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This page exists within the Old ArtZone Wiki section of this site. Read the information presented on the linked page to better understand the significance of this fact.

Working With Bricks

Now, let's look at the bricks and what they are made up of.

shmx_brickparts.jpg

  • Preview: At the top of each brick is the preview thumbnail for the brick. If the brick is the root, then the preview will show the result of all the bricks mixed together.
    • Left-click on the Preview button to expand the preview and again to collapse the preview.
    • Right-click on the expanded preview to set the thumbnail size.
  • Brick Name: The name of the brick is at the top of the brick and indicates the name/type of the brick. In the example, Surface, Voronoi, etc.
  • Brick Number: To the right of the brick name is a number. This number indicates the order in which the brick was created and does not specify any particular order that the bricks must be connected at. The example above was the third brick created for this shader. This number will correspond to the channel it controls on the Properties tab. For example, if the “Voronoi (3)” brick controls the opacity, then in the Properties tab, you'll see exactly where the parameter is controlled from.

    shmx_bricknumber.jpg
  • Context Menu: Left-click on the arrow at the top right of the brick to access the context menu.

    shmx_brickcontextmenu.jpg
    • Hide Parameters: When selected, hides all parameters for the brick.

      shmx_hideparams.jpg
    • Show Parameters: This option is only available if the parameters have been previously hidden. When selected, it will unhide all parameters for the brick.
    • Show Advanced: When selected, will display any advanced parameters available for the brick. These advanced options will probably be useful only for the most advanced user.

      shmx_showadv.jpg
    • Delete: When selected, deletes the brick from the workspace.
  • Outputs: This section is where the parameters for each brick in the Inputs section are output to another function or to a root brick. A root brick does not have an output section.
    • Output Nodes: For each parameter that can be output, a node will be visible to the left of the parameter (assuming that you didn't change them to be on the right side in the preferences). An output can be connected to multiple inputs.
    • Output Context Menu: Right-click on an output node to access its context menu.

      shmx_outputmenu.jpg
      • Disconnect: When selected, will disconnect the output node from any input node it is connected to.
      • Connector Color: When selected, displays a default color picker where you can select a new color for the node.

        shmx_nodecolor.jpg
  • Inputs: This section is where parameters can be set either by adjusting them or connecting a function brick to the input node.
    • Input Nodes: For each parameter that can be controlled by a function, a node will be visible to the right of the parameter (assuming that you didn't change them to be on the left side in the preferences). An input can only have one connection. If you try to connect a second input into the node, the first connection will be replaced by the second one.
    • Input Context Menu: Right-click on an input node to access its context menu. An input node can only be disconnected as its color is driven by the output node it is connected to.

      shmx_inputmenu.jpg

Nodes

In the center of each node is a letter indicating the type of input or output is controlled by the node.

  • C - Color
  • F - Float
  • N - Normal
  • P - Point
  • V - Vector
  • S - U coordinate, i.e., horizontal
  • T - V coordinate, i.e., vertical

Normally, a C output would be connected to a C input but there is nothing stopping you from connecting a different type of output into the input.

Connecting Nodes

To connect two nodes:

  1. Left-click hold on either the input or output node and drag to the opposite node. A dotted line will be displayed as you drag the cursor. A stop cursor will be displayed as you move across blank areas of the workspace.
  2. Once you get to the opposite node, move the cursor over the node until it changes to a marquee box. This indicates that you can connect to the node.
  3. Let up on the mouse button to connect the two nodes.

    shmx_connectingnode.jpg

Remember, you can connect one output to multiple inputs, but each input can have only one connection.

shmx_twoconnections.jpg

Disconnecting Nodes

To disconnect two nodes, right-click on one of the nodes and choose Disconnect from the menu.