Blender 3d: New User Cycles Node Tips

Eliminate the "start from scratch" frustration of learning Cycles Nodes. Easy tips to boost your confidence.
Free tutorial
Rating: 3.8 out of 5 (4 ratings)
1,150 students
1hr 26min of on-demand video
English [Auto]

Learn shortcuts for adding nodes into the Shader editor.
Learn about an IOR source.
Learn how to get the most from the preview pane.
Learn a simple concept not seen in any other Blender software tutorial.


  • Tutorial made using Blender 3.0.


Hey, new Blender user, have you seen the many tutorials about Blender 2.79 Cycles nodes and making materials. Believe me, that's something very common for Blender new users.

However, none of those "popular" Blender 2.79 tutorials ever mentioned the T-panel in the node editor. WHY? Not sure. It could be because they've been conditioned to use the ADD tab, the search bar or SHIFT-A.

If you need proof, find those 2.79 tutorials and you'll see, they add each node one by one, the hard way. They can create intricate materials, but they didn't use, or inform their audience about the node editor's T-Panel, to add nodes. WOW.

Unfortunately, Blender 2.8+ dropped this most useful section. (if it's there, I can't find it...oh, well).

Alas, the are other ways to streamline adding nodes into the Shader editor, thereby, making learning materials less monotonous and to increase your proficiency.

There's no need to use shift-a, shift-a, shift-a every time you add a node.

You can "prepare" all your nodes and have them easily available.

Now, learning how to network each node to create: water, glass, metal, wood and other materials, well, that's a horse of a different color.

Nonetheless, this tutorial will show new Blender users a shortcut process of material making and see how different material networks are put together.

To new users, learning how to make materials can be daunting. The frustration is because, you want to know how to make the materials mentioned above, plus more, but there's not a good source to teach - anyone.

Blender has a way for you to preview "how it's made". It's not new to Blender, but I wish I paid attention when I first started. It would've have saved loads of questions, self-doubt and anguish.

You may go on a node quest, seeking information from a wide variety of sources. However, none of those "videos", tell you where to start.

These Blender "teachers", start with complexity. I start with simplicity.

*You'll hear some lectures are out of order, due to re-structure.

Thanks for your time.

Who this course is for:

  • Beginners wanting to assess Cycles Nodes


Imagination has no rules.
Blender Way of Life
  • 4.0 Instructor Rating
  • 6 Reviews
  • 2,069 Students
  • 3 Courses

One day, while looking for that "something", a Blender tutorial caught my eye.

Never in my life have I been so dedicated to anything, until Blender found this wondering artist.

At first sight, I knew Blender was going to be a way of life.

What a mind-blowing revelation. WOW! A person can make their own movies...? I'm in. Making animation is the ultimate dream.

Learning 3d from the ground hasn't been easy, but I practiced everyday.

Let me thank  -life- and the way "it" happens for the time spent learning Blender five days a week/eight hours a day. Plus, at home.

The only time I didn't practice was, when I traveled and that stay in the hospital. Between you and me, I couldn't wait to get home and open Blender. Why? Well, when I was in the hospital, I couldn't remember - not one, yes I do mean not one - Blender hotkey! Not even...SHIFT-A.

Finally, back at home, opened all came back. By the the Grace.

The stroke damaged some my brain, speech and motor skills...thank God my imagination stayed intact.

Giving a second chance, I want help new Blender users and keep Blending.

Thanks for your time.

Blender Way of Life currently does not have a website or blog. (WIP) However, I did see a hopeful host.

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