Materials while Appending

Not sure if this the right place for this question.


If there is a way to do this someone please let me know. I do a lot of car dealership renderings. So I have many cars in my scenes. My issue is that these cars share many of the same materials only the car paint color ever changes. So when I start appending these cars in, it starts adding .000, .001 and so an after each individual cars material that I bring in. Each car has about 20 materials. I wish there was an option that when blender recognizes objects sharing materials it would give you the option to use existing materials or generate a new material. This would save me a ton of time having to link the original materials.


I’ve noticed this - enormous list of materials when only dozen or so are needed! The answer for me was to manually reassign surfaces back to their original materials (without the .001 extension) and export the file as .obj, then import those objects back again into a fresh scene. The process left any unassigned material behind!
I’m sure however that someone out there has a better solution, but it does filter out those .00’s !

Yes it is very time consuming. I use other modeling applications as well. Form-Z for instance recognizes materials. So if i import an object that uses materials with the same name in the scene, it will ask me if I want to use the existing material or if I want to rename it. This would be great if Blender could do this.

> and export the file as .obj, then import those objects back again

For materials, I am pretty sure you don’t need to do this step. Once you reassign materials such that your .00x copies are not used, they will disappear the next time you save and reload the .blend. ( So long as you haven’t enabled the [F] fake_user option to prevent purging )

However, for Images, the default behavior is to retain unused ones. The .00x copies of unused images would have to be deleted in the UV\Image editor one at a time using the Shift - X feature. Otherwise, passing them through an .obj file would remove them as you suggest.

Regardless, an option to reuse materials on ‘append’ would be nice.


But surely, if you have modified even the colour, it’s no longer the same material. Blender isn’t psychic.

It would be done by Name!..If the appended object has identical materials by name that exist in the Blend file, Blender would recognize this and ask whether or not you want use the existing material or rename it by adding .001, .002 etc…This is how Form-Z does it. And Form-Z is not psychic as well.