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Documentation / File Management

We tried to simplify file management on blend entries on this version of the site. Uploading and updating are very straight forward processes, but there is a couple of use cases where you can take advantage of new features of the site like our built in Re-packer.

The purpose of the Re-packer is to normalize several points that we had trouble with through the years:

  • All blends should be downloadable in the same compression format.
  • All downloaded files should be uncompressable by the user OS, without the need of third party software tools.
  • Some users experienced problems with .rar compression.
  • Some blends were uploaded containing unnecessary files like backup .blend1+ files
  • Some blends were uploaded containing other 3D asset formats like obj, 3ds, etc. or not containing a .blend file at all.
  • Most blends didn't contain a license file, which has been highly requested.

The Re-packer solves this by normalizing all downloadable files to standard .zip files containing the .blend file and a license text file for archival purposes for the downloader. This zip compression is compatible across most popular Operative Systems (Ubuntu Linux 12+, Mac OS X 10.6.8+, Windows 7+). The Re-packer also makes sure no other files except those allowed are put into the zip file, which eliminates some common errors from users, like including the .blend1+ files which are not needed at all.

The file formats the Re-packer allows to be put into the downloadable file are: .blend, .xml, .html, .js, .json, .bin, .css, .png, .gif, .tif, .tga, .jpg, .jpeg, .exr, .hdr, .py, .txt, .svg, .mkv, .avi, .mov, .m4a, .m4v, .mp3, .mp4, .wav, .aif, .ogg, .ogv, .flac, .pdf, .doc, .docx, .rtf, .psd, .xcf, .dds.

Any other file format is completely ignored when creating the downloadable .zip file.

If you have a request for us to add another file format please let us know from the contact page.


Use case 1: single blend file with all in it.

Normally Blend Swap downloads contain only one Blend file (and a license file since version 5). This is the simplest setup on files we can have around. You access the upload page, enter the data and in the following page submit a blend file and a preview image. The blend file can be zipped or "naked" (not zipped), it doesn't matter.

When we receive the blend file we pack it for you into a nicely compressed zip file, and attach a license text file along with it.

This use case should cover file management for most users.


Use case 2: blend file with textures/media folder.

Advanced blender users may want to keep their .blend file free of texture images so they can be re-used easily. In these case the user might choose to make a textures folder that goes along with the blend file.

To upload this setup you must make sure your link paths are RELATIVE PATHS, then isolate the blend file and its textures folder and proceed to zip them together, before uploading the resulting zipped file to the site.

Relative paths ensure that the blend will look for the texture files in the right place, no matter on what computer it is, as long as the textures folder is kept right beside it. If you have no idea what this means you should go with the simple file setup and use case 1. Then investigate and learn what this is all about before trying to use this file setup (the same applies for use case 3 below).

When we receive the zip file we unpack it into a temporal folder, attach the license text file and re-pack everything together again for distribution. The folder structure is preserved intact, but files might get ignored by the Re-packer (see list above for allowed formats).

Avoid using more than one level of folders on your uploads, otherwise your blend gets hard to browse.

Recommended structure:

  • parent_folder/
    • my_model.blend
    • textures/
      • texture1.jpg
      • texture2.jpg
      • texture3.png

It is recommended that you compress the contents of parent_folder, not the folder itself.


Use case 3: a small assets library.

Some experienced users might use a linked library setup in their blend files to keep things in different blend files. For example making available an animation with all the assets separated; characters, sets, shots, props and textures.

The same practices as in Use case 2 apply to this use case, ALL ASSET LINKS MUST BE RELATIVE PATHS OR THE BLEND WILL BREAK. The user should isolate the mini-repository into a folder and zip the contents of this folder before uploading the resulting zipped file.

Our Re-packer will keep the folder structure, attach a license file with your mini-repo and ignore file formats not listed above.

Recommended structure:

  • parent_folder/
    • my_animation.blend
    • textures/
      • texture1.jpg
      • texture2.jpg
      • texture3.png
    • characters/
      • char1.blend
      • char2.blend
    • shots/
      • shot1.blend
      • shot2.blend

It is recommended that you compress the contents of parent_folder, not the folder itself.


We hope this page is useful to you when you decide to go with the more complicated file setup.

Remember that file size limits still apply to all these file setups; blend files (or zipped setups) must not go over 90 MB of data.

If you still have questions please send them to us by using the contact page.


Last updated on February 09, 2013, @ 11:01 pm (America/Chicago)