How about a better grouping system?

Like in most object-oriented graphical apps:

CTRL+G - creating a group that behaves as one object

ONE CLICK SELECT - selection of all objects inside the group, as if they were one object

CTRL+SELECT - selection of a particular member inside the group

NESTING - groups inside groups

INSTANCING - SHIFT+D to copy group without linking, ALT+D copy instanced (linked), as it is with ordinary objects

EDITING - TAB or DOUBLECLICK for entering the edit mode. Editing an instanced copy of a group edits all linked copies (just like dupligroup instances now in blender), with the difference you can edit any of the instances

CTRL+SHIFT+G - dissolving of the the group

CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+G - dissolving the group together with all nested groups

At the moment, the current grouping system in Blender is almost unusable for me.
Is this being considered at all for 2.8 series?


OMG… i would really love to see this!
I’ve used 3dsmax for years before switching 3dsmax, something i still miss is the grouping system. i’ve found methods in Blender that work for me. but the way you describe is way better then my current workflow.


if u want groupe that behaves as a on object. Simply hit space and. write instance group and bam you have it. if u want to just have all stuff as a one simply parrent it. that is all. the idea is really bad. the grouping is good u just need to understand how o use it.

grouping also works as a good outliner folder system.

Yes the grouping system in Blender is really sub par to the way it works in Max/allother3dsoftware.

Currently I use this addon to get the same behavior in Blender (though it’s not free) but an official solution would be nice.

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That seems to be exactly what i’m looking for :slight_smile: but damn…$42 for a simple feature is pretty high.

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Unfortunately yes, the price is a bit high. That has been a common complaint about the addon. I bought it when it was on sale with a bundle and although I cannot wholeheartedly recommend it at the current price it is a really essential addon to have IMO.

I do agree that the grouping functionality can be improved (much like so many other areas in Blender).

You did hit a good point with nested groups, allow me to add a few of my own).

  • Independently posable group instances (for groups with armatures)
  • Ability for group instances to not have to share all of the same datablocks (if you want some instances to have different materials for example, the only caveat being that the groups might not be treated as an instance when rendering).
  • Take the offset of the group from the center into account when adding an instance (so a group offset from the center in one scene would actually be centered around the origin when instanced).

There is also super grouper addon . I find it very useful.

What would you consider fair price for Group Pro?

I’m excited about this.

Instancing a group is another proof that Blender is too dependant on its global coordinates system for a lot of tasks

Honnesly, less than 20$

I think the grouping system is extremely important. Based on my experience in other graphical apps, if the grouping system is designed properly, a large portion of workflow can be based on it. Intuitive commands like these speed up production considerably. Many (if not most) garph. apps. use them.

As blaize and NinthJake also pointed, i feel these are pretty basic features and they shouldn’t be addressed through an addon. It is a basic and natural way of handling things in graphics. The same applies to the unlimited layer system, thanks for the link thedaemon.

I am a Blender user for 4 years now and i still pretty amazed Blender got this far without this.

Super Grouper is a neat addon. However, although on daily basis, i use it as an extension to the layer system (as sub-layers), not as a grouping system. Although it is powerful, it still doesn’t supply classic on-screen features i described. Procedures i am referring to are much more streamlined and work on one-click basis inside the 3D view. For example, in Super Grouper in order to select the objects of the group, you have to turn on tool-shelf and click a specific button in the list, next to the name of the group. That is a slower, and totally different UI paradigm.

Ace Dragon, i agree on instances with combined linking, i found myself a lot of times in situations where i need an instance to follow the shape of the original, but have it’s own material. Combined colour chairs of the same model in a restaurant can be a good example.

Much as I love Blender. I have to agree grouping is not it’s best feature. Blender groups seem to work more like selection sets really, than as true groups would work in most other main 3D apps. Group objects have so much potential and flexibility. So much more room for improvement here.

Fantastic…I’ve never seen before… I hope that one day it’ll be in master (it’s fine also for the 2.8 release)

The same for me… it’s a bit annoying…

I also think 15-19$ is a fair price.
In the long term, what Okavango proposed should be in master I agree, but not like in other app. I would do it just for the group instances. I like to be able to select the originals with one click instead of 3 (double click to enter group plus one click to select). Actually, to keep the node group way, I would edit the group with tab.

I see Groups in Blender more like assemblies or digital asset not like groups in other apps.

If you want to mimic Maya group just parent objects under empty. 3dsMax has bit advanced grouping and it looks more similar to Blender, but having instances sharing same mesh and different material is not possible by Blender design, that is not just related to groups.

But I do agree that some kind of overriding would be nice to have.

I guess I could lower the price, if I split the texture baking addon (batchtools baker) from GroupPro. I will think about that

The grouping system in Blender is not “sub-par” at all, it’s just an entirely different thing that happens to share the same name. Blender’s groups make a ton of sense when they’re used as intented, which is in the form of instances and linked assets from other .blend libraries. If you want to move multiple objects at once, just parent them to an empty, or to a root-object from the thing you need to group.