Isn´t there a simple direct clone object instance?

In Lightwave you can simply go ot or use a shortcut to clone an object as instance, weird that I do not find this in blender, do we really have to make collections and clone that each time?

for this, no particle or vertices is needed…I just want to clone the object …but as instance an not a mesh and move it directly.

Use Alt+d instead of Shift+d when duplicate.

Thanks Ztreem, but That isn´t working for me, it just clones the mesh as a mesh, not as an instance…it´s just a linked duplicate, but still a mesh and not a volume instance of the mesh.
And completely different from a lightwave clone instance approach, if I am not wrong.

I’m not following on the volume instance thing. Linked duplicate in Blender is the same as instancing. It uses the same mesh data as the original and therefore not taking up more memory even when used several times. So if you alter the mesh all meshes will update. Please describe the feature you’re after in more detail if this is not what you’re after.

I think you’re mixing things up because of LW’s limited way of showing instances. LW shows instancing as bounding boxes but it uses the same mesh when rendering. In Blender you actually see the mesh in viewport not only rendering, so I would say that Blender does it way better.


Then it´s a completely different instancing method than Lightwave´s, didn´t you ever go in to lightwave layout …under clone, and clone instance, those instances are not meshes, while blender doc describes the duplicate linked as a new object as a mesh, that shares some data…not all, and for the blender duplicate linked mesh, you seem to be able to edit it´s vertices, that is not possible with a lightwave instance, except for just scaling and stretching…if that would be a layout non vertices recognizable thing?

But at the same time it´s described as a volume clone, not mesh.

But yes, I can not see any additional memory consuming of alt-d

No, lw doesn´t show instancing as bounding boxes…as to be limited that way, that is an option in the instancing panel, you can change that within the instancer to be textured, or flat shaded, or wireframe.
But you can not edit it, guessing cause they haven´t worked out any proper meshing edit system for that, even though the system may be equal for the actual instancing.

So there is no difference there, you can see the instance in wireframe or shaded in opengl in Lightwave as well, not only in render.
On contrary, it seems you can not change the display of the instances in blender to be anything else than the object.?

True, now I found it, long time since I used LW. Now it feels like a very clunky way to change the way an instance is shown in viewport, I prefer Blenders approach of instancing.
But that doesn’t matter. The conclusion is that instancing is the same in both apps, you use the same mesh data for all instances to save memory.

Yeah, agree with you a little, but, but not for viewports really,…just the initial state of the display… I think there should be a way to change instances to something else than the true mesh, I suspect it will make it harder to orbit and navigate with loads of instance to some point, and that is where you may need to switch to bounding boxes…that is true for Lightwave, if it on the other hand isn´t an issue in blender when reaching massive amounts, that I do not know…but I can not see a way to make them bounding boxes, and also…I think in some cases you may want to see instances just placed as dummys sort of, in order to related to size and placement in relation to other scene elements.

Need to check if I can get the same control of the instances as I can with ligthtwave.
Other than that…we can conclude that alt-d indeed is the proper instancing to use, so thanks for that.
I need to lock at the whole scatter object sections though, cause the instance method on particles I find Lightwaves to have much more options, as well as instancing on the flocking system.

But to early to evaluate properly with conclusion right now, need to test more in blenders scatter object system.

And yeah, if you try to edit the lightwave instance, by using clothfx …scan it and enter edit fx and the edit tool, that won´t work, you need to edit the main object, but the instance will follow any drag edit with the cloth fx edit tool.

And metamorphic works the same way with instances, if you feel the display of the instances is clunky, then metamorphic is even worse to get started with to sculpt on a mesh in layout…I am not fond of how that is implemented.

Metamorphic is nicer though than edit shapes in blender to start with a morph sculpt for animation, easier to start and work with timelines, but it ends there, can not handle the same things for sculpting as blender overall.

I can see a slight difference, no big deal…when I sculpt on the main object in lightwave layout, the instance is changing instantly the same time as I deform the main object.

In blender when I use sculpt on the main object, the duplicate doesn´ follow in realtime until I release the sculpt.

You can set the instances in Blender to bounding boxes as well. What I like is that in Blender instances are treated as ordinary objects and you reach the visibility settings in the same location as for all objects and you can change the visibility for all instances at once. In LW you need to go into a special instancing meny to change the appearance and if you want to change the visibility of several instances (made with alt+c) at once, you can’t. (not that I know of) It’s very clicky and slow.

The options in the instancing panel in LW is good and maybe more advanced than the particle and mesh approach in Blender. But you can use animation nodes in Blender to make it much more advanced and soon blender will get a new particle system that will make things much more interesting.

Ok…will have to check the bounding boxes for the instances, I tried but couldn´t get it to work, they just disappeared.

Would be nice if the instance could update instantly when sculpting, as I said lightwave instances does.
However, nice to use a sculpt engine that allows for new mesh creation with dyntopo, the dyntopo is also copied over to the blender instances, but you do not see it until you go out of sculpting mode.

Yes, let´s hope for a new particle system, there are some things that frustrates me with the particle system in blender, as well in lightwave for that matter.
But controlling instances with nulls, gradients, procedural textures etc…that is really nice.
Got to go and leave this discussion for a while now, some time away from the computer.

Thanks Mikael.

One more thing that makes Blender shine compared to Lightwave is that you can add modifiers on top of the instances independent of each other. So you basically can displace or add bones and deform all instances to look completely different from each other, really nice.

Are you kidding me?

Ivé been asking for, or wondering if that was possible in Any software for a long time…why didn´t you poke me then, are you not reading every darn lw thread :slight_smile:
Seriously, thanks Mikael, I need to check this up.

Hi Michael, I just found out my self, otherwise if I would have seen you asking here or at other places, I would have mention it. :smiley:

Nice. Does this mean you can create an object instance and then use a lattice to manipulate the geometry of the secondary object instance without affecting the first one? In autodesk maya, this was either impossible, or so confusing I never figured out how to do it.

Yes, just tried it. works fine. But if you have modifiers on a instance and edit the mesh you don’t see it update through all instances while you are in edit mode.

It should. An “object” is another layer of data which contains the “mesh” data. So a modifier applied to an “object” will apply to whatever mesh data is within that object. You can swap to a different mesh within the object and the mod will apply to that mesh. You can have several objects with different modifiers that all share the same underlying mesh data.

One Idea I thought of …and brought forth as a possible new technology in the Lightwave forums some years ago, that was if it now could be possible to deform an instance copy differently, then a method of making transform morphs within a figure…like the head that has been transformed, and using several morphs or morph value data inbetween the morphs…this should result in instanced figures having different faces, looking different despite the mesh being just an instance and not a full poly object that was a simple duplicate.

I reckon that isn´t something that would be easy to do today, it´s an idea, and using displacements only is probably different, but I dare any coder to think about that.
As it is now I can see it useful especially for rocks…tree´s and vegetaion, not sure.

But implementing this to work with transformed faces, thate would be awesome.