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Blender: How to Group Objects – Simply Explained

Picture of Tanner Hartmann
by Tanner Hartmann
Jun 15, 2019
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When working in Blender with a large scene containing many objects, it can be easy to lose track of things. Fortunately, there is a way to group objects together for easy manipulation and organization.

Blender: Group Objects Organizational Needs

Things can get a little out of hand with a lot of objects, especially if they're duplicates.
Things can get a little out of hand with a lot of objects, especially if they're duplicates. Source: Tanner Hartmann / All3DP

The main purpose of grouping objects together is to be able to organize and navigate your Blender scene with ease. However, there are a couple of things to note before you start:

  1. When you group objects, they do not have a transformation relationship. This means that the transform tools do not affect the objects collectively.
  2. Parenting is another form of grouping where child objects are attached to a parent object. This way, when the transform tools are used on the parent, it does affect the children, but not vice versa.

Using the grouping and parenting functions together allows you to completely control your organization of complex projects. In the following, we’ll take a look at how to make, locate, and join groups. We’ll also quickly explain the simplest and most common use of parenting.

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Blender: Group Objects Grouping: Demystified

Easy as 1, 2, 3.
Easy as 1, 2, 3. Source: Tanner Hartmann / All3DP

Say you have a bunch of objects that you want to associate together for easy navigation and reference. In our example we have a simple ‘tower’ made of basic objects. Let’s say we want to ‘label’ all these objects as part of the same ‘tower’. You may want to merge them as well, but you don’t have to. The steps are simple:

  1. Select all the objects you want to group together. You can use Select All (Ctrl/Cmd + A) if you are selecting everything in the scene.
  2. At the bottom of the viewport, click on Object > Group > Create New Group (Ctrl/Cmd + G).
  3. You can give the new group a name in the text box located on the left side of the viewport.

That’s it! Your objects are now grouped together. It is also possible to place objects in more than one group, if need be.

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Blender: Group Objects Locating Groups

There are a lot of ways you can view a scene.
There are a lot of ways you can view a scene. Source: Tanner Hartmann / All3DP

It’s easy to navigate your groups and the individual objects within them. On the Outliner panel on the right side of the viewport, you can look at the different parts of a scene. Here you can change the setting to Groups from the drop-down menu and you will see your newly-created group.

You can expand the group (by clicking the +) and see all the objects it is comprised of. This way, you can easily find the object you are looking for.

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Blender: Group Objects Adding and Subtracting Objects

Never leave anything out with this handy feature.
Never leave anything out with this handy feature. Source: Tanner Hartmann / All3DP

Sometimes, you may want to add objects to an existing group. You can do this by:

  1. Selecting the object you want to add and then selecting an object from the group.
  2. Similar to before you go to Object > Groups > Add Selected To Active Group (Shift + Ctrl/Cmd + G)
  3. Another menu will appear with a list of the groups in the scene and you can select the group you wish to add the object to.

To remove an object, simply click the option below that one, Remove Selected From Active Group (Shift + Alt + G), and you can remove it from any group it is in.

You can also use the options above these ones to remove objects from groups: Remove From Group (Ctrl + Alt + G) or Remove From All Groups (Shift + Ctrl/Cmd + Alt + G).

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Blender: Group Objects The Parent–Child Relationship

It's easy to get your children under control with the Object Parent tool.
It's easy to get your children under control with the Object Parent tool. Source: Tanner Hartmann / All3DP

Since parenting is a complex feature in Blender, we will only cover the feature most likely to be used. This is the Object Parent method mentioned earlier, where Child Objects are linked to a Parent Object. Like grouping, it is easy to do:

  1. First, select all the objects you want to be Child Objects.
  2. Most importantly, select the final object which will become the Parent Object.
  3. Then, go to Object  > Parent > Object (Ctrl/Cmd + P).
  4. Another menu will appear. Select Object again.

Now, all the objects are the children of the Parent Object, and any transformation done to the parent will also be done to the children. You will see a dotted line connecting the children to the parent to show they are linked.

You are now equipped to use both Grouping and Parenting in your scene organization. May it serve you well!

Feature image source: Tanner Hartmann / All3DP

License: The text of "Blender: How to Group Objects – Simply Explained" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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