The Node Network
Below the 3D preview is a view of the local Node Network, which shows all the nodes and connections local to the currently selected node, group, or layout. As described in the Terragen 2 Conventions section, TG2's scene structure is based around the concept of “networking” separate pieces called Nodes to form a whole scene. This is a very powerful way to create scenes, but it’s also quite complex and not immediately intuitive for many people. In many cases you can ignore the 'Node Network' altogether and focus your scene building efforts in the 'Node Lists' and context menus. For now we'll cover the basics of navigation and use of the 'Node Network' view. Complete details on use of the 'Node Network' and manipulation of nodes can be found in the In-Depth Node Network section of this guide. While you may not delve into manual editing in the 'Node Network' at first, it is still useful to watch how the network changes as you manipulate things in the 'Node Lists'. You will see that the network moves to show you the device you currently have selected in the 'Node List' and you can see how new devices are positioned and connected into the network.
The local Node Network view Navigation in the 'Node Network' is similar to working in the '3D Preview'. Holding Alt and clicking and dragging the mouse buttons will move your view around in the network. Alt+Left Mouse will “pan,” moving your view side-to-side or up-and-down. Alt+Right Mouse allows you to drag a zoom rectangle which will define the area you will zoom to. This section of the network will be enlarged once you release the right mouse button. Alt+Middle Mouse and dragging allows you to zoom in and out more incrementally. Finally, if you have a mouse wheel you can zoom in and out by scrolling it. Using the 'Node Network' view is deceptively simple. Navigation comprises just a few controls, and manipulating the nodes themselves is also accomplished in very simple ways. It is in the flow of information through the network and the interaction of settings for each node that complex results arise. As this section focuses on the User Interface overview, this will end our look at the 'Node Network' view for now. You can learn more about the node network and how to manipulate the nodes themselves in the In-Depth Node Network section later in this guide.
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.