Problems with blocks - a collection

I have been working a lot more with blocks recently as they are the only way I can focus on only a part of the model without interfering with other parts. Generally, I assume this is what groups should offer: The capability of going “inside” the group, and greying out or locking the rest of the model. It’s a very powerful function, especially because layers, locking, etc. don’t always make sense in complex models. And I feel like this function has not been given enough attention. Now, what have I noticed so far? Some are bugs, some are probably missing features.

Probably bugs:

  • Nested blocks within blocks are sometimes visualized locked / grey as if they were outside the block. This is random, even for the same instances of blocks within a block. Once selected, they turn on their colors
  • When editing blocks within blocks, the parent block visualizes a grey copy of the nested block I am editing, and it doesn’t change until I exit the nested block. Very confusing.
  • If a layer is locked, the blocks on that layer do not become grey when I edit a different block
  • In ghosted view, I cannot snap to objects outside a block that are not “directly” visible, basically it’s acting like normal shaded view

Probably regarding functionality:

  • I cannot double click on a nested block to edit it
  • There is no good way to see quickly where other instances of a block are - or which ones are mirrored or scaled
  • In rendered view objects are not getting greyed out when I edit a block

Hello - I’ll take a look at these, thanks - some, like the superimposed locked version during editing, are just ‘how it works’, currently…

I don’t know if maybe using linked blocks might not also be useful for what your doing.


Hi Pascal,

I haven’t thought about that. I’ll check out linked blocks, too. But I’m rarely using blocks more than once (you know, parametrics and stuff), so it would be a bit too complicated.

I think this should correspond to what you have highlighted in the list (BlockEdit UI). What is highlighted should be ‘live’ and the rest of the nested blocks locked.

Yes… hard to say what should happen here - the objects are already locked and do not change from Layer-locked to Object-locked, so to speak. I see what you mean though and I’m not sure how tune-up able that will be, but I can add it to the heap.

That one seems to work, here -

but do these settings come into play?

The locked color follows the display mode settings.


Thank you! That solves most of the problems I had.

I think you’re raising some interesting questions, though. How is the BlockEdit UI supposed to work? I saw it in the same way as in Illustrator, for example. Once you go into a block (in Illustrator that would be a group) you see everything that’s in the block, also other blocks. And everything else is greyed out, regardless of what the layer settings are. But that would require someone in McNeel to make that decision I assume.

This indeed would be very useful… +1