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SheepFactory
08-17-2004, 11:19 PM
TO POST IN THIS THREAD YOU NEED TO SHARE A TIP IN YOUR POST , NO "That Rocks , Thats Cool!" TYPE OF POSTS ALLOWED :)



I decided to start a thread to help newcomers and veterans alike to share tips and tricks you find useful in XSI. there are so many things that make you go WOW when you find out about them in this software and not all of them well documented. So to start off i'll list a couple i know , all of them thanks to The_Jaco :)



1) welding points in move point mode: Hold down ALT while in move points mode (M) to weld points while moving them



2) Select a numerical input (ie: translate Y) hold down left mouse button and rotate mouse clockwise to increase and counterclockwise to decrease the value.


3) This one is incredibly cool for animators:

- Define a Custom property set and name it "DisplayInfo" add some properties to it.

-Turn on show custom "DisplayInfo" parameters option under viewport eye icon > visibility options > stats

- now you can view those options on the viewport and change them interactively with the F4 virtual manipulator.

very very very useful when animating .


Share your cool finds here in this thread!

Ali

yog
08-17-2004, 11:57 PM
Just a couple quick ones.

1) "]" is the split edge command, and "\" is the add edge command, rather than remember both shortcuts just use the add edge command and don't specify a second point, it'll do the same as the split edge function.

2) Holding down the CTRL key briefly toggles on the Snap command.

3) Coming from LW where we only have basic splines, if I wanted a sharp corner on a cubic curve in XSI I was placing a number of points close togeter, and playing around to get rid of the inevitable little bobble in the curve. A better way in XSI is to pick one of the knots and then Modify-Curve-Insert Knot. This wont actually add another knot (which makes it's name a little curious), but it will add a point exactly on the curve where the not is, and if you set the Multiplicity to 3, it will place an extra point either side of the newly created point on the curve which will act as bezier handles which will allow you to better alter the curve, including sharp and acute corners.

Fluckrat
08-18-2004, 12:35 AM
3) This one is incredibly cool for animators:

- Define a Custom property set and name it "DisplayInfo" add some properties to it.

-Turn on show custom "DisplayInfo" parameters option under viewport eye icon > visibility options > stats

- now you can view those options on the viewport and change them interactively with the F4 virtual manipulator.


To expand on this.... turn on 'enable on-screen editing of custom "Display Info" Parameters' in the Display portion of you preferences and you can now change and key directly in the viewport with none of that F4 nonsense :D

Truely a beautiful thing....

CraigT
08-18-2004, 12:48 AM
Just to expand on Sheep Factory's #2- click in any of the Transform value boxes and move the mouse up/down/left or right. It will change the values in that box even overriding another function that might actually be selected. So you could have Translate active but click in a rotation value box to make a quick rotation change while still leaving Translate active. I'm just absolutely loving Foundation as compared to LW and MAYA 5 that I've been using(or used in LW's case :-)).

zen jehad
08-18-2004, 01:07 AM
To expand on this.... turn on 'enable on-screen editing of custom "Display Info" Parameters' in the Display portion of you preferences and you can now change and key directly in the viewport with none of that F4 nonsense :D

Truely a beautiful thing....


Yup, and right below the 'custom display info' checkbox in the visibilty/stats ppg, thre's a nice built-in one for SRT Parameters called, 'show local transform SRT parameters'.

DougNicola
08-18-2004, 02:06 AM
Here's a few I've collected (some obvious, some not, all very useful for me):

1. Use F3 to popup object properties context window

2. Property pages recall/navigation -- very handy! Use the arrows at the top, right-click an arrow for a list of recent pages, and page-up, page-down to recall recently used property pages that have been closed.

3. Camera movement undo/redo -- Alt-z, alt-y

4. MMB on view type menu (shaded/wireframe etc) and Camera (Camera, Top, etc) to switch back and forth between recent views.

5. Render region (q) -- MMB to show/hide region, RMB to refresh

6. Try the Softimage 3D selection model. You might like it better. I do!

7. Loop/Range component selection -- This is super! Ctrl-click to select a loop (one for an edge, two for polys or points). Alt-click two components (start and end) to select a range. This is how it works with Softimage 3D selection model. I think the XSI selection model works a bit differently.

8. Shrink those property pages! Double-click the title bar. I've just started using this a lot. Saves space with a single monitor.

9. Displaying Hulls and Wireframes -- Ctrl + (Pad +) to toggle the hull in a sub-d object. Can be used to Move Points on the hull instead of on sub-d. Alt + (Pad +) to toggle the display of the sub-d wireframe.

10. Visibility Options -- Shift+s for one view (view under mouse), Ctrl+shift+s for ALL views.

11. Freezing partial ops, disabling ops, saving texture supports, etc. -- RMB->"disable from here" on an operator to disable from that operetor UP (then re-Enable later). RMB->Freeze to freeze from that operator DOWN. Select a bunch of movecomponent operators, then edit->operator->collapse to put them all into one operator "OffsetComponents." Select only the ops you want to freeze before freezing to save your texture support.

12. Implicit textures are distortion-free (none of that little twist on top you get like with an explicit spherical texture). They calculate and project textures on a per-pixel basis for *very* smooth, refined results.

13. FXTree coolness -- modify any texture used in your scene with all of the FXTree's power by using ClipFrom/ClipTo. This will change the texture *before* it is used in the render tree, allowing for all kinds of crazy stuff, including animated textures in whatever way you can think of.

14. Symmetry mapping templates for envelope weighting -- you gotta use these!

ThE_JacO
08-18-2004, 05:17 AM
damn, sheep already gave away some of the most interesting I had ;)

one thing for the render region:
MMB to toggle it on and off is all good and cool, but only works if you actually have the region tool active, and that's very often not the case if you are smart enough to turn off auto-refresh.

shift+q though will always work to toggle it on and off and doesn't require any particular tool or mode to be active.

it's also good to get in the habit to use the shortcut rather then the MMB because sometimes you THINK you still have the region tool active, but you don't, you middle click and do something and the region starts refreshing.

DougNicola
08-18-2004, 06:15 AM
Good point Jaco, I use shift-q mostly, but sometimes I just *need* to use that MMB.

A few more:

1. Drag n drop all over the dang place. Drag things (like textures) from Windows explorer into XSI and onto objects, drag things all over everywhere! Sound files, materials, presets... There is much here to drag.

2. Those color squares are packed with goodness. (And you can drag them too!) Click on a color square, then click on the little arrow at the right for multiple color tools, also don't miss the ... button at the bottom for even more color excitement!

3. Ctrl-click color sliders to move them all together at the same position.

4. See the "Paths" button to the right of the path field in the XSI browser? Instant access to XSI paths and your projects.

yog
08-18-2004, 09:42 AM
1) Models are your friend, especially when building complex scenes or objects. If you use external reference models you can use Model-Modify-Model-Set Resolution to quickly swap between low and high resolution versions to speed up your scene. It also keeps dependencies / hirachies with other models/objects intact.

2) A quick gotcha. If you are lighting your scene with just image based final gathering or just iluminated panels, you still need a light in the scene to have final gathering work. The light can have it's Diffuse/Specular switches set to off, or it's intensity turned down to zero, but "a" light needs to be present.

3) Some of the deformers like taper and twist work on a graph and curve system of influence (nice), but the default is for just about a 10% range in the centre of an abject to be effected. Instead of zooming/panning and dragging keys to have the effect cover the whole object. just right click anywhere in the graph area and pick any of the 0-1 presets, then press "a" to zoom all. If nothing else it gives you a good quick starting point.

yog
08-18-2004, 02:42 PM
If your coming from LW and miss the Bandsaw fuction that let you make multiple edge loop cuts and adjust their spacing (dynamically for Bandsaw Pro), fear not, XSI can do the same.

Use the Spit Edge tool (]) with the middle mouse button multiple time where you want the edge loop cuts. Then if you want to alter the spacing locate the object in the Explorer, scroll down to where the SplitEdge Op's are listed, clicking one will open the property box giving you access to the Ratio Edge slider to make adjustments, then without closing the property box you can click on any of the other SplitEdge Op's to move to them. Lovely real time feedback in the viewports as well :thumbsup:

preludian
08-18-2004, 02:46 PM
<x1>
<Texturing:> How to auto refresh textures in xsi 4?

preferences>rendering>reload externally modified image clips on focus
http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=162910 (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=162910)



<x2>
<Modeling:> how can I prevent move points 'm' from moving points that are not visible in a textured or hidden line view?

preferences>tools>selection>raycast in shaded mode(affects move point).
http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=162532 (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=162532)

wurp
08-18-2004, 05:29 PM
To edit the parameters of multiple passes at the same time first go to Render->Options to bring up the PPG for the rendering options, now in the explorer (Hotkey 8) press "p" to go to the passes section (Hotkey "a" prior to v4) and simply select the passes you want to edit. The rendering options PPG will automatically update as you select different passes. Note that you can also edit other types of values for mutiple objects this way.

3DDave
08-18-2004, 08:49 PM
Use F9 to select individual parts of a mesh (polygons, points, curves, ect). Coming from Lightwave this is a must use selection method.

preludian
08-18-2004, 10:41 PM
Use F9 to select individual parts of a mesh (polygons, points, curves, ect). Coming from Lightwave this is a must use selection method.
Even more:

Press one of the following keys:


F7 for the Rectangle selection tool.
F8 for the Lasso selection tool.
F9 for the Freeform selection tool.
F10 for the Raycast selection tool.
Shift+F10 for the Rectangle-Raycast tool.
F11 for the Paint selection tool (points, edges, and polygons only).


The selection tools are absolutely awsome! RTM to believe it :eek:

yog
08-18-2004, 11:05 PM
The selection tools are absolutely awsome! RTM to believe it :eek:
Add in edge ring, edge loop, grow selection, shrink selection (Through RT-Tools), and adjacent switching (verticies<->edges, edges<->polys, poly<->vertices), and you have some major league selection tools.

preludian
08-19-2004, 12:30 AM
Just found it from ThE_JacO again:

<Lightning>Select spot interest: ever searched for a spot interest in a large scene with full of nulls? This function is for you.

what's so hard with, when you have the spot selected, hitting alt+rightarrow to select the interest (traverse hierarchy)?

yog
08-19-2004, 06:09 PM
It took me a while to find this one.

Q- Want to time how long a render took without having to sit in front of your monitor with a stopwatch ?

A- Go to Render Options -> Logged Messages and switch it to Progress Reports, then when the render finishes open up the script editor and you will see a shed load of information about your render, including how long it took.

I suspect that it will add a small amount to the render time, so just use it when you need it.

ksilver
08-19-2004, 07:19 PM
http://animation.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=27296

Hidden Gems of Animation
Features that deserve more attention

Softimage
SOFTIMAGE|XSI


Tips contributed by Damijan Saccio
Principal of UVPHACTORY, NYC
http://www.uvphactory.com (http://www.uvphactory.com/)

Feature:
Dice Polygons
This is a relatively minor tool, but for some reason we keep needing it and we needed it especially badly the day we received the first beta of version 4, so it really saved our *ss that day!

What it is
Dice Polygons is essentially a way of subdividing a polygon in a regularized way that used to be the default means for subdividing in Softimage|3D

When and how it's used
select poly, click modify->dice polys and you have all the options you could possibly desire: you choose which axes you want, the number of slices in each direction, etc. You can even have it divide up the object equally in equal-sided grid divisions of any size you choose.

Why it's important
This tool is important for many reasons. Often, to aid an animation or deformation you need to divide an object in a regularized way that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the ways in which the existing polygons are placed.

Feature:
Beveling improvements
XSI's beveling tools have gone from good to great. One of our biggest requests (which is not something you notice as a big change in XSI) was implemented in version 4. Simply put, you can now bevel in instead of only being able to bevel out. A perfect real-world example of why this is so important is with logos. We do a lot of broadcast design, so we work with a lot of logos. Often you need a logo in 3D and you want to put a small bevel on the extrusion. It is imperative, however, to preserve the original outline of the logo and not distort it. Formerly, if you added a bevel, it would do so outside the original boundaries, providing you with something that was not the exact logo anymore. This is unacceptable for a logo that has to represent a known brand. Fortunately the new version of XSI addresses this and adds a number of other bells and whistles, like improved rounding options that really make life for 3d artist much better. All these features are part of the: Create->Poly Mesh->Curve To Mesh tool. This 'beveling in' ability is absolutely key to anyone who ever has to deal with exact outlines, such as logos and type in general.

