linked duplicates

is there a way to retro-create linked duplicates?

suppose i have 20 identical cubes. i can for example make the first one the parent of the 19 others. but…is there a way to make 19 of them linked duplicates of the first?

it would almost be like selecting them all and declaring them to be an array. the object would be so that by editing one i could edit them all

in the “Links and Materials” tab - F9

click the arrows next to the ME:
and select the mesh you want it to be linked to

(you will need to do this 19 times - and then you will have 19 meshes in your file that are not linked to any active objects)

thanks wayne!..blender always has a solution somewhere

not sure what you mean by

(you will need to do this 19 times - and then you will have 19 meshes in your file that are not linked to any active objects)

Whenever you duplicate an object, it creates a new mesh in memory. But you can re-link that mesh to the original mesh. Then all edits to the original will affect any duplicates. But if you already have 19 copies, you have to go back and re-link each one to the original so they are true “instances” and not copies.

You can turn off duplicate mesh with object if you know you want instances when you duplicate. This is located under Edit Methods of the User Preferences window. (Pull it down from the top)

thanks for that, atom! it is high time i got my head around the copies/instances thing

can you not select all 20 objects (keeping in mind the active object) and hit ctrl+L -> Mesh data?
i don’t have blender on this machine so i couldn’t try it out… but that could be a lot easier than doing an operation 19 times…

good solution dyf! it works. great!

once before i did that for some reason that i can’t remember, and all the mesh positions collapsed to the active object. maybe those objects had a common centre

here’s an exercise for people with very little to do:

add an array modifier (keep the count low) to the default cube
apply the modifier
in edit mode L-key then P-key to separate each cube into a separate object
apply centre-new to each cube
select them all and ctrl+L > mesh data
and you are almost back to where you started

(fun to watch the links making and breaking in the oops schematic)

this bunch of cubes behaves almost, but not quite, like an array of cubes
it has the dubious advantage that you can edit any one of them and the others will all change identically…with an array you can only edit the “real” cube

anyway distractions aside, this ability to link objects after creation is very useful because in the heat of modelling, you can’t always know up front which objects you might want to be linked later :slight_smile:

I did not know that worked with meshes, I thought it only worked with materials. It looks like you can do IPOs the same way too.


good to know

You can also use ctrl+L > mesh data to link to a totally different mesh (the last one selected). Useful when you place a bunch of simple objects as placeholders, then link them all to the more complex final mesh object when you’re ready for it.

@ysengrin useful trick!

here’s a related issue:

if you apply an array mod to an object and then apply the mod, all the duplicates (and the original) end up as a single object…would be nice if they could be created as new objects…