Blending materials AND textures using vertex-colors?

I’m trying to shade a loaf of bread with three different materials, blended using a node network that uses a vertex-color map as input. (Red, Green, and Blue channels are split up and each one of the three controls its own “Mix” node.)

(There’s a “model ship” tutorial out there that does a similar thing, although I seem to have misplaced it… :confused:)

Edit: I found it over at, in a thread under Works In Progress titled Sailboat Glen L James Cook. The technique begins discussion long about page #5. You must log on to see the images.

So, briefly: I’ve got three materials defined, and a fourth, “Mixer,” material that (successfully) combines them. The Vertex-map data is split through an “Separate R,G,B” filter, and each of those outputs is used to drive a cascading series of “Mix” nodes. All of which works now. But… the output, it seems to me, is “flat.” That is to say, although the loaf of bread has visible variation across its surface (caused by the underlying input-textures), under the light it seems to be effectively smooth.

I notice that each of the input nodes (the three textures that I’m blending) each have both a Color and a Normal output, although the output-node of the mixer-material provides only a Color input.

I’m pondering whether my Mixer material is supposed to also be producing a Normal output, or if I need to build a “texture mixer” node of some kind.

I guess I’m just a little bit befuddled :spin: as to exactly when and how “material” and “texture” node-networks can, and should, interact with one another. I’ve been thinking about this so long, I’ve got my brain mixed up. :smiley:

“Can I leave the room now? My brain is full.” (Empty??)

:ba: bah! :ba:

Did anyone happen to see a Geometry node lying around here someplace? I must have misplaced it … :frowning:

“My brain is going. I can feel it, Dave.
I can feel it. …”