An Online Material Library Add-on - Beta Version 0.6!

I’ve updated the Material Library addon; download the latest alpha version (0.2) at…

Material previews are now implemented. (You may receive an error the first time you download a preview; ignore it and re-select the material. I’ll be looking for a solution.)

Please test it and let me know what ya think of it!

Also, if you notice that a material in the library you created does not have your name with it, please let me know so I can give you credit.

This sounds great, keep us informed of your progress. Would be awesome to be able for the plugin to read all the materials on Blend Swap. Not sure exactly how that would work. But I think it would be sweet for the community. To be able to upload tons of materials to Blend Swap and then they would just show up in your add on. Regardless of how this works. Keep us in the loop.

This is an excelent addon, congratulations!

Brilliant feature add-on! Hopefully this becomes a part of the official Blender when it gets stable enough!
This post was not very informative, but I just had to say something positive about this! :wink:

Keep up the good work!

Hi everyone!

Just wanted to post a quick update to let everyone know I’m still working!

Right now I’m making a page on my website where you’ll eventually be able to submit new materials to the library by pasting in .bcm code which a complementary addon I’ve been working on is able to generate.
I am also working on placing all the category information in a single XML file. It just makes things easier to update.

It certainly is interesting with the whole Python/XML/PHP/MySQL dynamic.

Hopefully in a few weeks I’ll have XML support complete, the submission page finished, and the .bcm code generator addon finished.

Thanks a lot, this is what we need.

it’s one of the most useful addd-on have seen from many times !
What a great idea ^^

As asked before, how to upload materials ? A button should make it very easy and the library should grow up very fast. Maybe a web interface to do it out of Blender, or to create/organize our own library and give notes to the materials.
We should be able to update a materal and suggest the update to validation, with a versionning system maybe. It would be a step forward to a collaborative library.

I can help to make a web interface (i’m also a frontend webdesigner).

Thanks for your work :wink:


Hi Peter,

I’d like congratulate you on this project and throw my support behind your efforts on this excellent add-on! I just recently installed the add-on to test it out and was pleasantly surprised with the current state of the tool. I realize this is still in development, but I thought I would share my two cents on how this project could progress and become the success that it should be!

• Right now the basic functionality of loading material categories, selecting a name, viewing the preview image, and applying the material to the active object IS EXCELLENT - simple and effective

• There are a few minor script errors when selecting some materials, but this is a very minor issue that I’m sure you’re aware of

• At this point for new users of the add-on the biggest contributor to their impression of the plugin is actually the materials themselves. If I were you I’d lock the features, squash the bugs and find some AMAZING materials to add to the library. Take out all the simplistic materials that are one node with a colour selected, these are disappointing and detracting from how great this plugin really is.

• What is the possibility/status of materials that use image textures? For me this could be the difference between a good and a great library service. If you can implement embedded image texture support, that will secure this plugin in every artists toolkit.

Those are my initial thoughts, I hope some or all are helpful. Once again kudos on the project and I wish you much success as you continue working on it!

interesting addon

now i treid to activate it from the addon window
but i cannot see the new panel in mat panel for cycle

does this have to be installed or an be run direclty ?

also can this work with a lcoal file use as a lib for material like the one from Meta Androco?


Hey there, everyone, sorry for making most of you wait forever for a reply… :o

I tried to reply over a week ago and BlenderArtists just made my (rather long) reply disappear into thin air. Pretty annoying.

Well, here’s my responses, for what it’s worth.

Thanks for your feedback! I hope I’ll be able to release version 1.0 within the upcoming months.

Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond! Hopefully I’ll be able to answer your questions.

A) I’m using Tuqueque’s scene because it’s robust; my addon’s previews are pre-rendered (they don’t need to be generated on-the-fly), so the complicated-ness you’re referring to would only occur once (when the preview is rendered for the first time).

  1. Although having materials displayed simply as previews with names would probably be nice, in my opinion, Blender’s filebrowser is too limited for that. I feel that we’d need a brand new window type for that.

D) Sorry, but I wouldn’t know much about render scripts; most of the stuff I’ve done has been material-related. If you haven’t found the answer already, try asking on #blenderor #blendercoders, the folks there were real helpful to me when I started working on my addon.

I wish you luck in your quest to create a simple material preview! :slight_smile:

Wow! Thanks for all your feedback!

