Object Groups

Viewing Groups

As the Canvas becomes more populated, it can be difficult to discern which Objects are members of which groups without having to refer back to the Object List. Color coding helps, but to make it even more clear, it’s possible to see which Objects are linked together within a group.  

  1. Open the Canvas Display Options


  2. Click Connections


    You now see linesthat are linking the individual Thrush Objects to the Thrush Group Object. You can even adjust the visual thickness of the connection line to make it easier to see, or in some cases make it thinner to reduce visual clutter.

  3. Adjust the Connection Size up and down and settle with it being a thin line.

  4. Double-click the Thrush group Object and drag the Z axis up to a height of 12 meters.


    As a whole, the Thrush group moves high above the aviary!

    Now that you know how to configure a group, it makes sense to make the Sparrows part of their own group.
  5. Group the Sparrows, rename and color the parent Object.


    Notice that the Object representing the group is positioned at the Scene origin. For this reason it’s better to position the Objects relative to each other first, then group them together, and then reposition the group. 


Moving Objects Between Groups

The bird that you originally implemented in Lesson 2 is all alone. You can easily add it to any flock. Since that bird sounds like a Thrush, you’ll add it to the Thrush group. Any Object can be added to a group, or moved from one to another by simply changing its location in the Object List Hierarchy.

  1. In the Object List Drag the Bird Object to just below the Thrush group.


    The Canvas focuses on the Thrush group and its members, in which case you see the Bird Object now has a connection to the Thrush group parent. To make it match visually you just need to change its name and color. If you haven’t explicitly changed the color until this point it will be set to inherit the color of its parent Object.

  2. Click the Bird Object and in the name field at the top of the Inspector, change the name to Thrush 05, and change its color to Red. Since it’s high above the rest, drag it down towards the group of Thrushes.


    Note: manually changing its color to Red overrides its previous ‘inherited color’ setting.



Transforming Groups

In Lesson 3, you used Spatials transform feature to rotate a single Object on multiple axes and even change the Object's size. Transform can also work on groups, letting you quickly adjust the scaled distance between Objects within agroup or rotate a group’s members around the group’s parent Object. To see this at work, add in one last bird species, which will be thrushes. 

  1. Into the Scene root, import Kinglet 01.wav through Kinglet 04.wav, initially space them into a box as you’ve done before, group them and change the group’s color to Magenta.


    That was a lot of steps, so compare your work to the image above. 

  2. Select the Kinglet Group, and in the Inspector’s Transform area, drag the Scale slider to the right.


    You see the Kinglet Objects move further away from the Kinglet’s group parent, creating more distance between each of the birds.

    You can also adjust the Pitch, Roll and Yaw of the group, causing the individual Kinglet Objects to circle around the Thrushes group parent. 

  3. Experiment with adjusting the Pitch, Roll and Yaw dials by clicking and dragging them in a circular motion, leaving them in a position that looks interesting to you.


    There’s a good chance that because the Kinglets Group parent was at ground level, that some of the Kinglets have become buried below ground. You’ll need to fix that.
  4. Raise the Kinglets group to where the lowest bird is at ground level.


    Tip: depending on what rotation you’ve ended up with, the Object manipulation tool may not reflect the intended direction. Utilize the Z value in the inspector to raise up the Kinglets.


Grouping within Groups

It’s possible to place groups within groups, nesting them within each other. This can be a powerful creative and management tool. To see this, place the Sparrows, Kinglets and Thrushes into a single Birds group. 

  1. Collapse the Sparrows, Kinglets and Thrushes Objects in the Object List.


  2. Select all three of the Bird groups, right-click and choose Group Selected Objects.


  3. Name the new Object Birds.


    Now the three bird flocks all reside within the Bird Group. Now you can easily scale the spacing of all of the birds within the aviary, while still maintaining the ability to manipulate each independent set of birds.

  4. With the Birds Object selected, drag the Transform slider to the right.


    You see how the individual bird Objects are pushed outward from the origin point, quickly expanding the apparent space of the aviary!

    Now that all of the birds exist within a single Birds group, you can easily mute or solo the entire bird group.

  5. Unmute the Water Feature and click the Mute and Solo buttons on the Birds Object to see how you can quickly listen to just the birds, or mute the birds.


    You now have a well populated aviary with a nice water feature. Currently your birds are just sitting around, but some of these birds need to take flight! In the next lesson, you’ll learn how to move Objects in time with Spatial's animation features!

    Tip: There is an ability to visually isolate or hide Objects without affecting their audio output. This is great for cleaning up a busy Scene while you’re working. Use the visual solo and mute functions in the Scene List to achieve this.


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