Object Edit and Transform Tools

Besides the Selection Tool, a number of object edit and transform tools allow for manipulation of objects directly in the 3D viewport.

Transform Tools


The Move Tool W moves selected objects and components along the axes (X, Y, Z). Note that these axes are defined by the currently defined coordinate reference systems, see below. Click-Drag-LMB the handles for individual axes. Use the yellow "free handle" to move the selection on the X-Z or object plane. If the selection contains a single street network node or shape vertex, the tool will snap to edges and vertices of other objects. Holding down SHIFT while dragging inhibits snapping.


The Scale Tool E scales selected objects and components along the axes (X, Y, Z). Use the "free handle" in order to uniformly scale along all axes.


The Rotate Tool R rotates selected objects and components around the axes (X, Y, Z).

Move Tool

Scale Tool

Rotate Tool

Street Edit Tools

Shape Edit Tools

Reference Coordinate Systems

By default, the transform tools (Move, Scale, Rotate) operate in the World Coordinate System, i.e. all operations take place along the principal axes (X, Y, Z). In many cases, it is more convenient to use a specific object's coordinate system as the reference system.

The currently active reference space (world vs. object) can be toggled by clicking in the appropriate toolbar icon or by pressing ,.

If object space is active and multiple objects are selected, the current coordinate space is determined by the currently selected Lead Object. The lead object is always the most recent individually selected object. Therefore, you can change the lead object by holding SHIFT and selecting the new lead object.

Several objects (with lead object top left) selected in World mode.

The same selection after switching in Object mode.

The local coordinate space of an object depends on the object or component itself and is defined as follows.

In addition, you may lock the current reference system by using the Lock icon or by pressing ..

A locked reference space defines a persistent coordinate space (for example with ongoing selection/transformation) until it is unlocked (by pressing the icon or . again).

Numeric Transform Input

While transforming one or multiple objects, the numeric transform text field in the Tools toolbar provides feedback of the current transformation (e.g. when moving an object by 10.0 along the X axis, the field will show "10.0 0.0 0.0").

This text field can also be used to carry out transforms numerically. Since previous values are stored in the drop down menu, you may select a different object and hit ENTER in the text field in order to execute the corresponding transformation. Note that vector components (X Y Z) are separated by a space character. For scale transforms you may enter only a single value in order to scale uniformly.

Make Names Unique

Names of generated objects in a CityEngine scene are not automatically unique. In some cases, unique names are required. This can be achieved using the Make Names Unique Tool in the Edit Menu: Edit → Make Names Unique....

All selected scene objects are enumerated and renamed in ascending order. The delimiting character can be chosen.

The Make Names Unique dialog

Note that this is a one-time operation. Once you modify your scene (add scene objects), there might be new shapes with non-unique names again.

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