Fundamentals of Shading

This course is a part of the

Introduction to Blender

Learning Flow

  • 149 lessons
  • 12hrs 21min
  • 8 exercises
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Fundamentals of Shading

If “Texturing” is like a paint’s color then “Shading” is like a paint’s finish: matte, semi-gloss, hi-gloss, etc. Shading is what makes an object appear metallic, transparent like glass, or translucent like wax.

Chapter 1 - Shading for Cycles

Cycles is Blender's latest and greatest physically-based render engine.

Chapter 2 - Node-Based Material Construction (Cycles)

Cycles takes advantage of Blender's "Node Editor" for maximum flexibility compared to a traditional panel user interface.

Chapter 3 - Application (Cycles)

Using our knowledge of node-editing, let's construct a realistic material using multiple BSDF layers controlled by textures.

Chapter 4 - Quiz (Cycles)

Put your new Cycles shading knowledge to the test! Or the quiz rather...

Chapter 5 - Material Panel (Blender Render)

Blender Render - aka "Blender Internal" or "BI" - is Blender's legacy, non-physically-based render engine.

Chapter 6 - Texture Panel (Blender Render)

Chapter 7 - Quiz (Blender Render)

Let's see how much your really know about shading with the Blender Render engine.

Exercise: Shading a Toy Truck

Put your shading knowledge to the test with this practical exercise.

Shading for Cycles

Shaders control the way light interacts with your model. This is very important because light interaction is what determines whether your object is transparent and glass-like, hard and metallic, shiny like plastic, or translucent like wax.

In this course you will first learn how to construct materials for the Cycles physically-based render engine. You will see how to navigate and function inside the node editor, mix basic shader components together, as well as construct a practical material using multiple material layers influenced by image textures. These principles will establish the shader foundation you will need to construct any kind of Cycles material you can imagine.

Shading for Blender Render

After the Cycles chapters, an equivalent fundamental education follows in context of Blender’s legacy render engine: Blender Render. You will see how to function in the Material and Texture panel as opposed to the Node Editor with Cycles. This engine is not a physically-based and thus lends itself to NPR (non-photo-realistic) rendering.

CC Music: “Home Tonight” by DoKashiteru

Lesson Questions and Answers

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  • Replies: 0

    The video is not playing.

    2 months ago

  • Replies: 1

    Hello Kent, where can one download the corresponding textures that are being used in the Shader lessions to create the:
    – World (for the scene background),
    – Paint Color, Grime, Scratches (for the Gizmo).

    These textures are not included in the “Project Source Files”, since that download package only includes 4 .blend files and no texture files.

    6 months ago

    • Replies: 2

      The texture files are packages within the .blend file. You can export the textures from the UV/Image Editor and save to your hard drive if you wish.

      6 months ago

      • Thank you.

        6 months ago

      • Umm… How do I open the .blend file? You should probably have some sort of video to explain how a complete newbie can set up the scene the way you laid it out… because otherwise it’s impossible to follow along.

        6 months ago

  • Replies: 1

    Hi! My question would be, how did you create the texture images?

    7 months ago

  • Replies: 0

    Hi Kent,

    A quick (hopefully) question. Video Copilot dot Net has this pack available – – with a few 3D models as well as JPG texture files. I’m having tough time trying to create materials based on those texture maps. When I look at – – 1:42 – it seems like the shininess of the surface is not uniform but perhaps governed by a texture. When I try to put diffuse + glossy + texture + Fresnel together I hit a wall lol – mine doesn’t look anywhere near what I see in the video. I can’t figure out what I’m missing. Is it ok to ask for any kind of help with this?


    7 months ago

  • Replies: 1

    Just finished watching the videos and although you went over alot of topics the one thing I seemed more intrigued about was what is the deal with the slots you kept messing around with?

    8 months ago

    • Replies: 2

      Thanks for watching! What do you mean “slots”?

      8 months ago

      • When you are doing comparison shots (before/after) and kept switching between like slot 1 and slot 2. I watched the videos again and I think I figured out what you are doing. Like I said, I was following the video and when you did the slot thing but weren’t explaining it I kept getting distracted. I am just a very inquisitive person. No biggie.

        8 months ago

      • Oh ok, yeah those are for storing rendered images. The J an d ALT + J hotkeys switch back and forth between slots that have renders.

        7 months ago

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