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Misc Suggestions after been using Prism for a while


Hi Richard, hope you don't mind me adding several suggestions in one post, I just though they where so small that I didn't want to clutter the forum with a million posts. On to the suggestions:

  1. Auto unload annoying plugins that can corrupt scenes in maya, like "Turtle", "Mental Ray", "Arnold" (believe it or not...) And any other custom plugins that freelancers might have installed. Maybe in the settings there could be a "green lighted plugins" list?
  2. Love the "send to Dailies" feature! When using dropbox it doesn't work unfortunately because the paths are unique for each user. How about adding "Copy to Dailies" and "Move to Dailies"?
  3. When importing an asset it save some time if you could set a custom namespace directly in the window where you choose to create a reference or not (Maya)
  4. I've noticed that sometimes the selection sets that the state manager creates areΒ  huge, several megabytes just for a single selection set. Even though I just select the top group node on export it get "flattened". Maybe this is a maya limitation, but if there is an easy eway around it that be awesome, and would keep the file sizes small.
  5. When working with a big team it is really hard to remember all the abbreviations, would it be possible to add an option to show the full name in the scene list etc?
  6. We usually work with 25 fps. When I create a new file with prism it is always set to 24, and therefore when changing to 25 it ruins the time range settings that prism had set automatically. For example the first frame 1001 becomes 1042,35 and so on. (in Maya at least). How about prism automatically set the fps before setting the frame range when making a new scene?

It's fine posting all these suggestions in one thread.

  1. I heard that Mental Ray can make problems, but Arnold is new to me. An UI in the settings would be nice, but also takes some time to create. In the next Prism version (1.1.1) there will be support for "custom" plugins. You can use these to customize all kind of features in Prism for your project, while still being able to install and use official Prism versions. I can add an example plugin, which executes a python function on Maya startup, which unloads any Plugins. Then you could modify the function the define which plugins should be unloaded/loaded.
  2. Are you using relative paths for your textures and alembics or how do you handle the different paths of the projectfolder for your assets? In past projects we used "Visual subst" to keep all our Dropbox folderpaths identical ( With this tool you can map a drive letter to your Dropbox folder. The Dropboxfolder can be at a different location on every PC but is accessable on every PC through for example Z:\03_Workflow\Shots so we could use absolute paths for all our assets without problems. If that's not an option for you I can have a look if it is possible to make the dailies links relative. I guess that would be better than copying and reuploading big imagesequences.
  3. Makes sense. I'll add it to the To-Do list.
  4. You mean it is flattened when you import it again? Prism needs a reference to all the objects, which were imported. When you delete the state all the imported objects will be deleted even if you reparented or renamed them. If Prism would only store the top group in the set and you unparent some of the child objects, they wouldn't get deleted when you delete the state. But why the hell maya takes so much space for just a list of objects? If that's a big problem, I'm sure there are other ways to keep a reference to all imported objects.
  5. Not in the current version, but I'll have an idea how this could be added. Maybe in the next version.
  6. All the empty files are saved in \00_Pipeline\EmptyScenes. You could overwrite the default scenes with 25fps scenes. I would rather not force a fps count on empty scene loadings, because maybe there are situations where people want a 24fps scenepreset and a 30fps scenepreset in the same project.

Thanks for the reply Richard!

  1. That would be absolutely awesome! Die Turtle, DIE! πŸ˜€
    The thing about Arnold is that it creates some nodes that are not deleted when you run the "delete unknown nodes" command and can therefore corrupt scenes in different ways, at least in Maya. (might just be for the version of arnold that is shipped with maya)
  2. Thanks for the tip, I will test it. Seems like it can possibly solve many problems regarding relative paths. And yes, it's a lot more elegant than having multiple copies of image sequences and movie files.
  3. Great πŸ™‚
  4. I wouldn't say it's a huge problem, but having multiple characters in a scene quickly add quite a bit extra megabytes to a scene, then having many shots and many steps, when you add it up it becomes quite a lot for a film proudction. One of my shots went from 500 kb to 10mb just because of one selection set.
    Why do you need to keep track of everything when using references by the way? I understand for imports, but for references you can just use the "remove reference" command and sync the state to the reference node in Maya.
  5. Great! This is not a huge problem by any means, but you know remembering the difference between 'jmv' and 'jbk' and so on can make my brain sweat πŸ˜€
  6. That's great, thanks for the tip. I'll do that for sure. How about in future versions have prism automatically set the framerates in the empty scenes upon project creation, based on the preferred fps? As it is now a warning is popping up each time a new asset or scene is created warning that the framerate is not set to the project framerate (which is great by the way, it's so easy to forget) - it would just make it more streamlined to default it to whatever is in the project settings. Should there be a scene where you need another framerate you would just change it for that scene (I guess you would still get a warning each time you open the scene though, so maybe there could be a scene specific override somehow?)

4. When you add an object to an selection set it doesn't create a copy of the object. The object in the selection set references to the same geometry than the original object in the outliner. Or am I wrong? If this would create a copy of the object I could understand the additional megabytes, but I thought a selection set is just a collection of existing object names, which shouldn't require even one mb for a few hundred objects.

6. I'm not sure if it's possible to change the scene fps of 3dsMax or Houdini scenes without opening them in the program since they are encrypted. I could imagine an option like "Set fps in empty scenes" in the project settings. It would be also possible to set the fps in a custom Prism plugin in the "postLoadEmptyScene" function.Β  I would leave it to every studio to add specific overrides for some scenes to this function because that's very specific.

4. Yes you are correct, it's just a reference to the nodes. A heavy rig turns it into a huge list, and the list is saved in the file. Let me double check this tomorrow when I get to the office. If I'm able to recreate it then I'll send you an example, and then I would suggest simply using the reference node instead of a selection set for references, as it is tiny, and have the same features you need.

6. Thanks for the tip regarding "postLoadEmptyScene", I'll check it out. I might have overlooked something, but what about adding a button in the pop-up that sets the fps and time range?

4. It's not possible to reparent referenced objects right? I guess then this would work for references.

6. There is a "postLoadEmptyScene" function in the Houdini plugin of Prism 1.1.0 and you could add this function to the Maya plugin, too. In the next version there will be "custom" plugins and I recommend to use a plugin of this type for your changes. If you modify the official Prism code, your customizations will be gone when you install a new Prism version. A "set-fps" button in the popup is a good idea. The framerange popup already has this button.

4. You can make the reference a child of another node, but not the other way around. When you use the 'remove references' function it will always remove all nodes from that reference no matter where they are in the outliner.

6. Cool, I'll check it out in the next version πŸ™‚ If you add a 'set fps' button, which would be great, maybe add the option to also correct the framerange to what it was set to before changing the framerate, else it will be messed up. (maybe this is only in Maya)

6. No that happens in 3dsMax too, but of course I would compensate for that.

Hey Richard,

Hope you don't mind me just adding small suggestions to this post.

Would it be possible to disable the "copy to global" function that happen automatically when you publish an asset? We are trying to keep the global folder as small in file size as possible, and I find myself going in and deleting the working file on the global project each time I publish. A checkbox or something like that in the state manager would be great!

I think in most situations it is beneficial to have the published scenes in the global folder, but I agree that an option to disable that could be usefull sometimes. Eventually I'll add that in the next version. In the meantime you can disable that feature by deleting a single line:

In C:\Prism\Scripts\ in the saveScene function, there is this line which you can disable/delete (line 1956):

self.copySceneFile(filepath, self.fixPath(filepath).replace(self.localProjectPath, self.projectPath))

Don't forget to also disable the if clause above.