Free Blender Add-on for Switching Node Trees
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I am very impressed! It is easy to see you are on your way to a well-deserved wonderful future.

An absolutely great read, thank you for this. Really lays a foundation on how to go about the learning process.

Hi Matthew and Mr VFX, I’m currently researching this topic of decomposing images into shading and reflectance layers. I would love to learn about what you are trying to use this for to learn more about applications for this technology.

Free Blender Add-on for Switching Node Trees
26 June, 2017

Check out a super awesome Blender add-on by Greg Zaal that displays a list of materials and other node trees right in the toolbar of the Node Editor. Matalogue makes it easier to switch between different materials while shading, and different compositing setups while working with multiple scenes.

I’ve actually been working on this on and off for a little while, and find it to be super helpful to manage large scenes…

All it is is a list of materials (and lights and compositing trees) in the toolbar of the Node Editor.

Clicking on an item will switch the Node Editor to that material/lamp/compositing tree.

Yep, that’s it 🙂

Greg Zaal 



There are multiple sources of node trees in Blender, namely:

  • Material nodes
  • Lamp nodes
  • Node groups
  • Compositing
  • Texture nodes (not yet supported)
  • Freestyle nodes (not yet supported)

By clicking on one of the listed items, the Node Editor will switch to that tree and select the related objects.


Lists all the materials according to the options below. Click on a name to switch to the nodes for that material.

  • Selected Objects Only – Only show materials that are assigned to selected objects, otherwise all materials in the current scene are shown.
  • Visible Layers Only – Only show materials that are assigned to objects that are on one of the visible layers. Take note that if All Scenes is off, materials on visible layers of other scenes will be shown too.
  • All Scenes – Show materials from all scenes, not just the current one. Requires Selected Objects Only to be disabled.
  • 0-User Materials – Show materials that have no users (those that will be deleted when Blender is closed). Requires All Scenes to be enabled.

Lists all the node groups, including both shader node groups and compositing node groups (separated by a short gap).

Clicking on one of the groups will open it up and allow you to edit the nodes inside without actually adding the group node anywhere.

If you’re currently editing shader nodes and you click on a compositing node group, you will be switched to the compositing node tree first and will need to click on the group again in order to open it. This is a known limitation, and I can’t figure out a way around it.


Lists all the lamp data in the current scene, as well as the World nodes. Click on a name to switch to the nodes for that lamp.


Lists each scene – clicking on one will take you to the compositing nodes for that scene.

Special Cases

When switching to a material that is not actually used by any objects, a dummy object (which has no vertices) is created. This is because the only way to control what material is displayed in the Node Editor via Python is by selecting the object that material is assigned to.

The dummy object is automatically deleted once it is no longer needed (though only when you switch to another material).


Source: Greg Zaal

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