New CVS Proxy Objects

One of the powerful features in Blender is the possibility to use data linked from other .blend files. Such referenced data then is always read from that other file, and cannot be edited.
This works fine in many cases, especially for props or background scenes, or for animated Objects that don’t need to be edited anymore.

There are also cases where you do want to be able to edit (parts of) referenced data. This especially for character animation setups, where you want the entire character to be loaded from an external library, but still permit the animator to work with Poses and Actions.


This would be a great development. Have you tried these out?

I started to, and am finding some weird things happening.

But I’ll have to carefully redo the steps, for a coherent bug report :

Specfically if you “proxify” the character mesh, then move it to another layer, the armature-mesh connection seems to get broken. I’ll try it again and get more specfic details

Also had some weird things going on with Calvin’s AJ character which has two armatures (face/body).

It also allows you to “proxify” an imported item more than once, which might(?) have a use, but at the moment seems confusing and a possible source of bugs.

More testing to follow.


Please bear with me for a second…

One of the powerful features in Blender is the possibility to use data linked from other .blend files.

Not the append functionality surely? Appending is a royal slow pain in the ass - having to select all the meshes and objects and materials etc etc etc. It is hardly usable unless there is some way to bulk load/link/append all the objects with their meshes (materials should be bulk loaded in separately) into a blender file efficiently - it is not like you can even multiselect using shift right now! If there is such a thing I don’t know about it so please tell me!

I say this because the mentioned feature above would used in big projects. In a big project there are a whole load of assets that would have to be linked to use said feature. I can’t imagine anyone going through all that pain. To me it seems a nice idea but unusable at the moment.

What would be great would be to be able to link whole blend files into a scene and have some way of toggling the visibility of assets from the various linked files. This could allow working with massive worlds in single blend files (the actual data stored in loads of separate files).

What do you think?


Koba, if you link or append an object, all associated data (meshes, materials, etc.) comes along with it. You don’t need to append the meshes independently. You can multi-select by just clicking on more than one line in the file selector with the right mouse button (another of Blender’s non-standard UI quirks).


1 - If you append from the OBJECT section, as Broken said, all associated data comes along with it.

Even better, you can use the group function in the library file, to group objects/armatures … whatever, then in the append / load library screen, just select from the Group “tree”.

The visibility of assets can be toggled using the regular Blender Layers interface.


Thanks guys.

Bit of a misunderstanding there.

As for multiselect…I should have realised that everything in Blender in RMB select!


I just tried the proxy function. I linked my armature, body, and cloths to a new file. Then I press “CTRL+ALT+P” on the armature ant the ghost appeared in the outliner to the right of the armature. Now I can put enter pose mode of the armature and animate the character - so far so good.

Then I saved and closed the new file and opend the blender file with the character. I added a shape key to the blink an eye. I save and close the character blend file. I reopen the new file and the shape key is there. This is very very cool. But … but … I can’t move the shape key slider - it says “Cannot edit this Shape key”. Another bad thing is that the cloths and body are no longer under the armature in the outliner so there is too much clutter on the outliner.

Am I doing this right? Is there a way to move the shape key sliders of the linked body?

For the shape key you’ll have to setup an IPO driver in the source file, then create a proxy object for whatever controller you use for the IPO driver.

If you don’t know how to do that here is the info :

For the “clutter”, a workaround is to create a new group for the “proxified” objects, then change the outliner to display groups only.

This is a brand new feature, and I don’t know if many people are testing it yet … besides you and me :D, so any feedback we provide has a reasonable chance of getting implemented :slight_smile:


For the “clutter”, a workaround is to create a new group for the “proxified” objects

In the source .blend file I group the armature, body, coths, etc. but when I link the group (in the group folder) into the destination file, nothing comes in. Everything comes in OK if I use “append” instead of “link”. If I link each object from the “object” folder then everything comes in but the group is lost. Am I doing this right?

When you link in a group, you then need to :

  • add an empty
  • in the Object /object (F7) buttons, add the group name beside the DupliGroup button in the GR: field
  • press the DupliGroup button

You can see / verify the loaded group’s by changing the outliner to Groups view.


When you link in a group, you then need to :

Thanks - that worked. So now I select the armature and CNTL + ALT + P and make an armature proxy. Then I try to scale the armature but the body, cloths, etc. don’t scale with it. This is a problem because my character is too big for the scene. Am I supposed to make a proxy from the body and cloths too?

Also, as a nice shortcut, you can just do Add->Group-> and if the group has successfully been made it will be in that menu. Selecting it just adds it all automatically, connected to an empty like the steps above will achieve.


I guess that was going to be in the 2.43 docs / release notes ? :smiley:

Also, I guess this is intended as a library function, where editing of the objects would be in the original file, but there are at least a couple of settings that would be helpful, if they were “editable”.

  1. Subsurf (or possibly any another modifier as well). Subsurf is a big slowdown for animating / preivews, I usually turn it off for interactacitve display. If a character/rig …or any other object for that matter is stored in the “library file” with subsurf on, it is not possible to change the display flag buttons (enable during interactive), gets a “Cannot edit library data” message.

  2. ditto for particles / other effects applied to a mesh … i.e. they can’t be turned off