Draw, Paint & Sculpting Keymap Proposal - Feedback Request

Proposal to change Cycle Render Slot to [ and ] or Left and Right arrows or something that makes more sense than J and Alt+J.



Quick question: is there a preferred version of Blender that we test with? Don’t want to give bad feedback, based on using the wrong application version. thanks!

I would advocate that hotkeys be unique to the workspace “mode” a user enters in Blender. If you can’t wrap your brain around that simplicity, there’s not much anyone can offer here.

What I would suggest as a sculptor. Is keep it simple and relatively relatable across workspaces, but Sculpt Mode should have its own unique set of controls for “fluidity” in terms of ease of use, Sculpting is the 3D equivalent of drawing, and should be easy on the 5 fingers of 1 hand as possible, while the other flicks the wrist and uses stylus pen buttons as a mouse extension.

Any sculpt brush should initialize in the function of “add, subtract & mask”. No if and or buts.

  • Left-Click - Add
  • Alt+Left-Click - Subtract
  • Ctrl+Left-Click - Mask
  • G - Move/Translate
  • R - Rotate
  • S - Scale
  • Ctrl+R - Repeat last Stroke/command/Camera rotation
    Right-Click Select — Blender Community

I don’t use extensively face-sets yet because of not having a predictable “pose” brush available that has polish for easy artist transpose functionality. But as far as other hotkeys are concerned. It seems they can be customized to users preferences. Above where I’ve written, I would argue that those should be the default and would make transitioning to Blender from outside users of ZBrush & Mudbox a breeze.

A am aware of Ctrl+R being set for Remesh, but honestly that can be remapped to Alt+R because Remesh isn’t a common function/feature I as a user want impulse hotkey access to. Having to use other tools as a day job for full on production. - It would be cool to have a auto-retopo/remesh modifier though instead.

Thanks for all the replies!

@ecke101 @L0Lock @ZanQdo Many modes and editors are not addressed by this design. This is more specifically about any workflow in the 3D viewport that uses brushes.

@nickberckley I’d encourage anyone to assign their own desired shortcuts for brushes. The issue so far was that there are too many shortcuts assigned to brushes that many won’t use.
We could agree on some essentials like Draw, Mask & Grab. But beyond that it becomes subjective to each user. Some even prefer to access brushes and tools from the Toolbar and just have shortcuts for Clay Strips & Grab or whatever brushes they rely on 95% of the time.
The idea behind leaving brush shortcuts out is that users can incrementally assign shortcuts to the ones they want to use.

Once the Asset Shelf is introduced it would be easy to have the startup file show you the few most basic brushes first. No keyboard shortcuts needed.

@omr Some shortcuts are inherited from other modes. That still needs to be fixed. (G, R, S, Shift W, C, etc)

Grow/Shrink Face Set shortcuts can’t be from a pie menu unless they wait for a click to know the cursor position. But I can look into that.
I’ll also look into what could be added to the face set pie menu. But that can be a separate topic.
The context menu is on W for right click select.
I’ll look into the stroke method menu. It was supposed to be added.
Once the asset shelf is introduced, this would likely replace the need for the tool popup in sculpting/painting modes.
Introducing the select linked operators to the curve sculpt mode can be looked into.

@thorn-neverwake For this thread it’s great to test the included LCS or RCS keymap. The IC (Industry Compatible) keymap will get a separate thread.

@Doowah Each mode will be optimized for it’s own workflow. This design is just an effort to synchronise common standards between them and work the features we have. I agree with your points but the proposed shortcuts are not ideal since they clash with a lot of other keybindings.
Your proposed keymap is closer to the updated Industry Compatible keymap, which has the aim to bridge closer to Zbrush and other painting applications. I’ll share a thread soon about that.
Shift R is also readily available for Repeat Last. No need to reassign remesh shortcuts.


I have also changed brush shortcuts to better fit my needs. C is Clay strips for me, P is paint, instead of clay and pinch. And it is true that people don’t use all shortcuts. But its the choice between do we start with empty keys and assign brushes to them, or keys that already have brushes and we change them. I think changing is better way for new users.

