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I am attempting to install the Oscurart tools as found in https://github.com/oscurart/BlenderAddons. I tried other sources first but no luck with them either.

I have Blender 2.76 2015-Nov-04 on a Mac running 10.11.3

After downloading the zip file from GitHub I used install from file in the Add-ons pane of Blender's User Preferences to install the zip file. I don't get any notifications from Blender that I see as to a result but it goes back to the Add-ons list.

The files do all appear in ~/Library/Application Support/Blender/2.76/scripts/addons.

Quitting Blender and restarting it even with all three support levels selected and All categories the tools are no where to be found. I've looked at all the other answers related to installing addons I can find and have come up empty.

Does anyone have any clue what is going wrong?

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The zip contains many add-ons, in this case the Install From File feature in User Preferences won't do the right thing. The zip on github isn't intended to be used with Install from File directly. Blender will unpack the content of that zip to a folder inside your addons folder, called Blender Addons-master.

Solution

First you should extract the zip to somewhere on your local disk, then use the Install from File option to navigate to that directory and pick the add-on you wish to install.

You know an add-on was added to Blender's collection when straight away after that procedure the add-on is shown in the panel -- waiting for you to enable it (it will be unticked until you do).

edit

One might more accurately describe that collection of add-ons as a collection of add-ons and scripts. Some of the Python files in the collection can't be installed as add-ons. Blender expects scripters to add a bl_info description to their code if they want to make the script available as an add-on for installation. Without bl_info Blender won't be recognized them. Scripts that don't have a bl_info can usually be run from Blender's text-editor, and they may or may not have any UI.

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  • $\begingroup$ This mostly worked. Some of them just refuse to install no matter what. Looks like part of installing them involves converting from python to python bytecode, perhaps it's time to learn how to do that conversion and see if I can help the precess along in some way. $\endgroup$ – theMikeSwan Mar 4 '16 at 0:25
  • $\begingroup$ So there is a trick that will get more of the addons to install. For any addon that doesn't install the normal way use python to compile it in Terminal. Add those compiled files to the _pycache_ folder in the addons folder in application support. Then start Blender and install the original files. Provided they have the proper bl_info block at the top they should install. Not all of the Oscurart addons have this block so some still won't install but its a step in the right direction. $\endgroup$ – theMikeSwan Mar 4 '16 at 1:04
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Manual installation of oscurart on linux:

Create a folder in usr/share/blender/addons named /oscurart_tools

Then copy the seven furnished .py files in that folder

Restart blender eventually (I'm unsure if this is compulsory)

the add on will appear.

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