Composite Node

The Composite node allows you to use several images and output a single image. You can compare that to doing pre-compositions in editing software. You can connect several drawing, image generators and effect nodes in your Composite node and one bitmap (or vector in some cases) comes out of it.

Using Composites is necessary if you wish to apply effects to several layers combined. For example, if you want a character rig that is composed of several layers to appear transparent, you must connect all the layers of your character's rig to the same composite, and connect a Transparency effect to that composite.

NOTE Since composite nodes output a flat image by default, if the layers connected to it are on different positions on the z-Axis, the output will be a flat image on the topmost layer's position on the z-axis by default. For more information, see About 3D Input Output Options.


Parameter Description

Allows you to enable or disable the node. When disabled, a node has no visible effect on the rendered image, nor on the preview in the Camera, Perspective, Side and Top views.

Colour Swatch

Sets the colour of the layer in the Timeline view and of the node in the Node view.

Name The name of the node as it appears in the Node View and the Timeline view. Each node must have a name that is unique to its containing group.
  • As Bitmap: This is the default mode for composites. A bitmap composite outputs a single composited image.

  • As Seamless Bitmap: mode works very similarly to bitmap mode, except it prevents seams from appearing between vector shapes that have matching outlines or when vector drawings are 3D-rotated and made to mesh together.

    NOTE Shadow, Glow, Blending and Focus effects do not work when connected to a Seamless Bitmap composite.
  • As Vector: This mode outputs a flat vector drawing made of all the connected drawings. Vector composites should be used only when necessary, as they ignore any effect and bitmap information that is sent to them.

  • Pass Through: This mode simply passes all the information sent to the Composite, including artwork, effects and transformations, onto the next composite as is, as a multi-layered image. This means that if an effect is applied to the output of that composite, the effect will be applied individually to each layer connected to that composite. Hence, a pass through composite does not really perform any composition. It is essentially an organization tool.

    • The cable coming from a Pass Through composite will be thicker and have a darker centreline. This can be useful to identify areas of your node system that carry a lot of information.
    • If a Composite set to Pass Through is at the bottom of the composite chain, it will act the same as a Bitmap composite.

Input Ordering

2D: Elements connected in the node are composited based on their port ordering. The Z-axis (forward-backward) values are ignored. The scaling value will be correct, but the actual position on the Z-axis is ignored.

You can use the 2D composite type to create effects such as a camera recording overlay on your scene. Since you always want this element to be in front regardless of the other elementsè Z-axis position, you can set the option to 2D.

3D Flat: The Z-axis value of the elements connected in the Composite node are considered, so the visual representation is correct in the Camera view. The output is a flat image.

3D: The Z-axis value of the elements connected in the composite node are considered, so the visual representation is correct in the Camera view. The image is not flattened. The 3D aspect of the elements are kept. For example, if you rotated elements on the three axes, the information is retained and elements composited in lower levels are able to intersect with the elements coming from a 3D Composite node.
The 3D Composite node should only be used in advanced cases. It is better to use a Pass Through composite type than a 3D composite type. This way, all the elements are composited in the final Composite node.

Output Options

Output Z: Identifies which element’s front-back value from the current composition is applied to the entire composited image in the next operation. If you select Portnumber, identify the appropriate port by its position using the Port For Output Z menu.

Port for Output Z: When using the Portnumber option in the Output Z menu, you can select which port you want to use as the Z value for the Composite node. The port used appears in a bright green colour on the Composite node. By default, the leftmost port is displayed in front and the rightmost port is displayed behind.

Bitmap Options

These options are active when you select the As Bitmap mode.

Apply Focus: Activates the Focus effect for this node in the composite operation.

Focus Multiplier: The value entered in this field is used as a multiplier for the radius value specified in the Focus or Focus-Multiplier nodes.

Vector Options

These options are active when you select the As Vector mode.

Palette Name: When you render files using As Vector Composite nodes, use this field to set the name of the palette files that Toon Boom Harmony Premium will create for them.

Flatten: Flattens vector drawings into one vector drawing file. Any transparency will be lost in the process. This creates smaller vector files, but might increase the time required to composite the drawings. This can be useful when reusing drawings. Because they will be vector files, you can still apply vector-based transformations and effects.