I was wondering if anyone knows an answer to this simple question. Googling did not give me satisfactory solutions. I have never dealt with bones previously, and they seem to be rather complicated.

The question is as follows:

Consider the following bone axis orientation (pose mode selected):

enter image description here

The Y-axis is oriented along the bone length. What I need for the script is to make the X-axis orient along the bone length. Basically, I need to rotate the whole axis system 90 degrees around Z-axis.

I would really love to have this orientation for the script. Converting the script itself would be highly problematic.

To conclude with: Can I rotate the pivot 90 degrees around the Z-axis?

I would very much appreciate if anyone replies to this.


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    $\begingroup$ This question is very interesting and it will be awsome if there is someone that can answer you. I can tell you, for my experience, that the Y-axis follow always the lenght of its bone . . . however i hope to be wrong ^^ $\endgroup$
    – Fuboski
    May 18, 2016 at 0:09
  • $\begingroup$ have you tried using custom orientations or gimbal? If not, I can add a custom answer for clarity $\endgroup$
    – 360ueck
    May 18, 2016 at 13:34
  • $\begingroup$ So I tried using custom orientation, however at this point I don't know how to write a script to make the object rotate around custom axis. The scripting examples I saw either explain how rotate the object around the local axis, or global one by directly applying matrix transformation. $\endgroup$ May 18, 2016 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ I feel you may be overcomplicating it. Blender already has options available, no need to write a script. $\endgroup$
    – 360ueck
    May 18, 2016 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I need scripting simply because I have real-life information from sensors I need to feed into my model. I already did that for a simple robot arm. Now I need a bit more complicated model. $\endgroup$ May 18, 2016 at 18:19

1 Answer 1


Duplicate one of your bones and rotate 90 degrees on the Z axis. This will be the object from which we will make the desired set of axes.


Open the properties panel using N and press control + alt + spacebar to create a custom axis. In the properties panel under "Transform Orientation" you can rename your custom axis, here I've named it "x = y and y = x".


Now select your original bones, X and Y have traded axes. In the 3D window footer, you can see we are now using the custom orientation created.


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    $\begingroup$ Thank you very much for your detailed answer. I greatly appreciate your help. $\endgroup$ May 18, 2016 at 18:40
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    $\begingroup$ Out of date for Blender 3.2 - any other solutions? $\endgroup$
    – Ada Radius
    Feb 3, 2023 at 4:59

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