[Bf-committers] Asset and Template .blend files

Knapp magick.crow at gmail.com
Tue Jan 1 15:07:15 CET 2013

On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 7:29 PM, Ton Roosendaal <ton at blender.org> wrote:
> Hi,
> I've been revamping my skills with .blend files recently. File reading options in Blender is getting a bit messy, so I'll do a cleanup of all flags and conventions to detect what a file is (or what it needs to load).
> What's new already is:
> - save only user preferences in empty file
> - save a selection to a file (currently only for object copy/paste)
> - autoload of .blend file, with working relative links to original
> - pack and unpack all used .blend libraries
> On the todo:
> - make copy/paste selections work in different contextes too (like nodes)
> - allow 'save selection to blender file' (using above feature)
> While reviewing a proposal from Gaia Clary in irc, I thought two new features would be welcome here too:
> - Template .blend files
>   Basically working similar to startup.blend, allow to load without setting 'current file'.
>   Nice for training situations as well.
> - Asset .blend files
> These are regular .blend files, but they get loaded on start, and store a list of standard assets that can be added for all default "Add new ID" options. That way you can manage nice default/settings for materials, shader trees, meshes, rigs, etc.
> Such assets can be presented in menus grouped by blend file. So for example a shift+a Add Object Mesh can get extended with:
> Add Object
>    |
>    - Mesh
>         |
>        - (standard set from py)
>        - Animals
>               |
>                - Dragon Baby
>                - Bunny
>         - Buildings
>               |
>                - Oude Kerk
>                - Shaman Hut
> The "Add New" button in Blender everywhere can provide a similar of templates, with "default" or so as the current standard empty option.
> We can bundle in blender a default asset.blend, and allow users to point in User Preferences to any directory (and Blender reads all and makes available in UI).
> Working with such assets is than similar to library-append, but nicer integrated.
> An "ID" name convention can be added to excluse data from being listed.
> Obviously, Andrea's project for an Asset manager UI could use all of this too.
> My first target would be to just use this to design better looking defaults in Blender, so you can quicker get results.
> -Ton-

I think this would also help with the craziness we have now with
having to go into preferences to turn on presets. For example, Ivy
Generator. How is that a preference? It is an optional tool. I am not
saying it does not work now but newbies are not going to think that
they must look in preferences to find some of these really useful
tools and settings. Who would think to look for Ivy Generator under
preferences; curves?

Douglas E Knapp

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