Attributes¶

Attributes are containers for data associated with a `GeoInfo` in NUKE. NUKE allows for per-point, per-vertex, per-primitive, and per-object attributes. These are described in the Attribute Groups section. Attributes can also hold different types of value. For more information see the Attribute Types section.

Although attributes belong to individual `GeoInfo` objects, they are stored as part of a `GeometryList` so that they are packed and accessed more efficiently.

Attribute Groups¶

There are six attribute groups in NUKE’s 3D system:

Primitives

The shapes that make up the object. These can be triangles, individual points, polygons, and so on.

Vertices

A point on a primitive. Vertices aren’t shared between primitives, but they don’t store a position directly - instead they have an index in the points list. So primitives cannot share a vertex, but they can each have a vertex that exists at the same point in space.

Points

Coordinates of points in 3D space, usually stored in the object’s local coordinate system.

Object

A single 3D object.

Matrix

The transformation matrix from the object’s local coordinate system, to the world coordinate system.

Attributes

Any other data associated with the object. Attributes themselves are associated with one of the other groups, which determines the cardinality of the attribute. To put it another way, a point attribute has one item per point; a vertex attribute has one item per vertex; and an object attribute only ever have one item.

These groups are defined by an enum in `GeoInfo.h`:

```enum GroupType {
Group_None       = -1,
//
Group_Primitives = 0,
Group_Vertices   = 1,
Group_Points     = 2,
Group_Object     = 3,
//
Group_Matrix     = 4,
Group_Attributes = 5,
//
Group_Last = 6
};
```

The special value `Group_None` is used to indicate an unknown or invalid group; `Group_Last` is always the total number of groups and is useful for defining array sizes or when iterating over all groups (for example).

There’s also a set of bitmasks defined for the groups. These are mainly used for the rebuild flags on the object and are defined in `GeoInfo.h`, like this:

```enum {
Mask_Primitives   = 0x00000001, //!< Primitive list
Mask_Vertices     = 0x00000002, //!< Vertex group
Mask_Points       = 0x00000004, //!< Point list
//
Mask_Object       = 0x00000008, //!< The Object
Mask_Matrix       = 0x00000010, //!< Local->World Transform Matrix
Mask_Attributes   = 0x00000020, //!< Attribute list
//
};

```

Note that some of the flags are just combinations of others, defined for convenience: `Mask_Geometry` and `Mask_All_Geometry`.

Attribute Types¶

These are the attribute types NUKE recognizes:

Float

A single floating point value.

Vector2

A pair of floats.

Vector3

Three floats.

Vector4

Four floats.

Normal

Three floats, like a Vector3, but transformed differently.

Int

A single integer value.

String

A `char*` value. You have to manage the memory that it points to yourself.

Pointer

A `void*` value. You can use this to store a pointer to any data you like; NUKE never tries to do anything with these other than passing them along the Node Graph (DAG) for you. This means you have to manage the memory that it points to yourself.

Matrix3

A 3x3 matrix, 9 floats altogether.

Matrix4

A 4x4 matrix, 16 floats altogether.

There’s an enumeration defining these types in `DDImage/Attribute.h`:

```/*! Attribute data type enumerations. */
enum AttribType {
INVALID_ATTRIB = -1, //!< Data type not set

FLOAT_ATTRIB,   //!< 1 float
VECTOR2_ATTRIB, //!< Vector2(2 floats)
VECTOR3_ATTRIB, //!< Vector3(3 floats)
VECTOR4_ATTRIB, //!< Vector4(4 floats)
NORMAL_ATTRIB,  //!< Normal vector - Vector3(3 floats)

INT_ATTRIB,     //!< Int
STRING_ATTRIB,  //!< Char*
POINTER_ATTRIB, //!< Void*

MATRIX3_ATTRIB, //!< Matrix3 (9 floats)
MATRIX4_ATTRIB  //!< Matrix4 (16 floats)
};
```

Attribute Contexts¶

An `Attribute` object in the NDK is merely a data store: it contains the type and number of values it holds, its name, and nothing else. It doesn’t have any information about its wider context, such as the attribute group it belongs to. DDImage provides the `AttribContext` class to handle this.

