[ICE] Converting integers to strings

Thanks to Mootzoid emTools, it’s easy to convert an integer to a string:
Note that you get padding too, so it’s easy to do things like generating replacements for the [Frame] token.
The emTools string compounds are convenience compounds:

For fun, I tried to create my own integer-to-string converter using the stock nodes. I did by dividing by 10 until the quotient (the result) was zero; with each division, I take the remainder and stick it at the front of the string. And by setting Max Repeat to 4, I get padding on my strings (so for integer 45 I get “0045”).
Note the use of Delay Set Data. The integer division compound uses Modulo and Division by Scalar. The 2char compound simply uses a Select Case to map a single digit to a string:

It did occur to me that I could do it all with a single Select Case :)
The catch is that the Select Case node has ten thousand cases.
That’s really slow when you create that node in an ICE tree (for example, by importing a compound that uses it). It also takes a long time to create ten thousand cases, even with a script.

case_node = Application.AddICENode("$XSI_DSPRESETS\\ICENodes\\SelectCaseNode.Preset", "pointcloud1.pointcloud.ICETree")
string_node = Application.AddICENode("$XSI_DSPRESETS\\ICENodes\\StringNode.Preset", "pointcloud1.pointcloud.ICETree")

Application.ConnectICENodes("{0}.case0".format( case_node.FullName ), "{0}.result".format( string_node.FullName ) )
Application.DeleteObj( string_node.FullName )
Application.SetValue("{0}.case{1}_string".format( case_node.FullName, 0), "{0:0>4}".format(0), "")
Application.SetValue("{0}.default_string".format( case_node.FullName, "9999", "")

for i in range(1,10000):
	Application.AddPortToICENode("{0}.case{1}".format( case_node.FullName, i-1), "siNodePortDataInsertionLocationAfter")
	Application.SetValue("{0}.case{1}_string".format( case_node.FullName, i), "{0:0>4}".format(i), "")

Friday Flashback #207

‘Theocracy of Hackers’ Rules Autodesk Inc., A Strangely Run Firm
Can the Latest CEO Survive A Cabal of Programmers Who Send ‘Flame Mail’?

May 28, 1992
Just as Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software supplier, is an extension of the personality of William Gates III, Autodesk is largely a creature of Mr. Walker. Like Mr. Gates, Mr. Walker is superb at identifying computer trends and spreading his vision to the troops. But unlike Mr. Gates, Mr. Walker, 42, never really wanted to run his company. “I’m an engineer, I’m a programmer, I’m a technologist,” he says. “I have no interest in running a large U.S. public company, and I never have. It was a means to an end to accomplish the technological work I wished to achieve.”

He relinquished the top spot in 1986 to Alvar Green, formerly Autodesk’s chief financial officer, to return to programming. But the real power still rested with Mr. Walker, Autodesk’s biggest shareholder, and an elite group of programmers called “Core,” who had either helped Mr. Walker found the company in 1982 or led its most important projects.

Core members are contentious, eccentric free-thinkers who have had a way of devouring professional managers. They have often attacked each other and company executives, usually by sending “flame mail” — biting electronic letters. The outbursts sometimes have led to changes, and sometimes brought work to a halt. “The whole company is a theocracy of hackers,” says Charles M. Foundyller, president of Daratech Inc., a market research firm in Cambridge, Mass.

— from a 1992 article in the Wall Street Journal

Continue reading

[Scripting] Opening a page in a web browser

Here’s a couple of ways to open a URL in a web browser from inside Softimage. Unfortunately, these worked on Windows only. On Linux, the JScript can’t create that ActiveX object, and the Python didn’t do anything.


