good practice workflow for the node editor ?


i am currently looking at the node editor for making more complex materials. After doing some experiments with it, i think i understand the general concept, but i have found some inconveniences. I’d like to know, if this is on purpose, or whether i am doing something wrong:

1.) When i have no material yet in my current .blend file, then the node editor is simply blank and i can’t do anything with it. Only after i added a material in the “old way”, i can choose this material in the node editor and get the possibility to click on “use nodes”.

2.) When i add a “texture node”, then i get the possibility to assign a texture to that node via a drop down selector box in the texture node. But this box is empty, except i have got a material, that allready contains textures. These textures are selectable in the drop down box. In first place i expected to see an “ADD New” selection in the drop down box, similar to what can be found in the “Material node”.


So my current workflow is:

1.) i add a “texture-container-material” using the material panel (“old way”)

2.) I create/add all textures i need, to the “texture-container-material” in the texture tab (“old way”). this is limited, because i can only add up to 10 textures there. But maybe that is enough for any practical work…

3.) I switch to the node editor, and create my “node-based-material”, then i keep working in the node editor for most of the time…


My 3 basic questions are:

1.) Is there a better way (workflow) to go ?
2.) Can i create textures outside of a material, so that i can avoid the “texture-container-material” ?
3.) In principle i could add a texture to a material node by using the texture panel (outside of the node editor). Such a texture would not appear in the node editor, but it probably would work under the hood in the material node ? I suspect, this is a bad practice ? so either use the node editor, OR go the “old way” ?

Thank you in advance for any hint/tip/explanation :wink: