Selecting in Blender with Parents and Groups

By Jason van Gumster

When you’re using parenting and groups in Blender, you gain the ability to rapidly select your objects according to their groupings. Press Shift+G, and you see a pop-up menu with a variety of options:

  • Children: If you have a parent object selected, choosing this option adds all that object’s children to the list of selected objects.

  • Immediate Children: Similar to selecting all children, except this option traverses down the hierarchy by one step only. Children of children are not added to the selection.

  • Parent: If the object you’ve selected has a parent object, that parent is added to the selection.

  • Siblings: This option is useful for selecting all the children of a single parent. It does not select the parent object, nor does it select any children that these sibling objects may have.

  • Type: This option is useful for making very broad selections. Use Type when you want to select all lamps or all meshes or armatures in a scene. This option bases its selection on the type of object you currently have selected.

  • Layer: Use this option to select objects that live on the same layers. If an object is on multiple layers, any objects that share any layer with your selected object are added to the selection.

  • Group: This option adds to the selection any object that is in the same group as your selected object. If the selected object belongs to more than one group, a secondary pop-up menu displays each of the group names for you to choose from.

  • Hook: If you’ve added hooks, which are objects that control selected vertices or control points in an object, this option selects them.

  • Pass: Similar to layers, objects may have a Pass Index value that is useful for compositing and post-production work in Blender. Choosing this option selects any objects that share the active object’s Pass Index value.

  • Color: This option allows you to select objects that have the same color, regardless of whether or not they link to the same material datablock.

  • Properties: Blender gives you the ability to add custom properties to objects (like a Health property for characters in a game). Choose this option, and all objects that have the same properties are selected.

  • Keying Set: Keying sets are used for organizing a group of objects and properties for animation. They’re properties that all have keyframes set at the same time. This option selects all objects that share the current object’s keying set.

  • Lamp Type: This option is similar to the Type option, though it’s specific to lamps. If you currently have a lamp selected, choosing this option also selects any lamps that are of the same type (such as Spot, Point, Area, and so on).