Moving collections with all it's child objects


I’m fairly new to Blender, i wondered if it possible to move a collection with all it’s child objects? I tried by creating a simple collection with 2 cube objects inside, then selecting the collection in the outliner panel and using the move tool. But that doesn’t work.

I’ve watched some videos on parenting and grouping for blender 2.7x. But as Blender 2.8 has a collection based “tree” model i thought it would be logical that somehow you can move a complete collection.


Blender: blender-2.80.0-git20181023.13cfb641c6d-x86_64

Hahaha, you are treating blender as a normal/logical software, it is not. The best way to learn blender is to think in advance that it is not an intuitive software. Always expect a weird/non-intuitive way of doing things.
Once you start to see it that way, you’ll be able to handle it, at least that’s the only way I’m able to test blender, otherwise… :v:


Collections still seems to be a work in progress, but there is a “select objects” option on the right click menu in the Outliner panel. So if you select the collection then “select objects”, they all get selected and then you can grab, rotate etc.

On the subject I was hoping Collections would offer me an easy way to duplicate a collection of objects but not yet. If you select objects and duplicate they all end up in the same collection and then they all have to be dragged into their own anyway, which was a bit disappointing. But maybe there are more functions yet to be added. Or I missed something.


You can… If you deselect all objects, and then go over to the outliner and right-click the collection and click select objects, then you can move all the objects inside of that collection… Kinda… :slight_smile:

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Actually, this is not really true is it. C4D, Maya and Max all have collections but it’s just that they’re called Layers instead. You can’t just move a layer in Max or Maya. You’d have to set up a group or hierarchy in some way. Just like in Blender. The only un-intuitive thing about this is that Blender calls them Collections instead of what they are, Layers.

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yep, in maya the layers are more simplified version and Artist friendly, and the outliner is where the grouping and parenting happens, while blender seems to combine both concepts now, i think they should added a new display mode inside the outline display categories: called Layers. this way remove all the cramped information and keep only the essential ones something what Blender Pro did in previous version.


I think It’s debatable really. I think they actually do have a Collections view in Blender already. It’s just that it’s
the default view mode for the outliner. You can set the view to only view hierarchy too.

i know, but when grouping ,duplication and parenting are added to collections/objects…etc will make things messy a more cleaner way should be first consideration to separate layers from outliner.

Got it. Maybe we just need a view that shows the collections with a flat list of objects inside instead of a hierarchy?

Honestly, I really like how it works right now. I like seeing the hierarchies inside of the layers/collections. It feels more like an orinizational tool than a pretty way to view things. It’s also a nice way to separate things that are jumbled up in a hierarchy, like different kinds of bones. You can have collections that hold deforming bones, constraint bones, bendy bones, Controler bones, etc. where normally you’d just see a pile of bones in a hierarchy (which is still useful too).

Outliner has several views.
By default, that’s View Layer view to manage collections and object for visible active vew layer.
If you switch to Scenes view, a simple left click on a collection select it.

A collection is in-between 2.79 layers and groups.
If you duplicate a collection by using right click menu, it would be similar in 2.79 to add objects to a second layer. That does not increase number of objects.
But what you did is duplicating objects. Well, like in 2.79, duplicated objects are on same layer, they end-up in same collection.
But what you can do is to use right click menu and click on Instance to Scene.
That creates an object named like instanced Collection and that visually duplicates collections objects like a dupligroup, a group instance in 2.79.

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I´m having a lot trouble with those collections, I came from Sketchup. I´m trying to use Collection Instance but when I move the main Collection the Offset doesn’t move, and them those Collection Instances end messed up!


I think you can just select the collection entry and use the ‘M’ key to move it into any other collection.

In addition, I know that you can just use drag&drop for individual objects, it should work for the containers as well.

There might be a few quirks yet, but everything in 2.8 is still a bit of a work in progress and will remain so until 2.8 is released in July.

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Hello, all. Instead of creating a new topic, I’ll just amicably hijack this thread! :laughing:

First of all, thanks to @Ace_Dragon for explaining how to move objects into Collections. Not at all intuitive if you consider that the new tree-oriented Outliner with its Collections now effectively replaces the old method of layers and groups…then again, following the old “logic” it makes perfect sense!

What doesn’t make sense is that in the Outliner, you can drag-and-drop objects into and between Collections…only if they are close enough to be dragged-and-dropped! If the Collection is out of view, the Outliner window won’t scroll to the target with the selected objects being dragged. :thinking::astonished:

Secondly, the M key only works in the Viewport and not in the Outliner window, nor is there a contextual menu in the Outliner to move selected object(s) to a Collection.

Yeah, I know Blender’s interface has always been…eccentric. For the last 10ish years I’ve had no real problem with it; it is what it is and I love it anyway. But with the new 2.8 interface trying to be more “industry-standard” certain things about it just fool you into thinking it’s changed, for lack of a better term…and we’re pretty close to the July target.

Grey out! :+1::v::love_you_gesture:

Collections system is completely new. When doing such refactoring, it is hard to identify and keep in mind every use.
Drag and drop from Outliner to other editors is a way to rename thing, to create collections instances.
But your remark is still pertinent. We could imagine that outliner works as you said when Outliner is mazimed.

There is currently a Google Summer of Code project about improving outliner.
You should share your thoughts, there.

M key works in the outliner here.

I stand corrected. Thanks!

Hey! Just instance your collection and hide the original collection! Now when you move/rotate your instance everything moves together and you could select all with with one click, just like when you group stuff in maya, The only caveat is that if you need any changes you’ve got to do it in your original collection, I’m quite new to blender btw but a pro user here switching after 11 years!

It’s like a pain in the ass working with the outliner in 2.8!!!

I have a bunch of objects grouped within an empty object. Now if I select the empty and press the M key, I can move to a new collection, but instead to move everything that it is included in that empty, it is moving the empty alone, unpacking all the objects into the current Collection, resulting into a massive messssssss!!!

I’m beyond words how upset I am with the outliner! What needs to be easy and intuitive it is utterly complicated and totally unintuitive. Seems that who designed this Collection thing never used actually?

I spent more than one hour trying to figure-out how the heck to select and move massive number of objects between collections.

B select and click select are out of question because I have a huge number of objects.

What about an option to select the search filter result?

Or an easier way to select and move objects?

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I’m selecting the empty. I do RClick and Select Hierarchy to select all the objects that are included inside of the empty. I press M key and choose to Move to Collection.

Boom. I have everything moved to a new collection but all elements in that collection are somehow greyed out. If I press the eye icon from the right side the objects are not hidden.

Seems that actually I have a fake new collection as the original objects wasn’t moved into the new one only linked references somhow or something similar.

The objects are now unpacked into the original collection which I don’t want! I want to MOVE all the objects to a new collection, not link them! How?

The short answer is to wait for Blender 2.81, which will include synced selection, in which case you could just use Select Hierarchy and move everything to a new Collection.