Cool new features that don't often get mentioned:

Partition improvements: XSI version 4 has made a number of small, but incredibly helpful additions and fixes to the partitions in your render passes. Now, a partition's visibility will override animations on individual objects in the partition. This is one of those features that seems very minor, but can immensely help your work flow in a project. Another great change is that when you add an override to partition in a pass, XSI is smarter about it and asks you if you want to add a shader connection or use the override as a parameter. Before, using the override as a parameter involved writing a bit of code in the scripting window and was very hard to undo. The workflow now is much improved and much better for an artist who doesn't want to have to deal with the scripting window.

Selection tool improvements: XSI has done a great job introducing context sensitive menus. Version 4 adds to this by including smart selecting, accessed by holding the alt key when making polygon, edge, and point selections. Using combinations of the alt key and mouse buttons, you can intelligently select ranges of polygons, edges, and point as well as full selection loops by only clicking two places. It's small things like this that really speed up overall production time.

wmendez
08-20-2004, 12:16 AM
- In raycast mode you can hold the Alt+MMB then click on the adjacent polygon and it will do a loop selection

-You can see the entire list of XSI commands which can be added to your custom layouts/toolbars by opening the scene explorer and hitting the C key.

-Knife Tool -You can animate your slice by combining the "Create Grid And Connect option"
and Delete polys above/below then animating the offset.

-xsibatch -r -h or ray3 -h in a Softimage Shell will give you all the options that can be used with those commands.

-Port numbers are located in /System32/Drivers/etc/Services or /etc/Services on Linux this are used for populating your .rayhostfile for distributed or tilebased rendering.

-Ctrl+TAB will cycle through the windows that you have minimized i.e Script editor, floating mixer, etc

-Ghosting can be used on just about anything with a visibility property, including RBD's Softbodies,etc

-CDK-To Adjust the stiffness of a newly created tail, Branch select the the tail then hide and unhide it. Select first effector out of the root and open its kine global you'll get an overall stiffness controller.

LINUX

-To have XSI obey your windows manager enter the following in the .xsi_4.0 file
setenv MWWM allwm

-If you install OpenQuicktime you can output your previews to Quicktime

-To set VI or Mozilla to be the default apps for editiing and help you can enable them in the .xsi_4.0 file (they are currently rem'd out)

-rm -rf ~/Softimage/registry* will clear your user profile (equivilant to c:\users\Softimage)

-If XSI freezes you can kill the process by typing killall -9 XSI in a shell

asylum24
08-20-2004, 01:19 AM
These arejust some tips not really things in XSI necissarily...

- boolean is bad. dont do it unless you have to. (learned it the hardway)
- Buy a keyboard, do not try to do 3d wtih a laptop keyboard, it just doesnt work. (like if you want to meshsmooth something and its pitch dark in your room, you have to go turn on the numkey, and hten search for the lil + sign in the middle of your keyboard on the side of the 1/8th of inch tall keys... then you have to remember to turn it back off[always forgot that part])

withanar
08-20-2004, 05:58 AM
As a technical animator type, here a list of my favorites... drag and drop between parameters:

1. To copy an fcurve from one param to another, open the source and target PPG, then drag and drop the animation button icon from source to target. Animation copied.

2. To set an expression linking one param to another, drag and drop the empty param button from source to target. Target has a direct expression set to source.

3. What if you have animation on the source, but wish to set an expression of source to target? Right-click on the target and open the expression editor. Make sure the expression editor turns gray by moving the cursor over the text entry box, then drag and drop the animated parameter into it.

4. Want to insert or replace a parameter in an expression? Insert your cursor into the expression editor or select a block of text. When you drag and drop a parameter into the expression editor, it will replace any selected text or insert where the cursor is.

5. Copy one expression onto multiple params? Open the source PPG and lock it. Open your multi target PPG and lock it. Drag the source param onto the multi target to set the intial expression. This only sets an expression on the first param of your multi stack. Right-click on that param and copy animation. Paste animation back onto that same param, that pastes onto ALL params in the multi PPG.

pur9e
08-20-2004, 06:59 AM
I can't believe no one has mentioned it yet:

-Pivot point:

In any transformation mode, hold alt and click a component. You can now use that component as a center for transformation. Click the little arrow for more options. This works with well with manipulators active (a must) and component reference axes (right click the ref button). I can't model without this.

-Last property:

Control+end pops up the last operator in the current stack of an object. I use this a lot.

-Curve fit to region:

Really obsure, but shows the detailling in the development of XSI: in the fcurve editor, if you want to fit a selection of points, just rectangle selecting the keys and using fit will fit the whole curve. If you use the region select (i forget the shortcut), and then fit, you will fit only those keys.

-Symetrical selection:

Achieved through use of the f11 selection tool (paint) and the sym button.

pur9e
08-20-2004, 07:05 AM
As a technical animator type, here a list of my favorites... drag and drop between parameters:

2. To set an expression linking one param to another, drag and drop the empty param button from source to target. Target has a direct expression set to source.


Careful with yer terminology there. Link with is a different beast altogether, and creates a n fcurve relationship between parameters. It's not the same as =.


3. What if you have animation on the source, but wish to set an expression of source to target? Right-click on the target and open the expression editor. Make sure the expression editor turns gray by moving the cursor over the text entry box, then drag and drop the animated parameter into it.

I do this by cutting the animation, dragging the param like in the above method, then pasting the animation back onto the original source...just to illustrate the 101 ways to do things quickly in xsi.

They should totally be paying me. (totally!!11)

runejw
08-20-2004, 08:41 AM
For the newcomer to XSI (like me) I found the free video tutorials at Mesmer very instructive and illuminating. And it gives everyone waiting for their XSI 4.0 (Fnd) something to do :thumbsup:

http://www.mesmer.com/public/elearnframeset.php

Otherwise - awesome thread! Keep it up!

yog
08-20-2004, 09:14 AM
Simple (or complex) mathmatical functions are valid in a lot of places, especially in transform parameters. 360/(number) is especially useful when doing radial arrays.

dg
08-20-2004, 09:19 AM
Silly one but not everyone have noticed this, if you right click the Selection button in the Select menu it will open a list to quick access some usefull things like Kinematics, Surface Shader, Last Op in Stack, Viewing Properties among other things.

If you use the Move Point tool (M key) with the Proportional Mode tuned one you can use the R key in conjunction with the MMB to set the distance limit, also if you right click the Prop button in the Transform toolbar it will open the properties for the Proportional tool.

This one is really silly and can easily be found on the manuals but I think it haven't been mentioned so far so here it goes. Using the B key (Manipulator) you can hit the Tab key to cycle between the avaliable manipulators for the selection, usefull when dealing with lights.

Middle Mouse Button (MMB) in any menu button will repeat the last action done in it.

When using the Split Edge tool ([) if you click MMB it will split in loop.

Actually just keep tuned in the L, M and R icons below you're play controls to see the options for the tools you're a using.


Cheers,

horst hrubesch
08-20-2004, 10:48 AM
To do a quick uniform numerical scaling Shift+rightclick just below the S in the Transform Panel and enter your number in any field.

To enable shadows for spotlights in a v4 viewport go to Camera Icon above the view -> Properties... -> scroll down to Camera Display -> Switch on Realtime Shadows.

Example:

NewScene
CreatePrim "Grid", "MeshSurface"
SetValue "grid.grid.ulength", 75
SetValue "grid.grid.vlength", 75
CreatePrim "Cube", "MeshSurface"
SetValue "cube.kine.local.posx", 7
SetValue "cube.kine.local.posy", 11
DeleteObj "B:light"
GetPrimLight "Spot.Preset", "Spot"
SetValue "Spot.kine.local.posx", 40
SetValue "Spot.kine.local.posy", 35
SetValue "Spot.kine.local.posz", 10
SetValue "Spot.light.soft_light.shadow", True
SetValue "Camera.camdisp.rtshadowenable", True
SetDisplayMode "Camera", "OpenGL"
SetValue "Camera.kine.local.posx", 17
SetValue "Camera.kine.local.posy", 20
SetValue "Camera.kine.local.posz", 12
SetValue "Camera_Interest.kine.local.posy", 5
SetValue "Camera.camvis.gridvis", False
SetValue "Camera.camvis.objlights", False
CreatePrim "Sphere", "MeshSurface"
SetValue "sphere.kine.local.posx", -3
SetValue "sphere.kine.local.posy", 6
SetValue "sphere.kine.local.posz", 2
DeselectAll

yog
08-20-2004, 11:03 AM
To do a quick uniform numerical scaling Shift+rightclick just below the S in the Transform Panel and enter your number in any field.I just noticed that this works with Sheep's/JacO's circular virtual slider. Shift-RMB to sellect all 3 fields, circle with the LMB to alter the value. Only one value will alter whilst circling, but when you release you mouse button it is applied to the other two fields as well.

mr Bob
08-20-2004, 12:40 PM
Instanced models are your friends aswell , when modeling a character you might want to detach, merge the mesh , when you do so xsi creates a new polymesh and deletes the old (if you so choose) , well just drag and drop the new polymesh into the now empty Model structure and it will appear inn the instanced Model structure aswell , so no need to set it all up again ......

rob

CoolCalb
08-20-2004, 03:34 PM
another silly one.. but I just found out about it yesterday.. :)

- if you want to split an edge, and create a loop, just select the edge, and choose
poly_mesh>split edge with split control ... now just turn on "parallel edge loop, and ajust
the slider to locate the new looop... OR is you wish to split it in the middle, just select an edge,
and <shift> D, then check the parallel edge loop, and set the slider for how many subdiviions
you want...

- another little short-cut, when adding edges, if you click <ctrl> when adding edges (\ tool)
it will create it in the middle of the edge..

- oh.. and just that you'll know.. when you select a point/edge/face and <ctrl> + D to duplicate it, XSI will add an Extrude op for it.. so you can open it from the object's stack,
and you got the full extrude dialouge box there..

before yesterday, I used to select all the edges, and then split them.. to create a new loop..
:)

- if you copy (<ctrl> +C ) or cut (<ctrl>+X) and object, then select another object, and paste (<ctrl>+V) it will transform the copied object to the second object's location, and make it a child of that second object.

- you can right click the local transform from the kinemtics folder, "copy all animation" and
"paste all animation" to another object's local transform..




hope my tips helped at least one person .. hehe

ThE_JacO
08-20-2004, 06:42 PM
in any text field, assuming you have multiple selections, not only you can type simple maths operations, you can also use incremental linear and random values with L and R and indicating ranges for the values.

IE:
select 10 cubes, type in the Y translation box L(2,20) and, according to the order of selection the first will be moved up by 2, the second by 4, the third by 6 and so on.

typing R(1,10) will assign a random value inside that range.

dg
08-20-2004, 11:15 PM
When working with spot lights you can use the following shortcuts to tweak different parameters:

B then Tab activates the Light manipulator
Control+Click on the outer ring of the light cone toggles Light Falloff
Control+Shift+Drag in the middle of the light cone controls the distance of the light cone
Click+Drag in the Spread area (Yellow cone) will set the spread angle
Click+Drag in the white lines of the light cone will set the cone angle
Alt+Left and Right Arrows will toggle between Light and interest

Control+': Closes the PPG under the mouse pointer
Hitting Enter with something selected will open it's PPG

Alt+1: Toggles COG
Alt+2: Toggles Proportional Mode (Prop)
Alt+3: Toggles Symmetry Mode (Sym)
Alt+4: Toggles Parent/Object
Alt+5: Toggles Reference
Alt+6: Toggles Plane
Alt+7: Toggles Global
Alt+8: Toggles Local
Alt+9: Toggles View

J: With a projection selected tweaks the projection
Shift+J: With an object selected hides it's projections

yog
08-22-2004, 04:07 PM
Blending two shaders with a weight map
http://www.meshmonkey.eclipse.co.uk/cgtalk/WT_Blend_res.jpg
It took me a while to work this one out. I thought I could use the weight map in the "weight" slot of a mix2colours node, unfortunately this always gave odd results(seemed to override the image maps and just used the original colours from the Mix2colors node), so instead I used a gradient mixer with the weight map plugged into the Input slot and each Phong node plugged into a colour input.

http://www.meshmonkey.eclipse.co.uk/cgtalk/WT_Blend_RT.jpg

The weight map is extracted using a Map_lookup_color node.

http://www.meshmonkey.eclipse.co.uk/cgtalk/WT_Blend_MLU.jpg

yog
08-22-2004, 04:24 PM
Displacement maps.

