Show Values doesn’t work if you have Geometry Approximation

I was trying to debug an ICE graph with Show Values, but the values would just not show. Eventually I turned to the docs, and I found my answer (in the Debugging ICE Trees > Displaying Port Values topic):

Per-component attributes cannot be displayed on polygon meshes that are subdivided using the geometry approximation method.

Sure enough, my mesh had a Geometry Approximation property on it.

Hat tip to the doc team for adding this info to the 7.5 docs (it wasn’t there in 7.0).

Shaders loaded by XSI

In general, mental ray, from inside XSI, only loads shaders from $XSI_BINDIR and $XSI_CPU_OPT.
Both these environment variables are set in setenv.bat (.xsi_7.X on Linux), unless the ray3rc location has been overridden by MI_ROOT.

So if you find that XSI is looking for shaders in the wrong place (eg you are getting black tiles/images rendered), then check that MI_ROOT is not set system-wide to an old location.

h/t: Halfdan

Borrowing Licenses

Network licenses can be borrowed from the license server.

For example, you can borrow a license onto your laptop, and then disconnect from the network and still run Softimage.

To borrow a license:

  1. Connect your laptop to the network (so you can access the license server).
  2. Start Softimage on your laptop.
  3. In Softimage, click Help > About Autodesk Softimage.
  4. Click Product License Information.
  5. Click Borrow License.
  6. Specify a start date and end date for the borrowing period.
  7. You can click Help to read the License Borrowing documentation.