- node editing approach to materials should work.
For me just having nodes is the biggest step up in productivity. I use Vray in Rhino as well as 3ds max and the difference is night and day. The visual flow of node based editing is just a delight. (there are a number of other issues which make Vray for Rhino unnecessarily ultra frustrating when compared with 3ds integration.
Also, plugging one bitmap into many components and inputs sure beats surfing back to it from each bitmap slot over and over.
If its for material design then the additional components in max are invaluable. Colour correct, output mapping, composite and mix map components are invaluable and allow for significantly more flexibility and creativity.
-How would the workflow be, what parts would be necessary?
Not sure what kind of feedback your looking for here? Nodal is already a leap forward from the current Vray. Also if your adjusting materials through grasshopper the more feedback you can give in the view port the better. For instance with Vray when I’m using a procedural texture like noise I can see it in the 3ds max view-port. In Vray for rhino I have to guess about my settings and render it to see it, that sucks! What a time waster. Not sure if that’s what your looking for, but in any case visual feedback is essential.
-What would you want to do with it. What’s good about other existing systems, what could be better?
Honestly, 3ds max has a pretty tight nodal texturing workflow, check out some videos on youtube. Its a world of difference. Throw in the additional components i mentioned above and its light-years ahead.
let me know if there is anything more specific I can talk about. Your GH component looks great though. I tried to get a color gradient applied to many objects in GH out as Vray materials before and it was a no go. Any components which would allow for a base texture to be modulated into a variety of materials which would be created and applied to objects will be super cool. If I was on Maxwell i would be all over that.