!


Mike Pan

  1. what happen to blender 101 project? where can i download it?

  2. What kind of things would already be available in Blender 2.80? For example, presets, assets, labs, and factors. As pre-configurations for materials such as PBR Materials. Pre-configuration of textures. Advanced brushes for texture and sculpture. Mounted lighting for scenes. Preconfigured post production.

  3. Presets, Assets, Labs, Factories, and the like are some of the most important and most needed things in Bleder today. When I downloaded the PBRMaterials addon that had pre-made materials and textures, I began to understand the importance of this. There are many software on the market that are only being used for productions instead of Blender because they already have the tools and presets available that allow to accelerate and greatly facilitate the workflow. Even so you do not understand much of certain areas of the program itself.Armatures, animations, physics configurations, effects, particles, simulations, textures, materials (incidentally, visual, physical and sound materials), lighting, and whole systems to facilitate creation of assets, characters, character expressions, character physics, A.I., scenarios, lighting …Anyway, I made myself understood: Materials ready for production purposes, instead of just studies.

  4. I am just at the crux of deciding what to use to illustrate a book. Now you are asking if we could use
    CAD in Blender? ABSOLUTELY!! To be able to use a leading Open Source application (Blender 3D) with all it does and merge CAD , And not need to transfer files from one to the other–WOW. I am blown away. Would CAD look and act more like Sketch Up and less like Auto CAD? To be fair I am just a beginner, and am not a coder but the galleries let me see what is possible. Tell everyone we appreciate the work they are doing. Thank You All.
    072218—United States—Midwest Region

    Although I am a complete beginner in Blender, the work all of you are doing gives us hope.

  5. smoke and fire, and I am not the only one on this subject. Explosions and such, work great, 2.79b, at the start, everyone knows the fire and smoke die out almost as quickly as it started. I have not yet found a way to make it look real if at all. I’ve tried the dissolved, I’ve shrank the domaine to zero, still that makes it go away but not very realistic. Anything being done on the making of the fire and smoke go away in a realistic manner , say in an explosion where it dissipates in a manner of seconds?

    thanks for your time.

  6. Great to have CAD focus into development.
    I hope Blender with new widget might eventually become something in between sketchup/freecad.
    Lots of people who work with technical drawings, and those are not game orientated.

  7. Anybody thinks a VR plugin for Oculus Rift or HTC Vive is a good addition to Blender 2.8 or even Blender 101 or both?… There is no simpler way to work in 3d other than using touch controllers and grab things directly in virtual space… especially for casual users!

  8. I trust the blender foundation to make good decisions. They have so far, at least I think they have.. :) Coming from max I’ve been at the point where going back again has disappeared so far in the back of my head that I don’t even recall why I would want to. Blender, even as it is now, is not -that- hard to learn. And the blender 2.8 project is going to make everything better again. :) One step at a time, it will get even more awesome. Thanks to the never-ceasing work from the developers.. :) Thanks people, I surely appreciate the work you have already done, and also the work you are doing. I couldn’t have done my job without your awesome piece of software. :)

  9. Wait, I’m using blender and I’m ten! But I agree that this is a good idea.

  10. Lets us tell you one thing: the Blender 101 project is wonderful! … you should not think that this project is something that only young beginners rm 3d will want to enjoy. I’m over 40 years old and I have an overwhelming desire to master 3d, but thinking that I’ll have to spend many hours, or even months, to learn 3d effectively discourages me. One of the reasons is commitments, costs to cover with parallel activities. How can I spend so much time learning 3D at this age?

    The answer may be the Blender 101 project. I still know little of Bblender, but enough to know that it is incredible software. Unfortunately, today the tools and resorts are scattered. For example, you need to juggle commands to convert curves to a solid mesh. Many tools and modifiers, nodes and shaders need to be mastered to achieve concrete, professional, and commercial results.

    To summarize: currently to use Blender commercially it is necessary to become a specialist. Otherwise, everything you get into it will have that amateurish appearance.

    As soon as I heard about Blender 2.8 I was excited about the possibility of blender becoming a mature tool, capable of competing equally with competing software. Capable of being productive and presenting professional results, at least satisfactory, with ease and productivity.

    So I dedicated myself to a window / interface proposal (without any pretension, that is clear) able to present a more fluid and efficient workflow.

    The idea came from the need to potentiate Blender’s sculpture resources when polygonal modeling is not required before the retopology phase. That is why in this proposal everything ends up being converted into a Dyntopo mesh at the end of the process or when you need to apply booleans.

    It would be a quick and very direct way of modeling a myriad of hard surface figures and mixing them with organic figures during the Dyntopo sculpturing process.

    As there is nothing really new about it (which Blender will not do otherwise) this proposal would result in an excellent resource, a new way to organize, optimize and abbreviate time with character creation projects in sculpture mode. Or they could be conferring on a native addon in Blernder.

    The proposal is especially suitable for people who at first only want to sculpt an organic character, with clothes and other props, color and then render (something in the ZBrush style).

    Follow the link with demonstration of the proposal:

    PS: Sorry for the English language. I am using translator for this comment.

  11. when will this be available



  14. Any chance the Blender Game will be able to fake/switch the common “Z-Axis Up” issue that Blender has?
    Every update I cross my fingers hoping that they will be able to address this and bring Blender into line with Unity3d, Unreal, Max and Maya. In ALL of those, the Z Axis is forward.

    Looking forward to the update though!!!!!!

  15. I agree with the previous comment, I’ve used both Sketchup and Blender for years, but I can model basic items far quicker in Sketchup so I have usually deferred to Sketchup for quick mockups.
    But now that the free version of Sketchup is effectively dead (useless without the hundreds of brilliant plugins no longer comparable with the online version), I’m going to have to stop recommending Sketchup to new users and students ($700 for Pro is just plain stupid)…
    There is a huge community of Sketchup artists and enthusiasts that will be interested in finding an alternative to Sketchup.
    If Blender can emulate some of the simplicity of Sketchup’s interface and commands, this would truly be a huge deal. Not just to hobbyists or amateurs, but as a learning gateway to 3D design that Trimble has now shut.

