I had an idea for a new node type for cycles - and wanted to gather some consensus on whether it would be useful.
Essentially the node would hold a list of values (X, Y). It would allow you to specify what X was in the node - and would output Y. This would be very flexible and could be used for many applications.
For example. You could hold a list of Gemstone names with their associated IORs.
By plugging this “lookup” node into the IOR slot of the glass shader - you could then set the IOR by specifying the gem name from a drop list on the lookup node.
Alternatively you could have a list of coloured names with their associated RGB values (stored as a hex value)
Cobalt Blue, #3D59AB
Again - you could set the colour of the object by simply selecting “Cobalt Blue” from the drop list on the lookup node.
I think this would be useful as it would allow you to store predefined colours, IORs etc in a generic shader. Imagine a generic shader for a gemstone. You would be able to specify that it is a “Red Ruby” - and the shader would know what colour and IOR to apply to make it look correct.