Node Wrangler

Node Wrangler is a suite of tools designed and coded by industry professionals, Bartek Skorupa and Greg Zaal, to help make node editing in Blender easier and quicker, for both compositing and material workflows.

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Note: Node Wrangler is included in Blender by default, so you probably already have it installed.

Major Features

Lazy Functions

These three functions are meant to allow you to make connections between nodes without needing to click on those tiny sockets.

This is particularly useful if you have a huge node tree and prefer to stay zoomed out.

All three functions work by holding down the right mouse button (RMB) and drawing a line between two nodes. You don't even have to click exactly on the node, it will pick the nearest one.

Lazy Connect (Ctrl+RMB) will make a new link between the first unconnected input of the first node and first unconnected output of the same type as the input of the second node. If there are no sockets with the same type, it will choose the next unconnected input of any other type. If there are no unconnected sockets on the second node, it will pick a connected one to replace.

Lazy Connect with Menu (Ctrl+Shift+RMB) is almost the same as Lazy Connect, except that it will allow you to choose the input and output sockets to connect by displaying two popup menus. If either the input or output nodes have only one socket, it'll skip one of the menus. If both input and output nodes have only one socket, it will act exactly the same as the regular Lazy Connect.

Lazy Mix (Alt+RMB) will create a mix node and connect the two chosen nodes. This acts exactly the same as selecting the nodes and using Merge Nodes (Ctrl+0).

 

 

 

Merge

Mixing several images, render layers, passes or textures together is the most common thing you'll ever do in the node editor. With this function, all you need to do to mix/add/multiply/whatever two or more nodes together is push one little button while holding Ctrl.

Mix: Ctrl+0
Add: Ctrl++
Subtract: Ctrl+-
Multiply: Ctrl+*

Note:

There are even more specific merging operations with their own hotkeys - too many to list here, so take a look at the hotkey list.

 

Emission Viewer

Just like the compositor, you can now add a viewer node for Cycles materials.

Simply Ctrl+Shift+Click a node, and it is connected automatically to a viewer node (which is created if it doesn't exist).

The viewer node is actually just an emission shader. This means you're looking at the exact color values of whatever you clicked on, there is no shading to mess with your head.

If you click on a shader node, it connects that straight to the material output (instead of using the emission shader).

You can click on the same node multiple times to cycle through all of its outputs.

 

Batch Change Blend Type / Math Operation

Change the blend type of all selected mix nodes and math nodes using:

Mix: Alt+0
Add: Alt++
Subtract: Alt+-
Multiply: Alt+*
Divide: Alt+/
Greater Than: Alt+>
Less Than: Alt+<
Cycle Up: Alt+
Cycle Down: Alt+

 

Swap Links

This tool allows you to swap and cycle links in several situations:

  • Select two nodes, use Alt+S to swap their output connections.
  • Select one node with one connected input, use Alt+S to cycle the connection through the sockets.
  • Select one node with two connected inputs, use Alt+S to swap the two connections. If more then two inputs are linked, the two with matching types will be swapped (e.g: a Mix node's two color inputs).

 

Frame Selected

Wrap selected nodes in a frame by pressing Shift+P (similar to using the existing function, Ctrl+J), then press F6 to set the color and label of the frame node.

 

Switch Node Type

When you just want to swap an existing node for a new one, it's a pain to have to delete it, add the new node and reconnect all the connections again.

Node Wrangler does all the hard work for you - just press Shift+S and a simple menu (just like the standard Add menu) will pop up asking you to choose the new node.

 

Copy Settings

Easily copy the settings of the active node to the other selected ones using Shift+C.

 

Add Texture Setup

Adding the same set of nodes over and over again every time you want to add an image texture is tiresom.

Instead, select your shader and hit Ctrl+T to add the image texture, mapping node and texture coordinates.

If you already have a texture node, then just the mapping node and texture coordinates will be added.

 

Add Reroutes to Outputs

It often helps to have a little reroute node for every output, so rather than adding them manually, just hit / on your number pad!

 

Link Active to Selected

Connect all selected nodes to the active one in various ways by pressing \ - each item in that menu has its own shortcut too, for even quicker access.

 

Minor Features

Connect to Output Node

O

Link the selected node to the Output node (Composite or Material/World/Lamp Output node).

Change Mix Factor

Alt + Left/Right

Increase or decrease the Fac of selected Mix nodes (0.1, Alt + Shift 0.01, Ctrl + Alt + Shift 1.0).

Delete Unused Nodes

Alt + X

Delete all nodes whose outputs have no connections (excludes final output nodes such as Composite, Viewer and Material Output).

Reset Backdrop

Z

Move the backdrop image back to the center with 1.0 zoom.

Vertex Color Node

Add > Input

Add an Attribute node with the Vertex Color name already filled in.

Reload Images

Alt + R

Update all images in the node tree.

Copy Label

Shift + C

Copy the label from the active node to selected nodes, or from linked inputs/outputs

Clear Label

Alt + L

Revert the label to an empty string, telling Blender to display the node type instead.

Modify Label

Alt + Shift + L

Add a prefix or suffix to selected nodes' labels, or replace certain text with something else.

Align Nodes

Shift + =

Align nodes either vertically or horizontally, with even spacing between them.

Select Frame/Children

[ / ]

Select the parent (the frame containing the selected nodes) or the children (all nodes inside the selected frame nodes).

Detach Outputs

Alt + Shift + D

Grab a node while disconnecting its outputs. Similar to Alt + D, but keeps inputs connected.

Add Image Sequence

Add > Input

Select a single image from the file browser and an Image node will be added with the sequence length already filled in.

Add Multiple Images

Add > Input

Select multiple images in the file browser to add an Image node for each in one go.

Hotkey List

As I'm sure you're now aware, Node Wrangler has a rather large number of hotkeys. The easiest way to see them all and search for them is in the User Preferences of the add-on itself:

Node Wrangler User Preferences image