Currently, I am testing Blender 2.48a Portable , and I am noticing something that may or may not be a problem.
In user preferences, I can set the degree rotation when using the numpad keys 2, 4, 6 and 8. When I use the keys, it appears to work as I would expect when in the top view, but if I start in either front or side view, the view will rotate only around the z axis.
Has it always been this way? If so, is there any way to configure it to work differently?
Are you saying that the 2 and 8 keys don’t do anything when you’re in front or side view? Because no, that’s not normal. Why is it important that you’ve changed the degrees setting? Did it work correctly at the default value? What did you change it to?
No, they do something, but that something is rotate the view about the Z axis. So, in top view, if I use 2,4,6,8 keys, the view rotates as if looking down at a turntable. Which is what I thought should happen in any view. Instead, as much as possible, the rotation is locked to the global z axis. So in ortho front or side, using the keys rotates the view as if looking at a turntable from the side.
There is a setting for MMB rotation in the User Preferences that can be toggled for “Turntable” or “Trackball” rotation. I’ve never used the former, but in playing with it it seems to be the same as the behavior for the numpad keys. The toggle doesn’t seem to affect the keys, and I’ve checked in both the official Blender and the portable version.
I personally use exclusively the MMB to rotate the view, but I can imagine times when a more precise control would be useful. I recently found out about custom transform orientations, which lets you use an object, or part of an object, to define your own axes. I hope that helps.
The custom orientations are for objects, but what I would like is custom orientations for the view. I did find another way of getting what I want. I added a camera, made it orthographic, then moved and rotated it and used ctrl numpad 0.