Incremental Filesaving

How do I Save a File Incrementally in Blender?

There is a bit of confusion about the best way to save a Blender file.

I suggest you never save !!!


No, only joking, but you shouldn’t save a file over itself unless it is almost identical. Instead, Save incrementally. What does this mean, and why does it help us?

When creating a 3D drawing, it is unbelievably easy to make a mistake and not realise it until you have progressed further. This happens to me constantly (or maybe I just make many mistakes!). All too often, you need to be able to go back to where you made a mistake, fix it and then repeat your subsequent steps. If you simply save your file over itself by pressing the universal saving method of Ctrl KeyS key , Blender renames the previous file to a .blend1 type file and saves the latest state of your drawing to the .blend file. The next time you save, the same thing occurs. So at any point, you only have the current file and a backup of the previous one. If you save your work often (say every 15 minutes), your oldest backup is 30 minutes old.

But what happens if you discover that you made a mistake 45 minutes ago? You can’t go back and fix it. Instead, you have to redo and repair and jump through heaven knows how many hoops to repair your drawing. You may even have to start again from scratch (it’s happened to me many times)!

So what should we do?

When starting a new Blender file, before you draw anything, immediately save the drawing in the folder where you want to keep it and with the appropriate filename.

Never save with Ctrl KeyS key ,

Always save with S key , which brings up the Save As dialog box

The Save As window

click the + button and the filename immediately increments by 1 :

The filename gets a number appended to the name

Click the Save As button.

The next time you save, save with and in the Save As dialogue box, click the +, and the filename is incremented by 1. Then click the Save As button, and you are done. You now have four files in your folder:

  • My new illustration.blend – the original
  • My new illustration.blend1 – the backup when you just pressed
  • My new illustration1.blend – the next version
  • My new illustration2.blend – the current version

So ,saving incrementally in Blender means creating a bunch of saved files with an increasing number at the end of the filename.

Note: the file extension (.blend) should not have an incremental number appended to it.

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