Is there a way to have Blender save a preview of the scene for use as the file-system thumbnail preview? It would make it much easier to review old files.

To clarify, I would like to see the preview image in Finder, like normal image files.


Mac OS X Mavericks, Blender 2.77

I have Preferences > File > Show Thumbnails & Save Preview Images check marked.


I understand that there is a python script that extracts a thumbnail, but it does not meet my needs:

  • Doesn't apply the thumbnail as the icon on Mac OS for me.
  • Isn't generated on save / doesn't update.
  • The batch script requires the .blend files to be in the same directory; my files are all over.

Unless I'm using the script wrong, it's not really what I want.

  • $\begingroup$ Blender does this already. What OS/file explorer are you using? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ @someonewithpc - added to question; Mac with Bender 2.77 $\endgroup$
    – Karric
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 19:25
  • $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this as off-topic because it's not about Blender. This is a file browser specific thing. For instance, Thunar doesn't do this, by default, but Firefox's does. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 19:48
  • $\begingroup$ @someonewithpc - I don't understand, wouldn't Blender have to generate the thumbnail image for the file-system to use? $\endgroup$
    – Karric
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 21:39
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that's what blender-thumbnailer.py does. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 21:41

1 Answer 1


Kinda Late but here's what I found...

I ran into this post about 4 months ago with the same problem you had, after some googling and some realization that this was not currently possible I decided to change my direction of googling.

With the little knowledge of Xcode and Obj-C I had I decided to attempt to slap this together...

Please note:

It's not as err "optimized" as a well seasoned coder may make it, but it's enough to do the job. So far I have had pretty good luck with it and I hope you fellows do to

Also I've found that the thumbnails that blender makes are low-quality, so its not as pretty as I hoped it would be. And lastly i've noticed that it does not allways succeed in creating icons for the desktop (odd).


It's quite easy, download the QuickLookViewer here and move it to either ~/Library/Quicklook or /Library/Quicklook if the folder Quicklook does not exist there feel free to create it. Please notice that the one location is local in your account and the other is global on the whole computer.

Next you need to update the Quicklook engine...

Either log out and log back in (the hard solution I might add).

Or simply type the following in Terminal and hit the return key

qlmanage -r

This will force the ql engine to reset...

last of all cheers and good luck! I guess this is my contribution to the Blender project for now! (until they implement it later cause they should)

  • $\begingroup$ also if its buggy and you got problems please tell me here, i come on SE about every fortnight ;) $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 8, 2017 at 13:51

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