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Math with Nodes
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Description

Currently, there are two main math nodes: "[Float] Math" and "Vector Math". The current workflow for using these is that first the correct math node has to be inserted, and then the correct operation has to be selected. This approach has two problems:

  • It forces the user to do two steps for an operation that should only take a single step (e.g. "insert multiply node").
  • "Math" is a very generic term. When more operations are added, it becomes more and more unclear which should be added to the math node and which belong to another node. And the user has to remember that.

A more scalable approach is to remove the "Math" node entirely and create individual nodes for different operations. For example, there will be an "Add", a "Subtract" and a "Dot Product" node. These new nodes can adapt to the data types that are connected to them.

This is not a change we have to do in the short term, but in the long run it is the better solution in my opinion. Especially as we get more types and operations.

Details

Type
Design

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Jacques Lucke (JacquesLucke) triaged this task as Normal priority.

I generally like this idea, but it would take more time to switch between math operations

That is true. However, I'd argue that it is worth it. I expect that you have to switch the operation relatively rarely.

Maybe a drop down menu by the name of the node would give options of the other nodes in the nodes path.

Example :You would be able to see everything inside of math section.

  • Math
    • Add
    • Subtract

It's not possible to create shortcut to math node e.g insert "Multiply" add a math node with multiply operation ?

It's not possible to create shortcut to math node e.g insert "Multiply" add a math node with multiply operation ?

Of course that is possible, I'm doing that for years already in Animation Nodes. But it does not solve the entire problem.

I agree Math sounds more like a general term and could be used for more complex nodes like decimal/exponential

This could cause more problems than it solves.

Often people select the wrong type of function through lack of knowledge, then realise it when the results aren't as expected. Not much of a problem at the moment because you can change it easily from the existing node's dropdown. If you have to replace the entire node then it's a lot of steps to delete the node, add another node, and then hook things back up properly, if you get the math wrong a number of times this could become frustrating. Also the menus system would become bloated (although sub menus would help as Eitan suggested above).

I guess a solution that would fit all would be to have a sub menu off of the math listing, and then use whatever's selected to set the operation type in the math node's dropdown. That way it can be easily changed if necessary , and allow users to add with one click.

This could cause more problems than it solves.
Often people select the wrong type of function through lack of knowledge, then realise it when the results aren't as expected. Not much of a problem at the moment because you can change it easily from the existing node's dropdown. If you have to replace the entire node then it's a lot of steps to delete the node, add another node, and then hook things back up properly, if you get the math wrong a number of times this could become frustrating. Also the menus system would become bloated (although sub menus would help as Eitan suggested above).
I guess a solution that would fit all would be to have a sub menu off of the math listing, and then use whatever's selected to set the operation type in the math node's dropdown. That way it can be easily changed if necessary , and allow users to add with one click.

I know things should work fine by default, but node wrangler is an very commonly used shipped addon that maybe should be enabled by default, and it solves the problem you are pointing out (shift+s)