Basic question: making complicated objects ...... workflow?

Hi folks,

Nooby question here about general workflow:

Imagine i want to model a house.

It’ll need to consist of various, very different parts. Roof material, windows, bricks etc.

My question is, what is the correct (or good) workflow to do this?

Does each part need to be it’s own object? Ok, that’s do-able. But what if i later want to re-size it? Do i need i just rubberband everything and resize?

But i would imagine there’s some way to have all object part of an “uber” object, then i just click on that in the top right of the interface, and then re-size that?

Or if i want to make many instances of the house, i’d imagine it’s easier to just instance the uber-object, rather then instance each constituent part many times.

Sorry, real basic question! … Thanks!

A basic question, that taps into the 3d workflow as a whole :wink:

Let me start with… it depends.
You can model a lot of the parts needed in separate blend files, and finally combine it all in one scene. So small changes in the beginning don’t ‘ripple through’ that much.

Or you can start modeling in one file with setting up the floor/walls/roof etc. first, fill in the holes with windows, doors etc.
After that, do all the UV, shader/texture thing.
When that is done, start dressing the building inside with furniture etc.

Set up lights, a camera and render stills or a animation.

But changes will almost always impact one or more objects in the scene. e.g. a doorframe that needs to be higher/lower. You will need to edit the doorframe and the wall, or there will be a overlap or gap.
Larger changes, like in the dimension of the building after you’re done completely can be a pain, as it will involve many small changes.

Look into the addons for Blender regarding architectural modeling. they will help you will these tasks.
There’s one in the addon section of your blender installation.

And yes, instances will be the way to go for multiple houses. You can do this with a linked file, or in the scene itself with the help of a collection.

Have fun!

1 Like


Sorry, i should have been more clear!

I don’t necessarily want to model a realistic house, i was just using it as an analogy!

My question is really very high level. I simply don’t understand when one should create a part of an object in the edit window, together with something else, or if i should exit the edit window and create a new object.

Earlier today i was messing around. I had two object with two different materials. I joined them into one object. But the materials stayed attached to the same parts. So i thought: "wow, maybe you should create all parts of an object in the same edit window, assigning materials to each part as needs be. But i couldn’t see a way of doing that (other then creating two different objects with different materials, then joining them into one object).

So you see, my question is about really basic workflow!

I guess my question can be summed up: how do you group various objects together to perform an action on all at the same time?

It dépends of a lot of things but I would say that make a différent object when it is the case in Real life. Don’t care about materials because they can be merged after. Also the objects can be merged or separated after and back and forth. This kind of workflow is not destructive you can still modify all that later on the project.
And yes you can resize all the different objects at once for example by selecting all of them and scale from the cursor pivot point.

Edit: if you want different part of the same object having different materials you can just add a new material and assign the selected faces to that material

There isn’t a one fit for all solution , it really depends on how you’d like to work. My advice is start making things the way you’d like and then when something turn out complicated try to see how other solve that issue.
Each way of doing things as it’s pro and cons so…

How I would work your case :
I tend to make one .blend file per asset, in your case that would be the house. Later I can use linked collection instances if I need to make a street based on the same house. That way each house will act as a whole , that I can rotate, scale, and if I need to change something I can do that in the original .blend file.

While modeling, I tend to make a lot of different objects (I don’t care much if a windows is made of 10 objects) and at some point I’ll try to merge them together to reduce object count. But I don’t have a particular / strict methodology for that.
I tend to parent object and create a hierarchy , so if I need to resize the windows I can select the parent and that will scale all the window’s objects all together. The windows is then parented to the wall , and the wall parented to the house, so I can scale the whole house if I need to.

Having objects well organised in collections also help me to select all related objects and move them if I need to, that’s also easier if I need to show/hide some parts.
I tend to use both methods, sometime I parent and set a hierarchy , but I still keep objects without parents that I can move easily by selecting their collection.

To sum up, if you don’t have some constraints ( collaborative project) you can do watever you want if you find that simple and easy to use.

You definitely want to create separate objects outside of edit mode. For example, if you’re modeling a car you would model the doors separate from the rest of the body if you want realistic detail. It becomes more practical to make separate objects for the parts of a multipart object once you start to get into complex things.

I had two object with two different materials. I joined them into one object. But the materials stayed attached to the same parts.

Blender is very helpful and automatically recalculates the uv map to accommodate that sort of action.As you get to know the software better, you’ll start to learn how it organizes object data, meshes, materials, etc. so that you can save on resources by sharing things.

how do you group various objects together to perform an action on all at the same time?

It depends on what you want to do. If you just want to resize a bunch of objects, you just select them all and resize them all at once. If you want to edit objects that are the same, you need to make them linked objects first.

@sozap sozap explained some good ways for grouping objects.

Many thanks guys, lots of great info and suggestions!

I messed about with it a bit more and it seems one way is to put all objects in a collection. Then (on that collection in the outliner) i can right click > select objects.

Is there any other way? I was hoping shift or alt or ctrl + click or double click in the outliner would do it, but so far only right click > select objects is doing it for me.

HI Daz,

I suggest you find yourself a bunch of starter videos on Youtube, and go from there.
It will help a ton if you understand the basics of it all, but now you already trying to run while you’re still putting on your shoes :wink:

Start off with the famous ‘donut’ videos from BlenderGuru or alike:
It will help you understand the steps involved, and how to create objects, edit them, put them in a logical grouping, shade&texture them and finally render it.

But like StroBlend said, look at real life. Build it the same way.
Almost nothing is one piece, it’s more common to have objects exist out of multiple pieces which have different materials/textures etc. And when you dive into animation, setting up multiple parts becomes quite logical quickly.

And don’t mistake Collections for proper scene management and hierarchy setups. Things can go wrong very quickly if you don’t have some form of scene/object management in place.