# Thread: Maya beginner confused by nodes and MayaCommands

1. ## Maya beginner confused by nodes and MayaCommands

Hi everyone!
Let me quickly introduce myself... I'm an old-time 3dsmax user that is now trying to explore the technical side of Maya...
I've just started studying the "Maya Python for games and films" book, and the very beginning I've found something confusing.
In an empty scene the polySphere command creates... a sphere: its nodes are one input called polySphere1, it's connected to the shape node pSphereShape1... then we have the shading node and, unlinked, the transform pSphere1.
Ok...
So why it's written that the 2 node names returned by the command are "a transform node and a shape node"?.
The command returns polySphere1... the "input node", not the "shape node".
What am I missing here?
And more... I can use the command in query or edit mode...it's fine... but I can use any node name to identify the object... even a node that doesn't have (for example) a radius attribute, but I can modify the radius as well!
It's very confusing to me, probably because I come from 3dsmax that works in a vert different way.
May any of you make some light on this stuff, please? :)
Daniele

2. the polySphere node is called a construction history node. you could think of it as part of the stack in MAX. The polySphere node only contains the parameters to create a sphere - it is not the sphere itself.

the shape node is the geometry, it is the triangles, vertices, faces and uvs.

the transform node is where the geometry is in world space. so it contains the position, scale, rotation, pivots, etc.

3. Originally Posted by rgkovach123
the polySphere node is called a construction history node
Yeah,it sounds clear.
PolySphere holds the creation information while the shape node holds the actual geometry.
My problem is that I don't understand why the book refers to both nodes as "shapes" and how is it possibile that in edit and query mode the command could access data from the construction node (such as Radius) even using as Name flag the name of the shape node. Maybe is it possible because of the connection between nodes?

And I have another really really silly question: what's the name of a mesh? I mean... in maxscript you can get access to a mesh and all its data using the getnodebyname function or simply with \$objectname... and that's it!
Here in maya it seems that this idea simply doesn't work because a mesh is in fact composed by more than one node...so you have to address exactly the one containing the specific info you need.

Sorry again for my very noob questions,but I'd really like to learn deeply, so I think it's better to dig to the foundations :)

4. in many contexts, the transform name will be acceptable as the "mesh" name, although technically the shape node is the mesh name.

many of maya's internal commands will accept either the transform or the shape node as a convenience.

Instancing in Maya works by pairing multiple Transform Nodes to a single Shape Node. There is only every one copy of the geometry, the shape node, but it can be associated with any number of transform nodes.

5. Hi!
So I have to think about nodes as different parts that define the look, the position and so on of an object in my viewport.
The mesh itself (vertices,polygons,UVs...) is the Shape Node, but its transformation in stored in a linked node (Transform) that I can edit separately.
Maybe a little confusing coming from another SW but it sounds logic after all :)
Thanks again!

P.S. may I ask what happened to this site? It seems to be the only real website for tech artists but it looks like an abandoned place...

6. most of the discussion has moved to the Slack Channel...

7. Originally Posted by rgkovach123
most of the discussion has moved to the Slack Channel...
Interesting... How can I join the Group? I see it requires specific email or an invite. ..

8. Done!!
Thanks Theodox! :)

9. Hi Daniele, there's cool tutorial that may help as well,

I hope this helps :)

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