Working with Nodes

Overview

A node is a basic unit used to create a project in Screenberry.

Although all nodes have unique and different functions, they are operated in a common way, making the user experience simple and intuitive.

Project creation in Screenberry is the process of adding/linking nodes and modifying node parameters. It is done in the Node Graph tab of the Screenberry Panel.

Node Structure

Node Header provides the following information:
– the execution order number (the number in the upper left corner),
– the name of the node (or label),
– the node status indicator (the colored bar on the right side of the Node Header). See Node Status.

Node Body contains names of input pins (on the left) and output pins (on the right). When a node is selected related parameters are displayed in the Node Settings panel.

Node Graph Structure and Data Flow

The Node Graph is created by adding and linking nodes. Data flows from left to right through links between right-side output pins and left-side input pins of the nodes. The Node Graph is a visual representation of data flow and processes which result in the rendered video, images, and audio.

Example of the Node Graph

Links between nodes are displayed as gray lines. Links to selected nodes are highlighted in green. If data is being transmitted (for example, timecode is being sent), the link becomes animated.

Nodes Execution Order

The order of the execution of the node is determined automatically based on the links between nodes and the execution order number of the node.

Adding Nodes

Right-clicking on an empty space in the Node Graph Editor will open the Add Node menu with the list of all available nodes sorted by Category or Tags.  Alternatively, you can start typing the node name in the Search box on the top of the menu or select a node from the Recent nodes list. When selected, a node will be added to the Node Graph Editor in the place where the Add Node menu was called.

Node Classification
For convenience, all available nodes are grouped into categories, as well as assigned one or more tags. The node selection can be carried out either by Category or Tag interchangeably.

Note:
Display and Patch type nodes can also be added in the Display Editor and Patch Editor tabs respectively.

Deleting Nodes

Right-clicking on a node and selecting Delete from the drop-down menu (or pressing the Del button) will delete the node and all its links.

Note:
A group of selected nodes can be deleted in the same way.

Node Status

The node (as shown by the node status indicator) can be in one of three states:
– enabled and activated (green),
– disabled (gray),
– enabled, but not activated (red).

Right-clicking on a node and checking/unchecking the Enabled box from the drop-down menu will enable or disable the node accordingly.

Selecting Nodes

Left-clicking on a node in the Node Graph Editor will select it.

Multiple nodes can be selected at once by left-clicking and dragging to create a marquee selection.

If dragging is done right-to-left, all the nodes touched by the marquee selection will be selected.

If dragging is done left-to-right only the nodes inside the marquee selection will be selected (this function is useful when selecting the nodes that are part of the node tree).

Double-clicking on any node will select all the nodes connected to that particular node.

Moving Nodes

Left-clicking on the node and dragging will move the node. If multiple nodes are selected, clicking on any node in the selection and dragging will move the whole selection.

Copy, Paste and Cut Operations with Nodes

Right-clicking on a node (or a selected group of nodes) and choosing Copy from the drop-down menu (or pressing Ctrl+C) will copy the node (nodes). Right-clicking on an empty space in the Node Graph Editor and selecting Paste from the drop-down menu (or pressing Ctrl+V) will paste the copied node (nodes) into the Node Graph. Right-clicking on a node (or a selected group of nodes) and choosing Cut from the drop-down menu (or pressing Ctrl+X) will copy the node (nodes) and remove from the Node Graph. The nodes can be copied to other Screenberry projects.

Arranging Nodes Automatically

Right-clicking on an empty space in the Node Graph Editor and selecting Auto-layout nodes from the drop-down menu (or pressing the L button) will arrange the nodes in the Node Graph automatically.

Changing Node Size

After the node is selected, dragging any of its corners will change the node size.

Node Parameters (Pins)

Node pins are a graphical representation of its parameters.

Data (gray pin   ) parameter contains simple data (number, string, timecode) or a pointer to Screenberry internal resources (i.e. image).

SmartLink (blue pin  ) establishes a transaction of a process between linked nodes.

Action (orange pin  ) supports the creation of multiple links to one input. The value of each resulting frame will be determined using logical OR for all input values.

Messages (pink pin  ) also enables the creation of multiple links to one input. All incoming messages will be queued on the input.

Creating Links Between Nodes Automatically

Selecting one or several nodes, then holding Ctrl and left-clicking on the target node will create a link automatically — the system determines pins of the same type to establish the link. This is the fastest way to connect nodes.

Creating Links Between Nodes Manually

Left-click on the output pin of the node and drag the link line to the left (input) side of the node to which you want to establish a link. The open end of the link line will automatically attach to the appropriate input pin of the target node, and the link will be established upon releasing the mouse.

