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Material Nodes for Blender 2.8

Note: Although the addon is available, it’s in an early stage. Expect many updates and more nodes coming weeks.

What is the Material Nodes addon?

The Material Nodes addon provides more than 40 building blocks to make your own material. You can combine these building blocks and they are multifunctional: they can be used as shader as well as masks. Therefore you can combine these building blocks to build complex materials. 

Main benefits:

  • No more clutter.
  • Understand your own nodes weeks later.
  • Nodegroups are compatible with both EEVEE and Cycles. This ensures you can use your materials in both render engines.
  • Make more than 100 materials in one day instead of 20.
  • Gone are is the tiling effect. (Unless you design tiles of course).
  • Procedural and semi-procedural workflow. Instead of using 5 textures for 1 PBR material, you can use none (fully procedural), or one diffuse or two normal maps. (There is a nodegroup that can mix two normal maps and has also a color-output).
  • Documentation video of 40 minutes and a pdf.
  • A libray of 165 materials included.
  • A lighting scene from the EV Express addon. This is a neutral scene optimized for EEVEE.
  • Low RAM usage. 


For who is the Material Nodes addon?

  • For those who want to get rid quickly of the sterile look of standard materials.
  • For those who are downloading textures and want to correct the albedo values or bring some more variety to the textures.


Known issues.

Filter Paper and Fake Leather comes with a messed up frame. To solve this for now, drag the nodes into the frame. This will be fixed next update. 

How to install the Material Nodes Addon?

Download the .zip file called MaterialNodesV2.zip. Open Blender and go to Edit > Preferences > Addons. Click on Install and navigate to the .zip file you just downloaded. Click install, activate the addon, save preferences and refresh. You can find the addon in the shader editor (n-panel).

Explanation of the nodes provided

Most nodes you can plug in right before the color socket of a (principled) shader. For Example: Albedo Variation, AO_Mix, Layer Weight, LevelCorrector, Noise, Variation and Z.

Note: Updated the Material Nodes to version 2. Screenshot below is from previous version.

Update: per 21-02-2020: thumbnails and more presets: 

Albedo variation:

Simple nodegroup to some noise. Bump, roughness and albedo can be affected.It's just a bit more pleasing to look at when modelling than the sterile basic shaders.

AO-Mix:

Is a mask, so you need this in combination with other nodegroups. I added more parameters so you can adjust AO values. Tip: plug it in Colors from Movies.

Bricks Colors:

Contains several color-ramps with colors from bricks. There is a lot you can do with such color presets like these. Tip: plug in an Index Random and duplicate (Shift+x) your object.

Car Paint:

This is a shader. It has some metal flakes, but still looks more like regular car paint. If you look for a more metallic look, try the Metal Flaked nodegroup. Or you can go in the nodegroup and adjust the colorramp that goes into the Metalic socket.

Checkers Plus.

Quite fun to work with. It is using two checker textures and a un-distorted voronoi (which are also squares). You can combine this to get al kinds of patterns.

Color Ramp Alternative

Color Ramps are great, but we cannot plug it's settings into a node-group socket. That's why I designed this node group. By surprise it seems even easier to use than a colorramp.

Colors Environment:

Colors From Movies:

Colors Skin:

Same as the Bricks Colors, but then with colors from the environment like soil, Fire, Sky, Clouds, etc. Plug them into a Level Correction because you will want to adjust the levels of the colors.

Dielectric Albedo Values:

Metal Albedo Values:

This is to ensure that we use plausible albedo values. It's just for reference to see if our colors (albedo values) are not way to bright or way to dark.

Distort UV:

To distort the UV if we want some imperfections in the straight looking tiles, lines or patterns. It looks likes it distorts the texture but in fact, in the background, it distorts the UV.

Fabric:

Fabric shader. Highly adjustable.

Filter Paper:

Like the brown coffee filter paper.

Glass:

Lot's of options to make glass look the way you want. Like roughness variation, slight bumpy, adjust colors and reflections on facing and grazing angle. Mind that in EEVEE, you need to bake first (after every change, even after changing other materials, objects and lights). Also in the properties panel, screen space reflections turn on Refraction. And in the material settings (properties panel), set Blend Mode on Alpha Blend.

Golden Noise Mat.

By default as the name says, but this node-group is very adjustable. Main thing is that is has two noise textures inside (substracted) to get another variety of noise. You can adjust the colors. Tip: plug this into a ToBPR_Channels node-group.

Index Random.

Very handy to give each object a variety of the shader. So, instead of making several similar materials for each object, you can use 1 material for all objects. Has Object Index, Material Index, and locations x, y and z.

Layer Weight Plus:

To give a material another look on grazing angle qua hue, saturation or value. Used sometimes for metals. Artistic look.

Leather Fake:

Sky leather shader. Not in a node-group, but nodes. In future update it will be a node-group.

LED:

LED shader. Highly adjustable.

Level Correction:

One of my favorite node-groups. I designed this nodegroup because I was not happy with the brightness and contrast node. This is a safer way to adjust levels.

Magic Voronoi Mix:

Nodegroup gives some noise but with structure.

Could be a base for textile, paper, etc.

Mask Noise:

To mask or mix two colors or shaders. You can clamp the levels.

Mask Noise Lines:

A mask that produces those lines like you see in marble. Use it to mix colors or shaders.

Mask Musgrave Lines:

Same as previous but different look (manmade, alien, mathematical?)

Metal Albedo Values:

This is to ensure that we use plausible albedo values. It's just for reference to see if our colors (albedo values) are not way to bright or way to dark.

Metal Flaked.

With this node-group you can make metallic looking paint. Tip: you can type higher values in FlakeScale, like: 4000. Very pleasant to use.

