Adding a Transparent BSDF node but still having to choose alpha blending to see it


  • I want to create a transparent material
  • So I add a transparent shader and output it to the material output
  • Nothing happens
  • Instead, I have to go into the near invisible “n” panel, which new users have no idea exists and cannot easily find
  • Then I have to select the correct tab and then select the correct blend mode


  • The “n” panel in the shader editor should ideally be either eliminated completely…
  • …or always shown so new users know it’s bloody there
  • Alternatively, give the Transparent BSDF (or Material Output) nodes a direct drop down list of blend modes…
  • …and have a transparent blend mode automatically be set whenever you add a Transparent BSDF node to the material
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You don’t need to use the Sidebar. You can find this in the Material Properties too.

Yeah. I have setup my workspaces to have this panel open on default to mitigate this.

The issues:

  • The material properties are hidden if you are in any other tab in the properties editor.
  • The sidepanel is hidden by default in the node-editor.

I agree with the UX issues you’ve pointed out, it shouldn’t have to be a 2-4+ step process to make transparency work. Add, select node, drop, work. Assign from material, work. Right now it doesn’t just work.

This can not be Transparent node. A material could use several transparent nodes.
That could conduct to a material trying to mix different blend modes that will not work.

And now, principled shader contains an alpha slider. Problem is not limited to use of transparent nodes.
Question about which blend mode to use by default is not easy.
If there are 5 modes corresponding to a transparent material, it is because each one is limited to a specific use.
Alpha Clip is not perceivable without indicating a threshold.
Alpha Blend is satisfying for one half of cases with its Show Backface option On and for the other half with same option OFF.
Alpha Hashed cost is only legitimate if textures are used and it implies many samples.
In most of cases, Multiply is too dark and Additive is too bright.

Plus, there is also the question of shadow blend mode.

I agree that if a user modify main transparency setting , he expects to see a transparent result.
But finding a good default for transparency, it is really challenging.
Most of set-ups will probably feel too restrictive or too ugly.

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True, so the moment the user changes that alpha slider from anything but 1.0, Blender should automatically switch blending mode to Alpha Blend (and back to Opaque if all nodes have 1.0 alpha).

If that mode isn’t satisfactory for some power users, they know where to change it. A beginner doesn’t.


This is a good solution, a global check on all alpha sliders.

I’m a middle school teacher who teaches basic blender functionality after school. This specific issue is pretty common for me. Even my most experienced students who are able to import a reference image without my help frequently forget that they need to check the “use alpha” box in the settings. Is there any reason why this shouldn’t be enabled by default? It’s not a very intrusive issue since they need to navigate to that tab to set their transparency in the first place, but it still seems like an unnecessary step. Students raising their hand and asking why changing the transparency value had no visible effect on the reference image is a daily occurrence for me.

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Hi, I also have a problem with transparency even I have a version 2.82 but even if I use a transparency node or change the alpha scale to make the material out of the cloudy to make transparent, the material always stands out in black and what do I do at all?