Absolute Transforms Across Multiple Selections

Hi, I’ve searched around and it seems this is a very old topic that has been answered many times in the same way. Yet it still crops up every few months. This leads me to believe that what I propose below could be a valid addition since this is a recurring and (I believe) unnecessary speed bump.

Basically I’d like to select a group of vertices and give them all an absolute position. The median feature however makes this tricky. The standard fix is to Scale / Axis / 0 and then type in the value that you actually want. This is a pretty clunky workaround, especially in the 2.8 interface.

Now is usually the point where users who have adapted to the feature over many years dog pile on explaining how its actually much more efficient and I just don’t know how to use the software.

I propose modifying the numerical transform to feature two buttons at the top, instead of just the title. These buttons would be Median and Absolute, with the same interface design as the Global and Local buttons below the XYZ values.

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For precision modelling being able to manipulate the mesh numerically is extremely convenient and in many cases required.

In terms of program architecture I realise there is a reason it was built in this way. It seems suspiciously similar to the feature/workaround of ‘Copy All to Selected’.

Can anyone shed any light on the philosophy behind this? Does this proposal sound like something you’d want?

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I too have been seeking an answer, work around, addon for this issue with modeling in Blender 2.80. I will be watching this thread with hope that some member of the Blender community can provided a constructive answer, work around, addon to solve it.

Maybe a plugin could be made. In LightWave there is a set value option that allows one to select multiple verts and enter a position along an axis and they would all line up. In Blender, as long as you are wanting to translate in one axis, you could make your selection, hit s then whatever axis (x,y,z) and scale to 0, then type the number in the axis you want them to be at in the global or local median box, depending on if you want the translation to be globally aligned or offset from a local position.

I may be obtuse, but I don’t understand how an absolute value can be shown when there are several vertices selected, unless they are already aligned, and even in this case it can be true for just one axis or two, but without any indication whether they are actually aligned or not.

You’re right, a value cannot be shown if they are not the same. Generally when there is mixed data it is displayed to the user either as – or some variation of, or as an extra, the median value.

I’m basing this off various 3D and 2D programs - typically they don’t bother calculating the Median and displaying that, because a median value is kind of useless. Especially since there are various subtle differences in how it can be calculated that can be misleading or just counter-intuitive (as stated in the Blender Documentation as well).

Showing the NAN value as struck out, highlighted in red or whatever serves an additional function - it lets you know what part(s) of your selection are not on the same axis at a glance rather than, for example, selecting one thing then another and seeing if a particular value changes.

If you change that NAN value then you effectively override whatever values were there for those selections before and force them all to the new one. If that’s not what you want then you use the ‘Median’ mode instead.

My thinking here is based around the more user interactions that are necessary, the less efficient any given process is. Good interface design relies on making things as transparent as possible and reducing the inputs needed to achieve a given task.

I’m not knocking Blender’s sometimes unconventional design - 2.8 was the first time I ever saw a program allow the user to right click a tool and reassign hot keys. That’s so obvious now I think about it that it sticks out as a stroke of genius within the interface. Even more so when you compare it to the clunky afterthought interface modification of basically any other software.

However, I believe there are recurring (as in commented a lot throughout the program’s history) issues that can still be improved.