Who wants some Cycles Material presets in Trunk?


Sorry to jump on the bandwagon, but lately with all the talk about improving usability in Blender I wanted to bring this up again. How difficult would it be to include a limited amount of preset starter materials by default for Cycles? … ala Yafaray, Lux Render … insert every other render engine here “___”. e.g. Glossy, Glossy Coated, Glass, metal… Instead of selecting the current Diffuse, glossy, mix etc.

The idea is not to amass a huge amount of completed materials for every occasion but just as a quick start. How many times do you find yourself mixing a glossy and diffuse shader?

I know you can append materials and save them into the startup file, or import node groups but this assumes that the user already has a good amount of experience with Blender. Even if you do know how to do this, it’s more likely that most users just never do. Meaning that it’s like re-inventing the wheel again and again. I happen to be use Blender on several different computers and this just never seems to happen:)

When you open an image editing program you don’t need to create all your brushes or even import a library… that would be ridiculous. Why do we have to do that with something as complicated and time consuming as materials? Just download Blender, where ever you are… and there they are.

I hope I’m not the only one that thinks this is important and could make Cycles so much more accessible.


p.s. I’m aware of the Ubershader and it’s possible inclusion in 2.69 but this is still creating a material from zero (with infinite possibilities). However first you need to get to the “type” of material you want, and then refine, with starter materials you already have the type.

Completely agree with you… before concerning themselves with left click vs right click BS …this would be the single most helpful thing to new users of blender…really… how hard can it be. Give me 2 basic setups , fast render and best render quality of some common materials for cycles.

I wonder if this will happen before or after custom matcaps…

I found “Online material library” addon work very good for quick tasks, maybe better to finish/test it and make core addon enabled by default.

re the online material addon, I just checked it tonight… seems broken in 2.68+ (this is the problem with addons).

My main issue is that this shouldn’t need to be added, it should just be there. As for it “adding clutter” I can’t think of anything farther from the truth. This is such a basic “tool” that we’ve gone without for way too long. This is about efficiency, and having something that’s maintained by the core developers so it always works right out of the box.

Also everytime a new node is added, a corresponding pre-made setup could be included with all the proper settings… this gets people using it right away by simply studying it. No need to wait for a tutorial, or read through a 100 page thread to discover that this has even been added.

Some argued that ngons weren’t necessary, and I suppose they’re not, but it greatly improves productivity. As far as I’m concerned this is a no brainer.


good idea, it is actually a necessary feature to keep the mystery out of many materials and gives more access to Blender.
that system would also be good for brushes in the texturing mode or for sculpting.

the Otoy Blender plugin developer has made something for that and a local Database will also be implemented;http://render.otoy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=35612#p155580

If Blender Foundation will like LiveDB space editor as universal feature
(I intentionally made it universally working with different servers and later it will work with local database, and it’s name does not contain “Octane” )

  • they can include it in Blender trunk, and in this case all other space editors can be changed to catch Drops from LiveDB…

Weused to have a library of materials ready for import that MetAndrocto set up, I suppose it is on blendswap maybe.

The example of the brushes is not as accurate I think, because in my years of working with editors I never really got by using the default brushes that were loaded, but I did like the way they loaded from an included library when I did ask for them, not as single brushes but as a whole set. Maybe in this same way, the way we import materials could be updated to allow larger groups in a directory folder, similar to the way you can point the file paths to open textures from a specific folder location on your computer, etc.

Online material library is not complete solution.
Material/brush/texture templates and presets must be available offline by default after installation.
Making materials/brushes each time from white diffuse only is ridiculous.

BTW if we started to talk about materials - my suggestion would be to add filters for textures. If I am making procedural materials, then without blur-ing it is almost imposible to make desirable displacement(using bricks or other sharp textures for example). Also “normal-map form gray-scale colors” could be in demand for sure.

I agree with this idea :smiley:

Speaking of downloadable .blends of materials, if people haven’t seen these by user elbrujodelatribu on blendswap, you reallyshould…they’re outstanding. There are equally amazing materials likely buried in the Cycles threads as well unfortunately.

I’d really love to see some kind of community lead on materials in the same way Jonathon does “modeling” and Sebastian does “Motion Tracking”. Different people have different strengths, so we need to play to them. People like elbrujodelatribu just get materials, and I’m sure asking someone like him or others with this passion they’d happy to contribute.

is something like this not possible in Python? I can’t script but wouldn’t we be able to pre-define these node setups with a basic drop down interface using a sort of “additional object” type of action when we add mesh objects? Does that make sense? Like a macro?

This is something that would be useful to me. Also the ability to add custom materials to the preset list.

A 20-30 basic materials (node based, procedural) would be helpful.

+1, or just make Online Materials addon enabled by default.

@myclay, thanks for posting this… it adds some weight to the statement, and it’s happening within Blender using Nodes.

Comparing Apples to Apples, Nice :slight_smile:

would be nice to have some pre define materials


Material presets are not enough (just a good start). Blender needs proper resource management tools. A new “database logistics” window, to manage your shaders, brushes, HDRIs… so you can make available or disable sets of resources with just a few clicks.

Isn’t this kind of what the ubershader is meant to help with?

I think as long as we don’t get too specific in the proposed materials library, it would be ok. Better building blocks is what I am after. I like the control and customizability of a node based interface. It took me a while to get used to it, but once I took the time to understand it, it really opened up the options for materials.

The base building block shader nodes are nice, but a little higher level of shaders would be nice. I’m not sure that I want them as hard coded shaders, I think including some stock nodegroup shaders would be beneficial, then you can still break open the group and understand the node mechanics more. I build a set of basic node groups for things like coated glossy, or fresnel blended glossy. or non caustic glass.

I’d just hate to see a cluttered list of shaders for things like crappy procedural wood, stone, plastic, rubber, etc. It’s not about paint by numbers materials, it’s about facilitating artists to create materials easily.

My two cents: use the fake button to add materials to your startup file. As long as there are no bitmaps involved the filesize barely changes, and they are tunable and resaveable in a way that builtin materials are not. on the other hand I totally understand that new nodes and functions could have a much gentler curve if some starter files were published.
Everyone’s favorite SVG editor, Inkscape, comes with a folder of tutorial files accessible from the help menu as well as a folder of samples. These are deletable when you’re done with them so no clutter.

@fahr, yeah this will be a great addition, but you still have to roll your own.

We don’t have to build new mesh objects from scratch, and append or link them everytime. We have primitives as a jumping point… that’s all I think we need. No clutter, just 4 or 5 base materials, no specifics.

I don’t want to embarass myself, I can’t find the terminology right now, but they could be divided up into Dialelectric, non-dialelectric (is that how it’s spelled?) materials, fast-glass, metal… etc.