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Transform Orientation



Object and Edit Modes


Header ‣ Transform Orientation



The Transform Orientation determines the orientation of the Object Gizmo. Changing this orientation can make it easier to perform transformations in the direction you want.

With the default Global transform orientation (left) its tricky to move the plane in the direction its facing, but with Local (right) its easy.

The Transform Orientation can be changed using a selector in the 3D Viewports header:

Transform Orientation selector.

The orientation can also be changed temporarily while performing a hotkey-based transformation with axis locking. For example, if you first press G to start moving an object, then X to lock to the orientations X axis, and finally X a second time, youll get a lock to an alternative orientation: the Local orientation if it was Global previously, and the Global orientation otherwise.

In addition to the builtin orientations, you can also define your own (see Custom Orientations below).



Align the transformation axes to world space. The world axes are shown by the Navigation Gizmo in the top right corner of the viewport, as well as the Grid Floor.


Align the transformation axes to the active objects orientation.


In Edit Mode, orient the transformation axes so that the Z axis of the gizmo matches the average Normal of the selected elements.

In Object Mode, this is equivalent to Local orientation.


Orient the transformation axes to visualize the workings of the objects Rotation Mode. This is specifically useful for the Euler modes, where the object is rotated one axis at a time: the rotation axes dont stay perpendicular to each other and might even overlap, a phenomenon known as gimbal lock that complicates animation.


Align the transformation axes to the view (meaning they change as you orbit around):

  • X: Left/Right

  • Y: Up/Down

  • Z: Towards/Away from the screen


Align the transformation axes to the 3D Cursor.


Align the transformation axes to the Parent.


Cube with the rotation gizmo active in multiple transform orientations.

Default cube with Global transform orientation selected.

Rotated cube with Global orientation, gizmo has not changed.

Local orientation, gizmo matches the objects rotation.

Normal orientation, in Edit Mode.

Gimbal transform orientation.

View transform orientation.

Parent transform orientation. Cube parented to rotated empty.

Custom Orientations



Object and Edit Modes


Header ‣ Transform Orientation

You can define custom transform orientations using objects or mesh elements. Custom orientations defined from an object use the Local orientation of that object, whereas those defined from mesh elements (vertices, edges, faces) use the average Normal orientation of those elements.

Transform Orientation panel.

The Transform Orientation panel, found in the header of the 3D Viewport, can be used to select, add, remove, and rename transform orientations.

The default name for these orientations is derived from the selection. If its an object it will take that objects name, if its an edge it will be titled “Edge”, and so on.

Create Orientation

To create a custom orientation, select an object or mesh element(s) and click the “+” button in the Transform Orientation panel.

Create Orientation bpy.ops.screen.redo_last panel.

Right after creating the orientation, the Create Orientation bpy.ops.screen.redo_last panel gives a few options:


Text field for naming the new orientation.

Use View

The new orientation will be aligned to the view space.

Use After Creation

The new orientation stays selected.

Overwrite Previous

If the new orientation is given an existing name, a suffix will be added to its name to avoid overwriting the existing orientation, unless Overwrite Previous is checked, in which case it will be overwritten.

Delete Orientation

To delete a custom orientation, simply select it and click the × button.