I made a few signs in blender. They all have the same Material.

I want to put an images on the front of the signs - but all the images are unique. I want to keep the ability to edit the material of the signs and to use one unique Image for every sign. So the only ways I know how to achieve this are: Create one big image and map it (i dont want to do it). Duplicate the Material with different Images (i will lose the ability to edit all materials at once) What to do?


2 Answers 2


A good solution to this is to take advantage of Node Groups. You can extract the common portions of your different materials into a group, then share it across all of them. You can then edit the contents of the group to make changes to all the materials that share it at once.

For example, suppose you have a material that looks like this:

If you want to share the Principled BSDF settings across many different materials but use different image textures, you can select the Principled BSDF node and press CtrlG to convert it to a new node group:

By default, all of the node’s inputs are made into group inputs, but in this case we only want the Base Color to be provided by the enclosing material, so we can delete all the other inputs in the node properties panel (accessed by pressing N):

This produces a node group that looks like this:

Pressing Tab to leave Edit Mode for the new group and return to the original material, we can rename the group to something more informative:

Now you can add the node group to other materials using ShiftAGroup ▸ <name of group>:

To edit the group contents, just select it (from within any material) and press Tab to enter Edit Mode again. Any changes you make will affect all the materials that use the group, so there’s no need to duplicate anything between materials.

  • $\begingroup$ thank you very much! nice and precise answer :) $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    May 13, 2021 at 0:04

I think that if you don't want to use atlases (may I ask why btw?) one possible solution would be python. Tweak one of the materials and then propagate the changes over the whole collection.


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