Coordinates and rotation information of blocks

Hi Jeff:
I have a crash reconstruction diagram with several vehicle blocks which were inserted by reference, linked to other 3M files.

Is there a command or property tab that allows me to see the coordinates and rotation angle of the selected vehicle block?

I searched the web and the help file before bugging you but I just could not figure it out.

My goal is to transfer the X, Y, Yaw values for each block to a 3-D simulation program.

I’m not sure I understand the question…but if you select a given block instance, and then in the Properties Panel, click on the “Details” button, I believe you should see all of transformation information for that given instance…


Hi Jeff:

Sorry if the question was not clear. I am coming from autocad background, as I mentioned, and in their software blocks have insertion points. Insertion point has a specific 3-D coordinate within the world coordinates of the drawing and has three axis of rotation which define how the imported block since within the world. When you select a block in autocad, the properties bar shows you the specific coordinates of the insertion point.

I have built 3-D models of several cars that are involved in a collision. The center of gravity of each of the vehicle models is at the origin of each individual drawing and I insert each drawing into a crushing diagram as a reference block. I essentially draw the keyframes of an accident sequence based upon the available evidence from a video and investigation. I now want to animate the collision sequence in virtual crash 4. In order to set up the kinematics in VC4 I need to tell the simulation software where the vehicles are at the start and I need to make sure that they pass through the keyframes coordinates as everything moves.

When I was trying to ask is this:

Is there a way to find out the world coordinates of the insertion point of a reference file within the drawing into which it was inserted?

I looked at the properties pane details before I wrote you the first time and the numbers it produces are not the same as the coordinates of the origin of the inserted drawing. That is, if I put a point object at the CG of an inserted drawing and check its properties, I get the specific coordinates of the origin of the inserted file. If I take the properties of the inserted block, I do not know how to use the number that it gives me back.



Hi Don -
I’ve moved this part of the conversation into a new thread…

If you select a block and run ExtractPt on it, you will get the location of the insertion point.

The transformation matrix of a block instance can be retrieved - does the following thread help you on your way?


Hi Jeff:

As I was working to apply the answer to your last question to my computer simulation software, it occurred to me that I also license Bongo and it might be better if I just animate the collision sequence directly within your software suite instead of trying to hop between the two. I spent all yesterday watching YouTube videos and reading all the resources on your website to gain a basic understanding of animating objects in Bongo.

In the help resources, I cannot quite understand the difference between rotate and bongorotate. Because it appears that I can use the standard move command with the animate button on, I assumed that I could also use the standard rotate command to transform an object’s orientation at a specific keyframe. However when I review my animations things do not look exactly right unless I use the bongorotate to perform a keyframe transformation. Could you please tell me if there is a difference in the way the software views the transformation between keyframes if I rotate an object or if I bongorotate it.

I also have one question about the interface. Is there a way (shortcut key, mouseclick, etc.) to make the timeline slider jumped to the tick of a given keyframe. I was searching for something like a right-click context menu when you right-click keyframe with a menu option that says “moves slider to this keyframe”.



@marika_almgren - do you know the answer to this?


For the rotate question, please see:

For the moving of the Timeline slider to a specified tick, if you right click on the Timeline, it will give you a menu that includes the option Set timeline slider position…
Is that what you’re looking for?

Good morning Marika:

Thanks for the explanation about the rotate command.

Is there any reason that the move command is incompatible with bongo?

My question about the tick marks is probably just the challenge of being a new user but here is what I am trying to understand:

I am animating for vehicles moving along the freeway at different speeds to show the relative positions and matching the kinematics to a surveillance video.

I have been able to identify about six different keyframes where I can position all the vehicles in an overhead diagram.

In my animation, I have one set of vehicles, each in its own block. I have been moving them through the keyframe positions and establishing keyframe data on the timeline at each point. I would like to be able to snap easily to the vehicle positions on the timeline slider that all correspond with a given red keyframe on a tick mark. So, I would like the timeline slider to snap to a keyframe. For instance, I tried double-clicking a red ghosted keyframe indicator (with no objects selected) hoping that the timeline would then jump to that moment in the kinematics. I just wanted to find out if there was a way to quickly hop to an exact point on the timeline without dragging the slider or typing in the target tick number. Again, I probably just do not understand some of the theory behind bongo since I only started with the two days ago but it would be nice for me if I could double-click on a point on the timeline and have the animation jump to that point.

