Maya OpenData and Scene Assembly Workflows

By Steven Roselle - 12 Jun, 2013 - Maya

Howdy folks -

I've got some new Scene Assembly demos for you.  But first a quick and completely unrelated joke...

Two cannibals are eating a clown. 

One turns to the other and asks...

"Does this taste funny to you?"

Now back to bidness :)

I've recorded a couple of new movies to share with you related to Scene Assembly.  In the 2014 release we extended Scene Assembly to help deal with managing multiple representations of characters, rigs, animation, etc...  I put together a few examples to show Scene Assembly in the context of what we are calling Character Assemblies.

Character Assemblies in Maya 2014

Additionally we've posted a recording of a recent webinar that I hosted that covered not only Scene Assembly but the broader Maya OpenData initiative.  Check out this extended movie to learn more about it.

Maya OpenData and Scene Assembly Workflows


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Rob Ice | 2 years ago
I'd like to sneak in one question here using referenceAssembly node. The node has a definition input path. I've got a assembly definition as a rigged character. The animator loads the referenceAssembly. I need to update the rig and the obvious would be to replace the referenceAssembly input definition file path. But if I do that, I loose all the animation connection. Any simple solution to this problem?
Edited by Rob Ice 2 years ago
astropol | 3 years ago
@STLR - We're also hitting the issue that richrich brought up before regarding shader overrides. We can't seem to find a way to attach a different shader to a piece of geo in an assembly reference. This is hugely limiting for us as we do quite a bit of these overrides for various render layer needs. An RGB utility layer for example where we may use surface shaders to color foliage Red, ground Green and characters Blue. Is there something we're overlooking or another method? If this isn't possible we may need to revert back to a referencing workflow. -andrew
Edited by astropol 3 years ago
My Oh Maya | 3 years ago
@swifty604 - I'm working on an update of LT that will better support SA's. Right now LT will only import or reference so the icons creation probably won't work. @clemensk - Standard file referencing does not scale well for one. Once you get into the 100's or god forbid 1000's then standard referencing will bog down. Loading/unloading is much slower and it also doesn't work with caches in the same way. You also can't do basic things like quickly duplicating a ref with ctrl D or simply hitting the delete key to remove one. As for the URI support it is exposed via API only so a user won't see this in a typical import/export menu. Here’s a link to the MPxFileResolver class documentation:,topicNumber=cpp_ref_class_m_px_file_resolver_htmlb86fb838-d369-4c30-8668-be4203956443 Additionally there are a couple python examples in the devkit: devkit/plug-ins/ devkit/plug-ins/
Edited by My Oh Maya 3 years ago
clemensk | 3 years ago
Hi, I'm interested in the new URL path support, but I can't find any documentation about it. Can you give me a hint?
Edited by clemensk 3 years ago
clemensk | 3 years ago
Very interesting, the assembly manager is really amazing. But I miss the rationale. I don't see the advantage of scene assemblies over file referencing with proxy sets. Instead file referencing already supports even more things like selective preload, instancing, and deformation. And it's in the context menues, too. Currently, the biggest advantage in scene assemblies I see is the amazing assembly manager. But why has it been written using scene assemblies instead of using proxy sets? I'm sure there is a good reason for scene assemblies. I just don't get it at the moment. So where does it come from and why?
Edited by clemensk 3 years ago
swifty604 | 3 years ago
Hi, great overview as always. When using scene assembly and Layout tools - might seem daft question but how do I get the icons to render the master file representation. Had Layout pointing to Assembly Definition folder but not getting any picture icons. Any tips appreciated xx
Edited by swifty604 3 years ago
richrich | 3 years ago
@ STLR - Cool and nice overview of these functions of scene assembly. At the moment I doing research on this. I have a question: Is it possible do shader or texture connection overrides further up a hiarchy of Assembly references? With the "old" reference workflow it was possible. Or maybe there is better way to handle this. Thanks in advance!
Edited by richrich 3 years ago
milenp | 3 years ago
@STLR - Thanks a lot for that. I can see why studios are starting to use it, especially with the flexibility it has to offer to extend it further. We are a small team but this workflow might be exactly what we need for out next project.
Edited by milenp 3 years ago
My Oh Maya | 3 years ago
@milenp - Glad you found the vids useful. Scene Assembly has been a great addition. There are a number of studios that have adopted it and extended it. As for the script I'll check with the author and see if it is ok to post. Stay tuned.
Edited by My Oh Maya 3 years ago
milenp | 3 years ago
Hello, Great videos. Really love the functionality that scene assembly has to offer. I'm also really interested in the custom script for triggering the representations based on camera distance. Could you tell me if it is possible to get this script from somewhere. Thanks in advance.
Edited by milenp 3 years ago
My Oh Maya | 4 years ago
@kokoko123 - It's possible but I can't really comment on future development. I will say that it's a common request though.
Edited by My Oh Maya 4 years ago
My Oh Maya | 4 years ago
@Robertwaterworth - There is a new section in render settings common tab called "Scene Assembly." I cover this in the second movie starting around 19 min 20 second.
Edited by My Oh Maya 4 years ago
Robertwaterworth | 4 years ago
Great video. How can I automate my Scene assembly so that maya will switch the representations from a Geo Cache to? the full Geo when I send it to render. ?
Edited by Robertwaterworth 4 years ago
kokoko123 | 4 years ago
Hi! Great feature, I love it. :-) I have a question. I would like use maya gpu cache with texture. I know it is not support at now. But do you have any plan for develop this feature? Thanks the answer.
Edited by kokoko123 4 years ago
Wolvawab | 4 years ago
Very nice stuff, I hope our studio will upgrade to 2014 soon. BTW, nice joke. :p
Edited by Wolvawab 4 years ago
cory-mogk | 4 years ago
great overview of the new workflow possibilities! :)
Edited by cory-mogk 4 years ago