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.

How to PARENT and UNPARENT objects in Blender
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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

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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