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Old 10-11-2012, 11:02 PM   #1
og_reborn
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Adam Singer
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r14 Xrefs - xref attributes become locked

Hi all
I am embarking on a long animated project which will require the use of Xrefs for it to be done practically. I skipped r13 so I didn't realize the Xref system is still such "a baby" in some regards.
So far it's working really well but for one issue that keeps happening:

Seemingly at random, one or all of the Xrefs in my scene will become un-editable. At the same time, the Xref seems to become "baked" into the file because the file size jumps up and I can remove the source files from their location and the objects still appear in the master scene (even though they are still shown as being external Xrefs.)

All the parameters of the children in the Xref still remain unlocked and animateable (thank goodness), but all of the options for the Xref itself become grayed out. coordinates, reload, options dialog, etc. If you click the button to choose another file, you get the dialog and can choose it, but then nothing happens. Basically all commands in the Xref manager are either greyed out or do nothing when you click them.

This is a problem because I need to be able to swap/reload my Xrefs and it's not letting me!

So far the only workaround I've found is to open the scene in r13, and save it, and then reopen in r14. Then I get the dialog to find the missing Xref... re-choose it and it's fine again, for a little while. Then it locks itself again.
This isn't a very good solution because in some of my shots I am using new r14 features.
Just deleting the Xrefs and re-importing them is not an option because they are animated characters with dozens of controllers.

Has anyone else experienced this? I haven't been able to find any other topic on it anywhere, and I'm hoping someone has an idea on how I can avoid triggering this error until a fix is released. Or another workaround to fixing it that doesn't involve saving through r13?

I'm using the most recent version (14.025) on mac os 10.8.2

Thanks very much!!
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:42 PM   #2
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well in case anyone is curious I may have found the issue:

Unchecking the option for the xref to be relative to the project may have fixed it... I changed them all to use absolute file paths and since then the issue hasn't happened.
I also enabled the "hierarchy" checkbox so that is editable, but I would be more surprised if that made the difference because I haven't been editing the hierarchies of the xrefs at all.

Maybe this is already old news but I couldn't find any discussion on it anywhere. Hope it helps.
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
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Brian Horgan
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I guess not many people are using XRefs for characters yet, so unfortunately you are likely exploring new ground in some sense. That does not sound ideal that you had to switch to absolute paths (it's bad enough the hassle with material paths sometimes) so please consider sending your findings to Maxon so that they might resolve these issues in future.

The whole point of working with references for me is that it makes it much easier to maintain a pipeline between a team and absolute file paths are the enemy of this situation. Really project management in Cinema needs a complete overhaul IMO, it's a very weak aspect of the program right now.

Cheers,
Brian

Last edited by Horganovski : 10-26-2012 at 06:58 PM.
 
Old 10-26-2012, 09:48 PM   #4
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I wasn't able to find a place to manually report a bug to maxon, so a while back I sent this message to them via the "submit a feature request" on the site with the words "BUG REPORT" in big letters... it was the best I could do is there a better way to do this? I've found a few other bugs since.

Luckily for me in this case I'm doing this entire project myself (luckily, hah) so absolute paths aren't really a big deal. Since I'm kind of tweaking materials and weights on characters as I go though, and I have 70 shots in this short, Xrefs are a must. Yeah I agree it needs a lot more development and stability... but for now it seems to be getting me by as long as I'm careful (knock on wood )
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:13 AM   #5
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I have used Xrefs for animating character rigs in R13 succesfully across 5 team members(and this on a mixed PC/ Mac studio - so relative paths were an absolute must). The only problem at the time was that layer shader was bugged in xrefs (since fixed).

I couldn't comment on your problem since it never occured for me but I do have a couple of tips I found for general X-Ref use :

- Most easy option, especially working cross-platform is to have the ref scene & the target scene in the same folder sharing a single tex folder (with a view to easy sending to Net render).

- I don't trust nested x-refs at all. I dont use them. I'm sure they work, technically, but they can suffer from exponential slowdowns loading in my experience & less straightforward texture etc dependencies.

- If you just want to X-ref in geometry (ie sets/ BG) in R14, you should enable the
generater checkbox, giving same results as legacy xrefs (very quick loading etc).

- If you change anything about the character in the animation scene you have to keyframe it. So if you have your rig scene set to IK & you want to animate in fk in your animation scene, you should begin by keying fk on at frame 0, if you don't key it, when you re-open it will revert to IK.

- Make the xrefs editable before sending to net render.

But I have to say I have used this pipeline in production & it did work fine.

'the Xref seems to become "baked" into the file because the file size jumps up and I can remove the source files from their location and the objects still appear in the master scene (even though they are still shown as being external Xrefs.)'

This is how it is supposed to be for xrefs not set to 'genertor' - The full reference scene is effectively included in the animation scene but it updates changes made to the rig scene. It allows for altering all sorts of properties locally to the animation scene.
But, for example, I would tweak skinning on the rig scene, or add a constrained accesory, or change the texures on the rig scene, re-load the animation scene & it would update fine.
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Last edited by Decade : 10-27-2012 at 02:16 AM.
 
Old 10-27-2012, 02:50 AM   #6
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thanks for all the tips Decade! I will keep those in mind as I move forward....
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:03 PM   #7
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Easy workaround!

Hi there! I was having the same problem for the past two weeks and had to restart the program every time it happened and was not very happy, but while working I noticed something that will help everyone dealing with this until it's fixed by Maxon.

All you have to do is perform an Undo action and it will unlock.

What I do is move the xref (or rotate it, or whatever, it doesn't even matter) and just undo the action and all the properties become editable again. I hope this helps everyone!
 
Old 02-12-2013, 05:42 PM   #8
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ah that's awesome thank you for sharing! If I run into that again I will try it
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:52 PM   #9
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whohoo!

Thanks very much!

I had exactly the same problem and your method of opening and saving it in R13, before reloading in R14, worked! Thanks so much!
I had no luck with the undo-trick...

Xref's keep giving me headaches! They are awesome for 95% of the time, but those occasional bugs can really mess up your work.
Good luck all!
 
Old 05-09-2013, 02:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepijns
Xref's keep giving me headaches! They are awesome for 95% of the time, but those occasional bugs can really mess up your work.


Keep sending in your bug reports when you run into issues. That's the only way we get that last 5% fixed!

Cheers,
Brian
 
Old 05-09-2013, 02:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horganovski
Keep sending in your bug reports when you run into issues. That's the only way we get that last 5% fixed!

Cheers,
Brian



Yes thats true. Maxon developer can not discover all possible Problems. A Xref-System is so complex that many Problems Only happen in very special Production-Specific Situations.
Send any Xref-Issues to Maxon.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:40 PM   #12
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I found that locked problem when I had the xrefs set not to use "encapsulated."

I also found another weird problem (reported) where the Xref object wouldn't swap a proxy object if they were located on my SSD drive.
 
Old 05-09-2013, 05:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepijns
Thanks very much!

I had exactly the same problem and your method of opening and saving it in R13, before reloading in R14, worked! Thanks so much!
I had no luck with the undo-trick...

Xref's keep giving me headaches! They are awesome for 95% of the time, but those occasional bugs can really mess up your work.
Good luck all!


Cool glad it helped!
Just curious, what version of 14 are you on? They just pushed out a new update last week. I haven't used relative paths since I encountered this issue, so I haven't run into it again, but I was curious if it's still happening in this update if you use relative paths...
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:37 PM   #14
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