Custom orientation... there must be a better way

Help me here please. I want to align the selected vertex (and the ones under it) to make a straight ligne. The object is not oriented on the axis and the transformation are reset, so I can’t use local transformation. This is very trivial in Maya. While in the move mode, I would press CTRL-D and click on the edge of face to orient the manipulator then just move. It’s a one click process. The only way I found in blender is to go in edge mode, popup the orientation menu, click on the + to create a custom orientation, switch to vertices mode and move my vertex. That’s just insane as I would have to create a custom orientation for every vertex I want to move in a different axis. I’m sure there’s a better way to do this. I did some research here and on the web but I couldn’t find a better solution.

Secondly, I couldn’t find a way to snap vertices to align them to another vertex. The selected vertices will move together and snap but will not collapse and align in a straight line. The only solution I found was to place the 3D cursor where I want to snap and scale the vertices but that’s a cumbersome process. Again, in Maya, I would just press V for snap to vertex and when I move the other ones using the manipulator, they will all align.

In 2.7x versions, ctrl-alt-space is the default hotkey to set a custom transform. Oddly it’s not clearly mentioned with any tooltip, despite being as handy as it is. (Otherwise you’re looking for the transforms panel and clicking there.) Also if you don’t need cruft to build up, there’s an option in tools after creating a custom transform to replace the previous user defined one. (Otherwise you start getting a new one each time, and those have to be manually deleted from the list or need a script to clear them all.)

Alternately there’s hitting g twice to slide along edge, or shift-V for vertex slide, as sometimes those are adequate to do the job.

As far as snapping goes, there’s a magnet icon that’ll enable it. And it can be set to vertex mode. Holding down control while manipulating stuff in an operation also fast toggles this feature to opposite of its current setting. Using the icon to toggle it also gives an option of averaged weighting, which sets snapping points with the A key when mousing over them. (You’ll see little red circles where those are placed.) Neat feature if you need it, not in the quick toggle though.

Alt-m also welds selected vertices, and will bring up a list of options as far as what it does.

There’s also an icon of two arrows facing each other that if enabled does auto-weld. Sometimes useful if doing a lot of quick snapping to stitch stuff together.

So technically Blender has this stuff, understandably you’re just needing to get familiar with it.

(If not too obvious - I’m going with 2.79 still, so not sure how much carries over to the new 2.8 version. YMMV in that regard.)

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this could be pretty helpful as well if you reset your pivot -

In 2.79 I would:

  1. Select an adjoining face
  2. View > Align View to Active > Top (Shift + Num 7)
  3. Perform adjustments in viewspace / Use gizmo to scale to zero

Alternatively, in 2.8 I think the 3d cursor can be used to define a transformation space?

S to scale followed by YY (or XX or ZZ - whatever the original axis way prior to rotation) followed by 0 should do what you want. For vertex snapping make sure snapping is set to vertex and just hold down Ctrl. I tend to snap (or align) to vertices 90% of the time so I always tend to have it set to vertex rather than anything else.

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That’s exactly my workflow too, I find it most convenient for situations like this.

Ok, CTRL-ALT-Space is exactly what I need to rent the pivot but I need to find the way to avoid creating a new one every time. If you find it please tell. I’m on 2.80 BTY.

Some of the hotkey you guys told me about don’t seem to work in 2.80. Maybe they have been remapped. I need to do some research.

As for snapping, I will have to do some gymnastic here. It’s just too many steps (like it happens a lot in Blender) just to do something I do many many times per day.

Using Pie Menu Editor, I have been able to make Blender more to my taste. For example, pressing CTRL will enable snap but you can’t choose which snap is ON unless you go in the popup menu. So I made it like Maya where pressing X, C or V will enable snap to grid, curve/edge or vertex and turn it off on release. Pie Menu Editor allows me to “play” many functions one after the other. I did something similar for changing the origin. I do it in one step now. Bang! So maybe I could make a hotkey that will switch to Scale, set the axis and scale to 0 in one key. But it’s still not as efficient as in Maya as I will need three hotkeys, one for each axis, then I need to move where I want the vertices. I would do this in just one step in Maya. Press which ever snap you want and move the translate manipulator and that’s it.

I know, Blender is not Maya and it’s a different way of working but It’s hard to let go of 22 years of muscle memory. :slight_smile:

But the more I work with Blender the more I get to appreciate it and in many cases it’s way better than Maya. HardOps, Machine Tools, box cutter! Oh my God! Still far away for the UVs but for the modelling, it’s pretty much on par.

I work for Method Studio. We’re one of the biggest VFX company in the world. I got them to install Blender in the Montreal office. Obviously we can’t use it for complet shots, our pipeline is way to complex, but for modelling… yeah baby!

I’m almost there with my customization of Blender. Thanks for the help.

All right! I made a pie menu that will create custom orientation (without building up a long list) and three more to snap what ever is selected in X, Y or Z and automatically switch to move mode. I just love Pie Menu Editor.

Hey, are you still using this custom orientations pie? It sounds like exactly what I could use for my workflow, too. I also purchased a copy of Pie Menu Editor… any chance you might be willing to export your pie menu and share it, so I can import it? Cheers!

Here you go! Select an edge or a face and run the pie menu. Enjoy!

bpy.ops.transform.create_orientation(‘EXEC_DEFAULT’, use=True, overwrite=True)