WISH: PLZ! bring back Trackball Mouse Rotation

since RHINO 3 shipping (november 2002!!) I am asking&waiting&hoping for this feature, that was present in Rhino 2, to come back.


i felt like it is a good moment to ask once more.
isn’t this literally just some lines of code that have to be put back in ?

in fact I am willing to pay somebody to write a plug-In for me… I always felt trackball to be the best way handling an object that is by its shape, not constrained to the world axis system. sure i use “relative” mode ever since it disappeared… but there is no feel to it like trackball had.

pretty pretty please with sugar on the top.


Hi Daniel- I guess I am being dense about this one - tumbling the view with the mouse in V5 seems to me to behave like V2 with ‘trackball mouse rotation’ checked. What am I missing? Do you want the behavior like V2 with that setting unchecked?


Hello Pascal,

thanks for the follow up!
indeed you are right, what i am referring to is the combination of “trackball mouse rotation” checked, AND “relative mode” as it worked in V2.
without “trackball mouse rotation” in V2 it depends on the screen half (vert/hor) how mouse movement will affect rotation. i think this behaviour is obsolete.

but the relative mode in V2 behaved much different as the reference axis were not locked to the initial mouse click.
the great thing about rotating like that was that you can bring your object into any position without releasing the right mouse button.
It is mainly about seeing the gradual changes on a surface in relation to the light source coming from OpenGL shading.

now I alt+shift all the time to align the view, before I’d just “draw” one or two circles.small for a slight change or big for a 90deg rotation.
like this

Hi Daniel- and stting ‘Rotate relative to view’ in V5 does not do it, I guess? I see that it is different from V2 but seems more controllable to me… I guess since you are posting about it, you do not agree…


in relative now, it locks the RMB rotation to an axis system coming from the current alignment of the viewport.
when you click and drag down, and then move to the right, the object will still rotate acording to the axis set @RMB down.

the old V2 behavior was that whenever you move the mouse to the Left/Right(or any direction) the object will rotate in that direction. I’d really like an option that restores that kind of control.

there are a few applications out there that rotate like that: surfacm does, and, eg. Houdini where it is called “classic Houdini tumbling”. I just did a few tutorials in that app. hence I am coming up with that wish again. :wink:

Yes, I see, so really the ‘relative to view’ is more consistent in the old V2 way, correct? It stays relative to the view even as the view changes.


Hi Pascal,

that is correct. it maintains the “relative” aspect also after the view changes the first time.
My mistake referring only to “trackball”, I didn’t remember this correctly.

thanks for taking your time on this.


Daniel, it looks like there is hope, at least, on this front.


(Not visible to the public yet.)

It now looks like V6 will have this- Mikko figured out how to set it up. Currently it is a test command in our in-house builds, and seems to work fine so far. I am not sure how it will be exposed when V6 betas actually start for the public, possibly a geek level switch in a settings file, or possibly the test command.

Thanks for bringing this up, again…


Hi Pascal,
looks like good old days ahead!

it is really great how responsive you guys are, i should not have waited so long asking once more, must have been 5 years at least :smile: