Instance Shape


  • Data Access


Outputs a particle shape corresponding to a 3D object or hierarchy in the scene. When the output value is set on the Shape attribute of a point cloud, each point will be drawn and rendered as an instance of the object or hierarchy. The object or hierarchy is specified by the Reference parameter.

The reference can also be a group of objects, in which case the Index port specifies the index of the object in the group that should be used.

For more information about using this node, see ICE Particle Instances.



The object or group of objects whose geometry you want to use instead of particles. You can use a single object, a hierarchy of objects, or a group of objects. Each object in a group is assigned randomly onto a particle and stays with that particle for its lifetime. This is because the instance is based on the unique ID of the particle.


Click to select the reference from an explorer. If the In Name port is connected, you can only choose references that are valid at the existing path.


Click to launch a picking session and select a reference from a viewport, explorer, or schematic view.

Hierarchy Mode

Specifies whether to instance just an object or a hierarchy:

  • Select Object Only if the instanced geometry is a single object or a group.

  • Select Object+Children if the instanced geometry is a parent object in a hierarchy.

RBD Type

If you're using the Simulate Bullet Rigid Bodies node in this ICE tree, you can select the type of collision geometry to use for the particle's instanced shape:

  • BBox creates a bounding box around the shape of the instanced geometry.
  • Convex Hull (Bullet RBDs Only) creates a convex hull approximation around the shape of the instanced geometry.

See Collision Geometry for Rigid Body Particles and Obstacles for more information.

Out-of-range Group Index

When connecting to a group of instanced objects, this specifies how to treat group index values larger than the group size.

  • Clamp: the objects with index values outside the group object index are not considered.

  • Wraparound: the objects are automatically included.




When connecting to a group, this picks a group member according to its index value.

The index is the order in which the objects were created, as you can check in an explorer using the View General Sort None (Creation) filter.

You can change this order as described in Sorting and Reordering Elements in the Explorer.

You can also plug any type of Randomize node into this port to randomly select the objects in the group - see Using Groups of Master Objects for more information.



The output shape, representing an object or hierarchy of objects in the scene.