PopcornFX v2.17

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  3. PopcornFX v2.17
  4. Editor UI
  5. Effect editor
  6. Nodegraph



The nodegraph panel displays the layer graphs and the particle graphs.


  1. Main working area: displays the actual nodes & connections
  2. Visualization mode: Allows to change the color scheme of the graph. Hitting the P key when the nodegraph is focused will cycle through those display modes. Hitting Shift+P will cycle backwards. These default shortcuts can be changed in the editor user settings.
  3. Toggles between smooth wires (default), and hard wires
  4. Saves the current viewport as the default for this graph
  5. Fits the view to the entire graph
  6. Opens a search dialog in the current graph
  7. Opens the nodal editor settings
  8. Displays the hierarchical location in the graph, when diving inside template nodes / subgraphs.
  9. Graph type indicator: Either “Layergraph” (event graph containing the layers) or “Nodegraph” (particle / data graph, inside a layer).
  10. Separator between the graph and stats/infos panel. Drag to the left to show the stats/infos panel


Key Bindings (defaults)

LMB Select nodes, dragging creates a selection rectangle
RMBOn a node: contextual menu, On empty space: creation dialog
MouseWheel-clickPan view
MouseWheelZoom in/out
Enter Open selected node, if possible (template, script, or curve)
Alt+Shift Preview passthrough creation on wire
Alt+Shift+LMBCreate passthrough
Alt+Left / MousePrevJump to previous graph panel
Alt+Right / MouseNextJump to next graph panel
P / Shift+PCycle forward/backward through nodegraph display modes
Ctrl+F Search graph
Esc Hide search widget
Ctrl+GGroup selected nodes into a new template
Ctrl+Shift+GAnnotate selected nodes
Ctrl+TEnable/Disable node (Toggle node)
Space Show node creation dialog
Ctrl+SpaceShow node insertion dialog if mouse cursor is on a wire
Convert node to link
Convert node to property
Convert node to attribute


Creating nodes

Nodes can be created via the “node contextual menu”. To display the node contextual menu you can either:

  • Right click or hit the Space key in an empty space of the nodegraph
  • Drag a link from a node’s input/output pin, drop it in an empty space from the nodegraph
  • Hover a link and hit Ctrl+Space, or right click -> Insert node

Node can also be created by drag&dropping them from the effect treeview or the template shelf.

They can also be copy/pasted from one graph or effect to another.


Cutting links

You can cut links by holding the ALT key and left-click + drag the mouse cursor.


Contextual Menus


Contextual menu when right-clicking on nodes.


  1. Open the content of the node if possible
  2. Toggle the node between active or inactive
  3. Expand/Collapse unplugged pins
  4. Create an annotation node
  5. Create a template from the selected nodes
  6. Rename the selected nodes
  7. Copy the selected nodes
  8. Cut the selected nodes
  9. Delete the selected nodes
  10. Open the documentation of the selected nodes if possible



Contextual menu when right-clicking on links.

  1. Insert a node between the two nodes from either side
  2. Insert a passthrough node under the cursor
  3. Delete the link



Contextual menu when right clicking on pins.

  1. Remove all links from the pin



Contextual menu when right clicking on the nodegraph background will open the node creation dialog:



Using Ctrl+F or the ‘Find’ button in the toolbar, a search dialog will open and allow you to search nodes and their contents

F3 will focus the next match, Shift+F3 will focus the previous match.


Color visualizers

The nodegraph editor  provides different color schemes to view the nodes with.
These each color nodes and wires to help visualize a specific set of informations.

You can toggle between the different color schemes by using the dropdown in the nodal editor toolbar, or by using the P and Shift+P keys:

Color scheme: Normal

This is the default mode, which colors nodes based on their type and high-level function.


Color scheme: Exec rate

This mode colors the nodes based on if they are computed at spawn, evolve, or render time.

Blue nodes run at spawn, purple nodes run at evolve, and the orange node runs a render time.

If the color difference between the 3 colors is too hard to see, you can switch to an alternate color scheme by changing the color deficiency option in your user settings:


Color scheme: Performance

In this mode, the editor will color the nodes based on the performance metrics gathered from the simulation running in the 3D viewport.

This allows to quickly spot performance hotspots in an effect, and dig to the root of what’s taking time during the simulation.

Here, the ‘Physics’ and ‘SmallPointAA’ nodes are the ones taking the most time to simulate.

Note: Currently this is only able to show the performance metrics for CPU simulations, we do not instrument the GPU sims yet.

Color scheme: Simulation location

With this scheme, nodes will be colored based on if they’re running on the CPU or GPU.

Blue nodes run on the CPU, and green nodes run on the GPU (in this layer, the spawn nodes are CPU, and evolve+render nodes are GPU)

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