Note:
The link is possible only between pins of the same type.

Note:
More than one input pin of the target node may be applicable for the link. Before releasing the mouse, drag the open end of the link line along the left side of the node to which you want to establish a link to see available options.

Note:
The link between nodes can be created both ways. You can drag the link line from the output pin to the input pin or from the input pin to the output pin.

Note:
When creating several links to one pin, depending on the type of parameter, a new link will be added to existing ones, or replace an existing one.

Removing Link Between Nodes

Right-clicking on the link line or the node pin (or its parameter name) and selecting Unlink will remove the link.

Alternatively, holding Shift, clicking on the pin and dragging the end of the link line to an empty space of the Node Graph Editor will also remove the link.

Rearranging Links Between Nodes

To move the link (or group of links) from one pin to another, hold Shift and click on the pin, then drag the open end of the link (links) to a new pin or node.

Reestablishing Links Between Nodes Automatically

Left-click on an empty space of the Node Graph Editor to deselect all the nodes. Holding Ctrl, select the nodes you want to connect, one by one, in the order in which they should be executed. The suitable links between selected nodes will be created automatically, and the existing links conflicting with the new ones will be removed.

When several links are connected to the same input pin of a node, they are processed in the same order the links had been created. To change the processing order of inputs, right-click on the input pin or name and select Reorder links for . Reorder the inputs in the opened dialog box by dragging the link names or selecting names and using the arrow buttons .

Node Settings

Selecting the node will open its Settings panel where node parameters can be edited.

Labeling Nodes

After selecting a node, you can assign it a label in the Settings panel. The label will appear in brackets before the node name. There are no restrictions on the number of characters or choice of language.

Hiding/Showing Individual Node Parameters

Left-clicking on the crossed eye icon to the left of the parameter name will assign it a hidden status. To display hidden parameters click Show in the Hidden parameters field.

Note:
Less frequently used parameters for some nodes are hidden by default.

Hiding/Showing Node Pins

Left-clicking on the box to the left of the parameter name will activate or deactivate the parameter. When a parameter is inactive (empty box) the corresponding node pin is not displayed. When it is active (orange box) the node pin is displayed.

When the parameter for a pin with an established link is deactivated, such a link will remain active and is displayed as a dimmed straight line.

Color Coding For Nodes

Color coding is used to indicate various types of nodes. The following color scheme is set by default. It can be modified in Preferences > Color Settings.

Color coding is set by Type, Category, and Tag. Type color settings have priority over Category color settings, and Category color settings have priority over Tag color settings when color for the node is assigned. If no color is set in any of these groups the node color will remain gray.

To create a custom color scheme, a new color profile has to be created by pressing the  button and assigning new Hex color values.

Switching between color schemes is done by selecting profiles in the Color profile drop-down list.

Pressing the button deletes the selected color profile.

Fit To View For Nodes

To zoom in on an individual node or a group of nodes, left-click on a node (nodes) to select and press the A key to scale the node (a group of nodes) to the size of the Node Graph Editor screen. Clicking on an empty space of the Node Graph Editor and pressing the A key will zoom the entire node tree into a view.

Zooming In And Out in the Node Graph Editor

Тo zoom in and out of a specific area in the Node Graph Editor move the cursor to the location and use the mouse scroll wheel.

Using the Navigator Panel

The Navigator panеl (located in the top left corner of the Node Graph Editor) is a miniature view of the Node Graph. The white frame in the Navigator panеl corresponds to the visible area of the Node Graph. Drag the white frame in the Navigator panеl to pan the Node Graph Editor quickly. Use the mouse scroll wheel with the cursor over the Navigator panеl to zoom the Node Graph Editor. Right-click on the Navigator panel toggles between two available display modes of the Navigator panel – standard and enlarged.

Searching the Nodes

You can search nodes added to the project in the Node Graph Editor by clicking on the button (next to the Navigator panеl) or pressing Ctrl+F to open the Search bar. Typing in the search bar will open the list of all nodes matching the search criteria. Clicking on the node name in the list will select the node in the Node Graph Editor.

If more than one node name matches the search criteria, pressing F3 will switch the selection to the next node in the search results list.

Monitoring Node Parameters Using Tooltips

Moving the mouse over the parameter name (or pin) of the node will open an information tooltip with all node properties including the information related to data exchange in real-time. This function is particularly convenient for debugging parameters as it allows visualization of the related information without opening the node Settings panel.

Node Graph Editor Buttons

The bar above the Node Graph Editor contains titles of all current nested Node Graphs. Clicking on the Node Graph title will open it in Node Graph Editor.