Mix Normal Maps.

Mix to normal Texture. For that you need to open the node-group and get other normal maps if need. (There are already two). Then by surprise, these normal maps can generate a color out of the two normal maps. Inside the node-group, you can scale each normal map. That way tiling is less obvious. And if you, on top of that, use the VarShad nodegroup and also UV distortion, most likely no-one will see any tiling effect.

Musgrave Wave Diff

Has the two procedural textures Musgrave and Wave. Most likely to be usefull when making material for stones or marble. Has outputs: Color, Roughness and Normal which are all adjustable. (Vector output is just a throughput to reduce clutter of noodles.

Musgrave Wave Mix.

Same as previous. Now mixing instead of difference of textures.

Noise Plus.

By default, handy to make lava-like materials, but can use it for loads of other things.

OBJ_ID.

Quite powerfull. You can use this to to give each object a variation of the material. You can also make animated leds with this. Documentation or tutorial will follow later.

Plastic foil.

Transparant plastic. Highly adjustable. In the properties panel, under material settings, set the Blend Mode on Alpha Blend. It's like glass without refractions.

Platinum NMS v2

A lovely, ready to use shader. Very nice to use while modeling in Blender.

ReRoute,

Nothing special, it is just for re-routing. It's a bit cleaner than the build in reroute in some cases.

Stucco Mat

Procedural Stucco material. You need to go inside the node, and turn on randomness. Will fix in future update. Simple shader, good for quick solution. Not suitable for close-up.

Texture Mapping.

Simple, but very handy and much cleaner than the build in solution in Blender.

TileMaker1.

Fun to play with creating patterns.

Tiles 01:

Tiles 02:

To make tiles with help of normal map and mask/diffuse map.

Loads of parameters to make material look more natural.

To PBR Channels.

With this you can have one texture (diffuse) instead of a specular, roughness, metalic map, etc. Plug in a texture and inside the nodegroup you adjust the colorramps. Looks way cleaner than having loads of colorramps in view.

Var V Noise, Var V Voronoi1, Variation, VarShad"

Give variety to the basic sterile looking basic shaders. VarShad is the most advanced one which never let me down. Quite CPU intensive though.

Vertex Col

Paint something in Vertex Paint on the material, (Or use the addon tissue with curvature in Weight paint and convert it to Vertex Colors). Be sure the Vertex Colors (Col by default) has the same name as Col in the node group. You can mix colors and shaders with the vertex Colors.

Voronoi Wave Diff

Another node group with two procedural textures. Good for organic materials. Tip: don't use it standalone, but in combination with other building blocks.

Z:

Variety in Z axis. 

One Example:

 Below the VarShad group-node with different levels at work. On the left you see the default principled shader. And on the right the same shader but with the VarShad node-group plugged in.

You can submit your favorite node-group and I will check if it’s suitable to include that in future updates. This way we can help eachother.

How to contact me in case you need support or have a request?

You can also send me a pm on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Newmediasupply.

Or if you are active on Blenderartists.org: https://blenderartists.org/u/Peetie

Or visit: https://blender-addons.org/contact-us/

Update 24 July, 2020 

Uploaded pdf's which are a base for the Shader Editor Course (beginners to intermediate). It counts more than 120 pages in total and section 5 describes al the nodes of the Material Nodes addon.  You can download the Course_ShaderEditor.zip file and unzip it. 

Update 17 July,

  • Finally finished completely with Material Nodes Addon V5. Includes now;
  • Material Nodes addon V5
  • Library with 165 Materials
  • An EEVEE scene with lighting and building blocks. To get familiar with the building blocks and how they look like basically.
  • Documentation, PDF file
  • Documentation video of 40 minutes


Update per 16 July 2020

Uploaded a library of 165 materials! The file is: 165_Materials_Library.zip and you can unzip it and use the .blend files (and thumbnails) in your Asset Manager.  Here a breakdown of the material library:

  • 16 tiles
  • 05 AO
  • 07 Bricks
  • 05 Carpaint
  • 16 Checkers
  • 16 Fabric
  • 06 Fake Leather
  • 04 Filter Paper
  • 08 Glass
  • 05 LED
  • 07 Marble
  • 23 Metal (grids)
  • 07 Mix Normal Maps
  • 07 Musgrave Variation
  • 07 Rubber Antislip
  • 27 Surfaces  


Update per 14 July 2020

Updated to Material Nodes v5.  Huge overhaul to the node system.  Most important is that mode nodegroups can now be use as Shader as well as Mask. So the nodes are multifunctional. Added also more shaders like Metal Grids, Basic Skin Shader, Carpaint and many other. Soon more details, basic documentation and a video will follow. 

Update per 12 October 2019:

  • Option to add the shaders by using Shift+A
  • AO Mix : added distance
  • Albedo Variation: Vector throughput (output socket connected to the Vector input)
  • Checkers Plus: Vector throughput.
  • Index Random: Added: Location X, Y and Z sockets, XYZ range and XYZ Offset.
  • Level Correction: Fixed default values. Added Hue and Saturation.
  • Magic-Voronoi-Mix: Fix naming, Vector throughput
  • Musgrave-Wave-Diff: Vector Throughput
  • Musgrave-Wave-Mix: Vector Throughput
  • Noise Plus: Vector Throughput
  • Variation: Vector Throughput
  • VarShad: Vector Throughput
  • Voronoi-Wave-Diff: Vector Throughput
  • Added the frequently used Texture Coordinate and Mapping node (connected). Preset is called: Tex_Cord_Map. 


Here an example of Vector Throughput, it looks much cleaner than having multiple connections to the mapping node. 


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Material Nodes for Blender 2.8

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