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Getting to Know Nodes


Sardi Pax gives us a primer on the use of nodes in Blender.

In this tutorial I cover a lot of the basics of Blender Cycles Nodes including procedural and image based textures, setting up a general purpose diffuse/glossy/translucent material, as well as touching on the new Cycles volumetric system.

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.


  1. I can't say I learned anything new from this, but it is nice for people just learning blender/cycles. I was hoping this would cover the less used nodes in cycles, and not-so-obvious uses. I did like the use of the volumetric shader for the bottle at the end, but I noticed some major flaws in the render and was wondering if anyone knows how to address them. If you look at the edge of the bottle, the actual glass looks hollow, but where it's actually hollow (inside) looks more like what the glass should look like. I'm guessing it's happening because the inside of the bottle is absorbing more light, but it shouldn't, since the material is applied to the bottle, and not some sort of world or other object volumetric. So should the absorption shader even be used for glass like this? Is it the amount of absorption/scatter that needs to be tweaked?

    • "I was hoping this would cover the less used nodes in cycles, and not-so-obvious uses."
      You need to see some of Bartek Skorupa's tutorials on BlenderCookie. That should leave your brain fully noded-out for a day or two :-)

      • Hrmm....I only see 2 tutorials by Bartek Skorupa, and none of them are about material nodes, only compositing. I'm guessing you might have meant someone else.
        Thanks for the reply either way.

        Edit: I originally thought there were 3, but I double checked and there's only 2. One of Jonathan Williamson's tutorials shows up searching for Bartek Skorupa.

      • Aha! I found it. Not sure why it didn't show up when I searched the site, but just stumbled upon it through a google search for 'light path node'. Thanks again.

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