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When you edit materials and maps, these appear in the active View as nodes that you can


Example of a material node

A node has several components:

The title bar shows a small preview icon, followed by the name of the material or map,
and then the material or map type.
Below the title bar are slots that show components of the material or map.
By default, the Slate Material Editor displays only slots that you can map.

To the left side of each slot, a circular socket is for input. You can use these, for example,
to wire a map to the component.
To the right of the entire node, a circular socket is for output. You can use this to wire a
map to a material or a material to an object.

Input and output sockets

1. Input sockets to the materials slots
2. Output socket for the entire material
You can collapse a node to hide its slots, or expand it to show the slots. You can also resize a
node horizontally, so the slot names are easier to read.

Node display controls

1. Collapse/expand the node.
2. Resize the node.

Left: An expanded node (the expand/collapse icon is a minus sign)

Right: The same node after collapsing it (the expand/collapse icon changes to a plus sign)

Left: An expanded node

Right: The same node after resizing it by dragging the resize icon
Note: When you resize a node by dragging its lower-right corner, the cursor doesnt change
appearance, but the corner itself changes from beveled to rectangular.

You can enlarge the preview in a nodes title bar by double-clicking the preview. To reduce the
preview, double-click the preview again.

Left: A node with the default preview size

Right: The preview has been enlarged by double-clicking it. (A second double-click returns
to the small size.)
While a node's parameters are displayed in the Parameter Editor, in the active View it appears
with a dashed border.

Highlight for a node displayed in the Parameter Editor

Topics in this section

Managing Materials with the Slate Material Editor

Selecting, Moving, and Laying Out Nodes
Hot and Cool Materials
A material node is "hot" when the material in the node is assigned to one or more
surfaces in the scene.
Indicators for Show Map In Viewport
If you turn on Show Shaded Map In Viewport or Show Realistic Map In Viewport for a
material or a map, a red diagonal shape appears in the title bar of the material or map
node, to show that this option is active.
Preview Window for Maps and Materials
The Preview window for materials and maps helps you visualize how the material or map
will appear in the scene.
Wiring Nodes
To map a material component, you wire a map node to the input socket for that
components slot. Drag from the map socket to the material socket or from the material
socket to the map socket.
Right-Click Menu for Material and Map Nodes
Right-clicking a material or map node displays a menu that has a variety of options for
displaying and managing the material or map.

Right-Click Menu for Wires

Right-clicking a wire between nodes displays a menu with options for changing the child
type, or managing its instances.

Parent topic: Slate Material Editor