How to Circle Array rotated object on a flat horizontal plane?

Hey guys, every time I try to Circle Array an object with non-applied rotation I got an array oriented relative to the local rotation of the Object I’m arraying:

Of course I can Apply the rotation on those cylinders but I would like to preserve their original orientation i case I would like to tweak it later. So it possible to actually Circle Array an object with non-applied Rotation on a flat horizontal plane? Thanks!

For a circled array modifer you have to use an object offset to an empty…and your empty is rotated (or do i miss here something) ?
Quick idea: add a non rotated empty and with a copy rotation contraint with the first empty as target and connect the array modifier to this empty… ?

Thanks for the reply but could you please break down the process a bit in more detail?

Actually i don’t even know what you are doing… to get a rotation like you did on the left i have to rotate the object with the empty and to to get this on the right i rotated teh object in edit mode… :question: :

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Put the empty on the origin, it makes it easy. And parent the object to the empty as child.
Then you can rotate the object without apply rotation.

empty_on_origin.blend (104.2 KB)


Parenting the empty to the object… never thought of this…(…and i rotated both… :cold_sweat: )
Thanks… i learnt something new today…

Every now and then re-think what you are doing…

and i should have thought about it already:


Some knowledge comes from laziness if you try to avoid the work.
Sometimes i spent an hour to search for lazy ways just to avoid 5 minutes of work. :smiley:

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Sometimes i write programs to do the work i could have done in far less time… but maybe i could use them again… sometimes in the future :rofl: and still… i do know very much about this afterwards…

I think all this empty business should be a thing of the past.

Radial arrays are so much easier with a Geometry node set up.

Here is one I made with lots of options to rotate the instances etc. You do not need an empty to control it.

CircularArray.blend (117.2 KB)

You can append the node group to your file, add a geometry node modifier to your object and choose “circular array” in the dropdown menu (the icon next to “new”).

The other object switch lets you change the object you are instancing. By default (0) it instances the object that has the modifier, set to 1 it will instance the object you choose in the other object field. The rest is pretty self explanatory.

If you do not use Geometry nodes you do not have to understand it, just use it as a “radial array modifier”.

I do recommend you look into geometry nodes one day as they can be very useful!


Man this solution is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you so much! Can you please recommend some payed/free resource/course where I can learn everything Blender’s Geo Nodes? Cos for now it’s a bit rocket science for me what’s going on under the hoof in the geo node editor :slight_smile:

I am not an expert at Geometry Nodes, but there are a lot of things you can do with just basic knowledge.

There are loads of free tutorials in you tube, I recommend you start there.
Do be careful not to watch any that are from before the rewrite.
In Blender 3.0 Geometry nodes were completely rewritten and many of the old nodes were discontinued (disappeared) and changed for the concept of “fields”.

You could start here:

Geometry nodes are in continuous development, this means that every update of Blender brings in new nodes and possibilities so I would probably recommend you watch tutorials from 2022.

There are also many threads on this forum that can help you (some more technical than others).

higgsas has done some incredible work with Geometry nodes and is kind enough to share a file with loads of useful node groups, you can download his file and look inside the node groups to see how he has done them. Watch a few tutorials first to understand the basics.

You just have to dive in and start simple (similar to learning Blender in general)


I recommended Andrew price to start with because he tends to “hold your hand” but I am very fond of Erindale’s (pretty technical) and Chris P’s (always fun to watch) videos

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Thank you very much!!! This will definitely do for now!