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I find rotating with the mouse (middle-click+drag) very unnatural in Blender (2.8).

How can I make it work the same as in Meshlab (which rotates around a track ball)?

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There's a setting for that under Main Menu > Edit > Preferences > Navigation Tab > Orbit & Pan choose: Orbit Method: Trackball

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Otherwise Blender will constrain you to turntable rotation, which does not allow full free rotation around all axes (it keeps the Z-axis upright while rotating).

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