Node Editor FAQ and Tips


I figured this would make a good thread that beta testers could contribute to, and new users could reference when 9 comes out :)

  • Use as few nodes as possible and ensure you delete unecessary nodes from your flow. The number of nodes will directly affect rendertime.

Do I have to use the node editor or can I use the old layer system?
No, you are not forced to use the node editor in either Surface Editor, Volumetric light texture or Displacement (where the node panel is located). The old options/panels are there for the layer system, and for simple surfacing that doesn't require the control of nodes it's perhaps even recommended to use the simpler layer system.

Does the old layer system and the node editor interact?
To a degree. If you tick "use nodes" in the Surface Editor, it will take all it's base values from those you have in the basic surface editor, however you can then override these with nodes. You could for example, have all your base values in the layer system and only use the Node Editor for specular shading (if you want to use phong or anistrophy for example).

Will all my shader plugins work in the Node Editor?
No. Shaders will need to be updated to work in the Node Editor. Currently IFW2 textures are available as nodes, and I imagine more will be ported to nodes when LW9 is released. For procedural textures (like flownoise and all the others that popup in your procedural list), you can use these using bump, color, or scalar texture node, which allow you to use the old layer system inside of the Node Editor. You won't however, have any input options to these and you can only output the result.

Are nodes faster than the layer system?
Not that I know of. I read somewhere blinn is faster than phong or something, and you can turn off radiosity and caustics individually on nodes which is useful, but apart from that no tests have been done to see the rendertime differences between shaders.
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Wudai Ninja Waver
Sorry this should be a sep thread,
Can some one please delete this post so as to keep this thread on topic!!!
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