Fixing Camera Pan/Orbit Mouse/Keyboard toggle interaction

Hello, I’m a 3D Artist at Grinding Gear Games, I work on Path of Exile.

I’ve been wanting to switch to Blender for years but every time I start, the camera controls keep me away. It fundamentally cannot be tolerated if I’m in order to keep up a fast cohesive workflow in regards to fundamentals like retopology or anything that requires constant micro adjustments of the camera whilst making selections etc.

The issue:

There is a massive disconnect where holding MMB to Orbit, but then pressing SHIFT whilst holding this down doesn’t switch to Pan, it does nothing at all, pressing ALT enables angle snapping, but SHIFT does nothing. You have to actually let go of MMB and then click both it and SHIFT together again at the same time to enter the Pan modes. Likewise, letting go of SHIFT during the MMB Pan doesn’t swap it back to Orbit either, you have to lift off MMB and then click it down again with the SHIFT key.
You press 2 keys to initiate a movement, but letting go of one of them changes nothing. You press one key to start an opposing movement and pressing another one also does nothing to bridge between the two. It’s very dysfunctional and needs to be addressed, and it’s INCREDIBLY simple. Just…don’t make me have to let go of the MMB to swap to the other interaction.

Switching to “Industry Standard” I thought would fix this as Max and Maya both behave correctly and opposite to how I’ve explained Blender works, where keys can simply toggle as you’re doing the movements, but you’ve instead simply put every camera control as an “Alt+Mouse” command, which is stupid because no “Industry Standard” software uses Left Click for anything to do with camera transforms. It seems like this was done because you’re intentionally aware of your limitation with the controls?

Something as basic and fundamental as controlling the viewport should be incredibly straight forward and clean. As a Max user, Maya has the best implementation where Alt simply toggles between everything camera control wise with 2 mouse buttons. Max let’s you use Maya’s exact implementation if you want it too. Even Zbrush behaves more logically than Blender for Camera control.

I’ve been a 3D artist for 15 years now and I’ve been constantly installing and uninstalling Blender over the years since around 2008 when I first wanted to get into it, wondering when this will change, but I’m now at the point I feel like no one actually considers this an issue, when it is infact a massive seemingly unspoken reason why alot of Max/Maya/Industry people quit the sotftware unsure as to why exactly it “feels off”. I cannot use the software like this and ever think to perform retopology properly where I’m constantly clicking selections AND adjusting the camera many times a second, if the keys are constantly juggling what it is they actually do while I’m doing it. I need Speed and Blender gives me Clunk instead.

You fix this fundamental issue and loads of actual professionals will stop turning away from your software (they do, 2.8+ hasn’t actually addressed what people who actually work professionally want). Right now the general feeling from art pros and people I work with who actually do real work, stuff that needs to be done fast, efficient and to quality is they think the software is neat and cute and does cool stuff, the feature trailers and update trailers look great! They approach it, find the basic fundamental control and feel irks them, the usability speed isn’t there and go “ok maybe I’ll wait for the 2.9 update or the 3.0 update when it’ll be REALLY good you know?” but I’m not so sure now at this point it will unless someone like me says something. You can show me a billion youtube view videos of new to 3D people making a Donut but it won’t matter until someone like me can actually work at least as fast in your program as the others, rather than slower and clunkier. So here I am complaining about it. I want to use Blender, but I cannot do it until you can show me that you can do the basics properly. I can’t trust you can do the advanced stuff if you can’t even nail fundamentals.

tl;dr If I press Shift during an active Middle Mouse click Orbit, it should IMMEDIATELY switch to Pan mode while I still have MMB held down. Letting go of the SHIFT key while still doing this should then switch back to Pan, without ever needing me to take my finger off the MMB. As it does in Max/Maya/Other Software. Please fix this.

First- this belongs in the User Feedback section.

Second- try to dial the hyperbole waaaay back. Your post is a rant, not an effort to create any kind of constructive dialogue. You make a lot of sweeping generalizations about a lot of different things that may be true for your particular situation but might not be consistent with what others might be experiencing. As an example: 2.8+ hasn’t actually addressed what people who actually work professionally want. I’m sorry, who elected you representative of the professional 3D industry? Roughly half of our art department is using Blender on a daily basis since 2.8 was released with the number increasing regularly. I will not be so bold as to say that this is what is happening everywhere, and neither should you.

I understand that you’re frustrated- but consider how you want to interact with people here. You really think this is the best way to communicate those frustrations? Kick the door down, flip a few tables, have a word with the manager and then walk out? So here we are talking about etiquette rather than actually trying to help you solve your problem, seems a bit counter-intuitive doesn’t it?

I can’t trust you can do the advanced stuff if you can’t even nail fundamentals
Just… wow.

This is verified working in Blender 3.0.1 and involves changing the keymap:

  • Go into EditPreferencesKeymap
  • Search for view3d.rotate and find the one bound to Mouse / Middle Mouse
  • Under View3D Rotate Modal, click Add New
  • Pick Switch to Move from the list
  • Expand the tiny :arrow_forward: next to Switch to Move (if you try and do it on the A just to the right without expanding, it won’t let you pick Shift)
  • Click the A next to Switch to Move and press Left Shift
  • Pick Press from the drop-down to its right

Now repeat the process for view3d.pan, Switch to Rotate, and Release