I’m already written the code for downloading (preview) images, so downloading image textures should not be much harder. The simplistic materials were mainly in there for testing and (most, if not all) are going to be removed by the addon’s next alpha version.

My addon installs just the same as any other Blender addon.

Just download the file, then open up Blender’s user preferences window by pressing Ctrl+Alt+U. Go to the Addons tab and then, in the footer, click the “Install new addon” button. Browse to the location of the downloaded addon and select it. It should now be installed. Enable it as you would any other addon. Switch to Cycles, then, in the properties window, go to the material options. You’ll now see the “Online Material Library” panel. Hope you enjoy it!


Right now, I’m working on getting my addon to read XML for category/material information. It looks as if I’ll end up working with Python classes to create my own objects (programming objects, not Blender objects). I basically need more properties to hold all the material and category information (like the display name, link, creator, and rating).

I have completed Color Ramp node support; many of the materials from Meta-Androcto’s Cycles Mat-Lib roundup used this node, so it was keeping a lot of them from entering the library. That roadblock is out of the way, so expect to see more of those in the future!

Very cool addon.

Came across an error. line 259 by previewing mats, firstly by having an armature selected, and then with a mesh with no material added.

if context.object and context.object.get("active_material"):
     show apply to active button
     show save to disk button

will fix it.

On the XML there are a couple of handy files in the modules folder … something like that. … I found lxml pretty simple to use in python / blender , and it has some XPath querying which is handy.

I concur on using the filebrowser, creating the filestructure and populating with thumbnails, wouldn’t be excessive overhead IMO.

Look forward to seeing more.

Hey there, folks!

The latest version (0.3) of Online Material Library add-on is out!
Download it here:

Here’s the full list of improvements:

  • XML support - All category data is now stored in a single .xml file which the add-on reads on connection.
  • Local .bcm files - Save materials to .bcm files (or write them to a text datablock) and open them too!
  • ColorRamp support - That pesky node type was no match for some programming magic! Now all node types present in Blender 2.63 are working; excluding frames, groups, and image textures (these are partially supported).
  • Caching support - This was really pretty easy, but now there is an option to cache material previews to the local hard drive. Basically, if it’s enabled, it saves any downloaded images so they’ll only get downloaded once.
  • Cache clearing - This is just so, in case one of the images gets corrupted while being downloaded, there’s a simple way to delete 'em all and start from scratch.
  • Apply to active improvements - Now when you apply a material, the original material will have its name overwritten with the applied material’s name.
  • Viewport Color support - Now all the library materials have a specified viewport color which is used when they are added to the scene or applied to a material.
  • Bug Fixes - Downloading previews won’t result in errors anymore. Yay! There was a few bugs with that, but they’re all fixed now. Additionally, there are no longer any script errors when applying a material to an empty slot. Or to a non-existent slot… :yes: There’s probably a few other really small things that I forgot about, too.

I’ll be working on populating the library with some more materials from Meta-Androcto’s Cycles Mat-Lib .blend file in the upcoming weeks. If you notice any materials which you’ve made that aren’t attributed to you, please let me know so I can add your name in!

Hope ya’ll will enjoy testing it out!

A wonderful addon! :slight_smile: will save tons of time! thanks a lot Peter! :slight_smile:

damn gr8th!

Hey guys this sounds really awesome, but how can i try it out?!
If i click on the DL link i only get the srcipt text…
Can sb. please help me out?
Regards Dario

Wow… This is great! At what point do you think image textures might be able to be used?

Just right-click on the link and hit “Save link as” (that’s Firefox, other browsers may be different).

First I’ll probably want to have a good amount of procedural materials, then I’ll be able to work more on getting some materials with textures; maybe some materials like alpha-mapped & textured leaves, car paint with decals, dirt-mapped walls, etc.

Also, I’ll probably need to build in a method to let the users know which materials have textures and which don’t. Image textures are planned, but they’ll require a bit of work to implement in a flexible manner.

Thanks for the positive responses, everyone!

Thanks m8!
Downloaded it, tried it out and im amazed.
What you’ve done so far is really awesome thanks for your work!

This is so cool,i am learning a ton of stuff from the nodes.

Very good job! Thanks for this usefull addon! I hope it will be a part of Blender’s future release of course with more materials!