You get two .zip files from the download location. One file contains the grunge textures. Just unzip them into a separate folder. You will have to add this (or better it’s parent folder) as Grunge Texture Folder in the preferences.
The second file contains the plugin. Install it as other plugins. In Blender:
Edit > Preferences > Addons > Install
Than enable it. Add your Grunge and PBR folders as described in the following section, so all features of the Addon are available.
Texture libraries can be managed in two places. The primary one is in the preferences.
PBR, Grunge and Brush directories
These folders types were scanned and visualized recursively. Just put your image files into these folders.
SNW tries to find sets of textures by their names. Texture files that belong to one set must be in the same folder. A typical folder should look like this:
Grunge files are just single gray images. There’s one specific case to reduce VRAM usage, which is used by the supplied Grunge files that ship with SNW. In this case, 4 gray images are packed in the R, G, B and A channels of an image file. To allow SNW to detect these images, file names must have the postfix ‘4g’, e.g. snw-common-pack1-4g.png.
Owners of my Material Wizard addon, who wish to used the Grunge Files supplied with this addon should extract the following archive in Material Wizard’s Grunge folder. SNW uses those files to detect packed gray images without the need to rename it: Click here
This is a special case for owners of the ExtremePBR Blender Addon. Just select the root folder.
Upon adding, Shader Node Wizard scans and indexes the files once. For every texture, a hash is created to uniqly identify it (in case of PBR sets, the diffuse channel file is used). This is used for the editing feature, to select the correct category and texture in the UI controls. Hashes are stored in your home folder, sub-folder .shader-node-wizard/.
The Prefix can be used to separate libraries in the category selection. I’ve used ‘X’ for the ExtremePBR library, so all categories from ExtremePBR are placed at the end, but still ordered alphabetically:
The Circular Arrow and the Minus buttons close to Prefix fields are used to rescan or remove a library respectively. Rescan is useful if you copy new content to your libraries and want to use them without restarting Blender. Rescanning is also possible from the side menu in the Shader Editor (green highlight in the Image below).
All PBR Sets and Grunges were visualized using Preview Images. If no preview image is available, either the diffuse channel is shown, or in case of Grunge textures, the gray image itself.
This has two side effects. The original image is loaded much slower, as it is usually a larger file. Especially in case of PBR, the diffuse image does only partially show the real look of the Set.
To create all or missing Preview Images, you can do this for the selected category by clicking on the highlighed buttons in the side panel in Material Shader Editor (hidden by default).
Another option to do this is at the top of the creation Pie, see below.
By default, the main Pie Menus are bound to D-Key and editing features are bound to E-Key. If you wish to use other keys or if you have conflicts with other Addons, you can modify this binding in file $HOME/.shader-node-wizard/keymap.json. Please restart Blender after changing this file. This is planned to be added to the preferences, but not completed yet.
The main Pie Menu shows up by pressing the D-Key inside Material Shader Editor. Besides that, there’s a Shader Node Wizard side menu with some additional tools.
Common Standard Nodes
This area is a quick access to most common nodes. They were dropped like any other node selected with Shift-A. The second, third and fouth column contains Math, Vector Math and MixRGB node, respectively. By selecting one of those, the chosen operation or mix types is automatically active after drop.
Create PBR Setup and Create Grunge
This opens a second Pie Menu, where you can choose the respective Image Folder and upon selection, an image browser to select the PBR Set or Grunge Texture. A Node Group with the selected Texture is created, which can be placed in your Node Tree.
In case of PBR Sets, the Inputs and Outputs are taylored to the available PBR channels and allow adjustment to those. Grunge Textures have both a Value and Normal Output. The Normal Output is the Bump Map created from the Grunge Map. Inputs allow adjustments to both Value and Normal result.