Having had a bit more time to re-formulate my question . . .
I am trying to convert a complicated set of textures completely to Nodes in 2.5-A2, basically to see “how” and “if I can.” (Incidentally, I’ve seen the same anomaly I’m about to describe, in 2.49b as well.) This is intended also to be a workout of procedural textures.
There are three component textures, which basically represent the intended appearance of three areas (crust, top, face) of a loaf of bread, and then a fourth, node-based texture which, using a vertex-map as an input, blends the other three together using Mix nodes. I do have this mix-texture working.
The three component textures are (at the moment) simple: a diffuse and spec color, and a procedural texture to affect Normal.
If I do these in the “old-fashioned way,” by setting up a Material and add the texture (“Map To” Normal) in the texture-stack, when I look at this material in the material-node of the mixer-material, the sphere looks bumpy, as it should.
If I try to use nodes to set-up these component textures, I get a “bumpy sphere” in the Output node of the component, but when I look at the same material (p.s. known to be the same material…) in the mixer-node, it’s smooth.
This strongly suggests to me that Normal information isn’t making it out of the Output node. (Which kinda makes sense because that node doesn’t have a “Normal” connector, only"Color.") Yet the documentation for the Material node suggests that there ought to be a usable “Normal” output from a Material.
I set up the three component materials as a Geometry node feeding (via “Normal”) a Texture node which feeds the Normal input of a Material which goes to the Output.
Aside from being at a loss to explain why the Output node of a Material does not contain a “Normal” input … I’m honestly not sure what is the correct way to wire this puppy up.
? ? ?