How can I get really good at using the Node Material Editor?

The NME is clearly a powerful tool, but it seems like I need to understand how shaders actually work in order to use it properly. I’ve read the docs, have watched several NME tutorials that I could follow along with just fine, but I feel like I am still missing foundational knowledge to even understand what is possible. Do I need to learn old school shader programming first, or is there a faster path to getting the most out of the NME?

well you did already answer your question , MNE is just a tool to create shaders without coding , but you are still creating shaders and so understanding the principles and logic of shading is to be expected.

1 Like

Right, but I was looking for a specific resource recommendation. Just found and am going to give that a whirl.

I dont know the book but just suppliment this learning with other sources , so you can start painting a bigger picture , and then also try to keep in mind that you probably dont want to get caught up into the exact specific syntax of the shader language and platform ( since you will be using modern tools like NME ) Its the principles that matter.

There are so so many videos on youtube in regards to shaders and other platforms like shadertoy to learn from and test writing raw shader code for learning purposes.

Here is a video of a guy showing how to do some shader art step by step, also using shadertoy platform. Its just one lesson of one thing but by watchig these and learning from all over along the way you will build up the general knowledge of shading


Unfortunately there are not many NME video resources on YouTube but there are plenty tutorials for Unity Shader Graph. A lot of nodes are the same in both systems so it’s worth to check USG tutorials to learn some cool tricks.

1 Like

for fun I went as far as I could to replicate that shader art coding video using NME , I just cant do the end part since I dont know how/dont think it is possible to do for loops in NME


There are many tutorials for Blender NodeMaterials (look for something like advanced blender tutorials eevee/cycles Material). The principle is the same

1 Like

What a great idea to try to follow along but using the NME (also, that video was amazing – thx for sharing). I will try the same thing in NME and refer to your solution when I get stuck. But yeah, you get what I’m after – I don’t really care about specific shader language syntax, I just want to understand the logic and mental models of how shaders work so I can build them using a node-based tool like NME. Thanks!

1 Like

Great suggestions @simon and @roland. I have experience in both Blender and Unity so I’ll look into their respective node tools as well for learning basic shader concepts. Thank you!


Please note that you can add custom frames to NME. They are available at:

I started to create custom frames which I saw in Unity tutorials but not available in NME. I ended up adding only these 3: :frowning: I started to code shaders.