Q: Custom application templates - Saving out preferences and scene files?


Didn’t know where to exactly place this one, so I hope this is OK for people.

I’m trying to create some custom application templates for a course, but running into some issues with the preference files. This is mainly because you cannot save out preferences directly.

As far as I could find online, you save out your tweaked scene twice. Once as ‘startup.blend’ for the scene itself, and once as ‘userpref.blend’ for the tweaked preferences.
You put both in a logically named folder, zip it and install it as a custom application template.

If you do it like this, the custom template works for the scene, but the custom user preferences will not be picked up. You will have to redo/resave them manually, and move the newly created pref file back into the custom template folder for it all to work as intended.

Is this a limitation in the system, a bug, or do I miss something here?

cheers for any tips,


This is mainly because you cannot save out preferences directly.

Not sure what you mean by this. You can save preferences from the menu at the bottom left corner of the preferences window and copy the resulting file into your application template.

Only some settings are read though. See BKE_blender_userdef_app_template_data_swap, if we need to read other settings from the app_preferences they can be added there.

What I meant is that you cannot save the preferences to a file on disk directly. Yes, you can go ‘save preferences’ in the menu, but not into a new file somewhere on disk.

Now you have to create the template with just the startup file, install it, open it up, set your preferences, save them, open up file explorer and copy the new created pref file into your custom template folder.

If you want to distribute the template, you will have to create a new zipfile, now with both the startup and prefs file, among possible splash screens and scripts. I was hoping to take away some of these steps by saving both files out directly.

That was the thing I was looking into, but there’s no way around this it seems.

And if you can point to some more info on the BKE_blender_userdef_app_template_data_swap that would be great, as I couldn’t find much on it so far…



We could streamline writing out application templates, it’s just this would only be used by an extremely small number of people who are creating their own app-templates.

We could add the ability to save preferences & startup to a file path (see patch). Then have a menu item to update the current app-template which is only visible when “Developer Extras” are enabled.

See ./source/blender/blenkernel/intern/blender.c for BKE_blender_userdef_app_template_data_swap

Something like that would be very nice. :slight_smile:

It’s probably a chicken&egg situation, as not a lot of people know custom templates can be done.
If this can be done in a more simple way, and to keep it away from the ‘regular users’, the developer toggle would we great for showing/hiding the menu options.

I find the templates very useful for quickly swapping between various UI sets & addons/settings.
For e.g. demo purposes you can quickly swap back to a default state of Blender, without killing all your settings you have done all over.

Cheers for the reply, please let me know if/when this is implemented. In the meantime I’ll keep an eye on this.


Thanks? On a topic over two years old? :stuck_out_tongue:

The original answer still stands, and your workflow is something that is discussed on the web as well :wink:


here you go:
Creating a custom application template - Support / Basics & Interface - Blender Artists Community :slight_smile: