Just for kicks: listing the available shaders

Want to know what shaders come with SItoA?

Use kick -nodes with the -l flag to get a list of all nodes. For example:

kick -nodes -l %SITOA_BINDIR%\sitoa_shaders.dll | find "shader"

where SITOA_BINDIR is just shorthand for the Application\bin\nt-x86-64 folder of your SItoA addon install. On my machine, that’s here:


The output will list the builtin Arnold shaders first (such as ambient_occlusion, standard, and wireframe), and then the SItoA shaders (which start with the two BA_ shaders).

In general, you wouldn’t include a filename in the -l path. I included sitoa_shaders.dll so kick wouldn’t try to load sitoa_curves_proc.dll and then pop up a “sicppsdk.dll is missing” error because I’m not running kick in a Softimage command prompt (where all the Softimage environment variables are set for me).

So, a more general example would look like this:

kick -nodes t -l %SITOA_BINDIR%

-nodes t will sort the list of nodes by type.

Missing shaders in images rendered with kick


I was tempted to title this post something like “why is my ass pink when I kick it???” 🙂

The color magenta (often reported as “pink” or even “purple” sometimes) is the color of missing shaders. If Arnold cannot find a shader, it returns the color magenta (RGB = 1, 0, 1). This is a pretty common result when people export an ASS file from Maya for the very first time. Unlike SItoA, which helpfully fills in the Shader Search Path for you, MtoA leaves the search paths empty (unless you fill them in yourself).

There’s several ways you can tell kick where to find the shaders:

  • Use the kick -l flag to specify the location of the shaders. For example:
    kick -l C:\solidangle\mtoadeploy\2013\shaders
  • Set the ARNOLD_PLUGIN_PATH environment variable to the location of the shaders.
  • In Maya, enter the shader search path in the Render Settings before you export the ass file.

I thought you might also be able to use -set options.shader_searchpath on the kick command line, but that didn’t work for me.

kick -i "elephant.ass" -set options.shader_searchpath "C:\solidangle\mtoadeploy\2013\shaders"