Installation is quite simple. Open Blender’s Preferences (Edit/Preferences) and select Add-ons on the left side. Click Install… in the upper right Corner and select the downloaded .zip File. Final step is to enable AWP by clicking the Checkbox next to it.
- Default Author Name: On startup, this is propagated as Author Name to all Export Boxes. No need to enter it every time.
- Cycles/Eevee: Choose which Engine is used for Preview Rendering.
- Number of Samples: The number of samples Cycles uses rendering a Preview.
- Preview Render Size: The Render Size for Preview Images. While 128×128 is faster and required less Memory, 256×256 are much sharper, experiment with this Value.
- Autoplace Objects in Grid: After exporting an Asset to a Library File, it is placed at the Position from the current .blend. If this is enabled, AWP layouts all Assets in a Grid, so your Libraries look clean. Grid Size it determinated by the largest Object in this Library.
- Asset Tags: Those Tags are available for quick Selection in all Export Panels. They where tracked in ~/.asset-wizard-pro/config.json, so are consistent between all your Blender Installations. Add new Tags by enter them in the Text Field and hit the + Button. Remove by hitting the – Button next to them.
- Shader/Geometry Types: This is used to group Shader and Geometry Node Groups in the Import Panel and Pie Menus. Adding and removing is same as with Asset Tags.
Export is done from the Tool Panel in their respective Space. This is either 3D View, Shader Node Editor or Geometry Nodes Editor. The Panel is in the Asset Wizard Pro tab.
Object, Object Batch Export and Collections can be exported from 3D View, Materials and Shader Node Groups from Shader Node Editor and finally Geometry Node Groups from Geometry Node Editor. All Export Panels share an identical Part. Just the lower section is tailored to the respective Space. Have a look at this image.
- Library Group: The most upper Region controls to Output File for your Asset.
- New File: Create a new empty Blend Library File. Upon clicking, a new Dialog opens, where you can enter the File Name. Clicking OK creates the File.
- Show Library Blend Info: This opens a View just below this top Section, showing File Size, Number of Objects, Collections, Materials and Node Groups from the current selected Output File.
- Open Library Blend: Starts a new Instance of Blender and open the current selected Output File.
- Refresh AWP: Rescans your Library for Files, Catalog Info and Shader/Geometry Nodes. Useful when you externally modify your Library. AWP stays up to date when exporting, but does not track external changes (for performance reasons).
- Refresh Blenders Asset Browser: I’ve tried to update the Asset Browser automatically on Export, but it seems Blender doesn’t like this all the time. So please use this Button (or the Refresh Button in Asset Browser) to update.
- Asset Library: You can manage multiple Asset Libraries, managing them in Blender’s Preferences (File Paths/Asset Libraries). If you have more than one, select the active one in this Box (if you change the Settings in Blenders Preferences, please hit the Reresh AWP Button once).
- Active Library Blend File: This is the currently active File were Assets are exported.
- Asset Data:
- Render Result: If this is ticked, AWP will not render a Preview Image for your Asset, but use your current Render Result Image (you must have one), crop the center Part and resize it to the configured Preview Image Size (Preferences).
- Catalog: Select the Catalog, that the Asset should be mapped to. The + Button opens a dialog, where you can create new Catalogs/Subcatalogs.
- Description and Author: This should be straightforward.
- Tags: Select a Tag from the stored Tags (see Configuration as well) and hit the + Button to add it for the next Export Operation(s).
- New Tag: No need to enter the Preferences to add new Tags. Enter a Tag here and hit the + Button next to it, it will be stored to your internal Tag list, as well as to the active List.
- Selected Tags: Tags in this List where used in the next Export and stay there for more Exports. Hitting the – Button next to them, will remove them from the active List (but not your stored List).
- Object / Collection Export – 3D View specific:
- Export Object: This exports the active selected Object into the current Library. During Export, either a Preview Image is rendered or your Render Result is used (see section above).
- Export Selected Objects: Exports all selected Objects one by one. This may take a long time, depending on amount and complexity of your Objects.
- Export Collection + Drop Down Selection: This exports the Collection selected in the List below as one Asset.
- Material Export – Shader Node Editor specific:
- Export Material: Exports the active Material and renders a Preview on a Shader Ball. In the Scene in your Library, a Plane is created with this Material applied to it, so looking in your Library, you can see all exported Materials.
- Export Node Group: If a Node Group is selected in your Node Tree, this Button is shown and does what the Label says. It exports this Node Group, using the Type in the Box below as first Tag. AWP will use this information to group Node Groups on the Import Panel and in Pie Menus. You can modify this list in Preferences.
- Geometry Nodes Export:
- Export whole Tree: The Tree that is currently used in the GNE is a Node Group itself, so this Button will export the whole Tree as one Node Group. All other info is identical to the next point:
- Export Node Group: Only visible is the selected Node is a Node Group. Exports this Node Group and use the Type selected below this Button as first Asset Tag. This is later used on the Import Panel and in Pie Menus to Group Node Groups. You can modify this list in Preferences.
As a smart helper, I’ve added Pie Menus to both the Shader Node Editor, as well as to the Geometry Nodes Editor. The Pie Menu in the Shader Nodes Editor is partially borrowed from my Shader Node Wizard Addon and I plan to find a solution to find a symbiosis between them. These Menus can be invoked hitting the S-Key inside the respective Node Editor (which is not absolutely ideal, as this is mapped for scaling as well). I consider the move this to the D-Key after find a solution between my Addons. Either way, you can modify this in ~/.asset-wizard-pro/key_map.json. Please restart Blender after modifying this file.
There’s not much to describe to these Pie Menus. Selecting one of the Nodes allow you to place them in your Node Tree. The Standard Nodes in both Menu’s are the most used one in my experience, but this may be enhanced or changed in future versions. Recommandations are always welcome.
The right Side contains all Nodes from your Asset Library, grouped by there first Tag. If no Tag is assigned, Other is used.
Both in Shader Node Editor and Geometry Node Editor, an Import Panel is located below the Export Panel. This just contains the same things as the Pie Menus on their right Part, just in a linear Layout. If you don’t like Pie Menus, you can import/create your Asset Node Groups from there as well.
Update existing Libraries
As Asset Funtionality is available since Blender 3.0, I assume most of you already have existing Asset Libraries. To ease the update of Preview Images, as well as automatic Grid Placement, the Header Part of the Asset Browser has two additional Buttons. These Buttons are only available, if Current File is selected in Asset Browser.
- Update Preview: This will render a new Preview according to your Preferences for all Assets selected in the Asset Browser. Please note that the file must be saved to function, otherwise, this Button is disabled.
- Grid Button: The Button with the Grid Icon next to Update Preview will place all your 3D Objects that are marked as Asset in a Grid Layout. The Padding is used to configure the space between the Objects and Collections. The largest Object / Collection (by Bounding Box) is used to detemine the Grid Size.