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When I try to change the direction a camera is pointed, it often changes the relative orientation of the z axis. I can't keep the global z axis "vertical" from the perspective of the camera. I want to be able to turn the camera left, right, up, down, but without rolling.

You don't tilt your head whenever you turn left or right, after all.

To put it another way, I don't want the blue z-axis line to tip left or right on my screen when angling a camera. How do I prevent this?

Picture of a "tilted" z axis

Thanks in advance.

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You simply need to lock the rotation in a relevant axis while rotating.

For example, to rotate Left/Right (in relation to the scene) you need to lock to the global Z axis - select the camera and then press R to rotate followed by Z and move the mouse to 'look' left/right.

To rotate up/down you need to lock the rotation to the local X axis. You can do this by selecting the camera and then press R for rotate followed by XX (ie, X twice) - this will lock to the local X axis. Moving the mouse will now 'look' up/down (in relation to the camera).

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  • $\begingroup$ This helps a lot! Thanks! I didn't realize that pressing a lock hotkey twice would have different results (I thought it would just toggle on/off). This method works best for me, because it doesn't make me have to "fight" against a hard lock on the x/y/z axes while orienting. Hard locking an axis really messes with the rotation control. $\endgroup$ – Zach Jan 24 '18 at 0:10
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You can simply lock the Y axis of the camera rotation.

Here:

option1

Or here:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ This kind of works, but does have the cost of really messing with the rotation controls. But it DOES work, if using hotkeys like the suggestion below is harder for someone. This is a good backup option to the suggestion below of using lock-to-z for left-right and then locking x for up-down. $\endgroup$ – Zach Jan 24 '18 at 0:16

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