In XSI by default black is the neutral colour on a displacement map, white is the maximum displacement, and mid-grey is halfway between.

http://www.meshmonkey.eclipse.co.uk/cgtalk/Disp_Sm.jpg

This means that by default any displacemnt map will always enlarge the volume of the surface it is applied to, with areas of black having the least "enlagement".

http://www.meshmonkey.eclipse.co.uk/cgtalk/Disp_res1.jpg

If you want a single displacement map to displace "in" as well as "out", it can be done with a Scalar_Math_Basic node with the operation set to Subtract and a value of 0.5 in Input2.

http://www.meshmonkey.eclipse.co.uk/cgtalk/Disp_RT.jpg
Now mid-grey will be the neutral area of the map, helping to keep the original surface volume.

http://www.meshmonkey.eclipse.co.uk/cgtalk/Disp_res2.jpg

ThE_JacO
08-22-2004, 07:06 PM
I suggest not to use the scalar math basic but rather use a change range.
old value range 0, 1, new value range -1,1

subtracting 0.5 you end up with the top value being different from the expected 1 when you need to do the maths for other displacments that don't need the range conversion and would force you to either adjust the geometry approximation value for the object or overload other trees that wouldn't need it.

both things can become tricky with groups and overrides.

aydinu
08-24-2004, 06:56 AM
I also have a very cool thing. You know how often you have to change your camera settings from NTSC to PAL or the otherway around or you want a different Default value for the Bevel command. You can change all the Default values of most of the Tools in XSI.

Here is how:
Go to this folder:
C:\Softimage\XSI_X.X\Data\DSPresets\Primitives simply uncheck the Read Only of the Preset you want to change. Now launch XSI change the values of that preset you made writable and save the values in the ppg and overwrite that Preset. Don't forget to make it read-only again and make a copy of the Preset before doing this

Aydin

withanar
08-24-2004, 08:25 AM
**PageUp button: Opens the most recent PPG, then browses back through your PPG history.
PageDown button: Moves forward through your PPG history.

CTRL-~ Closes current active PPG or view.

CTRL-Shift-Right-Click on a PPG title bar gives you access to the PPG source SPDL.



**-All time favorite.

withanar
08-24-2004, 10:02 PM
Something I appreciate is the precision you have over converting gray values into worldspace distance.

http://www.meshmonkey.eclipse.co.uk/cgtalk/Disp_Sm.jpg

Black = 0 SI units
White = 1 SI units

Displacements can be thought of as a push operator where the numerical value is distance in SI units in the normal direction (multiplied by the scale of your object center). So black = 0 distance travelled while white = 1 SI unit. Try it with a checkerboard texture in profile.

Use a Math>Change Range node if you want to precisely tune quantity and direction.
Make sure your object center scale = 1. Example:

Old Range Start: 0
Old Range End: 1
New Range Start: -1
New Range End: 1

This pushes black -1 SI unit into the surface, and white out 1 SI unit.

To push in 2 units, and out 5 units, set the range to the following:

Old Range Start: 0
Old Range End: 1
New Range Start: -2
New Range End: 5


You can also invert the values:

Old Range Start: 0
Old Range End: 1
New Range Start: 1
New Range End: 0

RayenD
08-26-2004, 10:37 PM
If you leave render region active (Q) and capture viewport it makes nice quick rendered preview instead of OGL only.

DougNicola
08-27-2004, 03:21 AM
This has got to be one of the coolest hidden gems I've seen so far. I found it on the XSI list, and it answers some questions and makes the workings of the TextureOp much clearer to me. The cool part is the second workaround...

For necessary context, here's the original question from FB:

"Is there any way I can move points in the texture editor and in the viewport at the same time?

I'm making a stone wall, so I have a really cool stone map and I want to model the wall edges so it doesn't look flat.
I aplied the texture to the geometry so I can match the points that I already have to the image.

The problem is that when I'm editing those point in the viewport they strech the texture along with my movements. So I'm making a new projection every time I move a point in order to don't strech it by editing points.

Is there any way to see the texture while editing the object, but when moving points don't strech the image? It will be something like rotoscoping the object having the texture aplied to it."

---Here's one workaround from Jérôme Couture-Gagnon:

"A workaround is to clone your object onto another one, and texture the cloned one with a projection.
Then, you can move the points on the source object, and look at the result on the textured clone, which should update without texture stretching."

---Here's the gem from Guy Rabiller:

"Here is another workaround, on the object itself ( you don't need a second object ):

1) Move a point of your object - for instance with 'm', just one point and one time, so you will see one 'MoveComponent' Operator appear.

2) Drag&Drop the 'TextureOp' Operator - found under the Texture Projection, directly on the 'MoveComponent' Operator.

Nothing happens, but this tells the 'TextureOp' to 'read' the Geometry at the 'MoveComponent' level.
( hidden 'read' connections from 'readed' operators.. ) At this point the texture projection will 'unstretch' itself regarding the moved point.

Now:
3) Right click on the 'MoveComponent' Operator -> Disabled From Here

4) Now you can edit your points, move them, the texture will stay 'in place', no deformation, no stretching, so you can freely move your points around to place them exactly where you want them to be regarding the texture.

5) Once you are finished editing your points, just delete the disabled 'MoveComponent' Operator.

Everything back to normal, if you now move a point, the texture will follow."
-------------------------------------

IMPORTANT EDIT: This was written for v3.5. After playing with this in 4, it looks like the correct step 5 is actually to "Enable from here," and not delete.

Really neat trick, and as an additional point, hovering your mouse over the TextureOp tells you where it is reading from. I've seen this before, but never really got it until I saw this trick.

tomzx
08-27-2004, 07:08 PM
holding ctrl while browsing in the left panel will make the next property window to not popup.

Martin_G_3D
08-27-2004, 11:06 PM
To do a quick uniform numerical scaling Shift+rightclick just below the S in the Transform Panel and enter your number in any field.


You can also hold shift and richtclick under S, R and T to have ALL values selected and modified. Or you could just ofcourse only do S, R or T or combinations.

Great Thread btw, I'm a newb but learned alot of handy stuff in this thread that probably some pro's don't even know off.. keep them coming.

SheepFactory
08-28-2004, 10:50 PM
Opening up help files in netview:

Drag drop the start.html file to netview or open it and copy the url to netview to view the XSI online help files inside XSI. that way you dont have to alt+tab between IE and XSI.

asis
08-30-2004, 05:46 PM
I am sure a lot of you already know this but these are things that increases my animation workflow in xsi.

-transform setup to go to a manipulator when you select an object
-create marking set for setting key on for example translation and rotation when you press alt-k

DougNicola
08-31-2004, 01:17 AM
Let's say you want to:

-preview 20 seconds of character animation
-change the preview as you watch and see it from any angle or distance
-preview at full-screen, full-frame, totally smooth, 24 fps
-get all this ready in less than one minute
-with a character that is about 85,000 triangles at one level of subd.

Fast Playback is your friend! (only catch, it will be wireframe!)

-Turn on Fast Playback in the view type menu.
-Open display options, performance tab
-Turn on Wireframe Capture Only and Use 3D cache
-Hit play and go!

XSI will make about three very quick passes as it caches the animation, then it will play back totally smooth as you track, dolly and orbit the animation to your heart's content.

SheepFactory
08-31-2004, 08:53 AM
This keeps getting asked:


To make the S key behave like the ALT key in maya go to preferences > Tools > Use alternate mapping.

Under transform options turn on use 3d manipulators to be able to move the manipulators in the viewport with the mouse.

preludian
09-01-2004, 12:42 AM
ok, here's something for the LWers among the xsi's.

Just first a quick quote from Ablefish, to important to get lost:

Under the Transform menu there is a toggle called Collapse Points for snapping/Absolute Translation. When it's on, you can tag points and set a value for them. If you leave it on, the center of that selection will move to the set value. Is that the same behaviour you're looking for? I tried it, perfect, but now how merge the extra points ( I used a sphere for a test )?
The sphere has 58 points but after collapsing one axis it should have 33 points.
Well, press t select and all the points, select Modify->Poly.Mesh->Filter Points. Deselect the cleanup selections and play with the distance slider to get what you want. Look at the points count and look at the view window.

Edit:All merged points/edges are drawn thick. Wrong, those are the double sided ones.
Can't manage to delete them, grrrr

Ablefish
09-01-2004, 01:05 AM
This is a very general tip - but try RIGHT-CLICK everywhere. There are context menus all over the place. One I use very often when modeling is to r-click on a component selection, you'll get a list of commonly used commands, and check out the short cut key for the commands. It's short work to select some faces, r-click the selection and press V (to dissolve, for example)

R-click on the render region border to access the ppg or save out a still or toggle the refresh.

Assign the Global command "Repeat" to something handy, I use the G key. It'll save you even more time than middle-clicking on a menu to repeat the last command.

Shift-d will subdivide selected edges.

You can duplicate passes by selecting them in the explorer and Ctrl-D. Note that in 4.0 your new passes will have a different output name so no accidental rendering over passes.

When you have Transformation Manipulators active, in the preferences you can adjust it so that when the mouse is outside of the manipulators, you get a free move (works on the plane of the viewport). Also - r-clicking outside the manipulators will give you a menu to adjust your transform reference/cog/prop/sym, etc...

Oh, and if you're using the Softimage 3D style (which I DON'T like...), you'll have to Alt-Right
click to get most of these context menus.

In 4.0 you can adjust the viewport to sync up with the current Construction Mode. This will let you view your enveloped and animated model in the context of the Modeling Mode, ie, with no deformations. Makes it a breeze to make modeling changes (then Freeze M button to freeze just the Modeling area of the history stack).

tachy0n
09-01-2004, 01:46 AM
ok, here's something for the LWers among the xsi's.
Edit:All merged points/edges are drawn thick. Wrong, those are the double sided ones.
Can't manage to delete them, grrrr
Generally in XSI you want to avoid any operation that produces coincident or overlapping faces, because those can be hard to get rid of. eg in the sphere example, i would first delete half the faces, to get a hemisphere then collapse the points.

preludian
09-01-2004, 01:50 AM
Generally in XSI you want to avoid any operation that produces coincident or overlapping faces, because those can be hard to get rid of. eg in the sphere example, i would first delete half the faces, to get a hemisphere then collapse the points.
Yeah, gives quite a headache to find a way to delete these double-sided polygons. I really can't imagine that there isn't a command for this. The only solution I can imagine right now is to export to LW, do the stuff and reexport to XSI again, can this be true??

tachy0n
09-01-2004, 04:12 AM
XSI doesnt let you have double sided polygons like you can in LW. You simply cant have 2 polygons with the same points, XSI will always insert a double edge to keep them seperate from each other. This also applies to other kinds of offending geom like more then 2 polys sharing the same edge etc. Even if you export/import from LW, XSI will still insert the double edges for the offending polygons. Your only option is to delete the extra polygons.

This is mainly because in XSI every poly mesh is a potential SubD just at div level 0, and the algorithms dont allow non-manifold geom. (even in other apps like Maya this limitation is present)

Facial Deluxe
09-03-2004, 07:45 AM
Link with tip
Let's say you're doing a "Link with" of a Obj A Y Rot Chanel with Obj B Z Pos Chanel. You also set various "Set Relatives Values" . This automaticly create an expression.
Now the cool part :
If you RMB on Obj A Y Rot Chanel (the one you applied "Link with") and choose "Animation Editor", you see a Fcurve with all your "Set Relatives Values" .
You can now edit/change those values to your liking, and, for example, create some super smooth transitions using the Slopes as the "Set Relatives Values" is reached.

withanar
09-07-2004, 09:46 PM
Here are some lesser known camera functions:

1- ALT-Right-Click on the empty space in any camera view, you'll get a camera specific context menu. From this menu you can:

-Start Capture
-Select Camera
-Select Interest
-Isolate Selection
-Set or reset the background colors
-Open camera properties

This works for any and all scene cameras, including the Object View. This is one way to get at many settings for the Object View camera that aren't directly available from the icons in the window.


