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.