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DupliGroup

Mode: Object mode

Panel: Anim settings » DupliGroup

Hotkey: F7

DupliGroup allows you to create an instance of a group with the transformation of the object.

Basic Usage

  • Create a group of objects by selecting the objects to be grouped and pressing CtrlG → Add to new group.
  • To name the group, select one of the objects in the group you just created and press F7 to switch to the Object context. Edit the name displayed in the GR: block of the Object and Links panel.
  • Select Add » Group » [name of group you just created].


DupliGroup and Dynamic Linking

See Appending and Linking to understand how to dynamically link data from another .blend file into the current file. You can dynamically link groups from one blend file to another. When you do so, the linked group does not appear anywhere in your scene until you create an object controlling where the group instance appears.

Example

From here, you can use the easy way or the hard way:

  • The easy way:
  • Select Add » Group » [name of group you just linked].
  • The hard way:
  • Select Add » Empty, and select the empty that you added.
  • Switch to the Object context with F7.
  • Click DupliGroup.
  • Under GR:, type the name of the group that you linked.

At this point, an instance of the group will appear. You can duplicate the empty, and the DupliGroup settings will be preserved for each empty. This way, you can get multiple copies of linked data very easily.

Making a DupliGroup Objects Real

Say you want to make further edits on an DupliGroup instance or render the DupliGroup in Yafaray or some other render that does not support importing DupliGroups directly:

Simply select your DupliGroup and press Ctrl⇧ ShiftA to convert the DupliGroup into an regular objects that can be transformed and animated normally.

Note that if the DupliGroup was linked from an external file the Object Data (mesh, materials, textures, transforms) will also still be linked from that file. However, the various object’s parent-child relationships do not carry over.

Armatures

Often you’ll want to animate the linked group – but by default, you can’t move any object in the group individually! If you use DupliGroups and proxy objects, you can create multiple instances of a linked group. Development of this feature is a work in progress; in Blender 2.43 and CVS (as of 29 April 2007), a proxy object controls all instances of a group. It is not yet possible to have one proxy per group instance.

To animate with armatures:

  • Link a group containing an armature from another file into your scene, as described in Appending and Linking.
  • Select Add » Group » [name of group you just linked].
  • In the 3D window, select the empty that controls the new group instance and press CtrlAltP. Select the armature and you’ll have a proxy for it.

If you are using a POSIX compliant file system, you can work around the one proxy object per group limitation with the cheap hack documented at Linked Lib Animation Madness.