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for my animation project I would love to create some cute stylized clay-like plants. In my final scenes, I will need a lot of them so I decided to use animation nodes to animate their shape keys. But I struggle with linking. So, my question is, can I have:

  1. First .blend file serving as a plant bank (all types of plants are stored here, with proper materials, modifiers, and ready premade shape keys for stylized wind animation)

  2. Second .blend file serving as a full environment, with a proper ground model on which I could place the linked plants.

  3. Third .blend file for final animation scenes (probably one file per scene, but it doesn't matter now). The character rigs are linked here from their source file. The environment and the plants are linked from the second file I mentioned, so the animator (another guy) can't move them. But I can set up the animation nodes setup to control ONLY the shape keys: I will probably need to adjust the wind and the falloffs for each scene individually, so I can't do this in the second file.

???

I tried it, but I always ended up with either fully local objects (so there's no difference between this and hard appending) or a fully linked collection that I can't edit (so the shape key idea doesn't apply).

If it's not currently possible without scripting, is there any workaround? Or how the animation studios do it now?

Thanks a lot!

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