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I open Blender and set Render to Cycles. I have downloaded many materials to my computer. To use them in a project I Append and choose a file with materials and append 9 or 10 materials. They show up and I apply chosen ones to my models. I save my project and close. I start a new project and go to choose a material and there are no materials in the file. Why don't the materials that I appended before stay there? Do I have to do this process every time I start a new project or is there a way to keep the materials I appended? The projects are not related but I would like to have all materials available without having to Append in every new project.

Keep in mind that I am new. Is it possible that Append isn't what I'm looking for? whatever way I need, my point is to get materials into Blender so that they are always available. Thank you.

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  • $\begingroup$ The reason why the materials don't appear in a new file is because the list of materials would become huge if they all stayed. $\endgroup$ – Ezra May 19 '16 at 9:39
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Append imports the materials into you current scene, so it is project related. Yes, you will have to append them every time this way.

The solution I'd use in this situation is to append them to the default scene and save the edited default scene as the new default startup file (google how to do this, its easy). When you start Blender, the scene will be loaded with the added materials.

Make sure that you make the materials persistent by hitting the "F" button. Blender deletes unused materials on close if they are not persistent. The button will add a "fake user" and the material won't get deleted.

Here some post that could help you out:

Changing startup file

About the "F" and the "2" button in material panel

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  • $\begingroup$ please fix the first link about changing the startup file. also in my opinion it's quicker to say use the "Ctrl+U" shortcut or file->save startup file rather than "google how to do this..." . $\endgroup$ – user2816 May 19 '16 at 23:08
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You don't have to append them every time to the same file, check the F button beside the material, and blender will keep it there even if it's not assigned to an object "check the image".

Blender removes all non assigned materials when you close it and reopen it to keep the size down and to keep the material stack clean, but of course when you need to keep a material that you might use later, pressing F will tell Blender to keep it, this doesn't only apply to materials, wherever you see this F button, it does the same thing.

enter image description here

The example you see in this image, this material isn't assigned to an object. You can know this because it doesn't have a number next to it, the F button is un-checked so when I close Blender and reopen the same file later, this material wont probably be there.

Edit (clarification): The same concept applies for appended materials and for materials created within the scene.
If you create a material(A) for an object, then reassign a different material(B), Then material(A) in case not assigned to another object, will stay around as long as the file is open, if you don't check the F button for this material, close Blender, reopen the same file again, this material will not be available, so there's no difference between appended and locally created materials, when you append a material, it's already a part of your file.

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  • $\begingroup$ The question is not about materials disappearing when reopening an old file, but about materials that aren't already appended when creating a new file. $\endgroup$ – Ezra May 19 '16 at 11:50
  • $\begingroup$ No matter how the materials are created, whether made in the same file, or appended from another, this applies to all materials in a file, I re-read the question again, he's saying that after appending the materials and closing - reopening, the materials disappear, the same thing will happen if he creates a material and doesn't assign it to an object if he doesn't check the F button. $\endgroup$ – Georges May 19 '16 at 13:15
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    $\begingroup$ He said: "I start a new project", which means that he is not reopening his old file, but opening a new one. $\endgroup$ – Ezra May 19 '16 at 13:35
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, you're right, but keep in mind that he said also he's new to Blender, he already have an answer on how to keep the materials in all new projects, my answer was suggesting that he doesn't need to do so, and telling him or whoever reading this, how to keep unused material in the file he already saved, I believe this method is more memory efficient, and will keep Blender clean, and the person who asked the question, or whoever is reading, can take it or leave it. $\endgroup$ – Georges May 19 '16 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you so much. The materials used in a project do come back when I reopen the project. The F key is what I'm looking for. I had appended the materials and I did learn about saving the startup file and I tried that, but all I saw when I started a new project was the material I last used. You guys have answered my question, and Thank you R00t. I'm not doing this for work, so I don't think i'll ever have an overwhelming amount of materials. I could be wrong. I am also new to this forum so I hope I can learn how you guys do things here and hope that some day I can contribute. $\endgroup$ – Somps May 20 '16 at 6:15

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