I'm working on my addon for Blender, which is a simple offline renderer. I'm stuck at the material system for two days. I would be much appreciated if anyone gives me a pointer.

The issue is that in order to implement my own material system, I have to store my material information in the context.material class, however I've no idea how to add a customized property for this class. I noticed that there are customized property for other external renderers, such as this one: http://www.mitsuba-renderer.org/ There is a property named "context.material.mitsuba_material". What I want is something like "context.material.my_material" so that I can store my material information there.

I also found this class in the render addon script:

class mitsuba_material(declarative_property_group):
    Storage class for Mitsuba Material settings.

    ef_attach_to = ['Material']

I believe it has something to do with this customized property, however I got no luck by implementing myself.

Forgive me if it is a silly question and I did googled it, got nothing useful yet.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm totally new to python, just got my hands on it a week ago. I worked on this addon in my spare time so the progress is relatively slow. $\endgroup$ Aug 28 '15 at 12:56
  • $\begingroup$ If it's a simple render engine, this answer could be a solid starting point. $\endgroup$
    – p2or
    Aug 28 '15 at 13:03

I believe all you need are bpy.props properties. The first example even demonstrates it for bpy.types.Material. Here's an extended example, that uses some additional options for a FloatProperty and adds it above the Material list in Material tab, so you can try it out:

import bpy

def draw_func(self, context):
    layout = self.layout
    ob = context.object
    layout.prop(ob.active_material, "my_material")

def register():
    bpy.types.Material.my_material = bpy.props.FloatProperty(
        name="My Material Property",

def unregister():
    del bpy.types.Material.my_material

if __name__ == "__main__":

You can add your custom properties to a full, custom panel too of course.

If you need to add plenty of properties, use a property group and a PointerProperty to organize them better (and avoid name conflicts with existing properties).

If you need a varying number of a group of properties, use a PropertyGroup to define the properties per occurrence and supply it to a CollectionProperty as type.

  • $\begingroup$ That is exactly the right thing that I should do, thanks. $\endgroup$ Aug 29 '15 at 8:31

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