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According to my understanding, I should be able to set the origin of all object types using Ctrl+Shift+Alt+C, and then choosing Origin to Cursor. This works for mesh objects, but not camera or lamps. The origin point does not move for them, and they continue to rotate around themselves.

Is there a way to set the origin for cameras and lamps? I just want to rotate them around an external point.

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  • $\begingroup$ @MrZak Your answer is simpler than creating an empty (I was unaware that one can change the pivot without changing the origin, but now I understand), so I would accept it if you provided as an answer. $\endgroup$ – WannaKnow Nov 24 '15 at 17:25
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You can parent them to an empty and rotate the empty.

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As an alternative, as noted by @MrZak, is using a different pivot point for transformations.

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In this example the pivot point is set to the 3D cursor:

enter image description here

While this might seem like the simpler solution, in the long run, it's not. The advantage of the empty, is that it's location is stored and easy to access. When you have it selected and are moving it around, it works just like it would if you moved the center point. The only difference, is that it's a separate object and displays that way.

The pivot settings are things that will be changed every once in a while, so while they're good for one transformation, they aren't good for a center point, because the 3D cursor will most likely be moved at some point in the modeling process. You'll have to switch to another pivot option also. Especially median point which is usually the easiest to work with.

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  • $\begingroup$ I like this because it is easy to control the empty, so +1, but I would prefer to accept the simple answer (changing the pivot) $\endgroup$ – WannaKnow Nov 24 '15 at 17:31
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    $\begingroup$ @WannaKnow I put together some thoughts on why you shouldn't use the pivot point option in the answer $\endgroup$ – TARDIS Maker Nov 24 '15 at 18:58
  • $\begingroup$ @RayMairlot I was able to rotate emptys and cameras around the 3d cursor by changing the pivot $\endgroup$ – WannaKnow Nov 24 '15 at 20:02
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enter image description here

for camera or everything else just do these 3 simple steps

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  • $\begingroup$ Please avoid using the text as part of the image only. It cannot be edited and search engines cannot index the text that way. $\endgroup$ – cegaton Feb 5 '18 at 15:11

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