Loading multiple saved XMeshes easily


#1

I find myself sometimes in situations where I need to load a lot of saved xmesh sequences but I haven’t found a way to do this without creating a loader and picking one sequence by hand. This is very time consuming. Is there a solution for this? If not, please consider that for a future release! Thank you,

Tobbe


#2

This is something that I would like to do also. I was told that there might be something like a PRT file sequence manger in future releases.


#3

Each time you save a sequence, an MS file is saved in the folder. Dragging that file into the Max viewport creates the correct XMesh Loader with the right path and other setting requested at save time. Of course, this does not solve the larger problem of creating many loaders with one click, so we do plan to have a File Sequence Manager (and more) for XMesh soon (as soon as I can find the time between other things I have to do).

One approach would be to select a root folder (the same folder that is the root of your XMesh Saver) and scan recursively all sub-folders, then showing the results in a list with a filter system that lets you filter by file name/project name/version incl. “latest” etc. Then with one click load all the specified sequences by running their respective MS files or creating new XMesh Loaders with overridden settings…

Then we would need functions to update existing loaders to newer versions of their current sequences, mass-control all settings like proxy modes, display modes, motion blur modes etc, mass-control the timing including offset and re-timing and so on.

Please post ideas about what features you might want to have in such a tool in this thread!


#4

Ah yes, I forgot about the ms files – that would work for now. Having a File Sequence Manager to be able to load multiple sequences and being able to exclude channels that you might not need would be useful. Being able to specify frame-ranges, display options, playback speed etc. in such a manager would be nice. I can do some of that with something like Zorb (I believe, haven’t tested it with Xmesh loaders but should work) but I would imagine yours would be more efficient.

Thanks again for the prompt reply Bobo, much appreciated.

Tobbe


#5

I started writing the Manager yesterday and it already lets me scan a folder structure for available sequences and create any number of loaders at once. It currently has filter fields for path and file name, but I want to add more advanced filtering later to filter by version, user name and many other metadata values found in the files (e.g. show only sequences that contain a velocity channel etc.)

Once I have it polished, I will post the prototype so you can play with it and report bugs…


#6

Thank you, that would be awesome.


#7

XMeshSequenceManager_20130104_01.zipOk, here is the first version of the XMesh Sequence Manager.

It provides a spreadsheet view which shows all sequences stored under a base path (which is taken originally from the XMesh Saver’s Base Path). It scans recursively all sub-folders of the specified path and shows all sequences found there.
XMeshSequenceManager_20130104_01.zip (4.63 KB)
Sequences on blue background have a matching CREATE_*.MS file which will be used to make the XMesh Loader if requested.
Sequences on red background do not have a script file for creation and will make a default XMesh Loader at the origin.
Sequences on green background are already loaded in the current scene. If you try to make one of them again, you will be prompted whether to create another Loader or skip.

All 3 types of sequences can be turned off by checking the filters in the second row of the UI.
You can also use the two filter fields to display a subset of all sequences according to a sub-string pattern match.

The main two buttons at the bottom of the UI let you create loaders from either all filtered sequences in the list, or the highlighted selection (subset) of the list. You can also highlight one or more sequences and right-click for a context menu with Create, Select and Explore options applicable to all highlighted lines. Double-clicking a line will open the Windows Explorer at its path.
Once XMesh Loaders are created, their corresponding lines will turn green and the newly created Loaders will be selected.
If you delete one or more of these XMesh Loaders, the list will update automatically back to blue or red.

You can freely resize / maximize the dialog to see more info at once. The columns show the file name, path, number of frames, start frame, end frame, sample step, save mode and selection method, date and time of saving, number of saved meshes in the file and the list of the originally saved objects. In future versions, it will also include info about the existing channels.


Also in future versions you can expect filters by any property shown in a column (e.g. frame counts, mesh mode, saved object names etc.) as well as version, user name etc. Also, it will probably do some smarter checking of the face count and turn on viewport display optimizations like bounding box or every nth vertex / face display for very heavy meshes to speed things up automatically.

But this first iteration should be a good place to start.

Please note that the first time you open the dialog, it might take a while to scan the sub-folders. Windows will cache this and the next operations will be faster.

This tool requires the XMesh Saver plugin to be installed (but it does not have to be licensed). This is because the XMeshSaverUtils interface is needed for some operations, and it only comes with the Saver.

The script is a MacroScript - evaluate it, then customize a toolbar or menu from the “Thinkbox” category. An icon will be added in the future when it becomes part of the shipping installer.

Please let me know if you find any issues.


#8

Thank you, this will be very handy! I’ll test it out.


#9

Damn I dont know how I missed that xmesh sequence manager post. It would have come real handy in the last couple of weeks.


#10

This is quite handy, but what would be great is managing the xmesh loaders that are in your scene. For example if you had 10 sequences and you wanted to change them all to vertex mode in one hit, or if you would like update the file sequences to a newer version and you had done a few things to the loader like adding modifiers or added some animation it would be better to relink the files to the new version than create a new loader.


#11

Believe it or not, I have been writing this since last week. But I had too many things on my plate to finish it in a day like the other one… :slight_smile: Stay tuned.


#12

:smiley: No Worries, I appreciate all your efforts very much. Thinkbox has made Max powerful again.


#13

Hi Bobo,

Was wondering if you had to chance to work on that script? :smiley:


#14

I had, but it is not ready - we have Krakatoa for Maya to release, so I am swamped.
But it is still high on my list…


#15

This should be stickied… and/or shipped with xMesh. :stuck_out_tongue: