The Dependency Graph Architecture in Maya
You will find these icons in several locations in Maya, including the Attribute
Editor and the Hypershade windows:
thing to understand about the dependency graph in Maya is that, like many
other 3D graphics programs of it's kind, Maya relies on the concept of a
"scene graph" in which the information used
to construct the complete scene is often comprised of many interdependent
nodes passing information from one to another. In Maya, the information
passed between nodes is in the form of "Attributes", and a single
node may have a large number of attributes that it can pass along, or require
Connections: The same as "Upstream Graph". By examining
the incoming connections to the current node you are looking at information
upon which the current node is dependent. For example, the current node
may be a SphereShape, and the incoming connection might be the "createSphereShape"
node that holds the instructions (creation history) for how the shape should
and Output Connections: This icon is seen specifically in the HyperShade.
It allows the user to graph both the upstream and downstream connections
simultaneously, with the current node somewhere in the middle (if it has
both incoming and outgoing connections).
Connections: same as "Downstream Graph". The current
node may be holding information that another node is dependent upon. An
example might be a curve has its shape output going to a "revolve"
node, and in turn, the "revolve" node would be connected to the
inputs of the "revolveShape" node.
the Hypergraph window, the display can be switched between "Scene Hierarchy"
and "Input and Output Connections". With a node selected, click
the circled button to graph the up- and down-stream connections, or use
the "Graph" menu to select input or output graphing only.
graphed, the arrows between nodes indicate the direction in which connections
are made. Move the mouse pointer over the connections to display the names
of the connected attributes.