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  04 April 2011
Best introduction to ice is programming. ITS NOT THAT HARD. : )
Theres challenges in every corner of 3D and ice is no exception..

MIT introduction to programming

Check out MITs opencourseware. Learn, do little python and come back to ICE.
Then it all makes sense ; )
 
  04 April 2011
hey raf, since ur lurking around here, could u explain briefly how u guys get around the lack of an ascii scene description? did u write your own parsers? xml hooking?
just curious
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  04 April 2011
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: AD can't do much with MRay, which is where the problems come from. They can, however, create better rendering APIs, and guess what? They did, which is why you now have options such as 3DElight and Arnold. Because the userbase wanted alternatives to MRay for rendering, but the API wasn't where it needed to be, so it got changed and extended to where it is now, which is in a damn good place.

I can't fully agree that AD can't do much .They are responsible for the integration of MR in there products, since they use it as a selling point.(As I know only Maya integration started at Mental Images) .They are not responsible about MR as a render that is true but the fact is that MR in SI is slower than Maya and Max and MR version is the same in the 3 applications.And this fact is enough to disagree with this statement. I hope this problem we have in 2012 is only a bug that will be fixed soon.
Check this if you didn't see it yet: http://www.si-community.com/communi...php?f=36&t=1380
It is true that SI team did a lot to improve rendering API and this is good but the MR integration got worse than Maya and Max.It use to be opposite.

Last edited by InfinitySpiral : 04 April 2011 at 05:50 PM.
 
  04 April 2011
Originally Posted by oktawu: hey raf, since ur lurking around here, could u explain briefly how u guys get around the lack of an ascii scene description? did u write your own parsers? xml hooking?
just curious

That's a good question actually. And while we're at it, could someone explain to me how crucial that feature is? My understanding is that it's godsend in Maya when things go tits up and a scene file is corrupted, but I can't think of many useful applications for it beyond that.
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  04 April 2011
Quote: That's a good question actually. And while we're at it, could someone explain to me how crucial that feature is? My understanding is that it's godsend in Maya when things go tits up and a scene file is corrupted, but I can't think of many useful applications for it beyond that.


i'll get u up to speed on this in not time
from my own personal experience, this feature alone in maya/nuke has saved my ass a trillion times. i'll give u a couple of examples. say u have a corrupt scene, and u can't do anything about it. yes i know u can and do incrementally save, but let's say it's important and u need it working. just go in notepad++, go inside the scene, and start debugging it, look for the parts that are working, and the ones that are not, extract ur data, and paste it into another working scene. voila, u saved the day.
reference changes, namespaces, texture path changes, point cache data - say u have, as we had, scenes that have half a terabyte of referenced data, fluid caches, point caches, map textures in the hundreds of gigs. it took roughly 10-20 mins to load the scene from the gui. someone in the studio makes a change to something in the project, and now it needs updating in the scene, god knows what, it does not matter. maybe i want to change the intensity of a light, regardless, i don;t want to have to spend 20 min loading the scene and another 5 min saving it, everytime i want to change something. just load ur fav text editor, look for the lines with the definitions and parameters u want to change, type in ur values, save, voila. 1 min.
this alone saves u everytime u need to make any kind of change to a scene that takes a long time to load in the gui. you start feeling it on ur own skin when u start having terrabytes of data feeding those scenes.
these are just two simple examples, but u get the point.
in nuke i've had corrupted scenes due to that node instance bug. i honestly felt like destroyin the office, i had 1 hour left to deliver the shot, had everything setup ready to hit the farm, and on the last save, it just screwed the node indices. u can imagine, going back to last hours save, was not an option. so i just got the scene in notepad++, looked for the lines that were corrupt, replaced them with the correct string, and voila. my ass saved.

houdini takes this even further, in that it allows to both access the scene in a text editor, but also from a command shell, in which u navigate ur scene linux style, u query data, and change values with shell commands. no need for a gui. it might not look like it's something useful at first sight, but trust me, once u get into having terrabytes of assets and data, u'll see things differently.
now i know some people might argue saying, well, u haven't built a feasible enough pipeline, u haven't this u haven't that, but see, this is exactly the kind of thing that's bothering me. why do i need to know a ton of pipeline optimisation, thus programming, to tackle bigger and more complex projects on my own for example. i just want things to be accessible ootb.

i think this is even more useful if u'r not a hardcore programmer, and u don't want to start coding ur own scene parsers. i know i couldn't..and really wouldn't want to anyway.
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Last edited by oktawu : 04 April 2011 at 03:16 PM.
 
