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Selecting and Positioning Nodes

The main functions of node's selection and positioning are available via the Positioning panel.

All available controls for selecting and positioning nodes can be found on the Nodes tab of the Editor Hotkeys settings.

Selecting Nodes#

To select a single node in the scene, choose on the Positioning panel and click the left mouse button on this node. In this case, only the mesh surface which you have clicked will be selected. To select several mesh surfaces, holdShift and click required surfaces.

Notice
You can convert the selected node to a NodeReference by pressing Ctrl+Shift+G (or click Edit -> Convert to NodeReference).

To select several nodes, do one of the following:

  • Use the selection box: click and hold the left mouse button, drag the mouse to select the required nodes. In this case, all surfaces of each mesh (if it exists) will be selected.

    Select Using Selection Box

    Selection can be performed in two modes: Window and Crossing. You can choose the mode via the drop-down list near the selection icon () on the Positioning panel:

    • Window Mode requires the whole object to be inside the selection box.
    • Crossing Mode makes the object selected even if its part is inside the selection box.

    Selection Box in Window Mode
    Selection Box in Crossing Mode
  • Select one of the nodes, press and hold Shift to add nodes to the selection and Ctrl to remove.

    Add and Remove Nodes from Selection
Notice
To select all nodes in the world, press Ctrl+A.

When the node is selected, the following is shown:

  • Wireframe of the node
  • Bounding box of the node
  • Bounding box of the selected surface (or surfaces)

To remove nodes from the selection (deselect), press and hold Ctrl and click the left mouse button on the required nodes.

To deselect all the selected nodes, press Ctrl+Shift+A.

The selected nodes can be positioned in the world by using one of the ways described below.

Notice
You can set a pivot point relative to which the selected nodes will be transformed.

Inverse Selection#

Inverse selection can be useful for complex selections. For example, if you need to select all objects in a scene except the specific ones, you can select these specific objects and invert the selection.

To invert the current selection, press Ctrl+I.

Moving, Rotating and Scaling Nodes#

To transform nodes, choose the required transformation mode (manipulator) on the Positioning panel of the Toolbar:

Notice
You can specify the position and rotation coordinates and the scale factor via the Parameters window.

Move Nodes#

To move the node:

  1. Choose the manipulator on the Positioning panel (or press W).
  2. Click the required node. The axes along which the node can be moved will be shown.

    Move Node
  3. Move the node:
    • If an arrow manipulator is dragged, the node can be moved along the axis.
    • If a rectangle manipulator is dragged, the node can be moved by 2 axes.
    Move Along 1 Axis
    Move By 2 Axes

Also you can move the selected node by pressing arrow keys:

  1. Choose the manipulator.
  2. Move the node:
    • To move along the X axis, press left and right arrows.
    • To move along the Y axis, press up and down arrows.
    Notice
    If snapping by grid is disabled, the node will be moved over 1.0 unit. If enabled, the node will be moved with the specified step.

In addition, you can:

  • Ignore the nodes' hierarchy when moving the selected node: press Alt and move the node without its children.
  • Move the selected node to the camera by pressing Alt+X.

Rotate Nodes#

To rotate the node:

  1. Choose the manipulator on the Positioning panel (or press E).
  2. Click the required node. The sphere with the axes around which the node can be rotated will be shown.

    Rotate Node
  3. Rotate the node:
    • If an axis of the sphere is dragged, the node can be rotated around the axis.
    • If the sphere is dragged, the node can be rotated freely around several axes.
    Rotate Around 1 Axis
    Rotate Freely

You can also rotate the selected node with the given step by using arrow keys:

  1. Choose the manipulator.
  2. Enable snapping by angle and specify the step for the rotation angle.
  3. Rotate the node by using arrows:
    • To rotate around the X axis, press up and down arrows.
    • To rotate around the Z axis, press left and right arrows.

Scale Nodes#

To scale the node:

  1. Choose the manipulator on the Positioning panel (or pressR).
  2. Click the required node. The axes along which the node can be scaled will be shown.

    Scale Node
  3. Scale the node:
    • If a cube manipulator is dragged, the node will be scaled along one axis.
    • If a triangle manipulator is dragged, the node will be scaled along 3 axes.
    Scale Along 1 Axis
    Scale Along 3 Axes

There is also an ergonomic mode for scaling. When the manipulator is chosen, you can do the following:

  • Move the cursor up and right to scale the node up.
  • Move the cursor mouse down and left to scale the node down.

Scaling the Node Up and Down in the Ergonomic Mode

Also it is possible to scale the selected node with the given step by using arrow keys:

  1. Choose the manipulator.
  2. Enable snapping by scale and specify the step.
  3. Scale the node:
    • To scale along the X axis, press left and right arrows.
    • To scale along the Z axis, press up and down arrows.

Clone and Delete Nodes#

To clone a node:

  1. Select the node.
  2. Press Ctrl+D (or Edit -> Clone).
    Notice
    The cloned node will have the same position as the source node.

To clone and transform a node:

  1. Select the node.
  2. Choose , or on the Positioning panel (or press W, E or R).
  3. Press and hold Shift and transform the node.

To delete a node, select it and press DELETE (or click Edit -> Delete Object).

Pivot Point and Coordinate System#

Transformations of the node are relative to the pivot point. The pivot point is used to control the way nodes rotate and scale.

