NodeSet: tiny update might save even some more time

In a previous article I showed a small add-on that lets you import a set of textures with a common base name (like the ones typically exported by Substance Painter). It not only groups them in a frame but also gives the individual textures proper labels and sets the non color data attribute accordingly. On top of that you only have to select one textures from a set and all corresponding textures will be loaded anyway.

This should save you quite a lot of time but I found that in real life a complex model or scene can easily have several tens of texture sets, maybe even a hundred or so and multiplied by 5 textures in a typical PBR Metal Rough export (BaseCOlor, Metallic, Height, Normal and Roughness) this results in hundreds of textures and a very cluttered file selector.

Now becuase you only need to select one of them to load the whole set, I made a small change the set the default filter to *Color* so that the file selector will only show the base color files (which happen to be the most distinct ones when you are looking at thumbnails). This reduces the list of files greatly, making it easier to pick the texture set you need (because as sais, clicking just BaseColor will load the others just the same). You can of course always uncheck the filter icon (at the top of the file selector) if necessary.

Code availability

The update is available from GitHub

Check the previous article for info on how to use the add-on. It includes a small tutorial video.

NodeSet: import Substance Painter textures into Blender

I recently bought Substance Painter because i really liked the product. But when i started working in ernest on a complex model with a large number of materials, the repetative work necessary to import the relevant textures quickly got tedious.

Of course with Node Wrangler you can import multiple textures at a time but i still had to switch most textures to non color data and the labels on the image texture nodes reflected the filenames which are too long to act as a readable label.

So i decided to create a small add-on that sort of does what Node Wrangler's multiple images does but in a neater way. The add-on is called NodeSet and when you select its menu entry from the node editor (Add->Texture->Set of images) it will:

  • open a file dialog where you can select a texture (you only have to select one from the set of textures)
  • add this texture as an image texture node
  • set the non color data flag if it is not a color texture (i.e. not a BaseColor nor a Diffuse map)
  • automatically try to load all other textures with the same base name (for example Roughness and Metallic). It will ignore textures that are not present
  • give all nodes a descriptive name (BaseColor, Normal, Specular, ...)
  • group all those nodes into a frame with a label that reflects the basename of the texture set
  • order the nodes alphabetically (BaseColor will always be located above Metallic, regardless of the number of textures in the set or the loading order)

The result looks neat and descriptive:


A small tutorial on how to use it is available as well:

This all works because textures exported by Substance Painter normally follow a strict naming convention where each texture in a set has the same basename (typically the meshname followed by the material name) and a different suffix depending on the type of texture (_Normal or _BaseColor for example)

You can change these suffixes when you export so although NodeSet is configured with the Substance Painter defaults for both the metal/roughness and glossiness workflows (i.e. in Substance Painter you can select Export Textures en select either PBR MetalRough or SpecGloss (non PBR)), you can configure the suffixes it will look for in the User preferences -> Addons . If you leave one empty it will not try to load it. There is of course nothing Substance Painter specific in this setup so it should work for every program that is able the produce texture sets with a common basename and a different suffix for each map.

Currently it will look for png, jpg/jpeg, hdr and exr textures.

Availability

The add-on is available from GitHub. Download it and then select it from File -> User preferences -> Add-ons -> install from file. Don't forget to check the enable checkbox.

I continue to publish free add-ons because I really like writing them and enjoy the feedback I get. I do have some commercial add-ons you might like to check and some e-books that might come in handy if you want to learn to create your own. Check out my BlenderMarket shop if you are interested. For a limited time all my products are marked down to celebrate that the e-books are now also available on Blender Market.

Creating Add-ons for Blender on Blender Market

Hurray! Now my latest book on creating add-ons for Blender is also available on Blender Market:


(click on the image to go to the shop where you can read the description and download a sample chapter)

To celebrate this event I marked down the price significantly for all the products in my Blender market shop, both e-books and add-ons, so you might want to grab your chance while it lasts!

Open Shading Language for Blender on BlenderMarket

The last couple of weeks I have been working to create a distribution channel for my Blender related e-books that is better suited to the intended audience. And what better distribution channel than BlenderMarket! With special thanks to Jonathan and Matthew I am happy to announce the first result is there:
Open Shading Language for Blender is now also available on BlenderMarket:

(click on the image to go to the shop where you can read the description and download a sample chapter)

A Bugatti T59 modeled in Blender

I normally focus my Blender activities on writing add-ons but I am pretty pleased with this small project:

New Book: Creating add-ons for Blender

Yeah, it's there! I am happy to announce my new, short-and-sweet, information packed book on creating add-ons for Blender.

It might be small, but it is beautifully formed :-) You might want to sample it (or buy of course) from the location below:

A sample of the book is also available as pdf

Small fix to basket arch add-on

Something in the 2.77 Blender API of object_utils.py was changed and broke the basket arch add-on. I fixed it and a new version is available on GitHub.