Adding explicit cloud drive (OneDrive, iCloud Drive) support

A while ago I discovered an issue, whereby Blender accidentally triggered the download of so-called OneDrive on-demand files. (T87621).

This issue exposed the fact that Blender currently isn’t particularly cloud storage aware. Now, this isn’t a problem perse. Many applications aren’t cloud storage aware and work just fine. Often dealing with cloud storage just happens automagically. A large reason for this is that both Windows and macOS now consider their respective cloud storage solutions, OneDrive and iCloud Drive, part of the operating system. They offer official APIs for dealing with their cloud storage (which are also open for third-party cloud storage integration). Another reason is the on-demand downloading of cloud storage files, where files that aren’t synced locally are transparently downloaded when an application tries to access them. And lastly, many applications use the operating system’s default file dialogs, which offer integrations for almost all available cloud storage solutions, both native and third-party.

Now, Blender doesn’t use the system file dialogs, but uses its own file dialog system. This certainly has its advantages, but like Peter Parker’s uncle Ben once said: “With great power comes great responsibility”. When the system’s own file dialogs now offer built-in support for their native cloud storage, should Blender adopt some of this? Or more generic: should Blender be more cloud-storage aware?

Things that come to mind:

  • Adding the system cloud storage solution (and detected third-party solutions) as a special favorite/shortcut in the File Dialog navigation bar.

  • Show the status of cloud storage files in file dialogs (i.e. a grayed-out look and/or a cloud icon for non-local/placeholder files).

  • Offers ways to explicitly trigger cloud storage downloads (and possible the reverse: triggering uploads/cleaning up storage).

  • Add support for popular non system-native cloud storage solutions (Google Drive / Dropbox / Box).

I wonder what the Blender community thinks of this.

@LZandman I think devtalk is not right place to do feature request

, RightClickSelect on is right place. However you should read Blender Anti Features and Blender UI Paradigms.

I didn’t know about RightClickSelect. Still getting to know my way around all the different Blender websites… Will cross-post there.

It is fun, on top of all page of there are banner with topic of this place and righclickselecet link. We are both OffTopic

Also note that the User Interface category is mostly restricted to module member communication, see the About the User Interface category page.

Moving to the User Feedback category, but I think this should be closed since it’s a feature request more than feedback.

Leon posted this patch recently, and also seems to be willing to improve cloud integration further.

It’s less of a feature request, more of a testing the viability of the idea before spending time on it.
CC @NiCapp

@LZandman - Some of the things you mention were fixed in the patch that closed your bug report as “Resolved”, although there are some differences currently between platforms.

On Windows it was not the listing of the files that caused the offline OneDrive files to download, but the request for thumbnails. That has been fixed so if you are viewing files in thumbnail view any offline files will not be thumbnailed and therefore will remain offline. Files in that state are shown with a special icon at the bottom-left indicating so, as shown on the left below:


For Mac this is currently being worked on.

The OneDrive parent folder itself is also shown with a special icon when browsing the file system on Windows:


Although we haven’t yet added it to the System List it is being considered.

Yes, I am aware of the status of my own reported issues and the work I’m doing for it :slight_smile: I also have already submitted the macOS part of the fixes. They are currently in review: ⚙ D11466 Fix for T87867: The Blender File Open dialog triggers OneDrive Files On-Demand downloads (macOS).

Yes, but you also posed the idea of “Adding the system cloud storage solution (and detected third-party solutions) as a special favorite/shortcut in the File Dialog navigation bar” so I thought I’d answer you. As well as your “Show the status of cloud storage files in file dialogs (i.e. a grayed-out look and/or a cloud icon for non-local/placeholder files).” which shows now in Windows in thumbnail view.

OK, thanks. My patch also shows the status of OneDrive files on macOS in thumbnail view. However, the regular grid views don’t show any of this. I think they should.

I’m open to suggestions how exactly though. I don’t really like the idea of showing this type file as ghosted out (like we do for “Hidden” files). This could make them look unavailable and unselectable, when in fact they are just as available as any other file, just with a short delay.

And I certainly wouldn’t want to change the icon type as knowing the file type is more important than its availability. Not much room to do much when in list view. But give it a think and maybe make a mockup of what you have in mind.