How To Select and Join Multiple Objects in Blender

Updated on: August 27, 2022

Now that you know how to add objects into your scene, you might as well like to know how to select and join multiple objects in Blender. This will help you to transform groups of elements, and is a crucial aspect of everyone’s workflow when creating with Blender.

So, in order for you to properly learn how to add and transform objects, let’s do a practical exercise. Let’s take a look at some of the other Primitives on the Mesh list and select the one that says “Monkey.” (We believe this object is a Primitive with the sole intention of testing materials since it has an interesting number of curves and planes, so it can show you very quickly how any material would look in a variety of shapes.)

However, the reason why we’re bringing this monkey to the Viewport is that, now that you know how to add and transform any object, you are going to make this Monkey a hat. More specifically, a party hat:

Hit SHIFT + A, go to Mesh, and select Cone.

Now that the cone is added, let’s transform it into a hat. You can begin by pressing G + Z to move it up and then hit 3 to look at the monkey from the orthographic side view. The nice thing about the orthographic view is that now when you press G, you don’t have to press any axis to lock the movement. Since you’re looking at it flat, you’re only able to move it either on the Z or Y axis. You can also hit R to rotate it on the X axis and S to scale it so it can fit the head properly.

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Alright, the hat is looking pretty good so far, isn’t it? But let’s add a little pompom, so it looks even better!

Add a new Mesh but this time select a UV Sphere. Once again, press 3 to look at the orthographic side view, then G to grab the sphere and move it up. Then you could press S to scale it and R to rotate it. There you have it! Now the monkey has a party hat.

What if you want to move this hat though? If you click on it, you’ll notice that you’ll only be able to select either the cone or the sphere. But don’t worry, in Blender, you can also select multiple objects. To do this, simply select the cone, hold SHIFT, and then select the sphere. You’ll see that both objects are highlighted in the Viewport and the Outliner. Now you can move the hat altogether!

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If you’re selecting several objects at the same time, and accidentally select something you didn’t want to, you don’t need to deselect everything and start over, just hit CTRL Z and Blender will undo your most recent selection.

However, even if you can select the cone and the sphere at the same time, Blender still considers the hat and the pompom as two different objects. They’re separate. We can join them together by selecting them, holding CTRL, and pressing J. Now, when you select the hat, you can see it draws the outline around both objects and the Sphere disappears from the Outliner.

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Important: In Blender the selection order is crucial. Whenever you join two objects, the most recent selection will be known as the Active Selection, and the rest of the objects selected before that will be just the Selection. This is important because Blender will always join your Selected Object to your Active Object.

This means that the combined object will have the Origin (or pivot point) of the Active Object. For example, if you joined the cone to the sphere (instead of the sphere to the cone) in the previous exercise, the hat would rotate around the pompom. So, keep in mind this when transforming objects: They will always rotate around the origin (which is marked as a green dot inside of it).

Tip: You can also select multiple objects by making sure your Selection Mode is set into Box Select. Just click anywhere in the Viewport, hold and drag over the objects, and they will be selected in the same way.

You can also select multiple objects with the Box selection mode, and then, with all the elements selected, hold SHIFT and click on the object you want to make Active. Then, just press CTRL + J and join them together!

Now you’re ready to work with multiple objects to create more complex shapes!

Lorena M. Rodas leverages her experience across film, writing, and production to make complex tech concepts accessible through storytelling. With a background spanning sci-fi, AI, and emerging tech, Lorena translates her depth of knowledge into engaging, educational content. She is an expert at decoding high-level topics to reach broad audiences.
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