I would like to align the view straight on to a face, perpendicular to the normal. How do I align the 3D viewport to the face of a mesh?

  • 3
    That's exactly what shift + numberPad 7 does as the answer below explains. If it's not working or not what you want, then please explain how what you want differs. – Ray Mairlot Aug 16 '14 at 15:10
  • Posting .gif of what I'm getting – GiantCowFilms Aug 16 '14 at 15:11
  • i.stack.imgur.com/SmC7v.gif. At the end of the gif I try to position the camera similar to how I want it. – GiantCowFilms Aug 16 '14 at 15:13
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    that is object mode – David Aug 16 '14 at 15:13
  • 1
    @David faceplam. Can't believe I missed that. – GiantCowFilms Aug 16 '14 at 15:15
up vote 43 down vote accepted

In edit mode with a face selected press ShiftNumPad 7 That will align the view to the active face.
If you want to align the view to a different axis relitave to the face, ShiftNumPad 1 and ShiftNumPad 3 can be used. Ctrl can be added to any of the key combinations to invert the view.
For example, CtrlShiftNumPad 7 will look at the "back" of a face.

Do note that there can be faces that are not flat. In such cases the view will be aligned to the face, but any manipulation will warp the face.

Yes, ⇧ ShiftNumpad 7 will do this.

enter image description here

You may end up with a strange rotation around the view's local Z, in which case ⎈ Ctrl⇧ ShiftMW MW can be used to roll the view to a more preferred orientation.

Also note that ⇧ ShiftNumpad 1 and ⇧ ShiftNumpad 3 can be used to align the view parallel to the normal. ⎈ Ctrl can be added in to align to the opposite side.

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