Maya – Will it Blend(er)?

Maya Blender

Today’s post comes from the incredibly talented Haley Kannall. She’s a resident artist at Nimble Collective and has approached learning Blender from a slightly different angle than me. For those of you hesitant to switch your workflow from a package you’re used to, Haley has a great method to ensure an easy transition! Enjoy!

If you were originally a Maya user (like me) but are looking to learn Blender, there are a few things that might get in the way of you getting to know the software. I first opened Blender with the intent of building shaders and creating a lighting setup, but I wasn’t even able to select my objects or navigate around the scene.

I quickly discovered how to change my settings to suit my needs. I wanted the basics to be instinctual, but I kept most of the Blender default settings so that the millions of Blender tutorials on the web would still be relevant. I had to learn some new hotkeys and figure out the Blender interface, but having the basics nailed down really helped me to get to the point I’m at today: Creating several short films exclusively in Blender! Hopefully, this tutorial will help you all in your transition from Maya to Blender!

Resetting your 3D Cursor location:

If you open up Blender and start clicking on objects with your LMB, you won’t be able to select anything. What you will be doing is changing the location of your 3D Cursor. Before I show you how to change your selection settings, you might want to re-center your 3D Cursor. With your mouse hovering in the 3D viewport, press N to open the right-hand panel. Under 3D Cursor enter 0 into each of the inputs for x, y, and z. Or you can use the hotkey SHIFTc.

Reset 3DCursor

Changing your “Select With” setting:

Open your User Preferences and click on the Input tab. On the left-hand side of the panel you’ll see an option called “Select With”. Change it from Right to Left.

Change the "Select With" option to Left

Setting up Maya Navigation:

In the Input tab, open the 3D View dropdown menu, and the 3D View (Global) dropdown menu. Change the inputs for Rotate View, Move View, and Zoom View.

Rotate View = Alt LMB

Move View = Alt MMB

Zoom View = Alt RMB


Open the 2D View dropdown menu and change the inputs for Pan View and Zoom 2D View.

Pan View = Alt MMB

Zoom 2D View = Alt RMB


Open the Image dropdown menu and the Image (Global) dropdown menu. Change the inputs for View Pan and View Zoom.

View Pan = Alt MMB

View Zoom = Alt RMB


Open the Clip dropdown menu and the Clip Editor dropdown menu. Change the inputs for View Pan and View Zoom.

View Pan = Alt MMB

View Zoom = Alt RMB


Rotation in Edit Mode:

You won’t be able to rotate around your scene in Edit mode with these current settings. Open your User Preferences and in the Input tab search for Loop Select. Open the options for Loop Select, and change the “Press” dropdown menu to Double Click.



Save Your Settings:

Save your settings by clicking the “Save User Settings” button at the bottom of the User Preferences panel.


Next go to File < Save Startup File to ensure your settings become the default.


Now every time you open Blender on your computer your settings will be just the way you want them!

Haley Kannall
Haley Kannall
Haley is a member of the community team, helping the Nimble Community members to be successful in their creative endeavors. She’s had the wonderful opportunity to do lighting on several of the Pilot Program films, as well as assist on 4039 productions. She is a story enthusiast with a passion for scuba diving and Thai food.


  1. Love this, very good set up insights for those that need them in a very concise delivery.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much! Saved me a ton of headache!

  3. Aneeshkutti says:

    Thank you…..

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