Layer jumping not allowed anymore?!?!

Okay, so does anyone know what the deal is with layer jumping now?
Since forever (I mean this was literally the first thing I ever learned how to do in Blender, and it’s an ANCIENT cool Blender trick!) you could put an object on a layer, hit “I” in the “Relations” panel, forward a few frames, move the object to a different layer, hit “I” again, forward a few more frames and reverse the process, and you could have yourself a blinking light, or a lightning bolt that pops in and out of the air, what have you.

And now that is no longer allowed?!
I’m trying to make a christmas tree with blinking lights. In time for Christmas. And I’m STUMPED.
Do I have to go to the “Ray Visibility” panel (Cycles) and do an “I” on the “Camera Visibility” to every single light, every time I want it to jump in and out of visible? Am I supposed to ride the emission strength up and down?

And what’s the deal? Why did they change the thing with the layers?
Am I missing something?

I mean, seriously, layer jumping was incredibly useful. Why did they get rid of it?

Don’t know but maybe

Thanks, Richard. :smiley: It’s funny to come here and read in the devlogs exactly what I learned I had to do through experiment… If I had come and read that half an hour ago… :stuck_out_tongue:
There’s workarounds for my old hack… Now I have all the lights of the same color blinking together, which is not exactly what I wanted, but it’s an interesting effect, nonetheless…

Okay, I figured it. It looks like, if it’s lights, you do have to keyframe the emission if you want blinking lights. The Extrapolator comes in handy here…
But still, I liked how useful layer jumping was. I guess you can keyframe “Camera Visibility” nowadays to do the same thing if it’s a mesh that suddenly blinks into being (sci-fi FTL jumps and the like…)
Bah. I would bet they changed it because such a jump can sometimes cause Cycles to crash during a render…?

“I know engineers! They LOVE to change things!!!” -Dr. McCoy

But in what case can’t you use Visible-animation to achieve the effect of Layer-animation?

No, you’re right, I guess.
This old hack goes back to the Bad Old Days, when BI was all we had. And things are done differently in BI, especially back then.
I guess one benefit of Layer Jumping is that it removes things from the scene, or puts them in, in an obvious manner. If you’re watching a grey scene in Cycles in the preview window, Layer Jumping made it very apparent when something was there in the scene and when it wasn’t.
The Camera Visibility trick just means that the mesh (or whatever) is THERE all the time in the preview window, you can see it. But you can’t see it in the render. And that can get confusing.

I’m sure I’ll get used to the new way of doing things. It might even be better for the system (although I don’t really see how, if something is on a different layer through most of the animation and then just pops in for a second, then it doesn’t take resources out of the previewer and, wouldn’t that speed things up…?) during final render. And if Layer Jumping was taken out because it caused a bug (I actually did once experience a Cycles crash during render with a massive starship that Jumped into the scene. Right when it jumped in, Cycles went down like a little bit@h. Not a good way to travel the galaxy…)
But it’s slightly confusing when you’re used to doing it the old way.

Even an old dog can learn new tricks. The trick is just in getting him to listen.

I checked the outliner, and you can keyframe the visibility in 3d view and in renderability. if you want, you might keyframe both.

Yeah, I can see some workflow-practical benefits to layer-jumping. Though I mostly got confused by it myself.

It’s annoying that Visibility is only visible/avalable in the outliner, not also the Object Properties or even N-panel. It is a sensible and usual thing to want to animate, and have somewhat conveniently visualised and keyable.
An option (among the Object Display-properties) to view render-hidden objects as wireframe/bounding box would be nice.