  16. Hi,

    Now that Sketchup make (free) is no longer supported by Trimble, there could be a huge user base waiting to be tapped into with a simplified version? Especially if there were CAD and architectural features built in. The web based replacement doesn’t offer scripting which is causing allsorts of uproar among the community.

    Just sayin..

  17. Will there be a template for animation? Or is that not considered a specific focus, because it entails most of the other aspects.

  18. You could make a very basic template with the minimum order and then when you have used all the commands of this template you would have access to a more complex choice of templates with a level score as in a game.

  19. I also think you must implement a blender sculpt template where all sculpt tools are accessible easily with more brushes and and with the capability of layered sculpting (Like Z-Brush where you can sculpt on different layers and blend them together)

  20. I think the overhaul on Blender is going to benefit its game engine greatly especially with pushing the rendering engines to PBR, which is seemingly where a lot of modern engines are moving towards now. The scripting and logic bricks are very easy to pick up and learn which really drew my attention to it for small, personal projects.

    The major difference that I’ve come to recognize between Blender’s engine and other game engines is the usability, and I feel that’s key especially as a game artist. When I use popular engines like Unity and Unreal I leverage the fact that they support drag and drop features for importing assets from outside the project folder, or from their content browsers into the scene.

    But perhaps the most relevant point here is that the UI to allow for that streamlined workflow for designers, artists, and even engineers is that lack of content folder. Because I haven’t used Blender’s game engine in awhile I’m not sure if there have been such updates, but that’s the primary reason why I stopped using it. And while there is the “File Browser” I don’t feel it is as intuitive to use for game development.

    This does also entertain the idea of having windows that could be separated to another monitor as well, especially with material editing because that would be a godsend and make Blender just even more convenient to use. My workaround for that is opening the system preferences, dragging separate window to my second monitor, and changing it from “User Preferences” to say “Node Editor,” “Dope Sheet,” or even another large 3D viewport. Having all of that information up for immediate access is very nice if you have multiple monitors. The only problem is that the User Preferences panel will also share that same window causing you to switch back and forth.

    Otherwise, Blender already has many necessary features to provide a great all-in-one package for producing quality products whether it be just modeling, special effects, video production, or game developments. I guess the takeaway from all of this is a providing more efficient methods for structuring and organizing game development content.

  21. very good idea
    good luck

  22. I would like to see what has been done in Photoshop: hover over the tool icon and a small video plays a very brief message of what the tool does. I believe Sketchup does something substantially similar.

    Unreal Engine, Amazon Lumberyard and DAZ Studio have tutorials available when open opening the program.

    Thanks for the venue,

  23. Blender is a great and always innovative software. Blender 101 and 2.8 are good examples!

    But I would like to talk to you about 15 years of frustration. Since version 2.27, I have tried to integrate Blender into the workflow of my community projects.

    Right-click for selection and box selection! (simple example and very speaking). After finding where to change the configurations. After changing them in different views (3d, UV, Node, ..). After configuring the different machines of the users. We can finally see how blender works with the workflow.

    I would like to tell you the story of Internet Explorer. Microsoft refused to support the standards. He offered interesting features but outside common habits. This has made developers more and more neglected. Thus, the sites produced have been less and less compatible with this browser. Today we see the new Edge and a good marketing around. Only that Microsoft is committed to respecting the habits of users.

    I wish I could participate in this beautiful project or even Code Quest 2.8 But why if none of my partners do not wish to model with this application? However, they are experienced but they do not find their practices in Blender

  24. I use sketchup for Cad and export into Cycles if i need a render.One thing i noticed.Unlike Sketchup There does not seem to be an Inference engine in Blender.This could be a consideration alongside a simplified screens for fast and easy modelling.

  25. I know this might not be posible, but I guess it may be depending on the flexibility of the template capabilities. But would it not be great to be able to define versions of blender where core features are available, but the depth and complexity of the interface can be dynamically increased or decreased in each area of use, such that the user can scale the complexity of areas of the interface based on whether they are hitting a limitation of the simplicity of the interface?
    Think of it in two ways: An minimal interface that can open out its options to a depth thats required in particular areas as the user needs, or an interface that scales as a casual user becomes familiar with a particular area of functionality and they with to explore more advanced usage. It would be a uniquely scalable template that could aid users in learning Blender.
    Just a thought. It’s certainly how I wished creative tools were.

  26. The armory engine of blender already comes with the blender 2.8 and will be as unity engine or unreal engine 4

  27. Hi, what about a template for CAD or architecture modeling?
    Sketchup became very popular when Google bought it, it was perfect and simple enough to introduce a lot of people to 3D and it quickly became a hit in the architecture field. It was easy and fast to model a concept, place sun/shadows and take a picture for the client.

    I know there are add-ons like “Extrude-and-Reshape” or “Destructive extrude” that works the same way as sketchup modeling, this could also help to bring inexperienced users to the basic of modeling in blender, that’s another topic.

    Even though Blender is much more powerful than Sketchup and free! there are plenty of architecture office (including the one I’m working on) that prefers to work with sketchup or modeling in BIM and then export to render it in Maxwell (yes, again my case) it is just a waste of resources for a simple interior or exterior still image. I tried to introduce Blender and cycles into my co-workers but the main screen, toolbars and so on was enough for them to stay with their beloved and simple sketchup.

    Architecture interiors and exterior images don’t need that many options, just easy modeling to extrude a floorplan, snapping tool, basic materials, camera, sky and maybe a model manager to add chairs; imagine this together with the new Eevee, they will love it. If then you want to enter into the world of nodes, animation and complex lightning techniques you will just switch your template for the full blender power.

