Question from a 3D modeler at Industrial Light and Magic about grouping

Hello

I noticed this video about setting up “grouping” from a 3D modeler at Industrial Light and Magic Andrew Hodgson and thought I would share in case there is a solution.

Before you say it “collections” is not the answer, :slight_smile: please see video to help explain why.

I am looking for the same fix so I thought I would share the video here. Any help would be super helpful, thank you.

This addon kinda emulates this workflow: https://gumroad.com/l/qinstance

The GroupPro addon works really well for this sort of workflow.

Thank you, I will give it a go.

So he is not correct about what collections are… really. Not the same as Maya layers at all.

The feature he is talking about where “everything is selected” when you select a group in Maya is an option that you turn on here:

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This is actually confusing, annoying and in many cases problematic. Though I can see from his perspective, in his question, it is useful. But he is incorrect in stating that it is selected. It is not. It is only highlighted as a display feature. And this is why it can be confusing and problematic.

He is correct in saying this does not exist in Blender under an Empty.

It is correct that Blender Groups are not the same as Maya Groups. Collections are actually old Groups in Blender and they are not layers. Layers were removed and Collections took the place of them as Groups - to slightly over simplify.

It is a bad design.

From what I can see the above addon is not adding this feature to Blender. It is simply using Collections and Collection instances.

The best solution is in the original video. Which is parent to empty. But you don’t need that even. Just parent to an empty and you still have the option to transform the parent.

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To select everything (for real - same as Maya) choose “select hierarchy”

Blender:

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Maya:

It is true that just selecting the empty will not duplicate the hierarchy. You have to select it first.

Regards having access to thousands of objects in Blender, it can’t handle it anyway until it gets optimized… so there is that.

Using Collections and instances - if you can get away with duplicates - is the only way to deal with large data sets in Blender.

And even if duplication is not what you want, Collections and Collection instances is a better way to use this workflow. It will work almost exactly as Maya groups in many respects and not at all in other respects.

The way to do it is to create a Collection and simply add it as an instance. Editing the original Collection will edit the group instance. The group instance will have a transform. Not the ideal workflow in every case. But useful.

If you want to use collections as groups in a similar way, put an empty to be the transform parent in the collection. You can now duplicate the collection and have an empty parented within the collection as a duplicate. You can use Select Objects on the Collection or Select Hierarchy on the group. But you can easily duplicate the collection in the Outliner without selecting anything.

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Hope this helps and please ask anymore questions. I am glad to help. Others more knowledgeable than me might have even better advise or addons.

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Well I puit it also under the vid, I think a lot of the visualisation problems could be solved if the relationship lines would be:
a) give a different theme color than wireframe,
b) these lines have different colors when the paren is in selected and unselected state…

just a thought…

ok I tried it, here two versions how things could look:

code changes in the video descript migjht be also usefull for other relation lines

The solution to your initial question is Machin3tools’ grouping (which is actually just parenting objects to empties). This solution was created as response to Andrew Hodginson’s rant. You’ll see as you go through the topic from where it started: MACHIN3tools - #544 by MACHIN3

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This is one aspect of Blender where I think that “the developers took a step backwards …”

I would say rather sideways and much much better. It is a vast improvement over 2.79.

Sideways I say because they completely ignored good solid concepts of Layers (which Blender had) and rather than replace with a better more proven system of layers, integrated it in a very clumsy way within Outliner.

A layer indication or display of some kind in Outliner would be an improvement over Maya for example. Because Maya layers and how it handles transforms and parenting can cause a great deal of confusion and actually it is a system that breaks real easy and you have to work extra hard to maintain.

But outside of an indication as to which layer something is in, Layers do no belong in Outliner. Granted, this is a display option. But with this option you are actively working with and managing layers in Outliner. I don’t think this is a good design.

But it is far better than 20 yaers with no way to name them (without an addon).

I would say rather sideways and much much better. It is a vast improvement over 2.79.

Sideways I say because they completely ignored good solid concepts of Layers (which Blender had) and rather than replace with a better more proven system of layers, integrated it in a very clumsy way within Outliner.

A layer indication or display of some kind in Outliner would be an improvement over Maya for example. Because Maya layers and how it handles transforms and parenting can cause a great deal of confusion and actually it is a system that breaks real easy and you have to work extra hard to maintain. A layer display of some kind in Maya would help this. (I am not aware of any though I could be wrong)

But outside of an indication as to which layer something is in, Layers do no belong in Outliner. Granted, this is a display option. But with this option you are actively working with and managing layers in Outliner. I don’t think this is a good design.

But it is far better than only 20 layers with no way to name them (without an addon).