We all have our favorite 3D applications. Each works and looks different from the next. There are some things that are similar though. Many of them will have similar methods to navigate the viewport, while others even share similar key commands. There is one thing that is pretty much standard on all 3D systems though and that is color coding. There is a link between color and direction in 3D.

A look into an everyday 3D gizmo and how it’s interconnected with Maya, Blender, Unreal and even Photoshop.

It can start with a look at the humble trident, the three-arrow pointy thing that lets you move an object in 3D space. Ever notice how they all use RGB as a color scheme? That’s because RGB is always equal to XYZ. It’s an easy way to remember what you are looking at.

This extends to more than just the pivot and gizmos for objects. The colors should be the same for attributes, working in a graph editor and other places where a vector (3 values) is used.

Helping you understand the link between color and direction in 3D is Anton Tenitsky who walks through a few areas where this base knowledge comes in handy. Anton is a modeling mentor at the prestigious CG Spectrum College of Digital Art & Animation, and often shares nice tips such as this.