# A node to report a value in a material

While designing a material, using the Shader Editor, I can use a ‘value’ node to insert a specific value at any point in the calculation.

Here, although I make no use of the result, I’m inserting the values 1 and 2 into an ‘add’ node. I’m expecting the output value from the add node to be 3, although I can’t see any way of confirming that other than using the output number to, for example, colour an object in the scene and then viewing it.

Are there any reporting nodes, maybe via an add-on, that output such debugging information within the Shader Editor?

Here is our friend the default cube.

Its z coordinate varies between -1 and 1. Therefore z+1 should be between 0 and 2. I guess any reporting node, such as I’m hoping for, couldn’t report a single number. It would have to report the range of values encountered in processing the object.

Anyone know of this type of node?

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There is a Blender tutorial where a 3D line graph is used to show the values of the outcome of a material node. It’s all done with material nodes. Basically, you could build it on your own. But difficult I would say. Also, it has a lot of calculations and very slow on my old laptop.

Unfortunately, this example is only available with a Blender subscription from the Blender organization. Blender organization also has a lot of specialized courses. Most people visit gameDev but forget to look at Blender.

• While a value can be any range most values are relative between -1, 0, and 1, But it isn’t always true.
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My cube is size 1 ( one Blender unit) - While the default cube is two!!
The color ramp is 0…1 (0%…100%) and the origin is at 0,0,0. Which is also the bottom of the cube.
Don’t for get to APPLY scale!

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Thanks @FedPete.

yeah, your example is using an object in the scene to somehow give an indication of a value in the material design.

What I’m wondering is if there is any specialized node that can report a value, in situ, directly in the Shader Editor.

The 3D line graph you mentioned. Was that a specialized node, incorporating a graph? Or was it some ingeniously controlled object in the scene?

I suspect you want a very nerdy sort of thing that does not occur to those using or making the nodes. For users what matters is the end result, if it looks bad try a different thing or number. Not a mathematical perspective. I do not want to know ‘3’ I wanted bluey green. If add did not work well try divide or some other odd option, If you see what I am getting at. I suspect few ‘understand’ what is happening, they/we just experiment and see what comes out.

Nodes are not there to be a pocket calculator!

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I don’t think what you want would be feasible because when working with textures there is rarely just one value.
Let’s say you have a grayscale image texture that’s 1024x1024, you could add 0.5 to it but the outcome would still be 1,048,576 separate values.

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No! (maybe with the new Geo-Nodes?)

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No, the engineers of Blender generated a complex Material Node thing, just to explain how the node values are used in 3D space. If I can find it I’ll tell you.

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Guilty as charged

I’d say more like an electronic circuit where an oscilloscope probe can be attached at any point.

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