  28. Is this site related to blender 101 design project?

  29. Would be great if Blender has a friendly advanced pie menu editor and a the option to switch the y axis up.

  30. As an ex Softimage user I´ve been re-adapting the workspace (all native shortcutkeys remain blender´s except for some minor custom tweaks); my question is: **What steps do I need to make this custom workspace available officially for the next release of Blender?**

    I´ve been looking into application templates (huge game changer on 2.8) and I´m definetly interested
    in saving in userpref.blend:
    Workspace layout
    Camera position
    Custom Shortcut keys
    Native Blender addons, already activated

    Some of these things are saved on startup.blend (that´s amazing) but some others are not: like system fonts (and text editor font), “release confirms”, and other tweaks on the system and user tabs.
    The idea to work in specialized custom spaces (A.k.a: SCULPT SESSION) is turboAmazing!

    I´m really eager to configure a grease pencil custom workspace (A.k.a: 2D Animation).

    My oh my…..
    VIDEO and SOUND EDITOR session (workspace)
    Motion Graphics Suite (workspace)…
    ….and I can go on and on…

  31. Will a Video Editing template be added? I use Blender for video editing and I would benefit from a template to get everything ready so I just have to drop my media files and start working on them.

  32. that is why blender is Far from CAD software like autocad & skecthup does…for ex. when u put a window on a wall for instance., blender artist where just guessing where it should be put on.. but there has to be a precise location that Cad users want it to be placed in and that’s the time its too difficult for us too use it…maybe blender devs should get some advice to other Cad Users or professionals…..

  33. I hope they include a guidelines just like Sketchup has so we can put anything on a certain object on certain and precise location..not just guessing it..

  34. It coytainly is ixxcoyting! No doubt. Nyuknyuknyuk!
    Thank you for the brilliant software… oh, and the tutes.. invaluable. 2.8… can’t wait.
    I’m a 57 year old beginner currently studying 2D, but… suddenly… 3D is lookin’ smokin’ hot.
    I am on it baby! All over it like a cheap suit.
    With thanks and high regards,

  35. When you say a template could made available as an AddOn. Could a power user and/or part time programmer (i.e. not a 3D programming expert at all) develop custom templates to be distributed to others for niche purposes? I’m thinking of enabling the distribution of Blender to end users who have never used it before but have a niche need for a good 3D model creation and maintenance tool (especially 3D model maintenance). The use cases I have in mind for this would likely be similar to the CAD template but more specialized and different in purpose than CAD. So templates included in Blender will be great, but enabling the creation and targeted distribution of 3rd party templates could really expand the Blender potential user community to areas not directly supported by Blender “out of the box”. So once templates are added to Blender, please consider adding a template development and packaging tool targeted at advanced Blender users and/or general application programmers from disciplines other than 3D but who want to support other 3D related use cases.

  36. Because the idea behind this is to make Blender easier to use, this would be the ideal point to adopt some industry standards. I’ve been working in the games industry as a 3D and UI artist using Maya and Max for over 15 years, and use Blender at home. It would be great to use it at work, and have a few of my colleagues use it too, but to be honest it is very difficult to persuade a professional level artist to use Blender because the User Interface is so obscure compared to almost every other package.

    A few small changes would make a big difference to usability: 1) Using the standard keyboard shortcuts such as WER to choose the position, rotate, scale manipulators, K to set a key etc. Same as Unity, Unreal, Maya, Max etc. 2) Using the standard mouse controls for selection and camera movement 3) (as mentioned earlier in the thread) Having a visible menu where the user can find all the potential options they could need – a menu at the top of the screen containing the contents of the dynamic context menu plugin would work. 5) Floating / Dockable menus, like pretty much every 3D application. 5) Having this stuff turned on by default.

    By changing these few things, it would make it so much easier for people to start using Blender if they’ve ever used another package, and for Blender users to migrate to use those packages if they choose to do so.

  37. When considering the “Simple” mode, please set intuitive defaults like using left-click for primary selection. This is a standard across all common computer programs and there is no good reason for Blender to buck the trend (other than developers sticking to a stubborn legacy mistake). I remember the first few times I opened Blender, I gave up out of frustration thinking the program was so hard that I couldn’t even figure out how to select the default cube. Small disconnects like this are disastrous for new adoption.

    Also, don’t limit your thinking for “Simple” mode to Blender-for-Teens. There are plenty of seasoned professionals who would like to learn 3D, but find the learning curve (for all packages) incredibly daunting. A well-designed simple mode could work for all first-timers. A dedicated and super-simplified/limited “Kids” mode would be appropriate for children under 10.

  38. Oh, and for the 101 project….please include basic presets that the average person can relate to:
    For simplified template/workspace
    1. Lighting…
    Flame/Fire light prest with basic adjustments possible
    incandescent with basic adjustments like brightness and color
    Florescent, LED single and LED Bulb/array with basic contros
    2. Basic material presets…simple glass, steel, plastic, dirt/rock/stone, wood (fine, med and weathered), adjustable tile/brick with ajustable color/ texture/ specular and joint width/pattern
    and a skin with fuzzines/hair adjustments
    3. basic rig (maybe rigged human mesh with simple intuitive controls) with animation presets for walkcycles, standing, sitting, object grasp/release (that could be later modified or enhanced through further editing)
    4. basic Cameras: 35 mm, wide angle, zoom/out…. or better yet, In Camera preview mode (0) have adjustments appear next to/ in frame view i.e. sliders for frame dimensions/ resolution, angle, zoom, clipping, focus, blur, cam view exposure/brightness/ color tint and contrast …. and maybe include option to render current frame or all frames (off screen) and convert to clip automatically add to VSE
    Editor channel or list similar to the way imported images and materials show up in other menu lists now…. in one step… one button. And finally an in-camera track to object button that you can can select either through the selected camera’s frame or simply in 3D-view by selecting a camera add-select object in regular 3D View and be prompted with option to target this object?
    Simplify 101 Environment presets to Interior box/cube/room mesh with 1/2/3 lights + camera Or basic outdoor presets…. ( Desert/forest/beach/mountain/island view) with basic ground/platform/water and basic weather types/time of day (with basic outdoor natural landscaping objects/materials (rocks, trees, shrubs, flowers) ready to edit ( with option to view node preset structures for each…great way to learn how things are put together!)
    All of these would be huge time savers and prevent having to run to the properties/contstraints/node menus and setting all kinds of advanced settings first….

