messiah has several tools and functions to help you work with multiple items at once.  On first thought this seems like an easy task that wouldn't warrant an entire topic devoted to it, but it's something that a lot of people ask about, so, here it is.


Here are some of the things you might want to do to more than one item at a time:



There are more things of course, but that gives you a basic idea.


The Basics


Multi-Selecting Items:

There are three main ways to multi-select items.  The first  way is in the World View.  Select your first item (by whatever method you want), then SHIFT-click on the next one, and so on.  You can SHIFT-click on a selected item if you want to de-select it.




The second two ways, seen in the images above, are using the Item List.  On the left, the items are being selected by clicking on the first item, then holding shift and clicking on the last.  On the right they are selected by clicking on the first one, then CTRL-clicking on the other ones you want.  You can click on them again to de-select.  Note:  The term "current item" refers to the item highlighted in yellow.  Selected items are the ones highlighted in blue (see images above).


Standard Functions:

Even without accessing any exotic options or tools you can do a lot of multi-item work.  Here are some of the things you can do to multi-selected items, and how to do them:


Each of these splines is a different object.  Left:, The values are being adjusted.   Right: The spline type is being changed.


Special Tools For Multi Item Work

There are a couple of special modes that help when working with multiple items.  One is made specifically for it, and the other is a general mode that has some interesting uses with multiple items.


Keyframes & The Active Edit Setting:   The Active Edit pop-up lets you choose what items to perform certain actions on.  Click on it and choose from the pop-up list.   The Active Edit setting is used with things like the Create Key pop-up, Transform Key Range, Distort Key Range and others.  It tells messiah what you want to apply those actions to.  For more info, click here.

Multi Edit Object Toggle:
To move more than one object in the World View, just multi-select them, then turn on the Multi Edit Object Toggle, which is little e on the bottom right of the World View.  If there are items that you will often want to manipulate together, you can make a Group out of those items and set the group to Auto-Select.  So any time you select any item in that group, the whole group will be selected and you can multi-edit them (see Groups below).

Multi Edit Object Toggle (the e)

Moving with
Multi Edit on.

The Group system is probably the most important element of messiah when it comes to organizing and working with multiple items.  A Group is a collection of items in your scene that you want to group together.  For example, you could make a group for all "left hands" or "all null objects" or "all facial-control sliders."  Your scene can have as many groups as you want, and items can belong to as many groups as you want.  So, for example, all of the IK goals of a character can be a group (Character_Group_1), but the feet goals can also belong to another groups (Foot_Goals).  So depending on which group you select, you'll either have all of that character's goals or just the feet goals.  As you can imagine, this makes organization easy, plus it helps make the characters more understandable to other animators.

But that's all just organizational stuff; what about helping with multiple items?  Well, there are a couple of key ways that Groups help with that.  If there are items that you intend to work with together, you can make them a Group so they will be easy to identify in the Item List.  You can also turn on Item List Filtering so those will be the only items that show up there.  That makes it extremely easy to work with multiple items.  But if you really intend to work with specific multiple items often, you can set the Group to Auto Select.  When Auto Select is on, it means that any time you select one of the items in that Group, all of the items in that Group will be selected.  Working in conjunction with the Multi Edit Object Toggle (above), this can be a powerful and time-saving system.

Groups can be created either directly from the Item List or World View (from the right-click context menu), or on the Groups sub-tabs in Setup or Compose.  In addition, a Temporary Group can be created, either from the context menu in the Item List and World View, or by pressing CTRL-SHIFT-g.  You can then select all items in the Temp Group by pressing CTRL-g or using the context menu in the Item List or World Veiw.

For information about Groups, click here.  For information about Item List Filtering, click here.

Groups,  Armatures & Item List Filtering:
If you use Groups and Item List Filtering, you can use Armatures to make it easier to set the filter.  You can make buttons (Armature Handles) for the Groups, then just click on them to set the Item List Filtering to use that Group.  You can also set up keyboard shortcuts using the Key Command Manager.  The image below shows three Armature buttons, each one set for a different Group.  For information about how to set this up, click here.  For information about how to set up keyboard shortcuts for Item List Filtering, click here.


Render Groups:
The main tool for helping with multiple items in the renderer is the Render Group.  Render Group is a hierarchical render-object grouping & management system, and it can make lots of things easier for you.   After you create a Render Group, just drag in the items that you want to put into that group.  You can even make hierarchies of Render Groups.  Here are just a few benefits of Render Groups:

For information about Render Groups, click here.

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