2- Open a camera properties, lock it, and switch the PPG to the camera visibilities tab. Scroll down to Clipping Planes. Select some items in your scene and Clip To Selected. This will set your Near and Far camera clipping plane based on your selection. This works for selected components as well as objects, and comes in quite handy for many modeling situations.


3- Try the following script (jscript):

SelectObj("Views.View*.*");


This will select all your scene view cameras. You can press enter and edit the properties for all your scene cameras at the same time using the multi PPG that opens.

foxco
09-11-2004, 06:08 PM
I recently started using Isolate selection and isolate all options inside the camera Button menu

very useful with HUGE scenes or a quick object view, Just select your object and then go Camera(icon)>Isolate selection, then isolate ALL to return everything, its great becasue it doesnt change the visibility options in the objects(which can take AGES if you are working with a huge scene with lots of objects, it is instant

Fox

Facial Deluxe
09-13-2004, 07:07 AM
Moving UV trick

I don't know if everybody noticed, but the trick for having UV Projection modified at the same time as the modeling (ie M move point) has changed in something better :)

Lets say, you want a UV projection to follow your modeling :
Drag and drop the Texture OP on the Modeling Construction Mode node.
It follows !
Now you want this thing to stop :
Drag and drop the Modeling Construction Mode node on the Texture OP
it keeps the UV as is, stops following the modeling from now.

Ain't that powah..... :D

.oO-cloak-Oo.
09-13-2004, 07:51 PM
Moving UV trick

I don't know if everybody noticed, but the trick for having UV Projection modified at the same time as the modeling (ie M move point) has changed in something better :)

Lets say, you want a UV projection to follow your modeling :
Drag and drop the Texture OP on the Modeling Construction Mode node.
It follows !
Now you want this thing to stop :
Drag and drop the Modeling Construction Mode node on the Texture OP
it keeps the UV as is, stops following the modeling from now.

Ain't that powah..... :DOh this sounds very handy. Where can I find those nodes? I open up explorer and go to scene root, but can't find them anywhere. Can you be painfully more specific? I would really like to try this one out. :)

Facial Deluxe
09-13-2004, 11:18 PM
make a cube, move a point, open explorer, find your cube, open it, and open the P/Polygonmesh operator, it's in there. All the construction mode nodes and the operations you're doing are stored and accesible from there.

SevenString
09-17-2004, 07:45 PM
In Foundation, if you attempt to rig from a proportional guide, you get the funky behavior where it looks like it's working to rig from your guide, then all of the rigging disappears and you get the warning that you need to rig from the "proper" guide.

xzevlin had come up with a tip for getting the proper proportional guides through a net search (alt-5). However, I found that those biped and quadruped proportional guides ALREADY exist in my XSI samples/Models folder as:

BipedPropGuide.emdl
Quadruped_PropGuide.emdl

So even as a Foundation user, you can do an explicit "import" of the desired proportional guide from your local drive, then adjust and auto-rig away!!!

I haven't had a chance to work with these rigs yet, but according to xzevlin, there are some missing elements, such as "foot roll" in the rig. Still, it's a great rigging shortcut.


UPDATE: The foot roll and hip controls aren't missing: you just have to make sure that you do a full right-click select of the guide, otherwise certain rig elements don't get added. Also, you need to either use the default rigging options, or select one of the presets that includes foot roll.

This functionallity IS meant to be included with foundation. However, I can't find anyrhing in the documentation telling you that you have to explicitely import the guide models, which you do have to do.

Finally, I DID get the menu-created biped guide to rig by renaming the hierarchical sub-tree to match the sub-tree in the file-based guide (added the work "Details" to the name). This allowed the "rig from biped guide" to work, although elements such as ears and belly weren't available, and I noticed that the foot rig had fewer joints than the guide. I'm sure that this is due to the fact that Foundation includes only the "standard" character rigging scripts, without all of those little extras.

But hey, even this basic autorigging from a guide is sweet sweet sweet.

DimitrisLiatsos
09-22-2004, 10:02 AM
This keeps getting asked:


To make the S key behave like the ALT key in maya go to preferences > Tools > Use alternate mapping.

Under transform options turn on use 3d manipulators to be able to move the manipulators in the viewport with the mouse.,,,,furthermore (for Users from Maya to XSI) u can go to preferences and create a new keybord Layout and reassign W E R to work like Maya ....be carefull to assign what was under that keys to X C V .

EDIT. Then again here is the key mapping for XSI keyboard Layout to work as Maya's

You save this in C:\users\<USER>\Softimage\XSI_4.0_Foundation\Data\Preferences\KeyMaps

I have remmaped SPACE to work as Maya Space (switch 4-1-4 Viewports)
Render Region is NOT at Q ...It is under F12
SELECT is under Q
TRANSLATE is under W
ROTATE is under E
SCALE is under R
PAINT TOOL is under X
RESET CAMERA is under C
SELECT EDGE TOOL is under V

If u have any questions just write it here.

i hope i helped some of the Maya newcomers (as me ) to XSI

:bounce:

HapZungLam
09-30-2004, 10:51 PM
I dont' know if anyone knows this.

Shift+r for resetting your selected transformation.
Ctrl+shift+r to reset all the transformation.

preludian
09-30-2004, 10:53 PM
first one would be to bad to be forgotten, rray was the genious, who, after sitting for weeks at the computer and trying to find a way to do a shrink selection, came up with a cool mega script:

**Save as shrinkselection.js**

// Shrink Selection, but ,helas, with marked unselectable and hidden elements
// Big thankyou to rray for his easy but genious idea.
InvertSelection(null);
GrowSelection(null);
InvertSelection(null);

**

Another one is no real script but a way of inverting selections that I prefer. Most unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a growselection counterpart with the same options. What it does is to invert the selection but by checking for hidden or marked as unselectable elements and not inverting them to.

**Save as invertselection_x.js**

// Invert Selection but not the hidden or marked as unselectable elements
InvertSelection(null,siCheckComponentVisibility, true);

**


bye

HapZungLam
09-30-2004, 11:12 PM
Just discovered this one.

When you open bowser and drag a model into the scene will be set as Local. hold down Ctrl while dragging will turn the model as Reference model.

ps: preludian thx for reminding, sometimes I dont' regonize my speech is impolite. I don't really mean it most of the time. Maybe is a cultural thing. But thx very much, i removed it.

Bibo
10-06-2004, 08:56 AM
Capping holes without a plugin (and other - maybe - useful stuff)

Just a little workaround i found out and before switching to a plugin you should try this:

> select the edges of the hole
> press "Ctrl+D"
> press "Ctrl+Del"
> result: hole capped
> optionally you can get rid of the new edges by selecting and deleting them or select the middle vertex and press "Ctrl+Del"

I don´t use this function very often so its quite handy for me although it´s not a "one-click" solution.

Also, when selecting objects play around with combinations of "Shift", "Ctrl", "Alt" with RMB clicking. Depending on the component you select, different but very useful things happen. Or: select a component, and try combinations of "Shift", "Ctrl", "Alt" and "Del".

Another hint i might propose is to open and watch the script editor. While working you can just mark the commands you use quite often and drag-and-drop them onto a custom toolbar. I.e. batching commands you use much etc.
Luckily all commands in XSI are almost self-explanatory so every artist with absolutely no programming background (like me) should perform low level scripting very easy.


Regards

Bibo

DimitrisLiatsos
10-07-2004, 12:07 AM
Capping holes without a plugin (and other - maybe - useful stuff)

Just a little workaround i found out and before switching to a plugin you should try this:

> select the edges of the hole
> press "Ctrl+D"
> press "Ctrl+Del"
> result: hole capped
> optionally you can get rid of the new edges by selecting and deleting them or select the middle vertex and press "Ctrl+Del"

I don´t use this function very often so its quite handy for me although it´s not a "one-click" solution.

....

U can do that in one click by selecting the points around hole and click in Weld Boundary Point/Edges with Bridge checked and a value around 3.5-4 :bounce: ....but i think your way is cool also :)

HapZungLam
10-07-2004, 05:16 PM
tag a point or points, hold down ALT and press arrows will select the next point. This works with multipule selections.

Fluckrat
10-17-2004, 08:25 PM
I recently started using Isolate selection and isolate all options inside the camera Button menu
very useful with HUGE scenes or a quick object view, Just select your object and then go Camera(icon)>Isolate selection, then isolate ALL to return everything, its great becasue it doesnt change the visibility options in the objects(which can take AGES if you are working with a huge scene with lots of objects, it is instant
Fox
Another similar tool to this that can help immensely with large/heavy scenes is the various update options XSI offers. The menu sits down on the bottom bar of the interface next to the playback controls. Inside are options to update: the whole scene, only the selection, Mixed objects, SRT (this is nice), Geometry, SRT (selection), Geom (Selection), or a custom blend of these driven by distance from the camera.

I have to admit I still forget these are there myself.... but when I do remember it certainly puts a smile on my face.....

foxco
10-21-2004, 10:13 PM
Just some usefull hotkeys

great for animators and riggers

Reset translation - Change to - numpad 0
Reset Rotation- change to - ctrl + numpad 0
Reset scale - change to - alt + numpad 0

great for large lagging scenes

Isolate Selection- change to - alt+S
Isolate all -change to -alt+A

great for modeling

Toggle prop modeling- - D < the duplicate tool can be so frustrating on D!

and my new addition of the shrink selection script on - shift + -


Cheers
Fox

HapZungLam
10-22-2004, 05:45 PM
I think that's some personal interest of changing keys.

Same thing that I do, i assign Alt+D for clone (since ctrl+D is dublicate)

i also assigned

Alt+F1 is default layout
Alt+F2 is auto hide layout

So i can switch it around quickly.

Did i mention to assign Ctrl+F for all of your freeze operation? i think i did.

mattmos
10-25-2004, 04:48 PM
Favourite modelling shortcut of the day: press ] and mmb click on an edge and drag then release to insert an edgeloop.

Marked parameters in XSI rock, especially when creating synoptics, in conjunction with a little scripting they allow you to select multiple objects within the synoptic view, key selected, etc with a script that can be applied to any model with minimal changes. Speeds up animation time no end...

CoolDuck
10-30-2004, 01:15 PM
Right click on the tabs of the main command area (right side) and you can show or hide those groups of buttons. Very handy to hide stuff you don't need, especially on a smaller screen rez.

Strang
10-31-2004, 11:12 PM
i think someone mentioned using alt- in conjunction with the move point tool to well that point to a target. but if you remember in 3.5 and later you could only weld 2 points at a time. and now that option isn't there anymore. well it is.. and its better. well select n points. then go to weld to target and just right click to end tool. and the selected points will be welded, and meet in the middle like the previous weld worked. except it will work with more than 2 points... :) i am glad i stumbled on this. cause i like the weld to target. but sometimes i still need just weld points and average their position.

-steven

CraigT
11-02-2004, 01:08 AM
This is probably more of a "heads-up" than anything else but the manual is wrong about how to use an image sequence for mapping. First off, you can manually browse to a folder containg a sequence and it will show a file name in the format of "ClipName[1..299;4].tga" or "ClipName.[1..299;4].tga". The number after the ";" is the number of places used in the sequence's name, such as 001 or 0001. Click on that filename and the sequence will be used. This same format can be used in the Scipt Editor instead of the format the manual shows and it will work(the example format given in the manual doesn't). It looks to me like 4.0 got a very nice improvement that didn't get documented. :-)

cgJD
11-12-2004, 12:23 AM
Following on from one of the first posts about adjusting properties for multiple objects:

If you have loads of different objects selected (especially different types) the 'explorer selected' button will often not give common properties (like visibility) and will defintely not give properties only common to some of the items.

To get around this open the specific property dialog box (eg Geom Approx) you want to view before selecting multiple items. The proprties dialog will switch to displaying the property if it exisits on any (doesn't need to exist on all) object. Very handy if you select lots of items and accidentally select some you didn't intend to.

Also on the same line - use the spreadsheet! - it is very very handy - but don't go anywhere near the 'name column' it is very very easy to rename all the objects in your scene hand1, hand2, hand3, hand4 ... hand257 if you happen to have everything selected then highlight one single object (you will know what I mean if u've done it).

