Tools

Set Context

Any time your host app is open in defined context it can be changed to different hierarchy, asset or task within a project. This will allow you to change your opened session to any other asset, shot and tasks within the same project. This is useful particularly in cases where your host takes long time to start.

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note

Notice that the window doesn't close after hitting Accept and confirming the change of context. This behaviour let's you keep the window open and change the context multiple times in a row.

Creator

Details

Despite the name, Creator isn't for making new content in your scene, but rather taking what's already in it and creating all the metadata your content needs to be published.

In Maya this means creating a set with everything you want to publish and assigning custom attributes to it so it get's picked up during publishing stage.

In Nuke it's either converting an existing write node to a publishable one, or simply creating a write node with all the correct settings and outputs already set.

Usage

  1. select what you want to publish from your scenes
  2. Open Creator from Avalon menu
  3. Choose what family (data type) you need to export
  4. Type the name for you export. This name is how others are going to be able to refer to this particular subset when loading it into their scenes. Every assets should have a Main subset, but can have any number of other variants.
  5. Click on Create

Loader

Loader loads published subsets into your current scene or script.

Usage

  1. open Loader from pipeline menu
  2. select the asset where the subset you want to load is published
  3. from subset list select the subset you want
  4. right-click the subset
  5. from action menu select what you want to do (load, reference, ...)

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Refresh data

Data are not auto-refreshed to avoid database issues. To refresh assets or subsets press refresh button.

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Load another version

Loader by default load last version, but you can of course load another versions. Double-click on the subset in the version column to expose the drop down, choose version you want to load and continue from point 4 of the Usage.

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Filtering

Filter Assets and Subsets by name

To filter assets/subsets by name just type name or part of name to filter text input. Only assets/subsets containing the entered string remain.

  • Assets filtering example (it works the same for subsets):

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Filter Subsets by Family

To filter subsets by their families you can use families list where you can check families you want to see or uncheck families you are not interested in.

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Subset groups

Subsets may be grouped which can help to make the subset list more transparent. You can toggle visibility of groups with Enable Grouping checkbox.

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Add to group or change current group

You can set group of selected subsets with shortcut Ctrl + G.

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warning

You'll set the group in Avalon database so your changes will take effect for all users.

Work in progress...

Library Loader

Library loader is extended loader which allows to load published subsets from Library projects. Controls are same but library loader has extra Combo Box which allows you to choose project you want to load from.

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Publisher

Use publish to share your work with others. It collects, validates and exports the data in standardized way.

Details

When you run pyblish, the UI is made of 2 main parts. On the left, you see all the items pyblish will be working with (called instances), and on the right a list of actions that are going to process these items. Even though every task type has some pre-defined settings of what should be collected from the scene and what items will be published by default. You can technically publish any output type from any task type. Each item is passed through multiple plugins, each doing a small piece of work. These are organized into 4 areas and run in sequence.

Using Pyblish

In the best case scenario, you open pyblish from the Avalon menu, press play, wait for it to finish, and you’re done. These are the steps in detail, for cases, where the default settings don’t work for you or you know that the task you’re working on, requires a different treatment.

Collect

Finds all the important data in the scene and makes it ready for publishing

Validate

Each validator makes sure your output complies to one particular condition. This could be anything from naming conventions, scene setting, to plugin usage. An item can only be published if all validators pass.

Extract

Extractor takes the item and saves it to the disk. Usually to temporary location. Each extractor represents one file format and there can be multiple file formats exported for each item.

Integrate

Integrator takes the extracted files, categorizes and moves them to a correct location on the disk or on the server.


Inventory

With Scene Inventory, you can browse, update and change subsets loaded with Loader into your scene or script.

note

You should first understand Key concepts to understand how you can use this tool.

Details

Once a subset is loaded, it turns into a container within a scene. This containerization allows us to have a good overview of everything in the scene, but also makes it possible to change versions, notify user if something is outdated, replace one asset for another, etc.

The scene manager has a simple GUI focused on efficiency. You can see everything that has been previously loaded into the scene, how many time it's been loaded, what version and a lot of other information. Loaded assets are grouped by their asset name, subset name and representation. This grouping gives ability to apply changes for all instances of the loaded asset (e.g. when tree is loaded 20 times you can easily update version for all of them).

