I am just starting modeling characters in Blender, and I noticed that the front side looks like the "wrong" one.

In fact, when you use the autorename left-right for the bones, I see that the LEFT side is given to the bones on the POSITIVE X, so, apparently the facing for a character in Blender is on the negative Y, which doesn't make much sense.

Am I missing something?

P.s.: I know that this in theory doesn't have much importance at all: you can rotate the character as you want. But in example, if I need to export my characters for a game engine, a small danger is to see all of them in the library showing you the "Side B" instead than the front. Just one of the small problems that could arise. Then there's the real problem with the programming: to make the characters move forward, I will have to subtract to Y position instead than to add. It's something that probably doesn't interest many people out there, if this hasn't been fixed up to now, I'm just checking if I'm doing something wrong, or if Blender is really like this and I will have to rename the bones manually.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The choice of up and forward is arbitrary. Most importers / exporters have the option to convert from one to another. $\endgroup$
    – batFINGER
    Aug 20, 2021 at 16:55
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Blender follow the age-old stage convection that left and right are based on the way the character is facing, and as you noted that is the negative Y direction. I used to work on a game engine where the physics, models, and animation system all had different x, y, z orientations. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Jensen
    Aug 20, 2021 at 16:55
  • $\begingroup$ So I assume the only "problem" here is the "wrong" name convention... well, I guess I'll name the bones by myself then XD $\endgroup$
    – PolyMad
    Aug 20, 2021 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ In front view (Numpad 1 on the keyboard) you're looking at the front of your character, so bones on your right are actually for the left side of the character if you think about it! $\endgroup$
    – John Eason
    Aug 20, 2021 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnEason Yes, that's how OP established default for blender is -Y forward. A camera points -Z forward. Hence front view in blender would look at the top of a camera if locally aligned to global axes. $\endgroup$
    – batFINGER
    Aug 20, 2021 at 18:24

1 Answer 1


Blender Docs on the subject says…

Blender uses a right-angled “Cartesian” coordinate system with the Z axis pointing upwards.

X axis Left / Right,

Y axis Front / Back,

Z axis Top / Bottom.

You can select the viewing direction for a 3D Viewport with the View menu entries, Navigation Gizmo, or by pressing the hotkeys.

Additional details from myself, looking from the origin towards infinite negative Y is facing forward. Thus, your character should face that direction.


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