The spreadsheet is however is very handy for checking high poly counts on objects - and over-exuberant use of the subdivide keys. Anything that you need to apply to lots of objects or see an at a glance overview of objects.

On the subject of high poly counts - it is very useful to have the Scene / selected polycount display in the viewport. Pick the eye in a particular viewport and select 'Visibility Options' and look in the visual cues tab. If you havent done so already have a look through all the tabs there as there are some handy tools to have on-screen.

Hope my first post was a little bit of use.

----------------------------------
JD
CG Job Hunter
http://www.jonathandavies.co.uk
----------------------------------

Strang
11-12-2004, 05:08 AM
this one is in response to cgJD...

renaming multiple objects like you have stated is actually pretty easy this way.

select those objects you with to rename. and hit enter. the name field will pop up.. rename ti something like "bigbox" and all the objects will be bigbox bigbox1 bigbox2 etc etc. this how i rename multiples the samething with consecutive suffix.

also..

lately i have been using F3 a lot. instead of hitting 8 for the explorer or hitting the selection or explore button on the right. F3 will load a popup explorer with your selection in focus. when i need to get a custom ppg up that is on an object. i just hit F3 and hit the icon.. the popup leaves and ppg comes up. if you hit F3 and that object has a synoptic it will load the synoptic so be aware..

-Steven

Odrakir
11-18-2004, 02:08 PM
This is one of the greates post I've ever seen read! :)

I bought XSI today, so I'll come here often.

An easy one:
- Clicking on the Maximize icon at the top-right corner of a view maximizes it (¡wow!... :p)
- MMB Click maximizes it horizontally
- Control+MMB maximizes it vertically

Odrakir
11-19-2004, 03:18 PM
And another easy one:

When reassigning texture connections in the Render Tree you can keep shift pressed so when you let go the LMB the window with the... (how do you call that?) the things you can connect to doesn't close and you can select more than one.

Expample: You want to connect some texture to surface, shadow, photon of the material. Instead of clicking the red button, dragging it an let go over the material 3 times you can do it once with shift pressed and select three... of those... things... (man, bad english vocabulary day!)

pur9e
11-25-2004, 05:43 AM
tag a point or points, hold down ALT and press arrows will select the next point. This works with multipule selections.
Sorry for the contradiction, but this isn't accurate. Alt+arrows traverses a component hierarchy by number; there is no guarantee that the components selected will actually be next to the ones you started with.

I used to think it did what you said, but I noticed odd behavior, and asked support, who clarified for me.

CoolCalb
11-29-2004, 11:00 AM
Sometimes when using Gloss and Frost in the Transperancy/Reflection tabs, you need a really
low value, but XSI wouldnt let you go under 0.001..

here's a trick to fool XSI:

go to frame 1 , enter 0 in the Gloss or Frost, set a key.
go to frame 10 or so, and set 0.001 , then save another key.
Open the Animation Editor, and make the curve linear, now check in the Render Region
in which frame the Gloss/Frost looks good, and in the AE, insert a key in the current time,
then delete the other keys...

XSI might show a value of 0, or 0.001 in the Gloss/Frost parameter, but it will render
the actual value that we just keyd..

:wise:

Martin_G_3D
11-30-2004, 01:14 PM
Here's a few I've collected (some obvious, some not, all very useful for me):

1. Use F3 to popup object properties context window

7. Loop/Range component selection -- This is super! Ctrl-click to select a loop (one for an edge, two for polys or points). Alt-click two components (start and end) to select a range. This is how it works with Softimage 3D selection model. I think the XSI selection model works a bit differently.


to add to that:

1. with your object selected, rightclick the Selection button in the Select MCP and you have quick access to all ppg's related to you object like kinematics and material

7. If you use xsi selection model its even easier; alt+LMB is for Range and alt+MMB is for Loop

larious
12-04-2004, 01:19 AM
Few more tricks on transform panel.

When in the transform mode : (Changing keys between x,y,z in S,R,T mode)
-Double click the lmb activates the x axis
-Double click the mmb activates the y axis
-Double click the rmb activates the z axis
-Ctrl key+Doubleclick on *left *middle *right mouse button to add any transform axis
-Double clicking the activated axis again brings back all three axis
:shrug:

pixeloddity
12-22-2004, 11:11 PM
These arejust some tips not really things in XSI necissarily...

- boolean is bad. dont do it unless you have to. (learned it the hardway)
- Buy a keyboard, do not try to do 3d wtih a laptop keyboard, it just doesnt work. (like if you want to meshsmooth something and its pitch dark in your room, you have to go turn on the numkey, and hten search for the lil + sign in the middle of your keyboard on the side of the 1/8th of inch tall keys... then you have to remember to turn it back off[always forgot that part])

erebos
01-07-2005, 01:16 PM
probably not something that no one knows about, but regardless i found it quite handy once i found it:

Gauge the Render Progress
Sometimes on really complex photon or f.g scenes, xsi seems to take forever to render and i was never really sure if it was working and how long it would take. To get xsi to log progress reports on renders, go to the render options, select the logged messages tab and then select the level of messages you please. Now open up the script editor before renders and it will show the progress of the render, including how far it is along sampling gi or fg or whatever else.

This is also very useful for checking to see that your photon effects or raytracing is working properly because xsi churns out all sorts of details like number of photons reflected and the sampling rates.

dmonk
01-11-2005, 05:42 PM
Just found this.


You can hide selected polygons. I had no idea until I did it by accident one day.

Sorry if someone already mentioned this.

HAYK´AP
01-17-2005, 05:55 PM
Just found this.


You can hide selected polygons. I had no idea until I did it by accident one day.

Sorry if someone already mentioned this.


You forgot to say how do you do this, and maybe someone knows how to do the oposite, like isolating the selected polygons only, when I used isolate selecte, it isolates the whole object. if i am working in lests say the hand of a character, how can I isolate just the hand=?

You can customize the layout to work in a kind of EXPERT MODE.
Aplication > Layouts > Auto Hide. Full sreen.

But this lets the animation panel at the botton still visible, sot that frequently used when you are just modeling... I then created a new layout based on this one, and delete the animation panels.

Cool, but, I cant find a way to map this to a key, since this new layout does not appear in the keymapping panel.

The nice thing about these, is that if you need to go to the panels on the sides, you just have to move the mouse to one of those areas and the panels would pop-up.


Regards.!

dmonk
01-17-2005, 06:27 PM
You forgot to say how do you do this

Sorry!

Just select the polygons you want to hide and hit the "H" button.

Vertizor
02-15-2005, 12:47 AM
Sorry if this is a repeat. I'm just so excited I have to post about it... er... without searching first. Wouldn't no what to search for. Anyways, enough babbling.

I've been modeling a human head by working on one half and having a cloned mirror for the full effect. It was bugging me how the ortho viewport only has the "Right" option and not left. I tried object mode, but if you've tried object mode before, you know how it's not the same as a true ortho view.

The reason why this was such an annoyance to me is because I like to switch between wireframe, hidden line removal, and depth cue rendering styles, depending on how much I need to see. The problem with depth cue and hidden line removal modes is that the cloned half would obscure my working model (I removed selectability on the clone so not to get mixed up but the lines are still visible) and again, object mode can't help me in this situation.

So how did I resolve this? See those XYZ buttons in the viewport menu, just to the right of the camera and eyeball icons? RIGHT MOUSE click on the X and it flips the viewport on that axis. So for this Right ortho camera view, it does exactly what I need it to do, show me the left side without messing with the geometry itself (I tried scaling it on the -x to invert it and clone it again so that my working model would be "on top").

The side view is the only view that I run into this problem, simply because of the 2 halves overlapping each other in that view. Just a bit of XSI "sum-ting sum-ting" that I just learned (and prolly would have learned earlier if I RTFM). So again, if it's been discussed before or if it's just common knowledge I appologize for the redundancy!

SatoriGFX
02-17-2005, 08:27 PM
probably not something that no one knows about, but regardless i found it quite handy once i found it:

Gauge the Render Progress
Sometimes on really complex photon or f.g scenes, xsi seems to take forever to render and i was never really sure if it was working and how long it would take. To get xsi to log progress reports on renders, go to the render options, select the logged messages tab and then select the level of messages you please. Now open up the script editor before renders and it will show the progress of the render, including how far it is along sampling gi or fg or whatever else.

This is also very useful for checking to see that your photon effects or raytracing is working properly because xsi churns out all sorts of details like number of photons reflected and the sampling rates.

Thanks for the tip, but to add to it:

I just tried your method (because I too have had renders that I thought simply were not progressing) and discovered that you don't need the script editor open. Once you set logged messages to "progress reports" you can watch the progress in the status bar.

Adam.

Scotcho
02-22-2005, 09:08 AM
-Another useful hotkey I use quite often while modelling is: I + Alt + MMB . This selects a line going around the object, such as a newly created edge loop for example.
-The F hotkey also frames the selected object in the explorer aswell.

Strang
02-22-2005, 02:23 PM
yes the new edgeloop selection features are great.

to get an edge ring select 1 edge then alt + MMB a parallel edge and it will do a ring select.

there is also a range select. select 1 edge then a alt+LMB another edge anywhere. and it will try to find the quickest route to the other edge.

also keep in mind pressing alt is assuming your using default selection options. for anyone using the older SI|3D model. then its actually ctrl + ___

yog
02-26-2005, 08:03 PM
I often bring meshes into XSI using the OBJ format, and then always have to remove the "User_Normals" clusters, and sometimes other material or UV clusters.
It's not too hard to delete these clusters, but it can be a pain to navigate to them for every object and select the right one.

Solution ? Copy either of these lines to the script editor and run them. Afterwards you can drag them onto a toolbar if you want to create a permanent button.

DeleteObj "*.polymsh.cls.User_Normal_Cluster.User_Normal"

= Deletes the User Normal element from the User Normal Cluster, but leaves the other clusters like UV information, from every object in the scene.

DeleteObj "*.polymsh.cls.*"

= Deletes all clusters, including user normals, UV and material definitions.

ray
03-08-2005, 06:37 PM
Just discovered this shortcut, was new to me so...

Right clicking the "selection" button opens up this practical menu:

Kinematics...
Surface Shader...
Last operator in stack...
-----------------------
General Properties
Modeling Properties
Animation Properties
Rendering Properties
Simulation Properties
Viewing Properties
Custom Properties
All Properties


also accessible via alt-RMB but I find this nicer. The alt-RMB menu is huge.

______________________________________________________________________


A trick I use during modeling on highres models, which is similar to ZBrush's "hide outside rect".

If you're reaching your machine's speed limit with your model, do an "extract from polygons (delete)" on the part of the model that you're working on.

Then freeze the extracted part and continue working with it instead of the grand model. This will be much faster obviously. Just take care not to modify the boundary points.

When finished then, just merge the two parts together again.

SheepFactory
03-23-2005, 05:38 PM
Posted by Sil3 who obviously still doesnt know where to post this stuff :)


"Hi

Here is a small trick to be abble to export/import Ploted Shape clips from scene to scene like regular animation clips:

- Select the froozen shape clip.
- RMB and choose Source, in the PPG that opens, simply Save it using the save button.
- Then just load it into the mixer in another scene with Load from file.

Hope it helps someone not loosing hair on it "

Samurai Hack
03-24-2005, 04:01 PM
So how did I resolve this? See those XYZ buttons in the viewport menu, just to the right of the camera and eyeball icons? RIGHT MOUSE click on the X and it flips the viewport on that axis. So for this Right ortho camera view, it does exactly what I need it to do, show me the left side without messing with the geometry itself ...
...So again, if it's been discussed before or if it's just common knowledge I appologize for the redundancy!

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure those buttons are a little more complex than that. They're still really cool though. With any object selected, they actually show an orthagonal view from the objects local axis. LMB for the positive axis and RMB for the negative axis. I've found them quite handy for seeing any necessary view of any object in a scene, especially ones that have been rotated in various ways.

m_isner
03-27-2005, 07:58 PM
Hey here's a cool one I found last week I didn't know about and I've been using XSI forever...

In XSI you can draw curves that go through the control points exactly with Curve > Draw Curve by Knot points. But if you want to rig up behavior that always sticks through the points it's trickier.

