Cartan Library 3.1

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22 Nov, 2022 10:40 AM

Attached is the latest rev of my Cartan Node Library!

Version 3.1 includes 107 nodes. All nodes are free for use with no restrictions.

To use: with your current project open use File/Open Recent to open node library 3-1.ndbx in another window. Then just copy/paste the desired node from the library into your project. A few of the nodes also require adding a code library module (included).

The top section contains all 107 nodes categorized by output type. The bottom section contains 107 demos. Some demos contain extra bonus nodes.


New Nodes:


  • Alt_grid: Add two "trimmed" options to the indent parameter. Thanks to Floris for suggesting this in the Library 3.0 thread.
  • Arrow. Added a pivot offset parameter that adjusts the arrow's pivot point. Default pivot now set to base of arrow midline.
  • Colors.
    • A new (optional) shapes port overrides amount so you don't have to use a separate count node to count the number of shapes to be colored.
    • I also fixed a subtle bug; range now ends with the precise end color.
  • Even_sample.
    • No longer requires; if needed, use a contours node on the input path.
    • The Curves Only option is now significantly faster.
    • Curved segments now use the same distribution as the Entire Path option, making it easier to switch back and forth between the two.
  • Image node updated comment to warn that it requires
  • Mask node: parameter labels and comment updated for clarity. "Path" and "Mask" instead of "bg path" and "foreground".
  • Order_LRTB now accepts shapes as well as points. If given shapes, it sorts shapes; if given points, it sorts points.
  • Rearrange.
    • Now moves points as well as shapes.
    • T can now take any value (before was -100 to 100); you can move past targets or in opposite direction.
    • Shapes can now be aligned relative to target points (not just centered on them).
  • Treemap node now has an option not to sort values.
  • Triangle can now output values for angles and sides.

Depricated Nodes

  • Move_to. Align node already does this.

As always, please reply to this note and let me know that you saw it. This helps me know if anyone is using this library. If you find any issues with any of these nodes, or have suggestions for improvements or new nodes, PLEASE let me know. I hope you all have as much fun using this library as I had making it.

Go forth and create!


  1. 1 Posted by kbjornard on 08 Dec, 2022 09:51 PM

    kbjornard's Avatar

    Thank you so much for this treasure trove of tools.

  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by john on 09 Dec, 2022 07:27 AM

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    Thanks for the thanks! Much appreciated.


  3. 3 Posted by Jussi Jokinen on 12 Dec, 2022 03:44 PM

    Jussi Jokinen's Avatar

    Thank you again, great work!

  4. 4 Posted by Carlo on 31 Dec, 2022 03:50 PM

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    Great stuff John!

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by john on 06 Jan, 2023 11:56 PM

    john's Avatar

    Thanks, Carlo.

  6. 6 Posted by Erin on 10 Jan, 2023 05:31 PM

    Erin's Avatar

    Hi John,

    Thank you for the node library! I'm new to nodebox (accustomed to code and generative design in other methods), and had a question about the new Mask node. Is it possible to use this to create outside masks on shapes generated by the same group of nodes, using itself as a mask? I thought potentially the ungroup node would help but I'm unsure what it outputs and how to work it into a flow.

    I'm using a pen plotter, and for example, I would like the black lines I draw to look something like the example 1 I've attached (basically an actualisation of the illusion of cutting paths that the fill gives), rather than example 2.

    Any advice would be appreciated! Looking forward to joining the community, seems great here :)

  7. Support Staff 7 Posted by john on 10 Jan, 2023 07:18 PM

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    Welcome to the Nodebox community. We have a number of plotter people who may be able to answer your plotter-related questions. I have not used Nodebox with a plotter myself but am always happy to help in any way I can.

    I'm afraid I was not able to understand exactly what you are trying to do.

    If you just want the outlines of the shapes I don't think you have to do anything at all. A closed shape in Nodebox is just the path forming its boundary. If you colorize it with fill set to alpha zero you will see just the lines (like your example 2). If you feed it to a plotter, grouped or not, I think you would see the same thing.

    But that doesn't seem what you want - right?

    I wonder if you are talking about occlusion - plotting objects in a way that conveys how some shapes seem to be "on top" of others when drawn on a screen. If so, see this thread:

    Floris and I came up with some occlude nodes. They work pretty well but are kind of slow if you give them too many shapes. I think that's why they never actually made it into my node library. Floris is a master Nodebox plotter and has done some interesting work in this area.

    Give that a try (you can download the nodes from the demo I posted in that thread. If they do what you want, I really should consider adding them to the library.

    If not, please try again to explain what you are trying to do, and include a zipped copy of your network - I'll see if I can help.



  8. 8 Posted by Jussi Jokinen on 10 Jan, 2023 07:55 PM

    Jussi Jokinen's Avatar

    Hi Erin,

    As a fellow plotter I've struggled with this exact same problem for years and been a bit surprised that there hasn't been many good options available.
    It's great if John's ja Floris' occlusion nodes do the trick (I'm sure they do), but if post-processing your SVG is something that you might want to consider, I've written a tool for that:

    It can flatten hidden lines from quite diffrerent kinds of SVG's, including those with clipping paths and even clipping paths made of compound paths…

  9. Support Staff 9 Posted by john on 11 Jan, 2023 09:23 AM

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    Erin, Jussi,

    Your notes inspired me to develop an occlusion node. I will post a full description in a separate post.

    See demo attached. The first cluster is a group of squares colored to show only their outlines. The second cluster is after the occlude node is applied, again colored to show only their outlines. The third cluster Is how the colored squares look both before and after the occlusion node.

    Erin, is this what you were trying to do? If so, please try this occlude node with your shapes and see if it does what you want. Try plotting the output and verify that it looks OK.

    This node has some limitations, and though much faster than my previous attempt can still be slow if you have hundreds of shapes, especially if those shapes are curved. But for the example you supplied I think it should work reasonably quickly.

    Please report back and let us know!


  10. 10 Posted by Erin on 14 Jan, 2023 03:18 PM

    Erin's Avatar

    Hi both,

    Sorry for the delayed reply, I've been on a work trip and didn't get a chance to try anything out. Thank you so much for your responses - this is exactly what I'm trying to achieve, and looks like two fantastic ways of doing it for different use cases! I'm going to plot some things today and will post the results to confirm all is well, however everything looks as it should be in Inkscape, so I'm expecting that there'll be no issues with plotting.

    Thank you so much for the new node! Excited to experiment with it.

    Many thanks,

  11. 11 Posted by Erin on 24 Jan, 2023 09:02 PM

    Erin's Avatar

    Hi John,

    Sorry I haven't got round to posting sooner. I managed to do a plot tonight with the occlusion node, and it works perfectly! The paper colour is a bit cursed and the concept isnt very exciting, but very exciting to be able to occlude in Nodebox :)

    thanks again for your help and the node!

  12. Support Staff 12 Posted by john on 26 Jan, 2023 01:30 AM

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    FYI, I just released an improved version of the occlude node. It should now be able to handle all situations (closed shapes, lines, and open curves) and also has an option to show edges only.

    Release notes and demos with updated node here:


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