link unlink link materials

Started by andy.engelkemier, October 09, 2014, 11:15:35 AM

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I've had to show a few people how to do this, and they look at me like I'm crazy. So maybe I'm crazy? I get, "No, there has to be an easier way."

Basically, someone messed up somewhere and ended up linking 2 colors. This happens A LOT.
So lets say there are 40 parts under one group named silver. And there are 15 parts grouped as Red. Silver accidentally links to red. So first bummer, my Silver material is now gone because no objects have that material anymore. Many of you might be familiar with that, but I come from a few other packages where materials exist in the scene regardless if they are attached to objects or not unless you specifically tell them to go away, but that's the way it is, so we're stuck with it.

So I unlink my material. Now I have 55 copies of Red.
I can create a new silver material on one of the silver objects, copy that, then apply it to the group. So now there is one silver, and 15 red.
Now I select the reds and link them back together.

Is that right?

I guess I'm amazed at how not user friendly that is that there isn't another way that I'm just missing.
And if those parts aren't actually in 2 different groups? Well, that was your fault because you should have layered them properly in your modeling software, but I'm sure it's happened to everyone at least once. Maybe you forgot to move the graphics you cut out to a new layer or something. Well, if you did that, then you have to go back and manually pick those one by one before you merge things together.


If I understand you correctly, you could drop an arbitrary material from the material library onto the group you wish to change, e.g. Silver (in the scene tree). All parts under the group will get the dropped material (linked) and all the parts on other groups will retain their original materials. Then you can modify the dropped material afterwards.

I can see that this might not be the obvious way of doing this. Hope this helps.


You don't understand correctly. Yes, that's the first part.
But if you then assign that color to something else, the material is linked to multiple groups. If you did that on accident somewhere along the line, Then you have an issue. Or if you want to unlink only one part.

The annoyance is that there doesn't seem to be a way to unlink only one part, or a small selection of parts. You have to unlink the material, which explodes that in to the number of parts it is assigned to. Then you can select the parts that you wanted to unlink, link those, assign something else, then link the others back together. But this is kind of a long and arduous task for something that could be so simple.

I would actually prefer that materials existed as their own entity also, because currently, as you assign materials around, you occasionally lose a material when you realize something was linked that you weren't aware of. Or if you just want to see what a different material looks like for a second, you have to do some extra steps of creating a new piece of geometry, assign that material (as a copy, else you link them) to that geometry, hide it, then you are free to play around with previewing different materials.
This is too many steps for something so simple. And you can't count on undo either. I still don't know which actions will undo and which won't.


You can unlink individual parts in the scene tree. If you prefer to click on a part in the realtime window then you can select 'show part in scene tree' and then in the scene tree select 'unlink material'.