How To Organize Objects in Blender

You may have come to the point when, after a creative frenzy while modeling, you have A LOT of objects in the Outliner. This may be a little messy, even more if you didn’t rename any of them, so your outliner is looking something like “Cube.001”; “Cube.002”; “Cube.003”, … “Cube.056”, and so on till the end of time…

Jokes aside, this might be really uncomfortable if you have to navigate through your Outliner when, for example, making a selection of specific objects. So, let’s take a look at how to organize objects in Blender!

We can’t recommend enough that every time you finish an important element in your scene, you rename the objects in the Outliner, so they would look like “Door” instead of “Cube.048”. However, even when you do it, you might still end up with a bunch of repeated — renamed — objects, for example “Tree.017” or “Window.023”.

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Is in times like these when you’ll be grateful that the Outliner’s folders exist. They’re basically there to organize the scene so you can manipulate its elements more easily. Let’s start by right-clicking anywhere inside the Outliner and selecting New Collection in the Outliner Context Menu. Once the folder is created (it may appear as “Collection 2” by default, if you haven’t created any other yet) click on it and rename it as it better fits your needs. For example, if you’re building a landscape that has a lot of trees and want to move all of them to a single collection, you can rename it like “Trees”.

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Then, select all the elements you want to group by holding SHIFT and clicking on all of them. Once all the objects are highlighted, hit M (as to Move) on your keyboard and select the collection you just created. Once you press M, you can see that the Move to Collection Menu has other options such as creating a New Collection. You can also create it in this option, it is up to you to choose the order.

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Now that you have all your elements grouped, it will be easier for you to manipulate your scene. For example, if you need to watch it from an orthographic side view, but there are too many trees on the way, you can just click on the “Trees” collection and press H to hide them!

Tip: As you may have noticed, no two elements in Blender can share the same name. The program just can’t handle that. This is why each element has a “.001” suffix. So, whenever you rename an object that’s repeated in the scene, let’s say rocks, you’ll only have to name it like “Rock” and the program will automatically add the number so its name is not repeated.

If you happen to have many primitives that you need to rename, you can also hit CTRL + C to copy a name, and then press CTRL + V to paste it once the object name is highlighted every time you select it, so you won’t have to type in each name.

You can delete a collection by selecting it and pressing Delete. If you ever delete a collection that has elements inside, Blender won’t delete these objects. It will place them in the Scene Collection by default. To delete a collection and its contents, just right-click on any selection and pick “Delete Hierarchy”. 

This may seem simple, and, at the end of the day, it is! But making simple things like renaming objects and keeping your outliner organized will help you take your workflow to the next level!

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