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Positioning GameObjects

To select a GameObjectThe fundamental object in Unity scenes, which can represent characters, props, scenery, cameras, waypoints, and more. A GameObject’s functionality is defined by the Components attached to it. More info
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, click on it in the Scene viewAn interactive view into the world you are creating. You use the Scene View to select and position scenery, characters, cameras, lights, and all other types of Game Object. More info
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or click its name in the Hierarchy window. To select or de-select multiple GameObjects, hold the Shift key while clicking, or drag a rectangle around multiple GameObjects to select them.

Selected GameObjects are highlighted in the Scene view. By default, this highlight is an orange outline around the GameObject; to change the highlight color and style, go to Unity > Preferences > Color and edit the Selected Wireframe and Selected Outline colours. See documentation on the Gizmo Menu for more information about the outline and wireframe selection visualizations. The selected GameObjects also display a GizmoA graphic overlay associated with a GameObject in a Scene, and displayed in the Scene View. Built-in scene tools such as the move tool are Gizmos, and you can create custom Gizmos using textures or scripting. Some Gizmos are only drawn when the GameObject is selected, while other Gizmos are drawn by the Editor regardless of which GameObjects are selected. More info
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in the Scene view if you have one of the four Transform tools selected:

Move, Rotate, Scale, and RectTransform

The first tool in the toolbarA row of buttons and basic controls at the top of the Unity Editor that allows you to interact with the Editor in various ways (e.g. scaling, translation). More info
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, the Hand Tool, is for panning around the SceneA Scene contains the environments and menus of your game. Think of each unique Scene file as a unique level. In each Scene, you place your environments, obstacles, and decorations, essentially designing and building your game in pieces. More info
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. The Move, Rotate, Scale, Rect Transform and Transform tools allow you to edit individual GameObjects. To alter the Transform componentA functional part of a GameObject. A GameObject can contain any number of components. Unity has many built-in components, and you can create your own by writing scripts that inherit from MonoBehaviour. More info
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of the GameObject, use the mouse to manipulate any Gizmo axis, or type values directly into the number fields of the Transform component in the InspectorA Unity window that displays information about the currently selected GameObject, Asset or Project Settings, alowing you to inspect and edit the values. More info
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.

Alternatively, you can select each of the four Transform modes with a hotkey: W for Move, E for Rotate, R for Scale, T for RectTransform, and Y for Transform.

The Move, Scale, Rotate, Rect Transform and Transform Gizmos
The Move, Scale, Rotate, Rect Transform and Transform Gizmos

Move

At the center of the Move Gizmo, there are three small squares you can use to drag the GameObject within a single plane (meaning you can move two axes at once while the third keeps still).

If you hold shift while clicking and dragging in the center of the Move Gizmo, the center of the Gizmo changes to a flat square. The flat square indicates that you can move the GameObject around on a plane relative to the direction the Scene view CameraA component which creates an image of a particular viewpoint in your scene. The output is either drawn to the screen or captured as a texture. More info
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is facing.

Rotate

With the Rotate tool selected, change the GameObject’s rotation by clicking and dragging the axes of the wireframe sphere Gizmo that appears around it. As with the Move Gizmo, the last axis you changed will be colored yellow. Think of the red, green and blue circles as performing rotation around the red, green and blue axes that appear in the Move mode (red is the x-axis, green in the y-axis, and blue is the z-axis). Finally, use the outermost circle to rotate the GameObject around the Scene view z-axis. Think of this as rotating in screen space.

Scale

The Scale tool lets you rescale the GameObject evenly on all axes at once by clicking and dragging on the cube at the center of the Gizmo. You can also scale the axes individually, but you should take care if you do this when there are child GameObjects, because the effect can look quite strange.

