Working in the 3D Editor

To project a 3D scene to a 2D viewport, it is necessary to view the scene from a camera. Select the Toggle Perspective/Orthographic Projection button (1) on the 3D editor toolbar to switch between a perspective camera and an orthographic camera. A perspective camera uses field of view and near and far clip planes to specify the projection, whereas an orthographic camera can be thought of as a 2D camera. Both of them are free-form cameras that you can use to orbit around the scene.

When you import 3D scenes from files that you exported from 3D graphics tools, you also import the camera, light, model, and materials. If your scene did not contain them, you can add the corresponding Qt Quick 3D types from the Library.

You can use the manipulator mode toolbar buttons (2) to show the move, rotate, or scale manipulator in the rendered scene when an item is selected and to determine what happens when you drag the selected item. Select the Toggle Local/Global Orientation button (3) to determine whether the manipulators affect only the local transforms of the item or whether they transform with respect to the global space.

"3D Editor"

For example, in local orientation mode, selecting an unrotated cube inside a rotated group in the move mode shows rotated axes. Dragging on the red arrow of the move manipulator affects only the x position of the item.

In global mode, the manipulators always transform with respect to the global space. In the example above, switching to global mode will show the red arrow for the move 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.

Controlling the Edit View Camera

You can add 3D camera types to the scene to project the view you see in the View3D type in the application. While editing scenes, you can use a separate edit view camera (4) to project the scene to the 3D edit view in the Design mode.

You can navigate the scene by rotating, panning, and zooming the edit view camera.

To zoom, use the mouse wheel or press Alt and right-click anywhere in the rendered view to zoom the view in or out as you drag up or down.

To pan, press Alt and use the middle mouse button to click anywhere in the rendered view to slide the view around.

To orbit, press Alt and click anywhere in the rendered view to rotate the view.

To scale the edit view camera and to focus it on the selected items, select Fit Selected button or press F.

The world axis helper (5) shows the direction of the world axes in respect to the edit view camera. To point the camera at the currently selected component in the direction of an axis, click the axis. If no component is selected, the camera is pointed at the world origin. This does not affect the camera zoom level.

For more information about using the cameras in the scene, the available 3D camera types, and their properties, see Using Scene Camera.

Selecting Items

To move, rotate, or scale items in the scene, you need to select them first. The selection mode buttons determine how items are selected when you click them in the 3D editor.

  • In the (Select Item) mode, a single item is selected.
  • In the (Select Group) mode, the top level parent of the item is selected. This enables you to move, rotate, or scale a group of items.

To toggle the selection mode, press Q.

Moving Items

"3D editor in move mode"

You can move items in relation to their coordinate system, along the x, y, or z view axis or on the top, bottom, left, and right clip planes of the render camera.

To move items, select or press W.

To move items along an axis, click the axis and drag the item along the axis.

To move items on a plane, select the plane handle and drag the item on the plane.

To move an item freely in the editor, select the handle at the center of the item.

Rotating Items

You can rotate items around the view axes of the camera.

"3D editor in rotate mode"

To rotate items, select or press E.

To rotate an item around an axis, select the axis and drag in the direction you want to rotate the item in.

To freely rotate the item, select the gray circle.

Scaling Items

"3D editor in scale mode"

To scale items, select or press R.

You can use the scale handles to adjust the local x, y, or z scale of an item. You can ajust the scale across one, two, or three axes, depending on the handle.

To adjust the scale across one axis, select the scale handle attached to the axis. To uniformly scale an item across all axes, select the handle at the center of the item.

To adjust the scale across a plane, select the plane handle and drag the item on the plane.

Using Edit View Light

You use 3D light types to light the models in the scene. While editing scenes, you can use a separate edit view light to illuminate the portions of the scene that the scene lights do not hit. To switch the edit view light on and off, select the Toggle Edit Light button (6).

For more information about the available scene light types and their properties, see Using Lights.

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