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If I create a new object, and then go into edit mode and click on "normal transformation orientation", the z axis always runs along the face's normal, but the x and y are all over the place.

Sometimes the X faces left, other times it faces down etc. How is this determined, and is there a way to rotate the x/y without rotating the face itself?

A little more info. Blender allows you to go into edit mode, select normal transformation orientation and then rotate around the objects normal (R+Z+Z). You can also rotate around the NORMAL'S X and Y axis R+X+X for example, and tilt a face backwards and forwards even when it's sitting at a strange angle.

This is really useful. Unfortunately, because there is no consistency in which direction the x and y are facing, tilting multiple faces at once will cause some to tilt forward, and others to tilt back and others to tilt off to the side.

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    $\begingroup$ Good question. How does Blender choose ...calculate.. tangent / bitangent? $\endgroup$
    – Robin Betts
    Jan 28, 2020 at 20:11
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    $\begingroup$ This is a really good question, I never noticed that :) $\endgroup$ Jan 28, 2020 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ @RobinBetts wait.. is this already fixed by the devs or is this still an issue? im not sure i completely understood the problem, can you help me understand with maybe a gif or screenshot? $\endgroup$ Jan 20, 2023 at 12:06
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    $\begingroup$ Hi, @HarryMcKenzie ! Either you're right, or I wasn't looking then in the way I'm looking now. I've tried to pick holes in it, and the X and Y directions do, now, seem to make as much sense as they can reasonably be expected to, per-face. (Mine are not dependent on the object's orientation, though.. if I RR in Edit mode, the directions are consistent, in relation to the faces) $\endgroup$
    – Robin Betts
    Jan 20, 2023 at 15:54
  • $\begingroup$ hey @RobinBetts thanks for ur response. yeah i just checked again and it seems to work correctly. $\endgroup$ Jan 20, 2023 at 15:58

1 Answer 1

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When you switch the Transformation Orientation to Normal in Edit Mode, Blender sets the Z-axis to align with the normal of the selected face, but it seems that was not the case for the X and Y axes in older versions. In the latest versions it works though as expected.

But if you want to make sure to maintain consistency across multiple faces, you can use the Align to View option. This will align the X and Y axes to the current view, so that all faces will tilt in the same direction relative to the view. To do this, you can use the Shift+Numpad (1, 3, 7) shortcut keys to align the object to the front, right, or top views respectively.

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  • $\begingroup$ As in commentary above.. sorry if I'm misunderstanding this answer.. X and Y do not seem to be dependent on orientation of object .. ? $\endgroup$
    – Robin Betts
    Jan 20, 2023 at 16:05
  • $\begingroup$ Ah I was assuming that was the problem without double checking. I'll remove that part since that's incorrect. They are not dependent to the orientation of object as of latest version as far as my testing goes. $\endgroup$ Jan 20, 2023 at 16:12
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    $\begingroup$ i updated answer but feel free to change it if i misunderstood or made a mistake 😅 $\endgroup$ Jan 20, 2023 at 16:16

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