    • I’m replyig to myself to add note about “101 presets”… have an “advanced/simple” toggle button/option that allows you to choose between preset defaults or simple customize or regular “advanced” options editing modes for that preset… that way newbies can get to work fast and intuitively, learn what different options do before learning entire interface/menus/commands methods and workflows and move on to the more detailed stuf of what “makes thimgs tick” when curiousity or experience levels increases….
      just suggestions…. These features could be added simply at first with later updates adding more complexity in later releases….
      but til then I’m confident the fine crew working on this will come up with great ways to accomplish these “ease of learning” goals… cheers.

  39. Thank you for making blender more game maker-friendly – I think that if there was even less Python / or / coding the better for the beginner. there should be a teleport function connected to the touch such as : if you touch A1 it will take you to A2 then you only have to decide what A1 is and what A2 is .. and you could change the names of A1 or A2 to anything you wanted and it would still get there…

    Ps: My web site is not up yet

  40. The idea of tailored workspaces for game/simulation model development will attract more users from my particular community. Currently, those of us using Blender for model development think we use less than 10% of Blender capability. The interface does does put many off using Blender.

  41. Just what I’ve been waiting for. Making blender user friendly (usable) for everyone is a fantastic idea. I know exactly how Barrack feels. The option to load a restricted interface for beginners (like me) will enable us to focus on learning and not be distracted by all the complexity, this can only be a good thing.

  42. I love the idea of tailored workspaces!
    Have you guys given any thought to a grease pencil animation workspace? That could be really useful. I am very interested in the options that grease pencil opens up in my animation workflow, but I find it difficult to navigate in Blender 2.78. Features are confusing and hard to find, but it seems very robust. Hand-drawn animation in a 3D environment just seems very cool to me, and I’d like to have an easier time understanding the workflow.

  43. Please don’t add buttons all over the UI to simplify things. It will make blender interface more complex and more like 3ds max or other 3d applications. we need more functionality and flexibility with the shortcuts system blender already has. If you guys decide to add those menu bars and ribbons please make sure they are easily arrangeable and take minimum space as necessary. Because once you add those things there is no coming back.

  44. great info. I downloaded blender two years ago and gave up- it was to complicated. Even step by step tutorials didn’t help with tracking the video. Either the new interface will help or I am too stup1d ;)

    • Blender 2.78c installation is currently a one step process, if recognizes your platform, and installs the proper version….. You may still need to set or “program” different mouses to scroll for zooming, toggle full screen (alt-F10) and render out using the side buttons alt F-12 (if available) just to make those tasks easier as they are used so often with Blender and different operating system and mouse differ in how they use those buttons by default, but really, Blender has changed a lot in 2 years so you should give it another try now….
      … especially when 2.8 comes out….the current 2.78c is pretty rock solid and even caught itself as it tried to crash, recovered and picked up rendering where it left off all automagically for me the other day…I don’t know how that worked, but it was a pleasant surprise!!!

  45. Will Eevee support panoramic cameras and environments? I do a lot of work with a 180 degree panoramic equidistant camera and to get an idea of what things will look like real time would be a HUGE benefit.

    I tried out the pre-release version for Windows and couldn’t even change the image size. But I’m sure that’s coming.

  46. Is there any development software where I can preview this at all?

  47. I second the idea of pairing it with Game Engines. The easier that becomes, the better :)

  48. A template could be create focusing only on sculpting. It is for me the most intuitive way to 3D model, even though it is limited. For someone who is learning, is plenty enough.

  49. A CAD functionality would be great.
    I use some times Blender to construct some parts for 3D printing.
    I miss some typical measure tools and also some possible assignments. Like to fix the distance form edge.
    Also the construction of o hole at posstion (x,y) are some constructions steps. This is to siplify.

    A slicer tool is not necessery inside blender. 3D printer interface is STL format. Some slicer tools are stable like or cura.

    The effort is to improve the construction setup like a CAD tool.

  50. I think I can come up with how to make easier and for 3D and motion design and sculpture.

  51. Late reply, but I think the name “template” is a bit misleading. I would guess most people think of templates as a content base to work from as opposed to a tool configuration and setup. A template in a word processor is for example typically used to make sure the document looks a certain way, not to configure the word processor. Same for the web or programming, where you have template pages and files to use as starting point for the content one creates.

    • I agree with you Fredrik, 100%. I had heard/read months ago that one of the Maya developers was going to be helping the Blender team to make Blender “easier to use”. I’ve played in Maya some, and for every type of project you’re working on, the menus and related items change, and from what I read above, this is how they’re going to do it for Blender, but “templates” is definitely not the right term.

      I’ve done freelance web design/development for years, and I worked full-time at a large law firm, so I how your explanation of the term “templates” is spot on. I think this will make Blender more usable for folks who find the current UI setup hard to work with, but another name for the different setup choices needs to be implemented.

      I’m also hoping the “Default” choice is what I’m used to seeing now, as I don’t think I want to have to change my workflow in Blender.

  52. Is there away to implement an imperial unite system display just like in Sketchup or AutoCAD, like 1/8″ instead of decimal.

  53. Blender is awesome! I’ve run into a few issues with it, though. Some things that would really help out with creating game assets:

    – add an alpha channel to vertex colors
    – let each face-vertex track its own normal information. Low poly assets often require precise tweaking of normals and right now all normal information is calculated on the fly
    – allow uv animation to play back in the viewport
    – give Blender the ability to work with general GLSL shaders and render them in the viewport
    – have a window that lets you see/manage all materials in the scene.

  54. I think this is great! My 9-year-old son recently took an online course through Youth Digital for animating in Blender using Minecraft models. All the assets were premade, so he just needed to focus on posing and key-framing to make an animation. So, setting up workspaces for “Basic Modeling” and “Basic Rigging” would help anyone focus on a task. One of the things I notice that engages my son are simple 3D voxel models (Crossy Roads, Minecraft and Trove). He even likes looking at Qixels to make real-world models. I think it would be a great idea to have a few simple workspaces where a child can make models with voxels, since they are simple and you can see results right away. Having something like a drag and drop GUI to apply bones would be neat to, as a way to introduce rigging. Daz 3D has built-in tutorials that will walk you through the interface to achieve tasks. So, maybe a “Tutorial” workspace would be cool too, where the screen would highlight steps in the interface to do tasks like “Add a primitive” all the way up to “Making your own addon”. It would be interesting to see if developers have an idea of things you should learn and in what order.

