Image Node Preview

I have developed a Blender addon that shows thumbnails for image texture nodes in the node editor.

It is available here:

Required OS: Windows 10 or Ubuntu 18.04/19.10
Required Blender version: 2.80 or 2.81

Demo Video


  • High performance: Thumbnails are generated by a C++ worker thread in the background, the Blender UI stays fully responsive at all times
  • Low memory usage: Each thumbnail takes up 265 KiB of graphics RAM (regardless of the size of the previewed texture). 100 thumbnails would use 25.6 MiB - a negligible amount.
  • Supported image formats: jpg, png, hdr, psd, tga, bmp, gif
  • Supported Cycles nodes: Image Texture and Environment Texture
  • No changes are made to the .blend, others without the addon can still open your scenes without problems
  • High-resolution displays supported (works with Blender’s resolution scale feature)


  • Thumbnails are not displayed for packed images
  • EXR format currently not supported
  • Thumbnails of image sequences are not updated when changing frames

About Me

I am the author of the Blender addon for LuxCore. In 2014, I started working on Blender addons by contributing to the LuxRender addon. ImageNodePreview is my first commercial addon.


Hi @B.Y.O.B , addon looks quite useful.
I had a similar feature request months ago about preview of procedural textures inside nodes, check this:

I would really like to see this happen, please consider it :innocent:

Great addon, I have one question though.
Does the nodes return an updated preview after adding for example a Color Ramp node?

I would like to know that too.

I’d love to see this update for procedural textures too!
Ofcourse you’d have to figure out the best way to preview them, given that they’re 3(or 4)-dimensional, but it’s to be expected that you’d preview them on a particular object, like a flat plane of a certain scale (1 Blender unit?)

I agree that it would be awesome to have something like this, but it is a whole different topic than creating a thumbnail for an image texture. I’ll think about it, and depending on the success of this first addon I might go for it, but don’t hold your breath (it requires a lot more work than this addon).

No, only the image texture node itself is considered for the preview, it only shows the input texture as loaded from disk.

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Too bad, can this be added in the future or there is some kind of limitation inside Blender?

Too bad, it seems that thumbnails are only created when new textures are added.
Finished nodes do not display texture thumbnails.
Or is it possible to trigger this?

By “finished nodes” do you mean existing scenes?
The addon works with existing node setups, they should be no different than newly created ones.
To better understand what might be the problem, could you post a testscene that shows the issue? You can also send it to me directly via Blendermarket/gumroad.

Oh sorry my mistake, my textures had the tif format, but is not supported.
Otherwise this addon is a feature I have always wanted. Thank you very much.

I have just tested and confirmed that the addon works with Blender 2.81 as well.

If you could add support for Octane image nodes it would be perfect!

I am also interested in Octane support for the plugin, thanks.

I am currently working on support for OpenEXR files.

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Two new features are implemented (but not released yet):

  • OpenEXR support
  • Support for Octane image nodes
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Thank you for the Octane support! Are there plans to support tif as well?

we need this in blender master

I have released v1.2, it is available for download on Blender Market and Gumroad.

New features:

  • Added support for OpenEXR files
  • Added support for Octane image nodes
  • Images with landscape aspect ratio now use as much vertical space as possible when inside the node.


This should be in Blender by default, but I’m happy you get to monetize your contribution to the community a bit, you deserve it.

Best 7$ spent!

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Thanks for your kind words and support, appreciated!