organizing blender files

What I want to do is organize my blender models/materials/textures etc. I don;t have that many yet, but I want to be able to acces everything I made before.

When I simply save the blender file, I have got all the textures of a project together with all the models and everything else. That makes organizing in folders difficult. I would like to have a folder where all my materials are stored, a folder where all my models are stored etc. That way i can rename the blender files in those folders into materials:metals for example. Or objects:animals.
I don’t want to have to append all my textures to the texture file every time I make them.

Has anyone organized themselves somewhat like this? Or another idea perhaps?

PS I did check out the blender library python script, but it doesn’t work on my SVN blender version. Unfortunately, my python skills are close to zero so fixing isn’t really an option.

I have my files organized in two ways. The big projects have a separate directory, where are textures, work files, resources, and render subdirectories.
Then, there are more commonly used models. These blends reside in a models directory, which is divided into categories (animals, characters, cars…). For these, there is a general texture directory on the same level as this models dir.

For the appending, I have a feeling that when I append an object, also the mesh which is linked to is appended.

How do you save all your textures? Do you append them to some texture file that you use as a library, or do you make them in separate blender files from the ones you make your projects in and then append them to your scene?

A .blend file contains all the “parts” you might want to import into another project. You can import these parts into the other project with the File > Append capability. See:
What I believe this means is that you can create .blend files with models, textures, images etc etc and then import these into new projects. You could choose to create one large .blend file as your repository or else organize in any other way you see fit.

for procedural textures, make a .blend or several in category’s.
for image textures not to be lost, use Pack Data, if you have your .blend in a folder, you can then use unpack data to create a folder with all the image textures in the same folder.
this works well in case you move, lose or inadvertently change a texture then realize it has just changed several images.

I know how to work with blender files for appending stuff etc. what I’m interested in is the system that other blender users have for maintaining their textures/models.

For example in one project, I get a 100 materials in the .blend of the project, as well as maybe 30 or so models.
When it’s a year later and I want to use a metalmaterial that was inside this project blend file. I’m never going to remember it being there.

That means i need to have it stored in a metal materials blend file when the project is finished, but appending 100 textures to different blend files with different types of textures is a huge amount of work.

Has any of you solved this problem? Do you make all your models in a designated model blend file and all your materials/textures (except UV unwrapped ones) in a designated material/textures blend file? And append then everything to the project file? Or do you use another approach?

How do people organize this?

well, naming your materials helps, then you can append multiple textures/materials to the new .blend. i think you still need to pack data, as unused materials vanish sometimes on saving, so yeah, it’s still a fair amount of work, but well worth it.
you could download any of my library’s, scene is the main, then scene001 is made full of untextured spheres that you can map new materials to.
thats how i do it.

good idea with the extra scene. The appending will just have be done manually then. When I’m up to learning python, I might build a blender library type script.

Unless anyone else has made a different (but useful) workflow with this?

Just wondering if Blender users put there content folders right under the Blender Foundation\Blender folder structure as I have seem examples of, or do you have them under your User Documents folder structure in like a MyBlender folder? What happens if you uninstall Blender to do a clean new version installation - do the user created folders under the default installation directory remain when Blender is removed?

Ikaros: I have a separate partition for my graphic related stuff, where I put everything from tutorials to some inspiring work of others and of course my blends. I uninstaled blender for few times, your content stays there, only the program itself is removed. If you added some scripts, there will be there.

Thanks, thats good to know. I didn’t realize if materials/textures were assigned to your mesh there was a physical link that could be broken if things were moved? Should they be part of your blend file?