“I tried using Blender once, but the interface just confused me.” I’ve heard this, or variations of this, sentence so many times. You might expect this from absolute beginners, but I’m talking about professionals who have been doing 3D modeling and animation for years. Blender, the extremely powerful, open source, and absolutely free tool has a user interface that is cluttered, counter intuitive, and just plain horrid.

When the fact of Blender’s abnormally steep learning curve is brought up, evangelists quickly jump in to give the multitude of reasons that Blender has retained it’s outdated control scheme. However, the fact remains that simply figuring out basic tasks in the program turns a lot of people away. I’m not saying it should be the most intuitive thing on the planet. Nonetheless, when people can fluidly hop between 3DS Max, Maya, Fusion360, Autocad, and tons of other packages, but immediately hit a roadblock when they open Blender…you might have a slight issue. It really is a bummer because Blender is a freaking powerhouse of a program and totally free. I feel selfish when I complain.

Luckily there are some possible avenues for getting a better experience. Be for Artists, or BforArtists, is a huge effort that takes Blender and completely reworks the UI to make it a bit more intuitive.

Now, if you’re expecting BforArtists to make you an instant pro, you’re going to be let down. These are complex software packages that require lots of time and experience to get proficient at. However this does at least lessen that extremely steep learning curve a bit by making the interface more intuitive and more congruous with other popular packages you may already have experience with.

BforArtists is completely free and retains the full functionality of the version of Blender that it is built on. They also have a library of tutorials that you can watch to get started. If you need to, you can also switch back to all the defaults or watch tutorials online in YouTube’s massive library.