Rotating view about vertical axis going through the center of the viewport

Rhino can rotate the view about the center of the viewport and about horizontal axis going through the center of the viewport. For example, TiltView command rotates the view about the center of the viewport. RotateCamera command rotates the view about the center of the viewport or about horizontal axis going through the center of the viewport. Unfortunately, Rhino cannot rotate the view about vertical axis going through the center of the viewport. For example, there is no way to rotate camera widget directly with gumball or with Rotate3D command. Rotating the view with the arrow keys has the same limitation - there is no rotation about vertical axis going through the center of the viewport.

If you cannot comprehend the problem, imagine that you have attached gumball to the camera widget and that you have relocated the gumball to the camera target point. If you try to rotate the camera widget, you will find out that you can rotate it about two orthogonal axes only.

I tried to rotate the view about vertical axis going through the center of the viewport by changing “X Location” of the camera in the Properties Panel. It did not work - the camera was rotating out of control about it axis of symmetry - this is Rhino bug.

I also tried using SetPathAnimation command to illustrate the rotation of the view about vertical axis. It did not work for the same reason - the camera was rotating out of control about it axis of symmetry - this is another Rhino bug.

I suggest that RotateCamera command is merged with TiltView command and that mouse controls the view in 4 different ways: 3 orthogonal rotations and zoom.

Rhino rotates the perspective view about vertical axis going through the center of the viewport on my computer if I hold down the Alt key and use either of the horizontal arrow keys, or if I hold the RMB and move the cursor horizontally. In Document Properties > Rhino Options > Modeling Aids > Mouse I have:

Added:emphasized text
In In Document Properties > Rhino Options > View I have:

Rotate3D and Rotate change the orientation of the selected objects in space. They do not change the view. Gumball is intended to transform the selected objects, not change the view.

What kind of rotation do you get when you use the TiltView command?

The following images illustrate the missing rotation. If you open the Rhino file (rotation test.3dm) you can animate the rotation by turning the animation feature on (click “Animate named view restoration” checkbox) and double-clicking the two named views (perspective left and perspective right).

rotation test 3

rotation test.3dm (798.5 KB)

@pascal Here is a video illustrating the missing rotation:

Under Options -> View, under Rotate if you change to Rotate relative to view you should get this behavior.


Yes, it does work - thank you, but this option does not solve the problem because nobody has the time to change this option every few seconds. If you set the options to rotate relative to view, then Rhino cannot easily rotate the view about the center of the viewport because this option effects all commands, including RotateCamera and TiltView. It may seem that TiltView combined with Ctrl Shift PgUp PgDn can do the missing rotation, but this key combination is incompatible with Nudge, which is somewhat incompatible with Windows 10 operating system (look into Nudge debate in Paper Cuts).

In other words, there is no easy fix. Your solution takes about 15 seconds. TiltView with right mouse button also takes about 15 seconds. Manipulating the camera widget takes about one minute.

You could assign

-_Options _View _Rotate _AroundWorldAxes Enter Enter Enter

to an alias or button if speed is the concern.

This I’m not sure I understand. TiltView can be had by Shift + Alt + RMB, and it doesn’t operate differently with different rotate settings, it always just rotates along the camera / target line.


You are correct - I missed it. It rotates the view in 5 degree increments, but that is good enough for me. I believe that this is the best workaround when combined with the ‘rotate relative to view’. Thank you again.

It takes expert knowledge of Rhino to find this workaround. I believe that Rhino interface should be more user friendly.

wow, it is amazing how people’s preferences are so diverse!
This type of view tumbling is the one thing I have always completely and utterly despised in any modeling software. So much so, that there was a time I would dream it became illegal and carried punitive charges for any developer that implemented it. :slight_smile:


The 5 degree snaps are only if your cursor is close to the viewport edge. If you Shift + Alt + RMB with the cursor more toward the center, you will get a smooth rotation.



I agree, I get all disorientated with rotate relative to view. For me, the Rotate around CPlane Z-axis in 6 is almost worth the entire upgrade price alone :slight_smile:

1 Like

Absolutely… --Mitch


Our rotation preferences may be related to our spacial intelligence. (I am in top 1% of people who can comprehend three-dimensional images and I am idiot-savant in many ways.)

Yes, and you’re modest too… quite the combination.


interesting social behaviour, somebody has a different opinion and the crowd already comes humping and jumping all over. well ok its quite standard unfortunately, but maybe also something to think about.

It’s about feature creep and interface erosion. The Rhino interface is at the core of its identity. Once features are added to appease wider audiences and the core behaviors are augmented, the “essence” of Rhino (the interface uniqueness) feels like it’s being attacked.

Sometimes, I wonder what is it that drives a customer base to want one package to start behaving like another package instead of using that other thing instead. Then again, having followed Rhino for almost 20 years now I could have done 98% of my work (including the intricate designs) with the 1998 beta. With customers like myself McNeal would be bankrupt.

Well, in this case, “Rotate around view” has been in there since like Rhino 1.1 IIRC… So it’s nothing new. And I understand the people who want that type of “tumble” behavior, in general they are used to other software packages which do the same - and there are a LOT of them out there, I have a few… So I’m not arguing in this case that it is “wrong” behavior, just that I hate that style of rotating (like you).

I am definitely of the opinion though that once you’ve gotten used to Rhino’s default “Rotate around Axes” style, you will never go back to the other. It’s a lot more controllable.


Hi Mitch, all.

I agree … and disagree … :wink:

I agree that RotateAroundView is useless ( for me ).
I happen to need to rotate a view around one of its axes sometimes, by a well defined angle, but that is easily scriptable so I use a script .

What I have not been able to do so far in Rhino is dynamically rotate a view around a freely chosen axis.
I think the cplane Zaxis that Sam mentioned would be fine (if dragging up and down also works accordingly) , so I hope V6 will finally have what I’ve been asking/waiting for for 15+ years … :smiley:

I love the way Rhino rotates the view around the Z axis when I drag the mouse … if the object I’m looking at is ‘naturally’ laying on the WorldXY plane, say a car.

But sometimes you have to work with something that is oriented so that its ‘natural’ plane in not horizontal, say a cover, a pump, whatever…

Well, in Rhino any time I have to work on/with something with a ‘free’ orientation, I translate and rotate it just like if I would have to lay it on a table.
I simply cannot work if dragging the mouse makes the view rotate in a (for me) unpredictable way …

And having to move objects around unnecessarily feel stupid (and risky) to me.

OK, that may be my fault … I have not been able to get used to that in 18 years …
I’m afraid I am definitely not able to change … :slightly_frowning_face: … I hope Rhino will. :slight_smile:

NOOOooooooooooooo! :slight_smile: Try V6, Rotate around CPlane Z-axis is amazingly handy for stuff like this.