How to use node editor in Blender?

In following tutorial I am going to show you how to play around with Blender’s node editor which is very useful when it comes to edit the material of an object.

Please take note that I will not show you again how to open or use those features that I have already covered in my previous articles, so for example if you want to know how to switch from the Object Mode to Edit Mode then please refer to my previous articles. Alright lets get started!

1 Lets open up the previous file by selecting the File menu and then choose the “Open Recent” tab to select the bottle you have previously saved. Next change the Blender Render selection to Cycles Render. Now split the current window into two by moving the mouse cursor to the top right corner of the window and when you see a cross appears on that corner you left click and then drag the window down to split the 3d window into two.

Split Windows
Move cursor to here!

2 Next change the upper window to the node editor window by clicking the little white cube on the upper 3d window header and select the “Node Editor” tab from the pop up panel to turn the upper window to Node Editor window.

Node Editor
Node Editor

3 Now you should see two windows, the node editor window at the top and the 3d window at the bottom.

4 Now lets add a mix shader to the object. Right click on the bottle in the 3d window then on the right hand sidebar select the Material tab and create a new material. Change the Diffuse BSDF to Mix Shader under the Surface selector. You should now see two boxes appear on the Node Editor.

Node Editor
Node Editor

5 Next Shift-A then select Shader->Diffuse BSDF to add the Diffuse BSDF shader to the node editor. Move the Diffuse BSDF shader box to the top left of the Mix Shader then left click on it to put the box there. Next left click on the green circle of the Diffuse BSDF shader and drag the link to the top green circle of the Mix Shader and release the link to connect the two shaders together. Next add the Glossy BSDF shader with Shift-A then select Shader->Glossy BSDF and do the same thing to connect the Glossy BSDF shader to the bottom green circle of the Mix Shader.

Glossy-Diffuse-Mix Shader
Glossy-Diffuse-Mix Shader

6 Next click on the color bar of the Diffuse Shader and change the color to blue on the color wheel.

Color Wheel
Color Wheel

7 Next change the Fac value on the Mix Shader to 0.7 which means the Diffuse Shader which is connected to the first circle of the Mix Shader will influence up to 70% on the bottle material and Glossy Shader will only influence 30%.

Fac Value
Fac Value

8 As we change or add a new material to an object the Surface value on the Material Panel is changing as well. That means when we change a value of a shader on the Material panel the value of that shader on the Node Editor will change as well and vise versa.

Surface
Surface

9 Alright, that is about it for this tutorial, you can add lots of effect to the bottle besides shader, just play with the effect and see by yourself what will happen when you add a new effect to the Node Editor. For example you can add the Image Texture feature to the editor then add texture to that bottle!

10 Save your file to a new name by selecting Save As from the File menu before you close the Blender program. We shall continue with this new file on our next tutorial!

3D and Node Editor Window
3D and Node Editor Window