PEN Attribute Holder in Production

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  10 October 2012
PEN Attribute Holder in Production


Im currently working on a character for my new boss...
Weve talked about the setup and hew wanted me to use CAT to create the rig.

Since I keep getting into trouble with CAT, even though I like the idea of it, Im now trying to convince him to let me build a custom rig.

Im not very experienced in doing that, but following a couple of tutorials I managed to crank out a basic custom rig to show him its power...

But there are still a couple of things to consider:

1. He doesnt want to use any additional plugins or other stuff he he has to worry about when rendering via his farm or upgrading to a newer version of max, since Ill provide him with the character setup and he might be using it long after Im gone...
The only non-native max item I wanted to use is Paul Neales Attribute holder for storing poses.
Its not really a plugin but since I havent really used it in production yet, I was wondering it could pose a problem with the farm or if hes upgrading his workstations or something like that.
I know, stupid questions, but Id rather not have to script something similar myself, if there already is a great solution out there...

Last edited by insertmesh : 10 October 2012 at 11:32 AM.
  10 October 2012
Not stupid questions at all. This is my number one problem most of the time. Even though I'm a maya user, the use of plug-ins to rig and get extra features creates issues when sending stuff to the farm.

Using a pose type plug-in, might not be an issue though. It's all up to weather the plug-in needs to be installed on the farm. Most likely it will be needed to be installed on the animators machine, then once everything is keyed it should not depend on that plug-in anymore.

Or, you could always cache the animation before sending it to the farm.

Hope that helps, but that's what I think about it.

Edit: If you are getting into rigging more, and it's something you like to do, scripting is a really strong toolset to have!
  10 October 2012
Thanks for the reply!

Since Ive never had a farm at my disposal, Ill have to try it out myself I guess...

I understand my employers concern with having to worry about plugins or scripts that need to be taken care of on every upgrade or new install and I know I should get deeper into scripting...there is just so much other stuff I still need to figure out and since Im gonna do the whole Shabang from modelling to sculpting, texturing, rigging and animating the character, Id just love to avoid having to learn to script too right now...
  10 October 2012
Another Idea: I just took a look at the PEN Attribute holder macroscript.
I guess I could try to understand what exactly its doing and how to just apply the script to maxs built in attribute holder.
That way I would have the funtionality I need without having to install the script on any computer...

Might be a good exercise to learn some scripting too...
  10 October 2012
Ha. That was easy...


plugin modifier 'PEN_Attribute_Holder 2'
   name:"PEN_Attribute_Holder 2"
   classID:#(0x9004a801, 0xa7617106)


ca=attributes PEN_Attribute_Holder 2

and add

custAttributes.add $.modifiers[1] ca

after the last bracket of the original script...

Now I can add the attribute holder and my boss doesnt have to worry about having to meddle with his max installation or possible problems while rendering to the farm...

I already posted this in Pauls own sites forum, so If you dont want anyone meddling with thes original attribute holder, just let me know and Ill delete this post...
  10 October 2012
Ha, that was dumb. posting a non-working solution...

Apperently the script is adding the menus and buttons to a normal attribute holder and you can save presets, but if I add any attributes to it it doesnt get the values, so all the buttons dont do anything and the ramp slider only returns errors like this one:

-- Error occurred during fileIn in StringStream:"#("; line number: 1
-- Error occurred in rampCa_Sl.changed()
--  Frame:
--   val: 0.1165
--   vals: undefined
>> MAXScript Rollout Handler Exception:
-- Compile error: Unexpected end-of-script  <<
  10 October 2012
I could be wrong(and please correct me if i am wrong Paul), but I believe that if you were to animate with Pauls Atr Holder script and then load the same file on a machine without the script, the Animation would still be intact, but you would not be able to set-up poses and what not. all the attribute holder is doing is managing keyable values and once animated those values will always be there regardless of you having the script or not. TEST it and let us know if I was correct on this or not.
Felipe Nogueira aka: PePeTD
Technical Artist/Character TD
  10 October 2012
Yeah, it works, the keyframes are there, but thats no use to me, since my boss wants to be able to animate the rig himself, after Im done...
So either Ill have to figure out how to make the modifier work as a script or convince him that its not THAT bad putting ONE little scripted plugin in the startup folder...
  10 October 2012
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