Navigating the 3D window in Blender



Blender is a free and Open Source 3D design tool, that can be used for modelling, animation and game design.

This guide will show you how to navigate around the Blender 3D window.

It is a briliant tool, but it has quite an unusual interface that many people find dificult to use at first.
We have designed a custom workspace for the purpose of sculpting organic shapes in Blender using the Sculpt tool. We suggest that if you are new to 3D, that you use the tutorials on this site to create your Flunstellas shape.
This sheet should help you start you to navigate Blenders 3D space and designing in 3D.
You can download your copy of Blender for free at, where there is also a great educational community, just click on ‘Education & Help’ at the top of the home page.

Getting started

Open – thoughtshape.blend

The 3D Window


The top window should show a white sphere on a 3D grid, this is known as the 3D window.

There is another set of windows underneath it, but we don’t need to bother with them at the minute.


To zoom in or out…

  • Push the mouse wheel forwards or backwards
  • Push two fingers forwards or back on the trackpad if you have a mac

Try zooming in and out.


If you get lost you can choose to ‘Go Home’. There is away to return to where you started, in the menu at the bottom left of the 3D window, go to ‘view/view all’


If you accidentally click the wrong thing, just let go of the keys & mouse, then click ‘CMD & Z’ at the same time.


To ‘pan’ the camera view – (which means move the scene left, right, up and down).

Hold down ‘Shift + Alt’ then ‘Left mouse click and drag’


To rotate your point of view, hold down ‘Alt’ then ‘Click & Drag’ on the edge of the grid.

Practice zooming in & out, then panning the scene, and then try to use rotate to look all the way around the sphere.

If you want to start to learn how to sculpt the sphere, then go to the ‘What shape are our thoughts?’ tutorial.

To download this tutorial as a .PDF or a .doc click the links at the top of the page.

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