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Blender 2.8 has come with many new features and one of them is the reworked tools panel. It is it's flaws and you will discover that it works quite different from using shortcuts.

Now we are finally getting into some of the fun stuff. We will start to manipulate objects, learn more of the common beginner hickups to avoid and just have some fun exploring Blender and transformations. Widgets are the new thing, however they are not fully ready yet so stick to the shortcut way for now. It is faster anyway.

Video is available below. Enjoy!

Blender is quite heavy on shortcut keys but with the start of 2.8 the tools panel has had some rework. Using shortcut keys and the tools panel differ in a few ways.

Just like in 2.79 we have the “t” and “n” shortcuts to toggle the tools panel on our left side and the properties panel on the right.

From the tools panel the tools now work so that you select a tool and it will activate on mouse hold and confirm as soon as you release while the shortcut counterpart uses the shortcut to activate and a full click to confirm.

Currently the manipulators in the viewport is only visible the corresponding tool is active. This is quite inconvenient since we probably most of the time want to have our box selection tool active. Just keep that in mind.

These are just some of the reasons why the shortcut keys are still, at least my, prefered method of activating and using tools.

The shortcut keys for moving scaling and rotating our default cube is “G” for grab, or move. “S” for scaling and “R” for rotation. To constrain the transformation to any given axis hit “X”, “Y” or “Z” for the corresponding axis for constrainment.

To constrain to two axis and enable transformations over a plane rather than an axis use “shift” plus the axis you want to omit.

When it comes to scaling and sometimes rotation it is important to note the difference of scaling in object mode versus edit mode. We have not covered edit mode or object mode yet but just know that we are currently in object mode. When scaling in object mode we have to be aware that we scale the object and not the geometry that is contained within.

This is usually a great source of confusion to beginners therefore just know that for now, whenever you scale in object mode also hit “ctrl+a” and chose “scale” to reset the relative scale to 1 on all axis after each scaling operation.

If you don’t apply the scale, you will run into trouble with tools later that will behave in unpredictable ways.

We will continue by looking at edit mode in the next part.