The Create Pivot tool is used to add Pivot objects to the scene. Pivots are useful in many contexts, so we have provided a large number of pivot placement options.
The hotkey to start the Create Pivot tool is 5.
The individual Placement Mode and Coordinate Frame options are discussed below.
To place a pair of symmetric pivots, enable Create Symmetric. Note that if you wish to change the symmetry plane, you can do so in the Sculpt tool.
When Link To Target is enabled, the created pivot will be linked to the object it is being placed on. When this object is transformed, the position of the pivot will be automatically transformed as well. Hence, the pivot "stays with" the linked target object.
The Offset slider pushes the pivot location in or out of the object along the pivot frame normal.
In modes where you interactively place the pivot, use left-click-drag to do so. In some modes the pivot has a single location and so clicking is not necessary. However, in either case, the pivot you see is only a preview! To actually add the pivot you must click Drop Pivot or hit the a hotkey.
There are a wide range of placement modes for Pivots, as shown in the list to the right. Below we describe each in detail:
Surface Point: any point on mesh surface, interpolated surface normal
Snap to Vertex: snaps to mesh vertices, vertex normal
Snap to Edge: snaps to mesh edges, average normal of adjacent faces
Snap to Edge Midpoint: snaps to mesh edge midpoint
Snap to Face Center: snaps to triangle centroid, face normal
Snap to Group Borders: snaps to edges which have different facegroups on either side, average normal of adjacent faces
Snap to Group Center: snaps to centroid of facegroup vertices, average vertex normal of facegroup
Snap to Group Border Center: snaps to centroid of facegroup border vertices, average vertex normal of border vertices
Snap to Boundary Center: snaps to centroid of boundary vertices, normal of best-fit plane to boundary vertices. Must click near boundary.
First Midpoint Along Ray: finds first and second-closest eye-ray intersection points with meshes, places at midpoint between these points, with eye-ray direction as frame normal
First Midpoint Along Normal: finds intersection point by shooting ray through surface along interpolated normal direction, places at midpoint between surface point and intersection point, with normal direction as frame normal
Bounding Box: places pivot at center of bounding box of hit object, with world frame
Local Frame: places pivot at local frame (position and orientation) of hit object
Existing Pivot: places pivot at clicked pivot (ie copies pivot to new pivot)
From Last Tool: places pivot at a position/orientation defined by the most recent tool. For example after a plane cut, you can use this mode to create a pivot on the cutting plane that was used. The hotkey q automatically adds this pivot. The shortcut sequence 5-q-esc is one that you will become familiar with as you learn to use pivots.
Coordinate Frame Modes
By default, each Placement Mode defines a specific frame orientation. This is the Geometry Frame. However, you can also choose to assign the World Frame to the created pivots, in which case the pivot axes are aligned to the XYZ axes. The figure below shows these two options. In addition, you can assign the Eye Ray Frame to the pivot. In this frame, the Y (green) axis is aligned with the eye-ray through the pixel under the cursor, and the blue axis is aligned to point directly to the left (the red axis is then determined by orthogonality, and generally points towards the bottom of the screen).