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I'm animating a short animated film that takes place in a single room. There are 3 acts, with multiple characters, with the room in different states between each act (objects moved/added/removed, different characters, different lighting, camera positions, etc).

I've finished the first act. For consistency I started the second act in the same scene instance... however, it immediately became apparent that this would be an absolute mess in the NLA and Dope Sheet, not to mention all the different camera setups, follow paths + constraints, etc. still visible from the first scene. It felt completely wrong.

So then I tried starting a new scene based upon my single scene with bpy.ops.scene.new(type='LINK_OBJECTS'), but all the object animation data was still linked, which didn't help matters regarding the cluttered dopesheet/NLA problem.

Alternatively, using bpy.ops.scene.new(type='LINK_OBJECT_DATA') is also very problematic. It creates duplicate objects, while object animation data are no longer linked between scenes (good), object properties, transforms, collections and hierarchies aren't linked (bad). And While I want some object data linked across multiple scenes (eg, materials & armatures), I don't want shader tree and armature pose animations to be linked (for obvious reasons).

And if I want to change/add/remove anything to the room (besides object-data like materials which remain consistent) it requires going into each scene and making the same changes repeatedly.

It feels like there's something I'm failing to notice, because all of this feels very very wrong.

I'm guessing most lengthy & complex blender animations are sequenced together from multiple blend files / scenes, and the issue of duplication / loss of consistency is something we just have to live with.

Any helpful advice / ideas to get round these issues?

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  • $\begingroup$ I think what you need is to separate your assets, animations and scenes etc. into separate files. Through linking and library overrides you should be able to both re-use work you've already completed in multiple scene and modify them locally for a shot or scene where necessary. For inspiration I'd recommend to watch Andy Goralczyk talk from the last Blender Conference about the production pipeline of Spring: youtube.com/watch?v=aR3yNNGK_sc $\endgroup$ – Robert Gützkow Dec 22 '19 at 22:17
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Just go and keyframe the environment how you want it then delete all keyframes before that point move those keyframes to the first frame and go from there. (this is just a suggestion.)

make sure it's in a copy of the scene btw because you wouldn't want to lose that progress

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  • $\begingroup$ Creating multiple scenes with much of the same objects requires copying not only the objects, but lots of the object data, like rigs, because animation is not stored on the object, but in the rig object data. If i deleted a rig animation from a shared rig it would affect all scenes. So instead I've decided to make it all in one scene instance, and I'm methodically putting everything like cameras, paths, characters etc. into collections for each act, and hiding them in the acts where they're not needed. Requires a lot of work and careful organisation, but better than the alternatives. $\endgroup$ – hedgehog90 Mar 22 '19 at 1:46

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