Nodes & the Scene Tree Window

An artists does not need to know anything about nodes and how to edit them using the scene tree window to make great works of art however the scene tree window can be very useful even with a minimalist understanding of nodes. A very easy way to get an understanding of nodes is to animate a model with a skeleton because it is self explanatory how the part nodes in the scene tree window relate to the bones in our animated model. See the tutorial Creating an Animated Character Step by Step

To open the Scene Tree window click: tree button

Clicking a node in the scene tree window selects the node. A node selected in the scene tree window can be named or renamed by clicking the selected node again.

If the control panel for the selected node is not already open it can be opened by clicking: open control panel button

Nodes can be copied and deleted and moved by dragging in the scene tree window but if you are experimenting make sure you have a backup of your file if it is of any value to you before saving anything because it is easy to destroy the integrity of a model without an understanding of what you are doing in the scene tree window.

The Scene Node

The scene node contains all the nodes that make up the models, cameras, lights and animation.

The Seamless Node

The Seamless node can be thought of as the model node as it contains all the patches and parts of your model.

The Part Node

Because the part node specifies the position of the pivot point of a bone and because the part node structure in the scene tree window define the structure of the skeleton for an animated model, a part node can be thought of as a bone node.

The Part node's rotation field specifies the orientation of the bone when a model is animated. In the case of certain bones like the pelvis, the translation field specifies the position of the bone.

Because part nodes have ownership over nurbs patch control points, part nodes determine how a nurbs animated model behaves.

All the triangles in a model are contained in part nodes. The part nodes determine the material such as the shininess or transparency for the triangles they contain.

The NurbsPatch Node

The control points that determine the shape of a model are contained in the NurbsPatch. The NurbsPatch nodes generates the triangles for the Part nodes. By default the NurbsPatch node will generate triangles for the first part in the skeleton but can be specified to build triangles for any part. We can manually generate triangles from selected NurbsPatches by clicking and selecting generate polies for selected patches or by pressing Control F4

The GroupBuild Node

The GroupBuild node can be used for grouping NurbsPatches:

Having patches contained in GroupBuld nodes can assist modelling. We can for example show only the nose with a control cage:

by selecting only one control point in the nose and clicking: show cages in group button if all the patches for the nose are contained in a GroupBuild Node.

NurbsPatch nodes can be directly dragged into a GroupBuild node safely in the scene tree window so long as the GroupBuild node is in the same Seamless node as the patches.

Patches selected in the 3D window using the rectangle selection tool can be moved into a GroupBuild node by clicking: and selecting group selected patches.

The ColorEffect and TextureEffect Nodes

The ColorEffect and TextureEffect nodes are Effect nodes that can be plugged into the Seamless and any Part node. Currently Seamless3d III has only minimal support for textures so most of our focus will be on using the ColorEffect node. Effect nodes lets us define material settings such as transparency or shininess for the triangles contained in the part nodes.

An Effect node specifies the material settings for the part (and its descendants) it is plugged into.

An Effect node plugged into a Seamless node specifies the material settings for any part node plugged into the seamless node unless the part has an Effect node plugged into it or is a descendant of a part node that has an Effect node plugged into it.

The Anim Node

The Anim Node represents the Anim Bar:

This node contains the Animation nodes and scripts for animating a model. To see this node being used see the tutorial: Creating an Animated Character Step by Step

The Viewpoint Node

The Viewpoint node can be thought of as the Camera node.

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