Error 1304 Error writing to file when creating a network deployment

If you get an error that looks like this when you create a network deployment:

Error 1304.Error writing to file \\MTL-server01\PSSMedia\Softimage\Users\BLAIRS\Deployments\SAP
\AdminImage\Softimage\x64\program files\Autodesk\Softimage 2011 Subscription Advantage Pack\Addons\ICEFlowBuilder\Data\Compounds\Particles\Presets\Lagoa Setup Basic Emission from Null.1.0.xsicompound. Verify that you have access to that directory.

followed by this error:

Error 2350.FDI server error

it’s because the path name is too long. The maximum length for a Windows path name is 260 characters.

If the path name of your deployment location is up around 60 characters, you’re going to exceed the 260 character limit. Too bad the deployment tool doesn’t check when you enter the Administrative Image location and deployment name:

Checking if a polygon is hidden

Here’s some Jscript that shows how to find clusters hidden by ToggleVisibility.

Note that clusters can also be hidden by adding a visibility property (Property > Polygon Cluster Visibility).
Finding those would be a separate, but more straightforward, task

// Get a polygon cluster
//var oCluster = Dictionary.GetObject( "cube.polymsh.cls.Polygon" );
var oCluster = Selection(0);

// Get array of polygon indices
var a = oCluster.Elements.Array.toArray();

// Get [basically undocumented] invisible polygon cluster
var oGeometry = Dictionary.GetObject( "cube" ).ActivePrimitive.Geometry;
var l_polyVisCluster = oGeometry.Clusters( siInvisiblePolygonsClusterName );

// Check if a polygon in our cluster is hidden
// It is possible for a poly to be in multiple clusters
// Otherwise we could assume that if a[0] is hidden, 
// then the whole cluster is hidden

for ( var i = 0; i < a.length; i++ )

                if ( l_polyVisCluster.Elements.FindIndex( a[i] ) == -1 )
                                LogMessage( "poly[" + a[i] + "] : Visible" );
                                LogMessage( "poly[" + a[i] + "] : Hidden" );

MatchMover or Composite looks for Maya licenses

You can tell MatchMover and Composite what license to use by setting these environment variables:


For example, to tell MatchMover to use a Softimage license instead of a Maya license, you can set the ADSK_MATCHMOVER_LICENSE environment variable to “Softimage”.


The possible values are Softimage, 3dsMax, and Maya. The values are case-insensitive.

If you don’t know how to set environment variables in Windows, see this video (note there’s no audio).

The strange case of MatchMover licensing

I installed the RTM (release to manufacturing) version of Softimage 2011 Subscription Advantage Pack, including MatchMover and Composite awhile ago, and I ran MatchMover a number of times with no problem.

Then the other day I re-installed 3ds Max 2011 to switch from Network to Standalone licensing, for a case I was working on. After that, when I tried to run MatchMover, I’d get a message about my 3ds Max license being expired:

But in C:\flexlm\MatchMoverLicense.log, I saw that MatchMover was logging Maya licensing information:

====== BEGIN MAYA LICENSE DIAGNOSTICS Wed Oct 20 08:43:37 2010 ======
623848 ::: 2
623801 ::: m2010.016 win64, built Mar 19 2010 04:05:31
623802 ::: links in AdLM but not Flint
623833 ::: 'adlm'
623858 ::: 'en_US'
623824 ::: MAYA_LICENSE_METHOD 'standalone'
623823 ::: MAYA_LICENSE 'adlm-128c1-2011.0.0.f'
623826 ::: MAYA_ALT_EN
623830 ::: MAYA_LOCATION 'C:/Program Files/Autodesk/MatchMover2011'
623866 ::: 'C:/Program Files/Autodesk/MatchMover2011/adlm/en_US'
623846 ::: AdLM (D034) win64
623807 ::: standalone MA 128C1 2011.0.0.F
623109 --- MA 128C1 2011.0.0.F 19
623837 ::: 0
623834 ::: 0
623838 ::: 
623805 ::: 
====== END MAYA LICENSE DIAGNOSTICS Wed Oct 20 08:43:37 2010 ======

So, I opened a command prompt and did this:

cd "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\MatchMover 2011 Subscription Advantage Pack"
set ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE=@my-license-server

which gave me this Maya license error 20:

After poking around with Process Monitor for awhile, I opened the registry editor and renamed these these registry keys:


to something like “xxxMAYA-1”.

After that, MatchMover started and took Softimage license.

A few minutes later someone from Development sent me a much better workaround: set the ADSK_MATCHMOVER_LICENSE environment variable to Softimage.

The serial number you entered is not valid…(Error 123)

Most Softimage customers have network licenses. Unfortunately, by default Softimage installs in Standalone license mode, and often people get stuck trying to activate their licenses at startup, because they get this error:

The serial number you entered is not valid for the product you are trying to activate. Try again. (Error 123)

Activation at startup is for standalone licenses only. Error 123 almost always means that you have a network license, not a standalone license. And with a network license, you have to:

  • Install the Autodesk Network License Manager (LMTOOLS).
  • Go to to download your license file.
  • Install your license in LMTOOLS.
  • Switch Softimage to Network licensing mode.

Here’s a video walkthrough. Unfortunately I forgot explain how to install LMTOOLS (run the Setup and choose Install Tools & Utilities). I forgot because I had to re-record the video (the first time the volume on my microphone was way too low).

Copy error when creating a network deployment

Before you create a network deployment, create an empty toxik folder in the source folder where the you extracted the contents of the downloaded .exe. Otherwise you’ll get this error, even if you clear the MatchMover and Composite checkboxes:

Autodesk Softimage 2011 Subscription Advantage Pack
The copy functions cannot be used.

Failed to copy the following files:



MatchMover FBX export doesn’t work

When you try to import an FBX file into Softimage 2011 Subscription Advantage Pack (SAP) from MatchMover, you get an error:

The following error(s) occured while attempting to read the FBX file:
-Corrupted or invalid file.

That’s because MatchMover exports a REALVIZ XML file instead of actual FBX.

Try using the Softimage VB Script export instead. That gives you a VBScript you can run in Softimage 2011 SAP to set up the exported tracking data.

Softimage 2011 Subscription Advantage Pack (incl Lagoa) is available

Sign in to the Subscription Center and get it now.

You don’t need a new serial number. The Subscription Advantage Pack (aka SAP or 2011.5) runs with your 2011 license. So, if you have a Network license, just point 2011.5 to your license server. If you have a Standalone license, enter your 2011 serial number at startup.

Getting Softimage to render on all cores

I see this question pop up from time to time: why doesn’t Softimage use all my CPUs/cores when I render?

mental ray is going to use all the cores it can (or should I say “all the cores it needs”?). There’s no flag to set or switch to activate. In fact, the only related option is the -threads command line flag, which will restrict the number of threads.

Here’s a screenshot of a render region of the ICE_Candle example scene. I didn’t have to do anything for Softimage to use all cores:

If Softimage doesn’t seem to be using all your cores/CPUs, I guess the first thing I would check is the task priority and affinity in the Task Manager.