AWG files and Object groups
AWG objects
AWG-objects (= Active Worlds Group Objects) are files created by saving multiple objects as 1 object. You use this by going into building mode and select with the Shift-key mutiple objects. In the objects properties window, you will see that you have now the option to choose : "Save Object Group".
Then a new window will open with the title : Save Object Group, and you see that you have to give a filename to that object group, with the file extension .awg. , and this awg-file will be saved in the map "Presets" of the Activeworlds Program on your computer.
You can save a large amount of objects into 1 awg-file. You can increase the object selection up to maximum 1024 by changing the amount in the .ini-file
See tutorial about .ini-tweaks : http://www.venice3d.net/2013create4.html
Mover objects and avatars are ignored in awg files. You cannot use an awg-file as ground object. (see aw wiki pages)
After having saved the awg-file , you can use it later or elsewhere : you go again into building mode and this time you choose "Load Object Group", and you select the awg-file that you had saved. Then all the objects will load automatically load into the 3d scene, except if you are loading them into a world that doesn't have the objects or textures in its object path.
Here we have this plant/shrub : you can save this plant as an awg-file and load the awg-file into your own world. If the objects/textures don't exist in your object path, then you add the missing objects/textures onto your object path (=for world owners). The problem however is, that this plant has got so many leaves that it already reaches the cell limit when viewing it in building mode.
And when loading the awg-file into your 3d scene , you will see that you still have the same amount of objects.

1 cell building contest - AW 7866S 1385E 2a 180

Object groups : reducing a large number of objects into 1 object
The solution for reducing this, is by saving the awg-file as an object group. But this is not so obvious, because you need to know first the main disadvantages of object groups : you cannot give them another texture , you cannot scale them and you cannot rotate them. You will have 1 object only instead of maybe 100 objects , but you will not be able to create a plant with other leave-textures .
How do you make object groups ?
First of all, you need to have your own webspace and own world that can make the link to the objects of your webspace. You start by zipping the awg-file and upload this zipped file onto your object path, under the map "groups".
You have 6 maps on your webpace for your object path : models, textures,avatars,sounds,sequences and groups.
Now you can start using the object group in your 3d scene : the main object in this example is "crate1" . Now we link the object group (in this case: "brug3") to the crate.
Model : crate1
Action : create group brug3 , visible off

Now you have 1 individual object instead of a lot of individual objects. You also see that the cell limit is still only 0.63%. Originally , the bridge consists of approximately 40 objects ( wall003 , pole1m02 and pole2m02 objects, all with texture road4 ).

If you want to rotate the bridge by 90 degrees then you rotate the crate model. But you cannot rotate (or move) the bridge with a command , the crate will rotate instead.
And you cannot change the texture of the bridge, only of the crate.
Using AWG files as a backup-file for your creations

As a world owner, you make backups of your world , in order to have a copy of your 3d scene. You can also put another 3d scene of a scene that you had saved before. We can do that with a bot program. Some people don't use bots , because you also need to pay for the use of bots.

Other builders usually don't use a bot, because they don't have a world. Except for some builders , which are using their bot(s) in the public worlds. They can make a backup of their builds in public worlds. Unless if the bots are disabled (like recently happened in Alphaworld) , but there is still a solution for this ...

If you don't have a bot for making a backup of your builds, as a builder you can always save your 3d-scenes into Awg-files, you can save them into 1 file (you can select up to 1024 objects, see INI tweaks: http://www.venice3d.net/2013create4.html ). You can also use the AWG-files as a kind of a small back-up file for your own creations, for your building area. You make several AWG-files for each part of your building area. You give the awg-files a specific name, so that you easily know which is the content of the file. (e.g. the name of the building area). It is also useful to add the coordinates of the 3d scene in the filename.
Don't forget to save the awg-files elsewhere on your computer too , because if you uninstall the Activeworlds for any reason, the AW Presets map will be deleted too !
AWG-files as a useful tool
As a builder, you can easily select multiple objects and save them into an AWG file, it is also an easy and quick way of copying and pasting a nice building idea into your own 3d scene.
Some people offer their creations as awg-file and there are even awg-yards offering all kinds of creative ideas .
As already mentioned, movers cannot be saved as awg-files.
AWG files versus Object Groups.
1. Awg- files can be used by any builder. For Object Groups, you need to have your own Object Path and own world.

2. You can change any texture of awg-files, you cannot change the texture of an object group and you cannot move, rotate or scale object groups either.

3. Awg-files can exist of hundreds of models, an Object Group is only 1 model.
Another option : Multiple object groups
We take the example of the shrubs :
You make several object groups: you create awg-files for the branches , each time with a different texture for different kind of branches.
Then you create several awg-files for the leaves, each time with different leaves.
Now zip these awg-files and upload them on your object path, under the map "groups".
Now you go to the 3d scene and start to build, and you link the leaves and branches of your choice , the texturing has been done in advance. And you are using only 2 objects : 1 for the branches and 1 for the leaves.
Another option : Modeling

Instead of using awg-groups or object groups, you can also solve the problem by modeling (if you are capable of modeling). In the example of leaves for plants, you create the masked shrub leaves only, without the branches. When bringing the model finally into the 3d scene, you can easily modify the texture by typing another texture mask (or png) in the action command of the model.

After that, you create the corresponding branches-model , with the purpose that the branch model and leaves-model should fit together in the 3d world.
Another option : Modeling with texture tagging
You can still go 1 step further in your modeling : you make 1 model with leaves and branches, but you give the branches another TAG number.
When using such a model into a 3d scen, you can easily give another texture to the leaves, without the problem that the branches change into this texture too, just by adding the tag number.
And you have the advantage that you have 1 model , which you can also scale , move, rotate,...etc.