You're blocking ads, which pay for BlenderNation. Read about other ways to support us.

Blender Cookie - Weekly tip


Jonathan writes:

In this quick Blender 2.5 tip we take a look at an easy way to make objects appear or disappear during an animation. This technique works by animating the layer a object is placed on.

For more Blender tips visit Blender Cookie


  1. my question is why does it say weekly? i'm fine with it being featured here as blendernation is a great aggregator for blender news (at least for english speaking persons). unless blender cookie has changed things (and not sent me an email) i don't think they have weekly tips. tips, yes. on a schedule, no.

  2. @Coyhot: Yes animate the “Restrict View” parameter (the eye) in the Outliner is much easier and FAR SAFER way to do it.
    Animating layers of an object with animation can be dangerous (in 2.5) and result in 'popping' because certain data is not calculated correctly on the first frame the object comes back into a visible layer because it didn't 'exist' in the previous frame. It looks fine when you look at it in the timeline but when you render you find a frame with misplaced objects. Very very frustrating...

  3. Middlefinger on

    Wow thanks I was trying to do this 2 days ago :D

    I was trying to animate the scene layers instead hehe. Good tutorial :D

  4. Middlefinger on

    @CoyHot I might use that instead if it's safer in 2.5. They do the same thing anyway for what I want :D

  5. I was pleased that Blender Cookie provided this tip. You guys seem to present an even better way to do that. Thank you for this tip and thanks blender cookie to start a topic discussion on that issue.

  6. @Middlefinger : Both methods are good, i guess. And the one using layers is probably better if you have to animate the visibility of several object at a time.

    We just have to don't forget what Fab said ... ;o)

  7. animaticoide on

    I have worked many times on this Hiding Layer thing.

    It works okay, however it becomes cumbersome at some point because the animation Strip disappears from the VSE when layer is inactive. So at some point it is very hard to handle or trouble shoot your animation specially if you have more than one object, rigs etc.

    Besides keying the visibility in the Outliner ( I did not know it until I read it ), I simply set my object usually behind the ground plane, one frame before it will show, then the next frame is set on position. In that way the animation strip for that object is always visible and I can know at glance when this guy is going to appear. I can shift-move my strip to any frame without getting it to dissipate.

    it would be a good implementation to have the strip always visible( in the VSE ) with a different color when the layer is inactive, so we will know what is going on in our VSE.

  8. I almost feel this is a response to a posting in reference to object/layer visibility I made on blenderartists a little while ago. As Jonathan points out it is OK for certain things.

    It's OK if you only dealing with a few objects, however if you have several hundred objects organized on different layers it gets very cumbersome. Also if you goof up something in the animation you can end up with your objects scattered around the different layers.

    In such cases it would be much easier to be able to switch visibility between layers rather then having to touch every object and define on which layer to display it during the animation. You can set keys on them, and you can see them switching in ALT-A but it has no effect on the rendered animation and does not change anything in the viewport either. I am wondering if is this is a not quite yet finished feature.

    Also, you can key the little eye in the outliner, but if you read the tool tip it says "restrict visibility in viewport". It has NO effect on the rendered animation!

  9. posted in bug tracker about this a while ago. regarding VSE render.

    the answer :

    * Date: 2010-11-15 17:42
    * Sender: Ton Roosendaal
    * The problem we have is that our animation system works per-object, handling animation changes after rendering has been initialized with a scene. Any change in scene settings (including render size, output format, etc) is being ignored then.

    The issue has been marked prominently on our wiki todo, but it requires a careful redesign of how animation dependencies get handled. Definitely a 2.5 topic to solve though.

  10. @Headroom: Yes sorry, just quoted Coyhot and forgot the buttons for render and visibility are different. You have to animate the little camera icon to affect the renderability.

  11. @CoyHot Awesome tip! Much simpler! Thanks!
    The video also is useful! It shows different ways to do the "same" thing! Also, it provoked this discussion, which is very productive!

  12. Don´t know why this guys decided to put this tip among a lot of more interesting and useful tips. Don´t misunderstand me! it´s good for newbies to know this because it´s not that it easy to figure out the new insert keyframe method if you come from another app or just started with the 2.49. But WHY THIS ONE IS THE ONE THEY CHOOSE TO PUT IN AN ARTICLE SPECIALLY WHEN THEY HAVE TALKED ABOUT SO MANY OTHER MORE HARD TO GET STUFF. LIKE THIS TWO Tip: Using the ANT Landscape Add-on, Tip: Updating the IK/FK Script for API Changes.

    Well, at least this "decision" provocked this discussion and some or a lot of us have learneed some stuff we didn´t knew about.


  13. @Sewtrol

    In regards to your displeasure with the article posted, and its importance in regards to the other great BC content and tutorials: BC does not presently give permission to other websites than its own to advertise its tutorials, but we have recently been granted permission to display the weekly tip on blendernation. The issue is not so much that we did not have a mind for what is better news and information, but simply we did not have the permission.


  14. Refracted_Ahav on

    If we had greater control over the behavior of the layers, like we do in gimp or photoshop, then a fade in effect might be possible. What I am saying is that it would be nice to have different blend modes such as screen, multiply, etc, and to have the values for these modes animatible. I don't know how the renderer would handle this. Maybe this feature could be linked to the compositor?

  15. sorry dude. I don´t buy it. And It was as easy as refuse to put this article instead. Well, as i said it´s a good videotutorial, in it there´s also shown a glitch in this blender, but there are many others which deserve to be annonunced. Well, I ´m not counting mistakes or anything because normally the news which come around in this page are great!


Leave A Reply

To add a profile picture to your message, register your email address with To protect your email address, create an account on BlenderNation and log in when posting a message.