Tips for searching the new online help

You can use the wildcards * and ?.
* matches one or more characters, and ? matches a single character.

Special Characters Ignored
The following special characters are ignored and treated as white-space:
[ ] ^ $ . | + ( ) ` ~ ! # % & – = { } ; ‘” ,

Stop words
Common words like “a”, “an”, “the”, and “get” and “set” are filtered out of searches, even if you do a phrase search.

Note that searches like “g?t s?t sum” won’t find the ICE node “Get Set Sum”.

Running Softimage on other distros like Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Pardus, and Gentoo

Here’s a workaround for running Softimage on other distros like Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Pardus, and Gentoo.
On these distros, some users have noticed problems with images (cannot browse for images, or even create noicon clips). Or Softimage can create and even save scenes, but crashes when you open a scene.

One of the Softimage developers believes he may have tracked down the source of this problem. The Softimage library has a dependency on libtiff and libjpeg. If either of these is missing, then the Softimage library fails to register correctly (during the install), but unfortunately no error is reported.

As a workaround you can try the following steps:

  1. Open your Softimage shell and source the .xsi file
  2. cd to the “Application\bin” folder
  3. Run cmdreg
  4. If you get an error, then you have this problem, so we can try to fix it. Now run ldd
  5. You should see that 1 (or more) libraries are missing – most likely libtiff and/or libjpeg.
  6. Install the required package(s) to get the missing libraries and then run the cmdreg again: cmdreg
  7. It should register now and all the problems with image nodes will be gone.
  8. If you have other strange problem you can ensure that all the Softimage libraries are registered correctly, by re-registering them all by running cmdreg -f XSICOMDLLs.lst
  9. If you have any errors, run the steps above checking the failing library with ldd to see which libraries are missing.

Hat tip: Sean Donnelly

Emitting particles from polygon clusters

Here’s an ICE tree that emits a particle from each polygon in a cluster.
In Emit from Position, I’ve set the Rate Type to Total Number of Particles, and the Rate to 1, so I get a single particle per polygon.

I exploded the Align to Emit Location compound and modified it to use the PolygonNormal to align the particles (which I’ve set to “cones”).

Hat tip: Sebastian Kowalski on the XSI mailing list

Breakup an object by polygon

Here’s one way to take a mesh and turn every polygon into a separate object.

First, download and install the JP_Separate plugin (requires an AREA logon). See below the fold for install instructions.

Then, do this:

  1. Select all polygons.
  2. Click Modify > Poly Mesh > Disconnect Components, and select the Explode check box.
  3. Select the sphere.
  4. Click Modify > Poly Mesh > JP_Separate to make each polygon a separate object.

Hat Tip: Grahame Fuller on the mailing list.

Here’s an example. After breaking up a default sphere into 64 new objects (one per polygon), I used “Transform Objects by Particles” to create this simple effect:

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