Cool things in XSI no one knows!

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Old 08 August 2004   #1
Cool Cool things in XSI no one knows!

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

Last edited by SheepFactory : 08 August 2004 at 09:42 PM.
 
Old 08 August 2004   #2
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.
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Kernow bys vykken!!!
 
Old 08 August 2004   #3
Originally Posted by Sheep Factory:
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

Truely a beautiful thing....
 
Old 08 August 2004   #4
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 :-)).
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Craig Townsend
 
Old 08 August 2004   #5
Originally Posted by Fluckrat: 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

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'.
 
Old 08 August 2004   #6
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!
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Old 08 August 2004   #7
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.
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Old 08 August 2004   #8
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.
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Real Fun Art, LLC
 
Old 08 August 2004   #9
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.
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Kernow bys vykken!!!
 
Old 08 August 2004   #10
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
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Kernow bys vykken!!!
 
Old 08 August 2004   #11
<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



<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
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Old 08 August 2004   #12
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.
 
Old 08 August 2004   #13
Use F9 to select individual parts of a mesh (polygons, points, curves, ect). Coming from Lightwave this is a must use selection method.
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3DDave

Last edited by 3DDave : 08 August 2004 at 08:03 PM.
 
Old 08 August 2004   #14
Originally Posted by 3DDave: 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
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- the future will be be bright -
 
Old 08 August 2004   #15
Originally Posted by preludian: The selection tools are absolutely awsome! RTM to believe it

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.
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