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I'm after some guidance on best practice and options here.

I have a character model in blend file A, it is a collection of separate objects. There is also an armature. The various objects which make up the character are parented to the bones of the armature. This is a robot character so I don't want any mesh deforms; the parenting is sufficient.

As part of the character, there is a point light parented to one of the objects.

I don't want to join the objects because:

  • It is more manageable to edit separate objects
  • Some have modifiers which I don't want to 'apply'
  • They lose their parent bone, which is all set up nicely

Now let's say I want to link to the character from blend file B. I choose link, and link the collection which includes the rig and all its child objects.

Now; how should I go about animating this character? I can see two options:

  • Make a proxy - I can make a proxy of the rig, and great, I can animate it, however
    • I can't animate the light brightness
    • It sounds like proxies are going to be deprecated
  • Use a library override, however
    • It bring in everything as separate objects, which is unmanageable when I just want to animate the whole character and hide the implementation details

Can anyone offer any guidance here, what would be the standard or best practice way of doing this? A link to a tutorial would be a very valid answer.

Many thanks

Pete

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  • $\begingroup$ I found a way to manage the library override option - using the outliner to make all the details unselectable (the arrow icon). This might be the best of both worlds $\endgroup$ – Pete Jun 12 at 17:52
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I would use a proxy if you want to keep everything as light as possible. As for the light, you could put it in a different collection in the character file so it doesn't get linked in and then append the light so it's locally in your animation file.

Library Overrides are like an advanced proxy technique. Yes, every single object gets imported and that can be a little overwhelming at the beginning. So you could just add a new child collection in the character file where you throw all the objects in to organize the outliner a bit better. Library overrides have the huge advantage that you can still access each part on its own so you could add modifiers on them in the animation file. Another usecase would be if you're using render layers and you want to separate your character to different layers. For example: I'm working on a vfx shot with a drone that has a laser beam. Using library overrides I can put the laser beam on its own render layer and bring it back in compositing to control the intensity of it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Awesome, thanks for the clear explanation $\endgroup$ – Pete Jun 12 at 17:34

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