What is the difference between using the attribute mode vs the texture coordinate node?
There isn't really a difference. The attribute node has a few advantages though:
- It allows the use of more than one UV map. The texture Coordinate node uses only the UV map with the camera icon selected.
- It Contains the name, which can be useful for organizational purposes.
Their is also a UV map node coming into cycles, which will eliminate the need for both of theses methods.