Using Manipulators - Lumberyard User Guide

Using Manipulators

This feature is in preview release and is subject to change.

With manipulators, you can edit certain component properties directly in the viewport instead of the component's property window. Manipulators help you visualize and achieve the results that you want for your components. For example, you can add, move, and delete vertices on a Spline component to create the exact curvature that you want for your level.

By default, some components support manipulators.When you author new components, you can also manually add manipulator support. For more information, see Editing Components in the Viewport.

General Case Manipulators

The following are general case manipulators.

Linear Manipulator

Moves the position of an object along one axis.

Planar Manipulator

Moves the position of an object along a plane, which is two axes, such as XY, YZ, or XZ.

Surface Manipulator

Moves the position of the object over the terrain.

Translation Manipulator

Aggregate manipulator that combines multiple linear and planar manipulators (depending on which axes are defined) and an optional surface manipulator.

Selection Manipulator

Performs no movement but provides an interface to detect when part of a component has been clicked.

Special Case Manipulators

The following special case manipulators appear only on applicable components.

Line Segment Selection Manipulator

Determines the location on a line segment over which the mouse is hovering to insert a new point.

Spline Selection Manipulator

Determines the location on a spline over which the mouse is hovering to insert a new point.

Advanced Use Case Manipulators

You can provide a streamlined editing experience by creating a system that manages manipulators across components with similar requirements.

For example, you can edit the vertex positions for the following components in the viewport.

EditorVertexSelection is an example of a component that encapsulates manipulator behavior that can be shared by multiple components – in this case, all components that require vertex editing.

The following core classes are related to EditorVertexSelection.

  • HoverSelection (Spline and LineSegment variants)

  • VertexContainerInterface

  • VariableVertices

  • FixedVertices (for when selection and editing of vertices is allowed, but vertices cannot be added or removed)

  • Many other manipulators such as Translation, LineSegmentSelection, and SplineSelection.

Manipulator Appearance

A manipulator's visual appearance does not determine its behavior. This means that any manipulator can have any view. This is abstracted through the ManipulatorView class. Lumberyard provides a number of concrete views, such as Line, Cylinder, Cone, Box, Quad, and Billboard.

You can choose which view to use with a particular manipulator. All manipulators delegate their rendering to a ManipulatorView. The view also updates the bounds of the manipulator to handle interaction and picking. ManipulatorView provides several utility functions to make creating views easier. You can ignore these and create custom implementations if preferred.

Creating New Manipulators

To create a manipulator, you must derive from BaseManipulator. By doing so, you can observe how existing manipulators are implemented and follow a similar approach.

The following are key functions to implement:

  • OnMouseDown

  • OnMouseUp

  • OnMouseOver

  • Draw

  • Invalidate

  • SetBoundsDirty

To call the mouse functions, in the derived manipulator constructor, Attach must be called; for example, AttachLeftMouseDownImpl();.

The new manipulator should provide callbacks in the overridden mouse functions so that classes can handle their own unique use cases.


Adding new manipulators is often unnecessary. The existing set provides most of the behavior that is required. For example, you can use the manipulator LinearManipulators in a variety of scenarios. This is recommended for most users.

EBus Request Bus Interface

Use the following request functions with the EBus interface to communicate with other components of your game.

For more information, see Working with the Event Bus (EBus) system.

Manipulator Manager Requests

Name Description Parameters Return Scriptable
RegisterManipulator Clears the active manipulator and destroys what is associated with it (for example, "Remove Vertex"). BaseManipulator& None No
UnregisterManipulator Clears the active manipulator and destroys what is associated with it (for example, "Remove Vertex."). BaseManipulator& None No
SetActiveManipulator Override what the currently bound active manipulator is set, or set to null. BaseManipulator* None No

Delete the specified manipulator bound.

RegisteredBoundId None No
SetBoundDirty Mark the bound of the manipulator dirty, so that it's excluded from mouse hit direction. Bound will usually be recalculated the next time it is drawn. RegisteredBoundId None No
SetAllBoundsDirty Mark bounds of all manipulators as dirty. None None No

Update the bound for a manipulator, for example, if the manipulator has moved or changed shape.




RegisteredBoundId No