Cool things in XSI no one knows!

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

Thread Tools Display Modes
  08 August 2004
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)?
- the future will be be bright -
  08 August 2004
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.
Kernow bys vykken!!!
  08 August 2004
Hidden Gems of Animation - article from Digital Media Net

Hidden Gems of Animation
Features that deserve more attention


Tips contributed by Damijan Saccio
Principal of UVPHACTORY, NYC

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.

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.
  08 August 2004
- 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.


-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
*My opinions do not represent those of my employer...Well Sometimes they do.

Last edited by wmendez : 08 August 2004 at 07:01 PM.
  08 August 2004
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])

  08 August 2004
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.
  08 August 2004
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.

Last edited by pur9e : 08 August 2004 at 06:08 AM.
  08 August 2004
Originally Posted by withanar: 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 =.

Originally Posted by withanar: 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)
  08 August 2004
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

Otherwise - awesome thread! Keep it up!
-per aspera ad astra
  08 August 2004
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.
Kernow bys vykken!!!
  08 August 2004
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.

diogo girondi | ••• | IMDB
  08 August 2004
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.


 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
  08 August 2004
Originally Posted by horst hrubesch: 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.
Kernow bys vykken!!!
  08 August 2004
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 ......

  08 August 2004
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
Oz Adi

Last edited by CoolCalb : 08 August 2004 at 02:56 PM.
reply share thread

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Society of Digital Artists

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 04:28 PM.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.