Render node connections

Connections between node attributes are shown by colored arrowed lines in the Hypershade. The connection lines between nodes indicate what type of data flows through the connection. Depending on the types of nodes and connections used, different information is passed. That is, values may be of color, distance, position, angle or object ID.

Notemental ray for Maya expects only certain connections to be made to the message attribute in the Attribute Editor. See mental ray Shader connections for more details.

Some information can come as a single value (for example, OutAlpha is a single value) or as triple (for example, an RGB value or an XYZ value). Triple connections are represented by green connection lines. Single, double, triple, data, and array data each have an assigned default color.

You can customize the colors and their meanings. To change default connection line colors, see Change default connection line colors.

To connect render nodes, see Connect render nodes using their default connections.

TipWhen you point to one of the lines that connects two nodes by their attributes, and information appears about the connection. To show and hide node connections, see Show node connections.

The Connection Editor

Each node has a default attribute and a list of commonly connected attributes that lets you make node connections interactively (dragging and dropping in Hypershade). The Connection Editor, however, is the best tool for fine-tuning a shading network and for making non-default connections.

NoteSome utility nodes can connect to a material’s attributes only through Connection Editor.

The Connection Editor shows node network information in a side-by-side layout so that you can view two connected nodes in a node network. You can quickly and easily traverse from node to node and show a node’s outputs or inputs. This helps to facilitate connections, meaning you can make connections in either direction in a node network.

For more information on the Connection Editor, see Connection Editor.

To connect nodes with the Connection Editor, see Connect render nodes using the Connection Editor.