Animation of multiple model files (one frame per model)

Anyone know how to render a series of files to produce an animation? I have a set of obj files that represent frames of an animation, but haven’t found a way to render them all.

The models can’t be modified to create the next frame (so Blender’s animation is of no use), which is why they are stored separately. I can swap the models out and render each frame manually, but as there will be hundreds some kind of automation is necessary.

In 2.5 you can animate the visibility/renderability by hovering your mouse over the eyeball/camera icon in the outliner and pressing the I key.

This is a boolean (on/off) keyframe, so you can set keys for all your objects at frame 1, then turn on auto-keyframe, and advance frame-by-frame (ctrl+page up), turning on the visibility/renderability for each one as you go.

Of course, this sounds like the perfect candidate for some python-scripting automation. But I don’t know enough about scripting to help you with that…

Which version of Blender are you wanting to use? Custom automation usually mean scripting in BPython, so your choice makes a difference due to API changes in 2.5x.

If your OBJ files imports can be turned into shape keys you’ll have a classic vertex-animation sequence. IIRC, in 2.49 there are scripts to add one object’s shape to another’s set of shape keys, which could perhaps be made into an automated process if you’re willing to attempt the scripting. Only objects with the same number of vertices AND vertex order can be added successfully, though. Not sure how this will work with imported OBJ files.

there is also a script Atom wrote to import an obj sequence in 2.49, never tried it myself… see the thread here

It sounds like that would work, but since there are so many models I don’t think it’s possible to import them all at once in memory and I’d still have to do some things manually.

I’ve been using 2.49 for a while now, but would be willing to switch to 2.5. The models don’t have the same # of vertices, nor are any a subset of another (they’re generated from terrain scanning data at multiple times), though they all fall within the same bounds.

Looks like that script might work. I’ll try it out.

Thanks all

Given the source OBJ characteristics, shape keys are out :frowning:

If you’re doing scripting it might be wise to stick with 2.49b since its API is as stable as it’s gonna get :wink: 2.5x is still in somewhat a state of flux. Porting to 2.56 beta after all the importing & animation setup is done might be a good option, to take advantage of rendering improvements.