File browser - Asset management

Organized, accessible assets are important part of every project. Still, rather to impose yet another asset system, I would like to share idea of improved File manager based on thumb previews and similar features already build-in. In this structure of folders, files could present a single asset or projects itself. In order to make this system working, we should also integrate similar functions of appending, linking and opening into single - file browser window. By that we could also choose what would happen if we drag the object from the panel to the scene. These features alone should be interesting enough whatever you like the idea of assets or not.

The idea is also filled as a proposal on Blender Wiki under the Quick hacks section.

You can also visit my Wiki page with a better description alongside some others suggestions:

That was so far my contribution, based on my current workflow. In any case, feel free to comment.


This sounds fantastic from a user standpoint. I can’t say anything about the feasibility on the coding side, but something like this would be really useful, especially on big projects.

I heartily second Consideringthepickle. After accruing a large number of project files it’s difficult to track down assets. Being able to browse for them would make life a lot easier.

This would be great. Would it also be possible to have the thumbnail view the default when opening the file browser? I hate having to click that tiny button every time I need an image texture.

Sounds fantastic!

Open a fresh blender
In the “user preferences” under the “file tab” click “Show Thumbnails” on the right hand side.
Save as default.

It is not a fresh idea.
Devs are working on since January.

An asset browser branch was created. An image of actual state of the branch.

In the “user preferences” under the “file tab” click “Show Thumbnails” on the right hand side.

Wow, thanks, I’ve actually looked for that before, but couldn’t find it!

Very simple and realizable idea!
If we could save material preview images into .blend’s this could be a way to appending materials too.

I think this would be faster to implement: outliner structure in the file browser
, this would allow a fast and structured navigation into libraries