Connecting FX Tree nodes with the FX Operator Selector

Here’s a quick how to video.

Like it says on

p.s. : Cool people add fxtree operators by clicking them in the Operator Selector, and then middle-clicking several times in the fxtree to chose the 1) first input 2) second input 3) output (if necessary) and finnally middle click in the background to set the insert location. The Fx operator selector shows which connection is currently being selected. Select any optionnal inputs you want to pick by first clicking the checkbox next to it in the Operator Selector

Friday Flashback #15

Some poladroid pictures of shirts I found while cleaning out my attic yesterday.

T-shirt from a SOFTIMAGE|3D training kit:

SOFTIMAGE|SDK t-shirt (front, back)

Softimage 10 years:

Softimage Technology Group–For awhile, I was part of the Technology Group, which was a group of Sumatra and DS developers charged with building common technology between DS and Sumatra.

IBC ’95. A month after I joined Softimage, they sent me to Amsterdam for IBC. I had been training for the Montreal marathon; instead I did the half in Amsterdam in the rain.

SIGGRAPH ’96 in New Orleans. I did the Canal Street Classic 5k while I was down at siggraph. It started and ended right outside my hotel, which was convenient. One of the hottest runs I’ve ever done; not enjoyable at all.

ICE modeling: Building a polygonal description

In this video, I use a simple example (a 2×2 grid) to show one approach to building up a polygonal description array.

A polygonal description array is an array of vertex indices that looks something like this:

0 3 4 1 -2 1 4 5 2 -2 3 6 7 4 -2 4 7 8 5 -2

where the “-2” is a separator between polygons.

If you’re interested, the corresponding scene is here.

hat tip to Guillaume Laferriere for the Index Array to Select Case technique.

The case of the Softimage 2011 that stopped working after Softimage 2012 was installed

In this case, after the customer installed Softimage 2012, he couldn’t start Softimage 2011 anymore, and he got the famous “No interactive network license available” error.

In general, installing one version of Softimage shouldn’t cause any problems with any other versions.
The Softimage installation doesn’t touch the license server, and it updates only the setenv.bat file of the version being installed (setenv.bat sets the licensing-related environment variables).
Also, for Subscription customers, Softimage 2012 licenses include 2011, 2010, and 7.5 licenses, so the new license file can still run older versions.

However, there are some common configuration files that can be corrupted and cause problems.
In this case, the answer was in %TEMP%\SoftimageLicense.log:

2848    2011/04/14    19:59:34    Reason=Fatal error
2848    2011/04/14    19:59:34    ComputerName=EXAMPLE
2848    2011/04/14    19:59:34    OS=5.2.3790.Service Pack 2
2848    2011/04/14    19:59:34    File=AdlmIntLicense.cpp,Line=614
2848    2011/04/14    19:59:34    AdlmIntError=25 [The product key was not found]
1792    2011/04/15    20:10:57    Reason=Fatal error
1792    2011/04/15    20:10:57    ComputerName=EXAMPLE
1792    2011/04/15    20:10:57    OS=5.2.3790.Service Pack 2
1792    2011/04/15    20:10:57    File=AdlmIntLicense.cpp,Line=613
1792    2011/04/15    20:10:57    VendorID=6 [ADLMPIT]
1792    2011/04/15    20:10:57    VendorError=12 [The root information in Product Information Table XML file is missing]
1792    2011/04/15    20:10:57    Reason=Fatal error
1792    2011/04/15    20:10:57    ComputerName=EXAMPLE
1792    2011/04/15    20:10:57    OS=5.2.3790.Service Pack 2
1792    2011/04/15    20:10:57    File=AdlmIntLicense.cpp,Line=614
1792    2011/04/15    20:10:57    AdlmIntError=25 [The product key was not found]

The errors [The product key was not found] and [The root information in Product Information Table XML file is missing] mean that the ProductInformation.pit file is missing information or corrupted. ProductInformation.pit contains information for every Autodesk product installed on the system. You can find ProductInformation.pit here:

Windows XP:
C:\Documents and settings\All Users\Application Data\Autodesk\AdlM

Windows Vista:

By default, the AdlM folder is hidden. In Explorer, click Tools > Folder Options, and go to the View tab. Select the Show hidden files and folders option. You should now be able to see that folder.

There are two ways to fix the ProductInformation.pit file.

The hard way:

  1. Remove all Autodesk products.
  2. Rename the AdlM folder (for example, rename Adlm to Backup)
  3. Reinstall your Autodesk products.

Note that when you install your Autodesk products, you may get the error “1: 5 2 adlmPITRemoveProductInformation failed 3: 12”.
That is another symptom of ProductInformation.pit problems.

The easy way:
Copy the ProductInformation.pit file from another system.
This works as long as the other system has the same Autodesk software installed.

We have an internal PIT file viewer, which shows what product information is stored in a PIT file:

Getting the number of particles in a given state

There were two techniques suggested on the mailing list, but only one worked for me in Softimage 2012. There seems to be a problem with Get Set Sum (see the screenshot below). Using Filter and Get Set Size works just fine.

I was going to run the performance timers to see if there was any difference between the two techniques, but since the Get Set Sum doesn’t return the right number, there was no point.

BTW, when you’re using the state machine with the Simulation Root, anything you plug into the Execute node is processed only in the initial state. If you want to something always processed (like the Set Data above), plug it into the post-sim execute port.

Importing, exporting, and restoring preferences

You can create a backup copy of your preferences by exporting them: just click File > Preferences, right-click Preferences (Application) and click Export. You can then restore your personalized settings by importing the backup copy (for example, if someone else sits at your desk can changes everything, you can easily get back your settings).

Or, if you suspect that some preference setting is causing Softimage to mis-behave, you can export your current settings before you restore the defaults.

Note that you can also import, export, and restore defaults for specific categories: