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I was messing around with a scene earlier today and looked up some tutorials on chromatic aberration, and I noticed that all the tutorials I found had both a compositor node and a viewer node?

Is there any real important reason for using one over the other? Both export to the UV/Image Editor and allow saving out to .png files, and both seem to create an identical final image with my depth of field, glow, and chromatic aberration. Are there situations where one is better than another?

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As per the wiki

They are two of several output nodes and allow you see or save the working image in progress. At any point only one viewer and one composite node is active.

The Viewer node is a temporary, in-process viewer. Plug it in wherever you would like to see an image or value-map in your node-tree.

and

The Composite node is where the actual output from the compositor is connected to the renderer. Connecting a node to the Composite node will output the result of that node's full tree to the Renderer, leaving this node unconnected will result in a blank image. This node is updated after each render, but also if you change things in your node-tree (provided at least one finished input node is connected).

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The Viewer is a temporary viewer. Use it when you want to see the progress of a node tree. It's also what the node that lets you view a backdrop, if the checkbox is selected.

The Composite node is the output for the final render. You should only have one.

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  • $\begingroup$ Care to get a little more technical, or is that about as far as it gets? $\endgroup$ – Kyle Willey May 23 '13 at 1:07

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