By the end of this article you will have learned how Blender 2.8 download and installation works. You will also know what system requirements are recommended. At the end we will also look at some initial settings that are good to know before starting your Blender adventures.
If you rather watch a short video instead of reading, or perhaps you prefer both. Then here it is.
Prerequisites of blender
These are the system requirements for Blender 2.8 according to blender.org
- 32-bit dual core 2Ghz CPU with SSE2 support
- 2 GB RAM
- 1280×768 Display
- Mouse or trackpad
- OpenGL 3.3 compatible graphics with 512 MB RAM
- 64-bit quad core CPU
- 8 GB RAM
- Full HD display
- Three button mouse
- OpenGL 3.3 compatible graphics with 2 GB RAM
- 64-bit eight core CPU
- 16 GB RAM
- Full HD displays
- Three button mouse and graphics tablet
- Dual OpenGL 3.3 compatible graphics cards with 4 GB RAM
Keep in mind that a 3-button mouse is recommended and for an optimal experience a graphics tablet is good to have. The graphics tablet in this case will be used for drawing or sculpting in most cases. In this basic introductory series, we won’t use a graphics tablet, but we will assume a 3-button mouse.
Blender 2.8 Download and installation
Right now, we will start with Blender 2.8. It is currently in beta, but it is very different from the stable version, and it is also the way forward. So, skip 2.79 at this point and go straight for 2.8 to avoid relearning later.
Go to the blender.org website and click “Download blender 2.79b” It may say 2.80 or later if you are reading this when 2.80 has come out of beta stage. Then hit “Try Blender 2.80 beta” to get to the correct downloads. Select your operating system and download the corresponding 2.80 beta file. Most likely you will need the 64-bit version.
From here, I will assume that you are using Windows.
- Locate your downloads folder
- Right click on the zip-file and chose “extract all…”.
- Chose a location and hit “extract”
- Browse to the folder and locate the “blender.exe” file and start it.
When starting Blender, we will be presented with a splash screen only viewable the first time we start Blender. This is the quick setup. Here we can change the selection method and spacebar hotkey.
We will stick with left select but change the spacebar to search. The default of “Play” which is playing animation is not useful in as many circumstances as the search. We can change the theme if we want or lad in settings from 2.79 if we have used previous version.
When clicking outside the splash screen a second slash screen will appear. This is the screen we will be presented with every time Blender starts. Click again and in the menu in the top left corner, click edit and go to the bottom where you find “preferences”.
In here there are a lot of settings. We will first visit the keymap category. In the top section you will find those same settings that was available in the quick setup. Here, tick “select all toggles”. This will allow you to toggle selections with the “A” hotkey instead of selecting with A and deselecting with ether “alt+a” or double tapping “A”.
For laptop users, continue to Input, the rest skip to the next paragraph. In the input settings we can make life easier for laptop users that are missing the numpad part of the keyboard. Click the “Emulate Numpad” checkbox in order to have the numbers row above the alphabet act as if they were the numpad numbers. Next, check “Emulate 3 button mouse” if you don’t have a mouse with a scroll wheel in order to make “alt+left click” act as a middle click.
We will now head over to system. Here we can enable CUDA for Nvidia graphics cards or OpenCL for AMD graphics cards. This will allow us to take advantage of the power those graphics cards have to help us accelerate Blender. If you don’t have a dedicated graphics card just stick to none.
Just below the CUDA/OpenCL settings are the memory and limit section. Here we can increase the number of undo steps available while working. I have mine set to 70 to be able to go back further if I realize that I made a significant mistake I need to backtrack to.
As a last step we will enable 3 addons before we dive in. Go to the add-ons category and click in the search bar. Type “f2” and check the box next to the addon. Do the same for the loop tools addon and node wrangler.
When this is done. Hit “save preferences” and hit the X to close the preferences window.
Great, now off you go to the next part covering editors and interface.