Tip: Appending and Linking

In this quick Blender 2.5 video tip we demonstrate how appending/linking can be used to bring in elements from another .blend file. These elements can be mesh objects, lamps, materials, or even sculpting brushes.

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36 Responses to “Tip: Appending and Linking”
  1. Posts: 46

    Thanks Jonathan. I knew about appending but, wasn’t sure about linking. You have a way of demystifying things!

  2. Posts: 6
    snee says:

    thank you soo much!

  3. Posts: 18

    Im having trouble I think I need to apend my oblject so I can animate it but the bones or textures do not come with the object file. is there a way to apend all data ( ring, textures, materials ex.) I can apend all seperatly but then I have to apply everything again and I already did this once I dont waht to do it again everytime I make a new progect.

    • Posts: 3
      John Carter says:

      Ok, I believe I have this figured out: To reference a setup and rigged character into a new Blender file you use the file>link command. This will open up a directory where you navigate to the file to be referenced, and then select the character and its armature in the Object folder and then hit the “link” button. Once they’re in the new Blender file, select the armature and hit command+alt+P to make it a proxy. This will allow you to select individual bones and switch to pose mode for keyframing. Any change made to the character in its original “master” Blender file will automatically be reflected in the Blender file that is referencing it. This seems to be the way it is working in my tests, but please correct me if I’ve gotten any of it wrong.

  4. Posts: 89
    connor says:

    Is it possible to link multiple object meshes as well?

    • Posts: 2
      Chainz says:

      Exactly is there a way to proxy link same object and still be able to manipulate it (using bones) differently?

      Like imagine you would like to create a scene with 2 fighting Sintels – linked from 1 file but moving differently. It looks like at the moment Blender manipulates both objects at the same time when you manipulate just one of them.

  5. Posts: 1
    ur moms vag says:

    what if you want to keep the texture on the object you bring in?

  6. Posts: 82
    joe says:

    Wow exactly what I need. In fact I just requested a tutorial on this because I was unable to locate what I was looking for

  7. Posts: 1
    jakelong00 says:

    i’m trying to append a textured object but for some reason after appending the texture doesn’t show up…how to append the textured object properly?

  8. Posts: 1

    I was familiar with linking and appending before this, but I came here for the answer to a simple question. Can you append an object, while keeping its texture + material intact? More specifically, can you do this in a blend file that has multiple objects/materials/textures? I may have made the mistake of making all my models in one file, thinking that only one file to reference would make things easier. Thanks for the help in advance.

  9. Posts: 10

    Seems like link would be really useful if you could manipulate the linked iteration in object mode. But you can’t. So, yeah that sucks, and I fail to see it’s value.

    Say you want to reuse your funky cube for a different project. but don’t want it dead center.. well link doesn’t work. say you want multiple iterations of one object in you scene. Again link no worky.

    I was hoping you could take your square “building type thingy” with a number of cubes round the perimeter, each cube would be an iteration linked to a file with a single box. Then to add detail to those boxes you could edit the one and have all the iterations update in your scene.

    But, since you can’t move linked objects in the new scene it seems not only useless but inconvenient (having to switch projects every time) the only time I could see link being useful is for extremely high poly complex models that your machine could not handle all at once.

  10. Posts: 10

    I found a little trick that (so far) works. The manual calls it a DupliGroup.

    Take your master object and [ctrl G] to group it.
    Then in your scene link the group (not the object).
    The group (master object is linked to an empty in your scene which can be manipulated unsing [G S or R]
    Not sure if [crtl shift A] is needed but it makes them “real” and you are free to manipulate them further.

    Editing the master object effects each iteration in your new scene including the ones created with [shift D]

    Animating them is proving more difficult but this would be great for static scenes with reused props.

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