Previously I was either using operators like the one's at the bottom of this page:
www.softimage.com/guild (http://www.softimage.com/guild)
or making little bezier handles by doing a bspline left handle point, 3 points in a row for the center then a right handle point and rigging them under a single parent and rotate it around to control the interpolation.

However I just figure out there is a way easier faster way to do it... what I didn't realize is that Model > Curve > Fit on Curve goes exactly through the control points on a linear spline. That's very different that the old SI3D where it just tried to fit the linear shape.

So the trick is:
1) Draw a linear curve through the points you want to go through. Rig to control that curve.
2) Model > Curve > Fit on Curve to have a curve that goes exactly through the points.
3) Tweak the Subdivsion level for how tightly to fit.

Could be this is commen knowlege or others know about it, this has been possible since 1.0, but it slipped by me so I figured it's a good tip.

Take care,
Michael Isner

m_isner
04-02-2005, 11:28 PM
Ok here’s another area in XSI with lots of secrets that are not well known: springs.
In general there are 3 different kinds of springs in XSI and they all are good depending on what you are doing:



======== Spring Type 1: Rigid Body Spring ==========
located: Simulate > Rigid Body > Rigid Constraint > Spring
> These springs are bests for dynamics like robots or plates of lava or anywhere where you need bi-directional control like a necklace on a character or hanging telephone pole.
> You can also wire the springs into explosions and stuff like that to make chunks of debris stick together.



======== Spring Type 2: Evolve Op Spring ==========
> This is the newest Spring in XSI it was introduced in 4.2. The main purpose of this spring is for secondary animation that works over a renderfarm.
> located: (draw a linear curve for tail shape) > Animated > Skeleton > Create Tail.
> also located in Essentials + Advanced Biped Guide if you duplicate off the tail bone to create a tail or use a stomach.

This spring is very powerful having lots of options to blend between animation and simulation. It also has a bunch of different caching modes so you can do stuff like scrub backwards through your dynamics.

You can also apply this spring on single objects through scripting:

//--- start jscript here
var mysource = ActiveSceneRoot.AddActionSource("MySpringSource");
var a = CreatePrim("sphere", "NurbsSurface")
var b = CreatePrim("Sphere", "NurbsSurface")
Translate(a,10,10,10);
var opcoll = ApplySpringOp
(a+","+b, // simulated object, control object
40, // mass
5, // stiffness
3, // damping
mysource.FullName // spring simulation cache
);
InspectObj(opcoll(1));
//--- end script here

Make sure you experiment with Rest State and Initial State it’s on a bit of a diagonal by default.

======== Spring Type 3: Special Projects Spring ==========

A couple years ago Special Projects put a spring operator in XSI scripting to help solve some of the challenges at high end accounts. That spring operator is still in XSI and even has some new features not well known.

> located: Scripting (ApplyOp)


In general this spring carries bounce a lot more than a textbook spring algorithm. The only disadvantage is it’s live like a videogame so you need to plot if you are going to send it to a renderfarm.

The new features in 4.0 were:

> mute slider: Will blend between the spring being active and inactive. So you can blend out springy animation.

> init: When active drains all the energy out of the simulation. So if you have a very bouncy system you can blend the mute to 0, key init on for one frame and then when you blend back out you won’t have the carry over of all the bouncy energy.

//--- start jscript here
var a = CreatePrim("Cube", "MeshSurface")
var b = CreatePrim("Cube", "MeshSurface")
a.length = 3;
b.length = 3;
var op = ApplyOp("Spring",a +";"+b);
InspectObj(op);
//--- end script here

Hope people find this useful,
Michael Isner

incubism
04-07-2005, 06:38 AM
I thought I would add my Favourite.
Under transform set the mode to `Enable tranform manipulators'.
You can now toggle between your previous transform mode and the `Enable transform manipulator' mode by middle clicking on the `Transform' button.
While in `Enable transform manipulator' mode in a scene with a few poly objects select a point and then grab one of the manipulator handles and hold down control and the point will snap only on the axis selected in relation to any point which falls under the square (which in this mode appears) under the mouse.
Snapping to deadly accuracy.

foxco
04-11-2005, 07:44 AM
nice post Isner

For those who are intrested in the spring operator and dont have a clue whats going on in the above post :argh: . u can easily test it out by doing the folowing

1. open script editor

2. type this
applyop "spring" ,,2

(the editor should be VB script by default but if its in jscript mode change it to vb)


3 select two objects and "Run" the script from the editor. The first object u selected will be "attached to the end of the spring" and the Spring will follow the second selected object.

4. to edit the spring properties= open the explorer and expand the "First selected object" to >kinematics>Global>pos>posx,y or z. you should see an "S" on the posistion values, Expand one more time and click that "S"Spring to get the spring properties

5. PLAY, key the "Second Selected Object" in a few positions and see what the values will do

================

or use Isners Quick little script
(Change editor to jscript and make sure immediate mode is off the run his script :D)
//--- start jscript here
var a = CreatePrim("Cube", "MeshSurface")
var b = CreatePrim("Cube", "MeshSurface")
a.length = 3;
b.length = 3;
var op = ApplyOp("Spring",a +";"+b);
InspectObj(op);
//--- end script here

just mentioned the other way of making them incase you want to start using the spring on different obects than cubes and to give a better understanding of whats going on when u make the spring :D
=================
Ciao!

Chad Fox

foxco
04-11-2005, 07:51 AM
This next tip was given to me by close friend of mine and is very useful

If you want to Cut (knife tool) but dont want it to go across the whole object. Select the Polygons you want to Cut and use the Knife Tool!
GREAT for making strait Lines across Large Distances of polygons


I find that no one knows this but its one of those things staring us right in the face :D

Chad Fox

Gandhi_SVT
04-21-2005, 03:46 PM
Punch in the basic /, *, - or + i.e /60/2.3 = 26.087) directly in the input boxes and get the result. No Calc needed :)

NeptuneImaging
05-01-2005, 07:28 PM
When you set a property for a spotlight, such as volumic properties, if you Start a Capture, and play it back, you will notice that the light self-animates. A time saver for those who are trying to mimic splinter cells lighting.

francescaluce
05-05-2005, 01:02 AM
by making a shortcut to the xsi->open Attachments cmd (/default F3), you'll get an on fly
explorer 'embeded' window if any attachment, for the scene or objs selected.

http://img62.echo.cx/img62/6843/xsitrickoa4eb.jpg


/f

leigh
05-09-2005, 07:14 PM
Don't know if this one has been mentioned before, but I just realised it today and it's fantastic:

When editing UV maps, the polynode bisectors (those little lines eminating from each vertex in the UV viewport) are really useful for grabbing and creating your own seams in overlapping areas of the UV map.

ThePumpkinKing
05-26-2005, 02:22 AM
To expand on what someone had said earlier, holding CTRL turns snapping on, but holding it can also temporarily turn it off for features that have snap turned on by default, like when you move the center of geometry. This can really help.

JoeW
05-28-2005, 06:35 AM
If you are in any geometry mode (Object, Polygon, Edge, Tag) and hit the Backspace key, your selection arrow will have an "X" in a circle - this then becomes the amazing Object/Polygon/Edge/Point deleting tool - makes cleaning up geometry really slick and fast - and it won't leave behind geometry that doesn't make sense - like an edge leading into the middle of a polygon (just hit Backspace again to exit the mode).


For those with less than a 1600X1200 screen resolution, you can Right-Click on the headings in the MCP (Layers, Select, Transform, etc) and temporarily collapse the sub-menus - helps eke out a little more screen space.

JoeW

DrAdamDinosaur
06-22-2005, 11:52 PM
Something I just found out that renewed my faith in XSI.

If your having problems scrubbing the timeline, getting realy choppy playback then go:

Playback>Playback/Audio preferences... then change the default scrubbing mode to "Direct seek"


You may already know this, but or those who don't, its a life saver.

Chingis
06-30-2005, 10:40 PM
Two Selection tips:


1.) This tip is more useful if you have "select adjacent polygons" and "select adjacent points" assigned to hotkeys. The idea is that you select the adjacent component type of what you already have selected and it selects every other one.

For example: Make a grid and select one polygon. If you select adjacent polygons of the selected polys several times you will get a checker-pattern selection.
Select a row of polygons on a sphere and do the same - it will select every other row. This works with points and edges as well. It is usefull for selecting every other component and making interesting, and sometimes very useful selection patterns.


2.) This tip involves selecting "unconventional edgeloops" and is best explained with pictures...

SilentPartner
07-04-2005, 02:14 PM
in the transform panel, you can SHIFT+RMB on the stripe botton (the button that enables all 3 axes). doing so will highlight all 3 numeric input boxes for the tranformation. in this mode, entering a value in one of the highlighted input boxes applies the same value to all axes.

TheLostVertex
08-11-2005, 07:40 PM
One that i found the other day. Clicking the middle mouse button on any expandable menu in the UI will repeat the last command for it. So if you make a cube and want another one with out duplicating it, you can just click with the MMB on "primitives" and there you go. Wonder why it took my so long to find this one O_o

-Steven

Strang
08-12-2005, 02:27 AM
One that i found the other day. Clicking the middle mouse button on any expandable menu in the UI will repeat the last command for it. So if you make a cube and want another one with out duplicating it, you can just click with the MMB on "primitives" and there you go. Wonder why it took my so long to find this one O_o

-Steven

i train new employees and its one of the first things i show. why? cause they will ask where is my shaded hotkey? or camera switch.. so i show them that and they can flip back and forth fast enough where they are happy.

zukezuko
08-12-2005, 02:55 AM
Just a stupid little thing :

When you need to render for example only 3 out of 9 passes
select them in the explorer and then "render Current Pass",
this will render only the selected ones.

I noticed this few days ago when i was hitting render current pass
and it didnt, wth...

chipmandoo
08-15-2005, 03:21 AM
1)You can have a Custom Parameter in any object, not just in a set.

Select your object, Click SHIFT-P make your parameter.

Then with the object selected, right click on the selection button on the right hand panal (just above the transform section) and click Custom Properties.

A PPG will open with the name of the object and the custom Parameter you just made

although it does create a custompset in the object, just saves a step i suppose

2) You can CTRL-MIDDLE MOUSE CLICK on a button to redo the last operation without opening the creation PPG (good when getting primatives)

NeptuneImaging
09-08-2005, 12:29 AM
In XSI, when you create a new primitive, you can drag any of the properties of existing properties to the new one:

Example, create a simple sphere and assign it a glass shader and turn into a SUBD surface (a Doo Sabin will be fine here). Now create another primitive (I'll make a square) and open the the explorer and select a parameter of the sphere such as Geometry Approximation and drag that parameter to the square. Now the square has the Doo Sabin SUBD method :)

NRG-Alpha
09-12-2005, 03:49 AM
Just found it from ThE_JacO again:

<Lightning>Select spot interest: ever searched for a spot interest in a large scene with full of nulls? This function is for you.

what's so hard with, when you have the spot selected, hitting alt+rightarrow to select the interest (traverse hierarchy)?

I just wanted to say that this thread rocks so hard it isn't even funny! :)
I just went through alot of these tips and WOW! 5 Star rating for sure!

Onto my contribution, which actually builds on preludian's tip. Indeed, when you have the spot selected, and you press alt+right arrow, the corresponding spot interest will get selected. In fact, it doesn't matter if you press alt+right arrow or alt+left arrow, the will both work, and if you keep pressing alt+right or left arrow, the selection will alternate between spot and spot interest.

But what's more is that if you have the spot or spot interest selected and you press alt+up arrow, you get the Spot Root selected.. Conversly, you can press alt+down arrow to go back down the hiearchy of selecting the spot or spot interest!

On top of that, you can use the alt+up or down or left or right arrow keys in conjunction with the shift key to append to your selection.

You know when you select the spot and the spot interest and you press delete, the spot root remains behind in your scene? Using preludian's tip in conjunction with mine, it's very easy to get rid of all elements very quickly and painlessly.

Simply select your spot, then hold down shift+alt+ either left or right arrow, (this will select both the spot and interest) then while still holding down the shift+alt, press the up arrow (this adds the spot root to the selection). Lastly, double tap the delete key..poof! the entire three element spot light system is completely deleted from your scene!

