Join Ellery Connell for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding Action Centers, part of MODO 701 Essential Training.
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Action centres allow you to control the location and orientation of tools that are used in object manipulation. These action centres are located in the top middle menu, where it says Action Centre. You can see that there are a number of pre-set action centres. These action centres contain two pieces, a centre, which is where the tool handles are located, and then an axis, which is the way that the tools are aligned or oriented. So, by default, the action centre is set to automatic. So if I press W to activate my Move tool, it's going to be centred in the middle of my object.
And my handles are oriented straight up and down, equal to the axis of the world space. You can see the world space axis in the bottom left corner of the view port. So you can see that the Y is green, and orients with the Y axis and so on and so forth. So this is the default action centre. One other thing that you can do with the default action centre is recentre it based off, off where you click in space aligned to the word plane. So if I move my mouse up into the, right here. You can see that, I move over to this screen space in the word plain, if I click there, my tool handles will move to that position and then I'll be able to edit my object from there.
For the Move tool, this doesn't make too much of a difference, but for something like the Rotate tool, if I select it there, I can now rotate around that centre space as opposed to the centre of the object. The selection action centre will snap the tools to the centre of your selection, either an item or an individual group of polygons. And then when you use the tool, it will be oriented in the direction of that particular selection. Clicking and dragging in another space in the 3D work plane will not re-centre the tool, but just allow you to access the multi direction version of the tool.
So just clicking and dragging in space will allow this cylinder to rotate in multiple directions at once. The selection border action center will take any selection that you have of polygons, vertices, or edges. And it will base the extreme outside edge of your selection as the center of space. And then it will average to give you an alignment based off of that. I'm going to select polygons by clicking on the Polygons button up here, and just click and drag over a few polygons. And set my action center to selection border. Now when I activate the Move tool, you can see that it is centred around that selection and if I add or decrease that selection, the handles will move to keep with that border of the selection.
The selection centre auto-access will place the tool handles at the centre of your selection, but then orient them with world space. So now you can see that my blue handle is once again aligned with the Z axis, and the red one with the X axis. This is useful if I need to move a particular part of an object, but if I want to move it in direct world space, up down, left or right on the XY or Z axes. The element action centre is a live action centre, and allows you to reposition the action centre position and orientation at any time.
Simply moving your mouse over 3D geometry will allow you to select that as the new centre and orientation for your action centre, and this can be moved. As you work. The screen action centre will reorient your tool handles relative to your current view port and they will be perpendicular to the view wherever you click. So if I click in my 3D space, you can see now that I see the red handle for going up and down and the green handle for going left and right.
But I don't see the blue handle in this view. It appears in my top view and that's just going to move the selection directly towards or away from my 3D perspective. The origin action centre centers the handles in the middle of space and orients them directly with the world. Parent, pivot, and pivot centre parent access have to do with hierarchies that are set up in your 3D scenes. We don't have any hierarchy right now so these won't change anything. The local action centre is something like the selection action centre however this will take any cluster of selections.
So say this selection and I'll select by holding Shift and clicking and dragging. In a couple of more places to select a few more polygons. And now, if I activate my Move tool, if my action centre's set to local, I will be able to move these groups all in their particular orientation. So you can see that even though I'm dragging outwards with this selection that is highlighted with the tools, each of the other selections is also moving in its own relative space. This makes it easier to move scale or rotate big groups of selections without having to do them all individually.
In addition to using these presets you can also choose to recenter or realign your action centres with these individual settings. Centre will control where the tool handle is located. An axis will control where the tool is aligned. Using a combination of these gives you a very powerful way to edit your action centres for whatever your specific needs are. Controlling action centres is an invaluable tool for modelling in Modo. They will help you to work quickly and efficiently, and save you steps in the 3D creation process.
- Navigating 3D space in MODO
- Working with primitives
- Modeling polygons
- Managing topology
- Modeling with SubDs
- Sculpting meshes
- Shading and painting with textures
- Working with Global Illumination and object-based lighting
- Animating with constraints and bones
- Tagging dynamic objects
- Building particle simulations
- Adjusting your render settings