How do I keep objects together?

I have here a model of a gunturret. There is a mountingpoint, on top of that is the main body and to the sides of the body are two barrels. The main body rotates around the Z-axis and the barrels around the Y-axis of the body. All is set up so that they’re tracking an empty (named ‘target’)
The entire thing consists of 4 objects (including the empty, the two barrels are instances of the same object). How do I group or connect all involved objects so that in another scene I can use this object, or even simpler, so I can make individual copies of the objects and keep their connections and relations to eachother? ( I mean, I use target.001 to change the aim of turret.001, target.002 for turret.002 &c. &c. )

My other question is, I now have 3 meshes. They are seperate and only connected to eachother as objects. Is this the way to go or should I have all the objects together in one mesh. I understand the copying of one mesh is closer to what I want in the previous question, I just have no idea how to make that one object track the target-empty correctly.

Thanks.
O.

Attachments


Put empty in front of the barrel and use target constraint on barrel to follow the empty. Remember that barrel will point and rotate from the object center. So put the barrel object center appropriately. Now select the main body and use Copy Rotation constraint of the barrel. Restrict its rotation to Z-axis only. That will make the turret to follow the empty all over.

Yes, that’s basically how it’s set up. Sorry if it was unclear. I’m mainly looking for the way to group all this together when I want to make a duplicate of the entire functioning object plus constraints and parent/child relations. If I try so now, by selecting all involved objects and duplicating I get an object that tracks the target-empty of the original, worse, some objects rotate around the wrong object. I have to disconnect all relations and set them again to the appropriate objects. I also need to go into my retraintsettings and fill in the name of the copy of the target-empty.

( See, I would like to reuse the turret in several places on the ship. I also would like them to all track separate targets. Otherwise I’d opt for the 'main-cannon option of Excalibur :wink: )

Not sure what is going wrong as I can’t duplicate what you are getting.

Here’s a .blend (2.5x) with a simple turret setup. If I select all the objects including the empty and duplicate them it all works as expected, ie. the parent/child relationship between the new duplicates are kept, and they follow their own new target empty.

Perhaps see if that works on your side?

Also make sure you are using “Duplicate Objects” and not “Duplicate Linked” (Shift-D, not Alt-D).

Attachments

turret.blend (361 KB)