I am looking for a way to use relative paths in Blender to link to external image, movie, etc... files. I assemble all of my .blend files on my MacBook (OS X Yosemite) and link to the images I've selected by connecting my Finder to a downstairs headless Xubuntu server, through which Blender can then create an absolute path. I then render using this server. However, I have been looking for a way around linking Finder and creating an absolute path, as I must be at my house to connect Finder. I've read that if I use a relative path (//file1), as opposed to an absolute path (Users/.../file1), I should be able to easily send an entire folder, assembled locally on my laptop, to the server, but I haven't been able to get this to work.

In an attempt to create relative paths, I remapped all of the paths in one of my existing .blend files to correspond to the same image textures locally in the folder on my computer where I store said .blend file. I then tried to use the File > External Data > Make All Paths Relative option, but all of my paths were still absolute. Any thoughts?


2 Answers 2


How Relative paths work:

Two of the same file structures

  1. If you are working on COM 2

  2. Your .blend file references paths on COM 2 relatively

  3. If your same structure & content then exists over on COM 1


When you copy your updated reference content & .blend from COM 2 over to COM 1, everything should work fine.

If what you are really doing is:

Working on a .blend over on COM 2, using all of your references from COM 1 as something like: //COM1/A/HDPE_Plastic_Texture_001.png

Then relative pathing will not work inherently.

To give you a sense of how you could get it to work, I will demonstrate a few use cases, and it should help you understand what you would need to do in your particular case.

Use Case #1 (The best case):

  1. Your .blend exists at the root of COM 1


REPLACE: //COM1/A/HDPE_Plastic_Texture_001.png

WITH: ./A/HDPE_Plastic_Texture_001.png

Use Case #2:

  1. Your .blend exists in a sub-folder of COM 1 - such as //COM1/B/myWorkingFile.blend


REPLACE: //COM1/A/HDPE_Plastic_Texture_001.png

WITH: ../A/HDPE_Plastic_Texture_001.png


the blender file (.blend) and the other files (videos, textures, pictures) should be in the same folder and then "make all paths relative".

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This option is not ideal, especially when you are using the same resource libraries over and over again. $\endgroup$
    – Rick Riggs
    Feb 14, 2017 at 20:48
  • $\begingroup$ it worked on linux, interesting some paths were ignored as they are not pointing to files, like the renderto path $\endgroup$ Feb 9, 2019 at 0:06

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