  55. Dont include CAD template, until blender will be ready for CAD work.

    • I’d find useful having mechanical cad tools, but just if they’re based on nurbs (or at least on t-splines) so it can be precise enough for that use. If there isn’t any possibility to control the precision of the exported mesh, it will not be suitable for many uses (for example 3d printing) in which it must be controlled to achieve a good result. Maybe this could be achieved through a plugin that simplified file exchanges between blender and solvespace or ayam (freecad is still too unstable).
      Although I don’t expect blender 2.8 to be an alternative to Siemens NX, it would be great if it had some Rhino features, that could be improved through some open engineering projects (similar to open movies)

  56. Thank you. I agree, the UI could be a bit easier for beginners.

    The main thing I’d like to see is an alternate line color between panels.

    also, the “Square Samples” ought’a go.

  57. Hi,

    Though I am joining a “little” late, which template one should use who is working on a short film?


  58. I’ve been going through the Adobe Fusion 360 application and I like a lot of what they are doing: Each major function, including modeling and CAM has it’s own workspace similar to this Blender 101 project. I think it helps, but I agree with OKAPI that too much flexibility and chaos actually will make things harder.

    As it stands I have several people using Blender for the NLE, and a focused view of this would be great, especially from opening the application. It would keep these people from wandering around trying to get to just find things. Awesome!

    However, you still have the potential for creating custom versions and saving those as templates, and sharing those, and which one is better, and where do I download it from, and is it safe, etc. etc.

    If you are going to do this, be sure to:
    A) Absolutely nail it for each area of design
    B) Make it easy to get to another area if you are mixing roles like animation / compositing
    C) Make sure that people using it for all of the above aren’t annoyed by dealing with the templates
    D) Make these core templates available as part of the Blender Download
    E) Keep consistency between views and keystrokes
    F) Make loading the template view optional if opening someone elses project OR
    G) Make templates a completely different file type, so you CAN’T just save as a blend, and you have to save a normal blend file.

    The last two really are the important ones. If I have a template, I want to open every file I use with my set of UI templates. Unless I install another template I don’t want to see someone elses UI template just because I loaded their file.

    I really do like where this is going, and if done well I think will help new adoption a lot!


    • I’m completely in agreement with you, Andre. Especially, concerning the last two points you made. Because if we can modify and create our own templates and save it to our projects it should be distinct from the .blend file. If an extension can more than five characters, it could be named .bplate, .blendate, .blndate, or .blendtp. Personally, I like .blendate because it is very distinct like the .blend file and there is little guesswork in figuring what program it should be associated with and such.

  59. I am trying to use this just for modelling and the biggest problem is export to other game engines etc. When I have built a model I would expect to create a .obj or something that just loads in product like unity that supports that same format. At this point though I have to separately export textures then re-apply etc.

    This then lead me to lots of exploring of many different options to work out what I was doing wrong. It took a long time before I realised it was not possible. Perhaps a Modelling focused interface version would have stopped this. Certainly it could perhaps stop the confusion with rendering engines and export of models.

    Users of 3D printing would generally look for something similar and I suspect Microsoft’s Paint3D or something will more generally fill in here. Perhaps the goal for Blender Simple would be to be the next step up towards “proper” 3D working?

  60. Workflow project seems like a great idea, dont forget to allow as much flexibility as possible where you can.
    Im mostly doing content for games, and i would really apreciate if you put all the tools necesary for that togheter.
    Also if you read this please, please consider implementing better baking system for blender, maybe contact and work with the guys that made xNormal program, it renders everything so nice and fast, i think they are using openRL.
    The normal baking in blender suucks, sorry i dont mean to be rude, but its really bad and many artifacts when baking from high res to low res, same for AO.

    Also if you could improve weight painting for games like Maya, its so hard to get good organic deformation on knees and joints.

    These are ideas for blender for game artists future:
    1.Put tools required for games togheter.

    2.Improve baking subsystem(not cycles) maybe look into xNormal and openRL its besti ever used.

    3.Improve weight painting for joints, and tools for painting. Also a new system for weighting clothes/armor layers for games, currently there is only one way of making this work by using a cage like proxy mesh around all layers of cloth with a mesh deform binding modifier, this is not suported in a game engine only in blender, its a pain to do any organic character with layers of cloth or armor.

    4.Improve texture painting to something like quixel suite(ndo,ddo etc), or substance painter, old style export UV and paint outside blender is dying, its not professional anymore and poor quality results compared to direct texture painting on 3D mesh.While blender has texture painting, its not ideal, we need something different than stylized color painting, we need layers of textures and ability to do things like paint normals, remove paint texture layer with scrathces and reveal base metal layer underneath, add grime/dirt,AO etc like substance/quixel, its a MUST have for game content creation.

    What im trying to say is we need to decouple blender from gimp/photoshop other tools as much as possible, i think blender should offer a complete suite of modern techiniques modelling/texturing tools start to finish, without becoming a photo editor lol.

    Also get rid of game engine and useless legacy stuff think forward dont get hang up on past, make the blender render to opengl4+ or vulkan, and make it realtime quality deferred renderer, with AO, reflections and other simulations. Current blender render is old and cumbersome to work with,add texture,normals etc, and has very poor results.

    These changes would really take blender to the next level.

    I see a lot of development on artistic stuff, like cycles,effects and movie creation tools, but when it comes to games, the tools are very poor for todays standard.

    I know im asking a lot, blender is free with little funding mostly geared towards animation artits and we already got a lot for free, but its a hard choice to invest time in blender, since we have to buy a whole suite of other programs photoshop,quixel,substance,zbrush,maya if hobbyists or indie developers had that kind of money we proabably wouldnt use blender.

