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    2. NodeBox 3Node-based app for generative design and data visualization
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The Graphical User Interface

GUI Panes

A NodeBox document window consists of these main components:

The Viewer Pane

The Viewer Pane

The Viewer Pane shows the actual drawing. It also shows handles for the currently selected node. In addition, it can show geometric detail such as the location of the points, their index numbers and the origin.

With your mouse in the viewer pane:

Most nodes have handles. They allow direct manipulation of the shape, which is generally easier than dragging numbers in the parameter pane.

GUI Handles Handles for the Star node

The Port Pane

The Port Pane

The port pane allows you to change the port values of the currently selected node. Each node has different ports depending on its function. Ports can have different types: numbers, text, colors, menus, etc.

Port values are draggable. This means that for each number you can:

Each individual port has a contextual menu: The Parameter Menu

The Metadata button allows you to add your own ports to a node.

The Network Pane

The Network Pane

The network pane is where you connect nodes together to make networks.

A powerful feature of NodeBox is that you can change the port values of one node while keeping another node rendered in the viewer. This allows you to see the effects of your changes as they propagate through the network.

You can zoom and pan the network in the same you manipulate the viewer:

You can copy-paste nodes in one document and between documents. Because names in the network are unique, NodeBox will rename nodes as needed.

The difference between the selected and rendered node is explained in the getting started tutorial.

The Address Bar

The Address Bar

The address bar is useful when using subnetworks. It allows you to jump back up a level. Read more about subnetworks.

The Animation Bar

Gui Animation Bar

The animation bar controls the animation features of NodeBox. You can:

NodeBox Documents

NodeBox manages documents, much in the same way you work on a Photoshop document. Only in NodeBox we just save the nodes, since we can always recalculate the output of the network.

NodeBox documents use the .ndbx extension. These documents can be opened and saved only in NodeBox. To work with other programs, use the import and export functionality.

Importing Graphics

To import vector data use the import SVG node.

Exporting Graphics

To export the current image, choose File > Export. The export command doesn’t ask for an extension but automatically exports as a PDF file. PDF files retain all vector information and can be manipulated in vector programs such as Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape.

If you have an animation, you can export it in two ways: