Rotating with 3DConnexion SpaceNavigator switches direction when view is upside down



With the 3DConnexion SpaceNavigator 3D mouse in Object Mode, Horizon locked, I can let (the view on) an object spin around it’s blue / Z axis.

I noticed that, while rotating the (view) of the object around the Z-axis, the rotation slows down and even changes direction when you ‘fly over it’ to view the back, upside down.

Is this a bug or is this somehow a logical result of the horizon being locked / the decision to switch clock/counter clockwise rotation in upside-down position? I can’t really grasp that logic but it doesn’t happen when the Horizon Locked option is unchecked.


In object mode, the rotation is relative to your view of the object. thus “clockwise” changes if you flip the object upside down.

Clockwise from above:

Clockwise from below:

Does that help?


I suppose that makes sense, yes, if you know the set of rules that rule the relative view, although my ‘muscle brain’ disagrees with this point of view :wink: I guess that’s because my brain uses this logic: As my hands keep rotating an object clockwise (around the Z-axis), it should keep rotating clockwise, even if meanwhile, I turn it upside down.

Only after my hands let go of the object and reposition themselves to the other side of the object and grasp it again, but orientated 180º differently, it is possible that rotating it in the same fashion results in a counter-clockwise rotation of the object.

Does that make sense? Of course this is more a matter of what one is used to as a human handeling objects using arms and hands that have their limitations vs a set of rules that a 3D application uses.


I know exactly what you’re talking about. Did you ever figure out why this happens? It feels like a bug because I can’t see the logic behind reversing the rotation above and below the camera’s xy plane/horizon. I’m constantly flying around my model looking directly ahead level to the floor and if I simply need to turn right/left (all the time), like you said, it doesn’t know which way to rotate because the camera is looking along the xy plane/horizon. I need to know if there’s a solution! It’s driving me mad.


This was not the only problem I ran into. I couldn’t get the 3DConnexion SpaceNavigator to fully function on macOS X like it does on Windows.

At first I thought it might be specific to my Mac, version of OS X, driver version, other software or even the mouse hardware, but that was not it.

The final conclusion was that 3DConnixion simply failed to make a decent driver available. As long as they don’t, it’s highly frustrating to try to use a 3D mouse on a Mac since it partially works, but constantly stutters. Unbelievable. Talking about shooting yourselves in the foot.