If there is some other way to do this, please let me know.

Thanks for all your help,



As far as I can tell the Move command is compatible with Bongo. Perhaps you’re not in animation mode?


Unfortunately, other than the two methods you described already, there isn’t a quick way to snap to a keyframe like that. I’ve added a new feature request for this issue since I think it would be a useful addition.

HI Josh:

I agree that the news command is compatible. I just did not understand the reasoning why there is a bongo rotate but it is not necessary to have a “bongo move”. I believe I understand now that has to do with the pivot point because objects always rotate about the pivot point in animation but can be rotated about any user-chosen point when changing a model. You should probably be among the very first things but explained in the introduction of bongo so new users do not get frustrated building animation settled move and do not spin. Thanks for getting back to me on it.

Thanks also for validating my question with a feature request. I was afraid that I was asking for something really stupid but it still sounds logical to me. If I were able to build Rhino for myself, I have a switch in the options that allowed me to choose the function of double-clicking a keyframe. I would like to be able to choose in Options to open the keyframe editor or jump to that keyframe in the animation.

Thanks, as always, for the great support.


That’s correct. There’s at least one open issue for helping bridge that gap between the two. We’ll definitely look into making this clearer in the Bongo 3 documentation.

Good morning:
Three quick questions:

  1. I started using bongo and I love it. However, now it loads every time I load Rhino. How to why stop the bongo splash screen and the bongo environment from loading until I needed again?

  2. The point objects that I have been a diagram are visible in wireframe mode and ghosted mode but they disappear, and are not even selectable, when I choose shaded mode. I have set their properties in the options screen to be exactly the same in the shaded display mode as they are in the wireframe display mode (circles with white centers, four pixels large) but they still disappear. Is this expected or my doing something wrong?

  3. Finally, just a request for future tweaks of Rhino. I am a keyboard shortcut user because I find it much faster than going to the mouse for everything. I like Rhino dots for labeling my preliminary diagrams while I work on them. When I double-click a dot to edit the label, the dialogue’s focus goes to the “OK” button. The only thing you do not want to do after you double-click it is it okay. I think the most frequent action for this dialogue is to change the label under “display text”. If tt makes sense to you, I think it would be nice to have this dialogue set the focus to the display text box initially so the text can be quickly edited without having to mouse click into that box.



  1. The BongoPlayDead command will sort this out for you. It will hide Bongo and you can call it back with any Bongo command.

  2. Points should not vanish in shaded mode. If you go to Tools > Options. The View > Shaded > Objects > Points. What does your settings look like?

  3. Logged this:

Hi Marika:

The point behavior in shaded mode is very strange so I started a new instance of Rhino and drew some new points. There on the default layer and nothing is locked.

In the attached video, I show you the settings for both display modes and behavior of the points when I enter shaded mode. When the view is shaded, the points disappear from view and as you can see, are not even selectable. They return when I restore the view shade mode to wireframe.

Thanks for any help you can offer on this one.

I tried to theis BongoPlayDead command and it does turn bongo off temporarily.

What I am trying to figure out is how to get back to the way Rhino was before I first started using bongo. I have the sense that the bongo splash screen and loading of the bongo commands into the Rhino environment slows down Rhino’s startup. I would like to reset the Rhino INI file or wherever it is stored that bongo should load every time I start Rhino to load a model that does not involve animation Does that make sense?

What I am trying to get to is this: how do I prevent bongo from loading each time I start Rhino?



You probably forgot to attached the video. Can you please post it again?

You can prevent Bongo from loading by going to Tools > Options > Plug-ins. Unchecked the Bongo and Bongo UI load checkboxes and restart Rhino. Now Bongo shouldn’t show up at all.
When you need it again, you can just go and check the load checkboxes, restart Rhino and Bongo is back.

Hi Marika:
Thanks for the Bongo instructions.

Here’s the video I forgot to attach.



Can you please me send your shaded mode settings?

Good morning:

Here they are.

Shaded.ini (13.9 KB)

You have the Show Points turned off in Shaded mode, if you check the checkbox for that, the Points will show up.

Sweet. Thank you. I haven’t a clue how that got switched.