Material selection


I know that once I select any geometry that has a material assigned to it, the material in the list becomes yellow, which is great. Sometimes I have over 50 different materials, and its difficult to navigate through the list.

Would there be a way to hide all the materials in the materials list. Once I select geometry that has a material assigned to it, it shows up in the materials list. I can make adjustments to the material and once I deselect the geometry the materials list becomes empty. This can work with multi selection too, more materials would pop up

Thank you


Hello- object Properties > Material page should help here.



I had completely forgotten the materials properties panel… thank you!!

it’s good that obj props > material shows the material editor for the current selection, but it is a pain when you mainly use layer assignment:


there’s the material, but now you have to pop up a floating editor, and I hate those; but at least you weren’t using by parent assignment:


it’s right there, but it’s not a link, so you can’t even pop up the floating editor

these make perfect sense, to the extent obj props > material is about assignment, and not material editing

but even if the editor was shown inside the page in both these cases, I would still prefer the model where, similar to mentioned by the OP, materials get selected in the materials panel editor, when objects that use them are selected in the model – even the first material list/editor I ever wrote did this, and it did not even occur to me for it not to, it was literally encoded in the object model before I wrote the first line of gui code

so maybe that’s just how my mind works, or maybe it’s just a natural workflow when you are focused on nothing but rendering, but whatever the case, the fact is that, in practice, and without ever consciously deciding, I only ever use obj props > material to set layer/parent assignment

there would be debate on handling multi selection, or interactively hiding unselected materials from the list (cool idea by the OP, since we so often work with groups/blocks), but the yellow highlights/dots prove the information is already flowing where it needs to be, to implement this

and now I remember why I will never use obj props > material for material editing:

can’t see the car, but also can’t deselect the object, or the material will disappear from the panel, and as far as I know there is no way to completely disable selection wires being shown (which would not be desired anyway – I would rather need them to magically know when to show, and when not)

this also shows that I will disagree with the OP’s suggestion that the material list should go empty, when all objects are deselected – rather, nothing should happen, until some other object/material selection is made

because I have not previously analyzed this, I just now realize that I am constantly:

  1. selecting an object in order to see the material highlighted in the list
  2. selecting that material to get it shown in the editor
  3. deselecting all so that I can once again see my material unobscured in the model

another approach is to decouple material selection from object selection – in a different plugin, I once had a dedicated button for enabling a persistent mode that allowed picking materials by clicking on objects, but without affecting object selection state at all; that was in sketchup, and this tool was just a slightly-modified version of the way the sketchup material dropper tool can be used to select materials by holding down ALT