Small Object Animation

I am making an animation that requires me to move several small objects as though they were one object.

I have 50 metaballs dupliverted around a circle. I need to be able to manipulate them as a whole but move them one at a time. I envision the metaballs coming together to form a shape and then changing within that shape. Then they pull apart and come back together into another shape. How can I do this?

i think you just need to set keyframes for each metaball. luckily there are only 3 keyframes to set. one for a neutral formation, and then one for each formation thereafter.

you could parent the small balls to the big ball. That would let you move the big ball and manipulate them, or manipulate them individually.

thanks. . . never thought of this. Since this is only a test, then I guess it will be allright.

BTW . . . . the anim I working on is at (Render.wmv)