Is there a fast-ish way to replace many elements in an object with a new element?

There’s a little more to this question.

So I have this object, it’s a tail light.

What I want to do is either modify or replace these elements.

They are not uniform is size, but they are uniform in geometry.

Is it possible to “reverse engineer” the linked objects process? I know had I started with one of these, and duplicated each object linked, I could just modify one and that would modify them all, while leaving me with the freedom to position and scale each element individually in object mode.

I guess the question is, can I do this in reverse somehow. Re link them? Or maybe replace them with some kind of snapping operation and somehow get them to snap to size?

If you want to modify a number of them at the same time (but in a correlated way) you can select the ones in edit mode and use “Individual origins” as the transformation pivot. In this way each element will be transformed related to its origin.
Another way could be:

  • in edit mode, select all of the elements that you want to replace
  • press P, separate -> Selected (You will now have all different objects)
  • create a new element that you will use to replace some/all of the old ones
  • in the Object Properties of one of the old elements that you have just separated, go into the Mesh tab and assign the new Mesh you just created in place of the old one (remember to click on the little number if you want to make it unique, or it will remain a duplicate and will reflect all of the changes that you will do to the new Mesh/Object).
    Cons of this: it has to be done for every single Object
    As far as I know there isn’t a faster way. In some cases starting again that part of the object can be faster than adjusting things later.
1 Like
  • Separate to objects
  • origin to geometry for all objects
  • objects selected and one active, ctrl+L -> object data
  • optionally object menu -> make dupli-face, to make them instances

If you want to keep the sizes, duplicate and separate one, then find a way to select and edit all of the meshes in one go so that you’re left with one face per mesh. Then you can use those as duplifaces for the separated object, and the scale option makes them follow the face size. It also works if the meshes are in different orientation, provided that the separated one is aligned and its origin is in the right place.

3 Likes

Close enough. Linking the object data together made them all the same size, but I think it was faster to just do it this way, then resize the few I needed to to fit the fixture, than to go the longer way round.

Thanks to both of you for the help.