11. The Vuo Editor

11.1. The Node Library

When you create a composition, your starting point is always the Node Library (Window > Show Node Library). The node library is a tool that will assist you in exploring and making use of the collection of Vuo building blocks (nodes) available to you as you create your artistic compositions.

Many of the same shortcuts from Quartz Composer also work in Vuo. As an example, ⌘↵ opens the Node Library, and ⌘R begins playback of your composition.

Because you’ll be working extensively with the node library throughout your composition process, we have put a great deal of effort into maximizing its utility, flexibility, and ease of use. It has been designed to jump-start your Vuo experience — so that you may sit down and immediately begin exploring and composing, without having to take time out to study reams of documentation.

When you open a new composition, the Node Library is on the left. The Node Library shows all the nodes that are available to you. In the Node Library, you can search for a node by name or keyword. You can see details about a node, including its documentation and version number.

11.1.1. Docking and visibility

By default, the node library is docked within each open composition window. The node library may be undocked by dragging or double-clicking its title bar. While undocked, only a single node library will be displayed no matter how many composition windows are open.

The node library may be re-docked by double-clicking its title bar.

The node library may be hidden by clicking the X button within its title bar. Once hidden, it may be re-displayed by selecting Window > Show Node Library or using ⌘↵. The same command or shortcut, ⌘↵, will put your cursor in the node library’s search window.

Whether you have left your library docked or undocked, visible or hidden, your preference will be remembered the next time you launch the Vuo Editor.

11.1.2. Node names and node display

Each node has two names: a title and a class name. The title is a quick description of a node’s function; it’s the most prominent name written on a node. The class name is a categorical name that reveals specific information about a node; it appears directly below the node’s title.

Let’s use the Count node as an example. Count is the node’s title, which reveals that the node performs the function of counting. The class name is vuo.math.count. The class name reveals the following: Team Vuo created it, math is the category, and count is the specific function (and title name).

Depending on your level of familiarity with Vuo’s node sets and your personal preference, you might wish to browse nodes by their fully qualified family (class) name (e.g., vuo.math.add) or by their more natural human-readable names (Add).

You may select whichever display mode you prefer, and switch between the modes at your convenience; the editor will remember your preference between sessions. You can toggle between node titles and node class names using the menu items View > Node Library > Display by class or Display by name.

The Modifying and rearranging nodes and cables section explains how to change node titles.

11.1.3. Node Documentation Panel

The node library makes the complete set of Vuo core nodes available for you to browse as you compose. By clicking on a node in the library, a description of the node will appear in the Node Documentation Panel below the node library. It describes the general purpose of the node as well as details that will help you make use of it. In addition to the Vuo core nodes, if you have access to pro nodes, you’ll see those displayed.

If you’re interested in exploring new opportunities, this is an ideal way to casually familiarize yourself with the building blocks available to you in Vuo.

11.1.4. Finding nodes

In the top of the Node Library there is a search bar. You can type in part of a node name or a keyword and matching nodes will show up in the Library. Pressing while in the search bar will clear out your selection and show the entire library, as will deleting your search term.

Your search terms will match not only against the names of relevant nodes, but also against keywords that have been specifically assigned to each node to help facilitate the transition for any of you who might have previous experience with other multimedia environments or programming languages.

For example, users familiar with multiplexers might type multiplex into the Vuo Node Library search field to discover Vuo’s Select Input family of nodes with the equivalent functionality; users with a background in textual programming might search for the term string and discover the Vuo Text node family. Users don’t have to know the exact node title or port name. To find a node with a trigger port, for example, go to the Node library and type in the keywords events, trigger, or fire.

If you do not see a node, particularly if you have received it from someone else, review the procedures under Installing a node.