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Materials/Texture Library

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2002 11:54 pm
by atariman5000
I would like to see a materials/texture library option available. So I can save materials/textures for use in other projects (without having to append them from another file each time I want to use them.) Also, maybe an import/export option in the library so users can share their materials/textures with other Blender users. Just a thought

- Atariman -

Posted: Sat Oct 19, 2002 10:59 pm
by hanzo
This is a good idea,
:? That blender limitation realy bugs me.


Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2002 9:53 pm
by leinad13
I've really wanted this feature to be incorporated into Blender, unfortunatly im not a coder so i couldnt do it myself. Have you read the post on elysiun by wavk, he is begining to write an alternative to the current materials and texture editor. If he does then the support in Blender we seek will probably be incorporated, i have suggested using scripts to create materials / textures.

If when you create a material or texture you like, you could then save it to a script file. I suggest that all versions of blender could contain a folder for these scripts. Then in blender a libary viewer could be created, so that we could see all the textures we have in our scripts folder, and sort them name or catogory or something like that.

Im not going to moan for this feature to be included i just think that this would be a great way to make blender even better than it is now. If any coders are interested could please try?


Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2002 10:20 pm
by sofort99
Actually, I was hopeing we could get a complete library function for blender like they have in poser, so you can go through your library and see all your props, scenes, premade objects, mats, morph targets(poses) , etc, and trade or import other peoples stuff too. Then easeily use them.

Posted: Mon Oct 21, 2002 7:04 pm
by jeotero
1. Maybe ship blender with a decent reusable material library (Not that
practical as it can get huge)

2. Create a material repository (hummm) with autoinstall (downloads and copy the file so it can automatically be used in blender, or just use something liek the winamp installer to copy the files to the correct folders).

Posted: Tue Oct 22, 2002 12:59 pm
by IainH
Hi there,

there is a large library of blender materials created by myself and others at: ... index.html

If anyone wishes to include example materials in the Blender distribution there may be some worthwhile ones here.

Personally I dont think that appending materials to your current project from another file is a problem.

What would be a nice addition however is the ability to render thumbnails of materials that could be seen in the 'append' menu in the same way as image files are previewed when you load them (using the .Bpib file).

To me (with no coding knowledge whatsoever), this sounds fairly easy to implement - create the option to render an image file from the little preview sphere in the materials window and save it in the same directory as the library.

Good luck! IainH

Posted: Tue Oct 22, 2002 11:33 pm
by mthoenes

Great Library of materials.

Thank You!

I too was wondering how one could view thumbnails of the materials. Blender has a good little image browser already. Perhaps thumbnails could be hyperlinked to material files and appended much like one imports an image.

Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2002 2:49 am
by kino
Really cool suggestion
when a stable version is out is possible to write a MAterial LIbrary MAnager ;)
with server connection, internal html2.0 browsing & more, just with python
anyone interested?


Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2002 3:18 am
by jeotero
its not a bug, its a missing feature :)

Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2002 4:09 am
by kino
jeotero wrote:its not a bug, its a missing feature :)
I know, thk's :roll:
not all the project need to be included or approved immediatly
we can start our project ( see MakeHuman or other scripts)
this type of features can be developed with python
so anyone with litle knowledge can modify or adapt

i renew my offer



Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2002 4:17 am
by atariman5000
I have a plan of action to fix this problem.

1. Create a file, such as the B.blend* file, to save all materials to.
2. Create an internal materials viewer.

Explanation: First, the point of having an independent file would be that when you save your blender file, it would not save the entire library with it. It would save only those materials created/appended in the users active blender file. This would reduce the over all file size. Secondly, the material library viewer would work much like a combination of the append and material preview window works now. When the blender user access the Material Library, it would load a list from the default independent file (like the B.blend file works.) There would be a list of materials to the left and a preview window to the right. When the blender user click/selects a material from the left, the material library viewer would load the settings from the material selected and display a preview to the right. Then the user could either select another material or choose to apply the material to the currently active object. I believe this method would be better then having blender handle little thumbnail images. You would have both the material file as well as the thumbnail images taking up hard drive space. With what I have purposed above, you would only have the material library blender file taking up space. Just about all the code for this is already in blender source code. The only new code that would have to be added is the code to bring together the append and materials button.

The reason, in my opinion, my method would work better then just appending a material is, that you would only be dealing with the materials/textures nothing else. Secondly, you could see what the material/texture looks like before you append it. Third, it would automatically apply the material/texture to the active object in the blender 3d window.

Question: Do you think this would be better done with python script or within the blender source code? And, would the python script have to be loaded each time you started blender to access the library or could you load it once and press CTRL+U to save it to you default settings?

* The "B.blend file" is a boot file Blender loads your settings from. The file is created when you press CTRL+U.

- Atariman5000 -

Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2002 5:29 am
by kino
atariman5000 wrote:I have a plan of action to fix this problem.

1. Create a file, such as the B.blend* file, to save all materials to.
2. Create an internal materials viewer.
i'm new to python but is not difficult to store/retrieve material info's from simple
text files, and with some class create a material browser/manager.
Before start any plan i think we need to see the first stable version, to reach the max n. of people ;), know wich python API and read all the docs .
After this we can start :)
In the waiting time, collect or create new material for the library or your preferred category.

Mybe some devel has implemented, or plan to write?

more feedback help in decision :)

stay tuned


Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2002 7:48 am
by atariman5000
One thing I didn't cover in my post is, how would python handle exporting textures to share with others?

- Atariman5000 -

Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2002 1:09 pm
by kino
atariman5000 wrote:One thing I didn't cover in my post is, how would python handle exporting textures to share with others?

- Atariman5000 -
Ther's module to do network connection with python
a good joice is to use CVS like the blender source
only need a client to retrieve material and is possible
to define password access for authors( who put new matlib)
and customers(who use only)

in a future :)


Posted: Thu Oct 24, 2002 2:04 pm
by leinad13
All this talk of Python is making me mad :x , (Not really). Anyway why is it so hard to image a situatation, like that of fonts in programs like Word and so on. Where you just pick the font you want from a nice list. I dont want the materials and textures to be as simple as this but in the same league of usefulness.

In other 3D packages textures once created can just be saved into a libary which can then be chosen from easilly.

I can see that you are looking at how to implement this kind of thing, but wouldnt it be easier if instead of having to fiddle with python to do this that it could be coded into Blender the same as other functions.

Also before this is implement i think we should wait for wavk's new material/texture editor because at the moment the current material editor is a bit flat. Once Blender has been made stable and wavk has implemented his new way of material editing, then i think we should we sould worry about the libary, untill then there is no point in working on something that will be old rope in a month or so.