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About Pivot Points

Each object in Maya has a pivot point. When you rotate an object, it rotates around its pivot point, and when you scale an object, it scales to and from the pivot point. By default, the object's pivot point is at the center of the object, but Maya lets you move the pivot point according to your needs. For example, if you model a clock, you can position the pivot point of each hand at the center of the clock rather than the middle of the hand. This lets you easily rotate the hands around the face of the clock (Figure 4.35).

Figure 4.35

Figure 4.35 This simple clock has had the pivot points of its hands repositioned to the center of the clock face.

To change an object's pivot point position

  1. Select the object whose pivot point you would like to move.
  2. Select the Move tool from the Tool Box, or press squ_w.gif.
  3. Press insert_by_home.gif to go into pivot point mode.

    The pivot point manipulator is now visible (Figure 4.36).

    Figure 4.36

    Figure 4.36 By default, an object's pivot point is located at the center of the object.

  4. Click and drag one of the pivot point manipulator handles to move the pivot point to a new position (Figure 4.37).
    Figure 4.37

    Figure 4.37 You can reposition an object's pivot point by using the pivot point manipulator.

    The new position will be the new rotation point for the object.
  5. Press insert_by_home.gif to disable pivot point mode.

To position the pivot point in the center of an object

  1. Select the object whose pivot point you would like to center.
  2. Choose Modify > Center Pivot.
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