User Guide (Version 1.21)

Reference Space Model

You can use the Viewport Interaction Model to create reference spaces for your selected entities. This enables you to customize your selected entities in relation to a reference space.

When working with reference spaces, remember the following rules:

  • New selections always default to their local space.

  • Holding Shift dynamically changes the manipulator to operate in the parent's space. Often, the parent of a selection is also the world.

  • You can easily access custom spaces by moving the manipulator (press Ctrl and click and drag) or picking a target entity as a reference space (press Alt and click a target entity).

The Viewport Interaction Model simplifies the mental mode for you and doesn't require you to keep track manually of the last space (local or world) that you were using. You can specify a target and define that target as custom reference spaces. This new reference space model covers any arbitrary transformation.

Switching Between Local and World Space

You can use the manipulator to switch between local and world space without losing focus of your entity selection in the viewport.

To switch between local and world space

  1. In the viewport, select a child entity that has a parent. Your selection always defaults to local space.

  2. Use the manipulator to modify the entity.

  3. To switch to parent space, press and hold Shift and use the manipulator to modify the entity.


    • If you selected an entity that doesn't have a parent, your selection defaults to world space.

    • Parent space is the transform that the parent entity has in the hierarchy. If an entity doesn't have a parent, the entity uses world space instead.


    In the following example, the entity moves in the world space because the entire car moves in the viewport. When you select the child entity (the tire), the manipulator switches to the local space for that entity in relation to its parent.

                                    Switch between local and parent space in the viewport in

    The following are shortcuts to work with the reference space mode.

    Shortcut Description

    Select an entity or group of entities and press and hold Shift.

    Switches the manipulator to parent space.

    Select a group of entities and press and hold Alt.

    Switches the manipulator to local space.

    Select an entity or group of entities and press R.

    Resets the transform to the parent space.

    Select a manipulator and press Ctrl + R.

    Resets the manipulator back to the entity. This shortcut applies only if the manipulator moved.


    Currently, this shortcut doesn't affect the scale of the manipulator.

    Select an entity or group of entities, press and hold Ctrl, and press the middle mouse button on a target entity.

    Copies the Transform settings for the entity that you selected and applies them to a target entity.

    The Transform settings depend on the manipulator mode (translation, rotation, scale) that you're in.

    For example, if you select an entity and the manipulator mode is rotation, this shortcut applies the rotation values to a target entity. This ensures that both entities (your selection and the target) have the same rotation.

    Select an entity and press P.

    Toggles pivot mode. For more information, see Using Pivot Mode.

Using Custom Reference Spaces

You can adjust the manipulator independent of the entity to create a custom reference space. You can also pick another target entity as a reference space. When you specify a reference space, the entities that you select move in relation to that space.

To create a custom reference space

  1. In the viewport, select an entity.

  2. Press and hold Ctrl and scroll the middle mouse button to select a manipulator mode, such as translation.

  3. Press and hold Alt and click a target entity in the viewport. This matches the manipulator to the translation or orientation of the target entity.


    In the following example, the excavator entity becomes a reference space for the car. When the manipulator moves the car, the car moves in relation to the reference space.

                                    Create a custom reference using another entity as a
                                        target in Lumberyard.
  4. Use the manipulator to modify the entity.

    The following are shortcuts for working with custom reference spaces.

    Shortcut Description

    Press and hold Ctrl and drag the manipulator in the viewport.

    Moves the manipulator to another reference point.

    Press and hold Alt and select another entity.

    Sets the manipulator to an entity as a reference point.


The manipulator and the custom reference space are context-based and apply only when you select an entity. If you don’t select an entity, there’s no manipulator, and you can't create a reference space. The reference space doesn't persist across selections. However, if you move the reference space, you can undo that action.