CG Wishlist

Slate Material Editor UI Improvements:

It is very difficult to keep materials organized in the current Slate Material Editor. Here is a list of UI features that would improve the readability of materials to make it easier to use them and manipulate them in complex scenes.
Copy And Paste Nodes

We need the ability to duplicate nodes in the schematic editor.

Controllers Take Up Too Much Screen Space

A Controller in the Slate Material Editor takes up a considerable amount of space considering they're usually just a simple number.

Could we have these made smaller like this...

Not only would it take up less space in the graph, which helps navigation, but would actually make it even easier to see what controllers are hooked up to what since they are not only a different color, but a different shape.

Straight Or Curvy Noodles

Currently we only have curvey noodles, which can be difficult to read sometimes in large networks. WOuld like to see a mode where you can switch between curvy or straight noodles.

Adding Nodes To Network

When you say create a new ColorCorrection node, you should be able to place it on the noodle between a texture and a materials Diffuse map input and the ColorCorrection node gets added to the network without the need to manually hook it up. Some internal logic could be introduced to guess what inputs / outputs should be hooked up in these situations, and it would do its best guess.

Noodle Snapping

When you move a node near the horizontal or vertical position of a neighboring node, the node should snap to match the vertical or horizontal position, this will allow your graphs to be a little more organized.

Noodle Anchors

Sometimes noodles in a schematic editor can be too busy which makes it hard to see. A node anchor is a dummy node you place on a noodle to move the noodle along a specific path. Like if you have a noodle that crosses over top of a node, you place an anchor and then hook the noodle up to the anchor to steer the noodle around the node it was previously covering.

Floating Node Creation Incremental Search Textbox

Right now in the upper left of the Slate Material Editor, you have a "Search By Name" textbox, and as you type the name of the node you're looking for, it filters the nodes based on what you've typed. I'd like to see this go a step further where this feature is right in the middle of the node graph, accessible by hotkey, and once you click the node from the list you want, it places it where your cursor is, which allows you to more quickly place the node. The textbox would also accept wildcards like *

Node Favorites

Many shading folk tend to use 99% the same 5-10 nodes. We need a "favorites" area in the node creation area that the user can choose their most used nodes and place them in that area to easily grab them.

Colored Nodes

Currently nodes are colored based on their type. I'd like to see the following modes that can be switched between...

Node Comments

Sometimes you want to leave comments on a node, reminding yourself or another team member something, like "Make sure to keep the low clamp of this noise below 0.2 or else you'll get weird results later on". Each node would have a comments field, and if the node has a comment associated with it, it can have a little talk bubble icon beside it, and hovering over the node lets you read the comment like a tool tip.

Backdrop Nodes

A backdrop node is really just a UI element to help visually link nodes together, or add notes to your scene. Like you put one behind all nodes in your material that contribute to the diffuse color of a material. You can stack backdrops ontop of each other. Each backdrop has a title area and you can add extra nodes inside the main area.

Node Search / Filter

We need a better way to search for nodes inside the node editor, search by node name, or node type. And also a filter, so that it only displays the nodes of a specific name or type in the view. The nodes that don't fit the current search / filter critieria could be greyed out as you type.

Dim Nodes That Are Not Upstream

Frequently you want to find all nodes that connect with your current node. Dim nodes that are not upstream will take every node that is not connected upstream to the currently selected node and dim them in the interface. That way you can immediately see what nodes are contributing to your current signal.

These features (along with the ability to group nodes) will allow you to navigate real production materials like this...

In a much nicer way...

If you agree with this wish, please go and VOTE for it on the official Autodesk Wishlist. The top voted wishes will be considered for future versions of max.

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