To rotate or scale several nodes, select them, choose the required manipulator and specify the position of its pivot point by using the pivot point toggle.

Notice
If one node is selected, the pivot point position will not change when toggling.
  • If the button is active, the pivot point will be set to the center of selection.
  • If the button is active, the pivot point will be set to the center of the last selected node.
Notice
To toggle the pivot point, you can press Z.

For example:

  • If you select several nodes, set the pivot point toggle to Center and rotate these nodes, they will rotate around the center of selection as follows:

    Pivot Point in the Center of Selection
    Notice
    If you scale the nodes, they will be scaled out from or in toward the center of selection.
  • If you set the pivot point toggle to Pivot and rotate the selected nodes, each node will rotate around its center as follows:

    Pivot Point coincides with the Last Selected Node Center
    Notice
    If you scale the nodes, each node will be scaled relative to its center.

The basis of the manipulator pivot point can be toggled as follows:

  • If the button is active, world space orientation will be used for the manipulator pivot point.

    For example, if you set the combination for the selected nodes and rotate them around the Y axis, you will get the following:

    Before rotation: After rotation:
    The pivot point is oriented by the world space.
    The nodes have been rotated by 45 degrees around the Y axis.
  • If the button is active, the coordinate system of the parent node will be used for the pivot point orientation.

    For example, if you set the combination the selected nodes and rotate them around the Y axis, you will get the following:

    Before rotation: After rotation:
    The pivot point is oriented by the local basis of the parent node
    (the red cube).
    The nodes have been rotated by 45 degrees around the Y axis.
  • If the button is active, the pivot point will be oriented by the node local coordinate system. It means that its orientation will not depend on the parent node orientation.

    For example, if you set the combination for the selected nodes and rotate them around the Y axis, you will get the following:

    Before rotation: After rotation:
    The pivot point is oriented by the local basis of the last selected
    node(the green cube).
    The nodes have been rotated by 45 degrees around the Y axis.
Notice
To toggle the manipulator basis, you can press Z.

Snapping Nodes by Grid#

Snapping a node by the grid enables to position a node along the axis or over the grid with a given step (in units).

Notice
Snapping should be enabled when moving the node by using arrow keys. If disabled, the node will be moved over 1 unit by default.

To snap a node by grid:

  1. Choose on the Positioning panel (or pressShift+W)
  2. Specify the grid step via the following panel:

    Now you can move any node in the world by an axis or a grid with the given step.
  3. Move one of the nodes:
    • If one axis is chosen (an arrow manipulator is dragged), the node will be aligned by an axis.
    • If a node is repositioned by two axes (a rectangle manipulator is dragged), the node will be aligned by a horizontal or vertical grid.
    Snapping By an Axis
    Snapping By a Grid Stripes

Snapping Nodes by Angle#

Snapping a node by an angle enables to rotate a node along the axis with a given step (in degrees).

Notice
Snapping should be enabled when rotating the node by using arrow keys.

To snap a node by angle:

  1. Choose on the Positioning panel (or pressShift+E).
  2. Specify the step for the rotation angle via the following panel:

    Now you can rotate any node in the world around the axis with the given step.
  3. Rotate one of the nodes.

    Rotation By 45 Degrees

Snapping Nodes by Scale#

Snapping a node by the scale enables to scale a node along the axis with a given step.

Notice
Snapping should be enabled when scaling the node by using arrow keys.

To snap a node by scale:

  1. Choose on the Positioning panel.
  2. Specify the step for the scale factor via the following panel:

    Now you can scale any node in the world along the axis with the given step.
  3. Scale one of the nodes.

    Scaling By Step 0.5

Snapping Nodes to Surface#

Snapping a node to a surface of another node provides pixel-perfect positioning of the nodes relative to each other.

To snap a node to the surface:

  1. Select a node that should be snapped.
  2. Choose on the Positioning panel (or press Alt+W).
  3. Specify snapping settings via the following panel:

    Option Description
    Offset from surface Specifies the distance from the node's pivot point to the surface (in units).
    Notice
    • To increase/decrease the distance to the surface, use the WHEEL UP/WHEEL DOWN hot keys.
    • To reset the distance to the surface, use the MIDDLE CLICK hot key.
    Orient by normal Specifies whether the node should be oriented by the surface normal or not.
    Notice
    The hot key is RIGHT CLICK
  4. Move the node until the red stripe intersects the required surface of the other node. Click the left mouse button to place the node.
    Notice
    To abort placement, press ESC.

The node will follow the mouse as on the image below:

Node is Oriented by Normal
Node is Not Oriented by Normal

Dropping Nodes to Ground#

Dropping a node to the ground means positioning the selected node to the surface below this node.

To drop a node to the surface:

  1. Select a node (or several nodes) that should be dropped.
  2. Put the cursor over on the Positioning panel.
  3. Specify the required settings via the panel that appears:

    Option Description
    Offset from surface Specifies the distance from the node's pivot point to the surface (in units).
    Orient by normal Specifies whether the node should be oriented by the surface normal or not.
    Intersection mask Sets an intersection mask that defines whether a node (or nodes) will be positioned on a surface to which it is dropped. A node will be positioned on a surface if they both have matching intersection masks. Otherwise, the node will penetrate the surface.
  4. Click to drop a node (nodes).
    Initial Position of a Node
    Node Dropped to Surface (Default Settings)

Last update: 2018-12-27