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Before you comment: I don't want to have 200 materials of the same metal just for fading out at different times. Render layers are out of the question too of course.

I bolded it out because I found here several quite similar questions and almost everytime someone who doesn't understand the problem of redundancy in complex projects advise to have the same amount of materials as fading in/out objects in scene.


I am working on couple of animations where lot's of objects are needed to be fade in and out at different times.

Since the projects are quite complex to manage for me (and I already have plenty materials) it is not effective to, for example, have 200 different materials of the same metal just for fading them in/out at different keyframes.

Is there any way to do it using maybe Custom Propterties in object panel?

I've tried using drivers on Custom Properties, but it always fading out all object sharing the same material.

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  • $\begingroup$ maybe Animation nodes are the way to go? Also, do you have to control when the fade out happens for each object or can it happen randomly? $\endgroup$ – moonboots Apr 30 '20 at 11:27
  • $\begingroup$ The animations ment to be an explanation of how mechanical devices work. Timing is very important here, it can not be done randomly (as it can be done via particles however). $\endgroup$ – evilferber Apr 30 '20 at 11:31
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    $\begingroup$ You can use object viewport color to have per-object fading information. You can keyframe the viewport color of any mesh object. See : blender.stackexchange.com/a/163699/86891 $\endgroup$ – Gorgious Apr 30 '20 at 11:32
  • $\begingroup$ wow great, this Object Info color seems to be a new thing $\endgroup$ – moonboots Apr 30 '20 at 11:37
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You can use the object viewport color to force variation per-object, even if they share the same material.

The setup is quite simple :

enter image description here

If you are using Eevee, don't forget to tweak the blend mode and uncheck "Show Backface"

enter image description here

Add some keyframes and play :

enter image description here

Further reading on viewport color

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you very much :) $\endgroup$ – evilferber Apr 30 '20 at 11:50
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    $\begingroup$ Little update: Because the object color has 3 inputs that make difference in this soultion (Red, Green and Blue channel, the Alpha Channel is useless here), I also drivered these three inputs to Custom Propterty (called by me:)"Transparent". Now it is really easy to work with :) Thank you again <3 $\endgroup$ – evilferber Apr 30 '20 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ Objects with material's Blend Mode set up as: "Alpha Blend" are not being reflective in other surfaces. And their shadows aren't fading out... but just stay. Not a perfect solution for everybody, but it will work for me, as I'm not aiming at photorealism in current projects. $\endgroup$ – evilferber Apr 30 '20 at 12:14
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    $\begingroup$ Did you try Alpha Hashed ? I'm afraid this is a limitation of Eevee $\endgroup$ – Gorgious Apr 30 '20 at 12:41
  • $\begingroup$ I tried but that creates very specific effect that I do not want in my 'clean' 'technological' , so sort of "kickstarter animations". I really hope that Blender Developers would figure that out one day <3. $\endgroup$ – evilferber Apr 30 '20 at 13:28

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