The screen manipulator

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The screen manipulator

You can both translate and rotate an object with the screen manipulator. Click the screen manipulator button (SFM icon ScreenManipulator.png) in the lower-left corner of the viewport.

Move the object around the world Drag the yellow translation square in the center (hold down Shift to drag the object relative to the map's surfaces).
Rotate the object relative to the screen Drag the outer orange ring.
Free-rotate the object Drag in the space between the yellow square and the orange ring.

The same hotkeys that work with the translation and rotation manipulators also work with the screen manipulator. Holding down Shift while you drag the center moves the object along the world's surfaces; holding down Shift while you drag the ring rotates the object relative to the screen. Holding down Ctrl while you translate snaps the object to nearby joint controls, and holding down Alt while you translate moves the object closer or farther away.

The pivot handle

You may want to rotate an object around a point that is not its center. You can set this point by using the pivot, which is part of the screen manipulator.

The screen manipulator has a pivot handle (the small orange bump on the left of the orange ring). Drag the pivot handle to move the screen manipulator off the object. Where you release the pivot handle determines the point around which the object will now rotate. If you grab the pivot handle, hold down Shift, and move the manipulator around with the pivot handle, you'll see a small yellow circle and line indicating where the new pivot point will snap to along surfaces in the map. You can also use Alt to move in depth, and Ctrl to snap to nearby controls, just as you can with the translation manipulator.

To snap the screen manipulator back onto the object, double-click the pivot handle.

Tip:When the screen manipulator is moved away from the selected object, you can use it to translate as well as rotate, the same way you would when the screen manipulator is centered on the object. This is particularly handy when you're working with lights and view targets.
Tip:Experienced animators may note that because the SFM is applying the manipulation through the falloff instead of just applying simple interpolation, and adjusting both rotation and translation at the same time, you can easily create arced motion among multiple objects that maintain their contact points or relationships with each other through the falloff and the modification.

See also