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Gizmo Orientation (proof of concept)

Authored by Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) on Dec 14 2018, 11:28 AM.



This patch is to try out some changes to transform orientations see rB6491d50d02b7c93b4955fe05dae62930f3a76ce1 for discussion on the topic.

This aims to resolve a conflict where artists in the Blender Studio want to keep keyboard axis setting global axis, even when the orientation is set to something else.

The solution in this patch is to allow gizmos to optionally use a separate orientation.

Transform System:

  • Use the user orientation when pressing XYZ keys, second press switches to global.
  • Pressing again switches to global, or local if you're have global orientation.


  • There is a toggle in the top-bar for gizmos to have their own orientation.
  • Once this is set, a drop-down is shown.


  • This currently doesn't work with custom orientations, if find this useful, I'll finish up the patch.
  • While the UI isn't final, buttons will be placed in the topbar.
  • Not yet ready for code review.

Diff Detail

rB Blender
arcpatch-D4075 (branched from blender2.8)
Build Status
Buildable 2653
Build 2653: arc lint + arc unit

Event Timeline

For me this works very well.

This revision is now accepted and ready to land.Dec 14 2018, 1:55 PM

This works, but the UI here is confusing I think.

Here, a link icon is used, but link what to what? It links the tool orientation to the scene orientation - this reminds me of the confusing locks we use in the Tool Properties for the paint modes.

I think it's a lot simpler and more straight forward if we just drop the link toggle and just add a single dropdown menu instead, like so:

This way, there's no need for a separate confusing link or lock, and we can actually have text to tell the user that this is the orientation.

It also seems a bit arbitrary that we only have this single option for the transform tools, although that would seem less odd if we add more things here. Eventually we could add 'Drag Action' controls to all the transform tools, and a Tweak toggle too, for selecting and transforming in one motion.

@Brecht Van Lommel (brecht), could you try this patch out with artists in the studio?

To finish this patch off, RNA for custom orientation access will need to be reworked.

Since changes here have a history of having unforeseen down-sides, I'd like to first have this user tested.

@William Reynish (billreynish) I'll match your proposal for the final UI (however not convinced 'Scene' orientation should show as if it's just one of the orientations options - this ignores all other options when set). it might be enough to have a separator under the scene button and grey out other options when set.

@Campbell Barton (campbellbarton), this has been tested & approved by the artists in the studio now.

  • Merge branch '28' into arcpatch-D4075