If you want to create a complex object like a 3D configurator, such as a clock, you can model the different parts as separate objects. However, all parts can be linked together. In these cases, you should mark an object as the parent of all child elements. Movement, rotation, or scaling of the parent also affects the child elements.

parenting Blender

To select parent objects, select at least two objects and press Ctrl-P. The “Set Parent to” menu appears, allowing you to select from one of several possible different parent forms. If you confirm the selection of one of the entries in “Set Parent to”, the relationship child element to parent or parents is created.

The last selected object is the active object (highlighted light orange) and also the parent object. If you have selected several objects before selecting the parent object, these are child elements of the parent object and are at the same level of the hierarchy (they are “siblings”).

The pop-up menu “Set Parent To” is cost-sensitive, i.e. the number of entries displayed can change depending on which objects are selected using the Ctrl+P key combination.

For non-inverse mode, press Shift-Ctrl-P instead. This results in an alternative Parent-Child relationship, in which subobjects are completely present in the coordinate system of the parents. This is the better choice e.g. for CAD purposes.

Moving, rotating or scaling the parent will usually also move/rotate/scale the child/children. However, moving, rotating or scaling the child or children of the parent does not cause the parent to move, rotate or scale. In other words, the parents influence the child and not the children influence the parents.

In general, when using Ctrl-P or 3D-View Header > Object > Parent to Parent Objects, the child objects can have only one parent object. If a child object already has a parent object and you give it another parent object, Blender will remove the previous parent relationship.

Blender supports many different types of education that are listed below:

  • object
  • bone
  • vertex
  • Vertex (Triangle)


In addition to parenting the selected objects, it adds a modifier or constraint to the child objects, where the parent part serves as the target object or activates a parent property, such as Follow Path.

  • Armature Deform.
  • Curve Deform.
  • Follow Path.
  • Path Constraint.
  • Lattice Deform.

Object parent.

Object Parent is the most common form of parenting that Blender supports. If takes selected objects and makes the last selected object the parent object, while all other selected objects are child objects. The child objects inherit the transformations of the parent object. The parent object can be of any type.

Object (Keep transform) Parent.

Object (Keep Transform) Parent works very much like Object Parent, the main difference being whether the child objects remember all previous transformations applied to them by the previous parent object.

Since it is difficult to explain this in an easily understandable technical way, we should use an example instead.

Suppose we have a scene that consists of three objects, namely two empty objects called “EmptyA” and “EmptyB” and an elephant. The following figure shows the three objects without active relationships.

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If you select the elephant object by RMB-click, then Shift-RMB, click EmptyA and Ctrl-P, and then select Object from the Set Parent To pop-up menu. As a result, the EmptyA object is the parent object of the elephant object. If you have only selected “EmptyA”, rotating/scaling/moving will cause the elephant object to change accordingly.

Scale the EmptyA object so that the elephant becomes smaller and moves a little to the left.

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If you select only the elephant object by RMB click and then press Shift-RMB on “EmptyB” and Ctrl-P and select object from the pop-up menu “Set Parent To”. This makes the EmptyB object the parent object of the elephant object. Note that when the parent of the elephant changes, the size of the elephant changes.

parenting e

This happens because the elephant object never changed its size directly, the change came about because it was the child of “EmptyA” who changed its size. Changing the elephant parent to “EmptyB” caused these indirect scale changes to be removed because “EmptyB” did not change its scale.

This is often the required behavior, but it is also sometimes useful that when you change your parent object, the child object retains all the previous transformations it received from the old parent object. If instead, when changing the elephant’s parent object from “EmptyA” to “EmptyB”, we chose the parent type object (Keep Transform), the elephant would retain the scale information it receives from the old parent “EmptyA” when it is assigned to the new parent “EmptyB”.

Bone parent.

Bone Parenting allows you to make a particular bone in a fitting the parent object of another object. This means that the sub-object moves only when the specific bone is the sub-object of the movement.

To use bone parenting, you must first select all child objects that you want to have parent to a particular Armature Bone, then Shift-RMB select the Armature Object and put it into pose mode, and then select the specific bone that you want to use as the parent bone by selecting it. Then press Ctrl-P and select Bone from the Parent Bone pop-up menu.

The transformation of this bone in Pose mode now also transforms the child objects.

Relative Parenting.

Bone Relative Parenting is an option that you can switch for each bone. This works in the same way as bone parenting with one difference.

With Bone Parenting, if you have created a bone for some subordinate objects and you select this bone and switch to edit mode and then translate this bone. If you switch back to pose mode on this bone, the subordinate object that is raised for this bone will snap back to the position of the bone in pose mode.

Single Armature Bone that has a child object cube with bone parenting.

Bone Relative Parenting works differently: If you move a parent bone in Edit mode when you switch back to Pose mode, the child objects are not moved to the new position of the pose bone.

Vertex Parent.

For objects of type Curve, Surface, Mesh or Grid, it is possible to use one of its vertices or points as a parent object. You can also superimpose an object on a single node or a group of three nodes so that the child/children move when the parent mesh is deformed.

Vertex Parent from Edit Mode.

In Object mode, select the child/children and then the parent object. Tab in Edit Mode and on the parent, select either a node that defines a single point or three nodes that define an area (the three nodes do not have to form a complete area, they can be any three nodes of the parent), then press Ctrl-P and confirm.

At this point, when a single node is selected, a relation/parental line is drawn from the node to the child/children. If three nodes are selected, a relation/parent line is drawn from the average center of the three points (of the parent object) to the child(s). Because the parent mesh deforms and the selected parent node/vertices moves, the child(s) also move.

Vertex Parent from object mode.

The Vertex Parenting can be performed from the Object mode, this happens as the normal Object Parenting, press Ctrl-P in the Object mode and select Vertex the Vertex (triangle).

The nearest nodes are used by each object, which is usually what you want.

The parent context menu means that users can quickly set up a large number of vertex-parent relationships and avoid the hassle of creating each vertex relationship between parent and child separately.

Note: It is indeed a kind of “reversed” hook.


Move child element.

You can move a child object to its parent object by deleting its origin. The relationship between parent and child remains unaffected. Select the child object and press Alt-O. The confirmation locks the child object to the position of the parent object. Use the Outliner view to ensure that the child object is still the parent.

Delete parent.

You can remove a parent-child relationship using Alt-P.

Delete parent.

If the parent is selected in the group, you do not need to do anything. When one or more children are selected, they are separated or released from the parent and they return to their original position, rotation, and size.

Clarity and maintenance of transformation.

Deletes the children from the parent and keeps the position, rotation, and size assigned to them by the parent.

Delete parent.

Places the children relative to the parent as if they were placed in the global reference. This effectively overrides the parents’ transformation by the children. The hierarchical relationships are not removed, but the correcting matrix is deleted from the selected objects.

For example, if the parent element is moved 10 units along the X axis and Clear Parent Inverse is called, all selected children are released and moved – 10 units back along the X axis. The “Inverse” uses only the last transformation, if the parent moves twice, 10 units each for a total of 20 units, then the “Inverse” moves the child back only 10 units and not 20.

Tips & Tricks.

There is another way to see the parent-child relationship in groups, the Outliner View of the Outliner Editor.

Known limitations.

Unequal scale.

A parent with uneven scale and rotation with respect to his child can cause a shear effect.

While this is supported by parenting, the scissors will be lost if the parent is deleted because it cannot be represented by position, scaling and rotation.

When Clear and Keep Transformations move the object, uneven scaling is the most common cause.

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