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I was wondering if there was a solution for this. As you can see in the picture below, I parented all the objects to the empty object. However, when trying to move the empty object towards the selected sphere the objects move along with it.

enter image description here

So how do we only move the parent to the selected sphere without the objects being moved when trying not clearing its parent?

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    $\begingroup$ I think it's not possible. $\endgroup$ – Igor Svara Dec 1 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ Could you please elaborate somewhat on why the need for parenting? The child of constraint can be used to only parent when desired, akin to the oft asked pick up an object question. ie after not behaving like parent while moving to location it becomes parent later? is that the intention. $\endgroup$ – batFINGER Dec 1 at 15:52
  • $\begingroup$ If it's just for adjusting the relative position of the empty to have an easier time animating, use the "options" menu in the top right of the 3D View. There you can activate the "Parents" to only move the parents. This does not work with animation, so if you need animation related decoupling of child parent, please adjust/elaborate the question and title to fit in that regard a bit more. $\endgroup$ – Xylvier Dec 1 at 16:07
  • $\begingroup$ Why not just have an empty for rotating and have that empty parented to another for moving? You may want to look into using constraints as well. $\endgroup$ – Chris Dec 2 at 18:55
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Need the parenting to rotate multiple sphere and also move it around to create another formation while animating. Something like the picture below

enter image description here

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While it's not the easy solution you may look for, there exists an add-on called "Dynamic Parent", which allows coupling and decoupling to parents with the press of a button. Easiest to understand by looking at the forum with it's showcase/examples.

Dynamic Parent Add-on

It should be possible to use it for the animation you showed by using empties that either move the group of spheres or rotate them in a group, while you can transform the spheres along the way. The only thing different in your case is that you have multiple children and parents to switch, may need some organisation, otherwise it should be possible to work with. You need to connect each parent to each child (two objects) at a time. Maybe later versions of the add-on will allow more.

I made a little example, using 4 parents and 4 child objects.

Be aware though that you have to keep the order of what happens in mind, else it can easy become hard to fix. Save often in between the changes to be save.

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