Cool things in XSI no one knows!

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  08 August 2004
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.
 
  08 August 2004
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!!!
 
  08 August 2004
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....
 
  08 August 2004
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
 
  08 August 2004
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'.
 
  08 August 2004
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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Real Fun Art, LLC
 
  08 August 2004
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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  08 August 2004
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
 
  08 August 2004
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!!!
 
  11 November 2004
Originally Posted by Doug Nicola: 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

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.


to add to that:

1. with your object selected, rightclick the Selection button in the Select MCP and you have quick access to all ppg's related to you object like kinematics and material

7. If you use xsi selection model its even easier; alt+LMB is for Range and alt+MMB is for Loop
 
  12 December 2004
Few more tricks on transform panel.

When in the transform mode : (Changing keys between x,y,z in S,R,T mode)
-Double click the lmb activates the x axis
-Double click the mmb activates the y axis
-Double click the rmb activates the z axis
-Ctrl key+Doubleclick on *left *middle *right mouse button to add any transform axis
-Double clicking the activated axis again brings back all three axis
 
  12 December 2004
yeah ah ah

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])
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Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.
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  01 January 2005
probably not something that no one knows about, but regardless i found it quite handy once i found it:

Gauge the Render Progress
Sometimes on really complex photon or f.g scenes, xsi seems to take forever to render and i was never really sure if it was working and how long it would take. To get xsi to log progress reports on renders, go to the render options, select the logged messages tab and then select the level of messages you please. Now open up the script editor before renders and it will show the progress of the render, including how far it is along sampling gi or fg or whatever else.

This is also very useful for checking to see that your photon effects or raytracing is working properly because xsi churns out all sorts of details like number of photons reflected and the sampling rates.
 
  01 January 2005
Just found this.


You can hide selected polygons. I had no idea until I did it by accident one day.

Sorry if someone already mentioned this.
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DWIII Entry
 
  01 January 2005
Originally Posted by dmonk: Just found this.


You can hide selected polygons. I had no idea until I did it by accident one day.

Sorry if someone already mentioned this.



You forgot to say how do you do this, and maybe someone knows how to do the oposite, like isolating the selected polygons only, when I used isolate selecte, it isolates the whole object. if i am working in lests say the hand of a character, how can I isolate just the hand=?

You can customize the layout to work in a kind of EXPERT MODE.
Aplication > Layouts > Auto Hide. Full sreen.

But this lets the animation panel at the botton still visible, sot that frequently used when you are just modeling... I then created a new layout based on this one, and delete the animation panels.

Cool, but, I cant find a way to map this to a key, since this new layout does not appear in the keymapping panel.

The nice thing about these, is that if you need to go to the panels on the sides, you just have to move the mouse to one of those areas and the panels would pop-up.


Regards.!
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Richard Jr.
 
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