Collection Assets Feedback

Support for collection assets is now enabled by default in master. Hopefully this will result in them being part of the 3.2 release. I’d like to gather some feedback, especially on how we deal with collection instancing.

Collections can be marked as assets, support automatic previews and instancing can be toggled in the Adjust Last Operation panel after dragging into the 3D View.

Please report any bugs to the tracker:

Planned: Better Placement on Drag & Drop

A feature I still hope to get done before the release is supporting bounding-box snapping for drag & drop, just like it works for objects.



Just let you know, at sharp view angles asset drops flipped along normal:

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Thanks a million for your work @julianeisel !
After some testing here are two feedbacks.

Option to disable instancing by default
At our studio we will mostly use the Asset Browser with Collections, but without instancing.
Right now the only way is to drop an asset, open the Redo Panel, and toggle off the “Instance” option.
Unfortunately upon reopening Blender or creating a new blend-file, this option always reverts to instancing = it has to be toggled off again.

Possible solutions :
– Let the user set their prefered default value (in Preferences, or by remembering the Redo Panel checkbox)
– Let the user drop an asset without instancing using a shortcut, for example : alt + drag&drop asset

Option to drop asset at 3D Cursor or World Origin
At the moment we have to open the Redo Panel and manually reset X/Y/Z to zero manually.

Possible solution :
– allow to drop at 3D Cursor by simply double-clicking an Asset in the Asset Browser


This could be implemented as a dropdown menu button in the asset browser itself.

    [ Insert At ▼ ]
         [ Cursor ]
   [ World Origin ]

As a heavy collection instance user I would appreciate right-click, instance to 3d cursor. I’d literally almost never use drag-and-drop if I had the option to insert it right on the 3d cursor.


I agree with @TonyG, collection instancing should be off by default. That way it will be less confusing for new users, who are not fully familiar with Blender’s data structure. Also instancing toggle checkbox could be placed somewhere more prominent than Adjust Last Operation box.

Also linking collections is really buggy right now. Here’s one example - ⚓ T97289 Linked collection assets disappear
Although there more weird behaviour, like when repeatedly linking same collection with Instancing disabled. But maybe both bugs are caused by the same underlying problem.

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Can we get a button in the Asset Browser or somewhere that actually opens the OS file browser to the location of the currently open file or currently selected asset?


Having to open the file where the asset originates from in order to change categorization is actually not all that annoying.

The primary annoying thing about it is how miserably long it takes for another Blender instance to open.

Might it be possible to always have 2 instances of Blender in memory and only show the 2nd one when we go to edit an asset and then if for some reason we need a 3rd or more, then it’s acceptable for those additional instances to take several seconds to open.


+1 nice idea.
Could be implemented as right-click on asset > “Open source file location”


I left some feedback there, testing this today I stumbled upon this, and I think it may be important to not the difference between reusing the already existing collection in the scene, and creating a new collection and repopulating it with all the objects from the original one :slight_smile:

Can we get 2 dynamic/automatic Asset Library entries?

  • Current File’s Folder
  • Current File’s Folder’s Subfolders

I don’t want to have to add an Asset Library folder entry in the settings for every little project with assets unique to that project. It should be safe to assume that any sibling Blend files in the same directory as the current Blend file should have their assets made available to the current file.

Perhaps the Current Blend’s Folder button could do that?

I downloaded a few 1.3GB Blend files and I’m unpacking them and making the heaviest objects their own .Blend files to make it faster and easier to back things up to my Google Drive. No sense in uploading 1.3GB every time I change the strength of a light and save. I’m not using any of these assets in any other file than the one they came from. I’m probably never go to touch these files again after next week. I shouldn’t have to add each unzipped folder to the blender file path settings to be able to see the assets in the browser.

I also don’t want to point the browser to a parent folder with everything inside of it. There are 33 projects with a dozen or more objects I’m turning into their own blend files and having to dig through assets from 30 unrelated projects (that all contain similarly named assets) to find 6 or 12 things just sounds annoying compared to: “Every blend file in the same folder as the open file will have its assets displayed in the browser.”

Alternative solution: Let us drag and drop a handful of .blend files into the asset browser to display only the assets from that file. Or, put an address bar in the asset browser so we can paste the location of the folder we want to see assets from.

Another benefit of collections over objects. If the source file is moved, the linked object is broken and there’s no way to see exactly where the linked object was located. When a linked collection is broken, you still have the Empty in the original location. You can fix the link or make the Empty instance some other Collection. Knowing where the asset was located is just really good to have.

Why isn’t it possible to instance plain objects on Empties?

For convenience, regardless of which mode the Outliner is in, we should be able to right click any linked item and refresh it. It is odd that the Asset Browser will auto-refresh to reflect changes to the object/thumbnail that were made in the Blender instance I just closed, but the actual objects in the scene don’t refresh and if I drag the recently edited asset from the asset browser into the scene I get the earlier version that I had added to the scene earlier.


And thanks for opening a space for feedback. :slight_smile:

I would suggest to add an option to run a library override on the collection from the asset browser. When using this mode Link + Override I imagine an override would be applied and the entire collection Hierarchy would be selected.

We use asset browser to manage a library of characters and it would be a big time saver. This could simplify some workflows that are similar.

So the Import Type list could be:

  • Link
  • Link (Override)
  • Append
  • Append (Reuse Data)


Thank you so much for implementing Collection Assets!

Using lot’s of variants for most objects, I’d like to select already placed collection instances in the viewport and replace them in one click with another asset variant selected in the Asset Browser.

A python operator to add/link an asset selected in the Asset Browser to the scene would be very useful for this particular request.

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This can already by done in 2 or 3 clicks followed by one alt+click.

How exactly does it work with 2-3 clicks and one alt-click?

But apart from a manual way, I’d prefer a 1-click solution to replace assets in scene with an asset selected in the browser right in place.

It makes a big difference in usability when working with hundreds of assets (and variants).
One could also do a quick blockout with placeholder assets and later fill in other final assets this way.

A python operator that adds the selected asset from the browser to the scene (and maybe gives the object(s) back as a return value) would be sufficient in the first place.
One could build any kind of convenience functions based on it.

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Will this functionality be added to the local (Current File) assets? I’d like to keep my collection assets within their respective files, however when I restore them with make instances real the hierarchy is gone.
Also, are there plans to be able to pack the sidecar txt file? This makes the blend files unnecessarily cumbersome.

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