Problems with cycles/mix node/texturing

I made all my diffuse, normal, occlusion, specular, and displacement maps with Blender Internal and now I am trying to bring it all over to cycles so I can pose/weight paint and then render my mesh. However, I set up my materials following andrew price’s the secrets of realistic texturing and then added an input node with texture coordinates to vector to use for uv coords for all my textures since each of them shares the same uvs with the other textures of the same material which is assigned to a part of the mesh.

I’ll hopefully be able to upload the .blend so it will make more sense. Whenever I try to set up specular maps following the tutorial, or any time a mix node is used, my texture just ends up black. I left the boots that way to show the difference. As a result of this, I can’t add any gloss to any of my materials so the model doesn’t look as good as I would like because there is little direct specularity where there should be. Also the inside of the coat is too dark but that could just be my current lighting setup.

What am I doing wrong and how can I fix it to get the best possible render results? I’ve never gone through this process before but I’ve done countless hours of modelling and some sculpting but never texturing/baking etc and especially not in cycles.

This is a project I am working on to demonstrate my skills in a portfolio I’m going to send off to art school with my application.

Also any tips on how to achieve the most realistic looking cloth possible would be appreciated. I would have used a cloth sim but I figured that would work horribly for posing and I don’t have any experience with the cloth or soft body modifiers so I couldn’t even get it going properly at all.

Unfortunately even after setting blender to save a copy with compression the file is still 37MB. I can either upload it in parts or I can find some alternative.

Here’s a quick render

Here’s the boot material node setup


And here’s the coat material node setup for comparison


The .blend is 37MB after compression and such due to the textures I believe so I will upoaded it to my mediafire account for anyone who’s curious to download and take a look at. Haven’t started work on the hammer in either layer 2 or 3 yet, still trying to get the main model set up first. It’s a pretty beautiful piece of clockwork IMO though, taken from a reference image but lovingly hand modelled over the space of 8 hours.
http://www.mediafire.com/?k4wyl52d5n7hl3j

Use a mix shader node not a mix colour node

Just a rule in general, green sockets only go into green sockets

yellow and grey can be used interchangeably
purple to purple

Thank you so much, you are a lifesaver. Such a simple thing and I feel like such an idiot now. I know very little about cycles or node based rendering in general. Thank you for taking the time to point out my error it was driving me insane.