Add array modifier to collection?

Here is my Lego character. Torso, arms, hands, hands, head & legs are all ultimately parented to the hips. All the component parts are inside a collection called ‘lego’.

Suppose I want to create 10 characters in a line. I want to use an array modifier. Applying one to the collection seemingly isn’t allowed as it’s not selectable in the outliner so a to make the collection active in the properties editor. Applying an array modifier on the parent hips doesn’t work either, it just duplicates the hips without corresponding duplications of the child body parts.

Is there some efficient way of achieving this without having to maintain a modifier on each body part?

I’m on 3.5.1

Select all the objects you want in the array, select the object that holds your Array Modifier last, then press Ctrl+L and select Copy Modifiers. This will copy modifiers settings from the object you selected last to all the other objects. Make sure your array is set to Constant Offset, not Relative Offset which is default.

Figure 1

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Be warned, this copies ALL modifier settings and completely overrides any existing settings on those other objects, this also means that it will delete any other modifiers that aren’t present in the object you’re copying from. For example, if you have a Mirror Modifier on your hands it will get removed. You can still add it back after the operation but it will get removed every time you do it, so it’s best if you only do any fixing like that after you’re happy with the array distance.

There is no way to easily link arrays together permanently, you may be able to do it using a Python script but that’s beyond my capabilities.

There’s also one more way, and that is to once again select all the objects in order, with the one holding your array last, but instead of using the linking menu you can use the dropdown menu in the modifier itself:

Figure 3

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This will copy the modifier without overriding any other modifier settings on other objects, however, it’s a one-off thing since if you repeat that action you’ll end up with multiple copies of that modifier in other objects. It won’t update the existing array modifiers.

So if you just want to copy a modifier this may be a better method but if you want to keep modifiers and their settings consistent across multiple objects then Ctrl+L is your choice.


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