Editing multiple objects - attributes, modifiers, values ... is it really that complicated?

Hi everyone,

here I am as a long-term 3D artist with prior experience in Cinema4D, Modo, Maya and even Blender, already. Now I am trying to become more efficient at Blender once more but today I’ve run into an obstacle I remember from using it before already - multi object editing.

I am not talking about actually multiple mesh editing, specifically. I know that’s coming. I am really confused about the whole concept that is behind editing attributes on more than one object in Blender and whethere there are ways to make this faster or more intuitive than I am currently doing.

Mainly selecting multiple objects and then trying to apply a modifier or action to them is anything else than the straightforward process I always expect it to be:

  • I know that modifiers can be copied from the last selected over to the other ones selected beforehand via “Make Links” [Ctrl - L]. This transfers ALL the modifiers to all selected objects with all data, though. Is there a better, faster or easier way to this?

The expected behaviour for me would be:

select multiple objects

go to the respective tab like "modifiers" and apply one.

the modifier is applied on top to every selected

  • Another thing I’ve found out: Changing Values on multiple objects can be done by entering the value and then confirming with [Alt - Enter]. Though it doesn’t seem to behave on all input fields, does it?

I’d expect this to be something like:

If there are multiple objects selected and a modifier is changed then all objects which share that modifier are changed at the same time.

If there are multiple objects selected then (like Unity does for example) only the shared modifiers or components that can actually be changed are displayed to edit.

(Other components might either be greyed out or there’d a message saying: “There are hidden modifiers because of multiple editing inconsistencies”.)

Yet another thing I’ve struggled with today:

  • Actions like “Clear Custom Split Data” I can’t seem to be able to apply to more than one selected object no matter what. The only way I would have seen to do, today would be joining the objects into one and then splitting them up again. In my case this was no option as splitting and renaming to what they have to be called would be even more work than deleting it one by one.
    There has to be a way I am missing.

  • Another thing I know can be done via the Copy/Linkedobjects is assigning Materials to multiple objects at once. Just like with modifiers - is there a better way than “copying linked” for materials?

  • Lastly is there a way to see a list of all the materials (datablocks) in my scene and edit them without assigning them to an object first? A visual Material Library of sorts like in other software.

All in all I know some way how most things in my list can be done somehow (except for removing attributes like the custom split data on multiple objects). Then again I’ve learned that Blender often has somewhat hidden features like Alt-Enter that you just have to know.

Thanks in advance for any help to speed up this thing. :slight_smile:

As far as I know this isn’t possible in blender, but it sounds like a pretty sweet idea. Maybe put it on rightclickselect

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I feel your pain… coming from other dcc apps as well…
Blender needs a complete overhaul in this area, yeah.
Too bad it was completely ignored for 2.8.

Oh that’s cool. :smiley:
Is this site frequented by Core Blender Devs as well?
As I am starting to seriously consider using Blender for more than just pipeline work, this time it would be great to know where to put ideas and proposals most effectively.

In fact I’ve started to write a list of things where I feel Blender could be improved and which others might like as well. Not wanting to get into a “wouldn’t it be cool - yes/no” discussion but I feel like Blender gets a lot of these really high level improvements that let it go beyond other commercial apps (Eevee vieport is in my opinion so far the best on the market - leaving behind even Maya and Modo/Mari already) but then is being neglected in other areas that would be needed.

Anyways - thanks for the tipp. :smiley:

There’s definitely room for improvement in Blender. I was a Max user for 10 years and mostly miss the non-destructive editing with the editable mesh modifier. However, consider that after switching from any tool you’ve used for several years and know inside and out, you’re bound to notice every little missing feature because it completely haults your workflow.

There may be some (re)growing pains, but eventually you adapt to a new workflow and you don’t miss those features as much. For me personally, if someone offered me a 3DS Max subscription for life… I’d gladly accept it! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: But I think I’d continue to us Blender as my primary DCC. For all the missing features, there’s a lot of outside the box thinking in Blender’s paradigm that makes it worth the while for me. :slight_smile:

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I am absolutely agreeing that Blender is worth being used and learend. It has a lot of cool features that are in fact better than most competitors, if you ask me. Many small little things can also be added by simply searching an AddOn for it or even just activating one of the prebundled ones. If it wasn’t worth it, I wouldn’t consider using it. Easy as that.

The thing is that in some areas Blender has been neglected far too long, I think. Basic things like multi-object editing (again: not mesh-editing but also modifiers and attributes).
Also some of the UV algorithms and tools need an overhaul, really badly. The stellar TexTools take care of a lot of these things but ultimately the UV unwrapping/relaxing algorithms themselves need some updates or additions. ABF and LSCM are necessary basics but by far not the best out there any more. The options and settings are very basic at best, as well (no iterations for relaxing the mesh after unwrapping for example).

Aaaaaanyways - before this derails further I’d rather steer it back to my original questions on whether there are actually easier or faster ways to achieve the things I was looking for. :slight_smile:

This is the support section it<s not the place to vent or give new ideas