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xxyxxy

Best practices for animating visibility?

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I'm doing some simple animation of visibility but I'm running into some akward situations which means I am probably doing it wrong.

Originally I was animating visibility at the object level...  but I am also object merging everything into one final object node for just-before-rendertime cleanup (Fuse SOP, Clean SOP).  It seems like there isn't an option on Object Merge SOP to only merge in visible objects.

The other odd thing is that I like to animate with the data tree set to "Object Visibility" so I can quickly solo the objects I am animating.  However, this seems to conflict with the object-level visibility flag such that it won't let me force visible something that is keyframed to be not visible that frame.

What I am resorting to now is setting object visibility at the SOP level with Switch SOPs and NULL SOPs but it feels wrong because I have to dive in and out of networks to understand what's happening instead of just glancing at curves in the animation editor.

I'm sure this is a simple thing, and I'm just not thinking about it right.  Any advice would be appreciated!  Specifically, what is the best way to animate visibility but also be able to Object Merge things and generally have a tidy workflow.

Edited by xxyxxy

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Haha, I didn't even consider that!  Seems costly though, as the object will still participate in the render.  This is kinda crazy, thinking about solving it videogame style where to make an object disappear you set its position to (MAXINT, MAXINT, MAXINT).

More seriously, I guess I can object merge RENDER_* and then have a Python SOP go through and remove objects... or something?  I just assumed there was a built-in way to handle this situation where you only want to merge in visible objects.

Edited by xxyxxy

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You can set visibility per face at the SOP level:

http://mrkunz.com/blog/12-08-2016_Export-Alembic-geomtery-from-Houdini-utilizing-the-visibility-property.html

Other packages like Maya and Vray will support this out of the box and hide the faces both in the viewport and during rendering.

Mantra doesn't hide invisible faces by default, but you could do many things to hide them, either just blast the hidden faces group or assign a kind of pass thru zero opacity invisible type shadier to the hidden face group

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