Make Objects Appear on the Stage

UPDATE: This tutorial is for the cavemen still using the Blender 2.49 series. Please, upgrade to 2.7 already! It’s SOOOO much better!!

And since 2.49 and 2.5 handle this topic differently, here’s the tutorial for 2.5 from Blendercookie.com. For 2.49 users, continue reading.

Let’s pretend you are making a blender 3d animation about a magician who makes a rabbit suddenly appear on a tabletop, and then with the wave of his wand, the bunny vanishes! AMAZING!!

You might start by putting all objects on layer 1, not knowing any better. You probably have your magician and tabletop in camera view, and the bunny hidden somewhere off in space. With the addition of a keyframe, you drag the bunny object to the tabletop. The audience loves it! And then the magician makes the bunny disappear (you make another keyframe and physically drag the bunny object out of camera view.)

This is an archaic and sloppy way of making objects appear or disappear from the main stage, layer one.

Objects Appear on Stage

I have a monkey, cube and sphere to play with.


Objects Appear on Stage

Three things to notice:
2. Assuming all of our objects are on layer 1
3. We start on keyframe 1
1. Select only the cube with “RightMouseButton”. Use the keyboard shortcut “M” to pull up the layers palette. Let’s move the cube to its own layer – any layer except layer one, ok, dear?


Objects Appear on Stage

1. Choose layer 11. I have toggled to layer 11 in the screenshot to prove it is there.


Objects Appear on Stage

1. For your comfort, toggling back to layer 1, you can see the monkey and sphere have not moved from the main stage, but the cube is definitely gone. Good! Now at some point in the animation, we want that cube to appear.

Fasten your seat belts – this is where things get hairy!


Objects Appear on Stage

Toggle back to the “cube layer”. Three things I want you to be aware of and follow my instructions explicitly:
1. Select the cube “RMB” and use keyboard shortcut “I” to pull up the “Insert Key” palette. BE SURE to select the “Layer” option. This tells blender we are absolutely assigning that cube to that specific layer.
2. You will see the keyframe appears on frame 1…
3. …of your “cube layer”.


Objects Appear on Stage

Stay on your “cube layer”.
1. Advance to the frame in which you want the cube to disappear from it’s layer and appear on the main stage. I chose frame 20.
2. Pull up the “layers palette” using keyboard shortcut “M”. Click on “layer one” and hit OK. This doesn’t add a keyframe. It simply reassigns the cube to it’s new layer, on a particular frame number, yes?


Objects Appear on Stage

1. Toggle back to layer one.
2. Insert a keyframe using keyboard shortcut “I”. Be sure to select “Layer”.
3. And be sure you are on frame 20, or whichever frame number you chose. You will see the keyframe appear.
We just told blender that on keyframe 20, the cube should be taken from layer 11 and appear on layer 1.


Objects Appear on Stage

Did it work?
Scroll your timeline bar anywhere between frame 1 and 20. That cube should not be there. But on frame 20, you should see it appear! You have made your audience very happy! They are wetting themselves right now!!

Go ahead and use this technique to make the object disappear from the stage, if that is your fancy. 🙂