Duplicate objects

The interface, modeling, 3d editing tools, import/export, feature requests, etc

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Duplicate objects

Post by angry »

I'm so sick and tired of battling for the simplest things.

Shift-D creates "a new object except that it shares any Material, Texture, and IPO with the original."

Can anybody explain to me how this could possibly be useful?
How can I make a copy of an object that I can then use as an individual object?
I should have found this by now!
If the function exists it isn't easy enough to find in the program or the manuals.
If it actually doesn't exist the software developers are freakin' retards.
Actually, the fact than you can't find it by the add menu, or (heaven forbid) COPY AND PASTE, kind of irks me... I mean really, would it kill these guys to make a simple thing simple to find? To put things in an obvious place?

I mean really, what's the point of having an identical duplicate that you can't even change the POSITION independently? I mean, even if it does have a purpose, shouldn't it be secondary, and the more commly useful function be at least somewhere where you could find it?

It's always these stupid little things in all software that is so outrageously aggrivating.

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Post by matt_e »

You can choose what gets duplicated along with the object in the user preferences window.

Of course any of those things, the mesh/material/ipo can be unlinked so that you can edit them independently. The 'Make Single User' databrowse button (with a number on it) comes in handy here.

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Post by theeth »

Wow, who would have thought that you'd find PREFERENCES in the USER PREFERENCE window?!


Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans.
- John Lennon

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Post by Mats78 »

It's always these stupid little things in all software that is so outrageously aggrivating.
Blender has the advantage of being an open source project. Which of course means that instead of barking around you can join in and make things better. Being so wise about design and all (why not prove it).

If you choose to bark then I advice you to shut up and rtfm. It's all there (at least regarding shift-d). You can also choose another program you know. Try 3DS Max and you won't say a word about Blender's ease of use anymore.

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Post by Pierre-Luc_Auclair »

You obviously have no idea what your talking about. Cool down.

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Post by joeri »

Hi angry,
I'll try a sensable answer, not that I'm not buzy, but I'm waiting on a render anyway.

Having an instance under a duplicate key might be misleading.
(God forbid, but even Maya has this function).
But this is the basis of blender. That the basis of blender is not explained in any manual or webpage is not true, but it's boring stuff that people easaly skip. It's about structures etc.

If you read "Zen and the art of motorcycle maintanance" then you can read there are two types of people: or rather two types of users:
1. The onces that want to ride a bike and leave the maintanance to the mechanic. And
2. The onces that want to ride a bike and do the maintanance themselfs, or at least know how their bike work.

Both are equal valid, but blender is a number 2 type of package.
Lot's and lot's of software is not, and lot's of developers want software to be used by the type of 1 people, just like mechanics don't like their customers to touch their bike. (ofcourse they repair there own).

So what about instance instead of copy?
Well thats just a pointer to the same datablock.
Very handy for saving memory. For example for lamps or materials or textures (you don't want the same texture more than once in memory now do you?) So most 'objects' (datablocks) are instances, the only one that might be unhandy to have as an instance is a poly-object. (Mind you, if I have a table with 4 chairs then they might as well be instances and save alot of memory.)
And that's where the 'single-user' comes in. It's al around blender, in every header, if you didn't see it, hmmm. It's got it's shortcut (hotkey ctrl-U) And it's in the user preference settings.

Now claiming the creators of blender are freakin' retards is nicely provacative, but a statement like that easaly bites you in the butt.
Because ofcourse they did think of it, it's just you that can't find it.

"It's always these stupid little things in all software that is so outrageously aggrivating."

Yes, well, hmmm, there are two parts here... 1 is the software and 2 is you. What I find very fasionable these days is that if the user doesn't understand something it's the 'fault' of the software or it's developers.

Maybe you should take a look at Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer's Apprentice because I think the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 's one might be to hard.
And see that "To put things in an obvious place?" is in the eye of the beholder.

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Post by angry »

Yeah, I knew I'd get it for this, a rule of thumb: angry sounds stupid.

