Documentation moves to the Web for 2012

The shrinking Softimage box set through the years (Softimage|3D, XSI 5, XSI 7, and finally, Softimage 2012).

One of the changes in the 2012 release is that both the User’s Guide and the SDK Guide have moved to the web. There’s no more compiled help files (chm). Everything is now web-based.

The Setup program doesn’t include the help files, but you can download them if you want a local copy.

The General preferences now include some Help Location settings to tell Softimage where to find the online help:

This is part of a wider initiative across all Autodesk products. Some of the potential benefits include:

  • A more dynamic and up-to-date resource (compared to a static copy of the docs shipped with the product). Content can be updated on an on-going basis between releases.
  • Documentation can be integrated with other online resources, such as the KB, blogs, and forums, so users can search across all available content.
  • Standardization of help systems and formats.
  • Reduction of application footprint.

A Syflex on ICE snippet

During his Softimage 2012 demo at GDC, Mark Schoennagel has an amusing [to me at least] little bit where he uses Syflex to inflate and deflate a model. I recreated the effect but not the funny balloon noises that Mark makes while the doggie inflates and deflates.

The Syflex setup is pretty simple: I just pinned the tail and added a volume force.

JPGs that won’t load into Softimage

I sometimes wondered why Rock Falcon always had a noIcon texture in my viewport, even though if I did a render region, I could see the texture was really there.
I assumed it was something about the software on my system, because Manny didn’t have the same problem even though he has the exact same hardware.

Then I read this post from Luc-Eric on the mailing list:

I discovered a bug in the standard jpeg library that causes a problem
with some formats of jpeg — probably progressive.
It uses a temp file to decompress them and in Windows that ends up
being a temp file in the root of the drive. If you’re under Vista or
some account with limited privileges that prevent writing to the root
of the drive, the jpegs won’t load.
via JPG Baseline / Progressive – Google Groups.

I did a quick check with Process Monitor, and I saw that Softimage was indeed trying to create a file in my C:\ driver, and getting ACCESS DENIED.
I checked Manny’s machine, and he can write to the C:\ drive because he has UAC disabled.