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Auto-Offset. A workflow enhancement for Blender's node editor.

16

This upcoming feature is making working with nodes SO much easier, that I'm surprised nobody thought of it before now. It was a sponsored project during the Leipzig Summer of Code 2016 at blendFX studio.

Sebastian König writes:

When you drop a node with at least one input and one output socket onto a an existing connection between two nodes, auto-offset will, depending on the direction setting, automatically move the left or right node away to make room for the new node.

It is triggered by the same logic that is used to automatically connect the new node, indicated by the highlighted noodle. You can toggle the direction offset while you are moving the node by pressing „T“. The auto-offset is enabled by default but can be disabled in the header of the node-editor. The offset margin can be changed in the editing section of the User Preferences.
Auto-Offset was designed and prototyped during the Leipzig Summer of Code 2016 at blendFX studio.

Sponsored by blendfx, Mikavaa, Knick Design and Mathias Eimann.
Music: Jan Morgenstern, Licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND

About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.

16 Comments

  1. I was shocked there was no "snap to grid" when I started working with nodes. So this is a welcomed and no-brainer addition.

  2. This is the coolest imporovment Ever! :) Congratulations, Severin! A few suggestions to make it even .. better?
    - Have a way to re-organize selected nodes (all or some) based on this auto-offset feature ? (e.g. select some/all, type magic key.. and those nodes auto-magically arrange)
    - Instead of having to press T to toggle offset direction it would be cool if this would be determined automatically based on where in between two nodes you drop the new node. E.g. if you insert the new node closer to (or partially over) the left node, the left nodes shift to the left, if the new node is dropped closer to (or partially over) the right node, the right nodes to the right.
    - Add some vertical auto offset to avoid nodes overlapping vertically as they offset horizontally ?

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