Linking an ICE compound to a help page

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 (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

def OnInit():
    Application.LogMessage( "OnInit" )
    PPG.PPGLayout.SetAttribute( constants.siUIHelpFile, "" )
#ppg logic end

hat tip: everybody on this thread

Workgroup ICE compounds missing from Preset Manager

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”.