One Mograph feature that bugs me. :)


Say you want to clone onto a polygon selection. Say you want 1,000 clones in that selection. Easy, right? Nope.

Steps to explain:

  1. create a landscape object.
  2. make editable
  3. make a polygon selection
  4. save selection
  5. add small cube to scene (probably need to scale it down a bit)
  6. alt+mograph menu>>>Cloner (add a cloner as a parent to the cube)
  7. set cloner to object mode
  8. drag landscape object into the object slot in the cloner
  9. drag selection tag into the selection slot in the cloner
  10. dial in the “count” for how many you want - say 1000

DOESN’T “WORK”. OK, yes it does work the way it was coded, but I say it could have been coded better.

What’s happening:

Those 1000 clones are being distributed across the entire mesh, and then being filtered out if they are not within the polygon selection.
That seems efficient right? (Kidding)

So not only is this not intuitive or easy to get what you want, but I think it’s probably not very efficient either, since under the hood there are 1000 clones but most are then filtered out.

So to get anywhere near 1000 clones in my selection I have to crank the clone count up to 10,000 or more.

Not cool.


Thoughts? Have I missed some magical setting somewhere? Or is my approach all wrong? I noticed that Forester works this way as well.

I just think that we should be able to procedurally clone to a selection set directly, rather than have it be a filtering process and hope for the best.


By the way, if you agree this should be improved on, please please please make a suggestion to Maxon. This feature has bugged me for years.


Right there with you Gary. One of my big pet peeves too.

What I do in this case to get around it is I break the poly selection out into a NEW object and make it invisible… I then clone my objects onto the smaller hidden piece of the landscape (or whatever the model is)

By the way–if you have x-particles–you have a LOT more control on particle/clone placement. You can even use the mograph cloner to clone onto the particles.


Yeah I’ve resorted to splitting the mesh usually…That’s just such a destructive workflow. Wish it could be more procedural.

I’ll look into doing it with x-particles. Thanks!


I hear you.

X-particles works with poly selections and vertex maps for emmission. Also can force particles to spawn at a given distance from another so no overlaps.

Just set your number of particles on frame 1 only.

Its a differtn way of thinking then the instant cloning you get in mograph.

The xp geometry object can be set to use render instances for your cloned geo if you want to keep it all in xparticles.


I’m trying it and it’s working fine.
The only thing I can’t figure out is, how to rotate the clones along their Y axis?


In the Emitter, go to Extended Data and check “Use Rotation”. Then rotate on any of the axis as desired.


Thank you, Nanome!


For fun I adapted a point scattering expression I did awhile ago into a Python Effector which distributes all generated clones on the selected polys.

It’s more intuitive but the extra overhead means it doesn’t always increase relative efficiency. This depends on what’s being cloned, the number of clones and the proportion of total surface area selected. A C++ implementation would be more useful in this regard.


Cool! Thanks Darter!


Thanks Darter–this is great!


Thanks for the feedback guys, glad you’ve found it useful!

I’m fixing issues with polys that have normals aligned to up vectors and matrix conversions when the object or cloner is rotated. I should have an update uploaded later today.

Please let me know if you encounter any other issues.


Yep, always wondered why this was the case!