# How do you find the nodes you're looking for

When following tutorials, I often come across one of the Math nodes ("Greater than", "Power", "Modulo"...), which, unless you use the Compositor for several hours every day, I don't think you can know by heart.

Of course, I usually end up assuming that the nodes I'm looking for are inside the "Math" node - and usually that's exactly where they are.

I just came across a tutorial requesting this node:

Sure enough, I thought I'd find it in the Math node. Not there.

I searched again:

Still nothing.

I think it would be a great idea for the developers of Blender to show these words in search results even if the word is a part of the node (rather than the node's name itself), for example:

Math > Modulo

could show up in the search results, thus informing the user where the node they're looking for is and what it's hidden inside.

Does anyone know of a way to find where to find certain functions of a node when it doesn't show up in the search results (or when it's a sub-menu of a node)?

Ideally an offline way of doing this.

Going back to look for the Soft Light...

• Soft Light is under color -> mixRgb – user2816 Jun 15 '16 at 5:29
• You mean "Color > Mix"? – MicroMachine Jun 15 '16 at 5:41
• mine is named mixRgb , but yes. then you can change it to soft light. – user2816 Jun 15 '16 at 5:43
• Weird in 2.77 is says "Mix". Another idea would be that older node names show up in search results for a little while... :) Thanks root – MicroMachine Jun 15 '16 at 5:51
• @root 'MixRGB' is used for Cycles nodes, probably to distinguish it from the 'Mix Shader' node. 'Mix' is used in the compositor. – Ray Mairlot Jun 15 '16 at 10:26

I think it would be a great idea for the developers of Blender to show these words in search results even if the word is a part of the node (rather than the node's name itself).

You should suggest this to the developers, if enough people find it useful it will have a better chance to be implemented,there is a section in blender about small tasks so that new developers can pick a small task and try to code them to be implemented in blender , yours seem like a good task.

Does anyone know of a way to find where to find certain functions of a node when it doesn't show up in the search results

There aren't many nodes like that that have those kind of sub menus, if you use blender long enough and with practice you will know their location by heart.

to ask for a feature to be implemented in blender , see : Best Place to put Feature Requests?

• thanks! I created an account on developer.blender.org, but I can't understand how to create new tasks... do you know? @root – MicroMachine Jul 13 '16 at 21:38
• I don't think users create tasks but blender developers, for example see how this bug report was turned into a task – user2816 Jul 13 '16 at 21:52

One way to learn more about the active node is to use the python console and type one of the following commands:

# compositor nodes
bpy.context.scene.node_tree.nodes.active.bl_idname
# material nodes
bpy.context.active_object.active_material.node_tree.nodes.active.bl_idname
# texture nodes
bpy.context.active_object.active_material.active_texture.node_tree.nodes.active.bl_idname


Knowing the bl_idname helps you figure out which node type it lives in. Of course, if you already have the node in your tree, you can just duplicate it.

When figuring it out from a tutorial, you're rather more boned.

I hopped into my copy of the blender source and did a

\$ find . -name locale -prune -o -type f -print0 | xargs -0 grep -i "soft light" | less


and the results included

./intern/cycles/kernel/shaders/node_mix.osl:    if (type == "Soft Light")
./intern/cycles/render/nodes.cpp:       enm.insert("Soft Light", NODE_MIX_SOFT);


The first one is about OSL, but mentions "mix". The second one required me to read the source, but it showed up in a function called mix_type_init(). I checked the Color>MixRGB node and it has a Soft Light option.

Clearly, this is way more of a pain than a regular user can be expected to go through (how many have a clone of the git repo lying around and are either running unix or have cygwin?)

This might actually be an opportunity for an addon which has specific operators for each variant of the node types which (when the addon is enabled) make all those text strings show up in the spacebar menu. Of course, that addon's utility would be related to how often it is updated. If blender invents new node variants and the addon is not updated, that node variant is harder to find.