Studio: Toolbar

Selection Modes

The Selection Mode buttons control what item is selected in the Timeline palette when you click on items within the rendered scene.

  • Clicking on an item using Group Select mode (dark arrow; keyboard shortcut: A) will select the highest group or component owning the item you clicked on. This mode is useful when you want to move a group of items at once.
  • Clicking on an item using Item Select mode (white arrow; keyboard shortcut: V) will select the item you clicked on. If the item is not present in the Timeline palette (if it is inside a component) then the component is selected instead.

With either tool, if you double-click on an item in the rendered scene then the item itself will be selected (changing which component is displayed in the Timeline palette as necessary).

Manipulator Modes

The Manipulator Mode buttons control what manipulator is shown in the rendered scene when an item is selected, and what happens when you drag on the selected item (or on the matte area surrounding the rendered scene).

  • The Position mode (keyboard shortcut: W) adjusts the Position of the selected item. Left-dragging on the item/matte will adjust the selected item's position in the plane of the render camera; right-dragging will adjust the selected item's position along the view axis of the camera.
  • The Scale mode (keyboard shortcut: E) adjusts the Scale of the selected item. Left-dragging on the item/matte will uniformly scale the selected item; right-dragging will adjust only the local Z scale of the item.
  • The Rotation mode (keyboard shortcut: R) adjusts the Rotation of the selected item. Left-dragging on the item/matte will tumble the selected item; right-dragging rotate the item around the view axis of the camera.

By default the manipulators affect the local transformation of the item. For example, selecting an unrotated cube inside a rotated group with the Position manipulator mode active will show rotated axes. Dragging on the red arrow of the manipulator will affect only the X position of the item.

The Local/Global Manipulators mode (last icon above) changes this behavior to affect the global transform of the selected item instead. In Global mode, the manipulators always transform with respect to the global space. In the example above, turning on Global mode will show the red arrow for the position manipulator aligned with the screen (assuming an unrotated camera). Dragging on the red arrow may affect two or three of the position values for the selected item in order to move it in global space.


The Autoset Keyframes toggle (keyboard shortcut: K) controls whether keyframes are automatically created at the current playhead time in the timeline whenever a value with animation enabled has its value changed.

The following example illustrates the use of this toggle:

  • Create an object positioned at 0,0,0
  • Move the playhead to time 0.
  • Turn on the animation toggle for the Position property in the Inspector palette.
  • A keyframe is created at time 0 by default.
  • Move the playhead to a new time (e.g.~1 second).
  • Turn off the Autoset Keyframes toggle.
  • Adjust the position to 100,200,0.
  • The object moves in the rendered scene, but no keyframe is created.
  • Drag the playhead to a new time (e.g.~2 seconds).
  • The object snaps back to position 0,0,0, since no new keyframe was created for the new position.
  • Turn on the Autoset Keyframes toggle.
  • Adjust the position to 100,200,0.
  • As soon as you stop editing one of the position values a new keyframe is created. Each time you change a value at this time the keyframe is updated.

Without the Autoset Keyframes mode you must use the Set Changed Keyframes command from the Timeline menu to create a new keyframe, such as after the second-last example above.

Edit Cameras

By default the rendered scene looks through the camera in each layer and shows the composited result. Sometimes you want to instead move around the 3D space of your scene without adjusting the final rendered view. Studio calls this concept Edit Cameras, and it is controlled by the section of the toolbar displayed above.

Note that when Edit Camera is in use it only makes sense to show the contents of one layer at a time. To control which layer's items you are viewing, select any item inside the desired layer in the Timeline palette.

  • The Edit Camera Mode drop-down menu controls the view.
  • The Perspective View and Orthographic view are free-form cameras that you can use to rotate around the scene.
  • The Top/Bottom/Left/Right/Front/Back axis-aligned presets are orthographic cameras that may be panned and zoomed, but not orbited.
  • The Scene Camera View entry at the bottom of the menu switches out of edit camera mode and returns to displaying the final composited result from the cameras in each layer of the presentation.
  • The Fit Selected command (keyboard shortcut: F) will ensure that whatever is selected fills the view of the active edit camera. If no item is selected, this command ensures that the contents of the active layer are all visible in the edit camera.
    • Tip: if you want to drop your selection, but cannot find any empty space in the view to click on, you can click on empty space in the Slides palette to cause no items to be selected. This may seem a little weird, but it is effective.)
    • When not using an Edit Camera - when using the default Scene Camera View mode- this command will instead downscale the appearance of the presentation to fit within the available space in Studio.
  • With the Pan mode active (shortcut: middle-button mouse drag) clicking and dragging anywhere in the rendered view for the edit camera will slide the view around.
  • With the Zoom mode active (shortcut: roll the mouse wheel) clicking and dragging anywhere in the rendered view for the edit camera will zoom the view in/out as you drag up/down.
  • With the Orbit mode active (shortcut: alt+middle-button mouse drag) clicking and dragging anywhere in the rendered view for the edit camera will rotate the view. (This is not available for the predefined, axis-aligned orthographic views.)
  • The Shading Mode toggle (shortcut: F3) toggles a `headlamp' attached to your edit camera. When enabled (the default) items are lit by the edit camera such that they are always easy to see. When disabled, the lighting from the final rendering is used. If you have a black ambient lighting in your scene (the default) then objects viewed from behind may not be visible without turning on your headlamp.
  • The show or hide Wireframe toggles wireframe visibility (for tessellated meshes only).


Invoking the Preview command (keyboard shortcut: F5) will launch the Qt 3D Studio Viewer application and preview the application for the presentation. If there is no .uia file in the folder for this presentation, then the presentation will be previewed by itself (no sub-presentations).

Available under certain Qt licenses.
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