I just think that some sort of general keymap is needed for the sake of communication between users. Especially between teachers and students. Reassigning shortcuts isn’t much harder than assigning. imho. But of course it could be made easier

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I fixed the issues of the Context Menu not working in RCS.
Also the Stroke Method menu is now available on Alt E.
Other changed mappings:
Shift Ctrl E = Shrink Active Face Set

Also, a separate thread is now open for the Industry Compatible Keymap:

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“Remove all brush shortcuts” just set them unused but still possible. Do no remove them. (revert how they worked in 2.79 if you really want to improve it).

In general, do not remove old stuff. There is so much stuff in this proposal i hate that im not going to deep dive in it. Ive got weak nerves.

Last Blender release was 3.5 and it is still providing a 2.7x keymap.

That would be simple to propose a 3.x keymap to avoid people to be lost.

The more keymap config contains shortcuts, the more trying to assign new ones may create a conflict.
So, while thinking to a new keymap, that is better to start without brush shortcuts or with the idea of reserving 3 or 4 most accessible keys to most essentials brushes than keeping as many brush shortcuts as old keymap configuration.

In 3.5, in sculpt mode, we have 11 brush shortcuts for 32 brush categories.
We can think that a user would like to use several variants of same brush, and wants to be able to directly call more than 12 brushes.

What is sure is that we will not be able to agree on a perfect brush set.
People are already talking about Grab brush as an essential brush, here.
Personally, I prefer to use edit mode, Grab Tool, Elastic brush or Pose brush, rather than Grab brush.
I don’t mind if it is part of a set of essential brushes with shortcuts, by default.
But lets keep task easy by agreeing on a low amount. At least, not more than 6.

To give space for customization, we also have to avoid to use all keys of keyboard for other things than brushes.

That would be a keymap for Blender 4.0. So ideally, the latest blender version 3.5 or a 3.6 alpha, free of sculpting bugs.

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True my correction, Ctrl+R is Remesh so my bad.

Shift+R is currently assigned to Repeat Last, and Repeat last doesn’t take into account “Repeat last brush stroke” or any command in the viewport of Sculpt Mode. I provided a RCS link to further elaborate the benefit of this suggestion as a default feature. It is incredibly simple, but incredibly powerful at the very same instance. Have you considered it beyond your reply on its usefulness?

Question: Is Blender engineered in such a way, that each tabbed “Mode” can have its own set of independent shortcuts (except fundamental uses move, rotate, scale, repeat last) that don’t cross outside of each mode (Layout/Modeling/Sculpting/UVEditing/) etc. - Basically making a mode that’s user active, only those shortcuts/keybinds remain in that active “mode” state.

IMO that would be a major benefit and long-term headache engineers would have when working with Blender. Because at the very least, each user can customize Blender to function in the ideal fashion as they’d expect.

Something like “Repeat Last Stroke” is not supported at the moment and would be a new feature. That’s beyond this proposal. But it would be possible to add support for this if the shortcut Shift R remains free.

And yes, each editor, mode and tool can have its own keymap entries which allows inheritance of shortcuts.
How keymap entries will be set up needs to be discussed, because some shortcuts are always inherited from 3D View to all its modes,
like Move on G or Click & Drag, Circle Select on C and Bend on Shift W.
That’s not ideal.

Tools that work in multiple modes should absolutely be identical, and ideally there should be a way for the user to universally decide on a single hotkey that is inherited…
they shouldn’t need to assign M for Move in 9 different preference categories, plus toolbars.


Some of this will be a future topic of improving the keymap editor.
One possible solution that is currently hard-coded in some areas is to ‘link’ keymap entries (similar to collections in the outliner).
That way keymap entries can be defined once and instanced across the keymap wherever they are needed.

But lets focus for now on the preferred keymap behavior instead of the implementation.

