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I am an intermediate Blender user, and even though I know the solution to a particular problem I am having, I don't understand the behaviour of the software in response to my input. I feel that if I understood the behaviour more thoroughly, I would understand the solution better, as well as many related problems, that I think would go away, and leave me with more hair, and less frustration. In short, when I wish to create an object, assign it to follow a path, and then wish to move both object and path in tandem to a final location for the scene to render, what operations are the most optimal to make that happen? Because what invariably happens, is that when I copy or duplicate, the object still floats off on its own trajectory, apart from the path it is presumably assigned to. Even though the solution is control g and Apply All Transforms, doesn't anyone at Blender think that the default behaviour/response should be consistent? Whereby after the user inputs values of attachment between objects, shouldn't it be understood that they most likely want those value attachments to persist through another operation?
I can't imagine anyone going through all the trouble to place an object on a path, add keyframes, monkey around with object properties and modifiers galore, only to have the object become unattached to its assigned path! So, if someone can just explain to me the fundamental underlying behavior, I would be more likely to recommend Blender to others. Also: whenever concepts overlap, those should be thoroughly addressed. Like, for instance, the real differences between options in the Link actions submenu (link materials, obj properties, animation, etc) or the real differences between copy and paste, duplicate objects, and link, Join, Merge, and so on. Thank you in advance for any and all assistance.

Regards. Darren

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  • $\begingroup$ This is purely a Q&A forum run by enthusiast Blender users to assist with problems using Blender. No-one here works for or has any attachment to the developers at the Blender Institute. $\endgroup$
    – John Eason
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 14:16

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If you want to move the object that has a Follow Path constraint and its curve, and avoid the object drifting away, just move the curve.

To make an object start at the tip of a curve, the object needs to be at the center of the scene. You'll see that as soon as you'll clear the location of the object (shortcut AltG), it will jump at the start of the curve. Its location will remain 000 even though it's visually not its location. The Follow Path curve acts like a kind of parent.

So if you ever decide to move the object and its curve, only move the curve, and the object will follow, because if you also move the object, it will move away from the 000 location, and therefore it will move away from the tip of the curve.

See the difference:

enter image description here

As for duplications (or copy) and linked duplcations. In the first case (simple duplication) you create a new object that contains a mesh that is a copy of the original, but which is distinct, which means that any edit on the mesh won't affect the copies. Whereas in the second case (linked duplcations) you create a new object that contains a mesh that is not only a copy of the original, but it is the same, which means that when you'll edit this mesh, it will affect all its copy.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for duplicate clarifications, that helps! However, I'm fairly certain I've moved the curve, as you put it, plenty of times, without any object on the curve or path following it correctly. It always deviates, and I have to reposition it. But, as you said, the solution seems to be, just move everything to the center or world origin, and then create objects, paths, key frames, etc. However, this will make the center very crowded, I would think; and so, my question for developers is, why not simply cut to the chase, and have an object already attached to a path, stay on the path? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 14:33
  • $\begingroup$ As I said you should only need to move the curve, don't move the object, see my edit, and you don't need to put everything at the center of the scene. Maybe your problem is that you've parented the object to the curve, in that case deparent with Alt P $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, thank you for saving me some headaches! The issue was, that every time I finished animating an object on a path, without fail, I would try to pick up and move both path and object, and it was always, always the object that was selected, not the path! Thank you, this should help tremendously. However, I would still ask, simply, if the object has just been animated on a path, why on Earth, Mars, or Venus would you want to then have them separated immediately after? It makes no sense to this pea-brained grasshopper, and I'm sure, is causing some Blender Basic frustration out there! $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 6:51
  • $\begingroup$ And following the same logic, ("when I join something, I probably want to keep it joined for now"), it ultimately wouldn't matter if I had selected the object or the path; if they are connected in some way, and I exerted strenuous effort to connect them, I guess it's asking too much of software to assume I want them to stay connected. One huge disconnect between PCs and users is, the PC can never infer from the length of time spent on a problem what the intent of the user truly is. At any rate, thank you once again for your assistance! $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 6:54
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I am aware of deparenting and becoming a Single User once again after certain connections, data transfers have been made. But your illustrations and help are greatly appreciated; thank you. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 6:59

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