This is a tough one to be sure about, as I know there are many different standards, as well as some “arbitrary choice” associated with this, but, I’m of the opinion that the Front and Back views are “backwards” in Blender.
This is what I understand.
Blender uses a Z-up Right Hand coordinate system. This corresponds with many standards for engineering and mathematics, but is not a “hard and fast rule”.
Some other programs use a Y-up Right Hand coordinate system, still others use a Y-up Left Hand coordinate system. In the end none of those choices really matter as once you pick a reference, all the math is the same in the end.
Regardless of the system, it seems to me that when I choose a view by “name”, in blender, the view name should relate to what part “of the object” is being shown from the 3D view.
For instance, if we “choose” the RIGHT view to be looking at the object from the positive x-axis (looking at the right side OF THE OBJECT), that would indicate to me that the TOP view should look at the object from the positive z-axis (looking at the actual physical top OF THE OBJECT), and therefore the FRONT view should be looking at the physical FRONT OF THE OBJECT, down the positive y-axis. As it stands now, the FRONT view seems to look at the object from the negative y-axis and thus looks at the BACK OF THE OBJECT.
It’s hard to understand if you use just a cube, because there is no designated “front or back” for a cube, but if you place something like a character in the 3D view, and you line the characters “right hand” to the “right view”, and the top of the characters head to the “top view”…the front view shows his BACK.
I also tried three other programs (Silo, Hexagon, and Lightwave), and 2 of the 3 work as I would expect them to (front, right, and top line up with the “positive” axes, and the view names correspond with the objects sides). Even though both Silo and Lightwave use a y-up right hand coordinate system, they work as expected, it’s just that objects are rotated 90 degrees on the x-axis in those programs, compared to Blender.
Hexagon also uses a y-up right hand coordinate system, but it too seems backwards, in that they choose the front to point down the positive z-axis “but” when you look at the right view, you see the object from the “objects” left side. For Hexagon though, I guess this may come from them saying that if you’re “looking” at the object sitting at the at the origin, the right side of the object would be on “your left”. Blender, however, doesn’t even seem to make sense that way as the back and front views are reversed.
This obviously causes problems with orthographic projection references.
For instance a 3 view reference schematic of a car would show the front, right, and top “of the car”, and therefore it would be backwards in one view (either front and back or left and right) if imported in all views in Blender.
Here’s a link to an example, the names of the views correspond with the “object” not where it is viewed “from” (or whatever it is Blender is based on).
The two images on the right and left side of the page of the little bue house show what I’m talking about.
Seems backwards to me.
Maybe a change/fix for 2.5?