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I need to animate visibility for a large number of objects which are separated into groups. Typically to toggle visibility one clicks the eye and camera icons in the outliner and presses "I" over them. Unfortunately, this does not work for the "Groups" view in the outliner.

enter image description here

Does anyone know why this is, and how I can go about quickly keying the objects organized into groups?

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There's no straight forward way here. If the toggle action needs to be keyed quite often, you may consider to use Keying Sets. –  Leon Cheung Feb 26 at 1:42
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The group visibility in the outliner is just there for convenience to control the visibility of objects, but is not actually a property of the group.

Objects can be apart of more then one group so it wouldn't really make sense for visibility to be a group property.

Some alternatives are...

  • Assign the same action to all objects, then use that action to control visibility.
    May conflict with existing animation, so you could check on using the NLA too.
  • Assign a driver to objects visibility and use a single toggle to control it.
  • Use a frame change callback from Python and have a script inspect some property and set the visibility of the group based on it.
    Basically a hack to do something similar to a driver
  • Instance the group and change the visibility of that.
    Realize this isn't always a workable solution.
  • Solve it elsewhere, use compositing for example to enable/disable different scenes, in some cases material alpha can be used too.
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Thank you so much for you thorough explanation. Can you explain the first option to me? –  J4G Feb 26 at 13:03
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Or try the advantage of Graph Editor, like this:

enter image description here

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Note, editing many fcurves at once may become annoying, you might want to apply one action to all objects. –  ideasman42 Feb 26 at 4:09
    
@ideasman42 Agree. Btw, according to your answer, is that also the reason why we cannot do it by using Keying Set like this, while still works in this way? –  Leon Cheung Feb 26 at 6:17
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