Blenderart Special Project: Material Node set-up 'Cookbook'

Blender Material Node Cookbook

As blender users become more familiar with the Material Node system, a lot of very cool Material Node setups are being created. Unfortunately, the greater majority of these setups are spread all over the net on various forums, threads and websites. Blenderart Magazine thinks it would be beneficial to the community to gather up as many of these wonderful setups (with the artists’ permission of course) as we can find, add a short ‘how to/description’ of how and why it works and bundle it all in a pdf format ‘Cookbook’.

In addition to gathering as many Node set-ups in one place as possible, it would allow users to quickly get the look they need without re-inventing the wheel, so to speak. It would also provide a valuable learning tool for users that are still struggling with the whole Node system.

The goal is that with greater understanding of this powerful system, more node set-ups would be created and shared among us all.

A project of this scope and size could quickly become so large as to make a single download time consuming to obtain and impossible for dial up users. To that end I have two ideas for distribution of this cookbook:

  • pdf chapters separated in logical categories for a smaller download size

  • each category could be updated quickly and or a new pdf with additional nodes could be created

  • a flash card based system (or more appropriately recipes cards) with the node set-up image on one side of the card and the description/how to on the reverse side

  • recipe cards could be added as need with 1st sets bundled according to category and future releases in one download that could be added to your previous sets.
    Preliminary categories (to be adjusted later as set-ups are submitted)

  • Organics

  • Skin

  • Nature

  • Wood

  • Food

  • etc

  • In-organics

  • Building

  • Cloth

  • Dirt

  • Metal

  • Patterns

  • Glass

  • etc

  • Special Effects
    We welcome any and all submissions, in fact the more that are submitted the better our cookbook will be.

To submit a Node set-up please follow the following guidelines

  • Node set-up must be an original creation by the person submitting it, please do not submit someone else’s Node set-up, as then I will have to track down the original artist to obtain permission
  • please send a blend file containing your Node set-up, I will be taking all the screen shots to maintain a consistent look/size for the cookbook
  • If you want to write the description/how to for your Node set-up, feel free to do so, otherwise I will be happy to take care of that myself.
    Send all submissions to [email protected] , please put Node set-up in the subject line area.

Thank you for your support and participation
Sandra Gilbert

This would be a very nice idea. Or a central site where new cool node setups can be shared or something, much akin the blender open material repository.

hi! this an excellent idea!
and may i propose another thing? compositing nodes? because i think it is not so difficult to understand how compositing nodes work, but there must be some special tricks to achieve a certain look. for example WHEN do i mix a filtered image with it’s unfiltered original and WHAT would be the result, and what filters are needed to get THAT special blurry-smooth-highlighted-worn-out look?
although i think most of the compositing-node-setups are similar to layers in gimp/photoshop, some standard setup recipes to polish scenes / movies would be great.

I am not as familiar with compositing nodes, but I don’t see why we can’t make a set of recipe cards for those as well.

lol, I just might need some help making sure descriptions are accurate.

If people are interested I could post part of my file on my waterman. But I want to use it in my demo reel once its finished.

For the animation of materials using the Mnodes. I used cog’s and geneome’s techiques put together. To animate between to seprate complex textures.

I think if you just supplied a blend showing the nodes involved in your set-up, on say a sphere or cube that would work without taking away from whatever you had planned for your demo reel.

very good idea

i will send them in


Great idea!

2 cents’ worth:

As a designer - one suggestion - don’t go with the recipe card “nodes on the front, description on the back” idea. It’s cute, but there’s nothing more frustrating when you’re trying to understand something complex than having to flip back and forth between pages. It’s better to have it all on one page so that the reader can just move their eyes back and forth between the setup and description.

Go for it ! But i personally prefer a bit more the special effects more than wood or materials , there was one from the guy that sales the compositing dvd that was cool , some stuff like that…

And a special on compositing on blenderart pleeassee…


As a designer myself I agree. I was thinking about more ease of download for users and the ability to put it in a binder or notebook fro reference.

Once I get a few node setups, I will set up several different ideas and let the community decide what they like best.


sounds good, i could send you some materials if you would like.

this is an example of one of them, its supposed to be sort of an underwater rock material, although with some tweaking it could be made for other purposes :slight_smile:

if you want i can show a HD render

and i suppose this would count as a material, well its nodes and compositor. i also have the blend file for this

are you planning on sharing the workload out between authors?


That is an excellent example, do ahead and send it to me. Along with any others you have.

i will do, ill try and get them done tonight :slight_smile:

the rock isnt a node texture, i just checked i made it with the old material system :stuck_out_tongue:

hope you can still use it, and suppose you could add nodes to add things like sand etc in certain places