The Spinner is our very special 2D Transform manipulator. As any other window, you can move it where you want into the 3D Viewport (however, you can not dock it).

The Spinner is fully complementary with the 3D manipulator, so you still can use the standard 3D manipulator to make your transformations.

Spinner... what for?

Standard 3D manipulators (Move, Rotate and Scale) suffer from two persistent problems.

Firstly, grabbing these thin axes requires a lot of precision. Knowing that an animator spends his day using a manipulator, these (invisible) fastidious actions contribute to tire the user uselessly. 

Secondly, grabbing a specific axis often requires to reorient your camera, and later you will need another axis and have to reorient it again, and again...

So at the end, without realizing it, you spend more time handling your camera than your posing. This is the reason we imagined the Spinner.

Once you get used to it, you won't really need to look at it due to its large colored areas, it just has to be in your visual field. You may focus on your posing, as you should...

How it works (standard use)

In most cases, the Spinner is divided in 2 parts :

  • a peripheral ring with feature buttons
  • a central part divided in Move, Rotate and Scale spinning areas.

You may select the transform type you want. Click on the Move, Rotate or Scale buttons, then make some vertical LMB click + drag on the colored parts to transform along an axis (red for x, green for and blue for z). 

Dragging up increases value, while dragging down decreases it.

Multi-axis spinning?

The basic Spinner use concerns single axis manipulation using LMB with up/down click'n'drag gestures.

However, using MMB with circular click'n'drag gestures in Rotate mode, you spin in multi-axis context. By the way, you mimic on the Spinner the gesture you would do on the 3D gizmo (rotate ball in this case).

IK and Reverse Foot special spinning features

If you select an IK or a Reverse Foot target, you will notice some special features in Rotate mode.

The Spinner is grey/off?

It is because you are not on a keyframe or your joint selection does not belong to your current stacker!

Peripheral buttons

Move Mode (Shortcut: I): Move the object according to the selected axis (spinning area).

Rotate Mode (Shortcut: O): Rotate the object according to the selected axis (spinning area).

Alternative rotate mode

Inherit Rotate Mode: This special rotates mode will preserve child(s) rotation when you rotate an object. You switch between the two rotate modes by RMB click on the rotate button.

Alternative functions

Tiny boxes in the right corner of buttons indicate an alternative function! You switch between the functions by RMB click on the button.

Scale Mode (Shortcut: P): Scale the object according to the selected axis (spinning area).

Alternative scale mode

Toon Scale Mode: This special scale mode will automatically compensate other axis channels to provide squash and stretch effect. You may edit scale coefficient in Spinner settings. You switch between the two scale modes by RMB click on the scale button.

Local, World & Screen Spaces: Transformations are made according either the object local, world axes or in the screen space (camera parallel). You switch between each mode using RMB (or even LMB) click on the button. 

Local axis only in Scale

In scale mode, you can only make transformations according to local axis.

 Breakdown Pose Editor (commonly known as Tween Machine): When in animation mode, allows to blend the actual posing of a selection of joints/controllers with the previous or the next key. Particularly useful to make overlaps.

Pivot Modes (Rigging)

Pivot Mode: If active, this mode allows pivot transformation without affecting child joints.

 Sticky Aim mode: While moving your joint pivot, the aiming axis (real or virtual) to its child and from its parent will remain preserved

 Sticky Second Axis mode: While moving your joint pivot, the aiming axis (real or virtual) to its child and the second axis represented by the plane composed by parent joint/current joint/child joint will remained preserved (aim only from its parent

 Sticky Second Axis and Keep Direction mode: Special option of the above mode keeping always the direction of the second axis (no flipped axis)

Those special transformation modes are only available in Bind Pose (Rigging mode)! 

Spinner Preferences: Access the settings panel.

  • Discrete move step value:  Set the step value for each move transformation increment.
  • Discrete rotate step value:  Set the step value for each rotate transformation increment.
  • Discrete scale step value:  Set the step value for each scale transformation increment.
  • Toon scale Coefficient: Set the scale coefficient for the toon effect (same coefficient for the 3 axis). 
  • Show axis hints: This option extends infinitely axis of the selected object allowing to position and orient it easily according to another object.
  • Use Move 3D gizmo in Spinner rotate mode: This option allows to let the Spinner in Rotate mode while handling the Move transformations directly with the 3D Gizmo. This manipulator combo is particularly efficient!
  • Synchronize the move and rotate modes coordinate system: Allows you to sync the space (Local, world, Screen) between Move/rotate gizmos

Using the 3D Manipulator (MRS)

Depending on the transformation space you choose () the displayed 3D gizmo will change

  • Local and World space gizmo display 
    • In Move mode, a yellow dot at the origin allowing you to make Screen Space translations (parallel to the camera)
    • In Rotate mode, a yellow donut at the origin allowing you to make Screen Space rotations (parallel to the camera) 
  • Dedicated Screen Space 3D gizmos are available
    • In Move mode, it allows you to make (strictly) horizontal and vertical translations as well as in camera depth
    • In Rotate mode, it allows you to make (strictly) horizontal and vertical rotations
  • To make single axis rotation, just LMB click + drag on the axis you want to transform. To make multi-axis rotations, MMB click + drag inside the "rotate ball part".
  • To make plane move transformations, just LMB click + drag on the little plane triangle corresponding to the plane you want to move in.
  • Concerning uniform scale, please use the square gizmo at the origin of the 3D manipulator.

Selection available inside the Rotate ball part

You may click inside the Rotate Manipulator to select another joint: selection is not forbidden inside the 3D manipulator.