RectTransform

The RectTransform is commonly used for positioning 2D elements such as SpritesA 2D graphic objects. If you are used to working in 3D, Sprites are essentially just standard textures but there are special techniques for combining and managing sprite textures for efficiency and convenience during development. More info
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or UI elements, but it can also be useful for manipulating 3D GameObjects. It combines moving, scaling and rotation into a single Gizmo:

  • Click and drag within the rectangular Gizmo to move the GameObject.
  • Click and drag any corner or edge of the rectangular Gizmo to scale the GameObject.
  • Drag an edge to scale the GameObject along one axis.
  • Drag a corner to scale the GameObject on two axes.
  • To rotate the GameObject, position your cursor just beyond a corner of the rectangle. The cursor changes to display a rotation icon. Click and drag from this area to rotate the GameObject.

Note that in 2D mode, you can’t change the z-axis in the Scene using the Gizmos. However, it is useful for certain scripting techniques to use the z-axis for other purposes, so you can still set the z-axis using the Transform component in the Inspector.

For more information on transforming GameObjects, see documentation on the Transform ComponentA Transform component determines the Position, Rotation, and Scale of each object in the scene. Every GameObject has a Transform. More info
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.

Transform

The Transform tool combines the Move, Rotate and Scale tools. Its Gizmo provides handles for movement and rotation. When the Tool Handle Rotation is set to Local (see below), the Transform tool also provides handles for scaling the selected GameObject.

Gizmo handle position toggles

The Gizmo handle position toggles are used to define the location of any Transform tool Gizmo, and the handles use to manipulate the Gizmo itself.

Gizmo display toggles
Gizmo display toggles

For position

Click the Pivot/Center button on the left to toggle between Pivot and Center.

  • Pivot positions the Gizmo at the actual pivot point of a MeshThe main graphics primitive of Unity. Meshes make up a large part of your 3D worlds. Unity supports triangulated or Quadrangulated polygon meshes. Nurbs, Nurms, Subdiv surfaces must be converted to polygons. More info
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    .
  • Center positions the Gizmo at the center of the GameObject’s rendered bounds.

For rotation

Click the Local/Global button on the right to toggle between Local and Global.

  • Local keeps the Gizmo’s rotation relative to the GameObject’s.
  • Global clamps the Gizmo to world space orientation.

Unit snapping

While dragging any Gizmo Axis using the Move tool or the Transform tool, hold the ControlA function for displaying text, buttons, checkboxes, scrollbars and other features on the user interface. More info
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key (Command on Mac) to snap to increments defined in the Snap Settings (menu: Edit > Snap Settings…)

Surface snapping

While dragging in the center using the Move tool or the Transform tool, hold Shift and Control (Command on Mac) to quickly snap the GameObject to the intersection of any ColliderAn invisible shape that is used to handle physical collisions for an object. A collider doesn’t need to be exactly the same shape as the object’s mesh - a rough approximation is often more efficient and indistinguishable in gameplay. More info
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.

Look-at rotation

While using the Rotate tool or the Transform tool, hold Shift and Control (Command on Mac) to rotate the GameObject towards a point on the surface of any Collider.

Vertex snapping

Use vertex snapping to quickly assemble your Scenes: take any vertex from a given Mesh and place that vertex in the same position as any vertex from any other Mesh you choose. For example, use vertex snapping to align road sections precisely in a racing game, or to position power-up items at the vertices of a Mesh.

Follow the steps below to use vertex snapping:

  1. Select the Mesh you want to manipulate and make sure the Move tool or the Transform tool is active.

  2. Press and hold the V key to activate the vertex snapping mode.

  3. Move your cursor over the vertex on your Mesh that you want to use as the pivot point.

  4. Hold down the left mouse button once your cursor is over the vertex you want and drag your Mesh next to any other vertex on another Mesh.

  5. Release the mouse button and the V key when you are happy with the results (Shift+V acts as a toggle of this functionality).

Note: You can snap vertex to vertex, vertex to surface, and pivot to vertex.

Screen Space Transform

While using the Transform tool, hold down the Shift key to enable Screen Space mode. This mode allows you to move, rotate and scale GameObjects as they appear on the screen, rather than in the Scene.


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