MDL Material Search Path

MDL Search Paths

MDL defines a sequence of search paths, whose order shall be consistent for all MDL file compilations. Users can inspect and edit the search path through the Preference window. In the Material section, under Material Search Path standard application paths as well as User and System paths are displayed in order of weakest to strongest resolution.

  • Standard System Paths

  • Standard User Paths

  • Renderer Required

  • Renderer Templates

  • Local Paths

Default Paths

Standard System Paths is configured by the MDL_SYSTEM_PATH environment variable. Standard User Paths is configured by the MDL_USER_PATH environment variable.

When specifying these paths through environment variables, multiple paths are separated by semicolons (on Windows) and colons (on Linux and Mac OS).

If the environment variable is not set, the following default is used for the User-space search path:

  • %DOCUMENTS%mdl (on Windows),

  • $HOME/Documents/mdl (on Linux), and

  • $HOME/Documents/mdl (on Mac OS),

For the System-space search path:

  • %PROGRAMDATA%NVIDIA Corporationmdl (on Windows),

  • /opt/nvidia/mdl (on Linux), and

  • /Library/Application Support/NVIDIA Corporation/mdl (on Mac OS).


When modifying the environment variable on Windows, it is necessary that you log out and log back in for the environment variables to take affect.

Renderer Required and Renderer Template paths are READ only, and are necessary for the operation of Create and Omniverse. They are presented in the Preference window for informational purposes.

Local Paths

Additional local User paths can be specified by adding new paths through the dialog. Use the Add New Path button to add additional paths to the Search Path. Drag and Drop to re-order paths.

Saving the paths, writes the Search Path configuration to

  • $HOME/Documents/Kit/shared/material.config.toml


Restarting Create is required when modifying search paths to see updates take effect.