How to import them or make your own
Become a better Blender artist in 5 minutes each week.
By Samuel Sullins
note: scroll down to get a video!
I mentioned this briefly last week, when I went over what’s new in Blender 4.0.
But today we’ll take a deeper look, because the biggest new feature in Blender 4.0 will be Node Tools.
Because it will let everybody—even people who don’t want to mess with nodes—take advantage of node-powered workflows.
Artists will start sharing and selling Node Tools as a simple way to add extremely powerful functionality to Blender, without have to worry about developing and add-on or writing any code.
Anybody can make a brand-new tool and share it.
So you’ll need to know how to:
Create a Node Tool
Use a Node Tool made by someone else
Today I’ll show you how you can do both of those.
First, here’s how you make a Node Tool. I’ll just give you some bullet points so you can read it as fast as possible, then go try it out.
Open Blender 4.0 or greater.
Go to the Geometry Nodes tab.
Change the context dropdown in the upper left of the node editor from “Modifier” to “Tool.”
Press New and name your new Node Tool.
Build your tool. You have access to a few special nodes, if you need them: Set Selection, Selection, and 3D Cursor.
Now you can go into Edit Mode on any object and click this new button:
The new Node Tool button (only in Edit Mode, and only when you have available Node Tools)
You’ll see your tool in the menu. Click it to run it. Any inputs you’ve created will appear in the lower-left-corner Operator Menu, like they do for real tools.
Sharing Node Tools
To share your new tool, just go back to the Geometry Nodes tab, right-click on the name of your node tool (in the top of the node editor) and click Mark As Asset.
Now that it’s an asset, all you have to do is send the file to someone to share the tool with them.
Using Node Tools
Using a node tool is easy with Blender’s Asset Library feature.
Now all you have to do is drag the file with the node tool in it into your asset library folder.
After that, you have to do something magical—nothing. Nothing at all, and it’s ready to use.
In any Blender file you open, as long as your asset folder is imported in Preferences, your node tool will be ready to go, available in Edit Mode in the Node Tool menu.
Watch a video explaining it all
Now let’s see a cool render…
Really Random Render
Today’s random render is quite a change—a realistic environment by Piotr Krynski. Piotr is an expert environment artist, working in Blender. He often creates incredibly stunning shots to promote his products.
This one isn’t new, but it’s amazing.
I like this render for several reasons:
It’s realistic. Nothing about this render screams “fake!”
It’s detailed. Down to the hair-thin wires hanging from the robot and the puddles in the street.
It shows motion. The character’s coat is blowing in the wind; the tarp over the robot is caught in the same breeze.
And, overall, it’s just really cool.
Can't think what to blend?
Do a snail. Some kind of snail, or something snail-related. Do a new spin on it.
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