What I want: To align one of several cameras in a scene to the current 3D view, regardless of which camera is currently active, and without leaving the 3D view.

How I am approaching this: I start by selecting a specific camera in the scene. Say I have three cameras, camera1, camera2 and camera3, and none of them are presently aligned to the current 3D view. Only one of them is active, of course. Say, camera1. I select camera2. Now, camera1, is still active, so I need to make camera2 active before I can use the "Align Active Camera to View" option. I know that I can manually change the active camera in the Scene Properties, but I want to do it from the 3D view. No problem. I simply press Ctrl-0 to make camera2 the active camera. But when I do, the 3D view switches to the view of camera2. As a consequence of this, I no longer have the original 3D view available. So I can't now press Ctrl-Alt-0 to align camera2 to the 3D view, because the current 3D view is now aligned to camera2's view, instead of the other way around.

What I'd like to know: Is there a way to make the selected camera the active camera--while remaining in the 3D view--without the current 3D view being changed as a result? This way, I could then press Ctrl-Alt-0, and get the now active camera to align to the current 3D view, which is what I want.

Part of the reason for this difficulty is that there would appear to be no UI-based means to align SELECTED cameras to the current view (or indeed, to anything else). Only ACTIVE cameras can be so aligned. If selected cameras could be aligned to the current 3D view, then the troublesome step which I have described above, where the 3D view is being aligned to the newly activated camera when I don't want it to be, would be a step that is avoided entirely. This would also mean me needing to perform one fewer steps in total. But that's a discussion for another day.

I am aware that several questions on this forum discuss the issue of camera alignment. But so far as I have seen, none of them specifically address the exact issue stated here, which is that pressing Ctrl-0 forces a change in the current 3D view, and I don't want it to do this.


1 Answer 1


There's no need to look through a camera to make it active.
Simply click the green camera icon and go View > Align View > Align Active camera to view.

The shortcut Ctrl + Numpad 0 automatically looks through active camera, which isn't what you want here.

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  • $\begingroup$ Your demonstration wasn't working for me at first, but then I figured out why. I was always clicking in the Outliner on the top-most camera node, not the nested one, which always remained collapsed. It never even occurred to me to uncollapse the nested node, let alone click on it, to change which camera is active. Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – R-800
    May 15, 2020 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ Happy to help :). You can do this with most objects (useful for selecting a mesh directly) $\endgroup$ May 15, 2020 at 21:07

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