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Author Topic: file paths - how to reset  (Read 3679 times)

JTP Vis

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file paths - how to reset
« on: March 25, 2014, 02:30:06 PM »
When I installed forest pack, and indeed railclone, I chose the option to not automatically save the file paths, as we have been having problems with file paths in general, and I wanted to put all the resources on the server in a central location. The problem is that forest pack still does not render properly on the V-ray DR nodes, and I would like to reset the file paths option. Now I have the problem that I can't get back to the option to automatically add the paths.

I need to do this for both Forest pack, and railclone.

I hope someone can help.

Cheers,

Bill

Michal Karmazín

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Re: file paths - how to reset
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2014, 05:36:25 PM »
Hi Bill,

You can do this "reset" by deleting the paths for Forest Pack / RailClone from Configure User Path window under External Files tab (please see screenshot attached). Then by opening new Forest object / RailClone object there is automatic check and in case it's not assigned, pops up the window asking for automatic assignment of paths.

Please check that all render nodes can access all textures used in the scene. By adding the shared folder in External Files list you should solve the issue.

Hope it helps you.

Kind regards,

JTP Vis

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Re: file paths - how to reset
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2014, 06:11:13 PM »
Thanks for the reply.

That makes sense, but I don't have the c: drive paths in the list. I have already added the server paths into the list. Does that mean that forest pack automatically understands that the paths are set if it can find the textures?

The problem that we faced was that the file to render had forest pack grass in. The server paths for all the textures was in the .mxp file, and the correct project was set in Max. When we tried to render the nodes did not pick up the grass. What I suspected was that the nodes didn't load the geometry, as I assumed that the maps had been loaded, therefore I wanted to add the geometry paths also.

I might try to remove the paths as described, and try again.

Cheers for your help.

Bill

Michal Karmazín

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Re: file paths - how to reset
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2014, 09:56:03 AM »
Hi Bill,

In case you don't have the path on the list of your external files list the only way to "reset" it is through uninstall and install the plugin. There is also one thing I didn't mention in last post - about .mxp file. In case of network rendering 3dsmax.ini (and plugin.ini) are files that contain the paths information.

For the render nodes, if you can't run Max interactively on them, the texture paths are defined in the following ini file (see [BitmapDirs] section):
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Autodesk\3dsmax\<max version>\enu\3dsmax.ini
This process is valid not only for Forest, but for any texture path required by Max.

Anyway as I can see from your last post the problem it can be that Render Slave Node version of Forest Pack was not installed on some of computers. Please see screenshot attached. The network rendering nodes don't use any type of license, but there is a custom option for render nodes in setup program which should be installed on all render nodes. So please double check that all computers have the same release installed.

There is also new very powerful option for distributed rendering in V-Ray 3 called Transfer missing assets. So if it's your case please check it.

Hope this helps you. Have a nice day.

Kind regards,

« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 10:24:05 AM by Michal Karmazín »

JTP Vis

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Re: file paths - how to reset
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 04:42:50 PM »
Hi Michal,

I don't unfortunately have V-ray 3.0, so I don't have access to that feature.

I have however been looking into your other comments. I have installed Render Slave Node on all the render nodes. None of the nodes have that missing. They are all the same version. I have been looking at the 3dsmax.ini on the render nodes, and I have come to the conclusion that the max project .mxp files must be used to append the 3dsmax.ini files on the render nodes. I have come to this conclusion because I have not edited the .ini files on the render nodes, but all the file paths that are in the .mxp file for the last rendered project are already in that .ini file. For this reason I do not understand why I need to edit that file?

My original question was about trying to reset Forest Pack (and railclone) so that they once again ask if I want to add the paths for the textures. I have already tried to un-install both plugins and then re-install, but I am not prompted with the maps question. So I am at a loss with that one.

I have however located the forestpack.ini in which I think I can reset the preferance checkTexturepaths=0 to 1 so that it will check for textrue paths.

I will do some more tests, as I may have solved most of the problems, but we shall see.

Thanks for your help.

Bill

JTP Vis

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Re: file paths - how to reset
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2014, 05:55:22 PM »

***  How to reset the Forest Pack plugin so that it asks if you would like to automatically add file paths  ***

If you have selected the option "Do not show this message again" and you would like the dialogue box to come back again;

Close max and edit the following file:

C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\AppData\local\Autodesk\3dsmax(design)\<max version>\enu\en-us\plugcfg\forestpack.ini

The attached jpeg shows the contents of the file. You should edit the line

checkTexturePaths=0

and change the 0 to a 1. Save the file and restart Max. When you next select the Forest Pack plugin in Max you will get the dialogue prompt again.

Cheers,

Bill


iToo

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Re: file paths - how to reset
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2014, 06:52:24 PM »
Hi Bill,

You are right, Forest uses forespack.ini to know check if the texture dialog path must be shown. Instead editing this file, we suggested you an alternative way (uninstall / reinstall), but we just realized this procedure doesn't work in all cases (specifically, only when upgrading to a newer Forest version). I apologize by that.

Regarding the .mxp files, usually we suggest to edit the 3dsmax.ini directly because in this way you have more control over the texture paths. Also, in the render nodes Forest adds their own local paths to the configuration, but they would be deleted if a .mxp file overwrites the .ini, causing that Forest textures are not found.

