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My scene involves 1 object (3D model) with its 2 materials, 2 corresponding textures and 1 meta-rigging I am often confused by the way blender saves files, for example:

  • When I save the texture as a new file, this new file is created in my directory but the file that the material refers to in blender has a name of its own - and that name is usually the name of the original file plus a “.001” after the file extension (ex. blenderTexture.png.001)
    • When does blender create this .001 version? Where does it save it internally? Is this version linked to the original texture file or to the most recent version of this texture file I have saved (under a different name)?
  • I assume blender somehow saves file paths in order to associate the path to the texture file with the material, that is itself part of the object. If this is indeed the case, how can I make sure that I can open the my 3D model with the right textures and meta-rigging on different computers?
    • So far I save the blender file and .blend files associated with 1 3D model in the same folder, along with the image files for the textures and exports of the object (.fbx). I feel like I’m missing some information about how Blender connects these different elements together and how these should be saved in relation to one another.
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When Blender references an image file you have somewhere on your computer, it makes a little structure of information: a file path, the color space in which it thinks it should read that image, and a unique name for the entire structure. The name is not necessarily related to the file name, although it is often derived from the file name. These structures can be linked, in which case they're all the same structure, but you can also have multiple unlinked structures that all reference the same file. So when you have bT.png and bT.png.001, it is probably because there are two distinct "image" structures that you have created in Blender that both reference bT.png. These structures are saved in Blender, but that only means they save the file path, not the actual file, in Blender.

By default, Blender stores filepaths relative to the directory of the .blend on which it is working. So if you want to transfer files between computers, you'll want all texture images either in the same directory as your .blend, or in a subdirectory of your .blend, and then you transfer that entire directory to the other computer.

You can tell Blender to store file paths as either relative to the .blend, or absolute (C:\3D\textures\etc) with options found in the main menu, in File->External Data.

Another option here, which is often the simplest, is to pack all data into the .blend. Once all data is packed into the file, it's no longer referencing copies of images on your computer, but is storing its own images right in the .blend file, so you can be guaranteed that all anyone needs to see your file is the .blend. To pack data, again, you'll find it in File->External Data. (Also useful here is "unpack", which is a good way to separate those files back into subdirectories.)

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