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When I click on the "new" button, some panels that were disabled appear. I read their code, but I didn't understand. How do I get certain panels to appear when I click a button?

  • $\begingroup$ Are you trying to make an addon that lets you add your own custom panels to the materials bar? I'm confused. $\endgroup$ Feb 17, 2021 at 2:45
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, but the location is "VIEW 3D" .. I didn't mention that. $\endgroup$
    – niadhson
    Feb 17, 2021 at 16:14

1 Answer 1


It's a panels poll method

The panels are defined and sitting there polling away, waiting to "show".

The poll classmethod of a panel returns true only when the required context (or otherwise related) conditions are met

Poll method for custom panel

Hide Panel With Python ("A Duality Duplicate")

In example displayed in question :

(Speculating haven't checked (...lately), Turn on Developer Extras in settings, so can right click on 99% of UI, view source and see how its done... a common practice is to)

Have one master materials panel, that always polls. In this case the material slots, no panel header, has the option to add a material.

All the others seen are , subpanels ie Panels with their parent set to the master panel, or others in the space, that have poll requirements met.

In the properties space, there is a sort of "polling" option available by setting bl_context of the panel class to match that of the properties space context, matching the 'OBJECT', 'SCENE', 'RENDER' tabs.

Creating new tabs in properties panel

How do I add a panel to Object Properties?

These subpanels only poll when there is a context.material (In properties space there is a material context member, most likely context.material == context.object.active_material

When all the panels require the same poll it is common to see a mixin base class

class SomePanelBase:
    bl_context = 'MATERIAL'
    def poll(cls, context):
        return context.material is not None

And for any defined panel

class MaterialFooPanel(SomePanelBase, bpy.types.Panel):

making any such defined panels only display if there is an active material.

  • $\begingroup$ Great! This seems to work as I want ... but, I forgot to mention that the location of my addon is "VIEW_3D" .. Here bl_context does not work. Would I have to do anything with bl_category? $\endgroup$
    – niadhson
    Feb 17, 2021 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ NP. bl_context is for properties area, leave out otherwise. bl_category is the tab label in other areas. $\endgroup$
    – batFINGER
    Feb 17, 2021 at 23:43

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