Blender Sculpting Shortcuts

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I’ve just started watching An Introduction to Sculpting in Blender by Flipped Normals, which was available as part of a fantastic Humble Bundle this month. Henning has a lot of good tips, including tablet setup and frequently used brushes. Of course I forget these things every second of the day, and every time I open Blender it has seemingly forgotten them, so this little helpful note will come in handy.

Tablet Setup

This works well for me:

  • Bottom Pen Button = Middle Mouse Click (navigation)
  • Top Button = Right Mouse Click (context menu)

Sculpting Shortcuts

Like ZBrush, Blender has 765.087.369.845.768 brushes on display at all times. 5 of them are useful, but sadly they’re mixed in with the other 765.087.369.845.763, which is a tad off-putting to newcomers. I think it’s a deliberate attempt to confuse users.

Henning likes to use the 1-4 number keys for the following brushes:

  • 1 = Draw Brush (equivalent to Standard Brush in ZBrush)
  • 2 = Clay Strips (equivalent to Clay Buildup in ZBrush)
  • 3 = Grab (equivalent to Move Brush in ZBrush)
  • 4 = Draw Sharp (equivalent to Dam Standard in ZBrush)

SHIFT is the Smooth Brush (like in ZBrush).

The Clay Strips brush apparently works better with the option Front Faces only enabled.

Changes in Blender 4

The Blender devs thoughts it’s a good idea to randomly change various shortcut keys around. Some of what Henning mentions no longer applies in the latest versions of Blender, for example:

  • CTRL+D no longer enables Dyntopo. There’s no longer a default shortcut for this in Blender 4, however it still works in Blender 3.6.5.
  • SHIFT+R no longer brings up the remesh grid. This was changed simply to R.

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3 thoughts on “Blender Sculpting Shortcuts”

  1. Jay,
    Thanks for all these tutorials, and the Daz Studio Masterclass.

    This isn’t 100% about sculpting shortcuts, but it does concern Blender shortcuts in general – have you ever tried Bforartists? It’s basically Blender with an improved interface. They seem to keep it up to date with the most recent Blender version.

    Thanks again.

    • Hi Andy! I’ve heard of it, one of my supporters really liked it because of its easier interface. I’ve never tried it myself, but that’s probably because I’ve started Blender before Bforartists came out and was already familiar with its crazy interface and hotkeys. There’s also the argument that tutorials focus on the default Blender layout, so it’s tricky to follow those if you use Bforartists. Thinking ahead, what were to happen if the project ever stops? You’d have to start learning Blender from scratch all over again. For that reason I’m not sure if I’d recommend Bforartists. I would only recommend it to users who have tried the default Blender and find it too hard to work with.

  2. Greetings, Mr. Versluis. First, I just want to say that I am an admirer of both your software skills and your personal resilience. Needless to say, I watch your Daz videos a lot, but will have to admit that despite having worked with Daz Studio for 9 years, I have failed to master sculpting. I would appreciate it incredibly if you could assist me with rigging a small OBJ model.


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