Blender 2.8 background scene management?


In 2.79 I used really often the background scene feature. You can find this in the scene properties tab. Basically you create a fresh new scene in blender, and you can link your main scene. Now you have the ability of doing changes to that main scene that will automatically happen also in the second scene, with the advantage of being able to control all the render settings, output, world settings, using different cameras and other things in a completely independent way. Really handy.

On top of that in 2.79 you could leverage the use of layers to have only certain things in the second scene. Objects were still existing in the original view layers, so it was enough to deactivate a certain view layer in the second scene to hide the objects of that layer.

And this is the problem I am facing in 2.8. How do you do that in 2.8? Apparently you have no control whatsoever on collections in the second scene in blender 2.8, and this prevent me to have any control on the visibility of objects in the second scene. Is there a workaround, or is this a (big) limitation of 2.8 compared to 2.79?

I hope this is clear, please ask if I didn’t explain myself good enough :slight_smile:

Yes. There is no more layers set common to all scenes.

So, management of collections of a View Layer of second Scene can not manage collections of Background Scene.
But collections of Background Scene are still available in outliner.
In outliner, in Scenes Display mode, you just need to enable restriction toggles that are disabled by default to be able to activate / deactivate collections of Background Scene while inspecting second scene.

That does not solve the problem of multiple View Layers in Second Scene.

You could think that you need a copy of bakcground scene per View Layer.
But in fact, no.

You don’t need to use the background scene directly in second scene, anymore.
You can simply add collections from background scene, in second scene, as collections instances.
A collection instance is equivalent to a group instance. That is an object.
So, this object can be part of a collection in second scene.
That way, you will have same kind of experience.

In 2.79, you would have move objects to a layer.
No difference in 2.8. Those objects are moved to a collection.
Difference is that in 2.8 : instead of precising background scene as background scene, you add desired collections instances, from first scene, to View Layers collections of second scene.

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thanks for the answer, that’s a solution indeed.

another thing that works quite well is to create a linked copy new scene. That way you retain control on all the collections, included visibility, independently on each scene, and changes are still propagated as things are linked.

Mentally I still feel I preferred the other method, but it might be just a matter of getting used to it.

There is no doubt, old method was simpler.
But it only worked in 2.79, because you have same set of layers for all scenes.

In 2.8, you can have several scenes with a varying amount of collections named differently.
That has advantage of exposing things in a clearer way, freeing space in UI.
But that did not come without counterparts.

Do you know if render layers override are going to be added at some point? I thought that was in the plans for 2.8, but I didn’t hear much about it anymore.

Basically what I mean with that, is the ability to override render settings, or collection visibility, or object properties for a specific render layer (like transform properties, material). This is one of the 2-3 things I really found great in maya, and that I really miss in blender.

Not sure if it’s the same thing, but the “make library override” feature, the one that you can override settings of a linked object locally, has proven to be real slow for RS, so slow that I can’t use it at all.

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That was the goal to have dynamic overrides by collections.

But currently, they have too much things to make rock solid before messing up the software again to support that.
They put in place a tracker curfew at beginning of this year to restore stability.
They will continue with support of a LTS release.
And they fixed expected projects for year 2020.

We will jump to Blender 2.9.
So, I would not have great expectations for upcoming this year.

But library overrides are actually working for transform properties.
Whatever is your set-up, collections visibility should not be a problem, currently.
Workflow is convoluted for materials, for the moment.
Overrides are not supported for nodes settings (So, basically material properties).
That forces you to link material to Object instead of Object data, to make an override to use a local material instead of linked one.

We could expect improvements for material of an asset.
But don’t expect overrides shared by several objects at Collection level or View Layer level.
That probably will not happen before some years.

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I think those are static overrides? As zeauro is saying however, I think their implementantion is quite raw and experimental

thanks! Yeah I guess it’s a good idea to pursue stability before adding more stuff that will make things hard to manage… I mean, it looks already quite hard :smiley:

Hopefully we won’t have to wait too much however!