Thursday, September 28th, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Blender 4.0 will let you create your own node-based tools

The power to create node-based tools has just moved out of experimental builds of Blender and into the main branch of the open-source 3D software.

The functionality, which lets users create custom operators using Blender’s Geometry Nodes framework, has just been added to beta builds of Blender 4.0, due for release in November.

Create custom 3D modeling tools based on groups of Geometry Nodes
First introduced in Blender 2.92 in 2021, Geometry Nodes is a node-based framework for procedural modeling, object scattering – and, most recently, simple simulations.

The Node Tools project lets users package some of that functionality into more conventional tools, turning groups of nodes into operators that can be accessed from Blender’s menus.

By default, the new tools will appear in a new menu for unassigned operators, but it will be possible to add them to existing menus, and to set which modes they are available in.

Node-based tools are intended to be a more artist-friendly way to access and control node groups than the existing Geometry Nodes Modifer, as discussed in this post on the Blender Developer blog.

The video at the top of the story, posted by developer Jacques Lucke on X (formerly Twitter), shows basic examples: creating simple rotate and extrude tools.

However, it should be possible to create more complex operators: the ultimate goal of the project is to make it possible to recreate any existing Edit Mode operator with nodes.

Release dates and system requirements
Blender 4.0 is due for a stable release in November 2023.

The current stable release, Blender 3.6 is available for Windows 8.1+, macOS 10.15+ (macOS 11.0 on Apple Silicon Macs) and glibc 2.28+ Linux, including Ubuntu 18.10+ and RHEL 8.0+ and CentOS and Rocky Linux equivalents.

Updated 6 October: Read an overview of how Node Tools work on the Blender Developer blog

Read more about Blender’s Node Tools in the online project overview

Download the current daily build of Blender 4.0

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