Nodes Surface nodes
Nodes that control the shape of geometry.
Surface nodes create and manipulate geometry (curves, surfaces, metaballs, and so on). Surface nodes live inside a Geometry container object.
Surface node flags
Select a node and press 1 to set its display flag, or 2 to set its render flag.
Caches the input geometry and stops cooking the inputs to improve performance.
Makes this node have no effect: passes the geometry through from the input to the output untouched. This is useful for testing and visualizing the effect the node is having in the viewer.
Makes the geometry in this node visible and snappable, but unrenderable. This is useful for “guide” geometry, where you want to edit, visually match, or snap to, existing geometry.
Templated geometry only appears at the Geometry level, for use in modeling operations. It does not appear at the Scene level (it is not part of the “final” geometry of the object).
To prevent snapping to template geometry, open the snapping options window and turn off Apply to: Templates.
Ctrl-click the template flag to make the node’s geometry templated but selectable in the 3D viewer (at the Geometry level).
Like normal templated geometry, selectable templates only appear at the Geometry level, not the Scene level. This flag is equivalent to the “footprint” flag in previous versions of Houdini.
This flag indicates which node provides the geometry for the container object. Only one node at a time can have the display flag.
Unlike an object’s display flag, this flag does not make a node visible or invisible in the viewer.
If you want geometry from more than one node in the object, use a Merge operator to merge the output of the nodes, then click the display flag on the Merge node.
A common problem when you first start working directly in the network is that you connect a node but it seems to have no effect. This is often because you haven’t clicked the display flag on the new node.
The display flag normally indicates which node provides the geometry shown in the viewer and rendered by the renderer. You can set separate display and render flags, so one node provides the geometry for the viewer and a different node provides the geometry for the renderer. This lets you show proxy geometry in the viewer and render more detailed geometry.
Ctrl-click the display flag on another node to move the render flag there. The ring marks the display node, the circle marks the render node.
To fuse the display and render flags back together, Ctrl-click the active display flag.
The unload flag is available in list mode. When the unload flag is on, a surface node will not cache the geometry that passes through it.
This is useful for finished, static props and other non-time-dependent objects, where the geometry network cooks only once. Even if a node in a geometry is dynamic (its output changes depending on the frame number), you can turn on the unload flag of all the nodes above it to save memory.
(Unloading cached geometry will probably not decrease the total amount of memory Houdini uses, but it will free the memory for use in other parts of Houdini.)
To switch the network editor to list mode, right-click the network background and choose View nodes as a list, or move the mouse over the network editor and press T .
Usages in other examples
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