Blender Bad Habits


I would like to express my thanks to Jikz for #10.  You can visit his blog at


77 thoughts on “Blender Bad Habits

  1. cool list.
    I don’t get this, what are FG,BG and MG ?
    also, what is Ptex, could you explain?

    “check output resolution, set objects as either…”


  2. Another big one that I had to learn early: rendering final animations directly to a video container file (eg .avi or .mov) is a big no-no. Should always render to individual bitmap files (eg .png or .exr) then sequence them back together into ur desired video container. This allows for errors, whether render, user or system, to be fixed without losing the whole clip (u get to re-do only the frames required.)

    cheers, -mzungu

  3. Well, I didn’t even thought of the differences betwean scalling in object mode and edit mode. I usually used them randomly (when I had a choice of course). Thanks for this tip, it’ll surely help me a lot! (and sorry for my poor english btw)

  4. About 9, bad planning: It is generally a good idea to sketch your ideas before you make them,
    either directly in blender as 2d, or bg image or in 3d as a rough model with few vertices
    or a sculpt with many vertices and then reduce them with retopo or resurface or replace them
    with a new model with poly by poly modeling.

  5. I agree with everything but #1. If you’re synching the animation to audio you’ll need the sequence editor so you can “read” the waveform, the NLA, particularly if you’re setting up environmental audio to mix down for combination with an image sequence (and to give more control over when the speakers play), and the 3D view so you can see how it syncs up. You can’t get there through CTRL + Right. That’s just one example, too. You often need setups that aren’t packaged with Blender.

    Also you listed fluid domain objects as an exception to #3. That holds true as long as you never need to resize your domain or you don’t need the first bake for a reference when positioning additional fluid objects. Otherwise if you’re placing a second object that needs to be outside of the current boundary, want to use the first bake as a reference (hidden fluid object or on another layer with other utility objects) you’ll need to apply the scale in object mode or scale it in edit mode.

    • Emm… Yeah… I didn’t explain that for #1. Personally I did like what your wrote.

      “””With 3 to 4 monitors setup”””

      #3 >> what you wrote >> true

  6. #6 could be an article in itself! It’s something you see even in the entertainment industry unfortunately. It applied not just to the texture size, however, but also to bad UV-map habits. I’ve seen aircraft where the wings have an equal amount of UV space as the landing gear…so the texture resolution is wasted on tiny objects. It also applies to modeling as well… you don’t need a 35000-triangle pair of finely detailed scissors in the BG of your scene when a 2-triangle quad with a texture map will look identical in the render.

  7. Oh yes, #2 is such a big ARGH when looking at other people’s blends. All these Cube.0XX’s, what are they?! New Blender users, please get into a habit of meaningfully naming your datablocks (Object, ObData, Material, Texture, and whatever else) very soon after you create them. It’s tedious, I know, but it’s a massive help both to you and to anyone you share your blends with.

    Here’s a corollary to #5: When you’re using Subsurf / Multires on your objects, don’t leave them on in the 3DView when you don’t need to see them. Having to real-time draw the extra virtual geometry eats up system resources. You can toggle real-time display of these modifiers by clicking the eyeball button on the modifier’s panel (or my preferred method, by setting the number of Preview levels to 0). It’s the same concept as turning off the lights when no one is in the room. This will save you from painfully slow UI responsiveness when your scene is getting filled with dozens of objects.

    • #2 I have knocked on PRO’s head for that one. When I see one I shout “Who did this cube.0xx? Hey you guys are pro!”

      #5 Artists sometime are stupid. “let’s try another subsurf level” /crash “did I save that?!”

  8. Very true, WK.

    In addition to these, I’d like to add the fact that some models to be animated and rigged are done via SubSurf with ‘cage’ editing on and finishing it as such. This could lead to overlapping vertices and what not which would be very problematic on a weighting/rigging level. Best to do it with cage off (most of the time, case to case basis). 🙂


  9. Those are bad habbits for any 3D modeling programm actually.

    I was hoping for something actually more blender specific, here. Those are good tips and should be followed by all 3D artists yet I feel it lacks some things like “In video tutorials I’ve seen button X pushed all the time yet it’s actually meant for something entirely different and crashes Blender because of thir or that reason…”. You know .. more Blender specific 😉

  10. I posted this on BlenderNation but I’ll post it here as well…

    I actually dislike this. Most of these weren’t so much “Bad Habits” as “Personal Preferences”.

    Some thoughts:
    #2 – I rarely need to use the outliner to find things. Naming objects can be very time consuming and ultimately a waste. Naming materials and particle systems are useful though.
    #3 – Rarely a problem and easily fixable with Ctrl+A (as you mentioned).
    #7 – The composition guide is more of a tip than a bad habit. It’s helpful but certainly not essential. Some scenes do not require it.
    #8 – Unless you’re working in a studio with other people that *must* know your settings, it really is not essential.
    #10 – There is nothing wrong with regularly updating a WIP thread with more images. In fact I think it should be encouraged. Usually the OP does not post enough. Here’s an example of an awesome WIP: – It’s 23 pages but it’s amazing.

    #6 is legit though 😉 I like that.

    • Same reply as in BN…

      LOL… Andrew.

      Your points make sense when you are not doing studio work or have less than 10 objects/materials/textures in a scene.
      I’m so use to thousands of those, scary when 1 level of subsurf can kill the whole production. Which means $$$ with wings.

  11. Number 2 is a definite but especially in any professional environment, where others may be using or even updating your work. I sell models and would get many complaints from customers if I failed to name a mesh or material properly, and rightly so. Even if you’re going to be the only user of your work it is still sound; you may remember what everything is for a while, but what if you want to re-use parts of a scene years later? Finding the mesh/material/curve or whatever is a million times easier if it has a sensible name.

    I have no use for the stamp, I know my camera set-up for a scene by heart, though I guess if you don’t have that kind of memory it’s a help.

    In addition I disagree with 10. How many WIP images you should post depends upon why you’re posting them and where; but posting them without thinking about it is certainly a bad idea.

    • #2 very important… if you have a good search engine… cube.0xx will still make no sense in the long run.

      #8 As a director myself I pay careful attention to this. Almost always artist give me test render and I go “what was this about?” With Stamp, no more guessing work.

      Agree with what you said about #10

  12. #10 Clarification:
    Yes you should post WIPs–when you have done significant changes and/or want feedback on specifics. It DOES depend on your application I agree. My grief is with the ones who post MANY MANY wips with very little change–why post 4 when you can post 1 and ask 4 questions about it? It comes down to focus and drive which equal time efficiency when unbroken. Basically every time you stop [insert blender activity] to post a shot you break your focus and your “groove” since you shift your attention to something else. It hurts the artist in the long run to keep stopping at minuscule points which require no real feedback–this also can waste time of people reviewing them.

    One great tactic is to post a multi-pic WIP with your changes, or alternatives. Not post one and wait, then another and wait….etc.

    Cheers for this great article!!

  13. Another one: sharpening and over sharpening the final render. I saw even tutorials recomending the sharpening of a 3D rendered image. The main problem is that those images are already very sharp, by their nature(they are a binary logic product, not a natural analog one) they already have a big contrast and they would rather need a softening filther unless is ones conscient choice to have unlimited sharpness.

    P.S(whispering): I must confess I have many bad habits from that list but do not tell anybody.
    PP.S: Should we make a Bad Habit Anonymous Association?

    • (whispering)
      Over sharpening ruin pixels, someone calling himself “guru” did alot of that. /clearthroat
      (whispering again)
      Everybody now knows… BAMMM!!! You shouldn’t have… (indistinguishable whispering)
      (whispering again)
      Bad Habit Anonymous Association: BHAA… “Anonymous” who is he? (BAMM!!! Question answered the question) XD

  14. This is very useful, thanks!

    There are a couple more reasons for naming everything as it is created:

    1) you can more easily get back into working on that .blend file you thought you had finished six months ago (but now you have a sudden insight on how you can make it even more perfect than it is), and

    2) the .blend files are databases of everything you have ever done; anything you could put a name to, you can retrieve later on, into some new work, using Append. But if you screw up the names, you won’t be able to tell which of all those is your lovely heroine and which is the nasty ogre.

  15. Guilty of no. 10. By a lot. :p

    But yeah… a lot of times I tend to get too excited for every little progress I have, I just cannot help. The next thing I know, pop there goes a screenshot, online.

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