[Nodes] Tool shelf in node editor mockup.

First off all why is there no tool shelf in node editor view? if there was I could try and script this in python. what would be nice is to have columns of nodes categorized and be able to drag-n-drop nodes out to the compositor canvas.

is there a coder that can add the tool shelf to node editor?


click image to watch mockup image.

I hate to sound like a troll but do we really need a tool shelf?
pressing Shift+A is not that hard

If it has drag and drop like aermartin proposes heck I would take that over shift+A any day. With shift+A you have to navigate through menus with this if you have the correct tabs open you are just dragging and dropping.

when the node system grows we’re gonna se much more nodes. having them always there just to drag and drop — contra shift+A and then still navigate right submenus etc to find the node you need, is going to be faster.

Love it.

Didn’t the 2.4x series allow you to bring up the add node menu with just a simple right-click? I think it did and it was much quicker than having to open the menu or pressing Shift-A.

As for the toolbar idea, I would support a more visible way of adding nodes if it wasn’t too intrusive, because for one thing I often have the 3D view and properties panel open as well when working with material nodes (like when using the Cycles engine)

I remember in 2.4 you used spacebar and got the same menu and hover over to see what’s where.
toolshelf can be hidden with T_Key if you have many windows open. I’ve done some comp stuf only and having all avail nodes for the scope would be a neat trick to just let your mind wander and try new nodes.

shift+A is very… you know what you’re after.

also I wonder why node comp is the only view without a tool shelf, FCurve, NLA and dope has the shelf it’s called something else. but it’s the same principal. you’re kinda used to scan left to see available channels/tools.

If you could customize the tool shelf then I see how it could be useful

Awesome idea!

I like it!

i think its a pretty good idea
having a quick visual overview of the available nodes would nice.
and would make it quicker than the current shift+a(then search like a idiot approach that we have now) :slight_smile:

I really like this idea, but I have my own take on it:

Having nodes sitting there waiting to be used (and abused, if anyone has seen some of my nodes setups) is brilliant, a good idea indeed. BUT, how about the ability to add your own custom nodes in there aswell? Having setups saved into the tool shelf for later would be great, especially if you were working on (for example) an anime style animation that required repetition of a very similar nodes setup for almost every single person, animal and thingimyjig in your scenes. Sure, copying the nodes setups and moving them around is great but being able to click a single button and get the exact thing you need inserted into your scene would be brilliant.


Wefyb, would be cool then if your Node Groups (saved presets) would appear in a sub category (as they do in Add Node) on that shelf.

Another feature of Shake that I quite like is that when you have a node selected, then click on the node you want to add, it adds in-line with the previous node by default. Saves time.

I may have missed something, but I wonder if there is/could be a way to bypass a node - quickly switch it in/out via button/key. Great for checking the results of nodes.

Anyway +1 for a toolshelf from me :slight_smile:

@hammers in shake you could drag a node and hold SHIFT to make it connect on any noodle it passes. this works in blender now. no SHIFT key is needed just drag and drop a node on a noodle connection and it interconnects.

it’s already working in blender, select two nodes and press F_Key and they connect, if they have more sockets keep pressing F_Key to connect noodles.

Mute the active node press M key.


I have been planning on implementing this feature for a while now, just never really finished it. Seeing this thread pop up reminded me to freshen this up :wink:


As you can see there is a tool shelf now (with the usual T key binding), and it has collapsible node classes with all the node types in it as panels. Currently there is no drag&drop support, i’m going to add that soon. The UI needs a fair amount of polish too of course!

The whole thing is implemented on the C side, since doing it as python panel types would not work well with future registering of custom node classes. Yes, that’s right, i’d also like to have user-defined classes for group nodes. But that’s another project :smiley:

Just wanted to let you know this is in the making. C&C always appreciated, just keep in mind this is still WIP.

In case anyone wants to look at the code, here’s a patch:



I wonder, how these could be represented better, so you’d see that they are draggable?
node icon + Cross of arrow icon maybe?
Side note: Hey, don’t forget to get rid of the scrollbars in the node editor, and basically anywhere else in the blender GUI too :smiley:

Love it, but your mockup is missing 1 thing…

…the search field above the nodes in the toolbox!
as the list grows filtering and searching will become very handy! :slight_smile: