Why does the zoom sometimes stop at a point?
I often find that I can zoom in to a point, but then cannot zoom any more, even when there is a lot of room to zoom to the meshes on the scene.
This is particularly annoying in the following scenario:
I often land up left clicking on the scene and the 3D cursor shifts there. I use Shift+C to shift the 3D cursor back to the origin. However, this also centers the view on the cursor and shifts the view to show all objects, and sometimes this zooms things way out – at this point, if I try to zoom in, I can zoom in to a point (using the pinch/zoom on trackpad), but then it stops zooming in.
How do I zoom in after that? Is there anything else I am doing wrong in this case?
Blender's 3D navigation uses a central point to orbit around.
In practice this is good for modeling an object which you rotate about a lot to see from all sides
(think of a potter using a wheel).
However this makes it awkward to explore a scene or model an object from the 'inside', for example.
There are some ways to use Blender without this being an annoyance. ... read on!
Blenders view is constructed by 3 elements.
- location: the point of interest that orbit when rotating the view-port (the center of the screen).
- distance: the zoom level (distance from the
- rotation: value for yaw-pitch-roll (around the
linked to API reference.
Early on using Blender I was quite annoyed by this limitation, of course there are ways to set a new view-center, common way is to select an object and press numpad ., but what if there are no objects where you want to look at? .. or the object is very large? (a terrain mesh for eg). Sometimes I found myself rotating the view 90d, panning, then rotating back - which seemed an unnecessary workaround.
Here are some ways to navigate in large scenes or scenes with no obvious center...
View Dolly: CtrlShift + middle-mouse or Shift++/-
works similar to zoom but translates the view center (like panning forward).
I think this is the most direct answer to your question, but listing other methods too.
Walk/Fly Mode: ShiftF
As with dolly this can move the view back and fourth (using the mouse wheel), but you can also look around using the mouse and WASD keys, its a mode all on its own and has pros and cons which are better explained elsewhere.
Auto Depth (Interface Preferences):
useful in combination with Zoom To Mouse Position, Using these will make sure the distance is always the value under the mouse cursor, this means you have to consider where you click when moving the view but can also be very handy since it gives you a lot more control.
If you work with large scenes - like a game level for example, and want to move around a lot, I'd recommend to try these options. See this video for a demo.
Border Zoom: ShiftB: Also sets the center-point when zooming.
Center the view around the mouse cursor:AltF
This will take the position under the cursor and make it your viewpoint center.
Center the view around the 3D cursor AltHome
NDOF (N-Degrees of Freedom), also known as a 3D mouse, hardware you can use to navigate a scene with Blender, See devices made by 3dconnexion. Blender's 3D View supports this, allowing you to explore a scene. Walk/Fly modes also support NDOF devices.
(Note, this is not a promotion of 3dconnexion, in fact there are very few companies who make such hardware, So currently Blender only supports 3dconnexion)
Whoa. View dolly which is different from view zoom blew my mind. I recommend Auto Depth to everyone. It's the first thing I turn on. Should be a default, really.
@Wray Bowling, the reason its not default is many users like not to have to be aware of their mouse placement when using view operations. By default you can click anywhere for view rotate for eg, but with auto-depth you have to take care to place your mouse somewhere that isnt going to change your depth too close/far.
Might be useful to mention Alt+Home to center the view at the 3D cursor. If you enable 'Cursor Depth' in the User Preferences to place the cursor on the surface of objects, I find this is the quickest way to specifically place the center of view
If just the new Walk mode was available as default viewport navigation method... MMB down, move mouse to rotate in FPS style, MMB up to end rotation. + / - and scrollwheel to move forward / backwards.
If you've got 4+ mouse buttons i recommend mapping one of them to the numpad dot function. I did that a couple years ago and it improved my flow a lot. (I use the fifth one for pan because i find shift+rollerdrag annoying)
In Blender, when you zoom in or out or rotate the viewport, it always does so around a center point. You can find this point by rotating your display using the third mouse button and finding the spot that always remains in the center. Your problem arises, because Blender essentially reaches the minimum focal distance to that center point, and does not allow you to zoom any further.
You can't override this feature of Blender, but you can instead shift this center point to a more useful location. You can do this in a number of different ways:
The simplest way is just by panning the screen (Shift + third mouse button)
To reset this center to the origin, press Shift+C, then Alt+Home
To set this center to an object in your scene, select that object, then press the decimal point on the numpad (numpad .)
By doing any one of these, you are essentially 'shifting' the viewport camera that you look through, instead of just zooming it in or out.
I would like to add to this. If I'm not mistaken, the reason the zoom stops is because the perspective camera that you're essentially looking reaches the maximum focal length. By resettling the view on an object, such as with "numpad ." you are actually moving the camera closer, whereas before it was strictly zooming in and out.
Many of these options don't work on a Mac. There is no third mouse button on my mouse (it has a clickable scrollwheel, but that does not behave as a third mouse button, since it is mapped elsewhere by the system). There is no home button. There is no numpad - I have mapped the numpad and the digits from 1-0 work, but the period (.) doesn't work on a Mac, even after mapping numpad.
@Anand You can emulate a three-button mouse on a Mac. Check out http://blender.stackexchange.com/questions/124/how-to-emulate-a-number-pad-and-3-button-mouse/130#130
@Jonathan Williamson, this isn't related to the focal length of the camera, its simply that there is zero distance to the view offset (internal limitation, explained in my answer).
@ideasman42 ah thanks for that. I was never away of View Dolly, that's insanely helpful!
There's a limit on how far you can zoom in. If you want to continue zooming in, you'll have to reset your view (as mentioned in a previous answer) or do one of the following:
Press ShiftB(when not in a camera) and select an area. Blender will zoom into that point.
Press NumPad . this will zoom to the selected object, or objects.
Adjust some of the view camera settings in the Properties area (N)
One major fix for this problem is modeling on a larger scale. Modeling small objects will require more zooming. Keeping objects to scale(proportional to the real world) will generally make modeling easier.
How do I select an 'area'? Do you mean a mesh or such? I have my cube selected, but clicking Shift B does nothing. Pressing (.) when not seeing current object does nothing. Will try playing with the Properties area...
Typically when you can't zoom in as far as you'd like, it's because you're in perspective view instead of orthographic view. You can toggle between the two by hitting the "5" key on the numeric keypad. You can tell what view you're in by looking in the upper left corner of the viewport. It'll tell you the view you're in (such as "front ortho" or "front perspective").
Open the User Preferences > Input
Center Viewinto the search field.
Assign a key to Center View to Mouse like for example the key left from the 1 on the keyboard (^ ), which is pretty well accessible without having to move the hand off of the standard position.
Click Save User Settings. Done!
Go into the 3D View (of course perspective, as we all like it the most), zoom in until it slows down - position mouse cursor into the direction you want to zoom in (which is normally already the case), press the assigned key.
Other answers claim that it's just because at some point you reach the maximum focal distance and you can't zoom anymore. But this doesn't happen normally, it just seems that some setting has been messed up. My workaround is to just create a new project and import the objects that I have so far created, and everything start working normally again.
Note that the accepted answer is by a developer of blender and is therefore probably quite accurate.
This isn't a very realistic solution for most projects either...a blend file isn't just a bunch of objects.