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Where are Blender Textures Stored?


Written by Hayden

Published on Last Updated on

Blender Textures are generally stored on the computer native file system. But if they are “packed” they will be stored in the blender file itself (Almost like a zip file).


Blender is a powerful open-source 3D creation software that allows users to create stunning visual effects, animations, and 3D models. One of the essential elements in creating 3D models is the use of textures. Textures provide realistic details, such as colors, patterns, and materials, to the surface of a 3D object.

Understanding where these textures are stored is crucial for maintaining an organized workflow and easily accessing them when needed. In this article, we will guide you through the different locations where Blender textures are stored.

Understanding Blender Textures

Before we dive into the locations where Blender textures are stored, let's first understand what a texture is in the context of Blender. In Blender, a texture is an image or a set of images that are mapped onto the surface of a 3D object, usually via a UV coordinate system. These images can be created within Blender using its built-in texture painting tools or imported from external sources, such as substance, mari or 3Dcoat. You can learn more about texturing within Blender here.

Textures can be used to simulate various surface properties, such as color, roughness, bumpiness, transparency, and much more. By applying different textures to different parts of a 3D model, artists can create highly detailed, realistic objects.

Texture Types in Blender

Blender supports various texture types, and each type has its own storage location. Here are some of the commonly used texture types in Blender:

  1. Image Texture: An image texture is a texture that uses a single image file. It is the most common type of texture used in Blender and is often used for color, bump, and displacement mapping.
  2. Procedural Texture: They are stored as materials or as nodes within the .blend file or blenders systems. A procedural texture is a computer-generated texture that is generated based on mathematical algorithms. These textures are highly flexible and customizable, allowing artists to create complex patterns, gradients, and noises.
  3. Environment Texture: Similar to image textures they are stored externally or packed within the file. An environment texture is used to create realistic lighting and reflections. It typically uses a high dynamic range (HDR) image to simulate the environment surrounding the 3D object.
  4. Brush Texture: These are usually stored within the blender file itself - either unique to the project - or in the case of default brush types - may be in all your files. A brush texture is used in Blender's texture painting mode as well as grease pencil. It defines the pattern and characteristics of the brush stroke during painting.

Where Are Blender Textures Stored?

Now that we have a basic understanding of Blender textures, let's explore the different locations where these textures are stored:

External File Paths

If you have imported textures created or downloaded from external sources, the file paths of these textures will be determined by where you have saved them on your computer. It's essential to remember the location where you have stored these textures for easy access.

By default, Blender will store the file path of externally imported textures within the Blender project file itself. However, if you move or delete the original texture files, Blender will not be able to locate them. In such cases, you will need to manually update the file paths in Blender to point to the new location of the textures.

You can make these paths relative to the folders location on the computer to minimize the problem of your data becoming lost.

Internal Files (Packed)

Packed files are similar to relative files. Except that they do not exist outside of the blender file. Instead they are stored directly in the blender file within the image folder. (This can only be exposed when linking/appending or via the blender file outliner mode.

An example showing where image files can be found in Blender's outliner.

This is a really convenient method for storing image textures if you expect to be moving the file around a lot.

Tips for Organizing Blender Textures

Now that you know where Blender textures are stored, it's essential to adopt good organizational practices to keep your textures organized and easily accessible. Here are a few tips:

  1. Use Descriptive File Names: Give your texture files meaningful and descriptive names to quickly identify them when browsing through a large collection of textures.
  2. Create Folders for Different Texture Types: Create separate folders for different texture types, such as color, bump, displacement, etc. This will make it easier to locate specific types of textures when you need them.
  3. Use Subfolders for Projects: If you are working on multiple Blender projects simultaneously, create separate subfolders within the main textures folder for each project. This will help keep the textures organized and prevent any confusion between different projects.
  4. Backup Your Textures: Regularly backup your texture files to prevent any data loss. Consider using cloud storage or external hard drives for reliable backups.


Blender textures are an essential part of creating realistic 3D models and visual effects. Understanding where these textures are stored is crucial for maintaining an organized workflow and easily accessing them when needed. By following the guidelines mentioned in this article, you can keep your textures organized and ensure a smooth texture mapping process in Blender.

About the Author


Hello there, Blendertutorials story begins with an idea. An idea to make learning 3D more accessible and easy. There are a lot of great tutorials out there, but very few that truly have the scope or the functions of blender tutorials. My aim with this site was to create something unique, that may help people achieve their dreams with 3D. Despite the name blender tutorials and myself using the software for near on 15 years, I don't like to consider myself a Blender Artist, rather I am a story teller first and foremost. I believe Blender is a tool and it should be used in conjunction with other tools. It is for this reason that I teach you from the perceptive of a technical storyteller not a Blender Artist. And I feel that that is a defining feature of Blender Tutorials. Yes, we look at the technical side of 3D art through the lens of Blender. But it is all in service of telling a story. It has been such a journey to try and create this service. When I started. I had only limited knowledge of creating websites. Now... well... I am quite happy with the outcome. I have learnt so much on this journey from myself and from all of you that join me on it. Thank you so much for making blender tutorials apart of your learning!

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