It sounds alittle complicated until you try it.. it isn't so bad.Of course, you can also press the scene button on the right side panel of the interface, select the light you want to delete and simply delete it :) Different strokes for different folks!)

Cheers,

NRG

EternalArt
09-26-2005, 03:43 AM
Tip :
Befor Your save scene , draw render region On Any Area you want .
After that save your scene .
The scene will be take thumbnail From region ..

finalgathering
09-28-2005, 05:43 PM
Hi, don't know if these have been mentionned as I don't have time to read, I tried to be creative.

-'d' short when pressed swhitches to xray mode and allows you to select the next bone for weight painting.

-(I like this one) Assuming you have many sliders you want to move like (finger bones) at the same time by adding an additive value. Example-get a sphere mark some of the entries in "geometry" tab click F4 move curser out of the ppg to the viewport and drag. All marked sliders will move.

-draw a render region- assuming you want to edit properties just right-click on the yellow crop mark and click properties or save region as...

-All numeric input fields can be used as a calculator eg 4+9-11 click enter

-your value is 1111.1 you want to move the object up by .5 , in the numeric box just type ".5+"

- r(1,100) gives random values from 1-100 . l(1,100) moves them linearly -Try this, get 10 spheres select them all, on xpos put l(1,100).

-To see framerate on any window ctrl+R and left mouse click on window

-I rarely use explorer only F3 (select object first)

Hope u like-em.




Manny Papamanos, Graphics Support Engineer / CREATE>SOFTIMAGE>XSI

SheepFactory
10-12-2005, 07:46 PM
Posted by Chinny:

To save render settings:

"if you look in your local netview (rendertools 4.0) install the addon and there is an option to save the settings and a whole lot more

Chinny"

DrRoboto
10-17-2005, 10:54 PM
With a scene open that contains a physX rigid body simulation, holding the right shift and right control keys down when you go forward a frame will generate a physX core dump file ("c:\\physx_core_dump"). This core dump contains a partial readout of the current physics environment. It reports the rigid bodies, their geometry and material properties, but is missing the rigid constraints (joints) and any forces on the objects.

JoeW
10-21-2005, 06:30 PM
just wondering but arent most of these tips documented in the manual?

Some of them are, but many aren't. They will show up in tutorials and in other odd places, but there really isn't a part of any one manual that spells out a lot of this stuff (which would be nice if there was).

Another tip: If XSI starts getting weird on you - suddenly slowing display performance, disappearing menus, blank preference boxes, etc - BEFORE you decide to reinstall drivers and/or XSI, go to your C:\Users\<your name>\Softimage\ and move the XSI_XX number folder out of that directory - then restart XSI. XSI will create a new user/preferences folder, and very often this will fix any weirdness you're experiencing. Just be aware that you may have to reinstall some addons and presets....

JoeW

maybelle
10-27-2005, 11:21 AM
Do you guys know the usage of ' . ' (dot)? It repeats the order you just did.
Same as 'g' in maya.

arvid
11-02-2005, 10:38 PM
I accidently discovered that right-clicking the titles/menus on the MCP (select,transform,snap, constrain, edit) at the right side minimizes the panels, I guess that's real handy if you happen to be on a low res monitor :)

dwigfor
11-13-2005, 02:33 AM
Just discovered how to create primitatives at a different position.. After you create the prim, make sure snapping is set to points, and then hold v, hold ctrl and pick your closest point.

SheepFactory
01-17-2006, 07:46 AM
This one is by Jaco ,

To create a Shadow only light:

use an ultralow intensity and a high negative umbra value.

IE: if you want the equivalent of umbra 0 something like intensity = 0.001 and umbra = -(1/0.001) will give nearly no light contribution (none noticable), but a dark shadow.
__________________

Skyer
01-25-2006, 06:37 PM
I looked for this one on the forums to see if someone had posted it before and so far so good....
open the script editor, type MakeBicepRoll <name of your Bicep>, <# of nulls you want down the bicep> hit enter and you are done.... Useful if you need the "Twist" deformations when not using the biped rig.
See SDK help for a better description :D

NunoNisa
01-28-2006, 03:00 AM
This tip sometimes is quite helpfull to match you're lighting correctly to blend with a real image/sequence.

Rotoscope images by default don't render when you render you're scene in XSI. To have XSI rendering you're rotoscope simply add an output shader to your current render pass. Add the 2d_background_pic shader to you're current render pass inspect it and choose you're image or sequence.

Cheers

ThE_JacO
01-28-2006, 05:13 AM
I looked for this one on the forums to see if someone had posted it before and so far so good....
open the script editor, type MakeBicepRoll <name of your Bicep>, <# of nulls you want down the bicep> hit enter and you are done.... Useful if you need the "Twist" deformations when not using the biped rig.
See SDK help for a better description :D


it's worth mentioning that these components are not really part of the SDK itself, they are a bunch of routines and helpers (accessible from the all APIs) called CDK, character dev kit.

it goes a bit further then adding rolls, it includes primitives like spine, legs, footroll helpers etc.

Skyer
01-28-2006, 05:47 AM
it's worth mentioning that these components are not really part of the SDK itself, they are a bunch of routines and helpers (accessible from the all APIs) called CDK, character dev kit.

it goes a bit further then adding rolls, it includes primitives like spine, legs, footroll helpers etc.

Ok ok, the reason I found this so useful is because when I create a Biped from the biped guide the thighrolls don't work quite right. the reason why is because the roots for the thigh bones are not lined up to the bone, and if you line up the roots after the rolls have been created they won't work right, so I delete them and create new ones once the roots have been lined up to the thigh bone. (also you can add shinrolls to the huuuuhhh shins by using the makeforearmroll comand and replacing the "handeff" argument with the name of the second footbone) <==it has worked on my last project quite well)

SheepFactory
02-04-2006, 06:22 PM
Posted by Brent ,

"Ok, I know it is confusing but in XSI center and pivot are two different things. Center is an older concept that comes from SI3D. When you translate in center mode all that happens is you translate the object and an operator is added to the modeling stack that pushes the geometry in the opposite direction so in effect you are just moving the origin of the object. So, you should ignore any commands that say "center" since they will not affect the object's pivot which is a transformation property.

If you continually want to reset the pivot I would suggest turning off "Modify Object Pivot" under the Transform menu. When this is off the pivot is just maintained in the tool and it doesn't affect the object's pivot. It is enabled in QWERTY mode but not in the default XSI mode. (because that is the way Maya handles pivots) With this option off you can hold Insert (or D) and left-click to snap the pivot. To reset it you just hold Insert (or D) again and middle-click anywhere outside the manipulator.

If you have changed the object's pivot (with "Modify Object Pivot" on) want to reset it back to the origin you will need to hit Ctrl-K to bring up the object's local transform property page and hit the "Reset Pivot" button under the Pivot tab. However, I agree that the middle-click shortcut should work out-of-the-box in QWERTY mode so I will enter a bug request for this item.

Finally, to answer your question about key mapping. In XSI, tools can have their own keymaps. The default keymap is called "XSI" so if you go into the keymapping dialog and select "XSI" under the group you are correct that Insert is mapped to the add vertex tool. However, if you select "Transform Tool" or "Transform Tool Proportional" you will see that in the transform tools Insert has been redefined to the edit transform tool pivot command. The tweak tool (M) also uses this technique for switching between the SRT manipulators so if you are in tweak and want to go back to the regular translate tool you either need to hit Esc or activate another tool like select first.

QWERTY mode is mainly just remapping XSI keys but there are a few perferences that get changed from the default XSI configuration. Here is a list of the QWERTY ones:

"Tools > Transform > Tool Tab > Click Outside Manipulator" is set to "Select Tool"
"Tools > Transform > Tool Tab > Show Selected Axes Only During Interaction" is enabled
"Tools > Transform > Transform Tab > Modify Object Pivot" is enabled
"Tools > Transform > Transform Tab > Transform Hidden Objects" is enabled
"Tools > Camera > Use Alt Key for Navigation" is enabled
"Display > General Tab > Enable View Head Light for New Scenes" is enabled
"Animation > Save Key Command" is set to "Save Key on All Keyable Parameters"

Finally, remember that QWERTY mode is new to version 5 so there are bound to be a few rough edges. Therefore, you should send any issues you find to "support@softimage.com" so we can consider them for upcoming releases.

Thanks.
--
Brent"

Strang
02-17-2006, 03:22 AM
i looked briefly through the thread and didn't see mention of this little gem.

at my work we use the netview extensively for tracking/relaying information/management etc...

a lot of the times on the page will be a path for whatever reason its not linkable its just text. so instead you can highlight it and just drag it into XSI's viewport. thats it

no copy paste or anything like that. just highlight and drag the text in.

try it (this may or may not work so dont blame me)

C:\Softimage\XSI_5.0\Data\XSI_SAMPLES\Models\Biped_Guide.emdl

Sharpy3d
03-05-2006, 01:47 AM
_Hi there, great thread. I dont know if anybody has said that before. You can select points, edges and polygons at the same time by holding, I.e.: (T for points) and SHIFT + (I or E for edges) and SHIFT + (Y or U for polys), ...



:arteest:"...The difference between a correct timing and a timing almost correct
, is like the difference between a ray and a glowworm ..." Chuck Jones.

NeptuneImaging
03-09-2006, 02:39 PM
After screwing around in XSI last night, I have discovered that any kind of open edge can create ink lines on some objects, which would be very on things like clothing, and not so useful on things such as building interiors.

visualboo
03-11-2006, 03:05 PM
This one is kind of cool.

If you're on a slower network and need a texture map located on a network drive, but you know that if you view them in thumbnail mode it will take forever to load the thumbs... all you have to do is single click on the thumbnails while they are loading, it will display the thumb you click next. Very handy because if you think you know the name of the file you want but aren't 100% sure, this lets you view that thumb before waiting for the entire directory to load.

ntmonkey
03-14-2006, 06:53 PM
Here's one that just helps a lot for me. Thanks to Hans Payer for showing me.

When you write a for loop or something and run it in the script editor to create a bunch of stuff, undo only takes back the last action of the loop, not the whole process. Well, if you make it button on a toolbar and run it from there, the undo will undo the whole thing!

peace,

Lu

jankin
04-12-2006, 01:43 PM
just discovered that you can move the nodes in the schematic view with "m". That's so much faster than always pressing "v".

jeremyhardin
04-12-2006, 04:04 PM
<x1>
<Texturing:> How to auto refresh textures in xsi 4?

preferences>rendering>reload externally modified image clips on focus
http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=162910 (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=162910)


Alternate view on this tip. If you find XSI to be unbearably slow when switching focus away and back to it, and you're not working with external texture files...turning off the above option will speed things up dramatically.

Also if you're not animating, turning off Ghosting in the viewports can speed things up considerably.

Bullit
05-01-2006, 06:24 AM
Pretending that no one knows....
In my own counter XSI is aproaching Max as one of the most unintutive apps working with curves...


Do you want that your curve pass in specific points/positions?

-Draw the start point and end point of the curve
-Move the start and end point handles to the position that you think is near the final curve form
- snap on points
- Modify>Add point tool by knot points or by bezier knot points> Middle Mouse button (with snap) click in the wanted points. The knots move to that points.

After this it's only possible to change the curve if you convert all knot points to bezier. Any other kind of modification (points,CVs) moves the knot points from their position.

shadowedge
08-07-2006, 12:35 PM
Wow, Im surpised there has barely been anything mentioned about Geometry Approximation :)

Hi everyone, forum noob here. I'd like to share my favorite shortcut in XSI.
Its more of a methodology, than a shortcut actually.

>>> NUMPAD - and + <<<

This toggles your the subD level of your model... This way you can model on what looks like a surfacemesh (nurbs object) with the simplistic methods of a polygonmesh...

God I love this capability.... :)

s3rial
08-21-2006, 08:47 PM
if nobody said...

just when using "M" the tweak tool:
- hold alt+MMB will move the edge loop
- tab change the tranform (translate/rotate/scale)
- activate the snap face and using the scale/translate you can drag the entire loop over the surface with the alt+mmb.

it also works when the proportional tool is on.

tks

________

s3rial.com

SheepFactory
08-25-2006, 12:02 AM
How to build a new mesh over a hi-res mesh you import from something like Zbrush or Mudbox.

posted by Raffaele at the forum:

"-get a starting mesh (or more) like a grid, place it roughly around where you want to start tracing with a grid patterned connectivity
-with the mesh selected, not some subcomponents (so that an alwayscomplete cluster will be created vs an indexed subcomponents one) shrink wrap that mesh to the HD mesh, do this in shape modelling or higher mode or do it in modelling and then move the wrap op up.
-set the wrap to along normals or closest point, depending from how you want to work and how much overhead you can take.
-go back to modelling mode and do whatever you want, add polys, edges etc, it will wrap in realtime to the highres mesh.

you can also keep one viewport synced to current mode (modelling) to work on a non wrapped mesh, and see it wrapping in another view set to result mode.
this also allows you to freely freeze modelling to not kill performance completely, and the wrap will be unaffected.

it's not a topology brush, but it's actually a much better system with a way higher degree of control.

you can do this with a number of meshes and merge them, with the proper management of construction history and viewports you can get some really nice results in a very short time out of it."

NeptuneImaging
08-31-2006, 04:08 AM
Okay, I don't know if anyone has tried this but, sometimes I notice my renders getting too slow...so what i do is, for closed objects like buildings and walls (modelled with volume), I plug a Front-Back switch node on the material, and the surface in the front node so that mental ray only renders the faces the camera is looking at. useful if you move your camera back for a tight angle and you notice that the wall is blocking it or you want to specify which surfaces are double sided :)

If it seems useless, ignore my post.

dwigfor
09-05-2006, 05:21 AM
I just noticed this.. Setting up a toon rendered character. Normally when you clone and scale -x, your render will have a seam along the disconnected center edges. Well, if you set a Seam Group value on the toon material that's along x axis, voila, no more seam. :)

NeptuneImaging
11-17-2006, 09:38 AM
Hey, I just made a great new discovery involving cloth and object constraints....you can create clusters that will be the areas where the buttons will go. I am using FND so the steps may differ if you are using Syflex. This will work on simple cloth objects, but will look awesome as hell if the cloth is super high res.

Here's how:

1. Create cloth object as normal...it can be a shirt or whatever.

2. Then create the objects that will serve as buttons...

3. Once you have the cloth the way you want...start creating new point clusters(found this works best) on the already calculated cloth and name them appropriately. Like Button 1, Button 2, etc.

4. Once the cluster is created, select the button object and go to Constrain>Object to Cluster...and select the appropriate cluster. It will snap to that cluster. (Which is why I did not click Cns Comp)

5. When you play the simulation back the button will follow the cloth's motion. It will look weird at first as if the object does not follow the orientation of the cloth (depending on how it is animated). To fix that, in the Object to Cluster Constraint PPG, activate both Tangency and Normals.

6. to further make this interesting,,,set the buttons as an obstacle. (Don't know if this will work with RBD's). Collisions will be an issue but with clever camera work, it will not be too noticeable. You can also use edges for this method too for Zippers.

Hope this works...

Halo...

v_z
11-18-2006, 08:03 PM
Well I bet everyone knows this, but I just read through the topic and didn't spot it.

If you have a polymesh selected and then use Create > Polymesh > Subdivision it XSI will create a smoothed version of you object that updates as you change the original.

Just move it out of the original polymesh if you are working in shaded or something.

CoolCalb
11-19-2006, 11:50 AM
deleted deleted deleted :)

CoolCalb
01-19-2007, 11:38 AM
I just ripped this off the XSI mailing list:

it seems there's a little easter egg inside XSI.
To get the list of the XSI team, the people responsible for this great software,
create an empty file called: ShowMeTheTeam.dsc
then in XSI, File>Import>SI 3D Scene/Model and import this file.. click OK and
there you go... :)

pretty funny I think.

wynnara
02-12-2007, 05:33 AM
1) welding points in move point mode: Hold down ALT while in move points mode (M) to weld points while moving them

I know this used to work in XSI 3, but I haven't been able to get it to work since I upgraded to XSI 5.

Did I miss something? Some setting that needs to be toggled or the like?

JDex
02-12-2007, 05:47 AM
I know this used to work in XSI 3, but I haven't been able to get it to work since I upgraded to XSI 5.

Did I miss something? Some setting that needs to be toggled or the like?

One of the little buttons that shows up in the viewport enables it (w/o alt).

jugger
03-07-2007, 09:39 AM
i always got stuck when i selected the whole time range in the mini dopesheet (shift lmb) because there seemed to be no single click way to deselect the range again.
when selecting only a portion of the timeline you can click in a non selected area to deselect the range. doesnt work obviously when all the time is selected.

now, i finally thought, as xsi is very consistent with its controls and shortcuts, when i can deselect in the viewport with ctrl-shift click, maybe it also works in the timeline... and voila!!

i can just deselect the ranges there as well with ctrl-shift lmb :)

maybe it is clear to everyone but i suffered 6 month from that and i am happy that i could solve it ;)

softmonkey
03-07-2007, 10:12 AM
XSI 4.0 introduced autohide sections to layouts, making areas appear when the mouse entered certain areas. Whilst a very cool feature, it sometimes felt like you were boxing the UI. So this little modification will create a button in the layout that expands or contracts the hidden area.

You will have to edit the xml, adding optionbutton=”container” to either the frameset or switcher tags.

More info and example layout here (http://www.softmonkey.co.uk/button-collapse-layouts-for-xsi/)

CoolCalb
04-16-2007, 02:59 PM
Ok, I use XSI since v1, and I never knew this is possible.

you can mark multiple regions in the DopeSheet using <shift> + <Q>...

I guess this is basic, but it's new to me :scream:

alanf
04-17-2007, 02:49 AM
One of the little buttons that shows up in the viewport enables it (w/o alt).

Also, if you hold "L" while in the [M]ove tool, it will temporarily enable welding for as long as you keep it pressed.

And while we're on that tool, I should point out that J works for the "sliding" option as L does for "welding". ;)

alanf
04-28-2007, 07:13 AM
I don't think this one was mentioned before:

The "Page Up" key will bring up the last PPG you've had. (Really handy when you just closed it and wanna get back to it quickly.)

Strang
04-30-2007, 08:13 PM
if the removal of the "autokey" button in v6 ppgs bothers you? you can, instead of going to the bottom animation toolbar to turn auto key on, just right-click on the top left of the ppg. you can summon the animation editor, interpolation options, along with other keying options, including... autokey!

mrflynn
05-09-2007, 06:12 PM
not brilliant but i find it usefull ;)

in the explorer you dont have to click on the actualy scroll bar to scroll. You can just click drag anywhere away from an object within to scroll, very handy.

neso
06-22-2007, 01:57 PM
Middle click on render region hides it.middle click again and there it is again.
If you type Make666 in script editor you get little red devil rig.
Cheers!!

Werner
12-19-2007, 08:54 PM
Draw a render region and then start a capture....works great for low res previews.

Bullit
01-01-2008, 01:25 AM
When you are saving a image file, for example a render region one, you dont need to select the file type if you already have a file of the type you wish saved in the save folder. Just select that file and change the name of yours. It is easier than to go to drop down list and find and select your file type.

visualboo
01-01-2008, 04:39 PM
When you are saving a image file, for example a render region one, you dont need to select the file type if you already have a file of the type you wish saved in the save folder. Just select that file and change the name of yours. It is easier than to go to drop down list and find and select your file type.

Orrrr just type the extension with the name :)


testrender.tif bam!

Bullit
01-03-2008, 07:13 PM
True! i didnt know that because i had tried it and didnt worked, it defaulted to .pic. Right now i suspect the reason was because my file extension was incorrect.

tc
01-08-2008, 04:00 AM
I dont know if somebody already said that but you can put clusters inside groups.
More specific, polygon clusters inside groups. Then you can put overrides in the group and it will affect the polygons of that cluster.
It's really usefull if you use refmodels and specially overrides. Or if you to expose a group of clusters and apply properties in all them at the same time.

Thanks!

alanf
01-15-2008, 11:02 PM
Did you know you can get an instant anemone or tentacly thing by using ONE Extrude op? It's all about the Transform tab and the number of subdivisions....

See attached screenshot. ;)

tc
03-05-2008, 02:37 AM
ok thats a cool one:
Drag a model from the browser import it into the scene (duh thats not new).

But if you hold ctrl, it comes as a refmodel :)
This one is cool isn't it? :P
Saved me precious time while assembling scenes.

alanf
03-05-2008, 03:11 AM
Good one; didn't know that. :)

Speaking of holding Ctrl, if you drag a scenefile onto a viewport, it opens, but if you hold down Ctrl when dragging, it merges the dragged scene to the current one. Handy! :D

oddforce
11-19-2008, 08:53 AM
How to select polygons in a checkerboard pattern in XSI:

select a polygon
select menu->select adjacent->polygons
hammer "select menu" button repeatedly with middle mouse button

How to select polygons in stripe patterns in XSI:

select an poly loop (ALT+select 2 neighboring polygons)
steps 2 & 3 as above

Nas85
04-14-2009, 10:39 AM
When you need to type in specific values in your transform boxes on the right, shift+right click on the 'scale on all three axis' button, it turns the boxes blue and when you type in one of them it makes the same value in the other two boxes. Quicker than typing in a value for x,TAB,y,TAB,z...

mdee
04-20-2009, 10:48 AM
you can type "1/constraint ID" in constraind blend box - it's usefull when you have 2 or 3 constrains of the same type on one object to blend - it will calculate correct amount of blending.

toonafish
01-22-2010, 12:06 AM
don't know if this has been mentioned before, but just to make sure:

If you need to adjust multiple sliders at once, highlight them (so they turn yellow), hold F4 and MMB click and drag in the viewport.

The same works with a single slider, or any value input.

neso
01-24-2010, 03:17 PM
When using Linear range values,and min value is 0 and max value is 1,
it is enough to type "L" into value field.Same goes for random values "R".

In any other case, if desired min value is 0, it's enough to type in "L(max value)".
So if you constrain objects to curve (path) just type "L(100)".
If using curve (param) constraint, or whatever, just type "L" in U location value.
In this case max value is 1,so it's enough to just "L" it.

No need to L(0,100) or L(0,1).Just L(100) and L will do.
This can be used in any value field,of course.

BrandonLayton
11-27-2011, 06:44 PM
I am new to Softimage, and have to say that these help a whole lot. I am beginning to inch my way over from 3Ds Max just because I love the whole ICE thing. Anyway... Thanks for this huge archive of helpful tips :)

squash
11-29-2011, 02:56 AM
Probably mentioned but you can easily add or subtract values from a multiselection parameter, ie if you select a bunch of nulls and want to subtract 0.1 from the size parameter, type 0.1-- in the value box. ie: if you have sizes (1.0, 2.3, 4.5) selected you will get (0.9,2.2,4.4) as a result.

0.1++ will add 0.1 to them all.

When using Linear range values,and min value is 0 and max value is 1,
it is enough to type "L" into value field.Same goes for random values "R".

In any other case, if desired min value is 0, it's enough to type in "L(max value)".
So if you constrain objects to curve (path) just type "L(100)".
If using curve (param) constraint, or whatever, just type "L" in U location value.
In this case max value is 1,so it's enough to just "L" it.

No need to L(0,100) or L(0,1).Just L(100) and L will do.
This can be used in any value field,of course.

ThE_JacO
11-29-2011, 04:46 AM
The more algebric form of -1.0+ to subtract (adding a negation) or 1.0+ (just adding) will also work fine. Of course that applies to all algebric operations, so you can use multiplication (with *), and division by multiplying by the fraction (1/N)*

fmilluminati
11-24-2013, 12:51 AM
I don't know if this is actually something "nobody knows", but the volume effect shader can be used to create a planetary atmosphere. Simple create a sphere slightly larger [about 10%] than the planet itself, and apply a the standard "volume effects" shader to it [fast volume effects won't work]. Adjust the fall-off so it looks right. There will still be a back glow on the side of the planet that's in shadow - to fix turn on shadows and set the umbra to 0.

The atmosphere will look choppy where the night side of the planet starts, so set soft shadows on the infinite light you are using as the sun [or planet's host star] - I usually set it to 5 with 3 samples, and ta-da, a nice atmosphere. Enjoy. :)