Locating a Collection Instance / 3.0 beta // file attached

In this screenie you can see there’s a Collection Instance (?), but it cannot be opened. (it contains the lettering shown.)

There are multiple Scenes within this blend file, and most likely it is from one of these other Scenes (as it’s not apparently in this one given the Outliner).

How can I find where this is coming from?
EDIT: literally can’t find the lettering mesh data, so I cleaned up and uploaded the whole file. Voila:
Mystery Collection.blend (1.2 MB)

Collections don’t have to be part of any scene.
You can change outliner type to Blender File and rightlick on that collection and “link to scene” (add to scene)


Okay, I don’t understand your answers here, so I’ll take them one by one:

But this one obviously already is. Do you mean that the elements in a Collection can be from anywhere in the blend file? I really don’t get what you’re saying here.

But, it’s already displaying in the Outliner (and in the 3dview), why would I need to link it again?

To re-iterate: I’m trying to access the mesh data that is within the Collection “Lettering” that is unfortunately within another Collection named “Lettering” (my bad). It’s ALREADY there, I don’t especially want to duplicate it, I just want to locate it.

There is:
a Collection - group of objects
And Collection instances - that group placed somewhere on scene

In Your scene you have only collection instance, and “real” collection and “real” objects are not in there.

That’s exactly my point: where is this mesh data located?

And how do I find and edit it?

EDIT: I’ve trimmed down the file to the bare essentials, and I still can’t locate & edit the mesh data (although it’s technically a Curve, no-matter, I can’t access it):
Mystery Collection SKINNY.blend (1.1 MB)

Its stored in somewhere in blend file, but it is not present in any scene.

  • top: your ViewLayer (current scene)
  • middle: all scenes in your blend file
    You can see that different scenes can have different collections in them
  • bottom: blend file, all collections stored in that blend file are listed here

That original “Littering” collection is not present as in any scene. Only instance - and uneditable entity is placed in one of scenes.

To edit that “Littering” collection You have to link it to one of scenes (and then You can unlink if if You think that it is just cluttering scene even if its turned off)
alternatively You can convert that collection scene into real objects.

At the end i showed you how useful can be collection instances. You can have one original group of objects, and have several instances of them and by editing one you edit all of them.
And if You dont need that one original objects you can unlink it from scene just like in You blend file it is done.

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This was fascinating to watch. I knew some things but not everything that was explained here. Thanks @gorion103 Something I am still wondering about though; can I “flatten” an instanced collection where it just becomes its components but is no longer an instance?

I expected “make local” to do that but that is not it. Is there such an option?

“make local” makes that if certain thing like material or mesh is shared by mutiple object it is made unique data.

To apply colection instance there is “make instances real” in apply menu [Ctrl+A]
But whatout, those object are linked copy of original objects, so if You make modification to their data original objects also get affected. So You have to “make local” thing on them.

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Aaah there it is! I knew it had to be somewhere. :slight_smile: Thanks again!

one more things:

  • Collection instance is in add menu
  • there is additional offset, eg you modeled something off center, buy its easier to place instances with re-centered position
  • make instances real have keep hierarchy and parent options that are helpful

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Damn! Your full of tricks! I had no idea I could add collection instances from the add menu. :smiley:

The additional options are very nice to know about as well. :+1:

Thanks Gorion103, I appreciate all the time you spent helping me. I haven’t yet had time to go thru your process – I was able to access the mystery Curve by creating a new curve and swapping the Curve Data Property pointer.

I’m a little puzzled by how there can be geometry inside a blend file that isn’t used in any Scene, but is also not purged when saved and reloaded. Somewhere along the line it must have acquired a Fake user, but not intentionally I assure you.

I’ll probably be back later with more questions. :+1:

Thanks for this, I was looking for this exact solution.