Animate visibility of many objects in sequence?


I am fairly new to Blender and was playing around with animating the visibility (and the renderability) of some objects. I wanted to make an animation where a bunch of objects appeared one after another. Since I am a new user, I don’t think I’m allowed to post URLs, but if you search “KEVA planks round tower build and destroy using Bullet Physics Engine” on YouTube, the first part of the first video is the effect that I am going for.

I realize that I could just add keyframes for all of the objects and then manually move the ‘appear’ keyframe for each object to a different location. However, this would take a long, LONG time. I was also thinking that maybe I could create some kind of mask to hide some objects, but I couldn’t figure it out on my own. Anyway, I don’t think that particular video was made in Blender, so maybe it’s not even possible without a bunch of scripting (which I am not advanced enough to do). Again, I’m a beginner so maybe there is a simple solution, or maybe the only solution is very complex, but I don’t know. Also, I should note that I am rendering using cycles.

Thank you!

I guess a script is the easiest way, there are no parametric tools for animation yet
try this one to animate visibility based on distance to cursor:
run on selected objects from a text editor window

also, if the elements are all the same and distribution is regular you can set up some
array modifiers and animate the number of copies…

Thank you so much for your reply. I’m not sure if that script would work for my situation, even if I was able to properly implement it. However, your suggestion that I could use an array modifier and animate the number is great. I am already using an array modifier to lay out a bunch of objects in rows, so I can’t believe I didn’t think of that.

Thanks again!