correct workflow for importing a blend object from one blendfile to another?

Ok, that’s a wordy subject line that doesn’t explain my question anyway :eek:

What I want to do is import an object from one blend file into the blend file I’m working with. When I have the object in my current blend file, I don’t want it to have any links at all with the original blend file.

I’ve tried the link function and the append function and they work as designed but append isn’t useful to me [in this situation] and with the link function, I seem to have to wrestle with the object to be able to change it’s material.
I had some success with the ‘make local’ command but I don’t understand what’s happening ‘behind the scenes’.

So what’s the correct workflow to import an object so that it has absolutely no links to it’s original blend file. I almost wish there was an .blend option in the list of import formats.

I know what I’m asking isn’t a good pipeline technique but all I wanted to do was test out an external renderer and slap different materials on my test scene objects. It just seemed harder than I thought it’d be.

Thanks in advance.

Append should give you what you want. Or is it because you want the object and no material?
From the manual:

Use Append (button enabled by default) if you want to make a local independent copy of the object inside your file. Select Link if you want a dynamic link made to the source file; if anyone changes the object in the source file, your current file will be updated the next time you open it. These buttons are located in the File Browser window header.


I am not sure how you get back to a blank material quickly. (other than delete the material index which can be a solution if the whole object is one index) Been trying to work that one out myself. What I have been doing is always add another material before I adjust any settings so I always have a blank one to go back to if I want. But I can see that if you had a bunch of indexes all with materials it could take time to start fresh.

Is that more or less what you are having trouble with?

Hi Richard,
I’m not in front of blender at the moment but will check out the append function later.
On the weekend it just didn’t seem to let me add a new material to the imported object. I kept getting an error message something like “couldn’t change external data”.

It was pretty late though.

If appending is the correct workflow then I can experiment and practise properly, was just checking there wasn’t some other way to do it.

Also, if I ‘append’ a ‘mesh’ from a blend file, do I need to append the material also, or do I just need the mesh (especially if I’m going to change it anyway)?

You can’t add materials or edit externally linked obecjts. You can if you actually import them.

I simply import the entire scene, use CTRL-L to link in what I need then delete the appended scene. Then I do a Save, Exit Blender and re-open the scene removes any dangling unwanted datablocks.

If you want just the material, you can append the material and apply it to an object in your scene.

If you want a mesh and its materials, you want to append the object, not the mesh.

If all you want is the mesh, you can either append the mesh and then create an object to link it to, or you can append the object, and either manually delete all of its material indices, or unlink the materials from each index.

Cheers for all the help guys.
I think what led to my troubles was selecting a mesh instead of an object. <doh!>

Yes, things are working as expected now.