MotionBuilder error reading registry key during uninstall


This case illustrates a common troubleshooting technique for some install/uninstall problems: deleting the Installer registry key.
Way back when I started support Softimage, this was how we fixed problems like “Uninstall says Softimage already uninstalled”, even though that was not true.

In a recent MotionBuilder case, the customer got this error when he tried to uninstall MotionBuilder 2011:

There was an error reading the registry key SOFTWARE\autodesk\motionbuilder\2011//defaultproductkey.

The solution:

  1. In the Registry Editor, find this key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData\S-1-5-18\Products
  2. Search for MotionBuilder in the Data.
  3. You should find a DisplayName value under an InstallProperties key.

    The full key name will be something like:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData\S-1-5-18\Products\83E7ADBE34330A442ACF348F731E5F87\InstallProperties

  4. Export the key (as a backup) and then delete it. For example, on machine, I would delete this key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData\S-1-5-18\Products\83E7ADBE34330A442ACF348F731E5F87
    On your machine, the key name may be different than “83E7ADBE34330A442ACF348F731E5F87”
  5. Try again to uninstall MotionBuilder.

Using dotXSI to clean up a material library


If you’re still having problems with disconnected shaders, even with HotFix2, you could try using dotXSI to remove any corrupt materials from your material library.

Here’s the basic procedure. You may want to create a temporary copy of your material library, and then use the explorer to copy all the materials into the temporary material library.

  1. Load the original asset (scene or model).
  2. In the explorer, switch to Materials scope, and click the icon for the material library.
  3. In the library PPG, change the storage to External (dotxsi text) and click Export Library.
  4. Save the scene.
  5. Close and restart Softimage.
  6. Open the scene.
  7. In the explorer, right-click the material library and click Locks > Unlock All Levels.
  8. In the material library PPG, change the storage back to Internal.
  9. Save or export the asset.

Softimage Blog » Work-Around to Problems with Tablets and Softimage


Softimage now disables tablet pressure support to prevent problems with tablets.

There is strange user interface lag that affects Softimage XSI when you use a Wacom tablet. With heavy scenes or simulation, you may never be able to stop playback. Other users have reported problems with the render region.The best work-around is to disable tablet support in Softimage any version. This will not affect any other program.

via Softimage Blog » Blog Archive » Work-Around to Problems with Tablets and Softimage.

ICE modeling


I had a bit of time yesterday, so I started playing with ICE procedural modeling and I managed to put together a rough prototype of an auto-fencer. Given a curve, I use ICE to build a fence by placing posts and rails. I’ve still got some problems with the rotations of the rail, but it’s a lot better than it was yesterday 😉

Disconnected shaders and HotFix2 redux


HotFix2 cannot fix render trees that are already broken. You’ll have to repair those materials after you remove the corruption.

Here’s how to recover a scene and remove the material corruption with HotFix2.

It is critical to restart Softimage during this procedure.

  1. Load the corrupted scene into Softimage 2011 (with HotFix2).
  2. Save the scene.
  3. Restart Softimage.
  4. Load the scene again.
  5. Now you can start repairing your materials.

The connections of corrupted materials are broken upon initial load, but corrupted shaders themselves still remain. After saving, restarting XSI.exe, and reloading the scene, corrupted shaders that are not salvageable have been removed and whatever shaders remain can be used to reconstruct materials.