Python – Getting rules from a connection mapping template

This snippet shows how to read a connection (or value) mapping template into a Python dictionary.

t = Application.Dictionary.GetObject( "Model1.Mixer.MappingTemplate1" )

n = Application.GetNumMappingRules( t )

d = {}
for i in range(1,n+1):
        r = Application.GetMappingRule( t, i )
        d[r.Value("From")] = r.Value("To")
for k, v in d.iteritems():
     Application.LogMessage( k + " > " +  v )

Line 8 GetMappingRule uses output arguments, so we have to take the returned ISIVTCollection and extract the From and To output arguments. We use From as the dictionary key.

PhysX and CUDA-enabled GPU

Softimage 2011 includes PhysX 2.83 and supports CUDA acceleration for PhysX rigid body dynamics (this includes ICE rigid bodies). So what do you need to do to take advantage of CUDA ?

You need an NVidia card that supports CUDA, and you need to enable PhysX hardware acceleration in the NVidia control panel.

If all requirements are met, an INFO message “PhysX Hardware is Enabled” is logged in the script editor the first time you use ICE RBD.

Catastrophic failure

A customer reported this error during the Crosswalk install: “Feature Transfer Error – Catastrophic failure”. Actually, he posted the screenshot on his facebook page, Jennifer Goldfinch saw it, contacted me, and I ended up with the case.

Happily the problem was easily solved. The md5 of his downloaded exe was wrong, so he switched from Google Chrome to Firefox, downloaded again, and Crosswalk installed just fine. Afterwards I downloaded Google Chrome to try it myself, and I didn’t have any problems with the Crosswalk download. Go figure.

I didn’t see the md5 on, so here it is: 63AF7E5BA1CD27269FE2B1FD135F373C.

T2S_MentalRay addon

The T2S_MentalRay addon includes copies of Softimage DLLs, such as sibase.dll, and that causes problems in Softimage 2011. I’ve had two cases of shader/workgroup problems that were resolved by removing this addon.

Update: As noted in the comments, the problem is older versions of SPDL files that contain GUIDs used by the Softimage factory shaders. Addon shaders are loaded first, so these SPDLs override the factory defaults and cause problems.

Error 0x80040707 DLL function call crashed: gdi32.DescribePixelFormat

A Subscription customer reported getting this error during the Softimage 2010 SP1 install. I also saw this reported on the AREA for ModTool. However, these are the only two reports of this error that I have ever seen.

Error Number: 0x80040707
Description: DLL function call crashed: gdi32.DescribePixelFormat
Setup will now terminate.

The customer worked around the error by installing in Safe mode, but later had problems loading his C# plugins. So we tried a silent install of Softimage 2010 SP1, and that seemed to do the trick.

Installing shaders with just the .mi and .dll files

Hirazi Blue beat me to it, but I did have this post in draft form for awhile. Really, I did.

Given a .mi file and a dll, Softimage 2011 can automatically load and register a shader. For example, in the screenshot you can see I have the JS_fisheye and ctrl_studio .mi files in a workgroup.

In your workgroup, create the following folders:

  • Application\mi
  • Application\bin\nt-x86-32
  • Application\bin\nt-x86-64

And then drop the .mi and .dll files into the corresponding folders.

I used the Plug-in Manager to create my workgroup, and on 32-bit it created a Application\bin\nt-x86 folder. But Softimage didn’t load the DLL from that folder. According to Process Monitor, Softimage looked everywhere but Application\bin\nt-x86:

  • Application\bin\nt-x86-32
  • bin\nt-x86-32
  • Plugins
  • mi\bin\nt-x86-32
  • mi\bin\nt-x86
  • bin\nt-x86

Note that I didn’t get the JS_fisheye shader to work in 64-bit Softimage 2011. Even though Softimage loaded the DLL, I still got the error “// ERROR : PHEN 0.4 error 051011: shader “JS_fisheye” not found”. Dependency Walker didn’t show any problems with JS_fisheye.dll.

Installing your Softimage 2011 network license

To get your 2011 license, get your 2011 serial number and then go to

  1. Save your 2011 license file in C:\Program Files\Autodesk Network License Manager.
  2. Start LMTOOLS.
  3. On the Start/Stop/Reread tab, click Stop Server.
  4. On the Config Services tab, change the Path to license file to point to the 2011 license file.
  5. Click Save Service.
  6. On the Start/Stop/Reread tab, click Start Server.
  7. Now double-check that the 2011 license is installed. On the Server Status tab, click Perform Status Enquiry.

    First, check that LMTOOLS is using the new license file. Look for this info:

    License server status: 27000@MTL-EXAMPLE
    License file(s) on MTL-EXAMPLE: C:\Program Files\Autodesk Network License Manager\SFTIM_2011.lic:

    Under “Feature usage info”, you should see a list of features like 85563SFTIM_2011_0F, 84000SFTIM_2010_0F, and 78600SFTIM_7_5F.
    The features with B1, B2, B3, B4, and B5 are your batch licenses.

Tip – If LMTOOLS is still using your 2010 license:

– Go to the Start/Stop/Reread tab.
– Select the “Force Server Shutdown” check box.
– Click Stop Server.
– Click Start Server.

Combining multiple Softimage 2011 serial numbers

If you had a combination of Softimage 2010 and Softimage Advanced 2010 licenses, you will be getting two separate serial numbers for Softimage 2011.

You’ll get one Softimage 2011 serial number for your Softimage 2010 license, and another Softimage 2011 serial number for your Softimage Advanced 2010 license.

Unfortunately, you cannot combine the two Softimage 2011 licenses into a single license (.lic) file.
Softimage and Softimage Advanced were separate products, that is why it was possible to combine the two licenses.

What to do? Contact your reseller or the Business Center and ask them to combine your two serial numbers into one master serial number for all your Softimage 2011 seats.