Material Editor suggestions


I am working on a big visualization project right now which involves the use many of about 80 different materials, the render engine I use is octane for Rhino.

Very often I find myself looking at the thumbnails and searching for a certain material…
Maybe I am to stupid to find some “sort” features, in case these already exist i apologise but if not
I would like to suggest the following features to speed up the process of finding:

  • an “sort by name” function would be a nice thing, to make it even more nicer you could add the feature to key in the initial material letters e.g. for “concrete” start with “C” folowed by “o” etc. the cursor would then jump to the correspondent place in the list. With this method it would also be possible for the user to create custom groups of material families by applying a dedicated number e.g. 01-matte_ materials, 02-glossy_materials, 03-transparent_materials…

  • I know of the feature that the material which is active in the editor window is marked by a blue rectangle and the material for the currently selected material has these yellow triangles.
    Maybe it is possible to make these markers a little bit more noticeable (may be just three times the pixel width) , especially the yellow triangles are hard to see…

thank you for any feedback

best regards


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Hi Andreas - in V6, you can add tags to materials, which will help sort them later.

You can see the little tags icon when the material is highlighted.

‘Tags’ in the context menu will let you see and add tags as well.

Clicking on a tag will filter the view.


Thank you pascal for the hint,
I have played around with it for a few minutes and while I think this could be a useful thing, I still like the idea to sort the materials by name and have the fast “key in” approach. … I think these kind of tasks (which are repeated like 50 times a day and more…) are best solved when you can get to your goal by using as less mouse clicks as possible…



… the markers could look like this - not too pretty but you can see them instantly . Please compare them with the existing markers.



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i just found out that the “tree” mode seems to sort the materials by name, unfortunately it lacks the feature “mark selected” but this could be easily implemented by highlighting the correspondent material name yellow (or maybe for better noticeability in orange…)

is there any chance that such a feature is implemented in the regular rhino 5 or is it only possible for R6?



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Any new opinions ? I think this should be of some interest for all users dealing with complex visualisation scenes…

I am very interested in some feedback …



well, a year passed, I just took a look at my WIP version and I see some nice improvements:

  • selected Materials are marked in the tree mode (great!)
  • the “selected object” and the “selected material” marker are better recognizable (cool, but I think there is maybe still a little room for improvement…)

what I still would like to have is :

  • the possibility to sort materials in grid and list mode in alphabetical order
  • the option to key in the first letters of the desired material (like e.g. “c-o-n…” for concrete) and the selected material marker would jump to the correspondent position (this would be really cool!)

I guess there is no chance that all this will make it in a rhino5 service release, but could you at least ad the possibility to mark the selected materials / selected objects in the tree mode?



Some input from me:

  • I would love to have folders in the material views (all three of them). This way I could sort my often very many materials in custom ways. Some examples:
    ** Folders for general types like wood, metal, paint…
    ** Folders for the object the materials belong to like engine, walls, floors…
    ** Folders for versions so you could move all the older materials in a folder and collapse it.

  • The Folders should allow for subfolders.

  • The tags are nice in principle, but the interface feels a bit clumsy/hidden ATM.
    ** Somehow it would be nice to have common/existing tags autocomplete when typing them in or offer a list/dropdown with existing/common tags (wood, metal…).
    ** When the mouse hovers over the tag icon, could a list of assigned tags be shown instead of the material name flyout so one does not need to open the tag window to see them?
    ** Maybe a list/linkcloud of tags could be optionally shown above the material list for very fast one-click selection?

  • I agree with the option for alphabetical sorting in all views - together with above folders that would be pretty fast to work with as an alternative to the current creation/user sorting.

Thanks and cheers!



@andy, fyi :slight_smile:


These suggestions are great and logged - we’ll try to get to them as soon as possible.

  • Andy


You should be able to type “con” into the search box and have it filter for materials with “con” in them (or in their tags). Does this work for you?

Sorting in alphabetical order would be great - I agree.

  • Andy

Thanks andy!
Especially the folders would be really helpful for me when working with large scenes or going through dozens of iterations with a project and constantly creating new materials while keeping the old ones around in case they are needed again.

Thanks and Cheers,


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100% agree