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I am using copies of an object using Alt-D, but I need them to have their own different origins each. When I try to change each object's origin, it changes the origin of all linked objects (which I understand it supposed to work this way). Is there a way to select specific changes that only affect one linked object, even if they are linked via Alt-copying? And can it be done for the origin? Thank you

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    $\begingroup$ The data of a mesh includes all its vertex-locations measured in Object space ( i.e. with respect to the location of the object's origin, in the orientation of its axes.) So you're right. If you link the data, you link the origins. $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts Nov 9 '20 at 7:46
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You could parent the second duplicate to an empty object and use the offset between the two as the wanted offset between the origins.

enter image description here

As for you other question, I don't think it is in the philosophy of linked duplicates to allow for a different origin.

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  • $\begingroup$ Dear Gorgious. I have now studied the topic of empties and realized I was looking at it all wrong. Parenting and empties are the solution. Thank you! $\endgroup$ – Coldsun Nov 10 '20 at 3:13
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    $\begingroup$ Also consider the other answer, collection instances are both easier to use and lighter on performance. They are trickier to get the hang of, but they are definitely more powerful if you want to re-use the exact same data across multiple objects $\endgroup$ – Gorgious Nov 10 '20 at 8:41
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You could make single-item Collection Instances of your object.

  • Apply the transforms of your object with World 0 at a convenient position, relative to the mesh, for a 'base' origin.
  • Create a collection for the linked copy of the object, and ShiftM link the object to the new collection
  • ShiftA > Collection Instance create a new instance of the collection.
  • In the original object's Object > Collections panel, you can change the offset of the object with respect to each of the collection instances it belongs to.

The collection instances are, for the purposes of transforms, parenting, etc., objects, with the created Empties as their object origins.

If you find the offset sliders inconvenient, you could include your own Empty-parent in each of the instanced collections, at World 0 when the instances are created, to act as instance origin.

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  • $\begingroup$ Dear Robin. Thank you for your answer. It took me a while to get into your suggestion as I am new to Blender. Learning a lot from instances now, very useful. All the best. $\endgroup$ – Coldsun Nov 21 '20 at 15:16

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