// Open a web page in the default browser
var objShell = new ActiveXObject("shell.application");
objShell.ShellExecute("http://support.solidangle.com", "", "", "open", 1);


import webbrowser
webbrowser.open( 'http://support.solidangle.com' )

Friday Flashback #206

IBC 1999 fx stage graphics

What Dreams May Come


Softimage in the Movies

Star Wars: Episode One (The Phantom Menace)

Softimage in Games





Digital Artist: “Sumatra”, Softimage 3D, Softimage DS, Softimage Eddie, Softimage Elastic Reality, Softimage Media Illusion, Softimage Marquee, Softimage Matador, Softimage Toonz

Softimage digital artist, Avid Unity, Avid Editor, Digidesign musician





2014 year in review for the Softimage mailing list


1164 topics, 14274 posts, 460 different posters

42% of all activity on the list happened during a five-week period after the Softimage EOL announcement.

Top 25 topics
* number of posts in bold

  1. SI and Houdini 250
  2. A germ of an idea. 220
  3. SoftImage Artists take on Maya @ Escape Studios 196
  4. new upgrade policy 177
  5. Autodesk webinar 163
  6. Maya feature request from Softimage users 155
  7. Survey – how would you do this? 154
  8. An Open Letter to Carl Bass 133
  9. Softimage 2015 Last Release Announcement 126
  10. rigging in xsi vs maya 126
  11. Cinema 4D an option? 121
  12. humanize maya, SOFT top 5 117
  13. Open letter to Autodesk 113
  14. rumor, Soft dead within the next year 111
  15. YOUR TOP 5 109
  16. softimage to modo 103
  17. Redshift3D Render 100
  18. A confession 97
  19. Softimage transition webinar is starting in 10 minutes 96
  20. A more graceful retirement – my counter offer 90
  21. What use is ICE really? 89
  22. Maya strengts (anyone?) 82
  23. 28/03/2014 81
  24. Anyone in the SI list transitioning to MODO? -Please add your mail here 79
  25. Listening 78

Top 25 posters
* number of posts in bold

  1. Sebastien Sterling 611
  2. Jason S 429
  3. Emilio Hernandez 398
  4. Jordi Bares 330
  5. Angus Davidson 329
  6. Matt Lind 317
  7. Mirko Jankovic 303
  8. Leendert A. Hartog 276
  9. Raffaele Fragapane 273
  10. Eric Thivierge 260
  11. olivier jeannel 252
  12. Cristobal Infante 250
  13. Luc-Eric Rousseau 212
  14. Tim Crowson 203
  15. Francisco Criado 183
  16. Stephen Blair 180
  17. Nicolas Esposito 179
  18. Steven Caron 165
  19. Ognjen Vukovic 162
  20. Morten Bartholdy 158
  21. Eric Turman 142
  22. Perry Harovas 140
  23. Rob Chapman 137
  24. Paul Griswold 137
  25. Ed Manning 125
    adrian wyer 125

Friday Flashback #203

The Hive Creates Festive Fun For Legoland


The commercial was created using SoftImage

3D animation house, The Hive, was commissioned by Cartoon Network Sponsorship & Promotions department to create a magical virtual advent calendar for the Windsor-based theme park, Legoland.

The commercial was created using SoftImage and airs throughout December on the Cartoon Network.


The Hive’s brief was to create something bright and colourful that really screams Christmas to promote the fact that Legoland is opening its doors over the festive period for the first time.

The Hive worked closely with Cartoon Network Producer, Tracey Cleland, to create 24 different versions – one for each day of December leading up to Christmas day. Each commercial opens with an optical pan in which a Lego Santa welcomes the viewer to a winter landscape of snow-capped hills and trees. The viewer is then drawn to one of 24 Lego advent calendar boxes that open to reveal either a mystery prize or footage of one of Legoland’s Christmas attractions.

“To maximise efficiency we decided to produce a limited number of advent boxes which could change colour and date and be rotated to fill all the days required,” comments Adrian Wyer animator/compositor at The Hive. “The clever trick with this advert is that because every day is different the viewer is not left with the usual Christmas commercial fatigue.”


The advent calendar commercial follows on the back of a ten second teaser created at the Hive that invited people to ‘Leg it to Legoland’. This aired on the Cartoon Network in November.

Producer: Tracey Cleland @ The Cartoon Network
Animation Company: The Hive
Post Producer: James Niklasson @ The Hive
Animator/Project Leader/Compositor: Adrian Wyer @ The Hive