Externally Linked Group and Textures

Hi All,

I have started playing around with externally linked groups. This is a great way to develope scenes using a distributed architechture approach. However, I have run into a snag. Everytime I try to edit the material of an externally linked object, I am denied access. It seems you can only edit the material in the original scene where the externally linked object resides.

Consider my scenario. I have a 2:38 video of flying pictures to sling around. Currently the pictures are just an image on a plane. So I create a plane object in one file and give it a group name.

I open up another blender scene and link in (not append) the group which is just the plane. I dupligroup the plane to an empty and viola I have my externally linked plane in my scene. This is great because I may want to add a frame later on or even make it a softbody later. Whatever I choose to do to the externally linked plane it will effect every instance in my animation. Very powerful indeed.

Now for my woeful let down. I need to actually assign a different image to each plane I bring in. But Blender will not let me do that to an externally linked group.

Is there a way around that? I only want to link to the mesh, not the material. Can I bring the material local, but leave the mesh external?

I hope this makes sense to someone…:confused:

You can turn your linked object into a proxy. Here is the Wiki page that talks about it. Good luck figuring it out, I never have. http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Manual/Using_Linked_Libraries#Proxy_Objects

Thanks for the link, but my initial conversion of my object to a proxy loses all modifiers (probably a bug in the system). Also, it still will not let me edit the material, only the mesh.

Data that’s defined as protected will always be restored from the Library (typically on file reading or undo/redo steps). This protection is defined in the referenced Library itself…

The documentation does not explain how to define this protection data at all. I think this is probably an in house feature someone invented and did not document very well.

I wish worked though, it is pretty dang close to what I need.

The protections are found as icons on the right margin of the Outliner view.

What I would be trying to find a way to do, given a situation like yours, is to put not only the plane but all of the various materials into the library, so that you can once again make changes to the materials within the library, and have them extend to all of the other files that are linked to it. (“Fake User” would come in handy here.)

I’m stuck on the same sort of problem. I have a directory full of objects and created a bigger scene with all the objects linked into it. In this big scene I need to be able to quickly change the colors and textures of the objects without having to re-open every one of them. Basically I was hoping to link my mesh groups and textures separately (from a different library directory) and just assign textures to objects.

I’m going to keep hunting forums…surely this isn’t the first time this has come up.

Would I need to link all the objects and then hit “File”–>“External Data”–>“Pack into .blend file” ??

This would be a bit of a compromise since changes to individual objects wouldn’t cascade down into the different scenes they’re used in.