How can I access the linked objects inside a linked collection on Blender 2.8?

Inside the view layer navigator I cannot see the objects inside the drop down.

Linked Collection
  |-> Linked Collection
        |-> "Nothing"

I can link the objects individually but I need to preserve the Collection hierarchy, because:

  1. The scene is quite complex, and I cannot know (easily) which objects are inside the collection I need to link, inside the list of all objects.
  2. If the source collection has new objects added, I need them to be added (which is the behavior of the linked collection).

Any Idea how to do it? Thank you very much.

My problem with more detail:

I'd like to be able to access the linked objects inside a linked collection so I can change the materials for the linked objects as they define here.

I can make it work with Blender 2.8 linking objects directly and using a Library Override for the object, so I can change the material data block. But, I cannot find a way to access the linked collection's objects... to do the same, preserving the versatility of a linked collection.


I found in the documentation Making an Instanced Collection Real which supposedly archives what I need, but does not work (at least I cannot make it work) with linked collections:

"Simply select your Instance Collection and press Shift-Ctrl-A to convert the collection into regular objects".

"Note that if the instanced collection was linked from an external file, the Object Data (mesh, materials, textures, transforms) will also still be linked from the original collection".

Edit 2: I need to use the same source file collection, and be able to have instances with different material overrides locally. So I can have the same objects with different colors in different instances.


1 Answer 1


I use this:


I set it to appear in my favorites panel. It opens the linked file; and when you are done; you

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer, but the addon does not solve my problem, because it modifies the source file, so every instance of the collection will be the same, without local materials overrides. I can see it wasn’t too clear in my original question, I’m going to edit it. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 0:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I see. I think Proxies are what you are looking for. Though Library overrides are supposed to be the newer version of proxies. I am not familiar with them in use though. To make objects that behave as you described, I have remade collections in a new file; while linking the objects themselves into the new file. (Typically this involves recreating the collection structure manually. Then you can use 'create proxy' on the newly linked mesh objects. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 2:54
  • $\begingroup$ Awesome, thank you very much! If that is the way to go I'll have to redo the structure manually. Is kind of strange Blender does not allow to access (at object level) linked collections. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ I am not familiar with much as far as coding, so if that's the context of what you are looking for, it may very well be possible; though I wouldn't be the one to ask. I just know that proxies seem to fit the bill of what you are trying to achieve. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2020 at 4:40

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