May 13, 2021 Rosie Dinh

Blender Tips and Shortcuts to speed up your 3D Workflow

The creative possibilities in Blender are endless, and diving into new projects is just so much fun. Unfortunately there are also those annoying technical issues and tasks which take so much time to manage, when you’d rather be focusing your attention on the piece you are creating. But do not worry. Our today’s article will share some useful techniques with you, to speed up those tedious tasks and smooth out your Blender workflow as quickly as possible.

1. Repeat the Last Action

Sometimes you need to repeat the same task over and over. This might not be a problem if you have to do it three or four times, but it can cost you a lot of time if you repeat it dozens of times without knowing the proper shortcut.

Press Shift + R and Blender automatically repeat your last action. This shortcut works not only in the 3D viewport but in almost every editor and can be very helpful for modeling, shading, compositing, and animating.

2. Get to the Current Directory

Navigating in Blender’s file browser can be really laborious, especially if your file system is quite messy. Quickly getting to the current directory (folder where your .blend file is stored) shouldn’t be a problem however. Just type // in the file path and Blender brings you there immediately!

3. Open Data Path in the File Browser

There’s another helpful shortcut for quicker file navigation. Hold down Alt while pressing on any data path in Blender, to quickly open it up with your default file manager.

4. Add Motion Blur in the Compositor

You are  a big fan of motion blur, in order to give a lot of realism to your renders, especially if you are using cycles. Unfortunately enabling this feature adds a lot of render time. There is a solution, however: Adding the motion blur in compositing instead of rendering it out. Yes, this is possible!

Before you start rendering, make sure the vector render pass is turned on. In the compositor add a vector blur node, connect the depth to the Z and plug the vector into speed. Now you can play around with the samples and blur sliders, until you are happy with the result. This motion blur is faster than rendering it directly, but keep in mind that you also won’t get the same amount of quality. The vector pass is currently only available in cycles, but eevee’s motion blur is pretty fast anyways.

5. Lights as Active Cameras

You probably know that you can make a camera active, by using the shortcut Ctrl + 0. But did you know that this works with any kind object, not only with cameras? This is especially useful for positioning and aligning lights. Make a light on the active camera by pressing Ctrl + 0. Now you can place the light out of the first person perspective. Use the shortcut RR to rotate in any direction or just lock the camera to view (N-Panel > View > View Lock > Camera to View) to place it exactly where you want. And yes, it is possible to make the default cube the active camera, I just haven’t found any practical use for that yet!

6. Transform the Origin

That little orange point you can see when selecting any object is the origin. This point determines the location, rotation, and scale of the corresponding object in 3D space. Sometimes you need to move this origin point to a specific location. In most tutorials, they do it the hard way, by first placing the 3d cursor at the desired location and then going to Object > Set Origin > Origin to 3D Cursor to place it. A quicker variation to complete this task is to just press Ctrl and . to enter origin edit mode. Now all transformations (move, rotate and scale) you make, affect only the origin. You can additionally enable the snapping mode to make the placement even easier. Just press Ctrl and . again to return to the normal object mode.

7. Improve Render Times

The most boring and time consuming part of the 3D workflow is rendering. Fortunately there are some things you can implement to speed up this process. One of the most convenient way to boost the rendering time is using a Cloud Rendering Service. 

Here at iRender , we provide high performance computing with the 20.000+ CPUs and the latest GPUs through Remote Desktop Application. The core difference between iRender compared to other render farms is our extremely uniquerender solution, completely different from the old SAAS solution, which is gradually revealing many limitations. In other words, this is a hardware service, not a software service, modern artists will choose a machine configuration to suit their design needs and requirements of the graphic software, subsequently have full authority to set up and control directly the remote machine through their own personal computer. And multi-GPUs will be the best performance option for Blender, including three servers: 6x RTX 3080 and 6 RTX 3090.

It is undoubted that the 6x RTX 3090 super-configuration will still be the most powerful option with up to 24GB of VRAM graphics memory if you’re on a budget. Moreover, it’s integrated with the latest NVlink technology that technophiles are craving for it, helping to expand data bandwidth between GPU and CPU 5-12 times faster than PCI Express interface. It can be used for a variety of things, from basic SLI for faster gaming to a large memory pool for the GPU to display large and complex scenes. This makes a huge step forward to the graphics industry, creating a differentiated processing power that takes advantage of multiple cards performance but running like a single card. Besides, this NVLink completely eliminates the bottleneck between CPU and GPU as well. You can check out the performance test video of the 6x RTX 3090 package on Blender 2.90, renderer Cycles below:

iRender always puts the needs of the customer as priority to create the best server configurations, iRender is always a pioneer in the digital age with the latest graphics technologies with reasonable price. Whether you are an iRender customer, or you are simply interested in our service, iRender has a great number of enthusiastic staff that are always ready to support you 24/7. We believe the quality of support we provide is as vital as the technology we deliver. We provide unmatched support tailored to your specific needs and goals. Let’s register an account HERE to get FREE COUPON to test our servers with your Blender scenes and stay tuned for more interesting and useful articles related to rendering every day!

iRender – Happy Rendering!


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Rosie Dinh

Hi everyone. Being a Customer Support of iRender, I always hope to share and learn new things with 3D artists, data scientists from all over the world.


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