This is one of several flowers for a Milkweed plant I am making for an animation project.

I am still working on this section of the mesh/object(?), but I want to duplicate this section of the flower and continue to working on rest of the Milkweed plant. Is that possible? Sorry, just stared learning Blender a couple months back. Thanks!

Edit: Resolved..

Still not exactly sure how to make variations, with minimal memory usage, but the Collection Instance seems to have done the trick!

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Hello, maybe but could you please explain a bit more what you'd like to do with the Array? $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Jan 21, 2023 at 7:11
  • $\begingroup$ I need more flowers for the rest of the plant, but I want to be able to fix things later. The flower object, in screenshot, is made from five separate meshes, each of which I repeated 5 times radially with an array modifier. I parented the “MilkweedBody” to the other sections of the flower. I do not want to permanently join the sections into single mesh-I don’t think(?). I tried to duplicate the meshes (linked and unlinked so that I can create variations) but it just splits the sections apart when transforming. The flower(s) is(are) an important asset for character interaction in an animation. $\endgroup$ Jan 21, 2023 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ *I mean.. Milkweed plant(s) is(are) an important asset for character interaction in an animation ..I am making. So I’m sure I’ll need to better understand constraints and whatnot later on. $\endgroup$ Jan 21, 2023 at 12:13
  • $\begingroup$ Re: edit .. if you need to make variations on the instances procedurally, (beyond object-level transforms) they will not be entirely instances, sharing mesh-data, any more, so there will be some hit on memory .. there are probably some cool tricks, (maybe Geometry Nodes, or other procedural deformation) but those would depend on your exact case, I think. $\endgroup$
    – Robin Betts
    Jan 22, 2023 at 12:32
  • $\begingroup$ Sounds good! I tend to do too much detail in the early stages of art and so I am trying to get out of that bad habit, but didn't want to create more work than needed before creating stages/nonuniformity for pose-to-pose and whatnot in the making of the animation. I will learn more about the use of Geometry nodes and procedural deformation. Working in Blender is somewhat overwhelming, but enjoyable! I am glad the community is so helpful-I will pay it forward as I improve. Thanks again! $\endgroup$ Jan 23, 2023 at 2:06

1 Answer 1


This may be the right place for Collection Instances

If you include your Array-modified petal, and any object that has been used to give it an Object Offset, in a new collection, then you can make a instance from the collection. You can edit or transform the original objects inside their collection.

Modifiers remain 'live', and adjustments will affect all instances.

Collection Instances can be nested.

Here, a Plane, and a rotated Empty used to give it a radial object-offset array, have been added to a new collection. Then a collection Instance has been Shift A added to the scene, aimed at the collection.

To illustrate, a cube has had its 'Instancing' setting in its Object tab set to 'Vertices'. The Collection Instance has been parented to the cube:

enter image description here

Everything remains live, and adjustable.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thank you for this suggestion/info/example! I actually saw a quick video last night about Collection Instances and was going to give it a try today! Not sure if I am allowed to reference/accredit a Youtuber, but they also had another video on 6 methods of creating arrays and mentioned a method about parenting with a circular array to an instance using vertices, but had the same result as when I tried to transform from duplicating. Nesting the collection does seem to make sense! Thanks again! $\endgroup$ Jan 21, 2023 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ @ScottLaMere No problem! BTW 'Array' in the Blender UI refers to specific kind of instancing, in which the transform between element n and element n+1 is always the same. I think you mean more general instancing, in your original post .... $\endgroup$
    – Robin Betts
    Jan 21, 2023 at 20:53

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