Is it possible to Weight Paint unique Weight patterns on Linked Duplicates, that share the same mesh? I can't work out how to do it.

In the example images I have set up I have two spheres one is a linked duplicate created with Alt+D. They both share the same particle system using the smaller third sphere as the Instance Object. I want the same Particle System to be used on both spheres but with separate areas painted in weight paint. How do I achieve this?

When I open the right sphere in Weight Paint mode and start painting, it just inherits the same pattern from the left sphere.

I'm guessing it's something to do with Vertex Groups but is it possible for the same Particle System applied to Linked Duplicates to use multiple Vertex Groups where each one is uniquely painted in Weight Paint?

In the images you can see that the right sphere just inherits the pattern from the left.

I hope that is clear, if not please comment and I can try and edit for clarity.

Sincere thanks for your help.

Two Spheres Different Weight Paint

Weight Paint on the Left SphereThe Right Sphere just inherits the same pattern

The Particle System setup

  • $\begingroup$ If you create 2 vertex groups on the same object, then link-duplicate the object, in the Density field you can use the first vertex group for the first object and the second one for the second object, so the object share the same mesh but the emission will happen on 2 different areas, is it what you want? $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Apr 27, 2020 at 21:34
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a million @moonboots that did it. I knew I was close. So the asnwer: when you select a Linked Duplicate, you have to add a new Vertex Group with a new name, and do the new Weight Paint on that Group. And then call for that new Vertex Group in the Density field under Vertex Groups in Particle Settings for the Duplicate. Wish I could UL a screenshot in the comments. If you draft it as an answer I'll approve it. Otherwise if you don't get to it, I'll do the same and get it up there. Thanks again. $\endgroup$
    – Aubrey
    Apr 28, 2020 at 10:49

1 Answer 1


Select your object, go in Edit mode and assign a vertex group to the faces that are supposed to emit the particles. Then in the Properties panel > Particles, create your particle settings and in the Vertex Groups submenu > Density field, choose the vertex group you've created.

Link-duplicate your object (AltD), go in Edit mode and assign a new vertex group to the faces that are supposed to emit the particles on this second object. Then in the Vertex Groups submenu > Density field, choose this new group.

The objects are still linked but the particles emission will happen on 2 different parts.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Nice one @moonboots , thank you. In my case I already have a dozen or so instances or Linked Duplicates, so I was trying to do it retroactively, but the same method seems to work. If you create the new Vertex Group before weight painting or assigning the faces to that group. $\endgroup$
    – Aubrey
    Apr 28, 2020 at 11:31

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