Why does blender have two move tools?

I’m brand new to Blender 2.8 (coming from Maya, Modo). I’ve been playing with the interface and noticed that the ‘G’ key for ‘move’ is quite distinct from the ‘move’ button on the left. Both are called ‘move’ and said to have the same keyboard shortcut (G) yet the G key does not display the translation gizmos while the button does surface a translation gizmo. They seem like they are the same tool yet the button does something quite different than the keyboard shortcut…which strikes me as unexpected coming from other software. What’s the thinking on this?

Also is there a keyboard shortcut for the gizmo-move? I tried Alt-G or Shift-G but I was unable to find one. I know I can select it from shift + spacebar -> select move…but i’m wondering if there isn’t just a keyboard shortcut to display the gizmo that I’m missing.

The G key just activates the operator immediately, while the button activates one of the new active tools.

The active tools are meant as a sort of training wheels aimed at users coming from other software, but most old Blender users consider them too slow and unnecessary if only you’re willing to remember a few shortcuts. Hence, the two modes.

You can still activate the active tool with the keyboard by pressing Space, then G, I think.
Or you can adjust your keymap in the keymap editor to always use the active tools.

Gotcha. I do like the immediate ‘G’ key and the ability to constrain axes or planes of axes with some keystrokes…I think I’m probably slower with that because I am coming from other software. I feel like the best of both worlds would be to merge the active tool gizmo with the grab behavior. I wonder if there is a way to have the functionality of the ‘G’ key but with the gizmo attached. I’ll play with adjusting the keymap to taste. Thanks!

Just to bump…does anyone know what the command is to turn the transform manipulator gizmo on? It doesn’t seem to show up in my scripting window. I’d like to find the command so that I can bind it to a key. I tried:’ view3d.enable_manipulator’

No dice.

What’s the best way to find commands? In maya you can turn on ‘echo all commands’ in the scripting console and see each and every command fire.

I’m not sure what the command is. It can be added to your Quick Favourites Q key by right-clicking on the Move Object Gizmo under the Gizmo display thingie at the top of the 3d view. Most times when I want to assign a keyboard shortcut I just find where the thing is and right-click on it to set a shortcut key - i.e. find where you would call it through a menu or whatever instead of faffing about in Preferences.

Considering you’re coming in fresh from other modelers, it probably wouldn’t hurt to try out the new Industry Standard Keymap.

I haven’t used it myself yet, but I believe it allows you to call up the standard manipulators with W,E and R, instead of activating the free scoot behavior that Blender defaults to.

Thank you for this tip! I’m now able to do exactly what I want to do.

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Thank you as well Renzatic! I just tried that and it looks like it’s mapped very similarly to what I am used to. I really like blender and am interested in customizing it a bit to combine the best of a lot of the apps I regularly use. I’ve tried the Heavy Poly config which demonstrated to me just how customizable the interface is with the right understanding. Being able to customize away pain points like the translation / rotation / scale…while also retaining a lot of what makes blender unique will help me to embrace the program. Thanks for your help!

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OP has figured it out already. For others who stumbled here…

Based on the standard Blender (2.8) keymap tradition and LEFT select, also to exercise my memory…

Blender (G) Move = Screen Space Move. (corresponds to tiny white ring in the middle of active gizmo)
Blender [R) Rotate = Screen Space Rotate (corresponds to outer big white ring in active gizmo)
Blender (RR) Rotate = Roll Rotate in random directions (corresponds to the white semi-transparent sphere in active gizmo)
Scale (S) = Scale all direction (from your Pivot of choice)

Blender calls Screen Space transformation “View” or window-axes transform. Useful only if you use orthographic view a lot. Most new users will end up with precision-transform using Active Gizmo (which also informs users of global/normal mode or median/ active pivot).

Now to the Select tools.

Most selections (modeling or posing) are done with 4 (W) Select tools: Select, Select Box, Select Lasso, Select Circle

Hit W to cycle to get to your fav Select tools. (I find their buried in drop-down state ridiculous. MOST FREQUENTLY SWITCHED TOOLS should all be buttons, same with pivot/ orientaiton. Or at least, they should be a Pref option)

Most people from other apps tend to use Select Box mode. This means you can click drag on empty background to select objects or bones. ZBrushers will like Select Lasso, but Select Circle is quickly become my favorite for modeling.

You can also hit B to box select the old way. But I plan to save the B key for other frequent operations.

You can also hit Shift Space to call up a mini Transform menu. (But what for?)

Since I use Select Box a lot, I’m thinking of assigning a special key for it. Maybe Q.

That’s it for now. Happy Blendering!