Working with Backdrops

Backdrops are a way to work with complex node systems that let you associate a selected set of nodes by colour. You can add as many backdrops to your node structure as needed. The idea is to visually organize the structure so you can quickly identify the particular set of nodes.

You can customize the backdrops with different colours. For example, the upper part of a character's body could be in different shades of red, while the lower body is in shades of green. When you create a backdrop to the Node view, the default colour is red.

Once you have created a backdrop with nodes inside, you can move the backdrop to the desired location and arrange multiple backdrops neatly. You can also resize backdrops to accommodate the number of nodes in your rig.

You can select the nodes you want to add to the backdrop before creating it and vice versa—create an empty backdrop and then drag the desired nodes into the backdrop.


Because backdrops are not layers, its properties do not appear in a node's properties.


Customizing a Backdrop

Once you've created a backdrop, customizing it is a great way to organize your work. You can change the colour of the backdrop, give it a name which displays in the title bar of the backdrop, and add any notes or instructions pertaining to the nodes contained in the backdrop.

Organizing Nodes in Backdrops

Once you have deselected all items in the Node view, you can organize any of the nodes by dragging and moving them around even if they are in a backdrop. You can move nodes from one backdrop to another.

Moving a Backdrop

When you want to move a backdrop, you can do so either with or without the nodes it contains. Moving a backdrop with its nodes lets you quickly organize entire sections of a complex rig. Moving the backdrop only (without its nodes) gives you a chance to reorganize a node structure. Perhaps nodes should be grouped differently for a better workflow or nested within another backdrop for optimal organization.

Copying and Pasting a Backdrop

When you copy a backdrop, its contents are copied along with the backdrop name, colour, and any notes. When selecting a backdrop, all backdrops underneath it are also selected.

When you select a backdrop with the Alt (Windows/Linux) or ⌘ (Mac OS X) key, the backdrop retains its Z order.


A selection that contains only backdrops cannot be copied.


Adding Backdrops to the Library

For your convenience, you can add backdrops as templates to the library—see Creating a Template from the Node View .