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Author Topic: Default map locations when loading in forest presets  (Read 859 times)

iToo_Butler

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Default map locations when loading in forest presets
« on: April 20, 2018, 11:06:25 AM »
Hi all,

Having a frustrating problem here and I wonder if anyone knows the answer.

I am wondering how to make sure when we load in any of the presets, the maps are pathed through correctly so there is a physical path to the maps. When we load in a preset, the maps are loading in, but they have no path set to the network location so when we are sending to the network to render the maps don't appear. We have to manually add the paths in through the asset manager for them.

Is there a way to make sure this happens automatically when we load in a preset?

The idea we had is we copy the files that the update manager installs to our server. Install Forest pack on all the machines. Then in Forest Pack preferences, change the library path to the one on the server. This works well for collecting the assets, but seen as the map paths don't point to the right locations on the server it doesn't work fully.

I have seen some regedit suggestions, but always apprehensive to fiddle with that until I know it is the correct thing to do.

thanks in advance

Andy.



Cheers,

iToo_Butler.

KF1125

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Re: Default map locations when loading in forest presets
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2018, 01:45:16 AM »
We are having the same problem.. the update to 6 has really messed up our pipeline. We used to be able to just load a preset and render on our render wall.
Since the introduction of the update manager this no longer works.
We were hoping that centralizing all the files to the server would fix this problem but it doesnt.. i seems to cascade into more and more issues.. we apprehensively tried the regedit suggestion, but this still does not work.
I have a feeling that the internal material libraries to forest presets are looking in a very specific local machine location and not respecting the 'reg hacked' network location, as all the maps that appear missing are actually there on the server.
I have to manually go and override the missing file locations.

Now i feel like i have tried so many things that everything is a complete mess.. im spending too much time fixing instead of doing my work. Very frustrating.

Can anybody from iToo respond to this please.

iToo

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Re: Default map locations when loading in forest presets
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2018, 01:35:49 PM »
Hi, apologies for the delay in replying. For some reason we have not received the notification for this forum's thread.

I will try to explain in detail how the maps system works, and how to deal with it:

As you know, when Max cannot find a map, it uses the paths defined in Customize->Configure User Paths->External Files as alternative routes.
Since Forest cannot hack the way this works, it only can add the map paths used by the libraries to "External Files", so all textures can be loaded correctly.

When Max runs on interactive mode, the first time that a FP object is used, Forest  checks if all textures are added. If not, it shows a question dialog, and adds the paths automatically.
But in render nodes, it has no sense to show the dialog, so the maps are always (silenty) added.

From where Forest takes the path which must be added ? From these registry keys, which are created during the installation:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro\TexturePaths
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro\TexturePaths


Note: Forest adds all folders found in the specified paths recursively. It's not necessary to define each level individually. (changed in FP 6.0.7 and above).

In FP5 the texture paths were fixed, because all assets were included in the setup program. Futhermore, all preset maps were included in an unique folder (at C:\Program Files (x86)\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro\maps\Presets).

But in FP6, the assets are installed separately by Update Manager, and the new presets (as "Layered Lawns" and "Vertical") have a local folder for their maps.
We had to change the system because the old method was limiting enormously the number of libraries and assets we could include.

When one of the new libraries is used on Max (interactively), Forest shows a question dialog to add the local map path to the configuration. But it doesn't do anything in render nodes.
And when Update Manager installs the old presets, it adds the maps path to the "TexturePaths" registry key (C:\Users\carlos\AppData\Local\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro\maps), but it DOES NOT add the paths for the new libraries.
(changed in FP 6.0.7)

This is the reason why your render nodes cannot find the new textures.
Also if you have installed the assets in a network folder (as defined here), Update Manager never is launched in the render node, and the path for old presets is not added either.

How to solve it ?

First, we are working in the Update Manager to solve several issues, and have plans to rewrite completely the unattended instalation mode.
We also must find a way to configure the maps in render nodes easily, to solve the limitations described above. But please note this is a laborious process, and will take some time.

Until then, i suggest you use HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro\TexturePaths to configure in the render nodes all texture paths you need.
In this way, Forest will add them automatically to "External Files".

Alternatively, you can use the procedure described here, to configure the texture paths directly in the Max configuration.
I included a sample registry file, which you can use as basis (the paths are fictional).

Please, don't hesitate to ask if you have any doubt.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2018, 09:37:57 AM by iToo »
Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

KF1125

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Re: Default map locations when loading in forest presets
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2018, 12:06:50 AM »
Thanks for taking the time to reply and explain.. appreciate it.
Ill see if i can get that working.

iToo

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Re: Default map locations when loading in forest presets
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2018, 09:51:38 AM »
I edited my previous post, because we have done several changes in FP 6.0.7 beta to automate the process a bit:

- First time Forest is used in Max (both interactively or in render nodes), it searches recursively all registered libraries for folders with name "map", and add them to "TexturePaths" (in the registry).
- Next, all paths defined in "TexturePaths" are added to Customize->External Files, as usual.

In this way, it's not necessary to define the texture paths manually, and all "maps" used in libraries are located automatically.

The registered libraries are defined in the Library Browser->Options, or in the following registry keys (this has not changed):

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro\LibraryDir
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro\LibraryDir


Our next step will be to configure all this in the installation program. Once done, only it will necessary to install the plugin as a "render node", and all keys and paths will be properly configured.
We will modify also the offline mode of Update Manager, making it much more simple and intuitive.

« Last Edit: May 11, 2018, 10:07:54 AM by iToo »
Carlos Quintero
iToo Software