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To interact with any container, you need to right click it and you'll see a drop down with possible actions. The key actions for production are already implemented, but more will be added over time.

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Usage

Change version

You can change versions of loaded subsets with scene inventory tool. Version of loaded assets is colored to red when newer version is available.

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Update to the latest version

Select containers or subsets you want to update, right-click selection and press Update to latest.

Change to specific version

Select containers or subsets you want to change, right-click selection, press Set version, select from dropdown version you want change to and press OK button to confirm.

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Switch Asset

It's tool in Scene inventory tool that gives ability to switch asset, subset and representation of loaded assets.

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Because loaded asset is in fact representation of version published in asset's subset it is possible to switch each of this part (representation, version, subset and asset), but with limitations. Limitations are obvious as you can imagine when you have loaded .ma representation of modelMain subset from car asset it is not possible to switch subset to modelHD and keep same representation if modelHD does not have published .ma representation. It is possible to switch multiple loaded assets at once that makes this tool very powerful helper if all published assets contain same subsets and representations.

Switch tool won't let you cross the border of limitations and inform you when you have to specify more if impossible combination occurs (It is also possible that there will be no possible combination for selected assets). Border is colored to red and confirm button is not enabled when specification is required.

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Possible switches:

  • switch representation (.ma to .abc, .exr to .dpx, etc.)
  • switch subset (modelMain to modelHD, etc.)
    • AND keep same representation (with limitations)
    • AND switch representation (with limitations)
  • switch asset (oak to elm, etc.)
    • AND keep same subset and representation (with limitations)
    • AND keep same subset and switch representation (with limitations)
    • AND switch subset and keep same representation (with limitations)
    • AND switch subset and representation (with limitations)

We added one more switch layer above subset for LOD (Level Of Depth). That requires to have published subsets with name ending with "_LOD{number}" where number represents level (e.g. modelMain_LOD1). Has the same limitations as mentioned above. This is handy when you want to change only subset but keep same LOD or keep same subset but change LOD for multiple assets. This option is hidden if you didn't select subset that have published subset with LODs.

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Filtering

Filter by name

There is a search bar on the top for cases when you have a complex scene with many assets and need to find a specific one.

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Filter with Cherry-pick selection

To keep only selected subsets right-click selection and press Cherry-Pick (Hierarchy) (Border of subset list change to orange color when Cherry-pick filtering is set so you know filter is applied).

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To return to original state right-click anywhere in subsets list and press Back to Full-View.

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tip

You can Cherry-pick from Cherry-picked subsets.


Workfiles

Save new working scenes or scripts, or open the ones you previously worked on.

Details

Instead of digging through your software native file browser, you can simply open the workfiles app and see all the files for the asset or shot you're currently working with. The app takes care of all the naming and the location of your work files.

When saving a scene you can also add a comment. It is completely up to you how you use this, however we recommend using it for subversion within your current working version.

Let's say that the last version of the comp you published was v003 and now you're working on the file prj_sh010_compositing_v004.nk if you want to keep snapshots of your work, but not iterate on the main version because the supervisor is expecting next publish to be v004, you can use the comment to do this, so you can save the file under the name prj_sh010_compositing_v004_001 , prj_sh010_compositing_v004_002. the main version is automatically iterated every time you publish something.

Usage

To open existing file:

  1. Open Workfiles tool from pipeline menu
  2. Select file from list - the latest version is the highest (descendent ordering)
  3. Press Open button

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To save new workfile

  1. Open Workfiles tool from pipeline menu
  2. Press Save As button
  3. You can add optional comment to the filename, that will be appended at the end
  4. Press OK
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You can manually override the workfile version by unticking next available version and using the version menu to choose your own.

Look Assigner

The Look Manager takes care of assigning published looks to the correct model in the scene.

Details

When a look is published it also stores the information about what shading networks need to be assigned to which models, but it also stores all the render attributes on the mesh necessary for a successful render.

Usage

Look Assigner has GUI is made of two parts. On the left you will see the list of all the available models in the scene and on the right side, all the looks that can be associate with them. To assign a look to a model you just need to:

  1. Click on "load all subsets"
  2. Choose a subset from the menu on the left
  3. Right click on a look from the list on the right
  4. Choose "Assign"

At this point you should have a model with all it's shaders applied correctly. The tool automatically loads the latest look available.