Node Material Issues || Full Material Shows as Blank in New Material

I may have made a MAJOR noob mistake, and I’m just missing it, but what is wrong with this?

The problem I’m having is when I try to add a node material into another node material, it seems to be just blank; as if the data can’t be read the way I need it to be. Perhaps that’s the case, but I swear this has worked in the past. I’m using version 2.77.1 I got from GraphicAll. Is this possibly a bug, if the preceding isn’t the case?

Also, I’m not opposed to finding a work-around, so no fear in telling me I’m stupid.

Here’s the problem area:

(I am aware that the main node-tree isn’t connected to the output, but I was going to mix the two materials through a grunge map, and thought I’d see if it was just a glitch in the thumbnail.)

Here’s the setup of the material that I am trying to blend, it’s showing up just fine.

If you need any hardware details, or better photos, don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll actually be updating the info in my tag-line.

Thanks in advance!

You can import many things from cycles to BGE, but not the Normal Map node. You’ll need to set it up yourself. It’s bad that nodes doesn’t have tangent and/or bitangent inputs. So you’ll need to do it manually.
Take a look at this set up. You can append 2 node groups from it - Normalmap to tangent space and Tangent & Binormal. You’ll need them.

You don’t have the output of the material connected anywhere. To mix two materials, do something like this:

Now you probably don’t just want to mix them but want to use some sort of map, so put the texture into the mix node like this:

The two collapsed nodes are the materials from above. (You’ll have to click on the image to see the joins between nodes, for some reason they aren’t showing in the preview).

You can do normal mapping in BGE from 2.77a onwards. A month or two ago there was a commit adding a normal map node. See here:

@adriansnetlis That was actually one I did not import from Cycles. It came in the Game Engine default nodes with the 2.77.1 release I downloaded from GraphicAll. to sdfgeoff’s post about it.

@sdfgeoff Thanks, by the way!

Well, I had mentioned in my post that they weren’t connected like I was going to connect them, because I was checking to see if the material (Dirt_MASTER) alone was going to display correctly, which was not the case. Same goes for any other node material I’ve tried to place within this one. As for the mixing, I had a separate material created for the mix factor that was using an ambient occlusion map I baked, blended together with a seamless grunge texture I created. That way I could get similar results to dDO without sacrificing the over-all quality to compressing every material onto a single 4k texture map. I’m thinking it’s just not going to work like I want it to. I’m most likely going to have to make one huge node-tree to accomplish what I’m trying to do. I’m just trying to avoid the clutter by keeping the node setups within their respective materials and just blending them though this main node material. And call me super-lazy or super-crazy, but I find cracking open node groups rather tedious just to tweak a few settings, even though, realistically, it’s easier than going to the properties panel and selecting a different material. I have peculiar tastes in workflow, I suppose.

EDIT: Here’s what the final setup was supposed to look like, in theory. However, none of the separate node materials are displaying like I had expected them to, which is where my problem is centered.

The reflection map material is working, and it’s not using nodes, only an environment texture.

I just need to stop being lazy and weird and deal with having to make a large node-tree.

You are combining cycles nodes with BGE internal nodes, and for some reason this breaks things. So you’ll have to recreate the geometry node (top left) with the blender internal one.
Same with the UV nodes, the are also in the BGE internal geometry node.

No idea what’s feeding the normal of the middle texture, but make sure it’s not a cycles node.

Some cycles nodes do work, but it requires experimentation to find out which ones.

I know, it’s a few tricks I’ve found that work, in the correct combination. I attempted to change the Geometry nodes out for the BGE ones, but it caused my mesh to turn solid blue (my active selection color), it seems like the Image Texture nodes I borrowed from Cycles don’t like the BGE Geometry node that much.

The normal feeding into the center material is the same one feeding into the stone bricks material, so that the Fresnel reflection is affected by it. I only applied the Fresnel reflections to the stone bricks material, I didn’t feel like it would really be worth adding it to the dirt material.

I’m gonna have to experiment with it for a while, I’ll see what I come up with. Thanks for trying to help my problems, I really appreciate it!

Here’s what I ended up doing for the time being. Currently, it won’t play in the game engine, so I’ve got my work cut out for me:

I do see that the mask node setup is connected to the output, I was getting a better look at what the mask looked like without the actual materials attached, so no issues there.

This is the current viewport result:

I’m gonna have to tweak the strength of the masks a bit, but it’s functioning, sort-of.

Turns out, this is sort of a bug. I went back to using 2.77a and I can use node materials within node materials just fine, they even display in BGE. Maybe I un-broke it by fixing what I messed up to begin with and just didn’t notice.

Either way, I think I might leave a comment on the build and let the devs look into it.

A little notes.
If you don’t have UV map selected in the Geometry node, than sometimes the node material will get broken.
You can’t use color input for groups. Instead plug in RGB node and set color there(doesn’t seem to be somehow related to your problem).
You can do basically anything in nodes, but most things will work better with shaders and some things(complex ones) are easier done in shaders.