Dealing with collections in 2.80

Being nearly fully operational for 2.80, I have been thinking about how to adjust from fixed layers to collections. A long time ago, an option was added so you would only export objects on selected layers. That meant you could have more things in the blend than actually got exported. In the last year, someone also PR’ed the ability to only export items which were also selected. This very marginal enhancement required adding code in multiple spots.

With layers gone, I really think all these different ways are un-neccessary. In the outliner, for each item, there are 2 toggles. An “eye” for visibility & a cursor for selectablity. In 2.79 exporter, they set visibility & enabled, respectfully, Close to the same thing.

I am thinking of just re-purposing the eye to be whether it gets exported or not. If you can see it in the 3D window, then it’s going out. Any UI controls & code for this would get ripped out. In the example below, collection1 would get exported minus the camera, and the “Cube” mesh would get exported as disabled. This seems simple enough, yet allow everything prior, except an invisible mesh to be exported.


Not coding on New Years, but very soon unless a major objection.


A long time ago, an option was added so you would only export objects on selected layers

Jeff that is something I use all the time - backups in layers 15-20, tree meshes for creating landscapes with particles etc. I always found the layer manager very useful, and it worked well with the exporter.

While trying to get up to speed with the new version of Blender, I looked at this tutorial:

Blender 2.8 Collections

What I first noticed was the third icon - looks like a monitor - which from that tutorial at about 1.20 suggests that that new icon actually disables the collection.

Might that not be a better option?

As for not coding on New Year’s Day - you are allowed a day off now and then :open_mouth::smile:

cheers, gryff :slight_smile:

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Thought that might be a good way to also add back exporting enabled, but invisible meshes by using all 3 switches. Then as I was trying to get a new screen shot, I noticed that only the eye, at the collection level, sets the same value for the children that the collection just changed to.

Unless they change the behavior for the other icons, we will loose the same functionality of just clicking an entire layer / collection from being exported or not.

My Blender version was downloaded on 12/31/18. I am going to table this change for the first beta. The option in the exporter UI is simply not going to work. If final release of 2.80 is as it is now, the above will be implemented.

@JCPalmer :

I noticed that phenomenon in my version too - Dec 22nd 2018. I really am not understanding this logic.

Clicking on Collections four icons to turn off features

Eye - hides everything and all the individual objects icons change too.
Pointer - everything becomes deselected, but individual objects icons in the collection do not change
Monitor - all objects vanish but again individual object icons in the collection do not change - but all object names become “greyed out”
Camera - all objects in disabled state not rendered but individual object icons do not change.

I really am failing to understand this logic. I’m thinking of joining this Blender forum which seems to be running the same type of forum software as BJS

cheers, gryff :slight_smile:

I joined the Blender forum and posted a question about the collections icons

No idea what the response will be!

cheers, gryff :slight_smile:

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In your post, not sure why you mentioning MakeHuman on the last line. Probably would just confuse.

I can say your assumption about support is probably right, but the add-on getting all the priority is the new

I wrote the Kinect data capture, the pose / expression transfer, & most of the IK skeleton conversion. It does not rely on exporting & importing of files. Both Blender & the newest version of MakeHuman ,1.2, run at the same time. The data for the meshes is sucked across the apps using a localhost socket connection.

The guy who did MHX2 add-on became dis-interested. It may get converted, but not likely to be the first.

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Well I did say at the start of the post that : this 2.80 version is going to cause a few issues. So here is one that maybe people can help me with.

I wrote the Kinect data capture, the pose / expression transfer, & most of the IK skeleton conversion

Way to go Jeff !! :smile:

I’ve been watching MH progress and saw the stuff about expressions in V1.2, and did wonder if you knew. And also the syncing with Blender - will save me looking for files in my HD clutter. Is IK available for all rigs?

Your contributions are amazing - maybe we should allow a few more days off :open_mouth::smile:

cheers, gryff :slight_smile:

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The behavior mapping of Collections / Outliner for the Blender 2.80 is complete. It is believed that all prior capabilities / conveniences are still possible, though not exactly the same way.

First, in 2.80 any number of named collections can exist. The rule that child objects do not necessarily have to be in the same collection as a parent meant that when displaying the outliner in View Layer mode, it is not possible to show parent / child ordering.

It is recommended that Scenes mode instead be used, unless actually moving / dragging objects between collections, so that parent child ordering is possible.

The exporter now uses all 4 of the little Icons next to each object. These settings actually map pretty well to the same thing in BJS. The custom exporter properties pickable & disabled have been removed.

If you wish cull a single object from the export, just turn off its Monitor icon. If you wish to have a whole bunched not exported, then you might create a 2nd, 3rd, 4th collection, maybe named Hidden Collection & drag these objects to it while in View Layer mode.

The exporter now also checks if an object’s parent is being culled. When a parent will not be exported, the child will be exported as a top level object, instead of generating an invalid file. Armature, Camera, & Light objects also need to be visible to export.

Finally, a reminder that a disabled object in BJS also applies to that object’s children, so even though you can have an enabled child of a disabled object in the export, it is still not going to be visible.


Hey @gryff, well I guess some changes in your area of concern. My Blender release date is 03-13-19.

On a scene I am working on, I have a whole bunch of stuff which I do not want in the export. I put the objects I wanted in the Portal collection & made that the only one with the monitor icon “Lit”.

Fortunately, the exporter still does that. The outliner has changed from the picture above though. Objects no longer have 4 columns in scene mode. I am not sure this is what you wanted.


You cannot drag objects to collections unless you switch to View Layer mode. This is the same scene in this mode:


What is REALLY weird is you can only turn the monitor on or off in Scene mode. When in View Layer, a collection disabled shows a disabled monitor, BUT otherwise it shows the eye. If you un-select the eye, it just makes it not visible.

This seems like a bug, if you wish to update your topic.

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