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What I want to do while modeling is start at the Top Ortho view (NumPad 7) with green Y-axis pointed up and down on the screen. I then want to rotate the view left or right around my model, moving only the X & Z axis' while keeping the Y-axis vertical.

Ctrl Shift MMB MMB zooms the view in and out if the wheel is held down and the mouse moved. If the wheel is scrolled the view rotates around the Z-axis. Going to view 3 and Alt Shift MMB MMB allows rotating around a Horizontal Y-axis.

Is there a way to rotate around a vertical Y-axis?

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  • $\begingroup$ @cegaton This question appears to be about navigating the viewport not changing the world axis. $\endgroup$ – Ray Mairlot Aug 20 '15 at 10:49
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    $\begingroup$ Are you sure you are going to rotate around vertical Y axis? Blender uses coordinate system with Z pointing upwards and this most likely cannot ba changed. If you'd like to rotate Numpad 7 view (around Z axis), you can press Ctrl+Shift+MouseWheel for that; the view will remain orthogonal. $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Aug 20 '15 at 12:00
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By default, blender is set up with turntable navigation style, which means the Z is held vertical through your orbit manipulation. There is another style of navigation which used to be common in 3D, called trackball. This lets you orbit without the restriction of Z-up, but it also makes it easy to lose your sense of space in the scene. You can change this setting in the user preferences, under the input section. The left column contains those settings.

orbit settings

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The only answers I know for this is by clicking (NumPad 6) to rotate clockwise and (NumPad 4) to rotate anti-clockwise.

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One way to do this is to start with the object aligned to the front (Numpad-1) or the back (CTRL Numpad-1) view, both of which align the y axis perpendicular to the screen. Then set the view to the selected element by pressing Numpad .. The object can now be rotated around the y axis by using the SHFT Numpad-4 and SHFT Numpad-6 keyboard shortcuts.

Note that this does not change the orientation of the model; the green arrow still aligns to the y axis, and the z axis is still up and down in the Blender view.

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