Orbit About Selection_Orbit About Mouse Point

As amazing as SketchUp is, in so many ways, in one particular way it frustrates and disappoints. I’m referring to the lack of Orbit About Selection and Orbit About Mouse Point functionality. I spend way too much time scrolling the mouse wheel to zoom way out, then orbiting, then scrolling to zoom back in. It’s frustrating, distracting, and a big waste of time. I’m surprised that there are only a couple message threads about this - it can’t be just me! One thread mentions the ability to set a point to orbit around by double-clicking the mouse scroll wheel. Either my mouse is unusual, or (more likely) my aging fingers are losing dexterity, but I can’t double-click with the scroll wheel.

The only other 3D modeling program I’ve used extensively was 3D Studio Max / VIZ. Orbit about selection and Orbit about mouse point weren’t an issue in Max - it just did it, effortlessly, every time. What am I doing wrong in SketchUp?

Depending on your budget, A Space Mouse from 3d Connexion May work for you. They have a setting for orbit around that will allow rotation around selected item or auto.


Personally I don’t have issues with the orbit or pan on sketchup, i have a MC Master 3 it works fine and orbiting or panning is better than blender and twinmotion in my opinion, but as RLGL suggested a 3D mouse has different options of behaviors, one of them is target which will orbit around an object and there are other options that make the moving around sketchup something very fun, I have the cheapest one from 3D connection and it’s enough for my workflow.

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Thanks for replying. The 3D Connexion SpaceMouse Wireless might be the solution. I like the idea of separating 3D navigation functions (with the left hand) from all other mousing functions (right hand). It’s not cheap, but I bill by the hour, and the time saved will soon pay for the new nav mouse.

A 3D mouse is one of those things that split users into two separate groups: those who love them and those who hate them. There is a training period before one becomes adept. I went through that and now am addicted.

New users are sometimes confused by the orbit function, generally the object they want to work on is sliding off the screen for reasons they don’t understand . Perhaps you already know how the center of orbit works…. When using the mouse scroll wheel to orbit the center of orbit will be the piece of geometry the curser is on when you depress the scroll wheel. If you are on a near object the orbit is small, if the curser is randomly over the distant background when you begin the orbit then the orbit radius will be very large and the foreground is likely to slide out of the view. To get the most out of native orbit, start paying close attention to where the curser is when the orbit starts, intentionally pick a thing to orbit around every time. I find it actually works pretty well.

I also use a spacemouse, it’s brilliant.

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I’ve ordered a Spacemouse Wireless, and I look forward to the fun of re-wiring my brain and its connections to my fingers as I learn a new way to navigate in 3D.

“When using the mouse scroll wheel to orbit, the center of orbit will be the piece of geometry the cursor is on when you depress the scroll wheel”. - this may get to the root of the problem I’ve had - exactly where on the piece of geometry does the center get defined? Does the center of orbit default to the centroid of the bounding box of the object? When the object is large, or is a Group or a Component, that centroid is likely to be off the screen. What if I’m in Edit Group mode (or sub-group, or I have one particular face or edge selected)? Is the center of orbit based on the whole top-level Group, or on the nested object, or the selected face? It’s complicated.

Hopefully the Spacemouse makes thinking about these semantics unnecessary.