This is a basic (beginner) scene management question.
I'd like to produce a series of renders. Each contains a different set of objects, but they are all made out of the same set of materials and should all be lit and shot in exactly the same way.
I think the way to do this is to create multiple scenes in the same blend file. (Though if I'm wrong, and that's not the best way, please tell me.)
What I want to achieve is that certain things are the same across every scene (e.g. the lights and camera, the materials, objects that are part of the background, the compositing nodes, etc.), and if I change any of those things it will update all of the scenes automatically. But other things (the actual objects I'm modelling) should be unique to a single scene and not affect the others.
I guessed that the way to do this would be to create an "environment" scene, and then create linked copies of that for every object I want to model. I imagined I would then be able to add new objects to these linked copies without affecting the original, and that I would still be able to change the lighting, background etc. by editing the 'environment' scene.
However, it seems not to work like that. If I add an object to one of the linked copies, that object appears in the environment scene as well, and hence in all the other scenes. I don't seem to be able to add or delete an object from one scene without also affecting it in the others.
This leaves me a bit puzzled. It seems odd to be able to create linked copies of scenes if there isn't also some way to partially unlink them. Is there a way to add an object to the new scene only, without also changing the original? Or is there a better way to achieve what I'm trying to do? I imagine it's quite a common thing to do, but the documentation for scenes is rather sparse, and good explanations of the system are hard to find.