Maya allows for fast and accurate placement of the pivot using the D key does Blender have the same?

Functionally this is similar to seting the pivot to the 3d cursor however I'm unsure of how to accurately place the 3d cursor without; Entering Edit mode, Selecting what I want, Shift > S Cursor to Selected, Entering Object Mode. Adjusting the pivot point works well like this for rotating but not so much for movement as the 3d cursor won't stay anchored when the object is moved away from it, meaning you need to repeat the process to realign the 3d cursor accurately.

Mayas method is so fast and convenient that there has to be way automate all those steps to replicate it or someone must have made an addon that does this already.

  • $\begingroup$ In object mode Ctrl+Sift+Alt+C will move the pivot point to the 3D cursor. $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 19:22
  • $\begingroup$ 3D cursor isn't the only pivot option out there. You can use Active as pivot element and add an empty you want to be as pivot. Grab an empty together with objects, select it last and you have your pivot. This can work along with what is already mentioned in the answer. The thing is that indeed 3D cursor won't move by itself $\endgroup$
    – Mr Zak
    Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 20:51
  • $\begingroup$ blender still did not acknowledge the importance of mayas d-key plus snap workflow in 2023. this is the most common feature in my daily model job and its the only thing that keeps me away from blender. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 15, 2023 at 19:20

1 Answer 1


As you already noticed, the 3d Cursor is your friend.

Either click LMB LMB anywhere in the viewport or set its xyz location values directly (Transform Panel N > 3D Cursor). Object Mode or Edit Mode doesn't matter so you've got the control you need. When done, open up the Toolshelf T, go to Tools > Set Orgin and select 'Origin to 3D Cursor' (in Object Mode) or use ShiftCtrlAltC shortcut for that.

enter image description here

Also see: Precisely move the 3D cursor?

  • $\begingroup$ All of these options are more steps than I'd want, ideally i'd be able to replicate or create an addon that functions the same as Mayas D Key. It seems the quickest is using Pivot set to Active Element then using Edit mode to Select All > then Deselect > Reselect whatever Vert/Edge/Face I want to pivot around. When so much of Blenders workflow is faster than what I was able to do in Maya it seems odd to have this convenient functionality require so many more steps. $\endgroup$
    – user50658
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ How many times you need that on a daily basis? ...I know it can be hard switching to another 3d package, but I think you are wasting your time if you try to replicate Maya's functionalities - both packages are totally different. IMHO it's even safer from a user point of view that blender doesn't allow to shift the pivot with a single shortcut (it's easy pressing the d key by accident). Anyway, if you really can't live without such manipulator or widget, you can create your own in newer blender versions (2.80+) or probably better suggest one here: developer.blender.org/T51844 @Everyman $\endgroup$
    – brockmann
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 18:33

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