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Best way to handle multi-layer/LOD models in Blender?


Vulpinus
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So far, my work flow is to create my different LOD models in different layers. That's been easy with simple designs, but now I want to import objects from one Blender file (for instance, a window) with its multiple LOD layers into another design (a house), duplicate it and reposition the duplicates, etc. All while keeping the different LOD models 'together' in their different layers of course. I plan on making a library of parts to pull into my designs.

How is it best to achieve this, or is there a better way than how I am working? (please tell me before I waste too much time doing what I am ;-)

I've looked at grouping and parenting, neither of which seem to accomplish what I'm trying to acheive. For instance, after parenting all the LOD layes of the window, I still seem unable to duplicate all of it in one go, and importing it (with Shift-F1) into another design just shows the individual parts, not the group as a single object. Perhaps I'm missing something there.

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I have my LODs on different layers as well. Whenever I want to duplicate and move them I select the layers the models are on to all be visible, select the objects with box select (b)  and copy them (shift-d or alt-d) and then move them. I don't know about grouping or parenting options, I never use those.

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Hi :)

Good question, Its not something i have ever tried before so i gave it a go.

In a new Blender file I created a "window" mesh object on Layer 1 and a "window_LOD_Medium" on Layer 2 and a "window_LOD_Low" object on layer 3. I Parented the two lower LOD meshes to the "window" mesh and saved the file.



 

From a new Blender file I opened the Append menu and went to my saved "window" file and opened the Object folder, selected the 3 Objects there and unchecked the Active Layer option from the append menu. The appended objects were brought into the 3D window and the mesh on layer one was still the Parent of the other two objects. Moving and rotating the "window" mesh in Object mode resulted in the child meshes also being moved and rotated. ( Often when I selected all three layers together to see if the child meshes were following the parent object, the child objects had not moved but then, with all three layers still open,  selecting only the parent object and hitting the G key (and not moving anything) the child objects snapped to the correct positions).



Next I grouped all three (parent and child objects) to a new group saved as a new file. Opened a new blender file and this time: Append > Group > and selected my new "window group" and it opened just as the previous time with parent and child objects on separate layers as in my original "window" file.



So unless I'm misunderstanding what it is you are trying to do i can say it does seem to work ok for me :)

 

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Thanks for youre reply Aquila, and sorry for my late one (RL is a pain at times).

Yes, you certainly understand correctly what I am trying to do, and I think I've mostly got the hang of it the way you've said.

I was confused by having to have all the layers visible at first in order to duplicate the parented set. Other than that I'm still on the learning curve with Blender's interface. I've discovered I can select and do things to objects in the Outliner view. That's coming in handy!

I wonder if I can group and parent a set of objects at the same time, so I can take advantage of the Group tab in Append to pull in the whole, parented set. I don't even have a Group tab but possibly that's because I didn't make any groups in that file. I'll investigate that later, I have bigger problems right now to sort out.

Right, next thread...

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