Blender 2.6: How to Understand Transform Orientation
Understanding transform orientation
When you start moving objects around in Blender, there are times when you need to move them at angles. So in other words, we need to them at different orientations. So we have a feature in Blender called Transform Orientation that can help us with this. So I have a simple table and chair here. So if you want to take a look at this kind of from the top, I've got these two chairs and I want to go ahead and put this one chair underneath the table. So I am going to right-click on it and rotate it so that it's kind of in the same direction as the table, so it's fairly square to the table, and then I am going to select my Translate Manipulator.
And if you'll notice here, I've got this manipulator actually is along the global X and Y axis. So in other words, I can't slide it directly in to the table. I can move it this way or this way, and so if I wanted to, I can kind of edge my way into it, but I can't do it in one smooth motion. I can change that by using the transform orientation. And that's this little box here next to our Move and Rotate and Scale manipulators.
So right now it's set to Global and that's the default, and so this Manipulator will match the X, Y, and Z axis of the scene, the Global axis. But if I want, I can change this to match the axis of each individual object. But if I want to, I can change this. Each individual object has its own set of coordinates and we can use those. So I go from Global to Local, notice how that flips.
And now I can just slide that chair straight in, well, it's a little bit off there, but yeah, I can pretty much slide that chair straight in, rather than having to do it this way, where I have to kind of work it in one axis at a time. So typically, when you build an object, you should build it square to the X, Y, and Z axis. And when you do that, by nature, your local axis will keep with the object. We have a number of additional axis here.
The ones you're going to use most are Global and Local. We have another one called Gimbal, and that's for, when you're working with bones and that sort of thing. We have Normal and this actually aligns it to the normal direction of the surface. So this is something you would use when you're actually doing Mesh Modeling. And then also the other one is aligned to view, and this can also be very important. So what it does is gives you an X and Y that are actually always perpendicular to the cameras. So no matter how I move the camera, I can always move it square to that camera.
So if I move it this way, then I can still continue to move it square to the camera. Now this can be very important if you're doing things where you need to move things directly horizontally to where ever the camera is and this will go ahead and calculate that properly. Also don't forget that these methods also work for the other tools. So for example, if I wanted to scale this chair, I would go into a Local mode in order to scale it. So if I wanted to scale it left and right or back and forth, going on the Local axis gives me that.
If I did the Global axis, then my scaling wouldn't be aligned with my object. And the same goes for rotation. I can rotate around the Global axis or around the Local axis and I can also rotate around the view. So by using Transform Orientation, we can Rotate, Move and Scale objects using different sets of axis.
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