Decoupling x-ray and limit selection to visible

I find it hard to see what’s the problem in allowing users to select things differently…If we’re speaking stricly about design philosophies only, I would expect the best app ever to be flexible enough to mold itself to its users’ preferences. You want to select things with Right click? Sure. Left click? No problem. Select through geometry, or only visible elements? As you wish.

(54:23) It pains me too how this topic is brought up almost every livestream and it’s glossed over so fast haha


If Blender users went on a Maya forum and disagreed with select-through then the Maya users would tell them to enable “Automatic camera-based selection” in the settings for the Select Tool.

The end.

Because Maya is flexible enough to let the user choose either selection philosophy (“select-through” or “you select what you can see”). You can make Maya’s component selection work exactly like Blender and you don’t even need addons or custom code. It’s built-in and everyone can be happy with their preferred selection philosophy.

In a broad sense the push/pull between newcomers and Blender veterans is indeed difficult but in this specific instance giving the user the ability to choose whether they want to select-through or not is already a solved problem and does not require overthinking. Both can exist in the same program. The “compromise” is to become more flexible and let the end user make their own preferred choice. Neither philosophy should be the only way to select things.


Exatctly! I couldn’t agree more!

I just made a account to show up and support the thread because as everyone already said this is one of the most annoying things in Blender and also is a waste of time.


Another day and another xray switching BS:

Errors like this keep happening on daily basis:

All vertices on the closer end of the tube were supposed to be selected but I forgot to press the damn xray hotkey.

It’s simply not possible to get used to constantly switching between two selection methods multiple times a minute, even after using Blender on daily basis for almost 2 years now…


A new addon has hit the streets:


Holy smokes. I’m trying this out today! Edit: Mmm no mention of disabling face centers during Xray mode though, sadly…

As stated above, it addresses only minor portion of the problem.

I’m not sure what the Blender devs want regarding that, but I think they’re probably more flexible about how x-ray edge selection works and the face dots. The big issue for them is the paradigm of “selecting what you see”.

Campbell Barton said this:
“How to make it obvious selecting-trough is enabled (draw style, cursor - this might help avoid confusion).”

The addon makes it pretty obvious and maintains the “select what you see” paradigm, so this seems like the best compromise so far…

Perhaps a setting option like this might work:

  1. Solid view
  2. X - Ray mode
  3. Semi xray mode (x-ray only when selecting like the add-on)

So far, most users don’t seem to have a problem with the add-on solution (other than the previous issues mentioned). Any devs see this conflicting with any design? If not, then hopefully we can move on from this sticking point. :smile:

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To me the

paradigm of “selecting what you see”

is broken everywhere. For example:

  • in object mode when you box select you select objects that are not visible (that are behind other objects).
  • If you select an edge loop it selects the whole loop not only the visible part of the loop.
  • If you use “select all” it selects all faces not only those visible from the current view. But then it doesn’t select faces that the user has hidden.

Personally when I use “select all” I except all components/objects to be selected, hidden or not, visible in the viewport or not.
When I use “select hierarchy” I expert to select all members of the hierarchy not only the visible ones.

For me in Blender the relationship of the selection and visibility is inconsistent and confusing and IMHO this paradigm should not exist in the first place. I think the user should be able to choose how to select.


Hey guys, after some requests Cirno added the functionality to disable face centers when selecting with his plugin, check it out! This works wonderfully in the latest 2.83 beta.

Join in the fun and let him know if there are any technical problems! At least for me, this seems to completely fix this selection problem finally!


Thanks @Justo!
It seems to work really nice! Select through without face dots :slight_smile:

How does the edge selection work? Kio’s patch fixes that too. For example make a box and try to select edges from 45 degree view. If the edge selection is not fixed, then the edges of the box won’t select reliably with select through.

"Default box select tool in x-ray mode first tries to select edges that are completely inside the selection box. And then, if none edges was found, tries to select edges that intersect the selection box.

I modified the tool to always select intersected edges as you requested. And it has the option on the tool settings to revert default blender behavior."

Get in there and try it. If you dont want to override your Blender, download another version from the Blender website. Cirno is pretty open to modifying the plugin tool if a reasonable argument is brought up.

It has a custom intersection test to identify selected edges and based on that faces, so that’s not likely to happen here.

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Yes, I agree it’s not consistent in object mode. They should start from there first.


Wasted time unfortunately. The major feature of being able to select occluded geometry without the dumb face center makes selection on anything else than really low poly models unusably slow :frowning: So it’s back to the waiting game…

Just this weeks, I’ve again wasted several hours of my time just because of many broken selection. This really needs to be fixed asap.


I’m sorry tp hear that. I’m still using kio’s custom build over here, though once this project was finished I was planning on trying 2.83 with that addon. You say that if we have very dense meshes, the scenes get very slow to navigate? That’s sad to hear.

Luckily I am mostly using Blender in my free time for lazy-speed portfolio pieces, but if this was being used in my office that would suck.

I highly encourage you to get in contact with Cirno and let him know your problems with the addon. Perhaps a solution could be worked out - he certainly seems fully intent on working on this issue, as seen by his support in the thread. It doesn’t hurt to take those 5 min to write to him.

There’s no problem he is not aware of. He explicitly states that the facedot-less mode is very slow and hence disabled by default. On my very high poly model test, the face dot xray box select has about 1 second delay while the face area box select through has about 30 seconds delay.

This will hardly get much better simply because of python limitation. The only proper way to get it performing right is on C++ level, and that likely won’t happen as Kio’s patch got flagged as abandoned.