The new Mix Node in Blender 3D allow us to mix numerical, color and vector data using a single node. Although using the node can seem intimidating, the Mix Node is actually a simple and important node to understand.

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Introduction to the Mix Node

The Mix Node in Blender is a versatile node that mixes two values. These values can be color values, vector values or float (number) values. Depending on which of these settings you choose, the Mix Node will look different:

A mix node in Blender set to float.
A mix node in Blender set to vector.
A mix node in Blender set to color.

The Mix Node takes two values (either float, vector or color values) and combines them. On the left there are two input sockets for the two values that will be mixed. There is also a “Factor” input which determines how the two are going to be mixed.

The “Mix Factor” value is the most complex and most important piece of mastering the Mix Node in Blender.

The Mix Factor

The most important input of the Mix Node is the mix factor. It tells the node how to mix the two values (whatever they are). The input to this factor could be a number or an image. An image input allows for “mappaing” of where one value is and where another is.

With an image input, wherever there is black one value will appear. Wherever ther eis white, the other will appear. Grey areas are a mixture of the two value that is based on how dark or light the grey is. This allows for blending of values to be applied to different parts of the “map.”

The mix factor accepts value information, that’s why it has a grey socket. Value information can be conveyed in numbers or in greyscale image maps. For a more complete explanation of this, I recommend my introduction to shading tutorial on YouTube:

Learn the BASICS of Material Shading in BLENDER (Part 1)

Black and White or Greyscale Value Inputs

The most powerful use of the factor input of the Mix Node in Blender is that it can accept black/white/greyscale maps. Where the input image is black, one value will appear. Where the input value is white, the other value will appear. Where it is grey, it will be mixed based on how close to black or white the greyscale is.

Here’s the simplest example I can think of. If we plugged a simple checkered pattern into the Mix Node’s factor input, we’d have squares that are either black or white. There’s no grey in this example.

A checker texture connected to a principled BSDF node.
Checker texture into base color
A checkered texture connected to a mix node and then connected to a Principled shader.
Checker texture as greyscale input factor

In the above image, the black parts of the checker texture are where the red values are and the white parts of the checkered texture are where the blue values are. This could be used for far more complicated mixtures and every kind of value you can imagine.

Float vs. Vector vs. Color Values of the Mix Node

Float, vector and color are three types of values in Blender. Whether you’re using shading nodes or geometry nodes, you should understand these three basic values.


A “Float” value is simply a number with a decimal point. The number can have no decimal places or five decimal places or 100 decimal places. I believe the term “float” refers to the “floating” location of the decimal point, but don’t quote me on that. Examples of float values may include:

  • 1.2
  • 157
  • 15.7
  • 157.345
  • 1.003
  • 0.0045
  • 145,000.54348
A crowd of 3d people models.


A vector value always consists of three value or coordinate points. Vectors are points in 3D space, so each vector value will have a value for the X, Y and Z coordinates. Nodes in Blender indicate that a vector value is being used when an input socket is purple. Vector values are often used for displacement and normal maps.

Unfortunately, when you mix two vectors together in Blender, there’s not a way to see the numerical outcome of the mixture. You can see what goes into the equation, but not what comes out.


A color value is what it sounds like – it represents a color. Color values are often in the form of “RGB” when stands for “Red, Green and Blue.” Combinations of these three colors make up every imaginable color a computer could display. Here are some examples:

Mix node with color set to blue.
Mix node with color set to green.
Mix node with color set to pink.

Notice each color is created by using a combination of red, green and blue. The “Alpha” value refers to the color’s transparency which is an entirely different topic.

Alternative methods of calculating a color’s value are the HSV (Hue, Saturation, Value) method and with a “Hex” code which assigns a six character code to every possible display of color (ie: #fff045)

Mixing Float Values (Numbers) with the Mix Node

When you “mix” two float values together, you end up averaging them. It wasn’t obvious, but I found a way to demonstrate this with geometry nodes using the “Value to String” and “String to Curves” nodes.

Float values mixed in the geometry nodes editor using a mix node.

When you mix a value of “30” and a value of “0” you get “15” as displayed in the geometry of the curve.

Mixing Vector Values

Mixing vector values sounds a lot like “Vector Math” which is scary. Well, it totally is vector math because we are taking one vector (a set of three individual values) and mixing it with another.

Imagine doing what we did with the float values but doing it once for each axis of the geometry we are mixing together.

Mixing Color Values

Here’s what many of you came here for. The Mix Node can mix two colors together in several different ways. If you’ve ever used an image editor like Photoshop, you’ve probably seen the “Blend Type” term before.

Colors can be mixed together in different ways. While “Mix” is the most basic, there are many others.

A mix node displaying all possible mix modes in Blender.

Blender groups the blend types. Darken, Multiply and Color Burn will tend to create a darker color than the original. The lighten, screen, color dodge and add will make lighter final products.

Normally when mixing color, you’re going to use the “Mix” blend type. But feel free to play around with other options and see what it looks like.


The Mix Node is a very powerful and fundamental node to understand. It mixes two “value” – whatever they may be – and can map them using black/white/grey image maps. Get a good feel for how these work and you will be on your way to mastering texturing in Blender.

Brandon Stocking


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