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I've got an animation that uses particles over about 3 minutes with several particle emitters that appear and disappear at various times within the animation that would be considered separate scenes in a traditional short film.

My feeling this is a long time in blender, so I'd need to think about a method to organise the animation. I Should mention that ultimately I probably render out using a render farm and edit the renderings together using a traditional video editing program like Premiere, the project also has sound so a workflow that considers tweaking the timing of particles against the soundtrack has to be considered.

I came up with these ideas, I'm not sure which is best, or are they all bad ideas and there is a better way?

Method 1

I thought I'd split the animation in to different blender files and render out separate animations to be edited together later. So for example a scene (not a blender scene, I mean "scene" used in the traditional film sense) for each blender file.

There a few problems with this however, the particles from each scene flow in to each other, so how would I keep continuity over different blender files. Also how would I tweak the timing when the need arises in each part of the animation so it effects other scenes in the animation?

Method 2

Another approach would be to use a single timeline, however this might become difficult with it being so long and with quite a few particle systems coming in and out over the three minutes, I'm thinking scrubbing up and down the timeline would probably screw up the computer.

Method 3

Yet another approach, which I've tried, is to use multiple "blender scenes" and put together scene clips in the Blender VSE. This seemed the most intuitive, but I did find it tricky to preview the scenes together. Should I persist with this method?

Any ideas, tutorial links, would be greatly appreciated thanks.

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  • $\begingroup$ Did you try the sound baking ? You can bake your sound to your animation curve. (-> F-Curves Panel -> Key -> Bake Sound to F-Curves). And then you can modify your curve the way you want. $\endgroup$ – Alois Coissard Apr 7 '17 at 9:27
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Alois, I think my question needs more clarification. Sorry it's my fault, the sound isn't the primary problem, although it does complicate things and needs to be considered. $\endgroup$ – conspirisi Apr 7 '17 at 9:40
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    $\begingroup$ hi, at usual frame rates, it should be around 5-6000 frames, nothing too difficult to manage in Blender, imho. I would avoid method 1. If you don't need specific VSE features, or don't have a need to render each particle flow separately... I would try method 2 first. You can also keep each partcile flow in a different layer. And, as always, start with a simple test to make sure how it will work... $\endgroup$ – m.ardito Apr 7 '17 at 11:50
  • $\begingroup$ I'm exactly at the same situation right now: 5 minute video synchronized with music. The only way to preview the music with the video seems to be Method 2, and that's what I'm doing. Method 3 could be ok until you want to resize a Scene in the beginning, which would shift all frames in all other scenes. Much more complicated than just dragging keyframes forward in one scene. What approach did you end up taking and how did it work? $\endgroup$ – aBe Aug 2 at 12:42

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