Material Wizard - High Level Material Node Editor and Baker

Hi,

I want present you my current project: Material Wizard.

Material Wizard is a high level material node editor, which helps to simplify the process of compositing materials from different layers and allows mixing layers with different kinds of masks.

The main idea is to have better overview on complex shader trees, while preserving all options. In addition, efficiency is on focus too.

I don’t want to compete with Blenders powerful shader editor, but many tasks there are like coding in assembly language, again and again, so I’ve decided to program a more high level approach, still in the vibe of Everything Nodes :slight_smile:

Official Homepage: https://wp.h0bb1t.de/

Where to get: There are three locations where you can buy the addon, my website, gumroad and BlenderMarket. If you found it on Blendermarket, buy it there, as they’ve advertized me, so they should get something in return. If you’ve found it in a different place and/or you don’t care, please consider to buy it on my website or gumroad, because there I have lower fees. Thanks and please don’t get me wrong, I like the guys at BM and this market is important.

Any feedback is very welcome.

Here is the presentation video:

PBR workflow:

Grunge and Mask workflow:

Following an example node tree:

… and here the exact same node tree done using Blenders node editor (which Material Wizard does in background). Hard to figure out where to adjust specific parameters to subsequently adjust the material or change one PBR set from UV to Box mapping, which is just a single click in MW:

Best regards,
h0bB1T

17 Likes

插眼 :wink:

Promising it looks!

@hob-B1T

Looking forward to this!

That looks very, very good. :+1:

Thanks to all of you :slight_smile:

For those who are interested in details, the documentation is online: Material Wizard 1.0.0 Documentation

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Like I said before, very, very good. I personally found 2 things while reading the documentation. The layer manager should have the blend modes (multipy, subtract, etc.) and the LuxCoreRender generator needs to get in there as soon as possible. :rofl:

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Blend modes are not possible at this point, because materials are already shaders, which means they’ve already processed information from all material channels to the final fragment.
During development I already had created something like this for Materials, so you can decide how to mix color, metal, roughness, … all on its own. But this node wastes a lot of space and maybe processing power. But I will think about the pros and cons about this and add it to the wishlist :slight_smile:

Yes LuxCoreRender was one of my top feature when I started the Addon, because I was trying to convert one of my scenes to Lux and it was a pain. But I think it is of minor use by users. If users decide this should get more priority, no problem :smiley: In any case, it has its limits, because many features are not available in Lux’s shader system. I need to fiddle out a way to convert it as good as possible.

2 Likes

Okay, for me the second point is much more important. But since the Luxcore Team has already started reading cycles nodes it should be easier in the future. I’m just creating the material in cycles, then bake everything and the cycles scene reader can read it perfectly. So it should be quite easy to get a usable LuxCore material after the bake process without having to do everything twice. Maybe this link will help. https://github.com/LuxCoreRender/BlendLuxCore/issues/272
LuxCore is getting a lot of interest right now and I think these are pretty much the people who are also interested in Material Wizard.
Anyway, right after your first post i thought “This would be something for luxCore”.

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You would know, baking is already on my list, adding a reimport to Lux materials is not that much work if baking has been implemented, I already wrote code that generates Lux nodes. But it has one downside.

When using raw repeatable textures, texture density to pixel density is in most cases much higher, baked textures have their limits. I had similar problems playing around with substance painter some time ago. Even with 4K textures I sometimes could see pixels. But maybe I’ve put to much geometry in single objects.

You may bake 8K or 16K textures to circumvent this (I assume Cycles supports this, not sure) … but this could be really problematic when thinking about (V)RAM :grimacing:

On the other side, this approach has more potential than rebuilding the whole tree for Lux. Porting this to e.g. AppleSeed or other Engines is not too much work … I could even create a Cycles material from the baked textures and add a toggle to switch between original and baked versions of materials :yum:

Always nice to talk about things, this creates new ideas :smiley:

2 Likes

That sounds very good to me. Material Wizard should definitely focus on the cycles editor, which has the most potential. Anyway, I’m looking forward to Material Wizard. :+1:
I also had the question if Asset Wizard gets an update so the Material Wizard setups are saved?

Hmm, maybe. But wouldn’t it be better to implement this in Material Wizard? Not every MW user may use AW. Maybe I could create some kind of bridge between both Addons, we’ll see. But thats not in my current primary focus, there are many other important things :smiley:

2 Likes

You’re right, I just thought it fit because of the naming convention.

1 Like

I’m sorry for the release delay. Still waiting for response from Blender Market, I was a little bit late registering as creator :grimacing:

Because of this, I’ll add some small features, till I’m able to offer it.

4 Likes

Hi hob-B1T
Can we create our custom material group and expose some paramaters just like blender and save to Material Wizard ?

Hi wuren,

not sure if I understand you correct. Did you like to create Node Groups in Material Wizard like in Blenders Shader Editor … or did you mean to create Node Groups in Blenders Shader Editor and use these groups in Material Wizard?

Both things are currently not implemented. I though about both things, but think the first one is of very limited use, it would reduce the visual feedback that MW tries to offer. The second one can be very useful, as MW does only offer a limited set of nodes compared to Blenders Shader System, so you create missed effects and use them in MW too. In this case, it may even possible to show some of the values from inside the node group (like color ramps, curves, images) on the nodes body. I have to experiment with this :slight_smile:

2 Likes

thanks for your reply .
Yes, i think it is second one

I didn’t read anything about it, but maybe I missed it. If someone setup shader/materials using this Addon and then someone who DOESN’T have the addon tried to open the file, what happens?

Are they able to even see the materials / edit them, or does it somehow display them in the old way/standard graph?

The plugin manages a standard Shader NodeTree in the background, so if no Addon is active, the material is “as-is” usable.

On the screen below you see the MW-Tree on the left and it’s “managed” counterpart on the right side. Each MW-Node is embedded in a Blender Node Group. The Addon manages the NodeGroups interna and updates links between them if anything in the MW-NodeTree changes. So no magic, just a different visualization.

Opening the .blend on a different PC is just the usual problem, finding the corresponding textures, but this is a little bit problematic in any way. I’m open for any idea how to handle this in a comfortable for users.

2 Likes

Ah, ok. As long as it’s still accessible without the Add-on, that was my biggest concern.
I think what you have on the right is good too, if that’s the kind of “worst case”.

I’ve seen and work with MUCH crazier node graphs all the time at work in other programs and in blender shaders. With much worse/no visualization and so on. So this seems good!

I’m looking forward to the release!

Thank you!