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If I have a material that needs to have a dozen nodes or so attached to it and I hit + in the materials panel the material duplicates but not the nodes.

Is there a way to migrate nodes and their connections from one material to another?

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Use shift-right-click to multi-select nodes, or B to border-select a group of nodes and their connections. Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V (or platform equivalent) will copy and paste nodes across materials.

NOTE: After pasting some nodes, try moving the nodes around with the mouse. Blender has a bad habit of pasting node copies exactly on top of existing nodes, and it becomes almost impossible to see that anything has changed. Slide the new nodes away to reveal old nodes underneath.

Also, consider using Node Groups to avoid having a bunch of duplicated nodes. This way, you can fix problems in a complex node structure and have the fixes apply to multiple materials at once.

A node group can have inputs for customizing in different ways, to make nodes more re-usable in different materials. You can create a node group just by multi-selecting the nodes and picking Make group or Ctrl-G. Then, get in and out of the node group editor with the Tab key. Finally, you can add references to your node group from other materials, with Add -> Group -> {GroupName}.

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  • $\begingroup$ I tired Ctrl-C and put the mouse over on the node panel and did Ctrl-V but nothing happened. That is why I asked. $\endgroup$ – Eric Huelin Nov 8 '16 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ Try moving the existing nodes after pasting. The new copies will be exactly on top of old copies, and you may not realize that anything has happened. $\endgroup$ – emackey Nov 8 '16 at 15:27
  • $\begingroup$ I mean I duplicate a material with no nodes and paste and nothing happens. $\endgroup$ – Eric Huelin Nov 8 '16 at 16:08
  • $\begingroup$ Oh. Turn on "use nodes" before you paste. $\endgroup$ – emackey Nov 8 '16 at 16:09
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I don't know if I understand your question right but I think this is what your looking for.

enter image description here

You can also use node groups like this.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ The paste material was exactly what I was looking for. $\endgroup$ – Eric Huelin Nov 8 '16 at 15:18

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