2022-10-05 Geometry Nodes sub-module meeting

Meeting time: 15:00 CEST (Your local time: 2022-10-05T13:00:00Z).



  • Dalai Felinto
  • Erindale Woodford
  • Hans Goudey
  • Iliya Katueshenock
  • Zhen Dai

General Discussion

  • Geometry Nodes UX workshop - 31/October, 1/November
    • More workflows moving to geometry nodes is exposing some long-term problems in the node editor like links hiding when sockets change or multi-type sockets, node categories, etc.
    • After the conference we will set aside some time to go over these problems to find priorities beyond the larger upcoming projects.
  • New meeting dates
    • Meetings will happen at the same time on Tuesdays now. Dalai has already updated the calendar.
  • What are the general priorities of the geometry nodes team?
    • Long term UX debt (as mentioned above)
    • Finishing the remaining parts of the hair project
      • Node-based operators and brushes
      • Dalai mentioned enabling higher level procedural tools as well
    • Viewport preview and asset projects are being worked on for 3.4
    • Zhen shared a video comparing the old and new hair systems.
    • Erindale mentions missing some fundamental procedural modeling nodes
      • Group indices are a useful tool for building blocks
      • Having a list of several of the most pressing nodes would be helpful to guide development
    • Math with matrix nodes, other building-block-style tools people know from other software.
    • Associative arrays and transferring by closest attribute values
  • Viewer node feedback
    • If there are many places that consistently need debugging, the viewer node hasn’t been as useful.
    • Zhen mentions the possibility of multiple group outputs nodes, with one active
    • There was some discussion about default values and behavior when switching objects. Feedback would be helpful on these things, in general it’s still possible to change them.
      • It might be necessary to be able to see the viewer output from non-active objects

Patch Review & Decision Time

  • Node: Swizzle node (WIP)
    • The benefit/use case isn’t totally clear currently
    • It doesn’t seem more advantegous than separate + combine vector nodes, and a bit less visually obvious too.
  • Geometry Nodes: Add curve index and custom value to sample curve node
    • Erindale is interested on that node.
    • There other options for making the node more generic, but this may be the best option for now. Others introduce more complexity.
  • Geometry Nodes: New Relax Face Sets node
    • This connects nicely to the “Group Index” concept from earlier.
    • There was some discussion about the “Face Set” name vs. “Group Index”. We wanted to be careful to be consistent here.
    • “Face Set” is also used by mesh sculpt mode, but that should be okay, since they will probably used more generally too, for curve sculpting for example.
    • The node seems to have some “smart” behavior that makes sense for a sculpt mode tool but maybe less so for a geometry node. For example, every third iteration it smooths boundary edges instead. That’s probably something users should be able to control.
    • Hans mentioned that it’s best to start the design with the most general features. When we bundle things into higher-evel tools, that should be an explicit decision.
  • Nodes: Add node group assets in add menu
    • There was some back and forth about the idea of adding all node group assets the the existing menu. There was hesitation about maybe making the menu too large or confusing users by mixing higher-level assets with the builtin building block nodes.
      • However, the catalog organization is totally up to the asset library creator. It’s possible to add a totally separate menu item at the bottom as well.
      • Dalai explained that fully committing to the integration would ends up being a simplification to the overall design as well, and allows shipping builtin node groups with Blender.
    • A separate “Asset Region” can be supported in the future as well.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 18 October, 15:00-16 CEST (Your local time: 2022-10-18T13:00:00Z), which is 2 weeks from this meeting. The provisional meeting agenda will be linked in the #geometry-nodes channel before the meeting.