In the idea of having a faster workflow, I would like to know if it is possible to change the color of the default (no) material of Cycles. I mean, if you don't assign an material to an object, it is by default a diffuse material that is light grey (0.8 white).

I like to have my objects having that default light grey because then I can give certain meshes more emphasis simply by assigning them a pure white material; which give the scene some contrast.

How could I change the color of that default light grey so I could darken it and accentuate the contrast ?

The idea being to be able to do this using no materials (default color), because assigning ALL meshes a material would be too long in my work process.

Actually I use a light to make my subject more bright. But this has a lot of inconvenients, that is why I ask !


  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The default material is hardcoded as far as I can tell. "Because assigning ALL meshes a material would be too long" Select all Ctrl+L> Link Materials. How is that too long? you then get all the control you like $\endgroup$ Jul 5, 2018 at 23:40
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    $\begingroup$ You would need to build your own custom build of blender to change what blender uses when there are no materials. Setting the material override in render layers is a way to use one material for everything. $\endgroup$
    – sambler
    Jul 6, 2018 at 6:06
  • $\begingroup$ @DuarteFarrajotaRamos thanks for those precisions. Is it possible to better select all meshes that don't have any materials set ? $\endgroup$
    – gordie
    Jul 6, 2018 at 7:07

1 Answer 1

  1. Open Blender, go to the Materials tab from the drop down select Material. Make your required changes, you code enable Nodes and do something really complex or just change the colour. Then go to the File menu and Save Startup File.

Now when you open Blender the default material will be your custom one. You can also do this to have a default background.

  1. Alternatively, you can set a single material for all objects from the Render Layers tab. Handy for Clay renders.

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