Options for Bone Axis Display *proposal*

Please take a look at my recent proposal on Right-Click Select.

Currently Blender positions the rotation axis display for bones at the tip of each bone. We propose the introduction of an option in Preferences that allows this axis display to be placed at the base/origin/pivot of the associated bone, or at an arbitrary position along the bone via a 0-1 slider.

Also, have a “bonus” option proposal at the end, regarding the current automatic axis scaling that is occurring.

Read the full proposal here:


I’d rather see a rework of Blender’s armature system from scratch. It’d be nice if they removed the ‘tip’ idea completely, leaving only a point with orientation (a ‘joint’ deformer). Moving bones out of armature node would be nice as well.

Of course we would all like to see more fundamental changes, but this was all that myself and my partner had the time and knowledge to test and explain. This small change (a dozen or so lines of code) was easily reachable, while a total rebuild of that skeleton system would take us months or years to prototype. Also, this concept is an idea that would carry over into future designs.

It seems you agree with the proposed option to have the display at the base, as you would prefer to not have the tip exist at all. However, are you saying that you would “rather” have nothing, if you cannot have everything?

There are many directions that one can take a skeleton system, and a clearly written proposal is the first step one needs to take in order to making such changes.

I would love to see your proposal for armature improvements. The more proposals started on the topic of rigging, the better for all of us.

Disagree here…
In my opinion, the armature system is a strong point of Blender that I wouldn’t change for anything else.
Of course there are drawbacks: sometimes we may not need a “real” bone with a tip but only a pivot point, and the Y axis is mandatory the bone axis from root to tip, which doesn’t always fit especially for export purposes. Maybe these could be made as customizable settings.
But being experienced with rigging in other softwares, Blender is definitely way more user friendly, and doesn’t sacrifice efficiency for simplicity meanwhile.

Back to the original topic: totally agree! Displaying the bone’s axis at the tip is not intuitive and most of the time not expected.
I’ll try to submit a patch for this if no other dev already worked on that.


Thanks for the feedback.

Take a look at the proposal itself, as there’s some bits in there that haven’t been figured out yet, such as…

  1. Where should the option go (3D View Display or Preferences… or… ?)
  2. Should it be a slider?
  3. How the axis auto scaling can be addressed (currently it’s not-so-great for ankles and wrists)

In the proposal there is a link to a working patch on developer.blender.org, but it’s fixed (it just flips it to the other side, with no options).

Here’s a direct link to the report: