In a network, a grey dashed line between nodes is a Reference (or Link) that indicates one operator is getting data from another operator.
A Reference is formed by either
- a Parameter Reference, a parameter in an OP that is a name or path to another operator, or
- a Node Reference, an expression that contains the name or path of another operator. The expression can appear in a parameter, or in a DAT's python script.
- a DAT Cell Reference
- a CHOP Channel Reference
When a reference is in an expression, like
op('base1/pattern1').par.phase, it specifies the location to retrieve a value from.
When a reference is a parameter in an OP, such as
/project1/pattern1, the data output from the source OP is passed to, or shared with the OP containing the reference. For example, if it's a reference to a TOP, the source image is used to generate the output of the OP.
In some cases a parameter that is an OP reference is actually a reference to multiple OPs - the path to lultiple OPs is obtained by listing their paths or using wildcards to specify multiple OPs. See Pattern Matching.
Examples of operators that have reference parameters:
- Select TOP, Select CHOP, Select DAT
- Render TOP the names of cameras, lights and geometry objects
- Composite TOP
- Join CHOP