how to begin mastering nodes?

Hello Guys and Girls,

being new to Blender comes with it’s pro’s and cons if you ask me. Pro: a vast and massive universe of possibilities to let your (or mine) creativity feast upon.
con: so many tools and features that it is hard to see the forest through the trees.

that last thing is my problem at the moment, I’ve modeled a few objects (tables, chairs, glasses, dining-stuff), did my first couple of UV-maps and even took a look at the node editor a few times.
and in my opinion the node-editor is, at least for me, the next step(please correct me if I’m wrong). so far everything i created had one or maybe 2 nodes and that is it.

if i look around here on the forum at creations made by people whore are way more experienced than me i see these massive setups of nodes, though on the interwebs i have a hard time finding tutorials that make sense (could have been looking in the wrong place of course).

can someone give me and possible other blendernoobs some good advice or tricks when it comes to mastering nodes.
All help is welcome because so far creating with blender has been awesome and I am really keen on expanding my knowledge and skill in this powerful piece of software:)

thanks again.

thanks for the tip Ikari, and well I am living in Germany:) but I actually am Dutch:) I do speak German however so i will watch his tutorials:)

Ah, goedenavond!
Well, the German that Mr. König speaks is so much interspersed with English technical terms that you can hardly call it German any more…:wink: So, there shouldn’t be much of a problem indeed!

haha goedenavond:)
well i will definitely check out that book:) need to save up a bit of money for it though. so every tip, or referral to (free) online tutorials are welcome:)

The Blender Wiki might be a place to start, at least as a reference for nodes and settings.
Other than that there is the “Tutorials, Tips and Tricks” section of this forum and one or the other free tutorial on (And lots of high-quality non-free content for $ 172 yearly subscription. Very much worth it, but still $ 172 are not exactly “peanuts”…). Then there is blenderguru, of course, and blenderdiplom. A YouTube or vimeo search for Blender tuts may also give quite a few hits, but careful, as some of that might be horribly outdated.

And of course you can always ask specific questions around here: Prepare a little test file, tell us what material you want to create and I’m sure you will receive a lot of help for finding the perfect node setup…:yes:

The Shader Forge series on BlenderCookie is excellent, too, as far as showing how to put different nodes together to get realistic materials with a procedural approach. But outside of that, I’d second Ikari’s suggestion of BlenderCookie and BlenderGuru. Both have some excellent tutorials on using nodes to create cycles materials.

thanks for the awesome tips guys:) it’s been very helpful, I actually may have found a tutorial to help me out. (the second part of andrew price his spaceship tutorials handles materials and nodes from what i see. so I am going to try that one out. just finished the first part and so far i learned a lot of new stuff

work backward from the material output with the desired result in mind,
practice with each node on a default cube to understand their use,
look at real world objects and make comparisons to the nodes that are available,
think analogically and even hypothetically.