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Script: Toggle Views


This nifty script by Evgen Zaitsev lets you quickly switch between your current perspective view to side view, and back.

Evgen writes:

My first Blender Script ( Add-on ). I decided to make something useful, I am using same script in Maya ( I would say same idea ). This add-on toggles Camera from PERSP view to SIDE view and back ( depends of camera vector ). You just need press Alt + Q hotkey. In case if you are already using this hotkey, you will need to specify something else in preferences ( you just need to assign operator view3d.toggle_views_op to any hotkey).


About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. This is lovely , I would like to see Camera free , selected view render with it , just like in Maya . 

  2. Bobsmith > no, what Evgen has written is a switch which allows you to jump to side view and then go back to the same perspective view by hitting Alt+Q again. 
    I would be even more user friendly if numpad 1, 3, 7 and 9 acted as toggles.Example: in perspective view hit Num1 to go to front view. Press Num1 again to go back to same perspective view.
    Now that would be cool. 

    * note to self: why don't you give scripting a go eh?

  3. Only thing I'd love to see -back- for the 3D viewport is the render-preview-window-thingy from 2.49b (Shift-P).

  4.  Don't know and I could be wrong but this looks an awful lot like the numpad 5 ortho-perspective toggle.

    •  Go to the site, watch the animation.

      "This nifty script by Evgen Zaitsev lets you quickly switch between your current perspective view to side view, and back."

      Actually this should read: "This nifty script by Evgen Zaitsev lets you quickly switch between your current perspective view to right side, left side, top, bottom, front or back orthogonal view, whichever is the closest, and back using the Alt+Q shorcut." 

      Very neat indeed ! :)

      •  I did watch the animation several times before I posted my comment and it wasn't very clear to me what exactly this script does then. Maybe it's because he switched of the grid and axes. You don't have any kind of orientation to give you a clear idea of what is happening. The only real clue is the top right of the screen, but that only shows user persp or user ortho Hence my comment.

        •  Sorry. I thought that it should be obvious to everyone but I understand now that it is not so necessarily.
          Also I tried it right away in Blender and so maybe I derived more info from that without realizing it.

  5. I have to agree, the description of the addon sound like nothing special, maybe add some information of what this does that blender cannot do already. 

  6. Visiting the link and even watching the video also does not help to see it as useful. What we are missing here ? Why is this in Blendernation ? I dont want to sound rude , I am also a blender coder myself and I can appreciate the effort an addon takes. 

    • I guess that it depends on your... perspective?
      For myself, creating home interiors, I prefer much to work into perspective view with my pen and tablet. Nevertheless, there always comes a time when I need an orthographic view to add something with measured precision. Being able switch instinctively and instantaneously (I love creasy English adverbs :D ) from perspective to the appropriate orthogonal view and then retrieve my perspective POV is priceless,

        • I always forget that "orthographic" applies to view that aren't along one of the main axes.

          As I said above:
          Actually this should read: "This nifty script by Evgen Zaitsev lets you
          quickly switch between your current perspective view to a right side,
          left side, top, bottom, front or back orthogonal views, whichever is the
          closest, and back using the Alt+Q shorcut."

          That what I need and, as you can read, it is quite different from what Numpad5 does.

  7. It snaps to the closest ortho view example front, left, top.  Why does it need to be in persp view to work, I rarley use persp view. Still it looks very useful, could be used to orient a model.

  8. I have a few suggestions:
    - topleft display (front ortho, user persp, etc) should be updated
    - since you can't use any of the NUM-keys while in this alt-Q mode, it would be good if it adds a hint on topleft display (like there is stated (local) when you press NUM/ , for example)
    - even better it would be, if there happens no locking at all and you dont have to leave the mode by pressing alt-Q again, instead just be able to continue to a) use the NUM-keys or b) navigate with pressed MMB
    - if you press alt-Q again it would just bring you in the nearest side view again - only if you press alt-Q, pan/zoom, press alt-Q again it would restore your free view again
    - also there happens some unwanted changing between ortho and persp view - these should never be changed, only if user presses NUM5

  9.  I think I would rather use alt+q for quad view ... currently it's set to shft+ctrl+al+q and unless you use 2 hands (which lets face who does) is madness ,,, I call this hotkey the claw!  Before anybody says "but you can change it" it's hard to change prefernces n blender as they either change the default file or the project you are working on,, but what if you want to change the behaviour for all your projects?  The keymap import won't work on old projects.  This is by far my biggest annoyance with blender.  Rant over

    • Isn't that kind of preferences saved whith the  Ctrl+U  comand?? It saves your current preferences as default (including your custom hotkeys) and then you can use them in whichever new blend you create or old blends you open.

    •  Actually the Qkey is free in Blender. As such it can be used as a modifier and I've set the quadview toggle to 'QW' that I find easier to press without looking.

      • Seems strange that Q key is available and the default is set to something so crippling. I need to investigare this and see if we can get the default changed. Blender usere don't seem to use quad view much as the numpad gives access to the indidual views very quickly

  10. First of all, thanks a lot to all of you guys for feedback. I got recently email from Aldrik about one of built-in feature of Blender. I didn't knew about it. "While orbiting (MMB) in blender you can press ALT to snap to the closest side view." Seems this feature does similar work like my script does.

    •  Oh boy, don't worry, that pressing ALT while orbiting the view is nothing like your script. That is a clunky affair that I quickly forgot about as soon as I learned about it. For example, if you are already in perspective mode it stays in that mode. Also it doesn't just snap along one of the main axes but at 45 degrees from them, God only knows to what aim.

      Your script is most welcome.

      • Benjamin Lindquist on

        I didn't know about that and I think it could be quite useful. For example if you want to align something to a corner then 45 degree integers is really usable.

  11. Giancarlo Mora on

    I think this is really useful, but I have two critiques for this addon: -It is blocking you when you use it and - I don't know if this is just me but if can choose between ortho and perspec that could be awesome! 
    Thx for the time you took to create this add-on! 

  12. A little late to the convo but again, as a modeler and animator, I don't see the point so much. Usually, if I am using the perspective view, it is usually my camera. So I'll set my camera as my perspective view. Why would you set up in a perspective and ignore the camera since that is the view you will be rendering anyways? Even with arch vis work, I usually use orthographic to set everything up and use my camera as what I need for a perspective visual. Especially since I never set the camera perspective to what it defaults to in blender. 0 on numpad already sets you back to camera view. Just use your camera instead of alt-q script.

    I can see the use for some but my practices really have not a use a for this script. Much appreciated anyways!

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