What are manipulators

Manipulators are tools for managing objects in a scene. You can select the desired manipulator on the toolbar or using hotkeys. To work on animations, you will need manipulators to select, move and rotate objects.

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Exercise 4.1. Selecting objects
Sample scene: cube

  • Switch to point controller mode
  • Select the selection tool (Q)
  • Click on point controllers on the cube to select them. The highlighted points will turn yellow.
  • Hold LMB and move the mouse so that a red frame appears. You can select several point controllers at once with a frame.
  • Hold Shift to add new controllers to the selection or exclude the selected controllers from the group.

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Exercise 4.2. Moving objects
Sample scene: cube

  • Select all the point controllers of the cube using the frame and switch to the translate tool (W)
  • Choose arrows of different axes and move the cube along each of them while holding LMB.
  • Select the plane icons between the arrows and move the cube along the selected plane.
  • Click inside the circle in the center of the manipulator and move the cube freely in the plane of the screen.

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Exercise 4.3. Rotating objects

  • Use the frame to select all point controllers of the cube.
  • Select the rotation manipulator (E)
  • Choose different axes and rotate the cube along each of them. 
  • Select the outer circle of the manipulator - this will allow you to rotate the object in the plane of the screen.
  • If you choose the space between the axes, you can rotate the object freely in all directions.

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Exercise 4.4: Choosing a pivot point

You can choose any point of the cube as a pivot! 

  • Without removing the selection, click on one of the point controllers with RMB to rotate the cube around it.

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Exercise 4.5: Local and global modes

The manipulator can be in local or global modes. The mode switching button is located on the toolbar next to the manipulators. 

  • Select all point controllers of the cube and select the rotation tool (E)
  • Switch to the local mode (~) of the manipulator and rotate the cube.
  • In local mode, the axis of the manipulator will correspond to the axes of the object and will rotate with it.
  • Return to global mode (~).

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