The short answer is that you can’t do it, not really. The best you can do is provide a URL in the compound properties
and then right-click the compound and click Open Netview on URL.
For ICE compounds, a CompoundNode property is loaded into the PPG when you inspect the compound.
This CompoundNode is like a proxy container for the actual compound, and it takes care of populating the PPG with the required controls, and finding the right help page. To do that, it just takes the name of the compound and constructs a URL like http://download.autodesk.com/global/docs/softimage2014/en_us/userguide/files/iceref_MyCompound.htm. (Hmm, having just said that, I figure if you had a local version of the help, then you could stick your own help page there, and Softimage would find it.)
For shader compounds it’s a little better, because you can put something like this in your PPG Logic, and it will work.
#ppg logic start
from win32com.client import constants
Application.LogMessage( "OnInit" )
PPG.PPGLayout.SetAttribute( constants.siUIHelpFile, "http://lmgtfy.ca" )
#ppg logic end
hat tip: everybody on this thread
To avoid having too many exposed reference ports in a compound, you can use a Get Data as a kind of passthrough node:
In this example, the name of an attribute is passed through:
I’ve seen a few customers reporting that they put .xsicompound files in the Data\Compounds folder of a workgroup, but the compounds don’t show up in the Preset Manager.
This can happen when the compound doesn’t specify anything for Category or Tasks. From the docs:
If a compound is exported without a category or task, it is not available in the preset manager or nodes menu. This allows you to create utility nodes that perform specific functions inside other compounds but that are not meant to be used generally. You can add such nodes to an ICE tree using Compounds Import Compound or by dragging the compound file from a Softimage file browser or folder window.
Here’s a quick review of the Category and Tasks values:
- Category specifies where the compound is listed on the Tool tab of the Preset Manager.
- Tasks specifies where the compound is listed on the Task tab of the Preset Manager. The format of Tasks is task/sub-task. For example, “Particles/Getters” or “Deformation/Skinning”.
Some interesting-looking voxel videos and compounds from 2nd reality on Vimeo
Haven’t had a chance to check them out myself yet…
Here’s the most recent video.
I’d recommend going to Vimeo so you can see all the vids and download the related compounds.
In this video, I show how to package a collection of ICE compounds as an addon (.xsiaddon).
The compounds I use are by Piotrekm.
In this video, I look into downloading and installing ICE compounds (.xsicompound files):
- Dragging compounds from Web page to an ICE tree
- Downloading compounds
- Using workgroups to store compounds