On the other hand, in Backburner it's possible to assign a .mxp file when submit a rendering job, but we are not completely sure what is the behaviour of the DR nodes regarding the .mxp files. Please, let us to do some tests and ask to ChaosGroup about it. We'll post here as soon as we more information.

Thanks,
Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

JTP Vis

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Re: file paths - how to reset
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2014, 11:23:44 AM »
Thanks for the response.

We render using V-ray distribution, so (as far as I can tell) the nodes rely on the max .mxp files for any extra file paths.

In my experience (by taking a look at the 3dsmax.ini file on the render node) the 3dsmax.ini file must be appended by the project's .mxp file, as there are paths in there that I have not added, that correspond to the ones that are in the .mxp file. There is no record in the render node's 3dsmax.ini file of paths that forest pack has added though, at least I can't find any. What paths should the forest pack render node installer put in there?

Cheers,

Bill

iToo

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Re: file paths - how to reset
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2014, 02:27:14 PM »
What V-Ray version do you use exactly ?

We're making some tests here using V-Ray 2.40. As far as i can see, the local machine uses the .mxp file for the paths (as expected), but that has no effect on the DR nodes, which uses their own paths defined in 3dsmax.ini.
We'll make more tests anyway...

Regarding Forest, the paths added to 3dsmax.ini are listed below:

c:\program files (x86)\itoo software\forest pack pro\distmaps\images
c:\program files (x86)\itoo software\forest pack pro\maps\hshadows
c:\program files (x86)\itoo software\forest pack pro\maps\presets
c:\program files (x86)\itoo software\forest pack pro\lib\free models\hqplants free\maps
c:\program files (x86)\itoo software\forest pack pro\maps\standard
c:\program files (x86)\itoo software\forest pack pro\maps\classic


They are not fixed, but defined in the registry at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro\TexturePaths

The .ini is not modified by the installer, but directly by the plugin when Forest is used in a scene. This happens every time, in the same as when used locally (although obviously it doesn't show the dialog).
So, perhaps your DR nodes are not working because checkTexturePaths was set to 0 in forestpack.ini. Please, would you check that ?

Thanks,
Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

JTP Vis

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Re: file paths - how to reset
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2014, 04:16:06 PM »
That is very interesting because that would suggest that it isn't working as you would expect!

I use v-ray 2.40.04.

If the v-ray DR nodes are not modified by the .mxp file, what is it for? I thought that the whole point of the project side .mxp file is that it allows project specific paths to be added to the Max user paths, and thus allow max and, I assume, the render nodes to understand the file paths for those assets which are incorrectly, or not defined at all in the max scene.

The .mxp file is also used by Max to append any new paths to the local 3dsmax.ini file upon setting a new project folder. In this way, the local machine has a record of the file paths.

The main reason for all the questions is that I wanted to define a central location for the textures which will allow for easy editing. Thus allowing us to customise the pre-set's textures. If we had to update the textures on all machines and render nodes it is very inconvenient.

I have done the following test: I have reset the check textrue paths settings. I made a quick scene with a nice forest pack grass field, and did a large v-ray DR render.
The render worked very well, and there were no problems. I have since checked the file paths in the render node's 3dsmax.ini file, and the paths from the .mxp file have been reset to the curent project's set of paths. I know this because when I checked this morning after a different render with a different project folder the list was different. The paths seem to be now working as I expected, and are picking up the central paths from the .mxp file.

Thanks for all the help so far, and I hope some of the information that I have supplied is of use.

Cheers,

iToo

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Re: file paths - how to reset
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2014, 05:08:46 PM »
The .mxp files were introduced by Autodesk, and besides for the project features, can be used in Backburner to copy the paths in the render nodes (Submit to Network rendering->Use Alternate Path file). But V-Ray DR uses its own network rendering system, and as far as i know it doesn't use this feature. In fact, until V-Ray 3 they have not included a similar feature (Transfer missing assets).

It's a mistery for me why in your case the .mxp works with DR. We've done several tests here but the 3dsmax.ini is not modified. Definitively we must ask to ChaosGroup regarding this issue.

Thanks for your help, i'll post here if we find something new.

Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

JTP Vis

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Re: file paths - how to reset
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2014, 06:38:45 PM »
It's probably worth noting that I don't load a specific .mxp file for a render. The .mxp file I've been talking about is part of the "Project" folder structure. By default if you do not set a "project" max assumes C:\Users\<username>\Documents\3dsMaxDesign as the "project" and therefore loads the .mxp file that is in that location. As we use many projects on a server we set up a "project" for each one and therefore they have .mxp files in there.

I do not know how it works with the file paths and .mxp files, just what I seem to have observed.

If you do find out more from chaosgroup I'd be interested to find out more.

Thanks for all your support.

Bill

iToo

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Re: file paths - how to reset
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2014, 12:33:45 PM »
ChaosGroup has replied my question in their forum: http://forums.chaosgroup.com/showthread.php?77616-Distributed-Rendering-and-Project-settings

As expected, V-Ray doesn't use the .mxp files. They suggest to set all assets as absolute UNC paths, although as i described above, this is not strictly necessary if the paths are configured in 3dsmax.ini.
Carlos Quintero
iToo Software