Question about project management

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  12 December 2004
Question about project management

Forgive me if this question seems stupid, but I am coming from Cinema 4D where most everything about a file is internal to the file and stored within that file with the single exception that it references materials stored elsewhere on the HD. I typically keep all my image files stored in a single folder on my HD which all my files look to. It's very clean and there is no redundancy. If I want someone else to have the file, I just upload the file.c4d file. If I want them to also have all the required textures, I save the file as a project, and the file along with a local folder called tex is saved. I can then save this project file and rest assured that everything and all textures required to open it at any time in the future is contained within.

I understand that because XSI takes advantage of file referencing much moreso than Cinema, some more complicated file management is required. I just want to make sure I fully understand it.

1) Does XSI sometimes makes copies of image files on your hardrive, and if so, what rules for placement of those files does it use?

2) Is there a utility in XSI that will collect all referenced files (including those to be found through absolute file path references) into a single folder (with subfolders) that can then be zipped and saved for posterity, or shared with others, safe in the knowledge that nothing whatsoever is missing?

3) Why does every XSI file (.scn) save a second file called .scntoc? I read the manual and still don't know what it's for. If I want to save or share my file with another, do I also have to give them the .scntoc file?

4) Are there other files besides the .scntoc file that are saved that are needed to later open the file, and if so, what are they and where are they saved?

5) Is there a way to tell XSI to look in a specific folder on my HD everytime it wants to find a referenced image, using paths relative to that designated folder? Or, can XSI only look for relative paths within the scene folder? If so, which folder (folder name) does it look in (and save in) by default?

Thanks.
 
  12 December 2004
Originally Posted by MJV: 1) Does XSI sometimes makes copies of image files on your hardrive, and if so, what rules for placement of those files does it use?

if you ask it to automatically convert your textures to map files it will, otherwise it will simply reference your pics

Quote: 2) Is there a utility in XSI that will collect all referenced files (including those to be found through absolute file path references) into a single folder (with subfolders) that can then be zipped and saved for posterity, or shared with others, safe in the knowledge that nothing whatsoever is missing?

none that I know of, but it's very trivial to script it, especially if you don't work on a networked environment but simply locally on your workstation.

Quote: 3) Why does every XSI file (.scn) save a second file called .scntoc? I read the manual and still don't know what it's for. If I want to save or share my file with another, do I also have to give them the .scntoc file?

the scene's table of contents (scntoc) is an ascii file that you can or cannot (look into your preferences) save with the scene file.
on opening a .scn will look for a .scntoc of the same name, if it doesn't find any it's absolutely irrelevant, if it does find one it will use several things contained into it (paths and so on).
it's a smart way to have ascii (and therefore easily shell scriptable) data without creating a branching in formats.
a .scntoc is NOT needed to open its .scn

Quote: 4) Are there other files besides the .scntoc file that are saved that are needed to later open the file, and if so, what are they and where are they saved?

.emdl files if you are using referenced models, but that's it, and even then the scene will open file except it won't find the linked models if you don't include the .emdls.
again: a scntoc is NOT needed, all you need is the .scn, that the remote user can open from ANYWHERE, within a project or not (to save/overwrite he'll need to put it in a valid project though).

Quote: 5) Is there a way to tell XSI to look in a specific folder on my HD everytime it wants to find a referenced image, using paths relative to that designated folder? Or, can XSI only look for relative paths within the scene folder? If so, which folder (folder name) does it look in (and save in) by default?

xsi can look for paths of all kinds, matteroffactly relative paths are just a representation thing, but they really are full stringed paths.
they can either point by UNC or by drive.
as for making it look for a certain folder... yes and no, but I'm a bit too tired to go into that and am heading off to home.

hope the rest was of some help anyway.
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  12 December 2004
Just to add something to #2.

In the Save Scene window, you can toggle on an option to save all external files under the project. So when I'm packing up a scene to send to someone, I'll very often create a new project and save my scene to the new project with this option active. That way I know it has everything it needs.

I don't think I've tried this with reference models, but it should certainly work for externally stored .emdls. If you're using custom shaders however, those would have to be installed by the person at the other end for it to work properly I believe.
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Jean-Paul LeDoux
Getting Started in XSI
 
  12 December 2004
thanks JP.
I have my head stuck so far up my ass with all the perl scripts we use to manage the servers that I wasn't sure anymore if that was SI|3D and early XSI only or if it made it to recent versions, so I thought I wouldn't mention it.
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Come, Join the Cult http://www.cultofrig.com - Rigging from First Principles
 
  12 December 2004
Thanks guys. That cleared up most everything. It's especially good to know about that save scene toggle option.
 
  12 December 2004
Jean-Paul, it also copies ref models on the project folder. Very useful to send buggy scenes to SI support :-)


Cheers
Bernard
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bernardlebel.com
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  12 December 2004
Heh, that's been my main use of it to this point. Glad to hear it works with ref models too.
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Jean-Paul LeDoux
Getting Started in XSI
 
  01 January 2006
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