Difference between the object's origin and pivot point?

I am a new 3D artist and a self learner. I have done some sculpting and retopology for a few months now, yet most concepts are pretty new to me. I was using the boolean modifier for the first time to join a hand model to my sculpted body. I selected the hand, added the modifier and selected the body. I applied the modifier and deleted the original body that was duplicated. Then I went into sculpting mode to realise the ‘symmetrize’ option was not working properly because the pivot pont of the model was changed to the pivot point of the hand instead of the pivot point of the body. Then I set the 3D cursor to world origin and the object origin to 3D cursor, only to realise that it did not solve the problem. Then I spent half an hour going through various options trying to set the object origin to the world origin/center of my model’s torso. Nothing worked and then I found the option to manually move the pivot point, which took me around 5 minutes to rotate and grab to put it in the exact centercenter as alt+g and alt+r were unusable on the pivot point.

While I won’t make the same mistake with the boolean modifier again, I have two questions:
a) what is the exact difference between object origin and pivot point?
b) Is there a simpler way to set the pivot point to world origin? (Masking method won’t work as it does not change rotation of the pivot point)

This was asked only a week or two ago and covered well, do a search in the forums and you should get the answer there

Take a look here, they are good for getting faster into blender without annoying hours of “why it is not working, why it behaves so wierd” :slight_smile:

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The object origin is the proper technical term used in Blender, otherwise the pivot is more like an idea.

It can be either parent-child rotations, changing the transform manipulator (object/3d cursor), or in specific cases according to a modifier or operator (such as the mirror modifier).

As an example: By default is a proper rule to have all object origins to the correct place. Such as for example if you think of an ear, you will put the origin to the internal base of the ear so it can be rotated properly when placed on the head of the model. However now if you apply the mirror modifier the ear gets duplicated right next to each other. In this case you will need to avoid doing “Apply Location” to reset the origin point because it will make your mesh pointless. You choose an Empty object instead in location (0,0,0) and use this as the pivot.

Thanks for the answers!

But even if we ‘apply location’ on the ear, that should not be a point of no return, right? There should be an option to align the origin of the ear with the origin of the head/ torso afterwards without having to manually drag and rotate the pivot point.

If you had screenshots or video with your initial post so we could see exactly what the problem is then maybe we could have given better answers. I’m not sure what exactly your problem was or what the fastest solution would have been.

If you have separate objects (head, ear, hand, etc) and you want all of them to have exactly the same object-origin/pivot-point as the head then select the head and shift+s snap the 3d cursor to the head and then set the origin of each object to the 3d cursor.

If you are certain your geometry is symmetrical but the object-origin/pivot-point doesn’t seem to be in the exact center, select one of the verts that you are sure is in the exact center, shift+s snap 3d cursor to the selected vert, then set the object origin to the 3d cursor. Most likely the object itself will now be not perfectly aligned to the grid. Set it’s x or y or z or whatever to be 0 (this can be done with alt+g or in the object properties panel)

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Yeah, the idea to apply rotation and location is to make permanent changes to the mesh orientation. It means that you “bake” the geometry for good.