Create independent shading group node


How can I create an independent shading group node? Or is it just a matter of creating a shader then deleting the material node, as I normally do?


Hey Curt.

This is the MEL command to create a shading engine (shading group) node:

createNode shadingEngine -n "myShadingGrp";

You can rename the part in quotations to whatever you would like to name the node.
If you find yourself doing this a lot, and not too MEL savy…you can make a shelf button out of that.



Thanks Ilan, much appreciated.

I’m a bit stuck on how to (cleanly) associate geometry with my newly created shading engine now (once I’ve plugged in a material node, or matteshadow etc).

Usually, say, for example matteshadow:

I create a lambert material then assign my geometry to it by either mmb dragging the material or the shading engine onto the geometry, or by selecting the geometry then rmb on the material node then ‘assign material to selection’.
Then I delete the lambert material, create matteshadow (createNode mip_matteshadow;) then plug it into the shading engine’s custom shaders>material shader slot and the matteshadow works.
But if I create a shader engine from scratch using ‘createNode shadingEngine -n “name”’, then plug matteshadow into the material shader slot, I can’t use either of the methods above to associate the shading engine with the geometry.

Is there a way to do this? Or do I have to create a material node for the sole purpose of assigning them?


Hey Curt, Sorry for the confusion.
Set it up using this command:

sets -renderable true -noSurfaceShader true -empty -name "myShadingGrp";

This will create a renderable, independent shading group, that is capable of connecting to your geo. Now you can assign it to whatever, and plug in your shadow matte node.

Let me know how that goes,



Excellent! Does exactly what you said it would do - thanks Ilan.


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