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I remember there was once a project called Verse, which allowed (or at least was supposed to) collaborative editing in Blender, even using Blender collaboratively with other applications.

Is anything along these lines (I.E. collaborative editing across a network) supported in the current version?

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In short: no.

But I imagine that one could work on such functionality again. There is a Verse 2 being developed, with a better Python API. This could be a good next candidate, unfortunately this version is far from complete yet. Certainly an effort on the current version of Verse could be started again.

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  • $\begingroup$ I tried the verse 2 version couple of months back (compiled verse2 from git).. it was in a very early stage.. Will try it out again sometime soon. $\endgroup$ – satishgoda Jun 6 '13 at 7:12
  • $\begingroup$ @satishgoda, it still is in a rather early stage. The main developer Jiri Hnidek has been busy I think. Looks like no commit activity for several months. $\endgroup$ – jesterKing Jun 6 '13 at 7:17
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah. I actually commented on a commit in his git repository and at that time he was adding some Verse Avatar features to the Blender Python addon. $\endgroup$ – satishgoda Jun 6 '13 at 7:53
  • $\begingroup$ Not exactly collaborative editing as in what the OP was looking for, but there is a related (and recent) addon for real time editing between blender and gimp/photoshop $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Aug 1 '13 at 4:05
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Blender does not provide a way for multiple uses to edit the same blend file at exactly the same time. *

However typically you can manage this by splitting your assets into separate blend files and linking from one file to another. Blender supports recursive linking so a scene, node-groups, animation, models, materials etc can all have their own files.

Here is the documentation for the linking structure use by the open movie; Tears of Steel

Some projects do this more fine grained, where the material, armature, mesh, action are all stored in 4 separate blend files and they are combined in a 5th, and composited in a 6th. But inter-linking complexity needs to be managed or you have a mess too, where you load a blend file and 100's of megabytes are loaded because files are interlinking in situations that might be avoided.

I have found the best way to manage linking is to only go in one direction. So for example:

Materials/Nodes -> Models/Rigs/Environments -> Animation -> Compositing

But never link an animation into a material file for eg.

This way its predictable and you can manage what loads in a more controlled way.

Update: since 2.78 its now possible to reload libraries without re-opening the file, see: Datablock and Library Management.


*Blender used to have Verse integration, but it was removed due to not being very practical to use for real projects.

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If multiple people aren't working on the same object, you could separate one bit and Link it into the original file. So one guy works on the main file, and other people work on the Linked files.

Or you could separate everything and have a master-file that is not edited directly, but simply has all the separate pieces linked in and placed correctly.

As far as I know there is no native way for multiple people to work on the same file simultaneously

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