The other day I happened upon this old tutorial (circa XSI 3.01) from Rob Wuster about “creating an alpha channel with an extra B/W image”. Here’s a quick update to make it work with a more recent version of XSI (eg Softimage 7.5).
You need to plug the Mix 2 Colors into an image layer. To create the image layer, I added the texture by clicking Modify > Texture > Add > Image.
Using Mix 2 Colors to fake an alpha channel
This will give you the same effect shown in the tutorial:
Black-and-white image stamped on a texture
The default directory structure for new Projects is specified by a set of values in the registry.
Look under the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Softimage\SOFTIMAGE Application\C:|Softimage|Softimage_7.5|Application|bin\Default Directory Structure.
You can add new directories by adding a new string value to the Default Directory Structure registry key.
A plug-in that updates the default directory structure was posted to the XSI Mailing list .
Also posted in the Autodesk KB.
One of the Maya support agents forwarded a case to me last Friday: installing the Softimage license server breaks the 3ds Max license server.
It turned out that the 3ds Max license server, which was on a physically separate computer, had gone down. The Softimage license server had nothing to do with it. It was just a coincidence (besides, installing a license server on machine A cannot break a license server running on machine B; the two license servers are completely separate).
Anyway, the 3ds Max license server was in a locked room, and the person with the key was on vacation. To check the status of the 3ds Max license server, we had to use the license manager installed on a another computer. The LMTOOLS GUI is kind of flakey, so it is better to use the command line.
To check whether the license server is up, you can run this command:
lmutil lmstat -c 27000@server
lmutil lmstat -c @server
To check the usage status of Softimage Advanced 7.5:
lmutil lmstat -c @server -f 78800SFTIMA_7_5F
To check the usage status of the Batch licenses:
lmutil lmstat -c @server -f 78800SFTIMASIB1_7_5F
lmutil lmstat -c @server -f 78800SFTIMASIB2_7_5F
lmutil lmstat -c @server -f 78800SFTIMASIB3_7_5F
lmutil lmstat -c @server -f 78800SFTIMASIB4_7_5F
lmutil lmstat -c @server -f 78800SFTIMASIB5_7_5F
- The -c flag allows you to specify a “license file”, which for FLEXnet licensing is usually really port@host.
- To check the status of a remote license server using the local LMTOOLS, I had to set the environment variable ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE to point to the remote server before I started LMTOOLS.exe.
- The Autodesk KB also suggests another way to use LMTOOLS to check the remote license server.
The Autodesk Network License Manager is not tested on virtual servers, and so virtual servers are not officially supported.
However, I know some customers are running their license servers on virtual servers. I believe that they hard code the MAC address of the virtual NIC to match the MAC address in the license file. That way the existing license file will work on the virtual server.
hat tip: TravisNave
Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on the Softimage KB at autodesk.com. I’ve also been working on Maya and Max KBs, as a reviewer.
Over the next few years we hope to see the KB become a big part of a more Web-based support community. For me, it feels a little bit like starting over; I think Softimage had a good start with the wiki and SOFTIMAGE|NET.
Here’s some of my recent KB articles:
Loading older scenes that contain volumic light effects
Softimage render licensing
audiodisplayfiles (.adf) files
Creating a Softimage project without running Softimage
Saving scenes outside of projects
Cannot add a project in the Project Manager
Invalid project error when saving a scene
Display problems in OpenGL viewports when using selection tools
Render Tree does not display shaders connected to Material node
Warning: objects were not saved normally
License Management Utility has stopped working
Product Support Video: Debugging scenes
Product Support Video: Troubleshooting startup crashes with Process Monitor
Error: No Interactive Network License Available
BA_Volume warning about lookup table size when rendering ICE particles
ERROR : ActiveX component can’t create object
Softimage crashes at startup when Digital Persona installed
Setting up network licenses
Setting up Softimage to use multiple license servers
Error: The serial number you entered is not valid
Satellite rendering causes fatal mental ray errors