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chat icon Making components/groups

stewkat

Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:39 am
Joined: 13 Feb 2011
Posts: 1
Hello! I first used Sketchup and loved keeping myself organized with the "make component" feature. It basically lets you group a mesh and allow you to move the whole thing or edit only the containing verticies/edges/faces. You could also have a component inside a component inside a component...etc. It would also allow you to duplicate the component (basically create a template) easily.

Is there something similar in blender?

Thanks!
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sundialservices

Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:54 am
Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Posts: 18
You can, indeed, select one-or-more objects and then "make group."

(In typical open-source fashion, the concept of "groups" and "grouping" is prevalent everywhere throughout the system.)

As a routine matter of course, I will design "things" as individual objects, then place all of them into a single "group." This is not merely because features such as DupliGroups require it, but because it makes good sense to me. In fact, since groups can contain other groups (and since a single object can belong to more than one group), I find myself making "groups" even when there is (at the moment...) only one "object" in it.
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Corbs

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:56 pm
Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 1
Hi

With Blender are you able to have a series of identical groups where editing one instance of the group will also affect the rest?

C
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Jonofwrath

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:16 pm
Joined: 09 Feb 2012
Posts: 10
Corbs wrote:
Hi

With Blender are you able to have a series of identical groups where editing one instance of the group will also affect the rest?

C


An answer to this question is a long time coming!
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ldo

Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:46 am
Joined: 07 Nov 2010
Posts: 544
If you’d tried it for yourself, you’d have discovered the answer is “yes”.
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Jonofwrath

Posted: Tue May 01, 2012 12:54 pm
Joined: 09 Feb 2012
Posts: 10
ldo wrote:
If you’d tried it for yourself, you’d have discovered the answer is “yes”.


Not helpful...if you know how to do this then please explain.
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Jonofwrath

Posted: Thu May 17, 2012 8:47 am
Joined: 09 Feb 2012
Posts: 10
stewkat wrote:
Hello! I first used Sketchup and loved keeping myself organized with the "make component" feature. It basically lets you group a mesh and allow you to move the whole thing or edit only the containing verticies/edges/faces. You could also have a component inside a component inside a component...etc. It would also allow you to duplicate the component (basically create a template) easily.

Is there something similar in blender?

Thanks!


It's ALT-D (Shift-D makes un-linked duplicates, ALT-D makes linked duplicates - see link below).

http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.4/Manual/Modeling/Objects/Duplication
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ldo

Posted: Fri May 18, 2012 9:59 am
Joined: 07 Nov 2010
Posts: 544
Alt-D creates creates new objects sharing the same datablocks as the selected objects. To insert a new instance of a group, you press shift-A to bring up the insert menu, and you will see a “Group Instance” submenu listing your groups.
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Jonofwrath

Posted: Fri May 18, 2012 10:15 am
Joined: 09 Feb 2012
Posts: 10
ldo wrote:
Alt-D creates creates new objects sharing the same datablocks as the selected objects. To insert a new instance of a group, you press shift-A to bring up the insert menu, and you will see a “Group Instance” submenu listing your groups.


Thanks, I'll try that.

Do you know how to break the location/rotation/scale links in objects duplicate using Alt-D?
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Jonofwrath

Posted: Fri May 18, 2012 10:43 am
Joined: 09 Feb 2012
Posts: 10
Jonofwrath wrote:
ldo wrote:
Alt-D creates creates new objects sharing the same datablocks as the selected objects. To insert a new instance of a group, you press shift-A to bring up the insert menu, and you will see a “Group Instance” submenu listing your groups.


Thanks, I'll try that.

Do you know how to break the location/rotation/scale links in objects duplicate using Alt-D?


Nevermind; I've found that editting the graph - removing the key-frame fixes the issue I was having with duplicates jumping back to the parent.
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Jonofwrath

Posted: Mon May 21, 2012 1:41 pm
Joined: 09 Feb 2012
Posts: 10
ldo wrote:
Alt-D creates creates new objects sharing the same datablocks as the selected objects. To insert a new instance of a group, you press shift-A to bring up the insert menu, and you will see a “Group Instance” submenu listing your groups.


How do you make existing objects share mesh data but not location data?

I use control L a lot for linking textures, and there IS an option for object date but that seems to copy ALL object date - including locationv (I might be wrong there).

I import from sketchup to Blender, so I often have objects that are essentially identical but in different places (simple trees for example) - I'd like to avoid having to duplicate one of them in blender, and place them in the location of the remaining (un-linked) copies before deleting them.
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ldo

Posted: Tue May 22, 2012 6:19 am
Joined: 07 Nov 2010
Posts: 544
You mean you already have two mesh objects, and you want to get rid of the mesh datablock attached to the second one and have it share the first one’s mesh datablock?

That’s easy. Select the second object, go to the mesh properties tab, click on the popup menu next to the mesh datablock name, and you can select any of the other mesh datablocks in your document.
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Jonofwrath

Posted: Tue May 22, 2012 8:25 am
Joined: 09 Feb 2012
Posts: 10
ldo wrote:
You mean you already have two mesh objects, and you want to get rid of the mesh datablock attached to the second one and have it share the first one’s mesh datablock?

That’s easy. Select the second object, go to the mesh properties tab, click on the popup menu next to the mesh datablock name, and you can select any of the other mesh datablocks in your document.


Thanks! Mine is labeled the object data tab but the method works great Smile
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Jonofwrath

Posted: Tue May 22, 2012 3:48 pm
Joined: 09 Feb 2012
Posts: 10
ldo wrote:
You mean you already have two mesh objects, and you want to get rid of the mesh datablock attached to the second one and have it share the first one’s mesh datablock?

That’s easy. Select the second object, go to the mesh properties tab, click on the popup menu next to the mesh datablock name, and you can select any of the other mesh datablocks in your document.


Weird thing; if I open a new blender file and creat a cube and two cylinders, then use the Object Data tab to change the two cylinders in the drop down to the cube, they change into the cube, but keep their locations.

If I have a load of generic simple trees (just long cylinders) imported from Sketchup, rename one of them to Tree then change the others to the same using the drop-down like above, they jump to where the first tree is! Why?

Thanks.
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ldo

Posted: Wed May 23, 2012 10:05 am
Joined: 07 Nov 2010
Posts: 544
I can tell you why. This is the difference between local versus global coordinates. Each object has its own transformation, which is applied to the coordinates of the mesh vertices for display/rendering in the final scene. This transformation can include, not just translation to a different position, but also rotation and scaling. If in your first example you rescaled one of the cylinders (in object mode, not edit mode), to, say, 2× the size of the other one, then replaced the meshes as you did before, you will find that the enlarged cylinder becomes a correspondingly larger cube.

However, if you went into edit mode on that cylinder, selected all its vertices and scaled by 2×, then switched back to object mode and did the mesh replacement, you will find it does not end up as a larger cube. This is because your scaling in edit mode was affecting the positions of the cylinder vertices (which you were then throwing away), not the overall object transformation.

Anyway, from your description I think the Sketchup importer is creating a bunch of objects that all effectively share the same origin, it’s just their actual vertex coordinates that are differently positioned. Which sounds like a stupid way of doing things.

You can check this, by selecting each object in turn, and looking for the fat orange dot indicating the origin of its coordinate system. This should normally be somewhere within the object itself, not way outside elsewhere.

Anyway, you can fix this by selecting all the troublesome objects, and in the “Object” menu, “Transform” submenu, use the option “Origin to Geometry”.
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