How To Use View Angles and Navigation in Blender

Updated on: August 23, 2022

Navigating through the 3D space is vital for working in Blender. In order for us to see what is on the other side of the object we’re working on, we will need to be able to rotate around it to view angles.

To rotate your view just press and hold the middle wheel of your mouse and move it around the object. If you ever get confused about which way is up, you can always check the Gizmo on the upper right corner of the screen to see how your screen is currently oriented. (Just remember that the X axis is for left and right, Y is for forward and back, and Z is for up and down).

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To pan your view without changing your angle, just hold [Shift + the middle mouse button] and drag it in the direction you wish.  To zoom simply scroll the mouse wheel in and out, or if you don’t have a mouse wheel, just hold [CTRL + the middle mouse button] and drag back and forth.

All these operations can be done by clicking on their respective icons on the right side of the 3D Viewport. The last icon (the one that seems like a grid) is for switching between orthographic and perspective view. This can also be done by hitting 5 on your Numpad.

To see the front of your model, hit 1 on the Numpad, and it will snap your view into Front Orthographic. You can do the same to view your object from the right side by hitting 3 on your Numpad, and to view it from the top, hit the number 7. (If you’re ever unsure about being in perspective or orthographic mode, you can check the top left side of your screen).

To view the back, left and bottom of your model, try to think of it as if you were viewing the opposite of the front, right, or top. To view the opposite of each side, just hit CTRL + the respective number of each side. For example, to see the back, just hit [CTRL + 1], to view your object from the left side just press [CTRL + 3], and for the bottom side, [CTRL + 7] is the way to go.

You can also switch between views by clicking on the gizmo or by going to the View tap on the top of the screen.

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Tip: Either you love them or hate them, Blender is a very shortcut-heavy program. We mean it when we say it has A LOT of shortcuts. So, it is really worth it to learn them, as it will speed up your workflow considerably. Take note or save this article so you don’t lose these shortcuts until you fully learn them.

Lorena M. Rodas leverages her experience across film, writing, and production to make complex tech concepts accessible through storytelling. With a background spanning sci-fi, AI, and emerging tech, Lorena translates her depth of knowledge into engaging, educational content. She is an expert at decoding high-level topics to reach broad audiences.
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