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Working with node materials

From: Blender Essential Training

Video: Working with node materials

In addition to setting up your material settings over here in the Shading Context, Blender offers a node based material editor. To start that, we just click here over under Nodes and then we've to use one of the windows as a Node Editor. This is the first time we've seen this in the course and this is a big old spreadsheet that you can use to construct a virtual network of nodes, just like when you're doing a project plan and you construct a network chart of all tasks. Well that's the same idea that nodes are.

Working with node materials

In addition to setting up your material settings over here in the Shading Context, Blender offers a node based material editor. To start that, we just click here over under Nodes and then we've to use one of the windows as a Node Editor. This is the first time we've seen this in the course and this is a big old spreadsheet that you can use to construct a virtual network of nodes, just like when you're doing a project plan and you construct a network chart of all tasks. Well that's the same idea that nodes are.

The first thing we want to do is to click this ball here, which says that this Node Editor is going to be used to edit a Material Node. We want to Use Nodes and this is the Node Material NT that we're going to be editing called Material. We can call it something else. Let's call it CloudyBar. That's the way you can name your node based materials so that they're saved in the file and you can readily identify them later on. The first node we want to add is the Material node. This controls the basic settings for the material.

By default it's shades of gray. So now if we press F12 instead of getting the red bar we now get the gray bar. Now let's modify this color using another node. So we've a whole bunch of different nodes that do different things to the color and then they pass it on to the next node, until finally it reaches the output. So the RGB Curves node is a little color processor that can adjust the different colors. So let's say this is the red channel. So for little parts of red, I'm going to boost the red.

So this is kind of a red booster right here. And if we go ahead and thread this RGB Curve by pressing just Space and Add the Output node. Because the RGB Curve was already selected, Blender automatically threads the nodes together for us in a nice little chain. So now we've a pink bar because we've boosted the reds from the gray and routed that to the output. We can also mix in textures into the color by adding a Texture Input node and selecting a Texture.

In this case, I've defined a Cloud texture. So let's mix that into the pink color by using the Mix node, which is also in the Color section. Now what we're going to do is use this Cloud color to route the value to the Mix node, so this value now tells this Mix node where to mix between these two colors. So we'll use the original color and let's give it a blue color to choose from. Now when we route this to the Color Output, we've a material that mixes between a pink and a blue according to this cloud texture.

As you can see these node trees or these noodles like I like to call them can get pretty long and complex. But you basically just keep stringing them together, modifying the material color as you go according to whatever vector and geometry and how you want to apply or map these colors to reach other based on either, for example, here on the Input, we've the Geometry of the scene. The Camera Data, you can even change colors based on how far that object is from the camera.

So things can get like red hot as they get really close end to the camera or whatever. You can set your own RGB values and of course, use those textures. What you can do with those then is then mix them or adjust them, Invert them or play with the Hue Saturation and Value. You can also map them to different aspects of the geometry or the situation and use Ramps, convert them to Black and White and also do Math on them. This is especially useful when you're mapping camera data.

Ultimately, you can create groups of nodes so that if you come up with a good noodle that you like, like this one here, if you want to reuse it you can just define these as a group by pressing, for example B and highlighting these nodes that you want to group and then Node > Make Group and then that makes this Node group into something that can be reused and imported in other situations. And also just simplifies the whole display of the noodles inside your Node Editor window.

So that's a brief rundown on how to use nodes to create a material, instead of using the traditional material panels.

