SIGGRAPH 2011 – Autodesk Student Experience Event

Autodesk Student Experience Event – exclusively for students

On Sunday, August 7, 2011, Autodesk will be hosting the Autodesk Student Experience event, a series of workshops and presentations exclusively for students. This full day of events will feature classes, one-on-one feedback sessions with Autodesk technology experts, a seminar from Carlos Baena of Animation Mentor and a keynote presentation by Duncan Brinsmead, principal scientist at Autodesk.

There will also be a Softimage Class with Adam Sale, and Mark Schoennagel will be available to answer Softimage questions.

via Area :: SIGGRAPH 2011.

Reserve Array

The Reserve Array node reserves memory for an array, but it doesn’t construct the array for you.

So, for example, if you try to use Set in Array you may find that it doesn’t work, because the array element you’re trying to set doesn’t exist yet. In this tree, Reserve Array gives me an array with one element. So trying to set the second element has no effect.

I’d have to use Push on Array here to get the desired result:

Or I could make sure the array elements exist like this:

I could also Resize the array after I reserve it.

The Autodesk Book: Imagine Design Create

In March, 2011, Autodesk released its first book: Imagine, Design, Create: How Designers, Engineers and Architects are Changing Our World. The book provides a wide-ranging look at how the creative process and the tools of design are dramatically changing – and where design is changing in the coming years. Bringing together stories of good design happening around the world, the book shows how people are using fresh design approaches and new capabilities to solve problems, create opportunities and improve the way we live and work.

Imagine, Design, Create expresses Autodesk’s vision for design as a means to help people innovate and prosper. As a physical artifact, it is a tangible representation of the power of design, which we can give to our customers and partners, providing them with a continual source of inspiration as well as a persistent reminder of Autodesk’s role to foster design.

You can buy the book on Amazon. As an employee, I got a free copy.

The book doesn’t really focus on Autodesk products: in fact, they’re hardly ever mentioned. It’s all about the end results and the general design process. I haven’t read the book yet, but one thing caught my eye in the chapter about the massively multiplayer Lego game:

Making LEGO bricks look real on
the screen became the next engineering
stumper. It turned out that a single 2-by-4
brick required more polygons than a World
of Warcraft avatar—the tiny studs and
surfaces contain a lot of detail. The solution
turned out to be “hidden surface removal,”
which preserved the integrity of each brick
while a player manipulated it onscreen,
but removed the polygons once the piece
snapped into place in a user’s creation. It
took forty engineers four years to build
code so that a computer could understand
when and where to remove surface detail
without harming the look of the model.

40 engineers for 4 years? Imagine what you could do to Softimage or Maya or Max with those kind of resources 😉

Friday Flashback #26

Softimage customer story from 2004/2005 for Drop, a television spot for Absolut Cut Vodka, done by The Mill. See the spot here.

Created for Absolut and McCann Erickson NY by The Mill New York, the striking spot relies heavily on the intricate CG work of Swedish artist Stefan Andersson, a long-time aficionado of SOFTIMAGE|XSI.

EAGAIN Resource temporarily unavailable for tmp/.X11-unix/X0

This post is for Softimage 2011.5 on Linux, and for Google (I’ve posted about this before, but I didn’t include the strace output that time).

If Softimage doesn’t seem to want to start, or if it is taking forever to start, and you see something like this in your strace log. Note lines 02,03, and 18:

connect(19, {sa_family=AF_FILE, path=@"/tmp/.X11-unix/X0"}, 20) = 0
getpeername(19, {sa_family=AF_FILE, path=@"/tmp/.X11-unix/X0"}, [20]) = 0
uname({sys="Linux", node="homer", ...}) = 0
access("/var/run/gdm/auth-for-xxx-Q2I4go/database", R_OK) = 0
open("/var/run/gdm/auth-for-xxx-Q2I4go/database", O_RDONLY) = 20
fstat(20, {st_mode=S_IFREG|0600, st_size=50, ...}) = 0
mmap(NULL, 4096, PROT_READ|PROT_WRITE, MAP_PRIVATE|MAP_ANONYMOUS, -1, 0) = 0x7f3360deb000
read(20, "\1\0\0\5homer\0\0010\0\22MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1"..., 4096) = 50
close(20)                               = 0     
munmap(0x7f3360deb000, 4096)            = 0
getsockname(19, {sa_family=AF_FILE, NULL}, [2]) = 0
fcntl(19, F_GETFL)                      = 0x2 (flags O_RDWR)
fcntl(19, F_SETFL, O_RDWR|O_NONBLOCK)   = 0
fcntl(19, F_SETFD, FD_CLOEXEC)          = 0
poll([{fd=19, events=POLLIN|POLLOUT}], 1, -1) = 1 ([{fd=19, revents=POLLOUT}])
writev(19, [{"l\0\v\0\0\0\22\0\20\0\0\0", 12}, {"", 0}, {"MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1", 18}, {"\0\0", 2}, {"\367\371\200\336\321\\\37\4\22\0324\274\3356|\313", 16}, {"", 0}], 6) = 48
read(19, 0x27ae690, ) = -1 EAGAIN (Resource temporarily unavailable)
poll([{fd=19, events=POLLIN}], 1, -1)   = 1 ([{fd=19, revents=POLLIN}])

then you probably need to put back our x11 patch.