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Mouse zoom / camera placement inconsistencies

asked 2013-01-24 10:28:28 -0600

DRC_Justin gravatar image

OSRF team,

When I try to move around in Gazebo, the way the software is set up seems to be that based on where my mouse is on the screen, this affects the zoom speed AND the location of the zoom center. This is very challenging to work with, and also makes for very inconsistent navigation through the world; for example, if I'm trying to zoom out while focusing on something on the bottom left corner of my viewable space, it often takes forever, and when I try to zoom out quickly by moving the mouse cursor higher on the screen, this moves the camera center away from where I want it. Then there's this yellow orb that does seems to reference my camera center, but it is not intuitive to change the location of this orb. This orb is often distracting, and hasn't been especially useful.

Is there a more elegant way to solve this? It would seem to me that decoupling the mouse wheel's zoom rate from the camera centering would be much more effective - I would advocate for keeping the zoom rate either constant or based on the acceleration of the scroll wheel (and by default fairly fast), but not linked to where the mouse cursor is. The feature of moving your camera placement based on cursor location is a great CAD innovation, but when you also add in zoom speed it all breaks down. The other issue, of course, is that 'up' in the z-axis and 'up' relative to the viewable window are often confounded, which tends to make things challenging. Any luck with using a 3-D mouse?

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answered 2013-01-24 11:21:01 -0600

nkoenig gravatar image

The yellow orb indicates the focus point of the camera. When you click the mouse to move the camera, Gazebo finds the closest model under the mouse and uses the point on the detected model as the focus point. This allows you to easily orbit around a specific point in the world. Similarly, zooming will move the camera in and out of the world relative to the focus point. This is convenient when trying to zoom in on an object. These feature were introduced because most users wanted this level of control.

It seems that you would like to be able to adjust the default mouse mappings. I've created a ticket for this here:

We have not started work on using a 3D-mouse, but here's a ticket for it (

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Asked: 2013-01-24 10:28:28 -0600

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Last updated: Jan 24 '13