Fixing weird problems and odd behavior by resetting your preferences

Whenever you start having strange problems in Softimage, it’s a good idea to try resetting your User preferences. You can do this by renaming the default.xsipref preference file in %XSI_USERHOME%\Data\Preferences (for example, to default.xsipref.backup). The restart Softimage; that will recreate a factory-default default.xsipref file.

Tip If resetting the preferences doesn’t fix the problem, then try renaming your User folder (for example, to C:\users\blairs\Softimage_2010.backup). That will force Softimage to recreate the whole User folder. Sometimes the problem is not the preferences, but some other file or setting in the User folder.

So why does resetting the preferences fix strange problems? Usually we just assume there was a bad preference setting, or a bad combination of settings. But I’m not so sure.

The other day a customer called with a problem: he couldn’t see his blendweight fcurve in the Animation Editor. I Webex’d to his machine to check it out, but I couldn’t get it to work either: right-click the animation icon and click Animation Editor, but there’d be no fcurve. I could repro on my own machine, but my colleague Manny couldn’t repro on his. So I renamed my default.xsipref, restarted Softimage, and then I could see the blendweight fcurve. This worked for the customer too.

Later, I compared the factory-default default.xsipref with my backed-up version, and tried to reproduce the problem by hand-editing my new default.xsipref. But I couldn’t. Eventually I put back my original default.xsipref (the one I had when I could repro the problem), but even then I could not reproduce the problem.

So. Resetting the preferences fixed the odd behavior, but putting back the “corrupted” preferences file didn’t bring the odd behavior back. It seems like it is not the content of xsipref file itself, but the act of forcing Softimage back to the factory-defaults that resolves the problem.

One year ago

One year ago. Years of history being recycled outside the Softimage office on St Laurent. Just before we moved out and down to the Autodesk offices at the Old Port.

The rising sun over the recycling truck is a nice touch.

Getting the ID of a new edge from the AddEdgeOp

The other week I posted a KB article that showed how to run a VBScript snippet to get the ID of a new edge added by the AddEdge command. I did it that way because the new edge ID is an output argument to AddEdge, and JScript and Python don’t support output arguments.

Now, however, I found a way to get the new edge ID directly from the AddEdgeOp:

// Get the AddEdgeOp
var oOp = Dictionary.GetObject( "grid.polymsh.addedgeop[2]" );

// Now get the new Edge ID and the new Point ID
var sNewptid = GetValue(oOp + ".newptid") ;
var sNewedgeid = GetValue(oOp + ".newedgeid") ;

LogMessage( "Edge["+sNewedgeid+"] : PointID=" + sNewptid );

Upgrading to Windows 7

What happens to your Softimage license when you upgrade to Windows 7?

If you have a Standalone license, you can use the License Transfer Utility to transfer the license. Export the license, upgrade, and then import the license on the new machine/upgraded machine.

If you have a network license, the same license will work, as long as the Ethernet address of the computer does not changes. Network licenses are tied to the Ethernet address (aka MAC address or Physical address). If the Ethernet address changes (for example, if you get a brand new computer) then you need to contact the Business Center for a new license.

If you need to contact the Business Center, you can log a service request from the Subscription Center (don’t log a technical support request, log a business service request: there is a separate tab for that).

Moving from XP to Windows 7 means you will be dealing with User Account Control (UAC) for the first time. For some users, this means they have to Run as administrator to use the Softimage command prompt or the UserTools utility.

Also, when you install the Autodesk Network License Manager, most likely the folder C:\Program Files\Autodesk Network License Manager will be read-only, so you won’t be able to save your license file in that folder. In some cases, LMTOOLS won’t be able to write to its log file in that folder, which prevents the license server from starting.

If Softimage and the license server are installed on the same Windows 7 (or Vista) computer, then you have to do one of the following:

Also, if you cannot get a license, check that the ports 2080 and 27000-27009 are open in the Windows firewall.