Snapping and the Status bar

Navigation is probably the necessary of basics to work in any program so I think that’s the best starting place. For as important as navigation is, some of the most simple and helpful features “holding alt to snap the view” has evaded Blender artist I have ever known. (This includes Right-Click select members, countless tutorial creators, and add-on developers). So why is this feature so elusive? I believe there is a few reasons, the first being it is inconsistent with the rest of Blender (Ctrl snaps everything else), the second being that it is inconsistent with other program standards (Zbrush, Substance, Unity, Adobe, and Autodesk all have a form of Shift snapping implemented), and the third being that there is nothing actively informing anyone of it (Blender’s new Status Bar can be an amazingly helpful explaining Shift, Ctrl, and Alt for the Knife Tool but that information is strangely absent for almost everything else). There may have been other little factors like you have to be close enough to a lockable access for it to come into effect, which works perfectly however it unfortunately made it harder for people to stumble upon. Also when rotating objects, it snaps no nearly unnoticeable increments of 5 degrees rather than snapping to the closest axes or larger and more commonly typed in increments of 45, 90, 180, degrees (every other tool has much more noticeable snapping).

When rotating It is hard to know what increments is set as the native for rotation when in incremental snapping, so I think it would be extremely helpful if the manipulator widget both visually showed the increments and also used larger increments (possibly of 45 degrees). Also for those of us that love hotkeys, it would be extremely helpful if the objects locked to the closest 90 degrees when holding alt, the same way the viewport navigation works.

I know almost everyone here is comfortable using the number pad for these things but there are a few more reasons why I don’t believe that is the most ideal.

1.) Figuring out the math is not friendly to the artist and remembering the often used 45, 90, 180, is not friendly to beginners, not to mention the negative equivalents, -45, -90, -180.

2.) It takes longer to look down at the keyboard (especially unlit keyboards at night) and the numbers are too far away to rely on muscle memory.

3.) Countless more complications (pun not intended :yum:) when keyboards are designed differently, not to mention both the new modes and many add-ons like to map to those numbers.

4.) When rotating something symmetrical in 90 degrees, there is no visual indication if it even rotated not the less left or right.

I have been looking for the reason why Blender uses Ctrl for snapping, and I haven’t ever been able to find one. So, since all of use Blender users are in a state of change with HotKeys I think this is the perfect time to set Shift as the default sticky key for snapping. If there is a reason for Ctrl to be set to snapping similar to the right click select, then I think it would be very fitting for there to also be a checkbox option to switch it.
If that is also impossible for some reason I hope it will be included in the future development of the status bar.

By the way, the Status bar is looking amazing with the mouse images, so maybe it would be possible to add the snap magnet icon instead of writing out snapping for things like the knife tool. I’ll add a image of what I’m imagining. The shift Magnet would only dynamicly pop up when you are already holding middle mouse to rotate.

My final request in the snapping subject is to include snapping for keyframes for animations, I know that is a bit more difficult and out of the blue feature to ask for though.

Thanks so much for reading, please leave any feedback if you guys have any thoughts.


I was limited to one image a comment so this is a example of first issue. While holding shift and rotating, the indicator follows the curse rather then the amount the object rotated. So for this example I held shift only when rotating right, after a couple times doing this it can get hard to know how far the object really rotated.


Here is the example of pressing 180 and how confusing it can be knowing which direction it rotating.180


Since this subject is open, does any one know what it is called when rotating and you use the middle button to restrain it to z,y, or z?
I have always wondered that and if I could also map it to one of the modifier keys like Ctrl.

I have one last thought on the Rotating Snap Subject. There is a addon called sensei format that snaps to closest orthographic view when navigating simply by pressing a modifier key (instead of the number keys again). It sounds simple and it is but IT IS AMAZING!!! Most of my favorite Blender artist jump over to Zbrush or Substance and back to Blender. I noticed both of those incredibly fluent programs also snap the view when navigating while pressing a modifier key.

If there is any way to get these or the increment widget into Blender I would definitely pay a code bounty or donation$. I believe small but fundamental things like this can help the Blender Community the most. Thanks for reading.

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Also should probably mention that Maya and Autodesk do something similar but with a different twist to shift snapping. Shift for them constrains the rotation to a single axis the same way Blender’s object rotation can be restrained with the middle mouse. I wouldn’t mind this method eather as long as it is consistent and objects start using shift instead of middle mouse. I wrote more on this subject here