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While navigating in viewport, how can I lock one of the axis and use MMB to turn my object around it (using Blender v 2.90)? I searched for axis locking, went through the docs, getting starter videos, but can't seem figure it out.

Here is an example:

  1. When the Z-Axis looking straight up, dragging MMB left to right rotates the object around Z as expected.
  2. I then drag MMB up->down to turn my object 90 degrees. Now the Z is sticking out of the screen, Y is looking straight up and X is looking left to right
  3. At this point dragging MMB left/right pans the scene (i.e. continues to rotate around Z) instead of turning around Y. I.e. the question is, how can I fix Y looking straight up and turn my object around it?
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    $\begingroup$ if you are using external software like paraview ...you should add a link to it. Not everybody know every external software here. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented May 20, 2021 at 9:03
  • $\begingroup$ thanks @Chris, I completely rewrote the question. Hope this doesn't create confusion $\endgroup$
    – Aram
    Commented May 20, 2021 at 14:52

2 Answers 2

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You can use G (to move an object) then tap X (to move it just on x axis) or Y(y axis) and ...you guessed it Z to move it on the z-axis.

So Tap G->X to move it on global x-axis.

Tap G->X->X to move it on local x-axis. Analog with x, y.

For rotation is the same, just with R -> X (rotates on global x-axis)

UPDATE:

you can navigate with these numpad keys:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Grabbing and moving an object transforms it though, right? I.e. coordinates of the vertices of my mesh will get changed. Instead, I just want to keep the object in place and just look at it from another angle, but dragging MMB left/right when Z axis is perpendicular to the screen just pans the scene rather than turning my object. $\endgroup$
    – Aram
    Commented May 20, 2021 at 13:48
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Try this (From Edit>Preferences: Switch Orbit Method to Trackball

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