  61. HI THERE

  62. I hope this will, eventually, asses two very conceptual issues I think Blender has:

    1) concurrently working with customized workflows in Blender is hard. The presets (maya, Max etc) don’t work without losing functionality. LMB mode same thing. Hotkeys are very confusing to change: you might lose functionality WITHIN a tool (which has multiple hotkeys for it’s use).
    To optimize customization in Blender the hotkey editor could really use some refinement.

    2) The UI is pretty clunky. Moving panels, windows etc is pretty tedious. This hopefully can be improved a lot (and rather considering the goals for this project will have to be improved immensely)

    Good luck, praying for this to be huge success!

  63. Super excited for this when it lands:

    a) I had several failed launches with my Blender experience before things finally began to stick, the same well known information overload and getting to grips with both the UI and all the functions/hotkeys. It’s such an awesome toolset and the project is, without blowing wind up the collective, such a great advocate of what open source can and should be – it’s a shame if there were unnecessary barriers to entry/access ; and

    b) sometime in the next 18 months I’m going to be releasing a Unity game to market.. my current intent is to build a Blender 2.8+ template that provides the users with all they need, and ONLY what they need, to create game levels and upload to the game servers for approval and incorporation.

    I’ll be glad to send some $ into the Blender foundation should the game get any traction. besos

  64. I’m looking forward to this new version of Blender 2.80. But I really wanted you guys to do an update on the game engine. I’ll help you as soon as possible. :)

  65. Great Idea!

    for those of us who do mostly CAD modeling in Solidworks (expensive, proprietary, and tied to Windows OS), can you include a nice simple interface similar to Solidworks that we can create CAD models on?!

    If you do i would be eternally grateful! There are no real good Open Source or cross platform CAD software out there like Solidworks that work on Linux.

  66. This sounds like it will restrict the functionality of blender quite a lot. If you are let’s say, using the CAD mode to precisely model a 1:1 scale house, will you still be able to UV unwrap that house and give different faces different materials, and render the house? Can you then run a physics simulation using the house as a static rigidbody?

    Though templates are a good idea, there should probably still be a way for you to use ALL the features for those of us who are indecisive, and get several ideas on the fly.

  67. Please update FBX Binary 7.5 / 7.6 in next release! Good luck! I am hopeful because your Blender 2.5 to 2.7 are very good for me! Thanks! Wow your Blender 2.8 has full-support with Unity? How do you think? But it is very hard because It is not only Python. Just works with Javascript and C#. Please implement like Unity 5.5 / 5.6 features.

    I will laugh if you can’t write more because C# and Javascript need prase from standalone application like Unity. Good luck!

  68. It would be good to have a template specifically for editing and exporting movies, based around the sequencer and maybe incorporating the addon.

    Also, to keep things easy, specific presets to best render files for Vimeo and YouTube in either the output or encoding options.

    That bit can often be a minefield if you don’t know what you’re doing or what all of the options mean. Streamlining the process of getting a good resulting video to upload would, I think, help beginners.

  69. When will Blender work with Skyrim armor Nifs, can’t export them using outdated and useless Nif plugin.

  70. I would add “Python (Programming)” as an option, because I’am teaching this with Blender.

  71. Templates makes me think more like coding templates in IDE’s – code snippets to expand on. And, in 3D, a template to me sounds like a predefined shape or rig setup to build upon as opposed to a UIX to build upon. So, in my opinion, Game Design and 3D Printing sound more like Workflows or Projects. And, Animation or Modeling sound more like Workspaces, Tasks or Layouts.

    How will “template” sharing work? Is it going to be some copy/paste file into folder process, or will it be sort of like addons where you can install them?

    • Actually, scratch the use of the terms Workflow and Workspaces for differentiation. Those two words just seem to fight with one another and can cause confusion.

  72. From Workshop write up >Because templates could be potentially big in size (since they contain assets), they will be made available as separate downloads.

    How ‘big’ are these envisioned to be? I think I would rather download everything or everything I was interested in at once. I might have several or many interests in Blender. Already keeping up with updated add-ons is a pain. This proposal makes still more granulation to keep up to date. Could we at least nominate by checkbox on the release page which bits to include at once with the download of Blender please?

    • Just to clarify this. I support the idea of templates/specialisation however I don’t want to spend even more time chasing around looking for bits and pieces. I would actually rather have *everything* in a Blender download if that was only 50 mb more but, be minus game or architectural assets if they were say 250 mb each xtra. That is I would like to keep the templates in the core but offload large assets or make them optional. Thanks

      • Just to be a complete pain with my posts..
        How about a template contains an example asset only with some provision to ‘get more’. This would be a link to BF or other repository. Anyhow Merry Xmas to Blender developers. Keep up the good work :)

    • The official page will not be the only place to find Templates. We encourage others to make and distribute Templates as well. Especially since Templates represent niche tasks that only a very selected group of user will be interested – We will not be splitting off any existing Blender functionalities into a Template. As an example, I can see the interior design software Fluid Designer be templified, which is gigabytes in size due to the prefabbed assets it contains. So i dont’ see a good way to make all the templates downloadable at once.

      • Have you asked FD if they would use this at all? Perhaps they want to keep their branch separate. I understand quite a bit of it is already customised/unique so maybe templates don’t suit or would make extra work they don’t want to do. My understanding of the proposal of templates is that it is only presenting a more purpose suited UI and maybe some purposeful add-ons? so it doesn’t actually amount to much in most cases?? i.e. something like FD is the exception rather than the rule. Are we envisaging using templates to make numerous heavy departures from core Blender? I think Fluid Designer was only offering a sample of assets openly and the rest their customers pay for, or that’s what it was when they started. Perhaps it should be established how many of these templates there are likely to be – 10 or so, not hundreds? – and how many and large the download of assets are likely to be. If the templates in themselves don’t amount to much I don’t see why they cant all/mostly be included.If they are all represented as working templates with starter content then people can explore Blender’s possibilities. If it interests them to go further they can do so by following up on heavy assets.
        I am sure you will work out something suitable but I wonder about what this flexibility actually amounts to in reality.

