Transform Tool

The transform tool makes it possible to select an area of a drawing and transform it (translate, rotate and scale). Additionally, the transform tool allows the selected area to be cut, copied and pasted to different frames and layers.

Transforming a Selected Area

The Transform Tool can be activated through the Blue Pencil main menu (Blue Pencil->Transform Tool) or the Blue Pencil right-click context menu. The cursor will change when the tool is activated.

  1. Activate the Transform Tool (right-click context menu or Blue Pencil main menu)
  2. LMB+drag in viewport to select a region
  3. Press the Enter key to transform the selection (or right-click to bring up the context menu and select Transform)
  4. Use the LMB or MMB to translate, rotate and scale the selected area
  5. Press the Enter key to apply the tranformation
  6. Press the Escape key to return to the drawing tool

The types of transformations that can be applied to the selection include:

  • Translate (LMB+Drag)
  • Rotate (Shift+LMB+Drag)
  • Uniform Scale (MMB+Drag)
  • Non-Uniform Scale (Shift+MMB+Drag)

Note: If a selection is not made, and the Enter key is pressed, the entire region is selected.

Cut, Copy and Paste

With the Transform Tool, the selected area can be cut or copied to the clipboard and pasted to the current drawing or a drawing on a different frame or layer.

Cut, copy and paste operations are accessed through the Transform Tool right-click context menu:


  1. Activate the Transform Tool
  2. Select a region (do not press Enter)
  3. Right-click in the viewport to bring up the context menu
  4. Select Cut from the context menu
  5. Optional: Move to a different frame (animation layer)
  6. Right-click to bring up the context menu and select Paste and Transform
  7. Move the pasted selection to the desired location
  8. Press Enter to apply the Transformation

Paste will copy the the contents of the clipboard to the current drawing and apply it automatically. Paste and Transform allow for the drawing to be repositioned, however, it is up to the user to press the Enter key to apply the transformation.

Note: The paste operations will create a key automatically (on an animation layer) if auto-key is enabled and a key does not exist.


The Transform Tool is a two stage tool. Stage one allows the user to select a region or paste the contents of the clipboard. With a region selected, the following operations can be performed:

  • Enter Transform Mode (Stage 2) by pressing the Enter key or selecting Transform from the context menu.
  • Cut or Copy the selection using the context menu
  • Make a different selection

Pressing the Escape key will exit the Transform Tool and return to the current drawing tool.

Pressing the Backspace key will reset the Transform Tool. Any transforms that are not applied will be discarded.

Known Issues

There a couple of known display issues that are platform or version specific. These issues do not affect the functionality of the tool.

Maya 2011

After making a selection and entering Transform mode, the selection box outline only displays while the image is being transformed.


The selection box disappears when the context menu is displayed. It is restored when the menu is cleared.


After a Paste and Transform operation, the selection box doesn't display until a transform occurs.

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