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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Organizing your Files

File organization is always important when using any application. With Blender, it's even more important because, over time, this will become an absolute mess if it's not managed from the very beginning.

Over time, you will create countless models, tests, animations, scenes, characters, projects, etc. You will also want to be able to use parts of one project within another. Your ability to do these things will be greatly effected by how organized you keep your files. You will have to address this issue sooner or later so, let's get it out of the way now so we can get to the fun stuff!

Below, you'll see one example way to keep your files organized:

Example of organized files

Feel free to modify this to meet your own needs and, don't be afraid to adjust things as your needs grow. Just be sure to keep these things in mind as you create or change how your files are organized:

  • Organize your folders and subfolders as logically as possible. As long as it makes sense to you then, you should be fine.

  • Always ask yourself, "How might I want to use this in the future?". This is very important because you want to think of your files as a type of library. For example, you create a Tire model that's part of a car you're working on. Well, you need to decide if you might need a tire model for something else in the future. If you think you might, then it would be a good idea to save your tire model as a separate file and put it in a subfolder called VehicleParts or Tires. That way you can quickly locate and append it into any new projects without having to create another tire from scratch.

  • Be sure to keep "core assets" in a consistent location. Core assets would be things like textures, sound effects, scripts, etc. Moving or renaming the location of these types of files could "break" any Blender files that reference them. You'll then have to go back and re-establish the references manually...ugh.

  • Keep your folder and file names descriptive but, not too long. They should be manageable and easy to type.

  • Blender already has a subfolder for scripts so, it's best to just use that one.

  • Always back up your files.

Well, those are the basics of organizing your files for Blender. Next, we'll look at how to tell Blender where to find certain types of files and where to output certain files.

Happy Blendering!

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Zashlam said...

Thanks for the tip. Organizing really helps out. I made a parent folder for all my stuff just like in the example picture and it works really efficiently.

Much easier to find all stuff now.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

thanks for the sensible tips.

I am trying to find out about best practices for setting up a filing system on a mac.

any help would be appreciated.

I am especially wondering where to set up the plugins folder.

Kernon Dillon said...

In my setup, I tend to use the default folders for the plugins (inside the Blender folder) and the scripts (in Blender\.blender\scripts).

I'm on a PC so, I can't be of much help with the specifics of Macs.

If you use multiple versions of Blender it might be helpful to use a common folder for all of the versions installed on your system.

It really doesn't matter where you place the folder because you can configure Blender to know where they are using the Preferences.

Hope that helps.

Sergeant said...

Unfortunately the image for this file is gone. I've been searching the web for good ways to organize my assets and would have liked to see this.

Kernon Dillon said...

Sorry about that. The image has been restored. I can't believe I still had it being hosted on Imageshack! :p

Raman kumar ,MCA " NIET" COLLEGE Gr.Noida said...

this is very very right matter

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