My journal of learning blender, as a reference sheet for endeavors into blender

This article is from the point of view of a map maker who designs maps for fast paced fps games that have fast movement, teleporters, jump pads and explosive jumping, but can probably apply to anyone who wants to make maps with emphasis on gameplay.

setting up

Download blender, if you'll be working with blender in various locations which may not have an internet connection, download the manual to your computer, extract the zip and open index.html. Now pick up a shortcut pdf

When creating maps with blender, this is mainly referred to as modelling so start with that section first at least understand object and edit mode. Next read through the mesh section and tool section. At this point you should have the bare minimum to get started

tool explanations

must know shortcuts

common tasks


  • focusing the camera origin
  • If you've created an object and you want the camera to rotate about the cneter point of the object, then in object mode click view and then frame selected.

rectangular prisms

These are quite useful for basic floors and walls, and are a building block to various other shapes.

  • creating one
    • dimension setting
      • create a cube
      • select it in object mode
      • press n to open the transform tab
      • in the transform tab set dimensions near the bottom
      • this may change the scale of your objects transform, in that case we can apply the objects transform using ctrl+a and then selecting scale
    • face moving
      • enable snapping
      • create a cube
      • enter edit mode and face select
      • choose the face or faces you wish to extend
      • select the move tool and drag
  • changing dimensions of a rectangular prism
    • If you have a rectangular prism and you want to change it's size in one of the axis aligned directions, select a face and move it.
    • Gotcha: The extrude tool is not for this purpose, it always creates a new section of the shape instead of modifying the existing one

bad ways

  • scaling a cube

circular n-gons

applying a transform

Suppose that you've moved an object to a new location, rotated it or scaled the object, in any case if you'd like to consider the new position as (0, 0, 0) or the rotation as no-rotation or make this version of the object's scaling (1, 1, 1), then we can use ctrl+a to do this.

duplicate and mirror object

select your object and use a mirror modifer on it

subtracting one object from another

select the object you'd like to subtract something from and add a boolean modifier, then use set difference and select the subtracting object, click apply and it will remove it



3d cursor

The 3d cursor is a point in space which is denoted by the white and red dashed circle, it is used as a reference point when you use various tools, use ctrl+c to recenter it at the origin of the space

  • centering in 3d center of object
    • select your object in object mode
    • shift-s then "cursor to selected"


In blender you can soak up a lot of time just by creating the same thing multiple times, if you want to create a row of the same thing or even a grid of the same thing, for this situation let's create an m by n array of spaced out cubes.

how to do it

  • create a cube
  • go to the cubes properties panel and the modifiers tab add an array modifier with a count of m and apply it
  • do the same thing again with n
  • these objects are all grouped together so that we can't modify any singular one, let's fix that:
  • with the array selected go into edit mode and then press p > separate by loose parts
  • each object is separated but their origin is set to the original objects center, let's fix this:
  • in object mode select all created elements and run Shift+Ctrl+Alt+C > Origin to Geometry

reducing cognitive load

As your map becomes more detailed, doing basic things gets slower and slower because your mind has to visually process everything around it even though it may be extranous information, use the forward slash key to toggle isolation mode on selected objects


Low Poly Texturing

Our goal is to add textures to things in a way such that one pixel on a texture always appears as the same size in the game, this concept is also known as a constant texel density. In this set-up I'll be assuming that you're using a low resolution square images which you want to tile your maps with.

how to do it

  • The [Magic UV add-on][1] can be used to accomplish this. Enable the add-on through *Edit > Preferences > Add-ons*, then search for Magic UV and enable it by clicking the checkbox.
  • Start by splitting the window with a uv editing window and make sure to switch on Material Preview Mode so you can see textures in the other modelling window, make a 1x1 plane.
  • Select your plane in object mode and select material properties in the right hand pane, create a new material and set it's base color to the image you'd like to use.
  • In edit mode select the face of the plane and press U > World Scale UV > Measure, this sets the texel density within the Magic UV add-on so that you can apply it to other faces.
  • Now create any mesh that you'd like to add a texture to for my example, I've made a simple rectuangular prism, making sure that any scalings have been applied. Next unwrap it so that the uv shells are proportional, I used smart UV Project for that.
  • Now back in the modelling window select all faces and use U > World Scale UV > Apply (Same Density) to apply the texel density you measured, feel free to move all of the faces in your UV editor to make the texture line up as desired

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