Application templates are a feature that allows you to define a re-usable configuration that can be selected to replace the default configuration, without requiring a separate Blender installation or overwriting your personal settings.
Application templates can be selected from the splash screen orsubmenu. When there are no templates found the menu will not be displayed on the splash screen.
New application templates can be installed from the Blender Menu. If you would like to keep the current application template active on restarting Blender, save your preferences.
In some cases it’s not enough to write a single script or add-on, and expect someone to replace their preferences and startup file, install scripts and change their keymap.
The goal of application templates is to support switching to a customized configuration without disrupting your existing settings and installation. This means people can build their own applications on top of Blender that can be easily distributed.
An application template may define its own:
- Startup File
The default file to load with this template.
Only certain preferences from a template are used:
- Splash Screen
Templates may provide their own splash screen image.
- Python Scripts
While templates have access to the same functionality as any other scripts, typical operations include:
Modifying and replacing parts of the user interface.
Defining new menus, keymaps and tools.
Defining a custom add-on path for template specific add-ons.
Templates also have their own user configuration, so saving a startup file while using a template won’t overwrite your default startup file.
Templates may be located in one of two locations within the
- Template locations:
User configuration is stored in a subdirectory:
- Without a template:
- With a template:
See Blender’s Directory Layout for details on script and configuration locations.
When creating an application template, you may run into issues where paths are not being found. To investigate this you can log output of all of Blender’s path look-ups.
Example command line arguments that load Blender with a custom application template
my_app_template with the name of your own template):
blender --log "bke.appdir.*" --log-level -1 --app-template my_app_template
You can then check the paths where attempts to access
my_app_template are made.
Command Line Access
Using the command-line arguments you can setup a launcher that opens Blender with a specific app template:
blender --app-template my_template
Each of the following files can be used for application templates but are optional.
Factory startup file to use for this template.
Factory preferences file to use for this template. When omitted preferences are shared with the default Blender configuration.
(As noted previously, this is only used for a subset of preferences).
Splash screen to override Blender’s default artwork (not including header text). Note, this image must be a
A Python script which must contain
userpref.blend are considered Factory Settings
and are never overwritten.
The user may save their own startup/preferences while using this template which will be stored
in their user configuration, but only when the template includes its own
The original template settings can be loaded using: Load Template Factory Settings from the file menu in much the same way Load Factory Settings works.
While app templates can use Python scripts, they simply have access to the same APIs available for add-ons and any other scripts.
As noted above, you may optionally have an
__init__.py in your app template.
This has the following advantages:
Changes can be made to the startup or preferences, without having to distribute a blend-file.
Changes can be made dynamically.
You could for example – configure the template to check the number of processors, operating system and memory, then set values based on this.
You may enable add-ons associated with your template.
On activation a
register function is called,
unregister is called when another template is selected.
As these only run once, any changes to defaults must be made via handler. Two handlers you are likely to use are:
These allow you to define your own “factory settings”, which the user may change, just as Blender has it’s own defaults when first launched.
This is an example
__init__.py file which defines defaults for an app template to use.
import bpy from bpy.app.handlers import persistent @persistent def load_handler_for_preferences(_): print("Changing Preference Defaults!") from bpy import context prefs = context.preferences prefs.use_preferences_save = False kc = context.window_manager.keyconfigs["blender"] kc_prefs = kc.preferences if kc_prefs is not None: kc_prefs.select_mouse = 'RIGHT' kc_prefs.spacebar_action = 'SEARCH' kc_prefs.use_pie_click_drag = True view = prefs.view view.header_align = 'BOTTOM' @persistent def load_handler_for_startup(_): print("Changing Startup Defaults!") # Use smooth faces. for mesh in bpy.data.meshes: for poly in mesh.polygons: poly.use_smooth = True # Use material preview shading. for screen in bpy.data.screens: for area in screen.areas: for space in area.spaces: if space.type == 'VIEW_3D': space.shading.type = 'MATERIAL' space.shading.use_scene_lights = True def register(): print("Registering to Change Defaults") bpy.app.handlers.load_factory_preferences_post.append(load_handler_for_preferences) bpy.app.handlers.load_factory_startup_post.append(load_handler_for_startup) def unregister(): print("Unregistering to Change Defaults") bpy.app.handlers.load_factory_preferences_post.remove(load_handler_for_preferences) bpy.app.handlers.load_factory_startup_post.remove(load_handler_for_startup)