How To

Use Gizmos (eg. Drag arrow, Bounding box)


Gizmo's are objects that can be attached to a mesh to provide interaction.

Note: Gizmos will set/modify the rotationQuaternion of the attached mesh. After attaching, any rotation of the mesh should be done with the rotationQuaternion property instead of rotation.


To get a default gizmo setup, the GizmoManager class can be used.

var gizmoManager = new BABYLON.GizmoManager(scene);

The gizmo manager will attach the enabled gizmo to whatever object in the scene that is selected by a pointer. To enable a gizmo, any of the following can be used:

gizmoManager.positionGizmoEnabled = true;
gizmoManager.rotationGizmoEnabled = true;
gizmoManager.scaleGizmoEnabled = true;
gizmoManager.boundingBoxGizmoEnabled = true;

To specify the meshes which can have the gizmo attached, the attachableMeshes field can be set.

gizmoManager.attachableMeshes = [mesh1, mesh2, mesh3];

To manually change the selected mesh, the gizmo manager's attachToMesh method can be called and the usePointerToAttachGizmos field can be used to disable the manager's default pointer behavior.

gizmoManager.usePointerToAttachGizmos = false;

Example -


Gizmos are displayed by a UtilityLayerRenderer to not disrupt the existing scene state. If not specified, the default utility layer will be used.

The utility layers are independent of the scene or engine. After creating a gizmo it is exposed off of gizmo.gizmoLayer. If creating a gizmo without specifying a utility layer it will use the default utility layer’s UtilityLayerRenderer.DefaultUtilityLayer (for overlay gizmos like position/scale) and UtilityLayerRenderer.DefaultKeepDepthUtilityLayer (for occluded gizmos like bounding box) It is recommended to use these layers and reuse layers for most cases as every new utility layer comes with additional overhead.

var utilLayer = new BABYLON.UtilityLayerRenderer(scene);
var gizmo = new BABYLON.AxisDragGizmo(new BABYLON.Vector3(1,0,0), BABYLON.Color3.FromHexString("#00b894"), utilLayer);

When created, the gizmo will not be attached to a mesh and will not be visible so the gizmo can be attached to a mesh to become active. Setting this to null will disable/hide the gizmo once again.

gizmo.attachedMesh = sphere;

By default, the gizmo will be updated to match the attached mesh's rotation and position but these can be modified with the following

// Keep the gizmo fixed to world rotation
gizmo.updateGizmoRotationToMatchAttachedMesh = false;
gizmo.updateGizmoPositionToMatchAttachedMesh = true;

GLTF example -

Position, scale and rotation gizmos

Default gizmos for position, rotation and scale on a single axis are supported

Snapping can be enabled on any of the single axis gizmos

gizmo.snapDistance = 0.3;

These gizmo's internally use a pointerDragBehavior, this is exposed and can be used perform tasks before/during/after dragging a gizmo


Classes for 3 axis gizmos are also provided which contain 3 of the single axis gizmos within

The single axis gizmos within these are exposed via the xGizmo, yGizmo and zGizmo properties.

Bounding box Gizmo

The BoundingBoxGizmo displays a bounding box around an object as well as controls to rotate and scale the object.

The enabled rotation axis can be customized with the following:

// only enable rotation on x and y axis

The size of rotation and scale controls on the gizmo can be adjusted by using the following controls:

// The size of the rotation spheres attached to the bounding box (Default: 0.1)
gizmo.rotationSphereSize = 0.1;
// The size of the scale boxes attached to the bounding box (Default: 0.1)
gizmo.scaleBoxSize = 0.1;
// If set, the rotation spheres and scale boxes will increase in size based on the distance away from the camera to have a consistent screen size (Default: false)
gizmo.rotationSphereSize = false;

The following events are fired when dragging occurs on either the scale or rotation meshes of the bounding box.


To drag around objects contained inside a bounding box, Mesh Behaviors can be attached. When using with models with complex geometry such as a custom GLTF file, the complex model should be set to not be pickable by pointers and wrapped in a pickable bounding box mesh to save on performance. A helper method to do this is provided.

var boundingBox = BABYLON.BoundingBoxGizmo.MakeNotPickableAndWrapInBoundingBox(gltfMesh);

Additionally, the bounding box can ignore children of the attached mesh to add additional performance gain when needed.

gizmo.ignoreChildren = true;

UI can be attached to the bounding box using the AttachToBoxBehavior

GLTF example -

Animated GLTF example -

Example -

Gizmo customization

To customize the visual appearance of an existing gizmo, create a mesh on the same utility layer and then setCustomMesh on the gizmo. Utility layers do not contain lights by default so it is recommended use a material with an emissive texture.

var customMesh = BABYLON.MeshBuilder.CreateBox("", {size: 0.1}, gizmo.gizmoLayer.utilityLayerScene)
customMesh.material = material

Example -