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Parenting is another way to organize objects. It allows you to connect objects in what are called Hierarchies, so that you can move one thing and others will follow along. A simple example will be this Tray, which has a Teapot and a Cup and a Saucer on top of it. Now, if I select the Tray and I move it, you'll see that, well, nothing moves along with it. That's because these are all separate. If you look here in the Outliner, we have the Cup, the Plate, the Spoon are all separate, we don't have them connected together in a Hierarchy.
Now, we can fix that by creating the Hierarchy. So let's go ahead and start with the Cup and the Saucer. So if I take the Plate here and move it, you'll see that the Cup and the Spoon don't move along with it, but I can fix that by parenting. So if I select the Cup and Shift+Select the Spoon, and then select the Plate last, now this is a case where selection order matters. I have to select the parent object last.
Now, once I have everything selected, I can go over to Object>Parent>Set and then we can set it to the object. But probably the easiest way is to hit the hotkey, which is Ctrl+P. So when I hit Ctrl+P, it asks me, do I want to set the Parent to the Object, I click Yes, and now, notice how it's changed in my Outliner. I have the Plate, but if I expand that, you'll see I have a Cup and a Spoon underneath.
So if I right-click on the Plate and move it, the Cup and the Spoon move along with it. Now, if I take the Cup and I move it off of the Plate, it's still attached, so I have to make sure that everything is properly placed. Now, I can have multiple levels of Hierarchy. So let's say we wanted the Plate and the Teapot to be parented to the Tray, we can do that as well. All I have to do is right-click on the Plate, Shift+right-click on the Teapot, and again, Shift+right-click on the tray last.
Again, the parent object is the last selected. Then I hit Ctrl+P, set Parent to Object, and now look at how the Outliner has changed. We have the Tray is now the parent of the Plate and the Teapot, and the Plate is the parent of the Cup and the Spoon. So when I take my Tray and I move it around, everything follows along, and I can still take my Plate and move it, and the Cup and the Spoon will move along with it.
So we are really getting multiple levels of parenting. These are called Hierarchies, and they're very important, not only for organizing your scene, but as you'll see later, they are very important for animation as well.
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