The essence of shading in Blender is usage of nodes in the shading editor.
The following two videos explain how the nodes work. Although it is demonstrated on textures, do not omit it since it will be needed also in the texture lesson 😉.
The most important notes on the working with nodes are:
- Each node consists of three parts -- properties (middle), input connections (colored circles on the left) and output connections (colored circles on the right).
- To connect two nodes we always connect the output connection of the first node with the input connection of the second node.
- We always connect two nodes by linking the connections of the same color.
Before proceeding to certain material properties, we need to inspect on the important feature -- switching between flat shading and smooth shading. This is important since we want the round objects to appear smooth. This option is selected by right-clicking on the object and selecting either "Shade flat" or "Shade smooth".
The general shading node is the Principled BSDF shader which is basically an union of the several other shaders and most materials can be adjusted using this type of shader. However there are also other shaders available and used.
The detailed description of Principled BSDF shader can be found in the official documentation:
link Principled BSDF
One of the basic materials which is created solely by using the shaders is glass. It is done by mixing the Transparent shader and Principled shader (also simplified Glass shader may be used). Mixing is done using the special Mix Shader and enabling alpha blending in the materials tab. More details in this video (the part after 4:30 is optional 😁):
Mirrors in Blender are made in two ways -- using the screenspace reflections and using the mirror plane. All the details can be found in this video.