I've found some neat combinations of nodes to create certain effects, so I'd like to make them a group and then have that node available on my list of available nodes, even when I reload the startup file. How would I do that?


You can save the startup .blend and the user preferences by pressing CtrlU (note that in 2.66 the startup .blend and user preferences were split. See this post for more detail).

Also note that the startup .blend contains everything a normal blendfile does, so any geometry, textures, brushes, node groups, UI layouts, view orientations, etc. will be saved and loaded by default when you start blender.

To create and save a node group:

  1. With the nodes selected, press CtrlG to group them (AltG to ungroup).

    enter image description here

  2. Save the file (CtrlS)

  3. Open your startup file (CtrlN)

  4. Press ShiftF1 to Append. Navigate inside the file with the node group, select NodeTree and then select the node group.

    enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  5. In the node editor, add the node group (ShiftA> Groups > group name) and press the F icon on the node to save the data block even if it has no users. This will ensure the node group is saved even if it is not used.

    enter image description here

  6. Delete the group node. Provided you enabled fake user by clicking the F icon, it will still be in the add menu even after reloading the file. Rearrange the UI how you want it to appear when you start blender.

  7. Save the startup .blend (CtrlU).

Note that this procedure is the same for all types of nodes (Composite, shader, etc.)

Recovering the default startup

You can reload the default settings and startup.blend by pressing File > Load factory settings:

enter image description here

Note that this only loads the defaults, it does not reset the default .blend. To overwrite your startup .blend with the defaults, load the factory settings and then press CtrlU.

In case you want to back up (or delete, replace, etc.) your startup.blend, navigate to the user path/config/ and there should be a file named startup.blend.

To find the user path for your OS, see the wiki

  • $\begingroup$ How can I do this with a single node, and not a group of them? Can I make a group of a single node? $\endgroup$ – Espen Sales Oct 7 '15 at 10:33
  • $\begingroup$ @EspenSales Yes, you can make a group containing 0 or more nodes. Not sure why you'd want to though..? $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Oct 7 '15 at 18:56
  • $\begingroup$ It's because there's this group called "Chocofur" at chocofur.com who have designed custom nodes to make simple shading easier. It's pretty neat. Anyway I have explained the situation before in a question I asked here $\endgroup$ – Espen Sales Oct 8 '15 at 6:24
  • $\begingroup$ @EspenSales Those are node groups already, no need to put one of them in another group. You can append those directly (start from step 4 in this answer) $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Oct 8 '15 at 6:43
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, well then! I thought Chocofur had made nodes from scratch by using python or something (yes I'm a noob) $\endgroup$ – Espen Sales Oct 12 '15 at 17:20

I wouldn't recommend to add everything to the Startup File. You could also create a node library (.blend file) to hold all your nodes and link and/or append groups from the library to your current project.

Accessible from the Info Header

  • File Link Ctrl-Alt-O

  • File Append Shift-F1

A nice example library: bwide-nodepack-for-blender

You find the nodes within the .blend file in the folder NodeTree:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ How can I do this when i only want to add a single customized node, and not a group of nodes? $\endgroup$ – Espen Sales Oct 7 '15 at 10:06

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