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Now that we are officially (yay) a part of SE, we can revisit one of the main issues that has "plagued" our community and been largely inconsistent with our derived meta of how our site should work.

We want a familiar place to permanently store blend files as opposed to random services such as mega and temporary hosts such as pasteall.

This is not a want, it's a need now

Huge thanks to GiantCowFilms for stepping up with a solution that worked well but we are in need of something more convenient now. For one, we would like this to be intuitive and normal as in we don't have to remind or tell users to attach files (see 3rd point above).

I won't go into any more detail since this has been discussed many many times, see my answer here for a quick overview.

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    $\begingroup$ Maybe it's worth asking the blendercloud guys if they could sponsor / host it. ducks -- good for the name propagation. $\endgroup$ – zeffii Feb 1 '16 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ While I think many questions would benefit from having a blend file uploaded, I think there are many that would not, so I'd be more inclined to use the verb "facilitate in place of "encourage" in bullet item 3. $\endgroup$ – brasshat Feb 3 '16 at 5:43
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    $\begingroup$ @zeffii BE still has quite a bit of space left, and moving to another 3D party sponsor will only delay the inevitable. I think the only good forward moving solution will be to have SE host it. $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms Feb 3 '16 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ well, what makes it attractive for a site like imgur to host stackexchange images? what kind of deal exists for that? $\endgroup$ – zeffii Feb 3 '16 at 19:55
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    $\begingroup$ I imagine some tags could use a small .blend in their description too as reinforcement of complex topics. $\endgroup$ – zeffii Feb 4 '16 at 8:37
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    $\begingroup$ Commenting to let you know that I've seen this and I'll circle back soonish. $\endgroup$ – Taryn Feb 11 '16 at 14:37
  • $\begingroup$ @bluefeet any news on this? $\endgroup$ – cegaton Feb 26 '16 at 21:21
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This type of request has been made before and we have never offered up storage for files like this because there are so many 3rd party storage options. I asked internally to see if it's feasible for us to host this for you, but currently, we don't have any structure in place to do so, and we have no plans to do so in the foreseeable future. I'm going to have to this request.

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Yes, big thanks to @GiantCowFilms for stepping up. Without seeing the stats for blend-exchange and analytics for BSE it's tricky to establish how much having a convenient and permament .blend hosting feature available has contributed to the firm growth of BSE. I would be surprised if the effect was negligable.

Allowing large .blend shares does strike me as potentially counter productive. As a teaching tool we should be encouraging people to do one of the following two options. (Some people do this automatically because they have time and have learned how to learn)

  1. (Subtractive)
    make a duplicate of your .blend and do the following to it:

    • remove all the stuff that doesn't need to be in the blend

      • materials
      • objects
      • textfiles
      • packaged images (etc)
    • if only a part of an Object is problematic border select around it, invert and delete the rest.

    • only when you can't remove any more details without making the .blend useless as a communication tool, then upload.
  2. (Additive)
    start a .blend from scratch, with the simplest representation of the problem you face.

How often would the OP solve most of their own problem by being automatically confronted with a suggested diagnostic approach.

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    $\begingroup$ I can only think of three cases where a large .blend could possibly be justified: (1) large textures are required (2) Detailed high-poly geometry is required (3) Troubleshooting is being done on a scene that is large, and it cannot be reduced further (most can be reduced without interfering with troubleshooting, and reducing usually makes troubleshooting easier). $\endgroup$ – Mentalist Feb 6 '16 at 0:44
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    $\begingroup$ While it has been helpful to have more files available it has drawbacks. One of them being users asking questions like: Here's my file, someone please fix it for me!, with little or no effort to describe the issue or formulate a proper question. Even worse is that some answers become "here's your fixed file" and only through detective work can someone else learn. $\endgroup$ – cegaton Feb 8 '16 at 1:57
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    $\begingroup$ cegaton, yes! .blends can reinforce learned helplessness. We like to think we're helping, but in the long run quite often it results in 1) A question that's only useful for one person. 2) possibly doing that one person a dis-service if they didn't create the shared .blend purely for the sake of demonstrating a single issue. (us solving it without them taking the time to single out the issue) $\endgroup$ – zeffii Feb 8 '16 at 8:52
  • $\begingroup$ zeffii, BTW, if you want blend-exchange stats, contact me in chat, I could potentially get them for you (I'm not great with MySQL). $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms Feb 12 '16 at 2:27
  • $\begingroup$ unfortunately i'm not free to sink time into this within the foreseeable future. $\endgroup$ – zeffii Feb 12 '16 at 10:44

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