Grouping Objects

You can organize 3D objects, cameras, and lights into groups for the purpose of selection, applying operations, assigning properties and shaders, and attaching materials and textures. Creating groups means that you don’t need to reselect the same set of objects each time you want to work with them. Groups are sometimes called “named selections”.

Besides being able to organize objects into groups, you can also create a group of groups. An object can be a member of more than one group. Groups, however, can’t be added in hierarchies. They can only live immediately beneath the scene root or a model.

Even if an object is in a group, it can still be individually selected and manipulated.

For information on duplicating groups, see Duplicating and Cloning Objects.


In Softimage, groups are tool for organizing and sharing properties. If you are coming from another software package and want to control transformations, for example, in a character rig, see Transform Groups (Parenting with Null Objects) [Animation].

Groups cannot contain components such as polygons and points. Named selections of components are called clusters in Softimage. See Components and Clusters.

Creating Groups

Any parameter values or operations applied to a group of objects are shared by each member of the group. Parameter values are stored at a group level and override any existing values previously assigned to any members within the group. Original values are kept for each object or component in a group.

To create a group

1. Select one or more objects you want in the group; you can also select multiple groups.

2. Do one of the following:

- Click the Group button in the Edit panel or press Ctrl+G.



- In the explorer, right-click on one of the selected objects and choose Create Group.

3. In the Group property editor, enter a name for your group and select the different View Visibility, Render Visibility, Selectability, View Playback Visibility, and Animation Ghosting options.


You cannot animate these options. To animate the visibility or selectability of objects in a group, you must apply an override to the group. For more information about overrides, see Overriding Properties.

All selected objects are grouped together. In the explorer, you can see the group with all its members within it.



To select a group, click the Group button in the Select panel, then click any member of the group. For more information, see Selecting Groups.

Selecting Groups

You can select groups in the 3D and schematic views using the Group selection button or the = key. Note that the Group button changes to the Cluster button when a component filter is active.


As an alternative, you can also use the Explore button on the Select panel to list all groups in the scene.

Once a group is selected, you can select it members.

To select groups

1. Do one of the following:

- Activate the Group selection button on the Select panel with any selection tool.


- Press the = key while performing the next step.

2. Use the mouse to select any member of the group in the 3D or schematic views.

- If an object is a member of a group, the group is selected.

- If an object is a member of multiple groups, all groups are selected. You can use the Selection button to refine the selection further (see Refining the Selection with the Selection Explorer).

- If an object is not a member of any group, the object itself is selected.

- If a hierarchy is a member of a group then you must select the root of the hierarchy rather than a descendant, even if the hierarchy was added to the group as a branch or tree.

To explore all groups in the scene

• Choose Explore > Groups from the Select panel. A pop-up explorer opens showing all groups in the scene.

You can use this pop-up explorer to select one or more groups just as in an explorer window. See Selecting Elements in the Explorer [Interface and Tools].

To select the members of a group

• With a group selected, choose Select > Select Members/Components. The members of the group are selected as multiple objects.

Adding and Removing Elements from Groups

You can add items to or remove individual items from groups.

To add items to a group

1. Select the group to which you want to add objects.

2. Add the desired objects to the selection.

In the case of groups of groups, everything will be added to the first group you selected in step 1.

3. Do one of the following:

- In the Edit panel, click the + button (next to the Group button).



- In the Edit panel, choose Edit > Add to Group.


- In the explorer, right-click on the group and choose Add to Group.


- Drag the objects and drop them onto the group node in an explorer. With this method, you do not need to select the group first.

To remove objects from a group

1. If the objects to be removed are members of more than one group, first select the group that contains them.

2. Select the objects to be removed from the group.

3. Do one of the following:

- In the Edit panel, click the button (next to the Group button).



- In the Edit panel, choose Edit > Remove from Group.


- Go to node of the desired group in the explorer, right-click the icon of the object to be removed, and choose Remove from Group. With this method, you do not need to select the group first (in the case of multiple groups).



Deleting Groups

When you delete groups, only the relationship between the objects is deleted, not the objects themselves.

When you delete an element that contains other groups, the “parent” group is removed and the “child” groups are preserved.

To delete a group

1. Select the group you want ungrouped.

2. Do one of the following:

- Choose Edit > Remove Group from the Edit panel or press Ctrl+Shift+G.


- In the explorer, right-click on the group and choose Remove Group.


You can search for all groups in a scene using the Groups (All) query in the spreadsheet. It lists all of the groups, their name and number of members, and the list of members. For each member, there is also some visibility information. See The Spreadsheet [Interface and Tools] for more information.

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