Question: Appending and Distances

I’m creating objects to populate a variety of scenes. I’d like to be able to create for example a crate, and then be able to reuse it in different settings. This has brought about two problems.

  1. To preview my objects, I like to have a standard camera/lighting/ground plane setup. Some AO, an area lamp with a nice shadow, etc. But I don’t want to have to set this up over and over for each object that I model. I thought of using Append with the Link option, but it seems with Append I can only get the objects, and none of the world/render settings (AO, Render Size, etc).

So ideally I have 2 files: one has my preview setup, with a ground plane, light, camera, render settings as I like them (call this file PSETUP). The second file is a model I have just created (MODEL). I would like to import PSETUP, including AO, Render Options and Objects, into MODEL. And to establish a Link relationship, so whenever I update PSETUP, all my models will switch to having that same previewing environment. Is this possible? If not, what is the closest approximation?

  1. Since I’m importing objects into different scenes, I’m having trouble standardizing the sizes, since as I model I will zoom in and out on the grid, resize things a little, etc. Is there any way to make an object a certain size in blender units? For example I usually assume that 1 BUnit = 1M (to be compatible with physics stuff). Is there an easy way to resize my model of a crate so that one of its dimensions (say height) is exactly 1 Blender Unit?