how to have Alpha IPO on a per object basis, not per material

the problem is i have two objects using the same material, and i want them to fade in and out at different manners. how do i do that without having to duplicate the whole material (which is very unintuitive)?

you could do it in compositing by giving each a unique object ID, using the objectID as a mask, and then animating a SetAlpha for each.

Otherwise, you’ll have to single-user the material so that you can have unique ipo material curves, which is really no big deal.

Anomolous - just checking you know - if you click the number box next to the material name (if you have two objects using it, it will say 2, and so on), then a copied single-user material is made - you don’t have to go through altering each parameter to match the first.

well, it is a big deal. if i duplicate the material, any change i do to it, i will have to do so in all of the duplicates, which is really stupid.

so how does this compositing work? is it in this node thing i’ve been hearing about?

start here http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Manual/Compositing

You could probably work something out using material nodes to combine materials. This way you could have 2 different materials for each object, but they get all of thier material information from a single material, except for the alpha value.