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Why do some nodes have values without input sockets?

E.g. The glare node:

enter image description here

This may not be the most useful example, but there are instances where a plug might be useful, e.g. the dimensions of a blur node.

This can be easily worked around with a driver, proving that there is no technical limitation:

enter image description here

Is there any reason for certain values not having a node input?

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The reason is that this is the way the node is written by the developer, Sometimes it makes sense for values to be adjusted per-pixel and sockets are used, other times its enough to have a setting on the node.

The are undoubtedly cases where you might want to adjust a setting per-pixel but there isn't a socket input. I guess you could call this a not-yet-implemented feature. There may be a good reason the developer chose not to do this, or it may be an oversight.

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Currently, I bet all of them are specific types for some Filter and Matte nodes.

I think the possible reasons for that would be:

  • They are no more than numerical values, which indeed needn't any further tweaking by additional Value input.
  • To avoid wrong or inproper value input that cannot be handled at all, since these values are considered more as parameters rather than factors.
  • To limit parameter value to a certain interval, where minimum / maximum value required, which can hardly be determined by additional Value input.
  • Even though such demand exists (not quite often though), as you mentioned, drivers can do that.
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The developers probably didn't think it was necessary.

You should report it as a feature request (http://lists.blender.org/mailman/listinfo/bf-funboard).

Describe what use cases warrant the interface change.

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  • $\begingroup$ For reason for the change I would go for consistency. While most of the cycles material nodes have input sockets, the compositing nodes still have a lot without input sockets. $\endgroup$ – sambler Nov 22 '13 at 12:56

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