So as for 3.0 alpha we could enable extended asset browser under exprimental, I understand that has to be disabled for release, but one big thing that was very useful was to be able to have Node Trees marked as asset, even if the way of marking them was a bit convoluted.
I had a library with some GN tools we have internally and suddenly when I opened Blender 3.0 Beta there was no way to access them at all, except going to append or link like th eold time (very bad and slow workflow)
So has this ability of marking Node Trees as assets been removed completely from 3.0 Beta / release?
It’s very useful and it seems to be a small thing that was already working under experimental.
Node groups are still considered experimental, which means they are disabled by default and can’t be enabled through the UI. We’re only enabling assets by default of which we know they are designed and supported well.
I think node groups work well already, but there simply was not enough time to evaluate the design, make sure it behaves as expected in all (corner-)cases and do polish as needed. You can do crazy things with node trees
But! You can actually still enable the experimental features via Python: bpy.context.preferences.experimental.use_extended_asset_browser. Just be aware that this is reset when reading the stored Preferences, so you may have to enforce it via a post-load handler.
In 3.0 alpha I had started building up an asset library from my ‘projects’ folder. But most of my models are compound models, so I had put them in collections, and marked the collection as an asset. This worked nicely.
However now in the released 3.0 all my ‘collection’ assets have disappeared and only the single-model ones stayed.
Yes, I agree, without collections support we can’t start using the asset browser properly yet.
For the node groups there are workarounds, but for the collections there are no workarounds (in general. I know we can enable experimental, but that’s not the point), I assumed this was going to be enabled in 3.0, it’s a pity.
That’s fine, even if unfortunate of course. The Asset Browser is known to be of limited use at this point and doesn’t cover production needs yet. We have the first step, the basis there now. From here we can start supporting more use-cases, release by release.
There are workarounds, like creating a collection instance and marking the parent empty of that as an asset. Or an object with geometry nodes using the Collection Info node. Then you also get an automatic preview. Think both have the issue currently that they also instantiate the source collection with its objects in the scene, but that is easily unlinked via the Outliner.