I have a project with a lot of parts that I organized using null objects in C4D, which are interpreted as empties in Blender. It's quite a deep hierarchy, think 6000 objects with 800 null objects as "folders" to sort them.

I want to only have a selection of those empties visible in each frame.

Here's my initial workflow, it's what I'd do in C4D:

  1. Main empty contains everything and is set to not visible
  2. For each frame I set a key for the visibility of the selection of empties I want to show to visible, and create a key before and after to not visible (or better: inherit the value of its parent)

This would be very easy in C4D, but I don't know how to do something like that in Blender. I'm not even sure that it's practicable.

Here are my issues:

  • I can't find out how to create keys for multiple selected objects
  • When objects are invisible, they are greyed out in the Outliner and can't be selected by Select Hierarchy, which makes it hard to work with a deep hierarchy where nearly every object is hidden
  • The visibility of an empty is not inherited by its children. Apparently, empties are not made for that, collections are better. Is there a way to convert a hierarchy of empties, that are used like folders, to collections?

Lastly, I'm new to Blender, but I have been a C4D user since 2003, so I may have some specific workflows ingrained in my brain, even if there are better ones. If my approach is completely wrong please advise me!

This project is for a free libre hardware project and the blend files will be released with it, so it's a great opportunity for me to finally learn Blender :)

  • $\begingroup$ The only tip I can give you is if you hold SHIFT while clicking the little eye to make your empty visible, all of it's children will become visible also. $\endgroup$ – Psyonic Nov 8 '20 at 10:30
  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean keyframes for animation when you say "keys"? If so, you can keyframe animate 1 object first. Then, select all the other objects you want to have the same keyframes applied to, then select your object with the animation keyframes as the last object selected. Then hit CTRL-L and choose "Animation Data". This will copy all the keyframes from the last object selected to all the other selected objects. $\endgroup$ – Psyonic Nov 8 '20 at 10:40

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