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This video is part of

Image for Blender Essential Training
Blender Essential Training

131 video lessons · 25310 viewers

Roger Wickes
Author

 
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  1. 12m 5s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
      58s
    3. Using Blender's full capabilities
      4m 16s
    4. Getting and installing Blender
      3m 8s
    5. Mouse and keyboard differences on the Mac
      2m 27s
  2. 1h 6m
    1. Blender oddities
      7m 38s
    2. Introducing the User Interface, Console, and Render windows
      3m 8s
    3. Configuring the desktop for an efficient workflow
      6m 27s
    4. Using the mouse and tablet on a PC or a Mac
      5m 7s
    5. Acquiring keyboard skills
      7m 38s
    6. Window panes and types
      7m 53s
    7. Exploring the default scene
      5m 53s
    8. Setting themes, UI colors, and user preferences
      4m 0s
    9. Understanding how to safeguard your data with autosave and backups
      6m 52s
    10. Appending and linking assets
      7m 27s
    11. Using the open-source movies and assets
      4m 18s
  3. 2h 7m
    1. Working with objects in 3D space
      6m 24s
    2. Navigating 3D views
      4m 23s
    3. Understanding Blender modes
      1m 51s
    4. Understanding meshes
      2m 8s
    5. Editing a mesh
      3m 28s
    6. Using the Mirror modifier
      2m 55s
    7. Working with Vertex groups
      2m 35s
    8. Using Bézier curves
      3m 52s
    9. Working with text objects
      5m 23s
    10. Using reference images
      3m 38s
    11. Modeling boots by extruding circles and joining meshes
      8m 59s
    12. Applying the Mirror modifier to duplicate the boot and rotate
      1m 58s
    13. Modeling a helmet with NURBS and the Boolean modifier
      7m 14s
    14. Modeling a belt and pants by making a compound object from multiple primitive objects
      3m 51s
    15. Modeling legs by using edge loops and the Knife tool
      6m 9s
    16. Modeling a chest and arms using edge loops
      5m 30s
    17. Stitching the shoulders and neck
      5m 13s
    18. Modeling hands with the Proportional Editing tool
      9m 4s
    19. Linking vertices to create knuckle joints
      4m 7s
    20. Reinforcing modeling basics to create the face, eyes, nose, and ears
      13m 6s
    21. Appending and linking assets
      3m 54s
    22. Sculpting basics
      3m 3s
    23. Using the Subsurf modifier to smooth
      2m 34s
    24. Parenting
      2m 7s
    25. Working with groups
      2m 1s
    26. Understanding the endless possibilities for editing mesh with modifiers
      2m 37s
    27. Duplicating objects using the Array modifier
      1m 54s
    28. Modeling a set
      7m 52s
  4. 39m 41s
    1. Lighting overview
      4m 25s
    2. Using the Omni lamp
      4m 50s
    3. Working with the Area lamp
      2m 57s
    4. Using the Spot lamp
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Sun, Sky, and Atmosphere lamps
      4m 51s
    6. Using the Hemisphere lamp
      2m 3s
    7. Working with Ambient and Radiosity lighting
      7m 34s
    8. Lighting with three-point and other multipoint lighting rigs
      5m 30s
    9. Understanding shadows
      3m 22s
  5. 1h 21m
    1. Realism overview
      2m 56s
    2. Creating a world in less than seven days
      6m 36s
    3. Applying ambient occlusion
      3m 47s
    4. Working with basic materials
      3m 24s
    5. Working with node materials
      4m 27s
    6. Applying Pipeline options
      2m 51s
    7. Painting vertices
      3m 13s
    8. Using shaders
      7m 59s
    9. Using mirrors
      4m 41s
    10. Working with transparency
      4m 28s
    11. Using halos
      2m 40s
    12. Simulating with Subsurface Scattering (SSS)
      4m 26s
    13. Applying textures
      9m 34s
    14. Mapping image textures to an object to create a decal
      4m 19s
    15. UV unwrapping
      4m 54s
    16. Applying multiple materials to a single object
      3m 31s
    17. Painting in 3D
      4m 14s
    18. Using bump maps
      3m 14s
  6. 1h 25m
    1. Understanding animation
      4m 14s
    2. Keyframing objects
      6m 15s
    3. Keyframing materials
      3m 14s
    4. Creating Shape keys
      2m 28s
    5. Creating Facial Shape key animation using reference video
      2m 12s
    6. Animating by combining Shape keys
      2m 53s
    7. Working with lattices
      3m 37s
    8. Using hooks
      1m 30s
    9. Working with Vertex groups
      2m 33s
    10. Creating armature objects
      3m 44s
    11. Mirroring armatures for bilateral creatures
      3m 43s
    12. Attaching mesh to the armature by way of skinning
      5m 7s
    13. Posing a character
      4m 43s
    14. Using inverse kinematics
      4m 29s
    15. Creating a walk cycle with inverse kinematics
      6m 34s
    16. Completing the walk cycle
      3m 49s
    17. Limiting range of motion and degrees of freedom
      3m 47s
    18. Managing actions using the Action Editor
      3m 52s
    19. Blending actions together using the Non-Linear Animation Editor
      4m 34s
    20. Tracking
      3m 2s
    21. Following a path
      2m 21s
    22. Mimicking an existing animation
      3m 47s
    23. Using the grease pencil
      2m 56s
  7. 50m 43s
    1. Understanding particle systems
      2m 20s
    2. Working with game engine physics
      3m 52s
    3. Spewing particles
      7m 25s
    4. Guiding particles
      3m 43s
    5. Creating reactions and collisions with particle systems
      3m 15s
    6. Creating hair and fur
      4m 25s
    7. Grooming hair and fur
      3m 26s
    8. Jiggling and squishing soft bodies
      3m 43s
    9. Simulating cloth
      6m 10s
    10. Simulating fluids
      5m 47s
    11. Using boids to simulate swarms, schools, and flocks
      6m 37s
  8. 21m 29s
    1. Using Render controls
      6m 18s
    2. Radiosity
      3m 31s
    3. Stamping text on video
      2m 32s
    4. Setting up test renders
      4m 43s
    5. Rendering image sequences
      4m 25s
  9. 1h 5m
    1. Viewing node thumbnail images on certain Macs
      1m 31s
    2. Overview and integration
      2m 12s
    3. Render passes and layers
      4m 27s
    4. Using Input nodes
      6m 22s
    5. Using Output nodes
      3m 54s
    6. Working with Color nodes
      4m 29s
    7. Color mixing and layering
      3m 27s
    8. Using Distort nodes individually and in combination
      7m 15s
    9. Using Vector nodes
      6m 46s
    10. Creating effects with Filter nodes
      8m 49s
    11. Using Converter nodes
      6m 7s
    12. Chroma keying with Matte nodes
      6m 15s
    13. Understanding node groups and reuse
      4m 17s
  10. 38m 43s
    1. The Video Sequence Editor (VSE)
      11m 47s
    2. Integrating audio
      3m 31s
    3. Using VSE Greenscreen and other plug-ins
      5m 40s
    4. Integrating the Compositor with the VSE
      7m 50s
    5. Layering and splicing video
      6m 18s
    6. Speeding up and slowing down sequences
      3m 37s
  11. 5m 26s
    1. Putting it all together: Captain Knowledge visits lynda.com
      5m 12s
    2. Goodbye
      14s

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