Python not available in 2011 SP1 after you uninstall 2011

A customer reported this last Friday. After he installed Softimage 2011 SP1, he uninstalled 2011, and after that Python did not show up as a scripting language in 2011 SP1.

I uninstalled 2011 and sure enough Python was gone in 2011 SP1.
To get Python back, open a Softimage 2011 SP1 command prompt and run runonce.bat.

Note that on Windows 7 or Vista, you’ll have to use an elevated command prompt (right-click the Command Prompt shortcut and click Run as Administrator).

Softimage announcements

If you want to be updated about service pack releases and other important Softimage news, turn on the Check for Announcements and Updates preferences (File > Preferences > General).

Then every time you start Softimage, announcements and updates will be displayed in the default Netview page. If this option is off, you can still click a link in the default Netview page to display them. If this option is on but Launch Netview on Startup is off, high-priority messages will still force Netview to open on startup.

Alternatively, you can subscribe to the RSS feed at using an RSS-aware browser.

Satellite rendering works in 2011 SP1

I’ve had a couple of customers ask if satellite really does work, and I can confirm that it does. I set up a couple of Windows 7 machines for satellite, and the mental ray diagnostics show the satellite machine being used (I’ve changed the computer names for demo purposes):

// INFO : JOB  0.n  progr:    89.8%    rendered on MTL-SATELLITE:7020.6
// INFO : JOB  0.13 progr:    90.9%    rendered on MTL-MASTER.13
// INFO : JOB  0.6  progr:    91.9%    rendered on MTL-MASTER.6
// INFO : JOB  0.n  progr:    92.9%    rendered on MTL-SATELLITE:7020.7
// INFO : JOB  0.12 progr:    93.9%    rendered on MTL-MASTER.12
// INFO : JOB  0.n  progr:    94.9%    rendered on MTL-SATELLITE:7020.2
// INFO : JOB  0.n  progr:    95.9%    rendered on MTL-SATELLITE:7020.4
// INFO : JOB  0.10 progr:    96.9%    rendered on MTL-MASTER.10
// INFO : JOB  0.n  progr:    97.9%    rendered on MTL-SATELLITE:7020.0
// INFO : JOB  0.n  progr:    98.9%    rendered on MTL-SATELLITE:7020.5

MTL-SATELLITE is the satellite computer, 7020 is the port used by the Satellite service, and the number after the period is the thread number.

One gotcha: satellite didn’t work if I used a different port on each computer. For example, if I changed the port to 7004 on the Master, then satellite didn’t work.

Error 1092 when trying to start raysat service

If you get error 1902 when you try to start the raysat satellite service, it’s probably because there is no entry for the service in the services file.

C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Softimage 2011\Application\bin>raysatsi2011_3_8_1_31server.exe /install
RaySatsi2011_3_8_1_31 Server installed.
Starting RaySatsi2011_3_8_1_31 Server.
raysatsi2011_3_8_1_31server error: (1092) RaySatsi2011_3_8_1_31 Server failed to start

Use a text editor to edit C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\services and add an entry that looks like this:

mi-raysatsi2011_3_8_1_31 7004/tcp	#

I’ve used port 7004 in this example, but you’ll have to check that no other service is using that port.

Fatal 041052: accessing unknown tag

In a recent support case, a customer reported he was getting an error that looked like this:

' INFO : Rendering frame 123 (62.5% done)
' FATAL : DB   0.14 fatal  041052: accessing unknown tag 0x41d
' FATAL : mental ray has encountered a fatal error condition.
' It has been disabled for the rest of this XSI session.
' Please save your work and and contact Softimage support (

Sometimes “accessing unknown tag” errors can happen when you run out of memory. Other times, “accessing unknown tag” errors can indicate that something is missing in the scene database created by mental ray. Everything in the scene database has a tag, including shaders and light profiles. Shaders use the tags to reference objects, so if some input to a shader is missing, you would get the “unknown tag” error.

In this particular case, the customer was able to resolve the problem by removing all unused materials and image clips from the scene.