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I have a number of materials: M1, M2, M3, and vertex groups V1, V2, V3 on a mesh and would like to apply the materials proportionally to their corresponding vertex groups. In a previous question I got an answer how to map the vertex group into an attribute that the shader editor can take.

Now, I would like to mix different materials. What I have been doing so far:

  1. for each material, create a node group which takes the texture mapping and exposes the BSDF output
  2. create a meta-material, where I would input the node groups and mix them with the mix shader.

Problem: The node groups created have names like NodeGroup.001 which makes it hard to distinguish different materials from each other. In the meta-material shader, it's possible to rename the group node, but it doesn't change the name of the underlying node group, so if I were to use it elsewhere, I still need to remember what NodeGroup.042 corresponds to:

node group naming

Note that even though NodeGroup node was renamed to rock, it still appears as NodeGroup in the Add > Group option.

Questions:

  1. is there a way to rename the underlying node group, as opposed to its corresponding node in the meta-material?
  2. isn't there a better workflow for what I'm doing? Ideally I would not have to create node groups at all, I'd rather have a version of Mix Shader that takes the whole materials (which can be easily named) instead.

I saw this question, which only answers the question of naming the node group in the outer group.

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  1. Nodes have a name (unique - you shouldn't need to worry about that if you don't plan on using the python scripting API) and a label which can be shared among many different nodes. Node groups are "instanced" via node group nodes, which have a Node Group data block as a mandatory parameter. Here you re-labeled the node, not the underlying node group. Click in the field inside the node group to rename the underlying node group.

Alternatively open the right hand side panel with N or clicking on the arrow in the top right of the node editor, expand the Properties subpanel and change the name there.

enter image description here

  1. No, it is not possible to access external material outputs inside other materials.
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  • $\begingroup$ to clarify for posterity: by "click in the field inside the node group" you mean to change the text that's "My Node Group" on the screenshot. I assumed that by changing that I would be changing which node group I'm using, but it's working as you suggested, only changing the name of the underlying node group. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – sygi
    Commented May 29, 2022 at 11:03
  • $\begingroup$ Ups right yeah I meant clicking on the white label on black background, not the material icon with the dropdown arrow. Cheers $\endgroup$
    – Gorgious
    Commented May 29, 2022 at 12:08

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