Advice on grouping animations


I’m looking for advice on how to group animations to avoid huge stacks of Layers in sequencer when duplicating. For example, I have a machine with various moving parts (cogs, chains, pistons) rotating as loops. Each loop is a mini animation in itself, built in sequencer, with three or four animated moving parts. I’d like to just copy/paste lots of these to mini-animations as single assets ideally.

I’m quickly amassing huge amounts of layers both in the outliner and in sequencer. Is there a way to somehow organise each animation element so that i can just throw it in a sequence and move it about without having to go in and adjust every single object?

How would you do this? Would you export all the meshes in each mini animation to separate fbx files and reimport? (I’ve not had much luck with fbx in general so have tried to avoid it)

Or would you create some sort of blueprint character for each mini-animation that you could drag and drop into sequencer?
(BTW it’s not for a game just a cinematic)…

Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks

there’s folders in sequencer, and there’s subsequences you can use,
otherwise if things are moving at set rates, there’s no reason why you couldn’t just set it up in blueprint, you just have to be testing if stuff rotates at the right speed play in editor vs rendering

Thanks I didn’t know about the folders, definitely helps organising it.

Ideally you could have the ability to take that folder and duplicate it and then move it around, rotate/flip it etc like an instance, so that you could work on one element of animation and dupe it up to create the effect of complexity. or somehow merge the actors into one with the animation intact. Thats the bit I’m trying to figure out now…

Just to illustrate my problem a bit better. In after effects i can rotate a square in one composition, then precompose that comp and have four squares, all rotating… I can then arrange them etc and move them around in the master comp. So you can make a complex animation and then still go back and adjust the original cube rotation.

In Maya i can rotate a cube in the outliner, then duplicate it four times (with it’s transform/animation data) and then put all four in a folder. I can then duplicate the folder (again with translations) and move it, rotate it etc.

However in sequencer I’m a bit stuck. If I duplicate an animation of say four cubes rotating, and put them in a folder, i cannot treat that new folder as a new object/instance, and rotate the whole thing. I have to rotate all of them individually and the pivots go wrong, etc. How do people approach this? Woud you export all four cubes as an fbx and then re-import?

Surely there must be a way?

So far my best solution is to duplicate animated layers in sequencer and then select all and add an attach track to each one (luckily you can do it all in one go) and parent the new duplication to a new master object. Works for now but seems quite a compicated way to work…

you could look into template sequences, but they’re a tad finicky

Oooh thanks never come across those, will take a look :ok_hand: