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Flow Tutorials

[Tutorial] Flow – Batch Add Objects & Materials

This operation is available since Flow version 2.70. If you’re using older version, get the latest files.

In this very short tutorial, I’ll show you how to use Flow latest feature properly – Batch Add Objects and Batch Add Materials.

Both operators allows you to add multiple objects and multiple materials to your Flow Library within one operation, but some conditions must be met to make it the right way, without the need of repeating the whole process.

Batch Add Objects

To batch add objects to the Flow Library, you should first prepare your desired objects. When you were adding single object, you could add a few separate blender objects as one collection or rename it. As batch operation is a little bit more automated, some things must be prepared before.

Object names

First of all, when using batch operation, each object added to the library will be using it’s Blender objects name. You will not be able to set up the separate name for each selected object within operator. So you’d just need to do that before. You can do that in outliner, object properties or with right-click -> Rename Active Object in the viewport. It’s up to you. You should just do that, not to have dozens of ‘Cube.0XX’ objects in your library.

Object’s naming example

Object origins

It is essentially important to set up the object origins properly, as this points will be used as the base point when adding the assets. You can set up the object origins manually with right-click -> Set origin or you can use one of Flow operators in the Flow Creator panel. Origin to floor is one of the most useful operators when you are for example working with furniture. You can also move the active object’s origin into the 3d cursor with Origin to cursor operator.

Origin to Floor

Remember, that batch operation will use object origin of each separate object, so it’s also quite important to set the origin for each of them.

Adding multiple objects

When ready, run Add Asset to Library operator from Flow Ctrl+Shift+X menu or from Flow Creator panel. Below the library, category and subcategory selection, you will find the Batch Add Selected Objects button. Click it. The name field should disappear, because as I mentioned, objects names will be used.

As always, if you are using ‘external’ textures – the ones from outside the Flow Library, it’s recommended to select Copy Textures & Make Relative, so they are copied into the selected library

If you are ready to add the objects, click OK. Your Blender may hang up for a while, as multiple renders will be made in the background. The duration depends on how complex your selected objects are and how strong your computer is. When you are going to add lots of complex meshes, I strongly recommend to divide this into a few separate operations. When the operations is finished, you’ll be able to use Blender again.

Adding multiple objects to the library

Batch Add Materials

The similar operation has been also provided for the materials. You can add several materials from the selected objects in one operation. Also in this case, the plugin will use the current material name, so you should name them properly before running the operator.

When you are ready, select the objects, containing the desired materials and run Add Material to Library from Ctrl+Shift+X menu or Flow Creator panel.

If you want to add multiple materials, click Batch add materials button, right under the library selection. When activated, you should see all the materials linked to the selected objects. If any materials are linked to few of the selected, they will not appear again on the list.

Each material is made a button, that you can activate or deactivate. So there is no need to adding all the materials from all the selected objects. If there are some trash materials, or ones that you want to move to another category, simply deactivate them, and they will be ignored in this operation.

For now, there is only an option to add the selected materials into one category / subcategory. In the future, we want to develop the option of selecting the cat / subcat separately for each material.

So tweak the rest of settings, and when you’re ready, click OK. Again – this operation may take a while, as multiple preview renders will be made in background.

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I'm the founder of digital.ARCH and all our products. I work with Blender since about 2008, and this time help me to gather a lot of experience with this software