An `AttribContext` contains an `Attribute`, a group type (e.g. `Group_Points`, `Group_Vertices`), and additional information about how the attribute is processed, such as whether it is interpolated or not.

Finding Out What Attributes are Available¶

The `GeoInfo` class has two methods to help find out what attributes it has:

int GeoInfo::get_attribcontext_count() const

Get the number of attributes (and hence the number of `AttributeContext` objects) on this `GeoInfo`.

const AttribContext *GeoInfo::get_attribcontext(int index) const

Get an `AttribContext` using its list position rather than its name, type, and group.

Using these you can iterate over all the available attributes for a GeoInfo.

Getting Attributes¶

The `GeoInfo` class provides read-only access to all of its attributes via various lookup methods, as detailed below. Some of these methods allow you to specify a group for the attribute; others do not. For the methods where you don’t specify a group it searchs through a number of the groups in the following order:

1. `Group_Vertices`

2. `Group_Points`

3. `Group_Primitives`

4. `Group_Object`

The `GeoInfo` class provides the following methods for getting an `Attribute`:

const Attribute *GeoInfo::get_attribute(const char *name) const

Returns an `Attribute` with the specified name and any type, using the search order above.

const Attribute *GeoInfo::get_typed_attribute(const char *name, int type) const

Returns any `Attribute` with the specified name and type, using the search order above. If there is an attribute with a matching name but a different type, this returns `NULL`.

const Attribute *GeoInfo::get_group_attribute(int group, const char *name) const

Returns an `Attribute`, if one exists, with the specified name and any type. This only looks in the specified group and returns `NULL` if it doesn’t find one.

const Attribute *GeoInfo::get_typed_group_attribute(int group, const char *name, int type) const

Returns an `Attribute`, if one exists, with the specified name and type. This only looks in the specified group and returns `NULL` if it doesn’t find a matching attribute.

There are equivalent methods for getting an `AttribContext`:

const AttribContext *GeoInfo::get_attribcontext(const char *name) const

Returns an `AttribContext` with the specified name and any type, using the search order above.

const AttribContext *GeoInfo::get_typed_attribcontext(const char *name, int type) const

Returns any `AttribContext` with the specified name and type, using the search order above. If there is an attribute with a matching name but a different type, this returns `NULL`.

const AttribContext *GeoInfo::get_group_attribcontext(int group, const char *name) const

Returns an `AttribContext`, if one exists, with the specified name and any type. This only looks in the specified group and returns `NULL` if it doesn’t find one.

const AttribContext *GeoInfo::get_typed_group_attribcontext(int group, const char *name, int type) const

Returns an `Attribute`, if one exists, with the specified name and type. This only looks in the specified group and returns `NULL` if it doesn’t find a matching attribute.

To add an attribute to an object, use:

const AttribContext *GeoInfo::writable_attribcontext(int obj, GroupType group, const char *name, AttribType type) const

Get or create an attribute on a particular object and return an `AttribContext` for it. The `AttribContext` has the group ID, attribute name, and an item type specified by the `group`, `name`, and `type` parameters respectively.

Deleting attributes¶

The `GeoInfo` class provides this method:

void GeoInfo::delete_group_attribute(int group, const char *name, int type = INVALID_ATTRIB)

If you leave the type set to the default value, `INVALID_ATTRIB`, it does not take the attribute type into consideration when finding the attribute to delete. Otherwise, it only deletes an attribute of that type.

Standard attributes¶

There are a number of predefined attributes that NUKE recognises:

Attribute Name

Group

Meaning

“uv”

Group_Points Group_Vertices

Texture coordinates, stored as a vector4

“N”

Group_Points Group_Vertices Group_Primitives

Point, vertex, and surface normals stored as a vector3

“Cf”

Group_Points

Surface colour

“pw”

Group_Points

World-space point

“vel”

Group_Points

Per-point velocity, used by the ScanlineRenderer for motion blur