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I'm looking for a better way to version Blender files under Git. By default the entire file is saved as one big blob even though it is a structured format (has scenes, meshes, cameras... I can see it when linking parts of another blend file).

Because it's one binary file it doesn't play nice with version control systems. Is there a way to save an "unpacked" blend file?

I don't need features like diffing and merging, I just want the different versions stored more efficiently in the face of progress.

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  • $\begingroup$ This question appears to be off-topic because it is a feature request for a text-based alternative to the .blend format. $\endgroup$ – CoDEmanX Dec 22 '14 at 19:58
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure why you see this as a feature request. The question was wether this functionality exists, not a request to implement it... $\endgroup$ – Nikita Dec 22 '14 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ By default it is not "packed" as in the textures are not packed into the actual scene data. I don't think that is what you are asking about, though . . ? $\endgroup$ – VRM Dec 22 '14 at 20:25
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    $\begingroup$ The answer is currently no, It's not possible to output an ascii .blend (though supposedly it wouldn't be too hard to implement this). This is probably on the roadmap, as some VCS work is being done as part of gooseberry. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Dec 22 '14 at 21:24
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    $\begingroup$ .blend is binary, no matter if as a single file or multiple and thus not suitable for version control (compression on or off doesn't make much of a difference). There've been discussions about text-based formats, and BlenderXML was an attempt to implement it, but it's a dead project. A new attempt in this direction is a feature request IMO. $\endgroup$ – CoDEmanX Dec 23 '14 at 0:34
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Since you don't need diff and merge functions, you could organize your files differently. You could create one or more scene files to be used as empty containers and link everything else.

This way you would only commit real changes in linked objects and avoid to commit lots of unchanged binary data. You can easily switch back and forth·between your scene files to the linked ones using the Edit Linked Library addon.

Related:

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  • $\begingroup$ "Edit Linked Library" is great, thanks! $\endgroup$ – Nikita Dec 24 '14 at 19:05

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