[MtoA] [SItoA] Distance between shading with Vector State

SItoA includes Arnold versions of the Softimage Vector State and Vector Scalar shaders, which you can use to do build a “distance between” shading network.

Vector State can get you the origin point of a ray and its intersection point, and Vector Scalar can get the distance between those two points.


You can even use these shaders in Maya (since they are just Arnold shaders). Just put sitoa_shaders somewhere in the ARNOLD_PLUGIN_PATH, and MtoA will load them. The shader UI in the Attribute Editor will be very basic (for example, integer input fields instead of drop-down lists), but you can use the shaders.


Adding Arnold licenses to an existing RLM license server

If you’ve already have an RLM license server up and running, it’s easy to add your Arnold license to that server. Just download the Solid Angle RLM package, extract the solidangle.set and solidangle.opt files from the download, and copy them to your RLM folder. Then do a reread/restart of the server to pick up the Arnold licenses.

Just make sure you’re not running an older version of RLM. The Solid Angle license server (solidangle.set) requires RLM v10.1BL2 or later.

RLM is backwards compatible, which means you can always use a newer version of RLM with an older solidangle.set.

But RLM is not forwards compatible. You cannot use an older RLM with a newer solidangle.set. For example, you cannot use the current solidangle.set ISV server with RLM v9.4BL2.

If you use a newer solidangle.set with an older RLM, you’ll see something like this in the RLM log:

08/22 14:23 (rlm) RLM License Server Version 9.4BL2

        Copyright (C) 2006-2012, Reprise Software, Inc. All rights reserved.

08/22 14:23 (rlm) License server started on SOLIDANGLE-PC
08/22 14:23 (rlm) Server architecture: x86_w1
08/22 14:23 (rlm) License files:
08/22 14:23 (rlm)     arnold.lic
08/22 14:23 (rlm)
08/22 14:23 (rlm) Web server starting on port 5054
08/22 14:23 (rlm) Using TCP/IP port 5053
08/22 14:23 (rlm) Starting ISV servers:
08/22 14:23 (rlm)     ... solidangle on port 60008
08/22 14:23 (rlm) New thread created to watch ISV solidangle
(solidangle) Server settings (version 10) incompatible with RLM v9 software
(solidangle) This settings file must be used with RLM v10 (or later) software
08/22 14:23 (rlm)
08/22 14:23 (rlm) solidangle initialization error: 1, not restarting
08/22 14:23 (rlm)
08/22 14:23 (rlm) Server initialization error.
08/22 14:23 (rlm)
08/22 14:23 (rlm) This indicates either:
08/22 14:23 (rlm)  A settings file incompatible with this RLM version
08/22 14:23 (rlm)  - or -
08/22 14:23 (rlm)  The ISV server is built with an incorrect RLM license
08/22 14:23 (rlm)  - or -
08/22 14:23 (rlm)  The ISV server encountered an error processing its options fi
08/22 14:23 (rlm)

For google: “solidangle initialization error: 1, not restarting”

[SItoA] Understanding the Object color mode of the Utility shader

The Utility shader has an Object color mode that assigns colors to objects based on names. Each shape (for example, a polymesh shape or a curves shape or a box shape) gets a unique color, because each shape has a unique name.

If you’re working with SItoA, you may have noticed that the object color changes with each frame:

That’s because SItoA gives shapes names like Elephant.Elephant_Mesh.SItoA.4000, which change with every frame.

MtoA doesn’t use the current frame in shape node names, and neither does HtoA (by default). However, HtoA does provide an option for adding a suffix, like the frame number, to the shape node name.