As for "frickn' retards," it was only reckless writing; better put it would have said "I don't actually believe they left the function out completely because nobody would be that stupid." But even so, having the function still doesn't do you any good if you can't find it.

I am a designer, actually, I have used 3DsMax, several others too, and yes, no others really escape being aggravating either. But there are situations I don't think it's too unreasonable to desire the application of certain fundamental design principles.
So now that you have so kindly explained the solution (thank you), the root of the problem is more discernable, and much like I expected.
The unforgivable mistake is in the manuals I was using. The "Make Single User" function is not even mentioned once in the manual when it ought to be identified within the very same paragraph that the duplicate function is explained, and probably other places as well.

As for the software itself, on one hand you can't reasonably expect the phrase "make single user" to give me even a clue that it has anything to do with my problem, but then on the other hand I respect that it's a unique setup requiring a unique function requiring and unique name, and I can't possibly expect software designers to foresee all such complication as well as cover all of them. In other words I understand the situation and there's only one change in the interface that I can see that would avoid this problem, but it would require adding to the menus: another "duplicate" in the menu that allows you to also select which property in the duplicate will be unique. If you're doing any animation there'd be little need for totally identical duplicates, in which case this slightly simpler route would have more use, but if people mostly do still scenes I can see how its need wouldn't be as apparent. In fact If I made it myself I would have "Duplicate shared" and "Duplicate unique" Duplicate Unique giving you a selection of which unique feature. To use layman's terms is not a sin but good design practice.

I don't believe it's impossible for user friendly functionality and unlimited flexibility to exist in the same package, but that's not to say that I expect any software developer to actually pull off that feat. I'm not sure anybody has that level of design intuition and know-how, especially not programmers, coders, the masters of the abstract...
...I can still dream though...

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Post by joeri »

Nope, I'm not going to agree with you here.

I don't think it's a tools function to explain itself.
More and more software applications are doing this, sure, what else is adobe going to put in photoshop CS 2008 ?
The photo edit tools where all there in 5.5.

That blender has a long, old history and few resources to adapt the software to everybody is/should not realy be your problem, but you agreed to a license saying AS IS. Complaining about blender might be helpfull, but only if it's help, and not if it's only complaining, and specialy anoying if it's on a tone that designers are better people then programmers.

"little need for totally identical duplicates" that is you talking about you, projecting that on others. The word duplicates means duplicates, it does not state anything on staying a duplicate in time or after alteration. "I'd expect" is all nice, but why project that on me? I'd expect a twin to stay a twin, even after years of growing they will still look the same.

But how can *you* know that blender is a dutch program and some words are just not english? Instance would be a better word, you'd still would not know how to un-instance it (like I still don't know in Maya).

I don't know what documentation you've used and I don't know if you started at page 1 or read some parts in the middle. Ofcourse this documentation is not going to help everybody and can always be improved. You are welcome to join the documentation board to do just that.

Happy blending :)

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Post by angry »

I wrote wrecklessly out of anxiety unrelated to blender, but my second post wasn't intended to carry the same attitude as the first. However you still sounded a little defensive which indicates to me that I didn't really communicate it very well. So just to be clear I was only trying to be more helpful like you asked, I wasn't saying I could do better myself and I didn't want to give you the impression that I thought little of programmers. That last paragraph only comes from the idea that people think differently, I didn't intend it to sound like I thought I was better somehow.
In my case there is "little need for totally identical duplicates" it's true, but I meant to indicate that that was more in my case (in animation) and not most other people's cases, just like you said.
So we are on the same page it just didn't come across that way, sorry about the misunderstanding.
I probably ought to mention here that there were plently of things in blender that I thought were pretty smart, and I wouldn't have sounded so whiney if I wasn't under so much pressure.

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Post by joeri »

All is well.
It's not defensive, I hope to be informative.
Alot of features are 10 years old, based on computers we had 10 years ago. Bringing feasable feature changes for modern computers to the developers attention is a good thing. The language used is one of them.
Memory management another. etc.
But I'd like to make sure people are well informed (change the people) before adapting blender to them (change the app), because as you say; everybody is different. Along the way we'll meet halfway. :)

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