Materials common library (again) - general thoughts

Hi all.

I am Simone, the man behind
I am a web developer and a blender passionate, so, some time ago, I decided to build this site.

I know this is an old topic, but I really think that for a large number of users a material library is a must.

I read old and current threads but in the end I think there’s only mess around: someone started in-app materials browsers, someone (me in example) built an online browsable archive, someone is gathering single materials for a single library blend file and so on.

Don’t you think it’s a pity wasting resources and time in this way?
Is there anyone who thinks we can work together for reaching something better and more valuable?
We are living on the shoulder of the open source system and there isn’t a common way to share materials and shaders. did a grat job when talking about models but I think it isn’t the right platform to host shaders…

What do you think?
Please share your thoughts.


Don’t you think it’s a pity wasting resources and time in this way?
You obviously do as you stated this thread, therefore you are the best person to push this all through. I look forward to your final result.

Is there anyone who thinks we can work together for reaching something better and more valuable?
Ask people making those other addons/sites etc to see what they think since those are the ones actually able to do something about it

What do you think?
Please share your thoughts.

I’m sure everyone would like a fantastic singing and dancing library with materials for every occasion, is there any doubt about it ?

Someone said having a material library in blender is a no-sense (I didn’t got it…) so I’m testing users again.

If users do really want it, then we can start building togheter a nice and functional “official” service.

I believe many (myself included) would welcome a robust and coordinated material library. Especially as Blenderheads are such great sharers and there are so many novice users without shader authoring experience. Recommend collaborating with the folks behind this effort:

Thanks for the link FutureHack.

I’m one of those who thinks that it’s not the right time for having an in-app manager. There are many complexities to be resolved in order to have something easily accessible and in a relatively short period.

Said that, this could obviously be a way to reach the goal.

There was also a nice initiative here: with an online browser and in app addon.
But its gone dark although the old repository works fine.

YEah, what ahppened with the folks? I tried it out, and it worked quite well. Haven’t tried it with the latest version of Blender tho.

I would certainly7 support this kind of effort. I’m not a coder, so how can we regular users help?

Ok. Nobody seems to care about the topic… :frowning:

I think I’ll go on with my project.

Some ideas for a better site in order by priority:


  • move the platform to a wordpress-less system
  • add a private area
  • add an upload material system for users
  • define a standard zip file structure for the material package


  • add a tagging system (material colors maybe. anything else?)
  • add favorite material system
  • remove the news section


  • add the “material pack” feature (groups of related materials with a on-the-fly-bundle-build download). I’ll need help for understand if it’s possible to generate a single library blend file starting with n material files
  • public user profile area with contribution list and personal stats

I am interested in studying the possibility for the integration with a social render systems (i.e. RenderWeb) for a “server render” on file upload basis.

list in progress…
do you have any request/suggestion?

A material library is nice, in concept, but in the end I usually build my materials up by hand. The last thing I want is to drop a new material onto an object and have my render time go down the tubes. Render speed is most important to me and “canned” solutions are typically not optimized.

What would be more useful, to me, would be a material migrator that created compatible materials for the various render engines from a Blender Internal basis. Then generate nodes or scripts from there for each supported engine.

What good is another Blender Internal Wood material when I am rendering in Cycles or Mitsuba? How many engines will you support, who will be left behind?

I understand what you’re saying.
I think that the community is quite heterogeneous and this discussion is in fact intended to know its needs. The goal is building a service as useful as possible, so your reply is gold to me.

Anyway, I think there is also a large amount of less experienced/lazy/late professionals users who could get high benefits if a solid library of materials would exists somewhere.
In example:

  • a new 3D user who doesn’t know how to build complex materials and who wants to try a render or to learn “on the field”
  • an intermediate blender user who wants base shaders to customize
  • a blender user who have to complete a quick project in a short period of time
  • a pro user who wants to make an early test render for a fast scene review

Finally, a render time field can be added to the material page in order to assist the choice by the user.

The conversion script would be a killer feature in my opinion. But I’m not a 3d coder (only web for now) so I don’t know if it’s possible and what kind of results can be reached. Don’t even know if someone has already tried to build something similar.