How to PARENT and UNPARENT objects in Blender

In both Blender and Uni­ty you can estab­lish a hier­ar­chi­cal rela­tion­ship between objects in the scene, in Blender this is reflect­ed in the Out­lin­er while in Uni­ty we see it in the Hier­ar­chy win­dow. If we have an object that is relat­ed to a sec­ond object called par­ent, when the par­ent object is trans­formed, mean­ing by trans­for­ma­tion the state of posi­tion, rota­tion and scale or a change in these prop­er­ties, this trans­for­ma­tion also applies to the child object since the prop­er­ties defined in this one are cal­cu­lat­ed rel­a­tive to the par­ent. In this arti­cle we see how to par­ent objects in Blender and then how to remove that par­ent rela­tion­ship.

ABOUT THIS VIDEO

In this video we see how to par­ent and unpar­ent objects in Blender, an exam­ple in which you have three objects and estab­lish par­ent rela­tion­ships between them. 

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Summary on how to parent objects in Blender

1. Select the objects to be linked and make the par­ent object the active selection.

Press CTRL+P and choose the way you want to par­ent them, usu­al­ly the "Object (Keep Trans­form)" option.

SEE DETAILED PROCEDURE

Summary on how to un-parent objects in Blender

1. Select the objects to be unparented.

2. Press ALT+P and choose the option with which you want to remove the rela­tion­ship, usu­al­ly the "Clear and Keep Trans­for­ma­tion" option.

SEE DETAILED PROCEDURE

CHECK OUT THIS CRAZY EXPERIMENT

How to parent objects in Blender — Detailed process

We start with a scene con­tain­ing two objects, "Object1" and "Object2" as shown in the Out­lin­er win­dow in Fig­ure 1.

The first thing we are going to do is to select the objects we want to parent.

ATTENTION


In fig­ures 2 and 3 both objects have been select­ed but both cas­es are NOT EQUIVALENT, notice that one of the objects is high­light­ed in yel­low, in the case of fig­ure 2 it is the cube on the right while in fig­ure 3 it is the cube on the left.

The object high­light­ed in yel­low is the "Active Selec­tion" and when we par­ent these objects the par­ent will be the object we have as the active selection.


blender outliner showing two objects to be related in blender
Fig. 1: In the scene we have two objects to be related.

two 3d models selected in blender, the active selection is the right object
Fig. 2: Both objects are select­ed, the active selec­tion is the object on the right.
two 3d models selected in blender, the active selection is the left object
Fig. 3: Both objects are select­ed, the active selec­tion is the object on the left.

To relate one or more objects to anoth­er par­ent object we press CTRL+P which dis­plays the win­dow shown in Fig­ure 4 in which we can choose the type of rela­tion­ship, in gen­er­al I choose the option "Object (Keep Trans­form)", which makes the child object cal­cu­lates its local trans­for­ma­tion from the ori­gin of the par­ent object and also keeps the posi­tion in which it is.

Window for parenting objects to the object that is the active selection.
Fig. 4: Win­dow for par­ent­ing objects to the object that is the active selection.

In fig­ure 5 we see the result of apply­ing a rota­tion to the par­ent object, the child object rotates as a whole due to the par­ent rela­tion­ship. In fig­ure 6 we see that we can rotate the child with respect to its own ori­gin and this does not affect the par­ent object.

two parent 3d models in Blender, the rotation to the parent object is applied to the child object.
Fig. 5: When the par­ent object is rotat­ed this rota­tion is trans­ferred to the child objects.
two parent 3d models in Blender, the rotation of the child object does not affect the parent object
Fig. 6: The child object can be rotat­ed indi­vid­u­al­ly and this does not affect the par­ent object.

In the Blender Out­lin­er we see the par­ent rela­tion­ship that has been estab­lished, object 1 is now con­tained with­in object 2.

blender outliner showing two related objects in blender
Fig. 7: In the Blender Out­lin­er the rela­tion­ship between these objects is reflected.

How to unparent objects in Blender — Detailed procedure

Start­ing from the pre­vi­ous objects that are relat­ed, we are now going to unpar­ent the objects. To do this, select the object to be unpar­ent­ed and press ALT+P, the win­dow shown in fig­ure 8 appears, gen­er­al­ly I choose the option "Clear and Keep Trans­for­ma­tion" which removes the par­ent rela­tion­ship and keeps the posi­tion, rota­tion and scale of the object. As shown in fig­ure 9, now both objects are at the same hier­ar­chi­cal level.

Window to undo the parent relationship of an object to other objects.
Fig. 8: Win­dow for remov­ing an object's par­ent rela­tion­ship to oth­er objects.
blender outliner showing two objects at the same hierarchical level in Blender
Fig. 9: In the Out­lin­er we again have both objects at the same hier­ar­chi­cal level.

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