  04 April 2011
Originally Posted by oktawu: i'll get u up to speed on this in not time

I'm so up to speed now that I think I traveled a few seconds forward in time. Thank you for that very thorough answer. It was really informative
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  04 April 2011
Originally Posted by Ciuccio: but I don't use ICE (and like me I think many other)

With every new release of Softimage, saying "I don't use ICE" becomes a bit more like a Photoshop user saying "I don't use layers."

ICE has become a core component of the program. You can now model, rig, transform, deform and do particle animation with it. If you keep ignoring ICE, you will keep being disappointed by the new versions.

Learning ICE is not rocket science. There are plenty of tutorials and no excuses for ignoring it anymore. I mean, even Syflex is now ICE based. It just makes sense, it's the logical progression for Softimage.
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  04 April 2011
im sure max and maya will get also some node based stuff... not like ice but fitting there needs...
nodes are only a way to visualize the complex stuff behind... the core is the magic... without node based graphs we are lost...


and houdini is not like ice... its totally different... the can easily co exist...
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  04 April 2011
I won't say that I understand ICE that well, but I can honestly say that it has to be at least 100 times easier than actually writing code. It's probably no exaggeration to say that....
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  04 April 2011
Originally Posted by oktawu: hey raf, since ur lurking around here, could u explain briefly how u guys get around the lack of an ascii scene description? did u write your own parsers? xml hooking?
just curious

The long story short about it is we don't use scenes. Artists use them for their personal work areas throughout the days, but in general we use shotsetup tools for each department that allow people to assemble a shot from granular data with just what they need and want in it, and they check-in granules and not scenes. Things they want for review or that are approved to proceed down the pipe are then checked in with a "publish" flag.
The "table of contents" of our shots is a centralised database where producers and coords can create and configure the shots and breakdowns that the artists will build.

This also enables us to load (some of) the same assets in both Maya and XSI for different departments.

We wouldn't mind an ascii scene format and have been pushing for one for a while, but it's a mammoth task, and it's probably not quite as relevant to us as it might be to somebody using scenes as a relevant data format.
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  04 April 2011
thanks for the info raf. that clears things quite a bit.
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  04 April 2011
I'm with pooby as far as the ICE stuff goes. I mean, in that I don't do scripting or programming and don't know much about it aside from the very basic...uhh, basics.
But while ICE was (to me) extremely intimidating at first, it gets better and after a few months at it became fairly intuitive. I can't claim to be any kind of ICE guru and for what I do mostly (modeling and texturing, rigging and rendering) I don't really even need it much, but the point is I have been able to achieve everything I set out to do with it in those cases where I did need ICE effects.
And thank you pooby for posting the tutorial links. I'm definitely going to go through those!

And to the guy who said there was very little out there for ICE, that's not really true. Both Digital Tutors and i3D have some excellent beginner level and advanced ICE tutorials and between the two of them you don't really need much more to understand ICE and get going with it.

That said, I too was hoping there would be some more integration with ZBrush and/or Mudbox. I have to say I really don't understand what the problem is there and why by now XSI isn't up to date with either or both of those packages.

I do like Softimage's direction though and as has already been pointed out, this is where it's going; this is the future of XSI. So you either go with it and learn it, or abandon it in favor of something else, or continue to use the current or past versions. Pretty simple, really.
 
  04 April 2011
Originally Posted by twosheds: That said, I too was hoping there would be some more integration with ZBrush and/or Mudbox. I have to say I really don't understand what the problem is there and why by now XSI isn't up to date with either or both of those packages.


waht does you mean with that..?
there is a send to mud feature in soft...
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  04 April 2011
Originally Posted by oglu: waht does you mean with that..?
there is a send to mud feature in soft...


Really? Well I guess I stand corrected then.
I haven't upgraded yet, and was just going by what I thought I'd read. (or apparently didn't read)
Shall I assume then that Mudbox 2012 has a "Send to Softimage" button too?
 
  04 April 2011
right there is a send to soft button in mud...!
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