I have some questions regarding the shading department versionning process.
When the scene comes out of the animation department, i have a cached version of every animated asset in the scene. It’s an alembic cache.
A lighting/shading artist gets a scene with all the model versions of all the assets of the scene. I can connect my alembic file to the corresponding asset and the animation is updated. So for animation, things seem to work smoothly.
Now for the shading: if the artist would have a “lighting asset”, i.e. a maya scene with all the shading groups and render layers for this particular asset, all i would have to do is create references for all these lighting assets in my lighting scene, connect the animation to them, and if i have to update animation or the lighting asset, everything would work fine (with some workarounds of course, but it would work)
Now the problem gets tougher if I want to preserve how people work in my studio. The shading/lighting artist generally shades directly in the post-animation scene, and switches references to apply the same shading in different scenes.
So I would like to be able to publish a lighting asset directly from a lighting scene. Seems easy, but for a particular asset I have to find all render layers and shading groups connected to that asset and export them along. For the moment, I manage getting the render layers and the shading groups from the main render layer, but not the shading groups for all render layers, so I can’t manage to export everything.