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How to change the scale in Blender

Changing the scale can mean a few things in Blender. We may want to change the scene scale. We may also want to change the object scale. So how do we do either of these in Blender?

To change the scale of your scene in Blender, you can change the unit scale by going to the scene tab, expanding the unit section and change the unit scale. A unit scale of 1.0 represent one meter by default. Changing the unit scale to 0.1 makes every meter a decimeter instead. 

In the rest of this article, we'll go into more detail about scale. We'll go over what changing scale means in Blender. Who to change the scale of a scene as well as objects.

What does it mean to change the scale in Blender?

Changing the scale in Blender can mean a couple different things. Generally, when we talk about changing the scale, we'll do it by changing the unit of measurement in the scene.

We also have the option to scale individual parts of an object as well as the entire object. Going into edit mode allows us to scale parts of an object but it's important to note this does not affect scale values as we are directly modifying the mesh whereas scale is a vector that the mesh positions are multiplied by.

Another way to change the scale of an object is to apply its scale. This won't change the dimensions of the object but will apply the current scale values. This will keep the objects dimensions the same but will set all the values for scale back to one.

If we scaled an object in object mode it will remember that adjustment by adjusting the scale value. Many objects operation don't work relative to this scale so we can start seeing weird artifacts in our objects if this scale goes too far off from 1.

To avoid this issue, we usually Apply an objects scale whenever we want to add modifiers or setup effects that need to be relatively similar across objects.

Check out the article below for more info on applying scale.

Related content: How and why do we apply scale in blender

How does scaling and the unit system work in Blender?

The unit system in Blender is like the system of measurement our scenes use. When we adjust the unit sizes in Blender we don't change the scale of the objects in that scene but we do change their dimensions.

The unit scale value is basically how many units of the type we've selected one Blender unit will equal. As an example lets say we're using meters. We have a Plane that is 1m x 1m. If we change the unit scale from 1 to 10 then our plane will be measured as 10m x 10m.

So how does this tie into object scaling? If we were to look at the scale and dimensions of an object when we change the unit scale we'll see that the object scale stays the same while the dimensions change.

We can think of the dimensions values as measurements of the object and the scale value as any unapplied scale changes we've made to the object.

When we adjust the dimensions manually it will change the scale value. We can think of this as another way of scaling the object but just using measurements instead to make the objects dimensions exact.

How to scale using the scale transform tool in object mode and edit mode?

To scale an object in object mode:

  • Select the object we want to scale
  • Press S to start scaling and move the mouse around to change the scale or type in a value.
  • Click with the left mouse button or press enter to lock in the scale

To scale an object in edit mode:

  • Set the object interaction mode to edit
  • Select the part of the mesh we want to scale or press A to select everything
  • Press S to start scaling and move the mouse around to change the scale or type in a value.
  • Click with the left mouse button or press enter to lock in the scale

Scaling an object in object mode can be done in a few ways. The most basic way to scale an object in blender is to select in the scene view and then press S.

Now we can either move our mouse cursor to change the scale or type in the value we want to scale our object by. To snap the scaling to an axis we can press x, y, or z to snap to that axis.

Once the object is at the scale we want we can press left mouse button or the enter key to lock in the scale. We can press right mouse button to reset the scale if we've made some unwanted changes to the scale.

We may also want to manually adjust the scale and dimensions values. These can be accessed by first selecting the object we want to adjust. Press N to open the side panel and in Item we can find the scale and dimensions.

Scaling in Edit mode is pretty similar and can be done by first pressing TAB to enter edit mode or by going to the top left and setting the object interaction mode to edit.

Now we can use all the same keys to scale though since we're doing this in edit mode these changes will be applied to the mesh directly without any need to apply them.

For a more interactive scaling tool we can also use the transformation tools on the left. Repeat all the steps above for either object or edit mode but instead of pressing S go to the left and select Scale. Once we're happy with the scale change we can set it back to select box.

If you are looking for a way to scale a texture in Blender, you can check out this guide:

Related content: scaling and stretching textures in blender

Final thoughts

With what we've gone over in this article we should have a pretty good idea of scaling Blender. We've gone over both changing the scale of our scene as well as changing the scale of an object. We can both scale or objects in object and edit mode.

Thank you for your time.

Written by: Damian Paterson

Editor & Publisher

Erik Selin
3D artist, writer, and owner of artisticrender.com

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