Which way is up?! Oh wait...

I was about to come here and express how confused I was with the x,y,z in blender, then I checked over the manual one more time.

So Blender uses a ‘right-handed coordinate’ system. :o Is that a setting that can be changed?

I think I need ‘y’ to be ‘up’ and ‘x’ to be left/right…


all 3D tools have different approach on this, and I can understand your dizzyness about this…

a 2D graph would be X - right/left, Y - up/down, and if added one more dimension, say 3D…next axis would be Z - back/forth, and some 3D tools use that axis system, but not Blender it uses this system:

X - left/right (horisontal axis)

Y - back/forth (depth axis)

Z - up/down (vertical axis)

for example Wings3D uses the other one with Y - up/down, and Z - back/forth (depth), so when importing a model From Blender to Wings3D, the model is tilted just because of the differences…

I hope you got it :smiley:

btw, as a Moderator here I welcome you to Blender’s world and our forum

cheers! :wink:



Thanks for the welcome! That was quick, I don’t think I even blinked once before you replied! :o

Hmm, I guess you’re saying this can’t be changed. I think I can get used it, now that I know what’s going on.

Out of curiousity, do any other 3d apps use this coordinate system?

Mmmm… XY plane horizontal and Z vertical and right hand is the default in science. I’m not sure of what other 3D apps do but this is quoite a standard.


The OpenGL graphics api uses a right-handed coordinate system, so most software that uses OpenGL (like Blender) goes with the right-handed convention, just because it’s easier to use the same convention as your graphics API. Direct3D uses a left-handed system, although I think that may be configurable. (?) I think most 3D modeling packages use right-handed like Blender.

Problem is our monitors are in front of us now, not flat on a desk. Old school CAD had it where what was on the monitor = a paper flat on your desk. X was left-right, Y was up-down, Z = depth.

People got to thinking z=depth, hence the confusion.

This thread has been pretty informative. At first I thought the Blender devs just decided to make ‘z’ up for the heck of it! :expressionless:

At some point in my life, I know I took physics but I don’t remember it very well.

I think I automatically see Y as Up from algebra/geometry graph paper problems; Z didn’t become a factor until I discoverd 3D modeling.

Despite my previous misgivings, I’ve been working all day and I haven’t had any problems with this setup at all.

Wait until you start adding objects to a 3d window and realize that the local axis of the object you just added is different from blender’s global axis