How do I do Group on a hidden layer in 2.8?

So… in 2.79 I would often construct a group in a hidden layer which I would then duplicate around the scene with dupliverts on empties…

So now collections are replacing both groups and layers… so that should be fine: a new collection for my ‘group’ … the problem is… what should I set the render, view and screen buttons in the outliner? If I turn render off, the group doesn’t render even on the dupliverts… if I turn it on, the group appears in the centre of the scene. Do I have to put it in a separate scene? What does the additional screen icon do?

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Make sure you have a 2.80 build from the last few days, as the view icons and behavior changed substantially (there are now three icons instead of four).

It looks like you can put objects in a Collection, then right-click the Collection and Instance to Scene. The instance has an associated empty which lets you transform it using the Object Properties for the collection instance. The render visibility of the original and instanced Collections seems to be linked even though the view visibility isn’t (I don’t fully understand the new behavior here though so there may be ways to make it work).

You can instance from a Collection that’s in another scene, but you’ll need to change the Outliner view to a mode like Scenes that will let you see the collection in the other scene so you can get to it to “Instance to Scene” which always puts the instance in the currently active scene.

Does that help?

This should all get much more interesting sometime after 2.80 when the new dynamic overrides system gets written which will let you override practically any attribute at any level such as per Collection.

One thing you can do, which is admittedly kindof hidden, is if you nest the original Collection inside another, hidden collection, then it won’t be visible, but the instances still will be.

Like so:


Thanks, guys… those are some handy workarounds.