  73. As a university professor in art and design, I am extremely excited about the prospect of a simplified/streamlined Blender; particularly if it could be used as a teaching platform for /foundational/ digital creation concepts. Too often (in the arts, anyway) we teach our students how to use specific software titles instead of the basic concepts which generalize to (and underpin) all digital art and design tools.

    It’s a little like the situations in which medieval scribes were trained to make consistent and beautiful letterforms for producing manuscripts, but were not taught to read!

    I can imagine a ruthlessly simplified Blender template that highlights those basic concepts and skills for teaching AND provides an especially coherent and consistent application-specific stepping stone to a more useful and more fully-featured tool (maybe with a couple of way-stations on the path to the full Blender experience).

    I respectfully disagree with MAR10 that these days “most kids are computer savvy!” Frequent computer use, especially on the media consumption side, doesn’t necessarily produce competence or understanding on the creation side.

    I applaud this effort―please let me know, Mike, if I can be of any help!

  74. A suggestion if they improve even more the BGE with PBR and others, if they can improve the physics by adding physical technology MMD to objects and bones, fractures of automatic calculation. In logic game add pre script created as the movement of the camera with mouse and split screen, also would be useful a driver improvement to create an automatic navigation mesh, random mode of movement, jumping obstacles, etc. Happen, I know it’s crazy all this but they are suggestions that could improve the experience with the BGE.
    If they can not now maybe in the future 3.00. Thank you

  75. This is the new ‘The Cathedral and The Bazaar’, GUI version. Users we get a real easy way to layout their own work spaces. Their own way. No more centralized UI and final design decisions, but much more freedom to expand and work as everybody like to or simply how people think it’s easier/simpler. Blender coders making history, as always! You guys deserves the world! Cheerios.

  76. the simplified Blender its not necessary or its not the correct approach to teach 3d blender.

    First of all what kind of kids are you referring to?
    Now days most kids are computer savvy! where are you going to find all of this Dumb Kids? and or why ? are you wanna create stupid kids!

    A more efficient way of teaching 3d blender will be more beneficial and productive, until now most 3d blender users are a copy of each other, everyone is teaching how to make ‘realistic grass” or how to make a real ” rock “… this is the real area in most change needs to be focused on… move on from the standard or usual tutorials, if a subject is been covered, do not take or keep publishing the same type of tutorials, move to the next subject.

    If you encourage a kid ( 8 to 10 year old ) to learn the stupid way this kid will be set up to fail right from the beginning, why in hell do you think this is a good idea to spend time and resources on it?

    if you develop this type of workflow, now 3d blender will not only be plagued from repetitive tutorials but now also will be filled with useless one click dumb tutorials. that feels like a super dumb Idea!

  77. Hi Mike! Would it be helpfull to form a CAD thread on Blenderartists for users to discuss needed features in CAD template?

    • I’ll setup a thread in the next 24 hours :)

    • I second that. I’ve worked in product development for 20 + years, and I now teach design in college, I bet I could give some tips here.

  78. I feel like blenders core workflow is built around hotkeys. Even the way people talk about blender and workflow tends to revolve around which hot keys to use rather than what functionality to use. Hotkeys should be accelerators to already well thought out UI paradigms. Not the core workflow. This approach makes it hard for new users to adopt. Especially when simple things like selection and manipulation are vastly different than fairly standard practices across many different types of applications.

    A good well thought out user experience (UX) should be built with hotkeys being secondary and left more to the users discretion. It’s OK to have good and consistent hotkeys as standards, but they should not define the workflow.

  79. Transitions
    use the Grease Pencil to annotate the screen for your KeyFrames
    it is a transition studio at 3d presentation tool;

    – mark visually the process of your workflow and create ghost annotations to meet the expected results;
    – link Grease Pencil annotation(logics) to easily mark keyframes for rendering;
    – draw on 3d view the locations of your objects and annotate, naming the keyframes;
    – using the exclusive Blender Grease pencil font to easily identify your annotations;
    – make it ready to meet settings to post on social media websites; like youtube;

  80. An upgrade f the transform manipulator tool will be nice. i worked with every 3d package and Softimage was the best shortcuts than i never seen in 3D app : it made difference between “press” and “hold”. Example Press V select Transform Gizmo and Hold V select momentary the transform operation, when release it take the previous tool. So perfect ! Minimize inefficient clic.
    Have XY, YZ, XY axis on the tranform manipulator is more intuitive than CTRL clic on the axis that you want soustract = clic on the X to get YZ tranform, my brain don’t like negative way ^^
    Really good initiative you had here.

    • While we don’t want Templates to depart too much from the core blender interface, better widgets and ‘sticky keys’ are definitely planned for 2.8. Stay tuned for more news about that!

  81. For CAD:
    – snap (vertex, middle, edge, face)
    – extend, fillet, chamfer lines (2d and 3d)
    – simple insert measure
    – rotate axis

  82. For a while I’ve been trying to use blender to create tillable 3d textures and render off the texture, normal map and Ao and so on, but it’s not easy.
    I’ve even tried using an array and with a combination of the start and end caps managed to get something that works.
    I don’t know of any 3d software that can do this, and if it’s part of the blender games creation I can see it creating a big demand for blender

  83. Very nice idea, I want to add my experience as a BFCT working with university students:

    Of course simplifying 3D is a hard task. Especially in Blender there are various things where people learning Blender tend to get stuck, e.g. the usage of the 3D cursor (combined with the right click paradigme), tools like circle select being active until the ESC key is pressed, varying sensitivity of the basic transform tools rotation and scaling depending on the mouse position and there may be many other examples, depending on the individual person as well. Personally I love those features and how Blender works, but beginners usually struggle with them.

