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Monday, November 08, 2010

Blender 2.5 Tip: How to Setup Keymaps to Change Transform Manipulator Modes

This time-saving tip will allow you to setup hotkeys to change the mode of the Transform Manipulator (translate, rotate, scale).

Here's how:

This is the Transform Manipulator when enabled.

These are the button controls for enabling the manipulator and changing its mode. They're located on the Header Bar of the 3D View window.

Before setting up new hotkeys, be sure to start a New scene to load your Blender startup file. This is important because if you want to save these changes as new default settings, you'll want to save them to your startup file.

Now, load the User Preferences dialog from the File menu.

Go to the Input tab.

Locate and open the 3D View, 3D View (Global) section.

Click the Edit button for the 3D View section.

Note that the button's caption changes to Restore. You can use this to restore the factory default keymaps.

Now, scroll down to the bottom of this section until you see the Add New button. Click it to add a new keymap panel.

Open the panel to access its interface.

In the field highlighted, type view3d.enable_manipulator. This is the name of the operator that will get called when the assigned input (keystroke, mouse click, etc.) is performed.

In order to avoid conflicts with existing hotkeys, I decided to create a new modifier key (common modifier keys are Ctrl, Shift, Alt, etc.). Blender can create a modifier key from any regular key that you specify. So, let's setup the new modifier key by clicking the blank button at the right side of the interface.

After clicking the button, it's caption reads "Press a key".

Simply press a key to have it assigned as the modifier key for this particular keymap. I pressed the ESC-key, but you can assign this to a key of your choice.

Now, do the same with the button shown below. This is where you assign the main part of the keystroke.

I chose to assign this to the Number 1 key. At this point, the full keystroke is ESC-1.

Now we just need to assign the desired mode of the manipulator. I've selected the Translate mode to be assigned to the ESC-1 keystroke. That's it! You can immediately test this by going to the 3d view. The new keymap will work in both the Object and Edit modes.
Note that this won't enable the manipulator if it's disabled, so make sure it's already enabled (Ctrl-Spacebar).

Now do the same for the remaining two modes. Start by pressing the Add New button located just below the keymap panel just completed.

Repeat the process for the Rotate and Scale modes.

Welcome to new efficiency bliss! If you like your new setup, be sure to save it to your startup blend file by clicking the Save As Default button at the bottom of the Preferences dialog (or you can press Ctrl-U).

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Unknown said...

a very helpful tip/tut. i really enjoy your information and it often teaches me some great or cool stuff. thank you again Kernon!

Anonymous said...

Why not simply use R, S and G?

raindeer said...

Thanks Kernon. Nice guide.

Blenders best said...

Nice and very useful stuff. Thanks kernon, for sharing the wonderful information with us........

Satish Goda said...

Very nice tip :-) ESC 1/2/3 is pretty painless to work with. Thank You


I also made a small video, showing a workflow that I use for assigning hotkeys for Snap(cursor, selection) tools and view selected object. I did not use the preferences menu for doing this, but directly right clicking on a menu item and assiging the hot key. Did a quick video and its available below

I have also cross referenced your post on Blender Knowledge Base post..

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