Archive for the ‘Goodies’ Category

A more robust FumeFX cache tool – set cache paths, batch sim, Deadline sim with progress indicator

Wishing to improve on the basic FFX set cache and the Deadline submitter from the previous post, I came up with this tool. The version you can get here is adapted from our internal pipeline. The interface looks like this:

When you open it up, you’ll see a list of all the FFX objects in the selection. Depending on which boxes get checked, pressing the ‘Go’ button will set the cache paths, batch simulate locally, or send a job to Deadline for each FFX.

The cache path is based on the default that you can set in the FumeFX preferences, and looks like this:


For example: c:\ffx_default\myscene\ffx01\myscene_ffx01.fxd

If the run simulation box is checked, and the Deadline one is not, all the grids will be simulated in a batch. The name of the grid being simmed, and its number in the list, are printed in the listener.

The Deadline jobs, one per FFX, get submitted as MaxScript jobs – this gives access to scripting the progressbar. You’ll see the progress of the FFX getting simulated in the progressbar of the single task that the job contains. Very helpful! Thanks to Kresimir for updating FumeFX so this is possible – the update will be coming out next week in FumeFX 3.5.3.

If you want to use the feature before that, you can paste the contents of ‘’ from the download below to the FumeFX script manually.

To install – download, copy the ‘scripts’ folder in your Max root, and drop the macro in your Max. You’ll get a “BtlPipe” category, which will have the BtlPipeFFXCache tool in it.

Couple caveats – It only sets the default path, so make sure the “auto synchronize paths” is checked in the FumeFX preferences. And it only supports the default sim mode for now – no retime/wavelet. These might come later, if necessary.





Simple Deadline job submitter for FumeFX simulations

I’m writing some pipeline pieces these days, which is quite some fun! I wanted to automate sending FFX jobs to simulate on the farm, and it turns out it’s very easy to write a deadline submission tool for it, using SMTDSettings and SMTDFunctions that Deadline provides. It’s basically doing this:

  • check if there’s a single FFX selected. I’ll expand on batch submitting next.
  • closes the FFX UI and deselects it
  • closes the render scene dialog
  • backs up the render scene dialog settings – render range type, resolution
  • sets the render range to single frame, the resolution to 25×25
  • sets the backburner mode of the FFX to “true”
  • sets the Deadline job name to the scene name, plus a FFX sim tag, plus the FFX name
  • submits the job to Deadline
  • sets the backburner mode back to “false”
  • restores the render settings
  • confirms and prints out the job name to the user

So, quite basic and quite useful! I’ll expand it with batch job submit for more FFX grids, dependant render job after they are all simmed, simulation progress bar update in Deadline, and, of course, bugfixes 🙂 You can get the file below. Cheers!

Thinking Particles live blackbox collection

I thought it would be way cool to share my cloud stored TP blackbox collection. You can get it here:

I started doing that recently – changing computers, I was losing a lot of the blackboxes I had made, so it’s a good thing to keep them in the cloud, and much easier to share them with you guys! My philosophy in using blackboxes is to use simple and small ones, as building blocks. So you won’t find undecipherable monsters there, it’s all small, clean and simple, I hope – and very useful.

It’s not cleaned up and organized, and it will probably be in constant flux – it is a live collection, not a carefully curated archive. Make the best of it 🙂

Electric arc TP setup

I had the itch to do a point to point electric arc setup for some time, so I woke up extra early this morning and I banged it up!

The result is pretty much what you see in the picture. It shoots an electric arc from point A to point B, with the distortion effect being strongest in the middle, and it does it in one timesample.

You can get the Max 2010, TP4 scene file here, and I will do a video tutorial explaining how it works soon. Cheers!

Granite texture library

I shot a bunch of photos of the beautiful granite in the great Rila mountain back home in Bulgaria at the end of last summer. So now I came to sort up through my photos, and I’m serving these up for you guys.

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