Create Clip File Dialog

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Create clip file screenshot.jpg

Description and Purpose
The Create Clip File Dialog is used to set up and create clip files. You can find out more about clip files here. Please see the "Creating Clip Files" part of that page to see how you can open the Create Clip File dialog.

There are two main aspects of the Create Clip File dialog. The first is to add information about the clip that reminds you what it does, how it works and how it should be connected into the network. Filling out this information is especially useful if you are going to share the clip with others. The information is displayed in the Info panel of the Library window and by the clip file preview in Explorer (Windows, pending) and the Finder (OS X).

The part of the the dialog which needs the most explanation relates to input and output connections for the clip file. These settings help Terragen figure out how to insert the clip into the node network. This can be especially helpful to others you might be sharing the clip file with.

There are just three settings which effect connection into the node network. They are the Category popup at the top of the dialog and the Input and Output popups in the Connections section of the dialog.

The Input and Output popups are the most important. These control where connections are made when the clip is inserted into the network. Imagine the clip is a single node with one input and one output. The popups let you choose which inputs and outputs of the nodes in the clip correspond to the input and output of the imaginary single node. TG attempts to make connections to the clip input and output automatically upon insertion.

The Input popup contains all the inputs for all the nodes in the clip. You use it to choose one of those inputs to be the input for the clip. When the clip is inserted into the network TG will try to make a connection from the existing node network to that input.

The Output popup contains all the outputs for all the nodes in the file. The output you choose will be the output for the clip. When you insert the clip TG will attempt to make a connection from this output to the rest of the network.

Each of the popup lists is divided into 3 sections. The top section contains "No input connection" or "No output connection" respectively. You can choose this to specify no connection should be made.

The middle section of the list contains inputs or outputs of the selected nodes that are connected to the rest of the node network when you choose to create the clip file. It's important to note this section contains connections that are made to nodes which are not selected for inclusion in the clip. You cannot use connections between selected nodes as the clip input or output.

TG will choose a connection it thinks is the main input and output for the selected nodes and these will be selected in the popups when the dialog opens. You should check these to make sure they're correct. If there are, for example, no inputs of the selected nodes connected to the rest of the network then this section will just have a disabled menu item saying "No connected inputs found".

The bottom section contains all the inputs or outputs of the selected nodes which have no connections.

The Input popup lists inputs as the name of the node followed by the input name, separated by a hyphen. For example the "Input node" input of "Heightfield shader 01" will be listed as "Heightfield shader 01 - Input node". The Output popup just lists the name of the nodes, as each node only has one output.

The Category popup lets you choose a category for the clip file. The Category is a hint to what the clip represents. TG may use this to insert the node into the network. For example if a clip belongs to the Atmosphere category TG will attempt to insert it into the atmosphere part of the node network. If you don't want this behaviour you can set the category to "None". The clip category is also used to organise clip files in the library.

Please see the Working with Clip Files page for more information about how clip files can be inserted into the node network.


Settings

  • Category: This popup lets you choose the category for the clip, as described above.
  • Description: You can enter a description for the clip file here. The description is shown in the Library window Info panel and the file preview.
  • Tags: You can enter tags for the clip here. Tags should be separated by commas. Tags can be used to search for an item in the Library window.
  • Input: This popup lets you choose a node input to use as the clip input. This is described in detail above.
  • Output: This popup lets you choose a node output to use as the clip output. This is described in detail above.
  • Connection tips: You can enter hints and tips for the connecting the clip file into the node network here. This is shown in the Comments section in the Metadata tab of the Library window Info panel, as well as in the file preview.
  • Create Clip File button: Click this button to open a Save dialog for saving the clip file.
  • Cancel button: Click this to close the dialog without saving a clip file.

A single object or device in the node network which generates or modifies data and may accept input data or create output data or both, depending on its function. Nodes usually have their own settings which control the data they create or how they modify data passing through them. Nodes are connected together in a network to perform work in a network-based user interface. In Terragen 2 nodes are connected together to describe a scene.

A shader is a program or set of instructions used in 3D computer graphics to determine the final surface properties of an object or image. This can include arbitrarily complex descriptions of light absorption and diffusion, texture mapping, reflection and refraction, shadowing, surface displacement and post-processing effects. In Terragen 2 shaders are used to construct and modify almost every element of a scene.