    Therefore, I want to suggest to add overlayed ui animations, especially for the simple layout, which focus the attention of new users on certain problematic areas where they could face difficulties. Like when they move the 3D cursor a short message might pop up asking “Did you try to select an object? Try using your right mouse button.“ or similar.
    On the other hand this might also be less helpful than actually annoying. And naturally I am also very happy to have the opportunity teaching Blender while getting a little pay for it, so you have my support whatever direction this will take. Thank you Blender community! :-)

    • Hey Adam, many of the tools in Blender are modal, but implemented in a very bad way. (eg. circle select requires esc to cancel, and does not allow navigation) We will have better modal tools that should benefit everyone. I like the idea of popups as long as they are not intrusive. The software should ask for forgiveness, not permission.

      • Hey Mike,

        I am honored that you have answered to my post, Thanks!
        I agree with you. Especially the navigation issue with circle select is something I hear complaints about all the time. As those are not issues related to the User Interface, I thought about how those issues can be handled with your idea of simplifying the UI. Again, I totally agree with you that such messages should be rather helping than distracting, so being as non-intrusive as possible is a number one priority.

        Best regards and a happy holiday!

  84. Anybody who in his early Blender days ever opened somebody else’s file painfully knows how the application’s customization abilities are more weakness than strength. You want an interface where you go “I need x, I should look in place y” and it actually will be there. Cinema4D is achieving this. And obviously it does that by having a very static interface. Having different UI Views where things are in ever changing places will do nothing but harm to the cause of making things more accessible.

    Of course it makes sense to have an interfaces that exposes functionality in an optimized way for given tasks. Blender has that already – the 3D View, the Dope Sheet, the Node editor, the Movie Clip Editor etc. These are naturally born interface-answers to the given feature types. The new workflows add an artificial additional interaction layer that tries to simplify things by making matters more complex.
    This approach was proven wrong long ago already when people broke up their applications into animation programs and separate modeling programs instead of integrating things meaningfully.

    I understand how you want to address people’s long lasting complaints about the UI but this is the wrong answer. Make it more static than dynamic and therefore more predictable. I know ‘innovation’ is sexier than getting the basics right but for instance a polished boring good outliner would benefit Blender far more than this.

    • As the DCC process gets more complex, it’s inevitable to break things up into specialized software(see ZBrush, Massive, Substance). That said, The 101 project is not aimed at changing Blender at all, beyond what 2.8 will bring.

      Blender, as a DCC tool, will stay exactly the same. We are talking making Blender easier to use for users who normally wouldn’t be using blender at all(beginners and niche market, etc).

    • To account for that problem, I think that a good approach would be something like Adobe softwares workspaces* (*beware: not the same meaning as in Blender), which work by letting the user save its own panels positions/sizes. At any moment you can select a different workarea (as in Adobe) and the UI changes. So if you open someone else file with tools in odd places, you can load your preset anytime

  85. Good point! CAD template seem really atractive! Will it possible make it work with lines and curves on command-base concept like AutodeskCAD or Rhino. I love working with Blender on rendering architectural images, but it difficult to work with CAD plans. Maybe just an optional addon to work at top view fixed with lines and curves in an easy way?

  86. Hey Mike,

    This sounds really cool and I am very curious as to the details. A couple of thoughts to help show where I hope this process is heading…

    1. Making sure all templates carry across the same UX paradigm built upon the new Simple/Basic Blender workflow. For example making sure that if the user learns the workflow starting with the Simple layout, that what they use learn carries across into the other templates/sections. If each Template is a very different workflow or left up to the creator of each template to design, then the core UX pattern is lost and we get back to where we are today. Different tools and workflows don’t follow the same UX paradigm and makes it harder to learn and adopt.

    Take into account something like Selection and Manipulation. (At the simplest level.) These should act and behave the same regardless of the template, tool, and window that you are in. If you are in the Simple Template, the Games Template, a 2D window, a 3D Window or a Special Dialog, Selection and Manipulation should for the most part work the same.

    While it is cool (and powerful) to have the ability to change everything to each users liking, the core UX needs to be well thought out so that in general most people would not change the defaults because they work so well. I know I am probably preaching to the choir but I still thought I would put this out there.

    Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

    • Hey Corban,

      You have a very valid point about UX consistency. The idea is to make Blender into a host platform for people to customize to their need. So while we cannot control the Templates people create out of their garage, the ‘officially supported’ templates should share a lot of UX paradigms with the full Blender. I want to avoid making the user relearn anything if possible.

      • Yes, this was one of my main concerns too, glad to see care will be taken to keep things consistent and unified as much as possible across Templates.

        One other very important part of this workflow lift is Keymaping presets. I am hoping to see a modernized and, above all, consistent and sane new default key-map for Blender.

        Curious to see where this is going. Congrats and keep up the great work :)

        • A simpler keymap (and better support for tablets and multitouch) is on the roadmap for 2.8!

          • All mentioned above were my main concerns, as well. I feel this is great for helping new users and users who work within these template guidelines. I’m glad this idea is being addressed. Of course, highly advanced functionality would either be accessible from a sub menu or simply switching to the full blender template.

  87. Great idea. I want to use Blender for 3d modeling only – 3d printing and cnc milling.
    It would be great if you could include .stp export

  88. Suggestion here:

    First of all, prepare the splash screen to select the startup blend file to load. After, make Blender ready to save all those settings in the startup file.

  89. Fantastic idea!

  90. Great idea. Really like the idea to have a simple Blender to teach 3D to my kids one day. Keep it up!

  91. I really like this idea since it’s about workflow optimization. I wonder if there’ll be a way to easily flip between these (at least in a way that makes sense). The idea reminds me a bit of Personas in the Affinity Designer/Photo applications which are meant to be focused on certain aspects.

    • Hey Lino, we want to design it without the need to switch Template during one project – that’s what Workspace is for. A single Template can still have multiple Workspaces to account for different tasks. But of course, since the underlying file is still a .blend file, switching templates on existing project should be still easy.

  92. Hi, could you implement tools like Mograph tools in C4D for animating particles, splines and fluid/smoke simulation?

    • Hi Dan, The 101 project is more about creating a platform for people to formally customize Blender’s behavior in way not possible before. Special effect tools you mentioned are outside of scope of this project.

      • There is a fantastic addon called “Animation Nodes” That I found to be just as helpful as mograph once you actually learn how to use it.

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