What is Shader Node Wizard?
Shader Node Wizard is a professional Tool Suite in Blender's Material Nodes Editor. It offers a rich Pie-Menu and Tools that speeds up your Productivity to a new Level. The Pie-Menu is bound to the D-Key, so many nodes can be created with a D-Key + Mouse Click Sequence.
Painting Feature, added to Version 1.1
Adding one of the IM or FX images from the Shader Node Pie Menu, allows convenient features to paint color information, masks and bump/normal effects. You can easily switch between multiple target images, while Shader Node Wizard takes care about the selection, including the corresponding UV-Map. In 3D-View, Texture Paint Mode you got a Pie Menu with common Paint Settings and a Brush Manager. You can select up to 8 favourite Brushes, while SNW automatically tracks the most recent 8 used Brushes.
Create PBR and Grunge Nodes
Just two clicks away from the Pie Menu, a Node Group with the selected PBR Set or Grunge Texture can be dropped in your Material Node Tree. PBR Sets are automatically detected in your library using the most common naming Conventions.
To switch to another PBR Set or Grunge Texture, just press the E-Key while the Node is selected.
In case of PBR Setups, Input and Output Sockets are tailored to the available Channels. Some additional Inputs for Adjustment are created, e.g. HSV to influence Diffuse, Roughness Offset to create Wet FX and Normal Blend Controls to Mix the Set's Normal with another one.
Grunge Textures offer Controls to adjust Black and White In and Out Range plus Balance and Parameters that affect the generated Bump map.
PBR Map Extractor
This newly developed Feature collects, quantizes and distributes Diffuse, Metallic, Specular and Roughness/Glossiness information from PBR Texture Sets and creates a Node that let you recreate similar looking Materials with Grunge Patterns. By tweaking the Grunge Parameters, you can fine tune the Appearance.
This feature works best with irregular looking Materials, but less with Pattern based one like Bricks or Tiles.
Shader Node Wizard ships with some common, quickly to apply and VRAM friendly Materials. Each just uses a single Grunge Map (except Plastic, which uses two). Every Material has Input Parameters to tweak the Material to your needs. So instead of starting with an Principled BSDF, start with a quick Material.
To get more natural looking Materials, Geometry plays an important Role. So the AO & Edge Baker and the supplied Effects can quickly change your uniform looking PBR Set, PBR Map or SNW-Material into something more interesting. Works well in both Eevee and Cycles.
Vertex Color Workflow
It can be sometimes very useful to create different Shaders, Colors or Floats on a per Face Base and create different Looks from one Material Tree. This is where Vertex Colors come into play. Shader Node Wizard offers some Tools in the Header Menu in 3D-View (in Edit-Mode) to assign 5 different Levels to all or selected Faces, which than can be used with the three supplied Tool Nodes to assign specific Attributes to those Faces. Examples are Tiles with different Roughness / Normal Strength, a mechanical Element with both rusted and metallic Parts, Elements of different Color but with the same Base PBR or a concrete Wall with different Types of Concrete.
- Box Mapping - Very handy to quickly map a Texture to an Object. Similar to the BOX-Mapping from the Image Texture Node, but maps each Texel depending on the Normal to one Direction. In Slope Areas, a Noise Texture is used to Blend between Directions. Works well in Cycles, but requires some tweaking of Blend Noise Scale in Eevee.
- Anti Repeat - Useful to hide repetition of Textures. Adapted from Erindale, enhanced by a Shuffle Input. So when using Shuffle without Rotation, this works to a certain degree for patterns like Bricks too.
- Vector Distortion - As the name says, distorts a Vector with Noise. Low Noise Scales are useful to scramble UV positions (e.g. geometrical Patterns), High Values create a Texture Blurring Effect.
- Randomizer - Uses the Random Per Object and Random Per Island (Cycles only) feature, but triples the randomness by passing the values through a White Noise Texture plus adds Seed.
- Gray Inspector - It's sometimes hard to estimate values of Gray Patterns in 3D View. By plugging this node between the Gray Emitter and the View transforms the Values into a Heat Map styled view or highlightes a specific gray value. Simple, but very effective.
- Tile Generator - Similar to the Brick Texture from Blender. Creates a UV-Map for every Tile and creates a Normal Map with Tiles and Mortar. When used with Box Mapping, play with the Distortion Controls to create inaccurate Tile Edges!
- Translucent Setup - When working with Leaves or Grass, this is the correct Setup.
- AO Edge - This can be used to see the AO Edge Map Live in Cycles. Useful to find AO Distance and Bevel Radius, but Baking should be finally used.
- Bump Distances - The Distance Parameter from the Bump Map Node is an important factor creating Normal Mapping. This Node Outputs the correct Distance for common Texture Sizes (Texel to Texel Size).
- Metal Colors - Typical Metal Colors.
- IOR Values - Outputs the IOR Value for different Materials, just plug the correct one into the IOR Input of the BSDF.
- Vertex Color [Value, Color, Shader] Mixer - See Vertex Color Workflow.
Shader Node Wizard ships with these 4K Grunge Maps. 4 Maps are always packed to the RGBA-Channels of a PNG Image to reduce VRAM usage. The supplied Materials and FX are based on them, so your need to have them in your Library.
Side-Note: SNW replaces the Texture-Files when dropping a Node with the equivalent Texture in your Library. So if SNW is not installed, the Nodes still work.