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Just one request, can the mask expand and face set expand gestures be exposed as tools in the interface too? it is always really hard to work just with shortcuts with these

I think these 4 operators:


Should be edit mode only. Most of them don’t really do anything when used on single object and when used on multiple objects they are very unpredictable anyway (since they operate on origins). That will stop them from bleeding into sculpt mode too.


It looks like shortcut for Stroke Method is different in Texture Paint mode (that is still E instead of Alt E).
Except that little detail, I think that consistency between modes of this keymap configuration is well done.

I like E dedicated to Face Sets. That is working smoothly.

But I am not convinced by shortcuts using R.
That is an accumulation of conflicts and an aggravation of confusion.
There is conflict between R for resolution or rotation.
Shift R for repeat or remesh.
And a new one was created with Ctrl R for Multires levels or Dyntopo Flood Fill.
That is problematic because for dyntopo modes that don’t support Detail Flood Fill operation ; Ctrl R is adding a Multires modifier.
I would prefer to use Ctrl D for Dyntopo Flood Fill to avoid confusion and use Shift W instead of R and Ctrl W instead of Ctrl R.
That would let space for R for rotate, shift R for repeat last and Ctrl R for Remesh.

One goal of revamp is to solve G,R,S conflict. Currently, it is not.
There are 3 possibilities :

  • Sculpt mode keymap should reuse G,R,S as the other modes.
  • G,R,S should be removed from Global section of 3D View and be reintroduced per mode, to allow to assign those keys to other stuff in Sculpt mode.
  • G and S or G or S should be remapped to Transform active tools activation.

Called by shortcuts or not, I think that shortcuts for orientation and transform mode would be welcomed for Transform active tools.
Shift RMB to place pivot is really appreciated.

I agree with @omr about Face Set pie menu. It is probably possible to add some Initialize Face Set By or Face Set From operators.
Sculpt menu is too long. I would split it into 3 menus (Sculpt, Gestures, Filters).
I think that some shortcuts to call gestures to add/remove volumes, to apply Surface Smooth/Enhanced Details filters and to rebuild BVH would be welcomed.
Those things are not easy to access, but workflow would gain from a quick one for them.


Current proposal for the transform tools is to not have shortcuts for them in paint/sculpt mode: ““Keymap entries for Transform operators (Move, Rotate, Scale, Bend, Sphere) need to be prevented from appearing automatically in the sculpting and painting modes once some shortcuts are freed.
Even though they can somewhat function, they aren’t optimized for these modes.””

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They are predictable in Object mode, when you know that they are relative to 3D Cursor placement.

But, indeed, in object mode, they are not supported. That would imply to modify them to make them support selection in Sculpt mode.
It may never happen or be a surprise added in future of development.

But, anyways, these shortcuts are useless for sculpt and paint modes. They should not be global.

I don’t think that is relative to active tools created for the mode.
In that case, using GRS for active tools or not is still a question ?

I could be wrong, but the way I understand it, removing all default brush hotkeys also applies to the transform tools. Some heavily used brushes like grab, mask, smooth can maybe retain default hotkeys, but I don’t think anyone uses the transform tools that heavily in sculpt mode.

They were improved in 3.3, with Elastic mode. They are used.
Maybe, they would be more used, if they were not at the end of toolbar, or if they had shortcuts.
Julien just added one, in this keymap configuration, for pivot placement, that was absent, in official release.
That is a step to make those tools more practical.
Maybe we should make them more accessible, too.

I don’t deny that would be more pertinent to reserve those accessible keys, to tools more used than them.

Do we refuse to consider them, because we refuse to add shortcuts to brushes ?
If we add shortcut to brushes, shouldn’t we add, at least, one shortcut to one Transform Active Tool ?
In that case, do we keep one of those GRS shortcuts as a Transform tool for consistency between modes, are do we use a different shortcut ?

Masking in general and a pie menu for mask operations would be pretty essential I think, so if ‘A’ is used as a selection pie it’d be great to at least have a substitute. Convenient masking and face set operations we have in Zbrush are pretty cool, so having them handy at least via shortcuts/pie menus would be neat.

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