Node Tools

How to import them or make your own

The Blend.

Become a better Blender artist in 5 minutes each week.

By Samuel Sullins

The Blend

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.

Today’s Technique

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.

💡 Don’t have an asset library set up?

You simply choose a folder on your computer to be your asset library, then go to Preferences → File Paths and add that folder in the Asset Library section.

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.

Samuel’s Selections

  • Piotr Krynski finally released a massive tutorial covering his workflow (not free though)

  • Animator Banno Yuki showed an amazing hand-and-glove rig

  • BCON23 (the official Blender conference) just wrapped up—check out all the amazing talks

  • Spencer Magnusson collected 10 top sessions from the conference here

Can't think what to blend?

Do a snail. Some kind of snail, or something snail-related. Do a new spin on it.

P.S. If you enjoy this newsletter at all, check out Voyage Fiction. I write short stories there. We’ll be releasing 6 more brand-new stories this year; subscribe to get them all.

P.P.S. Some of you have been reading Voyage already—massive thanks to you!

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