I’m thinking to myself that there’s probably a cleaner way to do this, than I’ve presently come up with …
I’m modeling a very complex piece of machinery – hundreds of parts – which right now is composed of assets in a library file, which is linked to color-swatches in another library file. These color-swatches include both, say, “solid red” and “transparent red.” There’s also, “solid iron,” which is used in establishing shots. There is a lot of animation associated with the base library model, painfully worked-out by reverse engineering of this (historical …) machine.
What I need to very easily do is to put together illustrative shots which show how this machine works, one part at a time, by setting un-related parts to “transparent” (the camera isn’t moving between the shots, so you can easily see which parts have been “grayed out”), while the active parts are solid … and colorful.
The forum software readily reminds me that my question is not new, but I’d like to hear thoughts as to what you think would be the cleanest way to do this. I have associated each part in the library-file with all of the materials that it could need – three material-links each.
Right now my basic shot-file structure consists of a base scene, which links to the assets (including the camera) but which is not otherwise used, and several linked-scenes one per shot. I’m looking for the easiest, quickest, and most-reliable way to switch the materials of any given object, per-scene. (Given that, in the base library, all possible materials are already associated with each object.)